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Action needed on ‘outrageous flooding’ in East Clare

“OUTRAGEOUS flooding” on land and roads in East Clare was discussed with council officials at the most recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District. Cathaoirleach, Councillor Pat Hayes tabled a motion proposing a planned programme of drainage works for the River Grainey and its catchment area. “We need to take the bull by the horns on this,” he said. “The river is 40 to 50 miles long and the lack of drainage is now coming home to roost on the roads around Feakle and Tulla, especially around the likes of Derrynahila. I have called previously for a single authority to deal with drainage. Some good work has been done in the past, but not for a long time on the River Grainey. If we don’t act we’ll end up having to raise the roads in places like Ayle, Core and Caher.” The Fianna Fáil members pointed out that the River Grainey is also an important amenity in terms of recreation …

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Rise in number of Clare people getting Pandemic Unemployment Payment

AFTER consistently falling for months the number of Clare people on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment have increased this week. The figures rose to 4,512 on September 29, compared to 4,449 a week earlier. This rise came despite 174 people in the county stopping receipt of the payment due to returning to work, meaning that another 237 people began receiving it. The Government have said that the numbers receiving the payment are likely to rise when a region goes into Level 3, but obviously Clare has not, nor have any of the counties around it. Nationally the numbers on the payment have also risen and Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that it shows that Covid-19 is a persistent threat. “These statistics are a reminder to us all that we cannot become complacent. We’ve come too far to let our guard down now. “The next couple of weeks are crucial. If people follow the advice of NPHET, reduce their …

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Government not providing expected funding for Bunratty

SHANNON Group will not be receiving a €2.6 million package to keep Bunratty and King John’s Castle open until the end of the year, instead they are likely to receive around one fifth of the sume sought. In a statement on Thursday, it said, ““Shannon Group is still awaiting final details of the Government funding being provided but we understand it will cover the incremental operational losses of keeping Bunratty Castle & Folk Park and King John’s Castle open from September 1 to Dec 31st 2020.” SIPTU Organiser, Rachel Keane, said: “At a meeting with the management of Shannon Heritage our members were stunned by the news that the promise by the Government to provide €2.6 million to ensure that these iconic Shannon Heritage sites would remain open until the end of the year will not be honoured. “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for sites run by Shannon Heritage. However, SIPTU members ensured that these sites …

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Fewer Clare people on pandemic payment

THE number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the Banner is now down to 4,521. At its height in early May, it was more than three times this number with 14,664 people receiving it. At this stage, many companies have resumed operations, although obviously aviation related companies in Clare are still under serious pressure. While the lack of international tourism certainly hit parts of the country hard, most of Clare’s tourism sector seems to have escaped the worst of it, with a boom in staycationers compensating for the lack of foreign visitors. This week the payments people receive were adjusted, with the top rate falling to €300, while a new rate of €250 was introduced for those whose pre-Covid earnings were between €200 and €300. There is also a lower rate of €203 for those who were earning less than €200 per week. In its recently launched Resilience and Recovery document, the government stated that there may have …

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Calls for action to prevent river flooding as winter approaches

CLIMATE change is predicted to increase the risk of flooding in Clare, and measures like dredging of rivers, cannot be seen as quick-fix solutions, members of the county council have been warned. The topic was discussed in detail at the monthly local authority meeting on foot of a motion from Councillor Gabriel Keating. The Fine Gael member asked the council to engage with the relevant statutory authorities to dredge rivers “to prevent ongoing flooding of our lands in the interest of good environmental and farming practice”. A response from the council, pledging to work with those agencies to ensure dredging can be carried out where it is appropriate and subject to a range of environmental considerations, was welcomed by Councillor Keating. A number of members, including Councillors PJ Kelly and Pat Hayes noted that confusion tends to arise between the number of agencies involved in the management of waterways, as to who is responsible when there is a threat of …

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Playgrounds risk development funds over insurance issues

COMMUNITY playgrounds are facing huge hurdles in securing insurance cover, with the county council being urged to step in to support them. The matter was raised at this month’s meeting of Clare County Council, where Councillors Cillian Murphy, Ian Lynch and Joe Garrihy tabled a motion calling for new playgrounds and those whose policies had lapsed to be taken in under the council’s policy. “We could soon be looking at two-tier communities,” Councillor Murphy said. “Those who have community playgrounds and those who don’t, if this situation isn’t resolved. This is a grossly unfair and utterly risible situation.” The Fianna Fáil member said he was aware of two community groups who would not be able to draw down their core funds for playground facilities, if they are unable to get insurance cover. “In one case a group has spent €275,000 and is ready to go, but the playground has to have insurance cover,” he said. “Significant time and energy has …

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“You couldn’t but be emotional”-Centenary of Rineen ambush

TUESDAY was exactly 100 years on from the Rineen ambush and the atrocities that followed, and the events of that day were marked at the site of the ambush and in Lahinch. Due to Covid-19, relatively few people were able to attend the commemorations of what was one of the most notable events in Clare during the War of Independence. Mary Crawford is part of the commemoration committee, which met in Rineen and raised the Irish flag at the site where the IRA engaged with the enemy, killing six RIC men. She said they had decided at a very early stage that holding a mass ceremony wasn’t a possibility. “Last March, when it started to look like we’d have a lockdown we guessed we wouldn’t be proceeding with commemorations really, so we were ready for it. Obviously we’d have something else planned in other circumstances, but we did all we could,” she said. Mary’s grand-uncle was involved in the ambush, …

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Major Garda operation trials number plate recognition technology

A TOTAL of 28 tickets for motoring offences were logged in a two-hour period, in a special Garda operation outside Ennis on Thursday (September 17). Using new mobility apps, which have number plate recognition technology installed, members of the Clare Divisional Garda Roads Policing Unit, carried out a major operation on the dual carriage way between the Clareabbey roundabout and the junction with the M18. The operation, which was rolled out under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan, also led to the seizure of four vehicles, including a truck, and the detection of one person driving under the influence of drugs. “In a nutshell, these devices and the new apps that they carry are taking Gardaí out of the dark ages and into the 21st century in terms of technology,” said Inspector Paul Slattery, head of the Roads Policing Unit. “When you see a Garda looking at a device on the side of the road, they’re not checking social …

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