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€650,000 fund announced for critical social innovation in the Mid West

A NEW €650,000 social innovation fund has been launched for projects in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary that empower communities, tackle poverty, and promote social inclusion. The Ignite Midwest Fund, the first of its kind specifically for the Midwest, has been created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with several private donors from the region including the Parkes Family Limerick, the Community Foundation for Ireland, and is matched by the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. There will be a minimum of five awardees with the fund now open for applications until 29th March 2021. The Ignite Midwest Fund is the latest social innovation fund created by Rethink Ireland (formerly Social Innovation Fund Ireland), which has launched over 30 funds in the past five years totalling over €65 million. Speaking to mark the launch of the Ignite Midwest Fund, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien TD said, “The objective of the Ignite Fund …

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Broadband plan works on way for South East Clare

WORK on the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is expected to begin in parts of South East Clare by the end of the month. Members of the Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) heard an update this week from Urban McMahon Head of Information Systems, Broadband and Digital on the work of National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and on the DigiClare initiative. “They will be moving out from Limerick into Parteen and areas close by,” he said. “For the build, they’ll be using the Eircom infrastructure and liaising with us on traffic management. There should be a lot of activity in East Clare in the coming months. NBI will also be undertaking a marketing and information campaign in the area before the end of this month.” Efforts to provide WiFi hotspots in each municipal district were also outlined. Mr McMahon explained that up to €120,000 had been secured to provide public WiFi in places like The Square in Kilrush, in …

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763 new cases of Covid-19 nationally, 9 in Clare

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of nine new cases of COVID-19 in Clare, bringing the five day rolling average to 13. Nationally, there have been 28 additional deaths related to Covid-19. 27 of these deaths occurred in February, 1 in January. The median age of those who died was 79 years and the age range was 32-97 years. There has been a total of 4,109* Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight, Thursday, February 18, the HPSC has been notified of 763 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 213,400** confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. Of the cases notified today: 370 are men / 388 are women 72% are under 45 years of age The median age is 30 years old 251 in Dublin, 84 in Galway, 57 in Kildare, 47 in Limerick, 42 in Waterford and the remaining 282 cases are spread across all other counties. As of 8am today, 754 …

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Proposed €400 Million Development Will Benefit South-East Clare

A NEW transformational development costing an estimated €400 million across three key sites in Limerick City will generate major economic benefits for South-East Clare. That’s according to Deputy Cathal Crowe, who revealed plans will be unveiled in the near future for the development of a new industrial zone near Knockalisheen, Meelick. Limerick City and County Council has announced a new transformational development proposal across three key sites in Limerick City in an investment worth in the region of €400 million. This new development will include a new state-of-the-art medical facility and will see the creation of over 200 construction jobs across the sites. Some 108 new one to four bed affordable and social housing units are also included in this major project. The three key sites are in Thomondgate, Hyde Road Park and Coonagh, which is located on the Limerick Clare border. Deputy Crowe predicted there would also be an announcement in the near future about the provision of a …

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Councillors warn of debt and mental health impact of lockdown

HUNDREDS of local families are struggling to cover the cost of food and fuel, a council committee has heard, with concerns that lockdown is tipping people into debt and mental health issues. A “food and fuel poverty emergency” like that seen during the first wave of Covid-19, was outlined to members of the Rural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) this week. Bernie Haugh, Senior Executive Officer, Rural and Community Development, said 375 families and individuals now need emergency food and fuel support. “Heat and lighting costs are increasing as more people spend time at home under the Level 5 restrictions, school and childcare closures result in more families having to meet additional food needs,” she outlined. “Older people are struggling to meet fuel costs and that’s worsened by the lack of alternative heated spaces. They would have gone to libraries or shopping centres, that’s no longer available to them. Missing fuel payments creates additional pressure. Where a family is cut off …

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“Wrong, insensitive and needless”-tweets mean Forde won’t chair Shannon Group

JUST after 3pm on Tuesday afternoon it seemed that the six month wait for a new chairperson of Shannon Group was about to end, with the announcement that agri businessman Aaron Forde would be appointed. However less than seven hours later there had been a sensational U turn, after details of tweets written by Mr Forde emerged. On Tuesday evening the Department of Transport released a statement saying that Minister Eamon Ryan would not proceed with the appointment and that in a phone call to Mr Forde, the Minister had indicated to him that his “use of social media was below the standard expected of the chairperson of a State board”. While Mr Forde’s Twitter account has been deleted, some of his tweets are being shared widely. In one, he wrote a reply to a news story about the introduction of public Services Cards and asked “Do the knackers who are collecting multiple SW payments have one?” In another tweet …

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Clare people urged to take part in project marking 100 years of Irish policing

THE Garda Síochána Retired Members Association have made an appeal to the people of Clare to get involved in a new project ahead of next year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the service. The project, ‘Capturing our History – an Oral History of An Garda Síochána 1922-2022’ will record and capture the oral living history policing in modern times. It will also seek to add to the lore of recorded history of Irish policing. A spokesperson commented, “Our appeal is to all retired members, serving members of the Garda Síochána, their families and the wider public for their participation in this worthwhile event. They possess photographs, records and memories/recollections of their service across the length and breadth of Ireland especially in some notable and dark times in the turbulent history of our Nation. It’s vital that this unique history is not lost.” The GSRMA is a national association of retired Gardaí and widows in Ireland and …

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High Profile Banner Business Men Commit To Forming New Committee For Clare GAA

A seven strong committee of high profile Clare men will be proposed to clubs at next Tuesday evening’s meeting of Clare GAA to develop a new strategic plan for the future of Gaelic Games in the county. The Clare Champion understands that the names being proposed are: Ennis native Tony Garry, (former CEO of Davy Stockbrokers) Clarecastle’s Mark O’Connell (CEO of Repucon Consulting) Parteen man Conor Gilligan (CEO of Roadbridge) Ogonnelloe’s Colin Kelly (CEO of Gyrogy) Eoin Conroy of Barefield (CEO of Titan Experience) Ennis man Eoin Doohan (Managing Director of DFP Group Enda Connolly of Ennis (Managing Director of CMP Investment Partners) All seven have committed to taking on the tasks identified by the Eire Óg Inis motion which was first brought to Convention in December, and was due to be discussed clubs this Friday evening at the first meeting of 2021. That meeting was postponed and will now be held on Tuesday evening next at 6.30pm. The club …

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