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St Flannan’s looks to open way to sustainable travel

SAINT Flannan’s College is hoping to get the green light to reopen a former pedestrian entrance as part of efforts to encourage walking and cycling. A study carried out on behalf of the school has shown that no staff that were surveyed and just 17% of surveyed students chose those modes of transport to travel to school. The board of management at the secondary school has applied to Clare County Council for planning permission to reopen the entrance on the boundary wall to the Clare Road, as well as erecting a barrier and gate. The school, with a student population of 1,181 with 100 staff, currently has one vehicular access on College View Road and two existing pedestrian access points. According to documents lodged with the application, preliminary meetings have taken place between St Flannan’s College, consulting engineers Punch and Clare County Council with an agreement in place to construct a controlled crossing point adjacent to the proposed pedestrian entrance …

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Cotter called up to national squad

Ruan’s Imogen Cotter says she is honoured to be a part of the Irish cycling team at Rás na mBan. “Before this year any time I’ve been selected to race I’ve suffered an injury. It was a really big goal of mine heading in to this year to wear the Irish kit so I’m delighted to do it.” Back in June 2019, she was selected to ride for Cycling Ireland at the Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames in Brittany but was unable to race after fracturing her sternum. She was asked to represent Cycling Ireland at Rás na mBan that same year but she injured her radius and another opportunity to represent her country went abegging. When the pandemic led the Rás and other events to be cancelled, it appeared that Cotter may have missed her opportunity to represent her country. She never lost faith though and finally got the opportunity to wear the green jersey in the Kreiz Breizh Elites …

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Nightime rescue on Lough Derg

TWO people in need of rescue when their fishing boat engine failed on Lough Derg signalled their position to rescuers using torches as night had fallen. At 9.30pm on Thursday evening, August 26, Lough Derg RNLI who were out on exercise were requested by Valencia Coast Guard to assist the occupants of a 12 foot fishing boat just off the Goat Road, on the eastern shore of Lough Derg. The lifeboat with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Doireann Kennedy, Tom Hayes and Ciara Lynch on board, immediately diverted from their exercise in Dromineer Bay to assist. The RNLI crew plotted a course to the Goat Road and monitored the fast moving vessels operating in the area on radar. Valentia Coast Guard informed the lifeboat that they had requested the casualties to uses lights to signal their location as the lifeboat approached. At 9.49pm as the lifeboat approached the Goat Road, the people on the casualty vessel indicated their position using torches. …

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Demand for accountability from manufacturers

THE Minister for Housing took the opportunity, while visiting Clare, to reaffirm his commitment to pursuing those responsible for supplying defective building materials. At the home of Mary and Séamus Hanley in Drumline, several members of the Clare Pyrite Action Committee were present to hear what Minister Darragh O’Brien had to say. In the garden of the retired couple’s home, some members of the action group took the opportunity to question the minister directly. “The main culprits in all of this, of course, are the manufacturers of the blocks,” one Newmarket-on-Fergus man told the minister. “These are some of the biggest companies in Ireland, making massive profits. The Taoiseach made a statement a couple of weeks ago that he is going to speak to the Attorney General in relation to going after these companies, can you give us an update on that please?” In response, the minister said: “I made that statement too. Because if you look at the legislation …

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€1.2m workshop gives boost to fire services

A BOOST for the services delivered by seven fire stations across Clare is on the cards with the official opening last Friday, August 27, of a new maintenance workshop to cater for a fleet of 24 trucks. The workshop in Ennis was formally launched by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and blessed by Ennis Parish Priest, Fr Tom Ryan. The €1.23m facility was completed in May at the Central Fire Station Headquarters beside Áras Chontae an Chláir. It will help to ensure the quality of the service, which responded to 1,000 incidents and calls over the course of 2020 alone. The workshop features a two-bay maintenance facility and a two-bay spare appliance storage unit that will enable Clare County Fire and Rescue Service to meet today’s onerous requirements for comprehensive inspection, testing and maintenance of plant and equipment At a socially-distanced gathering outside the Fire Station HQ, Minister O’Brien thanked the emergency services who work daily …

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Minister – ‘we can make a big dent in homeless crisis’

A DEVELOPMENT of 40 social homes in Ennis has been commended by the Housing Minister as an example of what local authorities will be supported to deliver under the new Housing for All plan. Just days ahead of the much anticipated housing policy document, Minister Darragh O’Brien visited the estate at Ashline. He described it as exactly the kind of development that he will be asking county councils to deliver. “We will make a big dent in the housing crisis,” he told the Clare media. “We can do as we have the wherewithal, we have the expertise, we have the knowledge and the capability in this country, and indeed, in this government to make real strides on the housing situation, it is doable. “I want to make sure that the normal working families and individuals who feel that they can’t buy a home are going to be able to. And that’s why the first thing I did was to champion …

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Chaplin ‘happy’ with progress on Lohan deal

Clare GAA Chairman Jack Chaplin believes “the process was pretty fast” when discussing the County Board Officers’ agreement to reappoint Brian Lohan for a three year term. Although a full meeting of the Clare County Board is needed to confirm Lohan’s appointment, Chaplin is happy with how the situation has been handled. “The process was pretty fast. We spoke with Brian a week after the last match against Cork. He had to discuss with the people around him so we understand that. We simply asked Brian would he stay on. He wanted a three year term and we are going through the process to confirm that now.” When asked by The Clare Champion when a full meeting of the County Board will be held to make the final decision on Lohan’s future, the Cratloe man stated that there is no fixed date yet for the meeting. “We will probably be meeting sometime in September. Something we are actively working on …

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Council informed of pyrite in Clare in 2018

IT HAS emerged that problems with pyrite were brought to the attention of Clare County Council a number of years ago, by Deputy Joe Carey. The Fine Gael TD confirmed that he raised the matter in the Dáil in 2018 and then contacted the local authority. “I was advised by ministers to contact Clare County Council to put in train a submission, exactly what’s happening now,” he said. “Unfortunately, Clare County Council didn’t act on that representation, which I made repeatedly to them back then.” Correspondence, seen by The Champion, shows that Deputy Carey contacted the Council’s Chief Executive in April 2018, raising concerns after meeting a number of homeowners. He supplied the council with the reply to a Dáil question on the matter. In his emails, Deputy Carey outlined how, in the case of Limerick, their chief executive had supported an application to the Pyrite Remediation Scheme, which funds repairs to foundations and hardcore. He asked that efforts be …

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