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Insurance costs closed down voluntary service

SPIRALLING insurance costs were one of the main factors that eventually sunk a voluntary rescue service in Lahinch, according to cone of its co-founders. In 1974, Tomsie O’Sullivan was one of the people who helped set up the Lahinch Inshore Rescue Service (LIRS). Insurance premiums soared from €2,500 at the start up to €6,000 over an 18-year period. All the organisation’s stock had to be insured while separate insurance was required for the use of a vessel and equipment at sea. In 2017, Tomsie recalled the organisation needed about €4,000 to upgrade equipment to meet national water safety standards, which they didn’t have in their coffers at the time. Grant aid was not available because the group were operating out of a steel container and would have to build a new small boathouse costing an estimated €20,000 to secure any further financial assistance. Once the organisation ceased to exist, all the group’s stock, steel container, boat, jet ski and quad …

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Clare man in deal that could “revolutionise air travel”

AVOLON, the international aircraft leasing company founded and led by Ennis man Domhnal Slattery; and Vertical Aerospace have announced a US $2 billion order for up to 500 electric vertical take off and landing aircraft. Mr Slattery has said the deal will introduce the ultra short haul aircraft category to commercial aviation, which will revolutionise air travel with zero emissions aircraft. It will involve the roll out of the VA-X4 aircraft, which they say will be capable of travelling over 200mph, with a range of over 100 miles and capacity for four passengers and a pilot. The fact that it will take off vertically means it will be able to operate in and out of cities and other confined locations. They claim it is 100 times quieter than a helicopter, and safer also. In a statement, Avolon said, “The agreement will combine Avolon’s scale and deep industry relationships with Vertical’s leading technological position in the eVTOL space and will see …

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Call for clarity on Clare paths and trailways funding

CLARITY on a schedule of works for footpaths in East Clare has been sought by Councillor Joe Cooney. Addressing the most recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, the Fine Gael member called on the local authority to outline the footpaths programme for 2021. “We don’t know yet the housing developments which are to have their paths fixed this year,” he outlined. “In some cases, the estates are between 40 and 60 years old. Many of them have paths which need upgrading. I have previously invested my General Municipal Allocation (GMA) funding and I would have no problem doing it again. I’m thinking of the likes of Beechwood Lawn in Bodyke and areas in O’Callaghan’s Mills and Hillcrest Grove in Kilkishen.” Councillor Cooney also asked whether the walking trail from Killaloe will be connected to Tuamgraney. “Fantastic work has already been done,” he noted. “There is a section still to be done as you come down the hill from Raheen. …

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WATCH: Clare boy’s creative passion in TG4 series

A YOUNG Clare gaeilgeoir features in a new creative series for children on TG4 called Cruthaím. Cathal Ó Conghaile who is nine years old and from Ballycorick features in the series of videos that are broadcast on Cúla4’s YouTube channel. Cathal loves art and spends his time drawing and colouring in. He loves art because of how fun it is and because it allows him to use his imagination. Cathal also builds models and he writes and designs comics. You can watch Cathal’s video on www.cula4.com/Cruthaím The initiative is part of a TG4 partnership with the Creative Ireland Programme of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg 2021. Cruthaím highlights the talent of young Irish speakers across the country and in Gaeltacht areas and their unique creative processes. One young Irish speaker from each county and a representative from the diaspora of Irish speakers showcase their creativity in the series of videos …

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Councillors divided over €10m Ennis plan

Political manoeuvring will intensify amongst Clare county councillors ahead of a council meeting next Monday to secure support for a controversial €10 million loan for what has been described as a new public-private partnership to provide a major development facelift for Ennis. Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company (DAC) has been registered as a company to assist in formulating identified opportunities for development and employment in Ennis and making the town an attractive place to live and work. The new high powered committee, which is chaired by former Roche Clarecastle chief executive, Gerry Cahill, includes TTM Healthcare Ennis chief executive Brian Crowley, Kieran Considine, head of AIB in Clare, Limerick and Kerry, Corporate Excellence Ireland chief executive, Linda Barron, Councillor Claire Colleran-Molloy, economic director of service, Liam Conneally and director of finance, Noeleen Fitzgerald. It is expected that Councillor Johnny Flynn and Councillor Ann Norton will become members of the board in the near future. This plan is expected to generate …

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Lecture revisits dark period in Clare history

THIS Tuesday, the Kilrush and District Historical Society conducts a lecture on one of the most famous evictions and resistance movements during the Land War which took place in July 1888 on the Vandeleur Estate near Kilrush. The Vandeleur evictions are still remembered locally as one of the darkest periods in the area’s history. Spectators to these evictions numbered in the hundreds, and there was even a sizeable press corps to document the events. Major E. J. O’Shaughnessy, a visiting Irish-American activist, his wife Margaretta Dunn O’Shaughnessy, and her sister Ellen Dunn, were among the witnesses to the evictions, and Major O’Shaughnessy subsequently wrote extensively about his experiences. Major O’Shaughnessy’s great grandson, Ed O’Shaughnessy, has spent over six years studying the many photographs taken during the evictions and the photographers who took them. He has the wonderful advantage of access to family archives and memories handed down since 1888. KDHS has arranged with Ed to deliver a lecture on his …

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Ruairí swaps road tales in Áras with Michael D

Lahinch author honoured by president for his book on hitch-hiking adventures around Ireland LAHINCH author, charity founder and campaigner, Ruairí McKiernan has been lauded by the President for his new book, Hitching for Hope – A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland. President Michael D Higgins said the work “offers hope” during turbulent times. He described the best-selling book as being “in the fine tradition of a search for what is most valuable in the different spaces of Ireland and how they might help us craft a new way forward together.” He added that it is “empathic in approach, well written, and crucially, it offers hope.” President recently invited Ruairí to present the book at Áras an Uachtaráin. The event had been due to take place last year but was postponed due to pandemic restrictions. Although Ruairí had been to the Áras on numerous occasions previously, while serving on the Council of State during 2012-2019, he said this …

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€7m for 251 Clare projects in past six years

GRANTS totalling almost €7 million have been approved for 251 projects by the Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), it emerged this week. The final project approved in March 2021 is a €190,000 LEADER investment in renewable energy technology in Lahinch SeaWorld. This will see the installation of a ground source heat pump and solar panels at the popular North Clare community-run leisure facility, enabling the decarbonisation of their heat system and providing renewable heating and cooling systems for their amenities. The project will complement the existing renovation works and will deliver a major carbon offset of 216 tons annually. Speaking at the final board meeting of the 2014-2020  Programme, Clare Local Development Company chairman, Mike Hogan, stressed the importance of LEADER in supporting not only community-led local development projects but also helping communities to reach climate action targets. “Looking to the next rural development programme, LEADER will be more important than ever to rural communities who want to take environmental …

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