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Details emerge of rare ‘plague stone’ outside Quin

HOLY wells have long been a source of comfort in times of trouble, and in East Clare a monastic site, sacred to sixth century saint, has not only a well, but also a rare ‘plague stone,’ believed to cure disease. “Luchtigern, a sixth century local saint was said to be able to cure any type of pestilence,” explained Quin historian and writer, Michael Houlihan. “His church and holy well stand on the northern shore of Fenloe Lake, a few miles southeast of Quin village. Keeping in mind that vaccines did not become commonplace until the mid to late nineteenth century, any type of contagion or airborne sickness took a huge toll on the local population. People did what they could to seek some kind of intervention. Many reached out to the saint.” As a resident of the East Clare village, Michael has long been aware of the folklore of St Luchtigern. His current research on the holy wells of Clare …

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Water outages in Miltown Malbay

Irish Water and Clare County Council are working to restore water supply to Miltown Malbay and surrounding areas following a burst water main this morning.  Customers in Milltown Malbay, Annagh, Poulawillin, Knockloskeraun, Spanish Point, Rineen, Kilfarboy, Ballyvaskin, Toureen, Ballard and surrounding areas may experience low water pressure, discolouration and/or outages. It is expected that the repairs will be completed by 6pm today. However it may take a number of hours for normal water supply to fully return to all affected properties. “We understand the inconvenience when a burst occurs and thanks customers for their patience while we work to repair the burst and restore normal supply to impacted customers. Our customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1850 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries.  For updates please see the water supply and services section of our website. “Irish Water is working at this time, with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard …

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Taskforce for aviation recovery announced

SPEAKING in the Dáil yesterday, caretaker Transport Minister Shane Ross announced a task force for the recovery of the aviation sector. “I know that the aviation industry is anxious to have some visibility of how and when we will move forward to reopening for business and it is concerned that aviation does not feature in the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society. I share that concern,” he said “Therefore in addition to establishing a Taskforce for Aviation Recovery my Department is progressing the development of an Aviation Recovery Plan through a number of inter-related strands of work,” Minister Ross added. Outlining some of the plans, he said, “We are looking to the experience of other countries in opening borders and monitor the effectiveness of measures to control any resumption of COVID 19 growth. We will consider how a phased approach to reopening might developed based on the criteria outlined by the European Commission as a basis for an aligned …

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Black Lives Matter Ennis defer controversial event

THE organisers of a peaceful protest at the death of George Floyd, which had been planned for Ennis on Saturday, has been postponed. Those behind the anti-racism event had pledged to use every possible measure to ensure social distancing, but a significant level of public concern over the possible transmission of Covid-19 prompted them to defer the demonstration. In a statement, organisers said that “new information and clearer guidance of civil liberties and our rights to protest during the time of pandemic” had prompted them to call off the protest in the public interest. “It is vital that people are aware of the systemic and institutional racism that is present not only in America but also in Ireland,” the statement said. “Racism is present in Ireland many have experienced it and it’s not an issue unique to America this is why we feel strongly about protesting to bring awareness to the issue and strive for change.” Organisers said they are …

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Pádraic adjusts to lockdown life

THE lockdown has brought challenges for everyone but there is no doubt that it is much more difficult for some people than for others. A wheelchair user who lives alone in Shannon, Pádraic Hayes is in a vulnerable category, with underlying conditions including cerebral palsy, arthritis and diabetes. When one hears about the difficulties that teenagers have in not going out or grandparents in not holding small children, Pádraic’s situation puts things into a greater context. “It’s ok, I’ve been confined to the house. I normally attend the Dulick centre in Ennis and I miss that. I’m also heavily involved with the Irish Wheelchair Association and I’m getting a lot of support from the two of them.” He says that he gets dinners delivered from the Dulick centre and they call him also, while the Irish Wheelchair Associations deliver packs with things like word-searches, quizzes and puzzles to keep his spirits up.These days he rarely leaves the house, with his …

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Multi-Million Euro Meelick housing development is shelved

HOUSING applicants seeking affordable accommodation in South-East Clare have been dealt a major blow following confirmation plans have been shelved for a major multi-million Euro housing development in Meelick. The Clare Champion can reveal that Clare County Council is not actively pursuing the development of 70 housing units containing a mix of badly needed social and affordable houses on zoned land. According to official  correspondence from the Department of the Housing, which has been obtained by the ‘Champion, the council’s finance section confirmed in early March the local authority were not progressing the Meelick lands further. In June 2019, the council sought approval to borrow €6 million to purchase ten sites across the county for housing development. The Clare Champion has learned the loan application also included €2 million for unidentified sites as well as the Meelick site. The department decided it wasn’t possible to sanction a loan request for sites that had not been identified at the time of …

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East Clare wind farm planning application to be lodged in June

PLANS for a multimillion Euro East Clare wind farm are to be lodged next month, The Clare Champion has learned. Coillte has confirmed that it is currently finalising an application for 19 turbines on a 750 hectare site, around a-mile-and-a-half from Bodyke, on the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh. The proposal, which will seek 30-year permission for The Carrownagowan Wind Farm, will be lodged directly to An Bórd Pleanála as strategic infrastructure. “Our project team is targeting a submission date towards the end of June and this will be advertised prior to final submission,” outlined Andy Fox, Community Engagement Manager with Coillte. Mr Fox also noted that a detailed brochure on the project had recently been widely distributed across East Clare, and that consultations were continuing, in line with the restrictions imposed by Covid-19. The site is described by Coillte as an appropriate location to access the national grid via the substation at Ardnacrusha. The company also notes it is designated …

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