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Application made for Kilmihil windfarm

MCRE Windfarm Limited have lodged a planning application for a major windfarm project on lands at Cahermurphy and the surrounding townlands near Kilmihil. It would consist of up to ten wind turbines with a maximum overall blade tip height of up to 170 metres. It would have a 30-year operational life span from the date of commissioning. A community engagement report accompanying the application says that it is looking to build on a successful earlier development. “MCRE has been involved in the successful development of the Cahermurphy 1 windfarm since 2013 and though the process of planning and developing of the Cahermurphy 1 project it has developed many relationships with the local families in this general area. The Genesis of the current project evolved though these relationships following the successful planning and development of the Cahermurphy 1 project when local farm families approached MCRE with a view to building on the success of the original project. Through the model of …

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“He threw a firework my way”-intimidation in Shannon Town Park

THERE have been complaints of anti-social behaviour at Shannon Town Park for months now, and recently a woman and her two-year-old son were left terrified after a firework was thrown in their direction. She also observed a resident being verbally abused by a teenager, apparently unconcerned for any consequences of his behaviour. Thirty-five year old Lucia Palacka has lived in Shannon for several years, and herself and her partner are raising their two-year-old son, Luka. On last Tuesday afternoon at 1.45pm Lucia was approaching the park with Luka in his buggy, when they came across a large group of young people. “There were a lot of kids, I don’t know how many, 15-20 maybe. They were probably at lunch and it would have been time for them to go back. I heard the first firework and when I was coming closer my words were ‘Jesus, can you stop?’ because Luka had said in our language ‘what’s this, I’m scared, Mum, …

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Shannon Airport not going back to DAA-Transport Minister

SHANNON Airport will not be going back under the Dublin Airport Authority, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has confirmed. While Shannon Airport struggled when part of the DAA, it has also failed to reach targets set for it at the time it separated at the end of 2012. While 2020 had been set to be Shannon’s best year since separation, the onset of the pandemic has seen calls from Sinn Féin and some trade union elements for the airport to go back under the DAA. However in the Dáíl, in response to a statement from Limerick TD Maurice Quinlivan, who argued that Shannon needs to go back under the DAA, the Minister said, “I believe Deputy Quinlivan said that Shannon Airport should be regrouped under the DAA. I will be honest. I met the unions based in the airport. I felt that change would take two or three years and would not solve the underlying strategic issues. We have to make …

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Forestry owners want to cut tree felling licence delays

CLARE forestry owners with mature trees are waiting more than 12 months in some cases to secure a tree felling licence due to red tape, a local deputy has claimed. Deputy Michael McNamara recently asked the new Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue the measures he will take to address the backlog in applications for planting permits and felling licences in the forestry section in a Dáil question. Deputy McNamara said it is legitimate that people want to plant trees but it is also legitimate that nobody wants a monoculture sitka spruce plantation surrounding their house. The Independent Deputy said there is no point in pretending that planting sitka spruce will help the environment as it is a short term cash product. In addition to requesting more ecologists in the Department of Agriculture, Deputy McNamara stressed the Department of Agriculture had to adequately deal with a variety of issues concerning tree felling and planting. “We need timber but it is all a …

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Call to reinstate North Clare businesswoman to Fáilte Ireland board

AWARD-winning North Clare businesswoman Breege O’Donoghue should be reinstated to her position on the board of Fáilte Ireland, according to Clare’s Fianna Fáil senator, who has warned about the risks of “blood letting”. The Boston native stepped down last month after controversially travelling to a non-Green List country, at a time when a major summer ‘staycation’ campaign was running. Ms O’Donoghue also tendered her resignation as Chair of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCI), but has since been reinstated, prompting Senator Timmy Dooley to call for her to be reappointed to the tourism board. “I very much believe in the public health message,” said Senator Dooley, “but we need to be really careful of the blame game. The kind of expertise that Ms O’Donoghue has is not in huge supply. It’s not the same things as having a government minister resign. They can be moved around reasonably easily.” Ms O’Donoghue’s was the second resignation from the board of …

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Call for ‘joined up thinking’ as storm season approaches

JOINED up thinking between agencies including the local authority, the ESB and Eir, as owners of the phone infrastructure network, has been called for in the wake of Storm Ellen in East Clare. Addressing the most recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Burke said the storm had had a far more serious impact on East Clare than had been forecast. “If you were in Ennis, Quin or Tulla,” he said, “you’d hardly have noticed that there had been a storm. But, there was an awful lot of damage in areas around Scariff, Mountshannon and Whitegate.” The Fine Gael member commended the work of council crews, the fire service and local farmers and landowners. “Local people were out helping with chain saws and tractors to open a number of roads,” he said. “We’re very grateful to them and there was a very coordinated approach taken between themselves and the council and the ESB.” In relation to the extensive …

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Figures show high numbers of asylum applications from Clare

NEW figures showing that Clare is among the counties with the largest number of applications for asylum have prompted concerns over the relatively high concentration of people living in Direct Provision here. With 378 applications from people living in this county, Clare ranks fourth in the latest data. Three counties – Cork, Meath and Kerry – have a greater number of applications. According to Bulelani Mfaco of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), the number of applications reflects the relatively high number of Direct Provision centres located in Clare, as well as the level of overcrowding within them. “There is a high concentration of asylum seekers in the county between the centres at Knockalisheen, Ennis and Lisdoonvarna,” said Mr Mfaco who is lives at the Knockalisheen centre in Meelick. “That is why the figure for Clare is so high. There is also the issue of the rate of occupancy of the centres to consider. At one point, there …

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Ann relishing the reopening of O’Neills

A VERY homely and comfortable bar, O’Neills in Newmarket on Fergus has been in Ann McNamara’s family since 1900. Having come through wars, recessions and storms over the years, Ann was determined that Covid-19 wouldn’t finish off the business. Not on her watch. ” I don’t know how many people used to ask will it open again, but I said that after 120 years in the family, I wasn’t going to be the one to close the doors. I do my best to accommodate our regulars, and that’s what I love to be able to do,” she said on Monday, one week on from its reopening after six months. Looking from her home across the road at the locked up pub was difficult, and she’s delighted to be back. “It was unbelievable, we are 120 years in business and for the first month or two it was a grand break, but after that…” As is the case with many rural …

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