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Birdwatching outing to Curraghchase

THE Clare branch of Birdwatch Ireland will a joint outing with the Limerick branch to Curraghchase Forest Park, Kilcornan, County Limerick on Saturday, November 27.  This is a beautiful setting for a wildlife walk. Those attending will look for Jay, Brambling, Hawfinch as well as more common woodland birds. Large flocks of Chaffinch and Goldfinch are often seen on the annual visit. A sharp look out will also be kept for Treecreeper and Buzzard, both common in the area. Red Squirrels are usually present too. The meeting point will be the car park inside the barrier, there those attending are asked to gather at 9.30am. Entry is free. To gain maximum enjoyment from the event binoculars are recommended. In the current climate sharing of optical equipment is not advised. The advice is to wear warm clothing and bring a flask and sandwiches. Food is available in a number of nearby outlets. A memorable event is anticipated, especially in dry sunny …

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Lobbyist – ‘LNG plant will be worse than coal burning’

THE impact on the environment of importing fracked gas into the Shannon Estuary will be worse over a 20-year period than importing coal to generate electricity in Moneypoint, a local environmentalist has claimed. Shannon LNG has outlined its plans to seeking planning permission from An Bord Pleanála to build a €650 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal between Ballylongford and Tarbert in North Kerry. An LNG terminal is a facility for regasifying liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipped in by an LNG tanker from production zones. Johnny McElligott, Tarbert of Safety Before LNG, has been opposing the proposed gas terminal for years. In his address to the rally, Mr McElligott alleged that importing fracked gas from the United States of America into the Shannon Estuary will have a 44% higher carbon equivalent footprint over a 20-year period than importing coal from Colombia to burn in Moneypoint. “We are going to close Moneypoint because it looks good, but we are going to …

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Make A Difference: reducing waste and upcycling

In our most recent Make A Difference article here Bridget Ginnity explored how we can control our consumerism and waste generation. Here she profiles a group and an individual tackling waste in different ways Christy Collins, Shannon Men’s Shed We pick up old stuff from the recycling centre and do them up, bikes, old timber and so on. We use wood we get to build outdoor furniture of the primary schools, buddy benches, picnic benches, bug hotels and so on – maybe we need buddy benches in parks for adults too. We upcycled old steel seats from Shannon park for the new wetlands area, and they’re like new. We are lucky to have a premises in the industrial estate, with three workspaces and a meeting room. The meeting room is the best part of it, it’s great to see men talking, an alternative to the pub We make all kinds of thing. We have a woodturning lathe that is great …

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Make A Difference: don’t ‘waste’ opportunities

In Make A Difference, Bridget Ginnity explores how we can control our consumerism and waste generation STUFF. We are surrounded by it. Or are you an exception? Maybe your personal style is minimalist, with a single ornament against all white walls. Or perhaps you did a Marie Kondo in the past year and asked yourself what sparked joy in your home, and chucked out the rest. But for many of us, our shelves are cluttered, our wardrobes bulging with clothes that we’ll fit into next year, our sheds a danger to walk into. A lot of stuff is so cheap that even with a tight budget, we often don’t have to curb our impulse to buy. The price is low, but the cost is high. The carbon emitted to manufacture and transport all this stuff is causing the earth to warm and, like us when we are developing a fever, the earth is restless and uneasy. Floods, forest fires, heat …

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Clare hotel receives national recognition for renewable energy project

A CLARE hotel has received national recognition for a renewable energy project which sees it produce its own green energy. The Falls Hotel & Spa in Ennistymon were among the winners in the SEAI Energy Awards. The hotel took home the trophy in the most ‘Innovative Deployment of Renewable Energy’ category for their hydroelectric turbine project that provides clean, renewable hydro energy to the hotel. Michael McCarthy, General Manager, Falls Hotel, said, “We are delighted to receive this recognition, especially given the huge investment we have made with our hydroelectric turbine. “We are extremely proud of this award. With 145 bedrooms, a leisure centre and a spa complex, we went from having a large carbon footprint to being carbon neutral in five years. We love knowing that we are powering the hotel with a clean, sustainable energy source.” Being based in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark hotel owners the McCarthy family were conscious of trying to …

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New investor sought after “devastating” blow To Moneypoint plan

THE ESB and the government are being urged to seek another investment partner for the proposed €2 billion windfarm off the Clare coast following the “devastating” withdrawal of Norwegian firm Equinor. Clare Dáil Deputies Cathal Crowe and Violet-Anne Wynne have expressed different views on the impact of this setback for a major element of Moneypoint’s €5 billion Green Atlantic initiative. Deputy Wynne believes the future of the offshore windfarm project is called into question. “Are other foreign investment partners going to be similarly off put by Ireland’s excessive bureaucracy in terms of planning and regulation?,” she asked. While Deputy Crowe accepts it is very disappointing that Equinor have withdrawn from their partnership with the ESB to develop the offshore Green Atlantic windfarm, he thinks the project can still very much proceed. Deputy Crowe is calling on the ESB and the government to immediately put their heads together and find a replacement partner. Equinor has pulled out of the Irish market, …

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Local action crucial in climate change battle says Clare activist

BUYING local produce is a great way of cutting emissions, supporting local producers and growing the rural economy, according to a North Clare climate change activist. In an interview with The Clare Champion before she attends a global environment conference in Glasgow this Thursday, Theresa O’Donohue stressed community action is the best approach in the transition away from fossil fuels. However, the Lisdoonvarna environmental campaigner said people also need to become politicised and challenge the system to demand the change that is necessary, as collaboration and participatory democracy are essential tools in the transition process. She cites the example of Moy community farm in North Clare, which cuts down on food miles, provides livelihoods and keeps money in the local area. Market towns and villages, supplied locally, would contribute to a thriving county while cutting emissions. She believes people should set up a Sustainable Energy Community with an SEAI mentor who will help create an energy master plan for your …

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Make A Difference: Flying to a better climate

In Ireland, aviation accounts for 20% of the carbon emissions from transport. Bridget Ginnity highlights some changes we can make as individuals to reduce our impact on the climate. There’s something about the fading autumn days that turns our thoughts to holidays abroad. Maybe it’s the allure of a seaside holiday without fleeces, an outdoor meal without the patter of raindrops or prices that don’t break the bank. And there’s definitely the desire to see family – many of us have loved ones living abroad that we haven’t seen and hugged in so long, it almost hurts. After travel restrictions were lifted, heading abroad became a possibility again. After two summers of staycations and few if any visits with family abroad, some of us were like a greyhound from a trap at the prospect of foreign holidays. But the news is filled with disasters linked with climate change and can make us feel guilty, defensive or anxious about flying abroad. …

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