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Environment

Council backs call to refuse mineral prospecting licence

CLARE County Council has supported a call for Environment Minister Eamon Ryan to reject the granting of a proposed prospecting licence to Minco Ireland in South-East Clare. Minco Ireland wants to conduct desktop studies, geochemistry and drilling in the area, which the company claims would involve ‘minimal’ levels of disturbance in surrounding communities. The Department of the Environment announced its intention to grant a licence to Navan, Co. Meath-based Minco Ireland Ltd. to prospect for base metals, baryte, gold and silver ores in Tulla Upper Barony and Bunratty Upper Barony. This announcement was made on December 9 2021 with the closing date for any objections to the granting of the licence required to be submitted by January 8 2022. The public consultation period has been extended to January 24 following representations to the department and huge concern in the affected communities. A petition by local environmental group Futureproof Clare launched on Thursday January 6 has received more than 1,500 signatures …

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Appeal to ‘keep Tulla untouched’ as mineral prospecting looms

CONCERN over the possibility of mineral prospecting in East Clare has prompted the formation of an opposition group in the Tulla area.  Keep Tulla Untouched was set up on foot of a notice by the Department of the Environment signalling its intention to grant a prospecting licence to Minco Ireland. Christine O’Brien, whose land spans a number of the townlands earmarked for silver and gold prospecting, is among the members of the group. The organisation’s submission describes the local community as “stunned” at the possibility of mineral exploration. Keep Tulla Untouched has objected to the the prospecting licence on the basis that the original public consultation period, which spanned Christmas, was too short. While this has been extended to January 23, following the intervention of Senator Róisín Garvey, the group insists that there has not been enough information. The submission also asks that “due consideration is given to the fact that these explorations are being considered for areas that are …

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Opposition grows to Clare mineral prospecting plan

OPPOSITION to mineral prospecting in East Clare has stepped up a gear, now that extra time for public consultation has been secured, writes Fiona McGarry. Concerns have been voiced by landowners, politicians and environmentalists after the Department of the Environment announced its intention to grant a licence to a Meath-based company for prospecting in parts of Tulla and Bunratty Upper. Following an intervention by Green Party Senator, Róisín Garvey, the consultation phase has now been extended from January 8 to 23. Political concern over plans by Minco Ireland to prospect for silver and gold ore has been intense; the matter was the subject of a motion at a meeting of Clare County Council. Sinn Féin’s Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, meanwhile, was sharply critical of the Environment Minister, accusing him of hypocrisy on mineral exploration. People Before Profit has also objected. To date, more than 1,500 people have signed an online petition and a new group, ‘Keep Tulla Untouched’ has been …

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Make A Difference – new year a time to make a change

A new year, a new you. Do you resolve to be fitter, slimmer, less stressed? Or is your only resolution to have no resolutions? Regardless, the start of a new year is a good opportunity to stand back and consider if we are doing what is important in our lives. And one of those important things, whether we like it or not, is our reaction to the climate crisis. A recent EPA survey showed that 85% of respondents are worried about climate change and almost the same amount – 80% – thought they personally should be doing more. For many of us, we simply don’t have the time, energy or headspace at the moment to deal with it. We are doing our best just to get by. Whatever we do or don’t do, it is our responsibility to the children of today to take informed and conscious action – and doing nothing is an action. Depending on our current state …

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Gort makes point against gas plant with noise and colour

THE New Year was welcomed in style with the bang of drums and the clash of cymbals as the people of Gort staged a noisy fun walk against the proposed construction of one of the country’s largest Biogas plants in their town. People of all ages gathered and braved the elements to show their opposition to what the group has labelled an “ill-thought-out development”, with a short walk from the town to the gates of the proposed site. A spokesperson for the Gort Biogas Concern group said, “The kids loved it, making all that noise, and we want to show our continued support against this development.” For well over three years the people of south Galway have been engaged in an ongoing battle against the development of a Biogas plant in the town of Gort. Galway County Council refused planning permission and this decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Another participant on the walk stated, “Gort has made some …

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Another strong IBAL showing from Clare’s county town

THE proud record of Ennis in presenting a clean and tidy face to the country was maintained with another high placing in the IBAL rankings. The final survey of 2021 by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Ennis retaining third spot in the ranking of 40 towns and cities. According to the study, nationwide litter levels have risen slightly, with cities faring particularly badly. PPE litter was found to be at its highest level since the pandemic began. Naas finished top ahead of Portlaoise and Ennis to record its first win in the annual rankings. There was a slight fall in the number of clean towns nationwide, to 22. The An Taisce report for Ennis stated: “It is only fitting that the 2021 Tidy Town winner should score so well in the IBAL litter league. “It is particularly encouraging that a site which had been seriously littered over the last number of IBAL surveys was now deemed top-ranking …

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Make A Difference: Dreaming of a Green Christmas

CHRISTMAS, a time for getting together with family and friends, exchanging gifts, eating and drinking, talking and laughing. At religious ceremonies around this time, the Christian churches encourage their congregation to consider the meaning of Christmas. Christian churches and other religions have also become more vocal in encouraging action regarding climate change. Pope Francis in his encyclical letter in 2015 stated, “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” Christmas is a time to put our worries aside if we can, including those about this environmental challenge. Instead of worrying, doing something to reduce our climate impact can increase our enjoyment – and be easier on the wallet. A time for giving It’s interesting to think back on previous Christmases and consider the highlights. Gifts are certainly an important part, both giving and receiving. Do you remember what you gave and received last year? A …

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Caution over travel in Clare urged as damage assessed

WHILE the worst of Storm Barra has passed, Clare’s local authority is appealing to the public to remain cautious about resuming travel in the county. The possibility of trees being significantly weakened by the high gusts yesterday evening and falling later on today cannot be ruled out. Due to the wind direction during the severe weather event, many trees will have been weakened, and further work may need to be carried out to remove such danger. If members of the public come across any road hazards, they should report them to Clare County Council. During the morning the Municipal District crews will be evaluating the damage to the roads/coastal infrastructure and carrying out works as necessary to remove the danger. Fire Brigades across the county attended weather-related incidents from early Tuesday morning (06.50) until earlier today (04.30) dealing with fallen trees, cables, and property damage. There were no reported accidents to the Fire Service during the Status Red alert. During …

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