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Kilrush housing motion off the agenda

INDEPENDENT Kilrush councillor Ian Lynch has expressed his “dismay” that a motion he had forwarded for debate at next Monday’s county council meeting has been rejected and will not be on the agenda. Clare County Council has taken legal advice from county solicitor John Shaw, who deemed the motion invalid. Veteran Lissycasey councillor, PJ Kelly, has told The Clare Champion that the rejection of the motion is the first time this has happened in his 42 years on the council. The motion reads: “This county council directs the chief executive of Clare County Council, under section 139 of the Local Government Act 2001, not to proceed with the proposal to purchase houses at Beal an Inbhir, Shanakyle, Kilrush”. The housing estate in question is located on the Shanakyle Road in Kilrush, where Clare County Council has expressed an interest in purchasing approximately a dozen of the houses. Five of the houses are currently being purchased by the council. “I am …

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High radon levels in Ennis home

  A home in Ennis was found to have more than three times the acceptable level for radon gas, the equivalent to receiving two chest x-rays a day, according to figures revealed by the EPA’s Office of Radiological Protection. The details emerged as the EPA raised concerns about the low rate of testing for the cancer-causing gas in Clare. The figures show that in the first six months of 2015, three homes in Ennis and one in Doolin tested above the acceptable level of 200 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3), with one home in Ennis measuring levels of 620Bq/m3. However, according to the EPA, the rate of testing in Clare is very low, with only 26 homes having been tested for radon in the first six months of 2015. A total of 4,301 homes have been tested in Clare to date and, of these, 538 tested above 200 Bq/m3. Commenting on the latest findings from the county, Stephanie Long, senior scientist with the …

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Investment needed in Spa Wells

Investment is needed if Lisdoonvarna’s Spa Wells is to become “a much bigger attraction” and drive tourism in North Clare during the off-peak season, according to a Clare TD. Members of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte highlighted their plans for the historic Spa Wells to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, at a meeting organised by Labour TD Michael McNamara. The minister met with the community group on his recent visit to Clare to officially open Doolin Pier. “Minister Howlin was very impressed with the Spa Wells in Lisdoonvarna and the work done to date to re-open these Victorian wells. He visited the pump house to see for himself the work done to date,” said Deputy McNamara. “The minister is now looking forward to receiving a feasibility study outlying plans to develop the Spa Wells in Lisdoonvarna further, at which point I am confident he will give serious consideration to investing in the project,” he added. “The Victorian Spa Wells are …

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Not enough of a splash about Shannon Dolphins

THE founder of the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation (SDWF) has claimed West Clare tourism interests have failed to capitalise on the “unique resource” of the family of 140 dolphins that populate the Shannon Estuary. Dr Simon Berrow says this is despite a “20-year head-start”, while he is also fearful about the future of the dolphin monitoring centre in Kilrush, which has been operating for 22 years. The centre receives no funding, although it did in the past. “As a region, I think we’ve failed to make the most of what, to me, is a completely unique resource. Loop Head Tourism has done a fantastic job promoting Loop Head but the area doesn’t look any different to me from 20 years ago. The lighthouse is the lighthouse. It’s not unique. They are packaging it together in a lovely package but I still think the dolphins are our unique product. Nowhere else in Ireland has dolphins that are so accessible. Very …

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Willie Clancy boost for Miltown

MILTOWN Malbay business person Maureen Kilduff has said that commerce in the town is hugely dependent upon the annual Willie Clancy Summer School, which begins today (Saturday) and runs until Sunday, July 12. “Most people would say that 20 to 30% of the year’s turnover in the service businesses are done in the 10 days of the Willie Clancy festival,” Maureen stated. “What makes a good year is the number of students booked in. Each student brings a parent or a friend with them. There isn’t a bed to be found from Lahinch to Quilty on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night of next week,” she revealed. Another boost in terms of visitor numbers is the fact that many primary-school teachers are availing of the Department of Education and Skills approved courses at the summer school. Meanwhile, four visual artists, Lorraine Callanan, Mary Moran, Bairbre Geraghty and Edel Hogan are set to launch an a project called CeA/R/T in Miltown …

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Support your local this summer

Small business owners in the hospitality industry are asking the people of Clare to ‘Support Your Local’ and choose a trip to their local pub, restaurant or hotel this summer. The call is part of the Support Your Local Campaign, which is seeking to highlight the economic contribution that the drinks and hospitality industry makes across the country. Recent research shows that, in Clare, the drinks and hospitality industry accounts for 329 hotels and pubs; supports 2,909 jobs; pays €66mm in wages and purchases 7.8m litres of milk. “Nothing beats a trip to the local pub. Pubs are the hub of the local town, the heart of the local community, a place where people can relax and enjoy the welcome surrounds of friends and neighbours or simply pop in for a quick bite on a Sunday,” says Charlie O’Meara from Moroney’s Bar, Market Place, Ennis and chairman of the Clare Branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland. “If we are …

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Car damaged during ‘test drive’

A MAN who caused €2,361 damage to a vehicle he took on a “test drive” while drunk has to pay €25 a week in compensation going forward or he will face a prison sentence. Martin Daly of 6 The Mews, Kilrush Road, Ennis, took a 11 CE Peugeot 207 from the forecourt of O’Sullivan and Hansbury Motors in Ennis on February 10 last after seeing the keys in the ignition. Mr Daly took the vehicle to Kilmaley and Inch and had at least one crash during his spin, causing the damage. When gardaí apprehended the defendant at Dromeen East, just outside Ennis, he had a bottle of vodka in the passenger seat, which he drank in front of them. There was damage to one of the car’s alloys, there was a hole in a tyre, part of the bumper was missing, while the right wishbone and right shock were both bent. The defendant was arrested on suspicion of drink driving …

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Clare, a county of culture

Plans to promote Clare as a County of Culture during 2016 have taken a significant step forward with the issuing of a call for expressions of interest for key cultural events and festivals during the year. The County of Culture initiative was first announced in March after Ennis was designated as the host town for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The Clare County Council-led initiative will incorporate the development of a programme of cultural events, to be promoted nationally and internationally, around the prestigious annual event which is expected to attract up to 400,000 people to Ennis in August 2016. The council is now calling on community groups and individuals throughout Clare to submit expressions of interest for cultural festivals and events that will form part of the County of Culture programme. The local authority anticipates that the scheme will support a minimum of four projects each to a maximum value of €10,000. Expressions of interest are invited from …

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