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Clare schools advised to close and bus services suspended

THE Department of Education is advising that schools in county Clare stay closed on Friday February 18 due to the Status Red wind warning. The department stated that remote teaching and learning should commence where possible, in line with schools’ remote teaching and learning plans. It also advised schools to keep up to date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area. Also, due to the weather warning all Bus Éireann services in County Clare will be suspended on Friday morning, February 18, between 1am until 10am. This suspension will also apply to all routes operating into or out of the status red warning area. Due to the extreme nature of Storm Eunice and the threat of multi-hazard weather events as confirmed by Met Éireann, the Department of Education is advising that schools in counties where Status Red wind warnings are …

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13th Century Ennis to get 21st century parking solution

THE medieval town of Ennis is known for its narrow streets and labyrinth of historic laneways and bow-ways. It’s also famous for being a tricky town to navigate, where motorists are challenged when it comes to finding available parking, especially visitors unfamiliar with the town layout. However, parking is about to become a whole lot simpler in Ennis with the deployment of a new Smart Parking initiative by Cisco and Dublin-based software development company Danalto. The proposed solution will see Cisco’s software partner Danalto deploy Bosch parking sensors, Cisco ISR routers, Cisco LoRaWAN gateways, and Cisco Cameras throughout parking areas in Ennis town centre, including surface car parks controlled by Clare County Council private car parks, and some on street parking bays. The use of parking cameras and sensors in conjunction with a cloud analytics platform to analyse parking space availability, will allow the public to access real-time information on parking availability. The project will also facilitate the introduction of dynamic …

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Nearly €35m for local and regional roads in Clare in 2022

CLARE County Council has been allocated a total of €34.917m for local and regional roads investment for 2022. About one third of the allocation, €11.8m will go towards progressing the Shannon crossing at Killaloe and Ballina. Slightly more, €12.18m will go towards restoration improvement/ Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, today announced details of a €597 million nationwide investment programme for 2022 for regional and local roads. Overall funding will increase by over 4% this year. The funding package will allow approximately 3,100kms of roads to be maintained and 2,550kms to be strengthened. Minister Ryan stated: “The main priority in 2022 continues to be the protection and renewal of the existing regional and local road network. Last year I introduced a climate change adaptation grant for works on roads at risk due to the impact of climate change and severe weather events. “I am pleased to say that this funding will continue in 2022 with €15 million being allocated for …

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Toyota puts battery centre stage with new offering

CAR sales so far this year have seen a huge jump towards electrified and full EV vehicles, with Toyota, one of the biggest proponents of hybrid seeing 98% of their sales in January being hybrid. For the first time in the overall market, hybrid sales overtook those of diesel, marking a sea change, particularly in Ireland. For many, hybrids are seen as a stepping stone to fully electric cars and while Toyota have yet to release a full on EV, their first production car will be here in May. The bZ4X is the first of many Toyota EVs to be launched in Europe and it represents the first fruit of Toyota’s new sub-brand bZ, which stands for beyond Zero. The 4X is a mid-size SUV, which comes with all wheel drive and a claim to excellent off-road capabilities. Although based on the existing TNGA chassis, the new eTNGA is the marque’s first purpose built EV chassis and treats the battery …

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Korean electric vehicle named Irish car of the year

THE Kia EV6 has been named as the Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year for 2022 at an awards ceremony in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Motoring journalists from print, online and broadcasting hosted the Covid-19 guideline compliant event, which was attended by Ireland’s leading car brands, importers and distributors. Kia took the top award with its latest EV6 model which also won the Continental Tyres Irish Large Car of the Year category award at the ceremony. It is the second time that an electric vehicle has taken the award as Kia also won the 2020 Irish Car of the Year title with the all-electric Kia e-Soul. Joint-Chairman of the Irish Car of the Year Committee, Anthony Conlon said: “The Kia EV6 is a great car and as the second electric vehicle to win the title, it is proof, if any proof was needed, that the era of electric motoring is already well and truly here in Ireland. Just look …

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Worker injured after being struck by car on Clare road

A ROAD worker has been injured after he was struck by a car at a work site on a busy road in Co Clare this afternoon. The collision occurred shortly after 3.00pm at roadworks on the R352 main Ennis to Tulla Road in Clooney Village. The man was struck by the car which then collided with a mini-digger. National Ambulance Service paramedics and Clare County Fire and Rescue Service crews from Ennis station responded to the incident along with Gardaí. It’s not known whether there was anyone in the mini-digger at the time of the collision but the driver was out of the vehicle when emergency services arrived. The injured worker was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for treatment. It’s understood that the worker suffered multiple fractures while the driver of the car escaped injury. Fire crews made the crashed car safe and set up an emergency traffic management system …

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Ireland’s first e-scooter training course launched in Clare

A CLARE-BASED driver education programme has launched Ireland’s very first e-scooter safety course which is set to be rolled out in schools across the country. The Irish School of Excellence, founded by Clare native Kieran O’Brien, has joined forces with Bird, a leader in environmentally friendly electric transportation, to launch the course. The announcement of the new programme comes just weeks after the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI), the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind highlighted the hazards caused by e-scooters, calling for a ban on their use on footpaths and a reduced speed limit of 12km/h among other proposals. Mr O’Brien, CEO and founder of ISOE, explained that when it came to setting up the new course he was moved by the organisations’ statements to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport highlighting their concerns about e-scooters. “We were going to add e-scooter training as part of our overall driver education programme in schools, Mr O’Brien …

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Clare car sales in 2021 increase from 2020

SOME 2,115 new cars were registered in Clare in 2021, an increase of almost 7% on the same figure for 2020. The figure represents 2.02% of new car registrations nationwide last year when 104,932 new vehicles were bought an increase of 19.1% on 2020’s figure of 88,325. While this represented good business for the motoring industry, figures were down 10.4% on 2019 registrations when the economy was still functioning normally. One area where 2021 comprehensively outstripped both 2020 and 2019 was the sale of electric car. The surge in sales of electric vehicles continued with 8,646 registered in 2021 compared to 4,013 on the same period 2020 (+115.4%) and 3,444 in 2019 (+151.0%). Moving in the opposite direction however was registrations of imported used cars, of which there were 63,617, a decrease of 20.4% on 2020 (79,969) and a decrease of 44.2% on 2019 (113,926). New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations in 2021 saw an increase of 32.3% (28,741) compared …

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