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Ennis residents “in fear of their lives” over junction

THE brakes have been pulled by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) on a proposal to install a right turning lane at an Ennis junction despite residents being “in fear of their lives”. The need for a traffic island to accommodate traffic coming from the Ennis side heading to West Clare and reinstatement of a hard shoulder at Kilmorane was highlighted at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. Councillor Pat Daly stated that this junction is close to six residential houses and a business with a “serious health and safety issue there”. He stated that residents are “living on their nerves every day” describing the route as “very, very dangerous”. He added that the new business has seen the creation of 10 jobs, and a right turn is essential in ensuring its sustainability. However, John Gannon, senior executive engineer replied, “The TII have inspected and reviewed this junction and have assessed that the traffic movements do not validate a right …

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Council to appoint new contractor to complete County Library project

A TENDERING process to appoint a new contractor to finish the County Library project in Ennis has been announced by Clare County Council. This comes following the appointment by the High Court of an examiner to Kilmihil-based development company L&M Keating Limited. Since July no building work has been carried out at the site of the planned new library adjacent to glór. Construction works begun back in January and the project had initially been due for completion next year, however that date was pushed out to 2022 when construction nationally was affected by Covid-19. According to a statement released this week by the local authority, “Clare County Council will shortly commence a tendering process to appoint a new contractor to the County Library project. The decision comes following the appointment by the High Court last week of an examiner to L&M Keating Limited. At this juncture we do not have a timeline for the appointment of a completion contractor.” A …

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Doonbeg marks centenary of double gold Olympian

OLYMPIAN Pat McDonald is being warmly remembered in his native Doonbeg, 100 years after he earned a place in the annals of sporting history, by winning a second gold medal. The Amsterdam Olympics of 1920 saw him reach the pinnacle of a long and illustrious sporting career. At over 40 years of age, when he took part in the world games in Holland, Pat McDonald still holds the honour of being the oldest Olympic track and field champion. Against rivals half his age, the towering 6’ 4’’ West Clare man was capable of throwing a weight of 56 pounds a distance of 11.26 metres, considerably further than his younger competitors. Former teacher Joe Hurley has a huge interest in Pat McDonald’s achievements and legacy, and has researched the story in great detail. The path the young Clare man followed was a well-worn one that took him from the rural west coast to the bustling and brash metropolis of New York, …

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Inclusive Athletics Is On The Right Track In Killaloe

THE number of children attending Inclusive Athletics in Clarisford Park, Killaloe is increasing every week thanks to the success of a project driven by parents of children with disabilities. What started as a pilot project have gone from strength to strength and it is now a weekly fixture on Saturday morning that is eagerly-anticipated by both parents and children with disabilities. Nicola Welford explains the group want children to move from inclusive to mainstream, if this is at all possible, as part of their overall progression. She is looking forward to the opening of the new all weather Derg AC €500,000 athletics track as their sessions will not be impacted as much by rain. “Every week we have a new child starting with us as parents are discovering inclusive athletics. The main comment from parents is ‘I can’t believe I didn’t know about it and I can’t believe this is happening’ because there is nothing happening for children with special …

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Miltown volunteer on call to help during Level 5 restrictions

A FLEET of volunteer vans will be back out on the roads in West Clare supporting those who may need extra help as Level 5 restrictions return in an effort to control Covid-19. Miltown Malbay man Stephen Downes ran the initiative last March, and said that he hopes once again to support the community over the dark winter evenings. “People face new challenges this time around because we’re hearing into the long nights and cold days,” Mr Downes said. “There’s a lot of fear around and some people don’t like going out if they’re elderly or at risk. Once again, we’re offering to collect shopping for people and deliver it to their doors. We’ll drop around and pick up a list and do our best to help ensure that people are looked after.” The decision to go back out on the roads was prompted by news of the return to Level 5 restrictions. “We really need to try to pull together again,” he said. “People are feeling …

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Ennis councillors tell students they have their backs

THE Ennis Municipal District are being urged to put its back into supporting local students. Councillor Ann Norton has proposed that the local authority meet with students to hear first-hand about their experiences of heavy school bags and the effect it has had on their backs. Speaking at the monthly meeting of the council she stated, “There has been an enormous amount of students already suffer injuries and pains due to this issue and it is exactly this situation that will cause long term damage to our children’s backs. There is a body of international medical and academic research that supports the correlation between weight of school bags and lower back pain in adolescents. Can Ennis Municipal District look at supporting students to highlight this issue to the Department of Education and the Minister of Education? We should invite students in to tell us there experiences and look at the best way forward to look at reducing the weight of …

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Shore Art Project Is A New North Clare Visitor Attraction

WHAT started as an art project from humble beginnings along a sea wall in North Clare has been washed on the crest of a huge wave to become a new visitor attraction with the wow factor. Clahane artist, Ann Vaughan had no idea she would be the brainchild for a concept that has been embraced by hundreds of artists, children as young as two years of age, adults and holidaymakers when she placed the first stone on a sea wall a short distance from her art gallery. “I thought I would just paint a few stones, put them down and see what happens. Then I noticed that kids were putting stuff up. It just started from there. People started adding to it,” explained Ann. Ann came up with this innovative idea during the early stages of lockdown to give people some hope and encouragement in the midst of all the doom and gloom about new Covid-19 restrictions. In recent months, …

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Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage and Wildlife Group group named ‘Heritage Heroes’

CLARECASTLE and Ballyea Heritage and Wildlife Group were named among the country’s Heritage Heroes this week. The local group were named the first ever winners in the County Clare category at the National Heritage Week Awards 2020 for their project, “Clarecastle on film in the 1950s.” Eric Shaw of the Clarecastle and Ballyea Heritage and Wildlife Group explains, “The film had been recovered from reels of old cine-film taken by Anthony Considine with wonderful scenes of Old Clarecastle, fancy-dress parades at Regattas and of ships being unloaded at Clarecastle Quay. The film brought back memories of those days.  Covid-19 put paid to a lot of our plans for Heritage Week 2020 but we were determined to mark the occasion as we have done over the past eight years. The finding of that wonderful old film on Clarecastle helped us to put it forward as a project to the Heritage Council and we launched it during Heritage Week. It was very well received …

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