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Council’s ability to comply with EU directive questioned

QUESTIONS have been raised over the ability of Clare County Council to comply with statutory requirements under an European Union Water Framework directive, due to the lack of national funding.Clare County Councillor Christy Curtin questioned the wisdom of producing a detailed plan to improve surface and ground water throughout the county, without adequate information on the overall cost of the measures and the likely source of finance.Councillor Curtin claimed at a recent joint Strategic Policy Committee meeting of Environment and Water Services and Planning, Land Use and Transportation that there is a sense of “déjà vu” as councillors are left with the option of adopting the plan or leaving the county manager to approve the blueprint with or without their consent.“Clare County Council doesn’t have the funding to carry out this plan. Our performance is poor in relation to a water services investment programme due to the lack of national finance.“I believe that a more realistic and flexible timeframe should …

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Lucky escape for revellers on Lough Derg

TWELVE revellers had a lucky escape in Lough Derg when their boat started to take on water late on Friday night.Killaloe Coast Guard Unit spokesman, Michael Quigley has confirmed that a major tragedy was averted thanks to the quick response of the unit.“Twelve lives were saved on Friday night. Things could have gone horribly wrong only for the intervention of emergency services. The occupants of the boat were very lucky,” he said.Ten people had to be rescued from a speed boat about three and a half miles south of Killaloe bridge after two others had tried to swim ashore.The drama unfolded when the local Coast Guard Unit got an emergency call at about 11.40pm on Friday night to come to the assistance of a boat that had got into difficulty.It is understood that the 22-foot long speed boat, which was only licensed to carry 10 people or 820kgs hit something, which caused it to take in water.One rescue boat was …

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Minister must resolve CAT issue at Ennis hospital – Carey

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that the suspension of the CAT scanning service at Ennis hospital which took effect last October, may not be lifted until later this year depending on the appointment of extra consultants.Deputy Joe Carey has called on Health Minister Mary Harney to intervene in the six-month suspension of the 16-slice €1 million CAT scanner.It is also claimed there is a qualified radiologist in Ennis hospital who could analyse CAT scans but is not being allowed to do so because of HSE policy that states that having one radiologist on site is not in the best interests of patient safety.Deputy Carey claimed no scans have been taken at Ennis hospital since October, despite the addition of modern facilities and trained staff. He said the transfer of patients for CAT scans to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, where services are already overburdened, is placing an additional cost on the local ambulance service with considerable inconvenience for …

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Frosty reception for education minister

THE Tánaiste and Minister for Education, Mary Coughlan was jostled by anti-Nama protestors as she left the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) annual congress in the West County Hotel in Ennis on Wednesday.Protestors tried to block her exit, while another man attending the congress donned a George Bush mask during part of her address to the delegates.However, her speech to the teachers and lecturers was greeted with tension and silence, as she once again warned of further possible cutbacks to keep Government expenditure down during the continuing economic recession. Her speech was not interrupted by delegates but she did not receive applause before or after her address.The TUI last week voted unanimously to reject the deal aimed at ending the public pay dispute.Addressing the TUI members from around the country, she said that the Government is undertaking a “hugely challenging task in righting Ireland’s course to ultimately provide jobs, opportunity and a future for students”.“In the process, we have had …

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Too early to assess pre-clearance impact – Hanafin

THE new Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mary Hanafin, has said it is too early to assess the impact of the US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facility at Shannon.Speaking in the Dáil, she also said money is being spent on promoting Ireland as a tourism destination.“The new pre-clearance facility in Shannon is only operational since August 2009 and it would be too soon to estimate its impact on tourism numbers in advance of its first full year of operation. With regard to the pre-clearance facility, as an island destination, direct, convenient and competitive access services are vital for our tourism industry and it is important, in the current challenging global climate, to help sustain strategically important capacity, routes and services,” she claimed.“In that context, the new pre-clearance facility at Shannon will present an opportunity to help sustain existing air services and will also, in due course, help create opportunities for new routes and services. However, as the facility …

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Cancer centre walk in Dromore

If you go down to Dromore Woods in Ruan on Sunday, April 25, you’re in for a big surprise. You won’t be alone. In fact, you can join a guided stroll through the beautiful woods in Dromore, which will take place in aid of the Clare Cancer Centre in Ballygriffey, Ruan.The woodlands are peeping through the tree tops from their forest floor after a hard winter and spring. The woods and lakes at Dromore are teaming with wildlife and the stroll will touch on all aspects of birds nesting to wildlife habitats and all the different species of trees and flora and fauna of the forest. The stroll will begin with registration at the car park at 12.30pm. The stroll will then leave for the woods at 1pm and will be about a five-mile stroll, lasting about two hours.Anyone who would like sponsorship cards can call on Yvonne Kelly on 085 1400529 or can make a contribution on the day. …

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Liquidator to be appointed to Atlantis Developments

A MEETING of creditors is scheduled for later this month to appoint a liquidator to a company engaged in multi-million euro tourism projects in counties Clare, Galway and Kerry.Atlantis Developments Limited, with a registered office at Ballyvarra House in Doolin, opened the newly refurbished Peacock’s Hotel in Maam Cross, County Galway; Tír Gan Éan House Hotel and Holiday Complex in Doolin, the Smerwick Harbour Hotel near Dingle; the Burren Coast Hotel and Holiday Lodges in Ballyvaughan and the Cliffs of Moher Hotel in Liscannor in the last five years.The group is also promoting the famed Joseph McHugh’s Pub in Liscannor and the AA 5-star Ballyvara House in Doolin.The company was also approved planning for the development of park and ride facilities to the Cliffs of Moher from Liscannor and Doolin and for a €25m refurbishment of Ballykilty Manor, outside Quin village.According to insolvencyjournal.ie, a meeting of creditors of both Atlantis Development Limited and the Liscannor-based Burren Coast Hotel Limited is …

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Junction could make private hospital possible

ENGINEERS acting on behalf of the proposed new €60 million private hospital on the outskirts of Ennis have claimed it could be safely accommodated by a simple priority-type junction near the facility.Clare County Council has expressed a number of concerns, including traffic and road safety, about plans for the development of a new private hospital including 120 in-patient and 20 out-patient beds.John Stack, Lisdoonvarna, and Pat Bonner, Donegal, lodged a planning application with Clare County Council before Christmas seeking permission for the complex on land at Shanaway Road that is zoned for residential use.If planning permission is granted, the developers predict that over 100 construction jobs will be created and between 400 and 500 full-time jobs directly generated once operational, which is due to be in 2012.In a recent request for further information, the planning authority questioned aspects of the proposed development concerning the scale of the building relative to the site area; the loading of the foul effluent to …

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