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Twenty-three Clare estates to be exempt from household charge

TWENTY-three housing developments in Clare are to be exempt from the household charge, according to a list published on the Department of the Environment’s webpage.The list of exempt developments includes Aisling, Shanvogh, Ennis; Pairc na Coille, Drumbiggle Road, Ennis; Roslevan Square, Ennis; Bridge Road Apartments, Bridge Road (West of Spa), Lisdoonvarna; Bruachlan, Westbury; Carrig Midhe, Knockballymeath, Corbally; Chuirt an Droichead, Main Street, Sixmilebridge; Church Fields, Newtown Road, Clonlara; Cluainn Aoibheann, Ballycaseymore, Shannon; Tullyglass Lowlands, Tullyglass, Shannon; Cregg Beach, Miltown Malbay Road, Lahinch; Creggaun na Hilla, Hill View, Clarecastle; Gleann Cora, Ballycar Road, Newmarket-on-Fergus; Gort na Coille, Ferry Road, Kilrush; Moinin, Dough, Kilkee; Orchard Drive, Lissane, Clarecastle; Shantraud Woods, Clonlara Road, Killaloe and Slí an Fheargais, Quay Road, Clarecastle.Five other developments are included but are only referred to by their planning file reference number. The developments are at Portumna Road, Whitegate; Bodyke Road, Tuamgraney; Main Street, Kilkishen; Scariff Road, Mountshannon and Dún Rí, Bunratty.At Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council, members …

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Fuel for thought from Clare haulier

IMPLEMENTING a new rebate system for hauliers and eliminating the requirement for green diesel could result in a net gain of over €300 million for the Government, according to a Bunratty-based national and international licensed carrier.The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has proposed a radical overhaul of excise duty in Ireland for hauliers, farmers and agricultural contractors, which it insists would generate hundreds of millions of euro in taxation for the exchequer.IRHA president Eoin Gavin currently saves €100 per week by filling each of his six trucks with about 1,000 litres in Belgium, which results in a loss of €600 per vehicle in excise duty to the Government.However, under a radical proposal devised by the IRHA and Limerick-based consultants Deloitte and Touche, international and national hauliers could resume refuelling in Ireland with huge benefits for operators and the State.It is accepted that a vehicle has an average fuel use of 1,000 litres per week. According to an IRHA survey, 21 …

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McCafferty suspended from Sinn Féin

SINN Féín this week confirmed that its only elected representative in Clare, Shannon Town Councillor Cathy McCafferty, has been suspended from the party.While attempts to contact Councillor McCafferty proved unsuccessful, a spokesman at the Sinn Féin press office confirmed she has been suspended. He said it is an internal matter and party procedures are being gone through. The spokesman declined to comment on the status of Councillor McCafferty’s husband, Eugene (who has also been active in Sinn Féin), within the party.Councillor McCafferty is a native of Derry and in 2004 she came within a whisker of taking a seat on Shannon Town Council, only being eliminated on the final count.In 2009, she took the seventh seat in the town council election, winning Sinn Féín’s only seat in Clare.Councillor McCafferty has been involved in Sinn Féin for decades and she campaigned with Martin McGuinness prior to the presidential election.  

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Firemen go to the aid of children in Mombasa

TWO well-known firemen are gearing up for a charity trip to Mombasa to assist with the construction of a new home for blind children. Kilkee Fire Station officer, Charlie McGrath and Ennis fireman, Danny Keller have been busy fundraising to help change the lives of blind children in Mombasa.They will be part of a group of about 200 from Clare and other parts of the country who will head off to Kenya as part of the 2012 Building of Hope Project.The crew of charity workers includes blocklayers, carpenters, electricians, tilers, painters, plasterers and labourers and is split into four groups of 50, who will be departing at different stages over the coming weeks.The Building of Hope Project offers practical help, education, support and care to the less well off throughout the world. Every volunteer and committee member raised €3,000 each over the past number of months and all funds raised are used solely for the project.St Joseph’s Training School for …

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‘Lucky’ workers face a gloomy retirement

We are in Portugal this week, thanks entirely to the kindness of relatives who have allowed us to use their apartment. I have always felt a deep sense of shame visiting a country where I don’t speak the language and, as a result, have managed to muster a smattering of basics in a few of the more widely spoken ones. Portuguese is not among them however, and I was more than a little concerned that my ignorance would brand me during our visit. To my surprise, the part of southern Portugal where we are staying is populated by many people who speak English to a high standard. It is also home to many expatriates and tourists in their late fifties on through the decades to more elderly types. They have fled the northern European winter to holiday or live in this part of the world where daytime temperatures at the moment are hovering around 20oC. It does start to feel …

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Council votes to ban fracking

CLARE County Council became the first local authority in Ireland to ban fracking through its development plan, at this week’s meeting on Monday.Emotions ran high as the councillors expressed outright opposition to fracking and opted to go against advice from county manager Tom Coughlan and senior planner Gordon Daly by introducing the ban in the development plan. Fracking is a hugely controversial means of extracting natural gas from rock. An anti-fracking campaign has been in place in Clare in recent months and dozens of people, including at least two TDs, were in the public gallery for Monday evening’s debate. Indeed, applause from the spectators greeted many of the anti-fracking statements made by councillors.The council also passed a motion calling on Minister for Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, to ban fracking at a national level. Dr Aedin McLoughlin who has campaigned against fracking in Leitrim and Roscommon, gave a presentation on fracking and explained that sites in West Clare are …

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