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Green light for 197 homes in Sixmilebridge

A MULTI-million-euro housing development, which if it goes ahead will be the biggest to date in the mid-Clare village of Sixmilebridge, was given the green light this week after an appeal to An Bord Pleanála failed. The application for 223 homes in Sixmilebridge was granted planning permission in October 2008 by Clare County Council, a decision affirmed by An Bord Pleanála subject to revised conditions. The original application was for 233 homes, comprising six three-bedroom detached houses, three four-bedroom detached homes, 38 three-bedroom semi-detached houses, 25 three-bedroom townhouses, 75 two-bedroom duplex units, 22 three-bedroom duplex units, 10 three-bedroom stepdown garden apartment units, 34 two-bedroom garden apartment units and 10 one-bedroom garden apartment units. However, An Bord Pleanála, as one of its conditions, scaled down the development omitting 26 housing units, bringing the total number of homes in the proposed development to 197.  

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Ryan stresses need to retain rural transport programme

WITH the stroke of a pen someone in Dublin can wreak devastation for the vulnerable members of Clare’s rural community by signing off on the rural transport programme.That’s the opinion of Councillor PJ Ryan, who stressed that the community-based transport service responds to the needs of today. It keeps communities alive and, if anything, the network needs to be more extensive rather than faced with fighting for what they have, he said.

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Aer Lingus records €93m loss

PAY cuts and redundancies may be in the offing for Aer Lingus staff at Shannon Airport, following an announcement by the airline of a loss of €93 million for the first six months of the year.Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington said last week that if staff don’t “work at market conditions and market rates we won’t survive”.The company is due to announce a hard-hitting survival plan in the couple of months and, as well as pay cuts, it is speculated that there will be between 500 and 1,000 redundancies.

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Shannon still waiting for full autonomy

With a new slimmed-down Shannon Airport Authority due to take office on September 16, Dermot Walsh surveys the five-year tenure of the inaugural authority   THE Shannon Airport Authority got off to a controversial start and has seldom been very far from controversy since the break-up of the old Aer Rianta and its replacement by separate boards at the three State airports in 2004.Five years after that proclamation of “autonomy” by the late Seamus Brennan when he was Minister for Transport, Shannon has yet to see Government promises delivered. Shannon has an airport authority but no independence and, as the July report of the Government Task Force documented, is still under the thumb of the Dublin parent body. Neither has the pledge that Shannon would set out as a separate entity “debt-free” been honoured.

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Clare farmers combat aerial mapping

AERIAL mapping, using the latest satellite technology, has led to unexpected deductions for alleged overpayments in grant entitlements for Clare farmers, it has emerged this week. Cash-strapped Clare farmers, who are already left reeling from a dramatic hike in production costs and falling prices due to the atrocious weather conditions, have been hit with unexpected cuts in their annual income from the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS), the Single Farm Payment and the Disadvantaged Area Scheme. The cuts have ranged from €1,000 to €2,500, depending on overall acreage.

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SIPTU proposes abolition of airports’ boards

WORKER representation on the board of the Shannon Airport Authority is to be more than halved on the orders of the Minister for Transport, at a time when Shannon is under pressure to bear new cutbacks on top of the 183 jobs shed since 2007. In response to the direction from Transport Minister Noel Dempsey to reduce the number of ministerial appointees, as well as worker-elected members of the airport board, the SIPTU negotiators have tabled a proposal for the boards at Shannon and Cork to be abolished.

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Celebrating ‘The Greatest’

THE people of Clare are being urged to come out in force to enjoy ‘The Greatest’ celebration as details of Tuesday’s open  air event to mark the visit of Muhammad Ali to the town were unveiled this week. Sports Academy International, the Clare-based sports event management company, are expecting thousands to turn up on Tuesday to participate in an open-air concert which will feature some of the biggest names in music.

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