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Coping with mortgage problems

THE rise in unemployment in County Clare in a five-year period is reflected in the growing number of families qualifying for the Mortgage Income Supplement Scheme (MISS).In 2005, €96,000 was paid out to Clare social welfare recipients to assist them with interest-only repayments on mortgages but by the end of 2009, the figure had grown to over €1.2 million.Almost 300 Clare families now find themselves in this situation through the breadwinner’s loss of job or decrease in working hours. This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problem on a national scale.The scheme is quite restrictive, in that anyone in full-time employment is automatically ineligible, as are those working over 30 hours a week in part-time employment, while the income of a spouse or partner is also taken into account in the assessment.North Clare councillor Martin Conway has predicted the amount of money paid out under the scheme in the county could reach €3m by the …

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Population issues need to be tackled

COMMENT Environmental campaigners are very terse when confronted with the issue of overpopulation. It is seen as a dangerous area to tackle. Interfering in people’s right to reproduce is seen as somehow tantamount to eugenics but the time is fast drawing near for this issue to come out from the shadows and bask in the glow of public debate.

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Rail stop on the horizon for Crusheen

AFTER extensive campaigning, Crusheen looks likely to have its own rail stop within the next two years. However, the possibility of a rail link connecting Shannon Airport to Galway and Limerick was ruled out by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey at the official opening of the first phase of the Western Rail Corridor on Monday.

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