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Flood relief works will help Ennis reach ‘true potential’

THE delivery of flood protection defences for Ennis paves the way for the future development of the county capital into “the town it really has the potential to be”, Minister of State Pat O’Donovan said this week. The Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme, the final of three flood defence schemes in the town, was officially opened on Tuesday by the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works. This scheme provides protection from flooding to the residential areas of Ballybeg, Clareabbey and Toberteascáin as well as St Flannan’s College and the Quin Road Business Park. Minister O’Donovan said working in partnership with the OPW, Clare County Council has delivered peace of mind to 121 home owners and five businesses in the local community with this last phase. Speaking at the opening, Minister O’Donovan said the future growth potential of the town was dependent on flood defence works being carried out; that industrial, tourism, housing, commercial and retail …

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Pyrite ‘horror’ recalled at Oireachtas committee

THE horror of discovering her home had pyrite was recalled by the founder of The Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) before members of the Oireachtas Committee on Housing yesterday (June 23). As part of what has been described as ‘accelerated’ scrutiny of the legislation to underpin a revised grant scheme, which will include Clare and Limerick, Dr Martina Cleary addressed the committee on Thursday. The seven-hour process, which also heard from expert engineering witnesses and Department of Housing officials, falls short of full Pre-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS), which the government has avoided in a bid to pass the law before the summer recess. “On August 1, 2020, following a misdiagnosis by engineers, including those appointed by my insurance company, crumbling and rotting blocks were discovered behind the render of my small bungalow,” Dr Cleary told TDs and Senators. “In that moment my life changed, and the sustained nightmare of coming to terms with this began. The first shock was hearing from …

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Minister quizzed as clock winds down on Heathrow guarantee

THE current obligation on Aer Lingus to run a Heathrow-Shannon service, put in place as a condition of the Government’s sale of the State’s shares in the airline back in 2015, is about to run out. While it is understood that the routes had been performing well prior to Covid, the fact that the guarantee is expiring will inevitably induce a certain amount of trepidation given how significant they are. The fact that Shannon Airport has connectivity to Heathrow is deemed hugely important to it and to Clare. Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports and a global hub, meaning that passengers who fly there from Shannon can travel onwards to a massive number of destinations. The link is of huge importance to Shannon’s industrial base and to Clare’s tourism industry. Clare TD Cathal Crowe raised the situation with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil last week, while he also questioned if the State could help Shannon secure …

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CSO offers fascinating insight to house buyers in Clare

SOME 40% of houses sold in County Clare in 2019 went to single purchasers, rather than joint purchasers, according to research published this week by the Central Statistics Office. The median price paid for a property in the Kilrush electoral area was €138,800, in the Killaloe area it was €175,000, in the Ennistymon area it was €180,000.  The highest prices were in the most urban parts of the county, with a median of €188,000 in the Shannon electoral area and €193,000 in the Ennis area. In the Ennistymon and Kilrush areas the median age of purchasers was 48 and 45 respectively. It was below 40 in the other three areas, at 39 in Killaloe and 38 in both the Shannon and Ennis electoral areas. For sole purchasers in the Ennistymon area the median income was €31,600, while in the Killaloe area it was €41,900. The equivalent figures for the Shannon, Ennis and Kilrush areas were €39,200, €36,600 and €30,900 respectively. …

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Patient waited almost five days for bed in UHL, HIQA reveals

ONE of the 60 patients in the Emergency Department at UHL was waiting more than 116 hours for a hospital bed, an inspection report completed by the Health Information and Equality Authority has found. Inspectors who visited UHL unannounced on March 15 found a second was waiting over 85 hours and a third was waiting 71 hours. Hospital management told inspectors that all three patients were awaiting suitable in-patient isolation facilities. Performance data on the patient experience time collected on the day of HIQA’s inspection was poor. The data showed that at 11.30am the hospital was not compliant with any of the national key performance indicators for the emergency department set by the HSE. At that time 76 patients (55%) attendees to the emergency department were in the department for more than six hours after registration. Over half (51%) of the attendees to the emergency department were in the department for more than nine hours after registration. Just over one …

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‘Best looking fighter since Ali’ spared court penalty for speeding

Dubbed the ‘best looking fighter since Muhammad Ali’ professional fighter, Patrick Donovan’s clean record escaped a knock out blow today after a judge struck out a speeding prosecution against him. At Gort District Court this Friday, Mr Donovan (23) of Clancy Park, Ennis, pleaded guilty to a speeding offence after he was detected driving at 162kmph in a 120kmph speed zone on October 6 last at Cullenagh More on the M18 linking Limerick to Galway. Currently being trained by former WBO middleweight world champion, Andy Lee, Mr Donovan accepted in court that he was driving in excess of the 120kmph speed limit and told Judge Mary Larkin that he was on his way to give a talk at a suicide prevention event in Co. Mayo. Recently, the 13-time Irish champion, Mr Donovan spoke about the loss of his best friend, aged 28 and first cousin, aged 25 to suicide last year. In court, Mr Donovan said, “I didn’t realise I …

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Shannon named one of world’s first two age-friendly airports

SHANNON Airport and Ireland West Airport (Knock) have become the first two in the world to be recognised as Age Friendly airports by the World Health Organisation (WHO).  The achievement was marked at a ceremony in Ireland West Airport, officiated by Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport.  Congratulating the airports, Ms Naughton said: “Ireland has taken an international lead in making the airport environment age-friendly and we now look forward to sharing this learning with other airports around the world. “Making sure that airport facilities are age friendly is an effective way to enhance their accessibility and usability for everyone. “It ensures that domestic passengers feel confident in organising a trip abroad and it makes Ireland more attractive as a destination to older travellers from other countries.”  Commenting on the initiative Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “It is wonderful to be one of two airports on Ireland’s west coast leading the way to being …

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Clarecastle Regatta returns this weekend after two-year hiatus

AFTER a two year Covid-related hiatus the popular Clarecastle Regatta returns this coming Saturday June 25 from 1.30pm to 6pm. According to organisers the Regatta promises to be a day of fun with a wide range of events to thrill all members of the family. Returning favourites include a children’s fancy dress parade from the church grounds meeting at 1.15pm, dog show, bonny baby and best dressed lady competitions as well as the market stalls, vintage cars live music and food. Other events include the “Hanging Tough” challenge, children races and amusements. There will be hurling shootouts, the Long Puck and footballs tests of skills. The local Currach Club Fergus Rovers will be on hand to give people an opportunity to sit into and manoeuvre the currachs. Other water events will include kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boards. The Regatta was revived over 13 years ago and has been a resounding success offering the community of Clarecastle and surrounding areas …

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