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Windfarm concern group raises questions over risk of landslides

A PROPOSED windfarm earmarked for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh in East Clare has prompted the setting up of the Carrownagowan Concern Group. The organisation, headed up by Deputy Michael McNamara, is among those to make submissions on the proposed Carrownagowan windfarm, currently being considered by An Bord Pleanála as strategic infrastructure. In its objection to the development, the group contends that “reasonable scientific doubt as to the absence of adverse effects on the integrity of the site must be removed before the project is authorised”. The submission concludes that, in applying for the 19 turbines, developers Coillte have not fully assessed the risk of landslides; the impact on designated sites including Lough Derg Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Slieve Bernagh Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC); or the impact on birds and wildlife. The document describes the Carrownagowan Concern Group as being “comprised of persons who reside near the proposed development and have expressed concern that the information …

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12 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in County Clare

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 12 new cases of Covid-19 in County Clare, while there have been 23 additional deaths related to Covid-19. 21 of these deaths occurred in February and two occurred in January. The median age of those who died was 84 years and the age range was 57 – 95 years. There has been a total of 3,865* Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight, Thursday, February 11, the HPSC has been notified of 921 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 207,720** confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. Of the cases notified today: 453 are men / 466 are women 66% are under 45 years of age The median age is 34 years old 414 in Dublin, 87 in Cork, 51 in Kildare, 48 in Limerick, 47 in Meath and the remaining 274 cases are spread across all other counties. As of 8am today, 959 Covid-19 patients …

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Judge requests Gardaí to bring pregnant woman for hospital scan en route to escorting mother of five to jail

A judge has asked Gardaí to bring a pregnant woman to a maternity hospital for a scheduled pregnancy scan en route to escorting the mother of five to Limerick prison. At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan admitted that the court request to Gardaí concerning Annie Joyce’s (30) pregnancy scan “is very unusual”. Judge Durcan asked that the maternity hospital in Limerick be advised of the situation and that Ms Joyce can be brought there securely by Gardaí. Judge Durcan said, “I appreciate that there are additional pressures with Covid-19” and in response to Judge Durcan’s request, Sgt Louis Moloney told the judge: “We will do our best.” Judge Durcan made his request after solicitor for Ms Joyce (30) of St Enda’s, Beechpark, Ennis, Tara Godfrey alerted the judge that her client is pregnant and was due to have a medical scan at midday on Thursday at the maternity hospital in Limerick. Ms Godfrey made Judge Durcan aware that Ms …

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St Flannan’s College is out of this world

AN Ennis school has proven itself to be out of this world by being a part of a NASA mission to Mars. The names of some 300 St Flannan’s College students and teachers have been sent to the Red Planet on NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover, with the spacecraft expected to touchdown on February 18. St Flannan’s physics teacher John Conneely tells us that the school is excited to be a part of this momentous occasion, which marks one small step towards human exploration of the planet. He explains that the school got involved through NASA’s ‘Send Your Name to Mars’ campaign, part of a public engagement initiative to highlight missions involved with NASA’s journey from the Moon to Mars. The Ennis names join millions of others submitted from people all over the world. “We are very pleased to be part of NASA’s latest educational programme. If the Perseverance lander can survive the ‘seven minutes of terror’ decent into the thin …

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Siobhán hoping to secure a place as a finalist in Miss Ireland

KILMALEY’S Siobhán Fitzpatrick is hoping luck will shine and that she will secure a place as a finalist in this year’s Miss Ireland. The 21-year-old student teacher was the first runner up at the 2020 Miss Clare selection which has secured her a place in the upcoming semi-final. There was no Miss Ireland final selection in 2020 due to Covid-19 so the semi-finalists will now get a chance to compete in a virtual event that could see them move forward to Miss Ireland 2021. The Miss Ireland semi-final sees all the runner up placements from the 2020 selections which were able to take place within guidelines now take part in a virtual TV format selection. A top panel of judges will interview all 20 finalists and select eight lucky girls who will move forward to Miss Ireland 2021. In addition to the judging panel for the first time ever one additional semi-finalist will secure a place as the People’s Choice …

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Nationwide puts the spotlight on the Burren

RTÉ’S hugely popular ‘Nationwide’ will put the spotlight on the Burren next Monday. The television show follows on the heels of Neven Maguire’s ‘Irish Seafood Trails’ on RTÉ One and Channel 5’s ‘Coastal Ireland’ which both featured the region last week. Monday nights ‘Nationwide,’ which airs on RTÉ One at 7pm, will feature members of the Burren Ecotourism Network, who recently won the Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2021’ accolade for community tourism. Presenter Anne Cassin visited the area in late January and met three members of the Burren Ecotourism Network. Nuala Mulqueeney, Acting Managing Director of the Ailwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre in Ballyvaughan gave the crew a tour of the cave. The subterranean ramble was followed by a bird of prey display, where Anne had the opportunity of handling Jess, the barn owl. Nuala also told the presenter how regular Zoom meetings with members of the tourism network have been vital in maintaining spirits and connections during …

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Regeneration works on Parnell Street can resume

CLARE County Council can resume vital works on Parnell Street in Ennis despite the current Covid-19 restrictions, it has been confirmed. The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, has stated that public realm works such as the Parnell Street regeneration can proceed under the current regulations. Clare County Clare had halted works on the regeneration of Ennis’ medieval lanes amid concerns that the project did not qualify as “essential works” under the current Covid guidelines. However, Deputy Joe Carey confirmed, “I spoke directly with Minister O’Brien regarding the need to progress the Parnell Street enhancement works. He advised me that a senior official from the Department of Local Government will make contact with the Chief Executive of Clare County Council advising them that Urban Regeneration works such as those currently stalled in Parnell Street are permitted under the current Covid restrictions and that the council should make arrangements to re-start the works as soon as possible.” Minister …

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Alarm at rise in breaches of domestic abuse orders

SHOCK has been expressed over a spike in Clare in breachers of domestic violence orders, over the course of 2020, as well as an increase of reported incidents of abuse within the home. Figures presented to Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week show that there were 89 breaches of barring, safety and protection orders last year. This compares with 72 such incidents in 2019, and represents a rise of 24%. Commenting on the figures, Deputy Violet Anne Wynne, a member of the JPC, said the pandemic seemed to have created a situation whereby some people felt they had the opportunity to breach orders issued by the courts. “We need to increase the visibility of Gardaí in order to deter these people,” the Sinn Féin representative said. “The marked increase in crimes connected to domestic violence is quite shocking and in contrast to the decrease seen in other kinds of offences. When it comes to crime during the pandemic, we …

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