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Exclusion from map a blow to Clare investment prospects

MOST of Clare – apart from the Ennis-Shannon corridor – has been excluded from a new Regional Aid map of the country, which will result in it being precluded from getting support for industry. The June Monthly Management Report of Clare County Council explained the situation. “The new Irish Regional Aid Map covers the period 2022–2027 and has implications for enterprise investment in that areas excluded from the map become ineligible for regional aid. “In this regard, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment are tasked with the preparation of a new regional aid map for Ireland and the Mid-West region. “Clare County Council in conjunction with the other local authorities of the Mid West i.e. Limerick and Tipperary, made a submission to the above Department in respect of the preparation of a new Regional Aid Map for Ireland. “The Mid-West submission raised several concerns not least the fact that only 39% of the region can now offer regional aid …

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Broadcaster meets the Púca ahead of North Clare installation

RTÉ Radio 1 star, Ray D’Arcy has predicted a warm welcome for the shape-shifting Púca when the controversial statue is installed in North Clare on Saturday week (June 25).  The broadcaster has frequently expressed his fascination with the colourful controversy that saw the two-metre horse-headed figure ultimately rejected by the people of Ennistymon. Sculptor Aidan Harte has spoken on the popular mid-afternoon radio show on a number of occasions since the debacle originally erupted in May of last year. In recent days, D’Arcy visited the Dublin-based foundry where the folklore figure has been cast in bronze, and even got to rub the toe of the Púca for luck.  Now that the mischievous Púca has found his “forever home” at The Michael Cusack Centre, its creator expressed his optimism that the reaction of locals and visitors in Carron will be a positive one. “The reaction most artists get to their work is apathy,” Mr Harte told Ray D’Arcy. “When the row …

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GALLERY: Pupils and teachers celebrate growing school ‘Together’

THE “wonderful addition” 44 children from Ukraine have made to Ennis Educate Together school has been highlighted by principal David Quinn at the school’s recent celebration day. The event also presented an opportunity to showcase the quite literal growth of a new project which has resulted in a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine, planted for every pupil in the school. As well as welcoming the school’s new enrolments, the day was a celebration for the entire school and offered an opportunity for families to visit for the first time since Covid-19. On the day Ennis Educate Together’s youngest pupil Oleksandr  and oldest pupil Melisa helped raise the school flag with its newly designed logo featuring new school colours, chosen with input from the children. Mr Quinn explained, “The children’s voice is very important in our school. Last year we surveyed the children in third to sixth classes to choose our schools colours and to add them to our school …

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Residents bid to block facilities for water sports in Kilkee

TWO Kilkee residents have poured cold water on plans by Fáilte Ireland and Clare County Council to locate WC, shower and changing rooms facilities for water-based activities in the town. Serious questions have been raised in an objection lodged with An Bord Pleanála about the proposed location of this development and whether there has been a proper assessment of alternative sites or the use of existing buildings. The submission by Michael Nolan, solicitor and his wife, Mary O’Dowd, East End, Kilkee claimed no evidence has been produced that there is a need for the proposed facility. Their submission also states that the site selection is incorrect, unsuitable and contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. They further claim there are more than sufficient facilities already in existence, both in terms of existing buildings and alternative sites, if it is accepted at all that the proposal is acceptable. This development is based on a proposal from Fáilte …

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Pictures show extensive vandalism at Sixmilebridge playground

THERE is disappointment and upset in Sixmilebridge again this week, after another incidence of vandalism at the local playground.  It took place last weekend and County Councillor PJ Ryan described the damage. “There’s a little windy house inside the playground and the panels were kicked in on that. “The metal panels on the safety fencing, a certain amount of that has been removed. The equipment there has been damaged as well, the rope on swings was cut.” He said that there have been numerous instances of damage being done there and it is a source of huge frustration to the voluntary committee who take charge of the playground. “They are tired from looking for funding to have it repaired and it’s just terrible that this is happening. “There is CCTV there, but these are probably all minors and very little can be done about it. The Guards have visited there numerous times but obviously they can’t be at the playground …

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West Clare Cancer Centre never received Wynne’s €12k payment

IT has emerged that the West Clare Cancer Centre never received a financial boost of just over €12,000 that was expected to come to it, following a payment from TD Violet Anne Wynne to Rural Resettlement Ireland (RRI) over two years ago. The Sinn Féin TD made the payment to RRI to resolve an underpayment of rent and at the time representatives of RRI said it would be given to the West Clare Cancer Centre. However, it is now understood that due to a clause in its constitution, RRI could only transfer the money to another housing body. None was identified, and with the company having since gone into liquidation, its remaining assets are to be distributed by its liquidator. It is also understood that the West Clare Cancer Centre was not made aware of why the payment had not been made, nor was Ms Wynne. An article in last week’s Clare Champion stated that Ms Wynne had made a …

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‘The brain is fresher in the morning’ – early council meetings idea

MEETINGS of Clare County Council generally start at 3.45pm and finish well after 7pm, sometimes close to 8pm, with a small number of tired councillors still in the Chamber, the majority having departed earlier. The fact that so many leave before the end is hardly a great endorsement of local democracy, but it’s also entirely understandable giving that the meetings are so long and finish so late. Given the ongoing early departures and the length of the meetings, Councillor Pat Burke came up with an interesting proposal which was considered at this week’s meeting: starting the meetings at 10am. He said he himself has a long drive after the meeting, and that he sometimes has to leave before it ends, while he said that there are advantages to starting earlier. “Better business is done in the morning,” he claimed. Councillor Burke said if meetings started and finished earlier, he would hope that all members would stay for the full duration. …

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HSE admits difficulties recruiting GPs in Mid-West

RECRUITING general practitioners in the Mid-West has become more challenging due to the national shortage of family doctors, the Mid-West HSE has warned. In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, Mid-West Community Healthcare acknowledged it is facing a recruitment and retention challenge in this speciality. There are currently 216 General Medical Services GMS GPs in the Mid-West. Over the next seven years, 24 GPs (11%) will reach the age of 72, whilst 64 GPs (30%) will reach the age of 65. The growing population, ageing demographics and the extension of GP visit card eligibility on an incremental basis is also placing an increased demand on GPs. There is evidence of a significant undersupply of GPs in Ireland at present, and these issues are likely to persist. By 2025, the predicted shortage of GPs in Ireland will range from 493 to 1,380. More than a third of doctors working as GPs are not on the Medical Council’s Specialist Register of …

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