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More homeowners count the cost of suspected pyrite defects

MORE than 40 homeowners in Clare are believed to be living in properties seriously damaged by defective materials like pyrite and mica, according to Deputy Cathal Crowe. Since the establishment last month of the Clare Pyrite Action Group, a number of people have come forward. Deputy Crowe, who has tabled a number of questions to the housing minister, is calling on others to do so. Mary and Séamus Hanley live in a detached house near Shannon which was built in the late ‘80s. “We have the house painted every few years and noticed hairline cracks two or three years ago, which we didn’t really take much notice of,” said Mary. “A year ago, my son said, ‘There’s a huge crack along the end of the house’. That’s now going from top to bottom and things have really deteriorated since then.” The couple engaged an engineer who judged their home to “significantly damaged”. “We had heard about pyrite in other parts …

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Big strides made on Tuamgraney to Ogonnelloe walking trail

A NEW walking trail between Tuamgraney and Ogonnelloe has been hailed as a fantastic asset for East Clare. At this week’s meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney sought an update on the amenity path which is to run from Tuamgraney to Bealkelly and which will ultimately provide greater connectivity between Scariff and Killaloe. Councillor Cooney noted there had been extensive cooperation between Tuamgraney Development Association (TDA) the Ogonnelloe Community Group and the local authority and capitalised on the funding from the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. “It’s very positive to see funds being secured and the groups involved are very appreciative.” The Fine Gael member asked the executive if there were any plans to widen the trail and how much of it would be paved with ‘blacktop’ over the coming months. Councillor Tony O’Brien seconded Councillor Cooney’s motion, saying the tail was “a fantastic selling point”. “With all of the spurs that will link to this route,” he …

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Children in Clare gifted the joy of reading as part of Culture Night

CHILDREN in a family hub and two Direct Provision centres in Clare received a gift package of new books by leading Irish authors as part of an Arts Council initiative to ensure that as mny people as possible can experience Culture Night. Encouraging all parents to participate with their children, the government agency for funding and developing the arts, has partnered with Children’s Books Ireland to publish a special guide to 100 of the best Irish books for children. The Books Make Things Better reading guide will be distributed free of charge through bookshops and libraries, or can be downloaded on the Internet. Two direct provision centres in Meelick and Lisdoonvarna and Novas family hub in Ennis are among those to benefit from the initiative. “This is the first year that the Arts Council has taken on the stewardship of Culture Night, and it’s a year of extraordinary challenges, not least for artists and the entire arts sector,” said Arts Council Director Maureen …

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Frail elderly patients left waiting on chairs in UHL

EIGHT frail elderly patients were left on chairs in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to chronic overcrowding on Tuesday night, according to a nursing union. The Clare Champion can reveal that some vulnerable elderly patients were reportedly using a bed table to lean on due to the absence of proper facilities amid claims that the situation in the hospital is “unsafe”. The INMO has estimated there are close on 100 nursing vacancies at the hospital as nurses struggle to cope with a surge in activity. Concerns have been expressed about the impact of overcrowding at the hospital after the number of patients on trolleys increased from 62 on Monday to 69 on Tuesday, which was the highest level in the country. This compared to 27 in Sligo University Hospital, which was the second most overcrowded hospital in the country. The UL Hospitals’ Group has cancelled all elective activity and certain diagnostic procedures at UHL from Wednesday to Friday to de-escalate …

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Councillor Susan Crawford takes Green seat on Clare County Council

CLARE Person of the Year, Dr Susan Crawford took her seat on Clare County Council on Monday evening last, following her co-option to replace Senator Róisín Garvey. Dr Crawford becomes Councillor Crawford and takes the Green Party mantle on the local authority and a seat in the West Clare Municipal District. Nominating her at the monthly local authority meeting, Councillor Joe Garrihy said that amid all of her previous accolades the autism action campaigner would begin “a new journey”. “It gives me great pleasure to nominate Susan to fill Róisín Garvey’s seat,” he said. “Susan’s addition is very timely. The West Clare district makes up half of the county and Susan is coming on board at a time of lots of challenges and exciting opportunities. Having Susan join us will provide a great boost across so many areas.” Mayor of Clare, Councillor Mary Howard said she was “honoured and delighted” to second Dr Crawford’s nomination. “I took the autism awareness …

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Clare entries in the running to be Ireland’s Most Enterprising Town

TWO Clare towns have been named in the running to be crowned Ireland’s most enterprising town. Both Ennis and Kilrush are among the finalists announced for Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Awards 2020. This year, the awards recognise business and community groups who have come together to support their local area as they start to rebuild and recover from the impact of COVID-19. Ennis is a finalist in the large towns category, with a population of over 14,000 and are facing Sligo in the finals. A spokesperson for Ennis Chamber said they are “delighted” to have made it to the finals adding the town is “up for the challenge”. Ennis is joined in the finals by Kilrush which is in the 2,001-4,000 population category facing Carndonagh, County Donegal. A total awards prize fund of over €200,000 is available to finalists to help reboot local economies across the island of Ireland. 21 awards are involved with the overall winner receiving €50,000 …

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Dramatic lighting installation for Culture Night in Tulla

A DRAMATIC lighting installation will create a blaze of colour on the windswept hill of Tulla for Culture Night this Friday. Locally-based artist Tim Humphries is the mastermind behind the LightsUP installation, which will be live-streamed on Tulla Tidy Towns Facebook page and on culturenight.ie, from 8-9pm. It will involve random LED lights illuminating the high crosses in the graveyard and creating what Tim describes as “a connection between heavens and earth”. “I’ve been working with light installations for over 20 years,” Tim explained. “For one of those, I projected light onto the outside of the old Carlton Cinema building in Limerick. In others, for the EVA International, I would have created words through light in public places.” This time, there are no words involved, but a dramatic illumination of Tulla graveyard’s striking high crosses. “I have been transfixed by the location,” Tim said. “I have put in around 30 LED lights and will have six or seven LED torches …

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Plaque will remember site of The Feakle Ambush

AN AMBUSH in the village of Feakle in 1920 is to be commemorated with the unveiling of a plaque at the place where it happened. The ambush, which took place on October 7, almost 100 years ago, involved members of the Sixth Battalion of the East Clare Brigade of the IRA. The attack on six members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) led to the burning of a number of homes and business premises in Feakle by way of reprisal. Local historian and Chairperson of the Feakle Commemorative Group Pat Flynn has researched the event in detail, combing military archives and consulting secondary sources, and says the ambush is a significant incident in The War of Independence in Clare. “Tommo Tuohy was the man in charge of the ambush, having been deeply involved in the republican struggle, even as far back as 1916,” said Mr Flynn. “The East Clare Brigade were very strong and determined to make a stand for …

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