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Sixmilebridge family call for access to life-changing therapy for newborns

WHEN Laura Collins and her husband Paul held their new born baby on New Year’s Eve not quite two years ago, it was a celebration the Sixmilebridge family will never forget. The couple had barely been allowed to hold their son since he was born, four days previously. A few hours after he came into the world, little Luan had had to be rushed to a neonatal care centre in Cork. Diagnosed with a form of brain damage known as Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), Luan was in a race against time to secure treatment. His parents faced an agonising wait – first for a specialist ambulance to come from Dublin, then the transfer to Cork. All the while, the clock was ticking down on the crucial six hour window for the start of a breakthrough treatment to bring down Luan’s body temperature and stop progressive damage to his brain cells. “To us, Luan seemed fine,” Laura said. “His condition was …

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New walking trail developed for 12 O’Clock Hills

THE jewel in the crown of tourism in South East Clare has been enhanced even further, with the development of a third walking trail at the 12 O’Clock Hills, which is set to open to the public this weekend. The new 13km route is a looped trail, and sets out from the new car park at Belvoir Trailhead. It initially takes the same route as the two current Red and Blue trails. It then turns right at the exit from the Crag River Walk section at Crag Bridge. From here, the trail continues for approximately 200m on the public road, and then takes a right turn down an old Famine road (marked with an information board). A left turn takes the walker up an old boreen which links to a Coillte-generated road. Further along this road, there is a left turn and uphill climb of 252m to whet a hill walker’s appetite. This hill is known locally as Loughavarra in …

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Concern over reduction in on-street parking in Ennistymon

THE business community in Ennistymon has been expressing its concern over the reduction of up to 16 parking spaces from the town centre. The matter was raised by Councillor Shane Talty at the July meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, who said he had been hearing of “huge trepidation” among retailers. Under a Part 8 planning application to revitalise Main Street in the town, 14-16 spaces will be removed with the council proposing to expand pedestrian facilities and increase street furniture. Councillor Talty said that while the Part 8, which is to be lodged later this year, was widely welcomed, an alternative town centre parking is needed. “We have a historic problem with congestion,” Councillor Talty noted. “There has been a welcome increase in the number of businesses opening, with one business from Parnell Street in Ennis recently relocating to Ennistymon. We have a very vibrant town, but I’m hearing of huge trepidation at the prospect of a reduction …

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UPDATE: Swimming ban on five Clare beaches

CLARE County Council has issued an update today (Saturday, August 1) raising its alert level for Lahinch beach to a swimming ban. Temporary bans remain in place, until further notice, on five other beaches. In a statement, the council said that following ongoing monitoring of the bathing waters at Lahinch, the notice has been upgraded from advisory not to swim to swimming prohibition as a result of increased bacterial levels. There is now a temporary prohibition on swimming at the following locations in County Clare due to elevated bacterial levels in the water: • Lahinch • Spanish Point • White Strand Miltown Malbay • Kilkee • Quilty (front beach). The elevated bacterial levels are as a result of heavy rainfall in the catchment area which subsequently discharges into or near the bathing area. There is ongoing monitoring at the above locations, and Clare County Council is in consultation with the HSE. For further information, contact Clare County Council environment section …

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Wynne appointed to Dáil committee

Sinn Féin TD for Clare, Violet-Anne Wynne has expressed her delight at being appointed to the Dáil select committee on the Rights for People with Disabilities. Deputy Wynne said she is very passionate on the topic of people with disabilities and has experience and knowledge in this area since completing her degree in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin in 2009. “Over the years I have gained experience working with the home help services and I fully understand the frustrations that parents with children with special needs face, as my third born Travis was diagnosed in 2017 with Autism. I would hope that this experience will stand to me when dealing with the issues people bring forward to me,” she said. The Clare TD will be working alongside her party colleague Deputy Pauline Tully to ensure that the concerns of people living with disabilities right across this country are highlighted at the highest level. “I have been raising the difficulties being …

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Mediation starts this week between Clare Bus and NTA

A PROCESS to resolve a dispute between the providers of long-running accessible bus service for Clare and the National Transport Authority (NTA) will get under way before the end of the week. News that the mediation process with Feakle-based Clare Bus will start on Friday was confirmed to Fianna Fáil Deputy Cathal Crowe. A mediator was appointed in the long-running dispute in May, following claims from Clare Bus operators Clare Accessible Transport (CAT) that they have been owed money since last summer. In the meantime, new operators were appointed to 12 routes in Clare as part of the Local Link service. “This mediation process is a significant breakthrough and as late as last week, I had sought an update from the Transport Minister on when it would begin,” said Deputy Crowe. “I’m delighted now to receive confirmation that it will begin on July 31. I strongly hope this is the beginning of a resolution in this dispute, which has been …

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Major funding boost for West Clare Greenway project

THERE has been a welcome boost for a long-cherished plan to create a greenway along the route of the old West Clare Railway, linking Ennis to the towns of Kilrush and Kilkee. This week, Minister for Climate Change, Communications Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan announced funding €255,000 for the project. The allocation will enable the start of an active consultation phase involving landowners along the route, with a view to creating another world-class visitor attraction in Clare. The funding, which was allocated under the Carbon Tax Fund 2020, represents a total allocation of €4.5m to 26 greenways and provides support for feasibility, planning and design. The allocation to the West Clare Railway Greenway Project will progress the proposed amenity past concept and feasibility stage and allow Clare County Council to start actively engaging with landowners on route selection and preparation of the statutory consent phase of development – namely planning permission, environmental impact assessment and preliminary design. It is envisaged …

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Trees to be removed over traffic concerns at Killaloe estate

THERE is relief for residents of a South East Clare residential estate following a successful appeal to remove trees which were said to be causing “a serious road traffic hazard”. The ash and sycamore trees have been in situ for several years at the entrance to Shantraud Woods on the Limerick side of Killaloe, but in more recent times have been causing an obstruction for motorists, because of their size. Following a notice of motion, tabled by Councillor Tony O’Brien, Clare County Council has now agreed to remove the trees, in the interests of road safety, before the end of the year. Outlining the situation at the July meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor O’Brien said that the trees had become a problem for local residents, exiting and entering the estate from the Limerick side. “The trees have become a major obstacle for drivers,” he said. “There is now a serious road traffic hazard as the trees are severely …

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