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East Clare

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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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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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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Coillte defend track record on East Clare wind farm consultation

THE developers of a multimillion euro wind farm planned for a site in East Clare have defended their track record in consulting with the local community. At a presentation to local councillors, Coillte outlined a detailed Community Engagement plan, which includes more than 2,000 house calls to those likely to be affected by the Carrownagowan Wind Farm, proposed for the north west slopes of Slieve Bearnagh, around a mile-and-a-half from the village of Bodyke. The meeting between representatives of the forestry service, who own the 750 hectare site, and propose to build 19 turbines, with a maximum tip height of 169m, took place at the request of Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes who questioned the adequacy of the communication process. Responding to these concerns, a representative of Coillte explained that a process of engagement with the community had started in March of 2018, focusing on those living within 2km of the development site and involving over 2,000 …

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Quin woman secures cover for break-through treatment after public campaign

A QUIN woman has secured access to vital cancer treatment, after she and her husband went public about their health insurer’s initial refusal to cover the cost. Maria Meade had surgery, earlier this year, for an aggressive form of cancer and was recommended to start a course of the break-through drug Pembrolizamub. While her insurer, Laya, refused to cover the €150,000 cost of the immunotherapy treatment, citing  guidance from the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), the National Centre for Pharmaeconomics (NCPE), the company has now agreed to fund the drug on a three-month trial basis. Maria will start treatment next week. “Laya have agreed to cover the cost for three months,” Tom Meade explained. “There will then be a review and a report from Maria’s consultant oncologist, but we would be hopeful that there will be cover for ongoing treatment.” Earlier this month, the couple contacted politicians and the media over fears of the impact that missing out on the …

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Historic Tuamgraney lime kiln set for face-lift

IT IS hoped that a long-dormant lime kiln in Tuamgraney may be fired up once again, over 100 years after the structure at Ballyquin was built. Trojan efforts by the Tuamgraney Development Association (TDA) have seen the gradual restoration of the structure, which is understood to date back to the 1910s when it was constructed by Dr Edward McLysaght to provide lime for his Raheen Estate and for local farmers. The structure has been restored gradually by the community over the last 30 years, with the East Clare Heritage Group identifying its potential. It is one of the many historical attractions in the village and located on the road to Reddan’s Quay, a spot that is popular with anglers and those cruising on Lough Derg. “The kiln was in a state of dereliction in the 1990s,” explained Paul Brooks of the TDA. “East Clare Heritage Group did some work then, because there was a large tree growing out of the structure. TDA then …

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Scariff Bay Community Radio celebrates five years on air

CELEBRATIONS will get under way on air and in-studio this Saturday as Scariff Bay Community Radio marks its fifth birthday. The station, which recently had its licence renewed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), has been broadcasting to the East Clare community every weekend for half a decade, covering fairs and festivals, events and activities to a high standard, from studio and on location, thanks to a team of up to 30 volunteers. Said station PRO, Eoin O’Hagan, “Since our first broadcast we have grown as a station and introduced dozens of people to the joys of broadcasting. Our programming has grown from six hours on Saturday to 12 to 15 hours on both weekend days”. A diverse programming schedule includes live debate, music, sport, community news and documentary and the team is currently working on a radio drama to air shortly. “Our audience has been educated, informed and, most importantly, entertained with an eclectic mix of sports, music and …

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Scariff community charity shop honours memory of its late founder

THE charity shop at East Clare Community Coop on Main Street in Scariff took its first steps on the road to re-opening with a bright new look, lots more space and an expanded range of stock for a dedicated clientele who missed its services over the course of the lockdown. An Alladin’s cave for the bargain hunter, the shop has existed in different forms and locations at the East Clare Community Coop premises over the last decade. The service was originally established by the late Margaret McTernan, grandmother of Eurovision star, Sarah. Margaret’s recent passing cast a cloud of sadness over the facility and, according to shop manager Sharon Daly, there is a determination to do her memory proud. “Margaret was the driving force for the shop and got it off the ground,” Sharon said. “I hope she would be proud of it, she will be sadly missed.” A tribute posted recently by the Coop described Mags as “a great …

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