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East Clare

Call to drive on with Killaloe Ballina plan

AN ambitious plan for the twin lakeside towns of Killaloe and Ballina was adopted at the November meeting of local councillors, paving the way for a range of enhancement works. The Killaloe and Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan, (TEMP) outlines a number of key projects for both sides of the Shannon, including future pedestrianisation of the old bridge once the new bridge and bypass are completed. Measures to boost walking and cycling are outlined as well as actions to connect the flow of traffic to the bypass, reducing the number of vehicles in the centre of the two towns. The drafting of the plan involved extensive public consultation and cooperation, over the course over over a year, between the local authorities in Clare and Tipperary. The blueprint was warmly welcomed by Councillor Tony O’Brien who commended senior planner Brian McCarthy and the Killaloe Municipal District team. “This is simply a fantastic plan, I have been saying that the greatest …

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Councillors claim overgrown hedgerows taking out vehicle wing mirors

VEGETATION encroaching on a number of roads in East Clare has resulted in drivers losing wing mirrors and windscreens, a meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District has heard. The topic was raised by Councillor Pat Burke who described it as “a famous item” as it is comes up so often. “Many landowners do great work, but there are still sections of our roads where they don’t,” he said. “In this day and age, people deserve better, particularly drivers of HGVs. The problem hasn’t gone away. “The council are doing their bit and lots of landowners do good work. Some respond to letters from the Municipal District office, but others don’t. It’s a major problem. “Last Saturday, a lorry driver broke a mirror. In this day and age, it’s not good enough. Driving a car is no problem, but if you’re in a lorry or a tractor, mirrors are at risk. It’s awful to think you have to keep out to …

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New book records Clooney Graveyard Inscriptions

THE fascinating history of an East Clare cemetery has been brought to light in a new publication by Jane Halloran Ryan, in association with Clare Roots Society.  A genealogist and history enthusiast, Jane is current researching for a PhD and is one of the team behind the hugely popular annual journal from heritage group Tulla Reaching Out. In recent years, Jane has been following another historical passion and has recently published Clooney Graveyard Inscriptions, containing a wealth of lore dating back to the early 1700s.  This cemetery dates from the early eighteenth century and contains about 150 headstones, with both Catholic and Protestant families from the parishes around Clooney, Tulla and Quin, buried there at one time. The church is believed to date back to the thirtieth century, but it is not known what saint it was dedicated to.  “One of the main reasons that pushed me to record Clooney was the fact that my great-great grandparents are both buried …

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Dangerous dip on busy rural road

ONGOING concerns about the condition of the main road from Ennis through East Clare have been highlighted by Councillor Alan O’Callaghan. He told the November meeting of the Killaloe district committee of a bad dip on the R352 close to Henchy’s Cross where larger vehicles are experiencing problems. “The location is just as you’re coming from Clooney towards Henchy’s junction on the regional road,” he said. “There’s a section where the road is narrow with a dip and a jump. I first noticed when I saw a man in front of me with jeep and trailer. There was no speed involved. The trailer jumped a fine height into air. “Maybe the road has gone down a bit. It’s not on any works programme. Can something be done sooner rather than later? This is a busy thoroughfare from Scariff to Ennis, with lots of HGVs and agricultural vehicles using it. There’s a fine jolt off it when you hit it at …

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Crusheen set for more housing

FURTHER housing development could be on the cards for Crusheen, with an application for 42 new homes being considered by planners. Proposals from Woodhaven Developments, which have been submitted in recent weeks, represent the next phase of a master plan for lands close to the village centre, on the Gort side. The site is zoned for mixed use and transport utilities. The current application seeks permission for 34 two-storey homes; four two-storey homes with additional attic space and four single-storey houses. In a detailed design statement, Woodhaven outlines how it plans to begin construction on the homes immediately after the completion of the Cluain Fia estate “and the granting of an acceptable planning permission”. The company estimates that completion of the estate will take 36 months and represent an investment of €10.3 million, and the creation of 42 jobs. Discussions on the provision of social housing have taken place with the Housing Section of the council and Woodhaven’s application states …

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‘Game-changing’ GMA is praised

OVER the past seven years, €1.5 million has been invested in the Killaloe Municipal District, thanks to revenues raised through the Local Property Tax (LPT). The funding, which is distributed through the General Municipal Allocation (GMA) to council members for allocation in the draft budgetary plan, was widely welcomed at the district meeting last week. Members were told that funding, distributed through the GMA, has supported a range of significant infrastructural projects across the Killaloe district since 2014. At the outset of the meeting, members were told the recommendation of the council’s executive was to leave the 2022 GMA at the same level as for 2021. Cathaoirleach of the district, Councillor Joe Cooney proposed the adoption of the GMA at the existing level. “The GMA is vital for the funding of all of the municipal districts of the county,” he said. “A lot has been achieved in the Killaloe area with the GMA over last few years. In rural parts …

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Future home of Holy Island visitor centre secured by Council

PLANS for the development of Holy Island have received a major boost after Clare County Council confirmed the purchase, in recent days, of the Old Rectory in Mounthshannon for an undisclosed sum. Welcoming the local authority purchase, Killaloe Municipal District Cathaoirleach Councillor Joe Cooney said this deal will facilitate the provision of a new visitor and interpretative centre for Inis Cealtra and the wider region. “This is the first critical step on the way towards delivering on the financial potential of this large scale tourism project, which in time will generate employment as well as a wide range of local and regional economic benefits,” he said. “This is a big step forward for the development of Holy Island. To renovate this building for the purpose that is required will need funding,” the cathaoirleach noted. “It is hoped that finance for the upgrading of this building be obtained from the national Rural Regeneration Programme. It is a massive boost for tourism …

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Reah pours soul into debut poetry volume

Caher woman supporting Clare Haven Services with proceeds from book of poems POEMS can pop into Reah Higgins’ head at any time of the day. The Caher woman has been finding her creative voice over the course of the last year-and-a-half, when lockdowns kept many people at home with a little extra time on their hands. “I don’t sit down to write,” she said. “The poems just keep coming. It could be something that comes into my head while I’m reading or watching TV, or a poem could be sparked by something someone says. “It’s been a childhood dream to write and lockdown started something by giving me more time for creativity.” Last year, the Wexford native launched her first CD collection of poetry to give something back to the Irish Kidney Association (AKA). In 2017, the organisation was a lifeline when Reah donated a kidney to her husband Aaron. Now, the professional social care leader has turned her literary …

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