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East Clare

Helpline Launched to Support Those Cocooning in East Clare

A DEDICATED helpline to support those cocooning and self-isolating in East Clare has been established. The service, which can be reached at 085-8659889 from 9am to 4pm, is designed to ensure anyone in need of help can access it through the East Clare Covid-19 Community Response Group. The group, which works in collaboration with Clare County Council, is made up of volunteers from Flagmount, Killanena, Feakle, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Ogonnelloe, Bodyke, Mountshannon and Whitegate, and the helpline has been set up to ensure greater coordination and a faster response for those in need. Jim Collins from Mountshannon, who is one of those responding to helpline calls, told The Champion there is now “an army of volunteers” in place. “The support has really been overwhelming,” he noted. “There has been an amazing willingness to help and we have members from every sports and social club as well as the community sector.” To-date, the volume of calls to the helpline has been manageable, …

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Cocaine seizure in Kilkishen

A quantity of cocaine was recovered by gardaí during a search of a house in the Kilkishen area last Friday. Gardaí carried out a search under warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act in a house and during the course of this search the drug, with an approximate value of €2,300, was recovered. Gardai in Clare have also reported since Monday of last week seven incidents of possession and one of cultivation or manufacture of drugs were detected. A total of 33 searches were carried out from Monday, April 20 to Monday, April 27.  

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Appeal over development planned for ‘landmark’ Tulla site

THE developers of a landmark site in Tulla have taken issue with a number of conditions imposed by county planners on a mixed-use residential, retail and commercial project proposed for one of the main approaches to the town. The €4.5 million development is one of a number of housing projects in prospect for Tulla, but the company behind it is now asking the planning appeals board to remove two conditions, which it considers to be overly restrictive. Woodhaven Developments Ltd. secured permission, last February, to develop the site of the former St Joseph’s Secondary School, which has been vacant for several years. The lands, which are just under three acres, and are owned by Woodhaven, are zoned for mixed use and identified by Clare County Council as an “opportunity site” on the outskirts of the town at the junction of Chapel Street and the R462. The Ennis-based company is proposing to construct a mixed-use building with two shops and two …

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Dáil told of ‘loathsome’ timing of Clare Bus contract cut

MINISTER Simon Harris has undertaken to ask the minister for transport to engage with Clare’s Independent TD over the decision of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to terminate the contracts of Clare Bus. It follows an appeal by Deputy Michael McNamara who told fellow Dáil members that the timing of the NTA’s actions had been “loathsome”. “Just as the restrictions were introduced, [Clare Bus] had a contract for Local Link services, which was dropped by the National Transport Authority,” he said. “It’s one thing I think, we would all agree that private companies  shouldn’t use this as a cloak to break bad news and to do very Draconian things to staff members, but when the National Transport Authority does it, I think it’s a particularly loathsome thing to do… And, of course, for the staff who were protesting outside of this house last June, can’t protest. They can’t even protest at home in Clare because effectively, everybody’s locked down… I’ve …

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Anna clocking up 100km in fund-raising lock-down run

A YOUNG Whitegate woman is determined to show her support for East Clare’s older citizens during the lock-down, by pledging to run 100km before May 5. Through her challenge, Anna Madden, who lives in Galway City, has raised over €3,000 to-date for Raheen Community Hospital. The 28-year-old is meeting her goal, while sticking to public health guidelines of exercising within a 2km radius of home, and undertook the fundraising challenge after fearing that the Community Hospital was being forgotten about in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. “I found it a bit upsetting and sad to find that nothing was being done by way of fundraising,” said Anna. “All of the focus at the moment seems to be on the big hospitals and their facilities. My mum works at Raheen Community Hospital and almost everyone in Whitegate area has some kind of connection. They do such wonderful work and there’s an amazing atmosphere there.” Anna admits that her fundraising ambitions …

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Spancilhill Fair Called Off Over Covid Concerns

THE world famous Spancilhill Horse Fair has been cancelled for the second time ever in its 400-year history. Restrictions associated with Covid-19 have prompted organisers to make the decision, even before the revised government guidelines banning large gatherings until the end of August. They said they still maintain hope that the fair can run in 2021 to celebrate four centuries of horse-trading and equestrian competition since the event received its royal charter from King Charles in 1621. The fair, which had been due to take place on Tuesday, June 23, would simply not have been possible given the risk of Coronavirus transmissions said Chairperson Brian Clune. “It was inevitable and I suppose that given the risk to public health, it’s just one of those things,” he said. “The last time it was called off was in 2001 and that was because of the Foot and Mouth crisis.” Mr Clune said that because of the famous nature of the date of …

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Councillor Cooney receives assurances over Tulla social housing concerns

RESIDENTS of Tulla have been commended for highlighting issues of concern with a proposed social housing development which has just secured permission for a site at Doonaun on the outskirts of the village. The 25-home development, represents an investment of around €6 million, and was approved at this month’s meeting of Clare County Council. The proposals were the subject of 17 local objections – one of which included a petition signed by 45 local residents. Speaking to The Champion, Councillor Joe Cooney paid tribute to the efforts of the residents to work with elected representatives on identifying issues and said he believed these had now been addressed. “I am aware that residents had concerns and I met with them to hear their views,” Councillor Cooney said. “I would like to compliment residents on making their views known so that we, as local representatives, could refer these back to the local authority and have them addressed.” Among the issues raised was …

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East Clare retailers hope for ‘shop local’ business boost

BUSINESSES across rural East Clare have been pulling out all of the stops to support their customer base in a time of crisis, and are determined to keep services going in the midst of the Covid-19 restrictions. Even before the Coronavirus hit, many communities in the east of the county struggled with social isolation, meaning local businesses are a lifeline. But, with long commutes to work another facet of rural life, small retailers can find themselves overlooked and losing out to the big multiples in larger towns. Against the backdrop of the lock-down and strict controls on travel and social distancing, some smaller outlets have experienced a boost to their business and are hopeful that shopping locally could become more popular in the long-term. In Tulla, Kate Murphy who runs the popular Holly Tree Café on Church Road in Tulla, was facing into the prospect of long-term closure as the lock-down took effect. Now, with a little imagination, creativity and …

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