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East Clare

O’Brien may consider general election run

FÍS Nua candidate Niamh O’Brien has told The Clare Champion that she felt obliged to seek a partial recount after her elimination from the Killaloe Electoral Area on the fourth count. The first-time candidate was just six votes behind Liam Wiley (FF) when she was eliminated. “Because there’s only six votes in it, why not? I would bow out gracefully but if it’s worth fighting for and I’ll stay here for another while and see how it goes,” the O’Callaghan’s Mills native said before her elimination was confirmed after the partial recount. “It’s not too many times that I say this but I’m really proud of myself. I’m so honoured that so many people thought so much of me to put me this far. I have to thank them and I have to apologise because I was so thin on the ground and I didn’t get to everyone,” she added before paying tribute to her family. “My mother Bernie was …

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Labour’s Donal Higgins eliminated in Killaloe

Results from count three of the Killaloe Electoral Area, which distributed Pat Hayes’ surplus votes, has led to the elimination of Donal Higgins (Lab). Following the distribution of Pat Hayes’s surplus votes, Donal Higgins yielded 360 votes, and was deemed to be eliminated after no other candidate reached the quota. The elimination means that the Killaloe Electoral Area loses its Labour local representative. Climbing closer to the 1,585 votes required to be elected are: Michael Begley (NP) on 1,475 votes, Tony O’Brien (FF) on 1,408, Pat Burke (FG) on 1,148 votes and Alan O’Callaghan (FF) on 936. Those hoping to stay in the game are Liam Wiley (FF) on 886, Joe Arkins (FG) on 870 votes,  and Niamh O’Brien (FN) on 840.

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Poll topper in Killaloe area Joe Cooney is lifted on high by supporters as he is deemed elected during the election count at The West county Hotel, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

Cooney elected with over quarter of vote

Joe Cooney (FG) is the first county councillor to be elected in the County Clare Local Election. With 2,843 votes, which is expected to be the largest vote in the county, Councillor Cooney’s vote was 1,258 over the 1,585 quota. Speaking following the announcement he said, “I’d a brilliant performance. I didn’t expect a performance like that”. He put the performance down to the hard work he has done for his electorate over the past five years. “I worked hard for the people in those five years. I think the vote today is a true reflection of that,” he said. As counters begin assigning his 1,258 surplus votes, Joe believes his two party colleagues Pat Burke and Joe Arkins will net the benefit of these, “both have done well, I think they stand a great chance and I think both of them will get elected”. Announcing details of the celebrations to follow in O’Callaghan’s Mills, Cooney said, “We’ll have a …

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Funding bonanza for East Clare villages

Nine East Clare community and Tidy Towns groups have benefitted from a once-off funding allocation, totaling €34,000, under the Public Area Enhancement Scheme, to improve their own locality. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is providing 75% of the finance, with the remainder being matched by Clare County Council. Scariff Community Council’s project to carry out improvement works to Riverside Park, and Sixmilebridge Development Association/Tidy Towns’ proposal to develop a Slí na Sláinte Walk Route have benefitted from most of the funding available, each receiving €6,000. Further to this, two East Clare groups will receive €5,000 under the fund. They include Kilkishen Development Ltd, which aims to develop a Kilkishen Castle Bog Walk, while Tuamgraney Development Association will also benefit from this funding, which will be used to carry out improvement works to the approach road to Tuamgraney from Bodyke. Aistear Iniscealtra Mountshannon have been awarded €3,000 in funding to upgrade the public park, while, in a …

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Kilkishen Church opens in new light

By Carol Byrne THE former Protestant church in Kilkishen hosted its last wedding more than half a century ago but now, under the ownership of the Kilkishen Cultural Centre Committee, it is likely the venue will host weddings once more. The church building, whose only occupants over the past 50 years have been a family of lesser horseshoe bats, has undergone a facelift and is due to open to the public this week. Now known as the Kilkishen Cultural Centre, the venue has been transformed from a derelict building and will be re-invigorated under plans to make it a busy community hub. The centre is to be made available for community, educational and drama groups and for concerts. Further to this, plans are underway to obtain a licence to hold civil marriages there. Committee chairman Mike Hogan says he is looking forward to holding a viewing day for the community, to finally get a glimpse of the great work that …

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East Clare Community Kitchen Opens to Visitors

EAST Clare Community Co-op has now opened the first half of their new LEADER funded training and enterprise kitchen, known as Sustenance. The initiative has been four years in the making with the idea being formed in 2010 and leading to the completion of a feasibility study, drawing up plans, consulting the Environmental Health Office on best practice, researching energy efficient measures and getting all relevant permissions to build it. The building and equipping is the final phase and the micro enterprise unit will open after Easter for bookings. The community kitchen is already attracting visitors from all over Ireland interested in the facility and who are looking to build something similar in their own communities. Recently visitors from North Kilkenny, who are involved in gardening and social enterprise projects through the Castlecomer demesne, were impressed with this community led project. Other visitors included Duncan Stewart who paid an impromptu visit to the facility and was very impressed.  “He gave …

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East Clare remembers Nan Hogan

The East Clare Memorial Committee’s annual wreath-laying ceremonies will take place in Tuamgraney and Scariff on Easter Sunday. Events take place at the East Clare Memorial Park in Tuamgraney and at Scariff Church and continue the long-standing tradition in East Clare of annually commemorating the Easter Rising and the struggle for independence over decades. This year, the ceremonies will place a special focus on the role of women in the revolution, to mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Cumann na mBan in 1914. The memory of one of the county’s most active Cumann na mBan women, Nan Hogan, will be acknowledged when her relatives will lay a wreath in Tuamgraney. The memorial park in the village is the only memorial in Clare to publicly acknowledge Cumann na mBan. Nan Hogan was the O/C of the second battalion of the East Clare Brigade and was one of the most committed republicans in the county. She was interred in 1923 …

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Wiley dissatisfied with broadband delay

Killaloe local election candidate and Bodyke resident, Liam Wiley has reacted angrily to comments made by Clare Labour Party TD, Michael McNamara on the provision of rural broadband in County Clare. Reacting to comments made by Deputy McNamara last week, where he announced that Eircom exchanges in Feakle and Scariff would be upgraded in the next 12 to 18 months, Mr Wiley said it was “completely unacceptable” to leave the people of East Clare waiting 18 months. “I find it amazing that Deputy McNamara can say with a straight face that it will take as much as 18 months to upgrade the rural broadband network in County Clare. What are the people of Clare supposed to do in the meantime? They have to deal with extremely slow broadband and the best they can hope for is quicker download speeds in 2015? “This is completely unacceptable and reflects just how out of touch the Labour Party has become with the problems …

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