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East Clare

No plain sailing for Mountshannon seaplane

FOUR separate appeals have been lodged with An Board Pleanála this week objecting to planning permission granted to a controversial application which proposes to service a seaplane operation out of Mountshannon.Applicants Harbour Air Ireland Ltd were granted planning permission last month to install a floating pontoon, mooring anchors, access gangway, reinforced concrete slipway and inspection hardstanding, workstore, parking area and associated infrastructure for the berthing and inspection of a sea plane at Mountshannon/Dooros. Following local objections and criticism of the proposed development, two local groups have lodged appeals against the county council’s decision to grant permission. Furthermore, two State bodies have also lodged appeals with An Bord Pleanála.  In an appeal document submitted to the planning board by the Sandycove Residents’ Association, they cite health and safety issues, environmental issues and the negative impact on the daily lives of the Sandycove residents as the grounds for their appeal. John O’Brien, chairman of the group, claimed that among the health and …

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O’Brien returns to Scariff for historic public interview

THIS year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Edna O’Brien’s novel The Country Girls, a book that daringly reflected life in rural Ireland and at the time shocked, angered yet captivated her local community.It is timely so that the renowned author returns to East Clare this year for the Scariff Harbour Festival for a unique public interview. Declan Kiberd, Professor of Anglo Irish Literature at University College Dublin, will talk to Edna about her life, times and works at Scariff Library on Saturday, July 31 at 3pm.The Country Girls was the first of several works including novels, short stories and plays from Edna O’Brien. The prolific writer has had an extraordinary literary career with many works firmly rooted in the landscape in which she grew up.Harry O’Meara of the Scariff Harbour Festival Committee described the upcoming event as significant, not just for the festival and County Clare but for a much wider audience. “Of the many interviews in …

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Haitian mission for Didi

WHEN Didi O’Driscoll travelled to Haiti in February to work with aid agency Amurtel, her expectation was to stay for a matter of weeks but having been handed a special task on her first day, she felt compelled to remain on and extended her stay for five months. She returned to Whitegate recently to tie up a few loose ends on her farm but she expects to return to Haiti in September to continue with aid efforts. “In one minute the earth shook and a million and a half people lost their homes; lives were lost and people were left homeless, can you imagine?” she begins. “I was expecting it but you still can’t believe what it looks like when you are there. You need a four-wheel drive just to get down the streets of Port au Prince because there are rocks and rubble and holes in the road and most of the roads are not paved. Most of the …

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Tulla pitch application lodged

PLANS to develop a community all-weather pitch have been lodged by Tulla Community Council this week. The proposed development, which would include floodlighting and associated ancillary works at Cragg in Tulla, is one of two proposed community pitches currently being mooted locally. Jim O’Sullivan, chairman of Tulla Community Council, explained that the proposal has been in the pipeline for some time. It had been envisaged that it would be at an advanced stage by September of this year but it has been delayed. The proposed plans have been submitted to the local authority for planning permission and it is expected that a public information meeting will take place next month to discuss the project. A similar proposal has also been tabled by another group in the village and Jim Cooney, former principal of St Joseph’s Secondary School, is involved in that project. He said that that project is currently in the very early stages and the site for their proposed …

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Water shortages hit Tulla – again

Issues with water shortages in Tulla has reared its ugly head once more as businesses once again try to cope with a depleted water source and water stoppages.The problem is a regular occurrence for the people of Tulla during the summer months and also affected businesses and the community during the big freeze last winter. This week Clare County Council has issued an order prohibiting the use of the council’s water supply for watering sports grounds, gardens, irrigating or spraying crops, washing cars and for use in commercial car washing until at least Saturday. The order, which relates to the conservation of water and comes under Section 56 of the Water Services Act 2007, enables the council to put restrictions in place prohibiting certain water usage. Those found engaging in these prohibited activities can be issued on the spot fines of €125 or could be prosecuted and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000. This ongoing water …

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Action group to appeal against seaplane site approval

An organisation opposing plans to develop a seaplane operation in Mountshannon has announced it is to lodge an appeal against the proposed development and will fight “tooth and nail” against such an operation.The Lough Derg Action Group was founded at a meeting held recently for those who opposed plans by applicants Harbour Air Ireland Ltd, also known as Harbour Flights Ireland, to develop a pontoon and slipway at Mountshannon Harbour, which would facilitate a seaplane service on Lough Derg. Harbour Air Ireland Ltd received planning permission last month for the development but there were strong objections lodged from members of the local community and organisations who raised concerns regarding the plans. In a statement to The Clare Champion, a spokesperson for the Lough Derg Action Group said, “We are fully behind the promotion of a sustainable tourism industry in the East Clare and Lough Derg area but we believe that creating a mini-airport on a serene inland lake is counter-productive …

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