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North Clare

€20,000 damage to coast guard office

FLOOD waters caused thousands of euro worth of damage to the premises of the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard at the weekend. Station officer in Doolin, Mattie Shannon estimates the cost of the damage could be in the region of €20,000. High tides, heavy rain and strong winds caused severe damage to the road surface leading to Doolin Pier and to the nearby car park. It is here that Doolin Coast Guard has its headquarters. The prefabricated building was “wrecked”. However, the team will continue to operate out of it until their new premises on the pier is open in the early summer. The new building is still under construction but was largely unscathed in the storm. “The door and the portacabin is wrecked really because it doesn’t take the water very well. The portacabin would cost about €5,000 or €6,000 to replace. I would estimate the damage would be around €15,000 to €20,000, including the electrical equipment …

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Prom to reopen before the weekend

THE Promenade in Lahinch is set to reopen within days, while other facilities in the North Clare resort will take much longer, it has been confirmed. The surface of the prom, its railings, signs and the adjacent car park were badly damaged by the “ferocious” storm that hit the country last weekend. Commercial buildings in the area were also damaged by flooding and waves, which reached higher than many buildings on the prom. Lahinch Seaworld is closed until further notice because of flooding and associated damage, estimated to cost tens of thousands of euro. The nearby playground is also closed until it has been assessed by engineers. Clare county manager, Tom Coughlan described the damage to the prom as “extensive and damaging to the local economy in the short term”. “The objective of Clare County Council is not just to repair the damage but to put in place facilities which will further enhance Lahinch as a tourism destination. “We envisage …

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Miraculous escape for surfer in treacherous conditions

A SURFER had a miraculous escape in North Clare after he made it safely ashore in storm force winds and dangerous seas. Doolin Coast Guard team was called to the incident in Lahinch on Thursday evening at 5 o’clock when a member of the public reported what they thought was possibly a person in the water. The sea was rough at the time, according to Station Officer Mattie Shannon, and Doolin Coast Guard unit team members went to the location and searched the area. They found no evidence of anyone in the water until a surfer reported that another surfer was overdue. Against the odds, in darkness and difficult sea conditions, the surfer made it back to shore at approximately 6.50pm. He was assisted and treated for hypothermia by Coast Guard members until the HSE Ambulance arrived. He was then taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

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Cliffs of Moher closed to public due to strong winds

MANAGEMENT  at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre in North Clare have announced that the tourist attraction was  closed to the public from 1pm on Wednesday, December 18 due to expected strong winds. Katherine Webster,  director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, said, “We appeal to people not to visit the Cliffs of Moher from 1pm today as it will be unsafe to do so and the visitor centre will not be open.” Met Eireann has issued a National Status Red Weather Warning predicting extreme gale force winds from 3pm onwards and continuing through the night.  Gusts of up to 150km/ph are forecast. This weather warning runs until 3am Thursday. Visitors intending to visit tomorrow should check the website or call ahead to check if the centre is open.  

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Opposition to fish farm reinforced

Slow Food International has reiterated its position on fish farms, stating that the organisation “does not consider open net pen fish farms an environmentally sound practice”. The group made the statement ahead of any decision by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on whether or not to grant a license to Bord Iascaigh Mhara for a giant salmon farm off the North Clare Coast. The movement said it wished to “reiterate its opposition to intensive open pen fish farms, correcting any misconception resulting from the mention of Slow Food in the Environmental Impact Statement published by BIM”. Piero Sardo, president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, confirms, “Open net pen aquaculture is not a solution to the problem of overfishing: It damages natural ecosystems on a local and a global level, including wild stocks, habitats and water quality. Feeding carnivorous salmon in farms means other wild species must also be harvested, resulting in a larger carbon footprint …

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Burren Visitors urged to Leave No Trace

VISITORS to the Burren are being urged to ‘Leave No Trace’ as a new responsible tourism policy is launched in the area. The graffiti incident at the Cliffs of Moher earlier this year is one example of  the environmental vandalism that the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is seeking to minimise in the future through its involvement in a responsible tourism initiative. The Geopark has teamed up with Leave No Trace Ireland, an Irish-based charitable network of organisations and individuals promoting responsible outdoor recreation. During the coming weeks and throughout 2014, more than 50 tourism operators and influencers in the Burren will undergo awareness training aimed at encouraging visitors to the Burren to enjoy the world-famous karst region responsibly. The pilot project between the Geopark and Leave No Trace Ireland is being run by the GeoparkLIFE programme. Tina O’Dwyer, Sustainable Tourism Co-ordinator, Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark explained that the adoption of the Leave No Trace policy complements …

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Festival of Cribs in Liscannor

THE annual Festival of Christmas Cribs will be held at Liscannor Church from Saturday to Monday next. More than 550 cribs, representing the traditions of over 50 countries around the world, will be on display. According to parish priest, Fr Denis Crosby, this is a great opportunity to see the variation of interpretations of the Christmas story in different cultures. The display should be of particular interest to young children, so families are being encouraged to visit the church over the weekend. The festival will be open each day from 10am to 6pm.

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Principal pleads for Traveller family

AN Ennistymon school principal has intervened in a bid to secure emergency accommodation for a local Traveller family living in “sub-human living conditions”. Ennistymon National School principal, Helen Sheridan has expressed grave concern for the physical and mental health of Caroline Sherlock and her seven children as a result of living in a small caravan on the side of the road near Cregg beach, on the outskirts of Lahinch. In a letter to county manager, Tom Coughlan, Ms Sheridan stated five of Caroline’s children were “visibly shaken” by their ongoing accommodation crisis, when they returned to school in September, despite the best efforts of their teachers to help them settle back. The principal noted that her five children are good attendees and are all doing well at school. However, she said, “The children are pale and anxious and frequently tell teachers they are suffering from stomach pains.” The council stated there is one vacant family home in Traveller accommodation in …

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