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North Clare

RNLI need funding support to stay afloat

THE RNLI  Lifeboat fundraising schedule, like that of every other charity, has taken a big hit  over the past six months with little or no income coming in to keep the fleet afloat. Clare has been at the helm in fundraising down the years, and in coming up with new fundraising ideas to involve people in walks, rambles, cruises, concerts and many more events. Over the past six months, the lifeboats have been as busy as ever and have answered every call to save lives and bring people back to their homes and loved ones. The Burren Ramble, which takes place at this time every year, has to be called off as has the Cruise to Galway Bay from Doolin pier. The risk is too high in Clare to put anyone at risk. There are, however, some fundraisers still in the pipeline at present. West Clare man Tony Henchy from Derryard in Doonbeg is doing a 100-day consecutive swim in …

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Urgent upgrades sought for sections of Wild Atlantic Way

UPGRADES are being sought for a heavily trafficked section of the Wild Atlantic Way running through North Clare to the Cliffs of Moher. The call came at the meeting of the West Clare Municipal District when Councillor Joe Killeen said local people and visitors alike would benefit from improvements to the route from Ballyvaughan, through Fanore and Doolin. “There are around 1.5 million tourists using this route every year going to the Cliffs of Moher and traffic is often tail-to-tail,” he said. “I was on the road recently when four cars pulled over to look at a fishing competition. Until they returned to their cars, nobody could pass. This area is the jewel in the crown of the Wild Atlantic Way and there are issues with the road surface and alignment, as well as a lack of areas to pull in.” The Corofin native noted that the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar had recently visited Ballyvaughan and that action needed to be …

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Ennistymon shopkeeper seeks to retain parking spaces

  AN Ennistymon shopkeeper is hopeful that Clare County Council will retain two parking places outside his and an adjoining premises following representations on his behalf this week. James Devitt, owner of the landmark hardware store on Main Street, feared that the loading bay area outside his and the Spar supermarket would be eliminated as part of the Ennistymon rejuvenation plan, which includes removing 16 parking spaces on the street. Mr Devitt explained, “There are the equivalent of three parking spaces in the loading bay outside our shops at the moment. This is used mainly for parking – often for hours – but the council intended to put three marked parking spaces here, with a strictly enforced 30 minutes limit. I have four competitors who would still have parking on their doorstep, and this would be unfair to me. “I really need parking outside my place. I sell hardware and heavy stuff has to be carried out to customers’ cars. …

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Concern over reduction in on-street parking in Ennistymon

THE business community in Ennistymon has been expressing its concern over the reduction of up to 16 parking spaces from the town centre. The matter was raised by Councillor Shane Talty at the July meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, who said he had been hearing of “huge trepidation” among retailers. Under a Part 8 planning application to revitalise Main Street in the town, 14-16 spaces will be removed with the council proposing to expand pedestrian facilities and increase street furniture. Councillor Talty said that while the Part 8, which is to be lodged later this year, was widely welcomed, an alternative town centre parking is needed. “We have a historic problem with congestion,” Councillor Talty noted. “There has been a welcome increase in the number of businesses opening, with one business from Parnell Street in Ennis recently relocating to Ennistymon. We have a very vibrant town, but I’m hearing of huge trepidation at the prospect of a reduction …

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Social distancing focus for peak holiday season

AS THE height of the holiday season draws closer, authorities are to step-up efforts to ensure people enjoy their time in Clare safety. Concerns have been voiced by some members of the council that a recent influx of visitors is putting public health and safety at risk, while a senior Garda spokesperson urged people to remember their personal responsibility in minimising the risk of a second wave of Covid-19. At the July meeting of Clare County Council, a number of members were torn between welcoming the economic boost created by the spike in visitor numbers and concerns that social distancing guidelines are being flouted in some areas. “We welcome everybody to County Clare,” said Councillor Ann Norton. “We are still in a pandemic and it is hugely important that people take heed of public health advice, whether they are here for a holiday or on a day trip. Visitors are hugely welcome, but people must be kept safe.” Councillor Johnny Flynn also voiced some …

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Éilís binding the stories of people’s lives

  BOOKBINDING is an intriguing age-old craft, which is being nurtured by artist Éilís Murphy at her Corofin studio. Her expertise and creativity have recently been rewarded with a €10,000 RDS Craft Awards bursary. Éilís was one of five emerging Irish craftspeople awarded a bursary for the development for their burgeoning craft and business skills under the programme. A judging panel of five craft and design professionals chaired by Irish artist, Róisín de Buitléar, shortlisted 12 candidates to interview in the RDS. Physical examples of their work were shown to the panel and five winners were selected following two days of discussions. In addition to the €10,000 bursary, the 2020 RDS Craft Awards winners are provided with a free stand at Gifted – The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair held in the RDS in December. To be eligible to apply for the craft awards, emerging craft makers must have won a Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Future Makers Award or …

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Enhancements for Ennistymon ahead of ‘Destination Town’ designation

TOURISM in Ennistymon is set to take a major step forward as a number of enhancement projects are ear-marked to tie in with the development of its status as a Fáilte Ireland Destination Town. Last December, the tourism body announced that €500,000 would be issued, in two rounds, in order to boost the town’s attractiveness to visitors. The aim is to capitalise on the huge numbers travelling to North Clare attractions like the Cliffs of Moher and to entice them to spend more time and money in the town. At the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Shane Talty urged the council to tackle the “low-hanging fruit” and examine projects that might be completed in conjunction with the Destination Town works. “The Fáilte Ireland funding will deliver a very welcome post-Covid boost for Main Street, Ennistymon, later this year,” the Fianna Fáil member noted. As an example of a project that might be tackled, Councillor Talty highlighted …

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Pandemic puts brakes on Matt’s cycling bow

August was to have been a memorable month for young Matt Griffin. The 15 year-old Ennistymon teenager was to have made his national bow at a major cycling event in Austria but the Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on that happening. “It’s a pity. We were looking forward to the event and its very disappointing that the Austrian cycling event has been cancelled. I suppose health comes first in situations like that,” concedes his father, Matthew. The youngster’s metoric rise in cycling circles is driven by desire and a dedication which sees him make a 220 round trip to Kanturk in North Cork for training spins with the local youth cycling club. But distance is no barrier as his father Matthew fulfils the taxi driver role, ferrying him to and from the training sessions. Before the pandemic brought travel to a halt, Matt would make the trip a couple of time each week. “He can be a bit lazy …

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