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Councillor pledges to tackle Kilrush street lighting extension

A KILRUSH-based councillor is to make efforts to extend street lighting between the Shanakyle Road and St Senan’s Graveyard. Independent member of the West Clare Municipal District, Ian Lynch, tabled a motion calling for the extension and seeking details on options and costs for new lights. “St Senan’s Graveyard Group contacted me to see if they could get the lights extended out about 200 metres,” Councillor Lynch told the January meeting of the district committee. “The isolation that people are experiencing through Covid is prompting many to get some bit of comfort out of visiting the graveyard to see their loved ones. Sometimes people have gotten caught in the evening times, on the short evenings. The group asked me to put in this notice of motion. Pre-empting the response, I was trying to get a feel for the cost of putting up these lights. It’s a motion that’s come up several times throughout the municipal district, especially around schools, and …

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Cormac brings Clare coast to life online

AT A time when thousands of us are learning to appreciate the natural world within our 5km travel limit, a Donegal man is offering a fascinating insight into the wealth of plant and animal life around his North Clare home. Cormac McGinley, who is an expert in zoology and marine biology, spent 11 years as a ranger at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre before setting up his own coastal walking tours company. While the pandemic put a bit of a spanner in the works, Cormac admits, he decided to make good use of his time by sharing photos, videos and expert insights on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. “I live in Liscannor, so literally, wherever I walk within the travel limits, there is something spectacular to see,” he said. “I was building up the tours business and working with Leaving Cert students giving Geography field trips, and also training companies based along the Wild Atlantic Way. Then, …

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Objector brands tranquillity moorings ‘a contradiction in terms’

TRANQUILITY moorings, which are planned by Waterways Ireland for the Clare section of Lough Derg, are the subject of a number of objections over concerns about their impact on wildlife and local amenities. Last month, Waterways Ireland lodged applications to build moorings at three locations – Castle Bawn Bay, Ogonnelloe; at the mouth of the Scariff River; and on another site North West of Inis Cealtra, close to Knockaphort Jetty, around 130m from the lakeshore. At an active travel briefing for Clare last week, Regional Manager with Waterways Ireland, Éanna Roe explained that the moorings are being piloted on Lough Derg, with a view to enhancing the on-water experience for those using the Shannon. Concerns over all three planning applications have now been lodged by the Lough Derg Anglers Association and by a member of The Golden Eagle Trust. In their submission the anglers association described tranquillity moorings as “a contradiction in terms,” saying “tranquillity for humans causes disturbance for …

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Road works considered for ‘gateway to Doonbeg’

A NUMBER of roads in West Clare are to be considered for inclusion in the schedule of works for this year, following representations to the local district committee. At their most recent meeting, councillors heard an appeal for action on a route described as “the gateway to Doonbeg”. Councillor Gabriel Keating asked that issues with a section of the R484 from Knockalough Crossroads to Kilmihil be addressed as a matter of urgency. “That particular roadway from Knockalough to Doonbeg was on the three-year programme that ends this year,” he said. “It’s in a bad state, there’s no doubt about that. Everybody’s asking me. There’s one really bad bend on the road at Michael Ryan’s and all it needs is something that drivers can see as they approach the bend. Mr Ryan has lost two or three piers and had to replace them himself. This road is the gateway to Doonbeg and to facilities like the golf club and it’s a …

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Safety works for Cranny Cross

A DANGEROUS stretch of road in West Clare will be upgraded, members of the local municipal district have been told. Following a number of serious accidents and representations by public representatives, a junction known as Cranny Cross, has been identified as in need of safety improvement works. The matter was raised by Councillor PJ Kelly at the most recent meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, when he called on Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Clare County Council to address the issues at the junction of the N68 and L2138. “This is a high-risk area,” he said, “and there’s an average of one accident a year there. One accident has been fatal and another has left a person invalided for life. There is a solution, a local farmer is prepared to cooperate to get this work done.” Councillor Kelly welcomed the reply from Senior Executive Engineer John Gannon who said TII’s Road safety inspection programme (HD17) had identified that the …

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Councillor blasts road repair scheme that’s ‘going nowhere’

A SCATHING attack on the slow pace of repair works on local roads has been launched by an Ennistymon-based councillor. At the January meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Shane Talty described the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) as “unfit for purpose”. The scheme involves the council drawing down national funds to repair privately-owned roads, and levying a contribution on those using the routes. According to figures given to Councillor Talty, the scheme has only addressed a fraction of the demand for works over the last three years. “I’m sure that like myself, other members are inundated with queries and requests from people who have applications in under the LIS,” the Fianna Fáil member said. “These are applications that – as far as they’re concerned – are in there for years and they’re expecting that a response or a solution is only around the corner. At the current rate of progress, over the last three years, from the figures …

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Pledge to keep landowners at centre of West Clare Greenway plan

CONSULTATION with landowners will be central in the development of the West Clare Greenway, a senior council official had pledged. Leonard Cleary made his remarks in response to a request from Councillor Susan Crawford for an update on the long-awaited trail which will run through Ennis, Corofin, Ennistymon, Lahinch, Miltown Malbay, Quilty, Doonbeg, Moyasta, Kilrush and Kilkee. At the January meeting of the municipal district, Mr Cleary said that landowners and the farming community would be consulted at every stage. In response to the motion from Councillor Crawford, Seán Lenihan, Senior Engineer with the council’s Project Management Office (PMO) said that technical advisors for the Planning and Consent Phase and Detailed Design Phase for a 20km section between Kilrush and Kilkee will be appointed by March. “Following the council’s commissioning of a positive Feasibility Study, we were fortunate to secure €255,000 from the Department of Transport’s Carbon Tax Fund to progress the proposal through the various stages required,” Mr Lenihan’s …

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New figures reveal extent of West Clare housing need

THE plight of a family of seven, living in a two-bedroom apartment has been highlighted by a West Clare councillor. Councillor Ian Lynch told the January Municipal District Meeting he knew of a number of families whose children had been hoping Santa would give them a new home for Christmas. The Independent councillor secured figures showing a total of 704 people in the area on the housing list, with the greatest level of demand in Kilrush (135), Ennistymon (105), Kilkee (68), Corofin (61) and Miltown (53). “In response, the only housing that we’ve come up with is 57 new houses and 33 vacant units,” he said. “Matching that reality with peoples’ expectations is a huge problem. I have a number of families that are in desperate, desperate need of a large house. I have a five-child family in a two-bedroom apartment who are crying out for assistance. They recently applied for a three-bedroom house, but were told it wouldn’t suit …

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