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Regional

‘We can’t get housing for people who want to live here full time’

FOLLOWING Eddie Lenihan sharing the story of his rental nightmare in Kilkee, local councillor Cillian Murphy says it illustrates a wider problem in the seaside town. “There’s no getting away from the fact that people who want to live permanently in the town can’t get long term rentals. “Eddie isn’t the only one that we know of, I think it really crystallises what we’re losing. Here’s a guy with a job who can work remotely, can elect to live in Kilkee, they have a family and it’s a loss to the community, the kids are a loss to our schools and sporting organisations. “Eddie would have been very involved with Foróige, with the football clubs and sporting organizations, as would his wife. The social capital that that family unit brought to the town is gone. “It just shows in one family the loss to our community of not having long term rentals available and affordable housing.” Councillor Murphy said that …

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Appeals throw spanner in works for Ennis development

FIVE individual appeals have been lodged to An Bord Pleanala against the decision by Clare County County to grant planning permission for a residential development near an Ennis retirement village. The local authority gave planning permission in March to Leadlane (Drumbiggle) Ltd to construct 56 residential units on lands to the west of Pairc na Coille Retirement Village in Drumbiggle. However the plans are now on hold as five separate third party appeals have been lodged with the planning board. Issues raised in the appeals include fears by residents of the Willsgrove housing estate in Ennis that the council will in the future create a pedestrian/cycle link between the estate and the new development. The link, which was opposed by residents, had been removed from the proposal during the planning process. In assessing the application planners with the local authority outlined a concern that without the inclusion of the proposed pedestrian link the development would constitute a cul-de-sac. Willsgrove resident …

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Ennis junction like ‘Russian Roulette’ for drivers

DRIVERS are “taking risks every single day” at a notorious road junction in Ennis, with one councillor likening it to “Russian Roulette”. The frustrations of residents on the Shanaway Road who are awaiting road safety improvements were highlighted at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. An update from the roads design team on any progress made regarding the exit from Shanaway road onto Lahinch Road was sought by Councillor Mark Nestor following contact from residents. The meeting was told by council officials that designs for Active Travel Measures are being developed. Michael O’Grady, Executive Engineer, stated, “The Road Design Office have recently completed a topographical survey of the N85 from Claureen roundabout to the start of the speed limit zone, conceptual design options for Active Travel Measures are being developed for this area, the Shanaway Road junction is being incorporated in these designs.” Councillor Nestor acknowledged the response and welcomed the survey however he continued, “that’s all well …

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Council close in on site for potential Shannon civic centre

CLARE County Council is close to taking over a site at Shannon, where a civic building could be installed, this week’s meeting of Municipal District councillors heard. Giving an update to members, Director of Service Liam Conneally said that work is continuing on Shannon’s application for Urban Regeneration Development Funding. He also said that the Council is in the process of concluding the lease on the relevant site, and then it will come under the local authority’s control. The recently launched Shannon Town Centre Masterplan has a plan for something called the One Shannon Hub, which would have multiple uses, including relocated County Council offices, a ‘greenhouse’ which would be a space for a variety of uses such as co-working, education, and training, exhibitions, meeting rooms and conference opportunities. The building would also have a performing arts venue. Mr Conneally said a lot of work has been done on the brief and the proposed size of the building for the …

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Calls for upgrade of ‘vital’ Clare business park

CALLS for an upgrade of the Quin Road Business Park, described as “very broken and piecemeal”, have been made by local councillors. Councillor Johnny Flynn has urged the Ennis Municipal District, Clare County Council and Shannon Group to “urgently look at upgrading the park” in terms of its customer, worker and business owner experience. Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District he outlined, “Quin Road Business Park, Ennis is a very busy and important economic centre in which businesses provide essential retail services to County Clare customers and significant employment. The businesses in the park generate annual revenue to both Clare County Council and Shannon Group in rates and service charges.” He suggested that upgrades to the site could include the creation of a biodiversity/recreational park on vacant sites at the left hand side of the entrance for people visiting and working in the business park and to assist in the use of the adjacent Fergus River …

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Scariff works will be worth the wait, council promises

INVESTMENT of €3 to €4 million will be made in Scariff in the coming years, a meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District has heard.  The busy East Clare market town was allocated more than half-a-million Euros to-date, under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF). The use of that tranche of funding was explained by Senior Executive Officer (SEO), Morgan Lahiffe, in response to a question from Councillor Joe Cooney.  The Killaloe Cathaoirleach sought an update on progress with the project. “There has been a lot of concern about parking in Scariff again recently,” Councillor Cooney said. “People have been looking for updates. The fact is that the funding will only cover Step One. We need to be clear about what we will be able to do with this funding.” Mr Lahiffe outlined that the current funding allocation does not provide for the delivery of a carpark. “The RRDF is for rural areas and we identified it as the best …

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Ennis school’s kayak club continues to make a splash

WATER way to start the day at Scoil Chríost Rí in Cloughleigh with the recent launch of the latest addition to the school’s Kayak le Chéile club. The club is continuing to make a splash with the addition of a brand new kayaking shed right next to the River Fergus. The new shed was opened last Wednesday with Rang a Trí pupil Junior Power cutting the ribbon. The building was then blessed by Fr Ger Jones, before Rang a Sé pupils led the assembled guests up river for an hour- long paddle.  Sixth class pupils also unveiled their recent Kayak le Ceol recording, which saw the class work with artist-in-residence, Fiona Leenane, to compose and perform a kayaking routine to music.  Teacher Joe Garry explains that Kayak le Chéile was formed two years ago at Scoil Chríost Rí and since then kayaking has become an integral part of the curriculum offered with ranganna IV-VI getting out on the Fergus. Aided …

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Cnoc na Gaoithe to host two free concerts

TULLA’S traditional music venue, Cnoc na Gaoithe is to host two free concerts this Friday (May 20) and next.  On May 20 at 8pm, fiddle maestro Liz Kane from Letterfrack, Connemara will take to the stage alongside acclaimed accordion player Danny O’Mahony from Ballyduff in Kerry.  On Friday, May 27, multi-instrumentalist Fergal Scahill, best known as the fiddle player with We Banjo 3 will perform along with Tyrone native Ryan Molloy, an accomplished contemporary classical and traditional piano player.  Admission to both concerts is free but must be pre-booked due to limited seating. Bookings can be made on Eventbrite.com. The concerts are support by Clare Arts Office and The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Local Live Performance Support Scheme (LLPSS). Earlier this month, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, announced details of live events to be staged using the €5m in funding allocated to local authorities for the …

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