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Scariff Community Council plan to light up the park

AMBITIOUS plans are in the pipeline to provide lighting at Scariff Riverside Park, in a three-part upgrade to the popular community amenity. The park, at Fossa Beg on the Feakle Road, was developed by Scariff Community Council in 2005, and consists of a playground, six outdoor adult exercise stations, and one station which is dedicated to wheelchair users. One particularly popular amenity is a 1km looped walk through an area of natural biodiversity. The community council has worked to install an information board highlighting local flora and fauna and containing information on the historic Scariff Workhouse Water Tower. In recent months, the council has secured funding of €25,000, with the support of Clare County Council, from the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. A further €31,500 has been sourced from the LEADER programme. Those monies, in addition to online fundraising through Gofundme, have enabled phase one and two of the park upgrade project. These involve the improvement of paths and the …

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Tulla teams strive for success with innovative BTYSE projects

HUMANITY’S interaction with the natural world is explored in two exciting projects from students of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Tulla, to be showcased at the BT Young Scientist and Technology (BTYSE) exhibition which takes place in a virtual format this year. Continuing their very successful participation in the annual event, the school has entries in the Chemical and Physical Science Category as well as in the Biological and Ecological Science Category, under the guidance and direction of Science and Maths teacher, Mairéad O’Brien. A team comprised of Róisín Sheedy and Saoirse Donnellan have created a piece of jewellery with the capacity to warn people about the dangers of high levels of UV light. The project, which aims to combat rising levels of skin cancer in Ireland, is entitled ‘Solar-powered chemistry: A study of chemical reaction rates in ultraviolet beads’. The work investigates how UV-responsive beads could be used to determine the levels of protection offered by products like sun …

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East Clare Community Response Group here to help

WITH the return of Level 5 restrictions, communities across East Clare are responding with the kindness and solidarity that they have shown throughout the last nine months of 2020. The East Clare Community Response group covers Flagmount, Killanena, Feakle, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Ogonnelloe, Bodyke, Mountshannon and Whitegate, and can be contacted on 085-8659889. Volunteers will respond to calls to that number, as well as texts or WhatsApp messages, and will support anyone who is elderly, vulnerable, or who has chosen to self-isolate. The response group will deploy Garda-vetted local volunteers in the relevant community area to ensure people have access to medicines and general supplies. Response group members work within strict medical protocols and in compliance with all public health guidelines. All requests for support are confidential and information is never held or shared. Anyone who wishes to volunteer is advised to contact their local community group.

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Vandaleur Gardens works get underway

HIGHLY-anticipated restoration works are set to get underway shortly at the Vandeleur Walled Garden, where a new interpretative museum is among the developments planned. Located in Kilrush, the gardens are among the jewels in the crown of tourism in West Clare and were visited recently by Clare County Council officials and project stakeholders. The socially-distanced site visit was in advance of the enabling works getting underway for the restoration and renovation of the old stable block. The tendering process is complete and Custy Construction Ltd, a Clare-based construction firm, has been appointed to this project. The restoration works are funded by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, under the Department of Rural and Community Development. Additional match funding has come from the council. The main works, due to begin early this year, will include an interpretative museum and new gardeners’ building, along with the development of a new visitor experience design and approach for the complex. “I very much welcome …

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Tulla students show true colours to raise funds for Samaritans

AT the end of last year, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, raised €625 for the Ennis branch of the Samaritans. Enterprising students held a ‘Colours Day’ as part of a Wellness Week initiative. Student Council presidents Aoife Kelly and Adam O Neill lead the initiative.

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Date set for hearing on Kilfenora Waste Water Treatment Plant

AN ORAL hearing is to be held later this month in relation to the compulsory purchase of lands required for an upgrade to the Kilfenora Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). An Bord Pleanála will facilitate the online hearing on Tuesday, January 19 with a decision on the matter pencilled in for January 21. According to December’s management report from Clare County Council, it is proposed to upgrade the existing Kilfenora WWTP, reuse the existing treated effluent rising main to the current discharge point and construct a new percolation area at this site. Planning permission has been granted to Irish Water, but the appeals board has opted to hold a hearing before it adjudicates on the project. The event is described as an opportunity “to make further submissions and to allow the inspector to seek clarification on any relevant issues arising and objections made”. The board has also stressed that the hearing will look at the nature of the Compulsory Purchase Order …

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Tractor lovers urged to light up for local charities

A TEAM of young East Clare men are hoping to provide a ray of hope this Christmas for families and individuals affected by the stress of cancer and mental heath issues. Tomás Meade from Quin has joined forces with five friends, all former pupils of St Flannan’s College, to get the Light the Way light photo competition under way in aid of Milford Hospice and Pieta House. The return to Level 5 restrictions put paid to plans to hold a tractor and truck run and the lads are now urging tractor and truck lovers around the county to light up and send them photos of decorated vehicles of all kinds. “This year has been really tough for so many people and very hard for people anyone going through cancer treatment,” said Tomás, an Automotive Engineering student at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). “Mental health is another issue that affects the whole community and a lot of people have been suffering …

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Minister gives ‘firm commitment’ to complete ‘funding jigsaw’ to develop Ennis’ historic town centre

THE Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke has given “a firm commitment” that the government will complete the “funding jigsaw” to develop Ennis’ historic town centre. Last year Ennis received €3.85 million in Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) support as part  of the town centre regeneration programme, which involved extensive works at Parnell Street and the network of lanes and bow-ways in the medieval heart of the town. Earlier this year Clare County Council submitted a proposal for further support under the second call of the URDF. The ambitious proposal sought funding for vital public realm works at Barrack Street, Old Barrack Street, O’Connell Square, High Street and Old Connell Street. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Joe Carey urged Minister Burke and his department “to give this key rejuvenation scheme favourable consideration”. The local Fine Gael TD said, “A number of months ago, Clare County Council lodged a further ambitious urban regeneration and development fund application to …

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