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New principal to apply student-centred principles in Ennistymon

ENSURING students are placed at the centre of all aspects of the new €23 million Ennistymon Community School will be a key priority for newly-appointed principal, Orla Conway. Working as a teacher for 19 years, Ms Conway previously held an Assistant Principal position and is currently Acting Principal of Ennistymon Vocational School. In an extensive interview with the Clare Champion, she confirmed work is on track to ensure staff and pupils from the three Ennistymon second level schools will move to the new state-of-the-art facility in September 2023 following a 35-year wait. “My vision is that Ennistymon Community School will be student-centred in all aspects and will have a very happy inclusive culture,” she stated. Catering for 750 pupils, the new school will have 70 teachers in total including two deputy principals. With construction work almost reaching the third floor, it is expected the main metal part of the overall structure is due to be finished by next spring. Facilities …

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Council asked to cut Ennis estate a break over mass of grass

AN Ennis housing estate has been “abandoned” by the local authority, an Ennis councillor has claimed. Calls have been made for the Ennis Municipal District to include the maintenance of trees and cutting of wide tranches of grass on either side of the main estate road at Cappahard estate. According to Councillor Johnny Flynn large Ennis estates such as Cappahard built in the first decade of this century are “being treated unfairly” when it comes to grass cutting. He outlined that residents in the Cappahard estate of 270 houses are paying around €9,000 to maintain the area. They receive a €350 grant towards this maintenance, the same amount as smaller estates with less costs. Councillor Flynn argued that older estates and council estates have their green areas cut by the council while private estates have to pay, despite high planning development levies paid during construction and property tax “with little or no services in return”. He said that there is …

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Warning that planning delays could scupper Ennis community nursing unit

RESIDENTS living close to a new Community Nursing Unit (CNU) proposed for a green-field site close to St Flannan’s College in Ennis voiced concerns over increased traffic and other issues, at a public briefing this week.  Up to ten residents turned up for the briefing which unveiled Health Service Executive (HSE) proposals for the state-of-the-art, 100-bed facility for older people. While residents stressed that they have no objection to the nursing home and appreciate the need for it, many expressed concern over the loss of the green area as well as a potential increase in traffic.  The briefing heard a warning from HSE officials that any delay in the planning process could put the multi-million Euro project, which will comprise 75 long-stay and 25 short-stay beds, at risk. Aisling Ryan of the HSE told residents that planning hitches “may delay us to the point that the funding leaves”. “That’s really key and it’s really important that people understand that” she …

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Planning sought for significant extension of Shannon school

THE Board of Management of St Aidan’s National School has sought planning permission for a significant extension to the educational facility. Permission is being sought for two special educational needs classrooms and another mainstream classroom, along with ancillary accommodation, a mainstream classroom and associated circulation space. A document prepared by Quinn Architects accompanying the application said that three proposed options were considered before the preferred option was identified. The document stated, “Having evaluated alternative options, in collaboration with the School Authority and the Department of Education, of locating the proposed new building to the north of the existing building, the agreed conclusion was that these options did not achieve all of the desired design criteria. “We then looked at the options of locating the building in the green field area to the west of the existing school which is zoned Open Space.”  It added, “This proposal has a logical extension of the existing main circulation spine to the left of …

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Púca finds his stable in North Clare at Michael Cusack Centre

AFTER more than 15 months filled with controversy, debate, recrimination, appeals and public votes, the most notorious sculpture this side of Michelangelo’s David has settled into its forever home. The Púca, sculpted by Aidan Harte, and originally intended for the town of Ennistymon, was unveiled this afternoon at the Michael Cusack Centre, the birthplace of the founder of the GAA. The Burren community in North Clare gathered at the Carron facility for the official unveiling of the Púca, which has famously been rejected by Ennistymon, after a backlash in the town over what objectors said was a lack of public consultation. A public vote held online by Clare County Council ultimately led to Ennistymon saying no to the artwork, and the local authority seeking expressions of interests from other entities and communities in north Clare to give the Púca a home. Harte, who was commissioned by the Arts Office of Clare County Council to produce the artwork, said, “I want …

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Official launch of Glenwood Ambush Centenary Book

THE Bunratty Manor hotel was the venue for the official launch of the 170-page Centenary Book of the ambush at Glenwood which took place on January 20, 1921.  This launch, which had previously been deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, was performed by the Mayor of Clare, Councillor PJ Ryan. The Council chairperson was assisted by Mr Flan McCarthy and Mr Mick Ryan, who are joint presidents of the Glenwood Ambush Memorial Committee.  The publication contains a number of different versions of what actually happened on ambush day in January 1921, and accounts of the later reprisals by the Black and Tans. There are some details too of a number of the participating volunteers, in as much as was possible for researchers to get the information. These include Martin ‘Neighbour’ McNamara, Joe Clancy, Tom McGrath, Mattie McGrath, James Hogan, Paddy McCarthy, Jackie Ryan, Jimmy McInerney, Miko Neville, Dinny Minogue, Mick Moloney, Mick Shaughnessy, Tom McInerney, Michael Cleary, Peter St Ledger, …

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Clare teacher over the moon with prestigious US scholarship

A South-East Clare primary school teacher has scooped a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study in the USA. Eimear Millane has won the Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) scholarship to teach in the University of Connecticut for ten months. One of the 40  Fulbright Irish Awardees, Eimear was presented with her award at a ceremony in Iveagh House, Dublin, recently in recognition of the excellence of her study and research. In an interview with the Clare Champion, Eimear recalled she completed an interview for this scholarship last January, having applied the previous October. Under the Fulbright Programme, she will be teaching Irish as a minority language in the University of Connecticut for ten months, having opted to take a career break from her current job as a primary school teacher in Bunscoil Bhríde in Co. Kildare, where she oversees the Coiste Gaelach. The scholarship covers her flights and accommodation, while she will also be paid during her time as a teacher. …

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Developers of East Clare wind farm pledge €4k to GAA club

A COMPANY planning to build a controversial wind farm in County Clare has pledged €4,000 in sponsorship for a local GAA club. In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, EDF Renewables Ireland confirmed it is sponsoring a pitch upgrade at Broadford GAA Club, providing €4,000 towards the project. The sponsorship funding will be used to help enhance the pitch surface at Coolagh and, the company says, demonstrates EDF Renewables’ commitment to supporting local and community initiatives in the areas surrounding its projects. Earlier this year, EDF Renewables Ireland announced its plans to develop the 50MW Lackareagh Wind Farm on land to the east of Broadford. The proposed wind farm, which could power more than 35,000 homes, will be located in the townlands of Killeagy and Shannaknock. EDF Renewables Ireland intends to submit a planning application and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in support of the project, which could consist of up to seven turbines, to Clare County Council in …

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