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Regional

Henchy’s Cross ‘a danger’

SAFETY concerns over a junctions on the main arterial route into East Clare have been raised by local representatives who have described it as one of the most dangerous in the county. Henchy’s Cross on the R352, close to Clooney, was described by the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District as a “blackspot” and the site of a number of accidents. Councillor Pat Hayes told the most recent meeting of the area committee that it is time for the authority to take action, now that responsibility for the location has come back into the Killaloe district. “This crossroads is one of the most frequently used junctions onto the R352 and it’s also one of the most dangerous,” the Fianna Fáil member told the meeting. “It has been the scene of several accidents and I have had one myself at this location. It’s a danger for those coming out onto the main road, as well as for those using the R352, …

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Last stone of Drummin Castle preserved for the future

THE last remaining stone from a 16th century castle in South-East Clare has been cleaned and mounted on stone to display unusual carvings. A carving, initials and a date of 1579 was discovered on a late-medieval carved window-head at the site of Drummin Castle, near Ardnacrusha. The carving was located in the wall of a shed, but was previously covered with several layers of whitewash. The owners of the site, Gerard and Rose Reid decided that the site and stone was so important it should be remembered in some fitting way and they placed the carving on a stone mounting as a display. Martin Breen and Risteárd Ua Cróinín visited the site last December, having previously surveyed the castle remains back in December 2002 as part of the OPW survey of towerhouses and castles in Clare. During the survey in 2002, Mr Breen recalled the then owner, a Miss Long, the aunt of the present owner Gerard Reid, allowed them …

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‘We need more dissenting voices,’ says emerging Ennis poet

AT 74-years of age Ennis man Martin Knox admits he left it rather late to start publishing poetry, but the trained chemist is certainly making up for lost time. After a fruitful working life, which took in stints at Syntex, later Roche; as well as teaching at some of the country’s most prestigious educational institutions, Martin made the leap into poetry and has just published his first book. Entitled, Words Without Song: Vignettes of Reflective Dissent and Childhood Reflections, the volume is a collection of over 100 poems which “go against the establishment” and give voice to Martin’s long-standing belief that the purpose of literature is to highlight uncomfortable truths. “Racism, poverty, mental health, corruption, environmental damage, the unequal distribution of wealth, suffering, those are some the main themes of my poems,” he said. “Writers should ask serious questions. For a long time, I didn’t have the time to write. When I retired, I found that time. So many questionable …

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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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Philadelphia here comes SON

IT’S a case of Philadelphia Here I Come for Ennis musician SON, Susan O’Neill, however she won’t be breaking any Covid-19 travel restrictions. SON has been named among 18 Irish acts who will perform virtually at the Philadelphia Folk Festival on Saturday, August 15, with the support of Culture Ireland. For the first time ever, the festival has dedicated a full day of its programme to performances by Irish musicians. Looking ahead to her performance she said, “It’s really great to be included in the Philadelphia Folk Festival line up this year. Technology can be so wonderful and this is one of the ways it can help us to keep sharing music with music lovers across the world. So glad to be part of it all.” SON began her musical career as the youngest member of the Ennis Brass Band along with joining the Really Truly Joyful Gospel Choir. The critically acclaimed performer is a member of King Kong Company …

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Irish Water to carry out essential works in Killaloe

IRISH Water, working in partnership with Clare County Council, is to carry out essential works on the water network on Main Street, Killaloe from Monday next (August 10). In order to facilitate these works, the contractor Shareridge Utilities intends to close the Main Street from Reddan’s Public House to the bottom of the street. These works will begin at 9.30am on Monday, August 10, and it is hoped that they will be completed shortly after lunchtime. A local diversion will be in place during this time. In a statement, Irish Water said it regretted any inconvenience that this may cause and appreciatd the community’s ongoing patience and support.

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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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Sixmilebridge family call for access to life-changing therapy for newborns

WHEN Laura Collins and her husband Paul held their new born baby on New Year’s Eve not quite two years ago, it was a celebration the Sixmilebridge family will never forget. The couple had barely been allowed to hold their son since he was born, four days previously. A few hours after he came into the world, little Luan had had to be rushed to a neonatal care centre in Cork. Diagnosed with a form of brain damage known as Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), Luan was in a race against time to secure treatment. His parents faced an agonising wait – first for a specialist ambulance to come from Dublin, then the transfer to Cork. All the while, the clock was ticking down on the crucial six hour window for the start of a breakthrough treatment to bring down Luan’s body temperature and stop progressive damage to his brain cells. “To us, Luan seemed fine,” Laura said. “His condition was …

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