Home » Regional (page 5)

Regional

‘No health and safety issues’ at direct provision centre

NO health and safety issues were identified during an unannounced visit by a senior official from the Department of Justice and Equality to the Direct Provision centre in Miltown Malbay last week, it has been revealed. “I am advised that there was no evidence of any rodent activity or water leaking on the day my official visited,” Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan stated in briefing note seen by The Clare Champion. Mr Flanagan commissioned the report following concerns raised in correspondence and Parliamentary Questions relating to the emergency accommodation premises for international protection applicants at the Central Hostel in Miltown Malbay. Hostel owner Pat Kelly did not wish to make any comment but said to contact the Department of Justice on the issue. Last Thursday (June 4), officials from the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) held a clinic via video call with residents of the centre, which was attended by 12 of the 19 residents. The clinic was …

Read More »

Killaloe councillors seek briefing on East Clare windfarm

KILLALOE councillors are to seek a briefing from the developers of a multi-million euro wind farm development planned for a site on the slopes of Slieve Bernagh, just over two kilometres from Bodyke. Earlier this month, Coillte confirmed that it is to lodge an application shortly, to An Bord Pleanála, under the Strategic Infrastructure Act. Raising the proposed Carrownagowan Wind Farm at the May meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes asked for details of communications and correspondence between officials and the developer. “I would like those details to be revealed,” the Caher-based member said. “The lack of consultation has been very remiss of Coillte.” The Fianna Fáil councillor insisted that communication with officials was not sufficient and ignored the role of elected members. “This day last year, we were re-elected and have never had personal communication [with Coillte],” he said. “Consultation behind the scenes with different departments is one thing, but we are the voice of the …

Read More »

World tennis ace backs Killaloe man’s fund-raising campaign

RAFAEL Nadal is among the international sports stars supporting a Killaloe man to raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece. Tennis coach Wesley O’Brien is a regular volunteer at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, north of Athens. Two years ago, he started up a programme for residents, thanks to donations of rackets, balls and nets from clubs around the region, including his own in Killaloe-Ballina. As part of a bid to raise funds for a defibrillator for the camp, which is now home to 4000 people, Wesley has secured jerseys signed by some high profile individuals and teams. To-date, these include Nadal, the Munster Rugby Team, Usain Bolt, Rory McIlroy and Franz Beckenbaur. Wesley, who volunteers with Lighthouse Relief, now hopes to be able to sell these rare items in order to generate vital funding support for refugees. “I had raised funds for a defibrillator for the Killaloe-Ballina Tennis Club, so I decided to do the same again for Ritsona …

Read More »

‘Out of the difficulties and sadness of this pandemic, it has brought us closer together as a community.’

IN recent weeks, debate has been raging over the Covid-19 death toll in residential facilities across Ireland. Despite the differing political opinions, there is little doubt that those living and working in nursing homes were at the forgotten front line for a number of crucial weeks as the pandemic took hold. Keeping coronavirus out involves a heroic struggle against an ever-present enemy. St Theresa’s Nursing Home in Kilrush, is one of the facilities that has managed to avoid an outbreak, while as many a quarter of homes in Clare have been affected to-date, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE). “My heart goes out to those who have had outbreaks,” said Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at the family run facility on the Kilkee Road. “They have done everything in their power, but there is a constant risk and we are all living with that risk.” Yvonne, who is on call 24/7 at St Theresa’s, has seen an already demanding …

Read More »

Campaign continues to re-open Tulla Bank of Ireland branch

A CAMPAIGN to have the Bank of Ireland in Tulla re-opened is gaining momentum. The branch was one of 101 nationwide which were closed temporarily in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Branches in Kilkee and Miltown were also shut down, as Bank of Ireland said it needed to switch focus to priority services. Members of the Killaloe Municipal District are to send a letter to the regional manager seeking the restoration of services, while a petition is circulating in the town and a Facebook campaign ‘Open Our Bank’ has been set up. Sheila Vaughan of Vaughan Supply said the concern locally is that the bank has used Covid-19 as an opportunity to close the Tulla branch permanently. “Bank of Ireland saw its chance and moved very quickly to close the doors,” she said. “The move is anti-rural, especially when so many small businesses are finding things tough.” Ms Vaughan said that while many services can be conducted on-line, the lack …

Read More »

Tendering time frame outlined for nine Clare local transport routes

THE National Transport Authority (NTA) has confirmed that Clare Bus will be eligible to tender for nine local transport routes, while the two parties enter into a mediation process to resolve a dispute over funding. The accessible transport provider has had its fleet parked up since the end of March, which it controversially lost 12 routes to two new providers. Since then, its Feakle-based staff have been paid through the Wage Subsidy Scheme and intensive political efforts to resolve a row over arrears the company says it is owed continue. The NTA has now sought expressions of interest for nine Clare routes and has told The Champion that it estimates that the process of appointing a service provider will be complete by mid-August. Ger Hoey, Chairperson of Clare Accessible Transport (CAT) who operate Clare Bus said he is hopeful that a speedy mediation process will increase its chances of being able to make a competitive tender. “We would prefer to …

Read More »

Ennis pedestrianisation plan angers Abbey Street newsagent

AN ENNIS newsagent has voiced his concern over recently-introduced pedestrianisation measures, which have blocked access for deliveries to his premises. Gerry Connellan of Abbey Newsagents said that the erection of bollards close to his shop will make handling deliveries extremely difficult. The businessman, who has run the newsagents for decades, said he is able to manage currently – albeit with considerable inconvenience, but fears the impact of a spike in congestion from next Monday. The busy shop is located at the junction of Abbey Street and the Abbey Street car park, and relies on being able to receive deliveries seven-days-a-week. “First of all, there are bollards outside the shop, so I have to drive up onto a kerb which is two or three inches high,” he outlined. “Access to the shop is essential for me, as it is for all of the traders on the street.” Mr Connellan also hit out at the lack of consultation on the process. “As …

Read More »

Details emerge of rare ‘plague stone’ outside Quin

HOLY wells have long been a source of comfort in times of trouble, and in East Clare a monastic site, sacred to sixth century saint, has not only a well, but also a rare ‘plague stone,’ believed to cure disease. “Luchtigern, a sixth century local saint was said to be able to cure any type of pestilence,” explained Quin historian and writer, Michael Houlihan. “His church and holy well stand on the northern shore of Fenloe Lake, a few miles southeast of Quin village. Keeping in mind that vaccines did not become commonplace until the mid to late nineteenth century, any type of contagion or airborne sickness took a huge toll on the local population. People did what they could to seek some kind of intervention. Many reached out to the saint.” As a resident of the East Clare village, Michael has long been aware of the folklore of St Luchtigern. His current research on the holy wells of Clare …

Read More »