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Regional

Sunny summer soundtrack on Ennis streets

THE streets of the town have come alive to the sweet sound of music, to the delight of locals and visitors alike, thanks to musician Damien Gormley and some very special friends. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Ennis singer-songwriter is bringing a lively set to the heart of the town, teaming up with the likes of Stockton’s Wing front-man Mike Hanrahan. “When the pubs closed I had two options,” Damien outlined, “sit and get depressed over having no music, or get a live Facebook gig going. I chose ‘option two’. I have played online on Saturday nights for the last 20 weeks and have gained an enormous following, from as far away as Australia tuning in every week. It’s fantastic. The people lifted my spirits and gave me hope.” That support inspired Damien to think beyond the lockdown and, when the economy started to re-open, he decided to get back out performing in real life. “Fast forward to Phase Two, …

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Survey reveals concerns over Slieve Bearnagh wind farm plan

CALLS for a public meeting between Coillte and members of the East Clare community are gathering momentum, following a survey of reactions to a wind farm development proposed for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh. The survey, which was carried out by a local group called Bodyke Voice on Wind Farm, found that a large percentage of a sample of responses favoured a public meeting. Susan McMahon of the Cobbler’s Rest, a member of the group, said that 120 responses in total had been submitted to the survey. “Because we are a voluntary group and can’t afford to subscribe to a survey, we could only look at 40 of the responses submitted,” she explained. “Of those, 92% favoured a public meeting with Coillte. I’d estimate that around 60% of the responses we could see were not in favour of the project.” Ms McMahon herself said that she did not have an agenda with regard to the proposed wind farm, but wanted …

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RNLI need funding support to stay afloat

THE RNLI  Lifeboat fundraising schedule, like that of every other charity, has taken a big hit  over the past six months with little or no income coming in to keep the fleet afloat. Clare has been at the helm in fundraising down the years, and in coming up with new fundraising ideas to involve people in walks, rambles, cruises, concerts and many more events. Over the past six months, the lifeboats have been as busy as ever and have answered every call to save lives and bring people back to their homes and loved ones. The Burren Ramble, which takes place at this time every year, has to be called off as has the Cruise to Galway Bay from Doolin pier. The risk is too high in Clare to put anyone at risk. There are, however, some fundraisers still in the pipeline at present. West Clare man Tony Henchy from Derryard in Doonbeg is doing a 100-day consecutive swim in …

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Celebration of youth creativity in Kilrush, Ennis and Shannon

A FEAST of music, dance, painting, crafts and film is in store for young people across Clare and Limerick, with an event entitled, Scairt na hÓige, A Creative Youth Festival around the Shannon Estuary, taking place from August 27 to 30. The Clare element will see activities in Ennis, Shannon and Kilrush, organised by the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) in association with Creative Ireland, and involving a range of creative partner organisations. “Creative Ireland are really brilliant in terms of encouraging young people to participate in the arts and in asking them what they want in terms of arts activities,” explained actor and former star of Fair City, Maeve McGrath, who is festival organiser. “This programme is a direct response to that. Creative Ireland supports participation in the arts and raises awareness of creative sectors and roles.” Kilrush will be the focal point of activities on Thursday and Friday, as the majestic tall ship, Ilen, docks …

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Crunch time in talks to save Shannon Heritage sites

Clare Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is in talks with ministerial colleagues ahead of an expected decision on the immediate future of the Shannon Heritage sites. As things stand, sites including Bunratty Castle and King John’s Castle are due to close at the end of the month while the likes of Craggaunowen and Knappogue Castles have remained closed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I’ve spent quite a considerable amount of time this week chatting to my colleagues, including ministers with a decision-making capacity on Shannon Heritage,” said Deputy Crowe. “Minister Michael McGrath has confirmed to me that the file has reached his department and it is now being examined, with a decision due in the coming days. “I have reiterated the importance of these sites to Clare to the Minister, particularly given the year we have been facing. “This morning, I held an impromptu meeting with Shannon Heritage workers following a separate meeting I was at …

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Woman arrested as Gardai seize €72k in cash

Gardaí have arrested a woman and seized €72,000 in cash following the search of a house in Westbury in South East Clare. Shortly after 7pm last Sunday evening, Gardaí from the Limerick Divisional Drugs Unit, assisted by the Armed Response Unit, executed a search warrant at a house in the Westbury area. The search operation took place as part of an ongoing operation targeting the sale and supply of drugs. During the course of the search Gardaí seized approximately €72,000 in cash. A woman, aged in her 20s, was arrested at the scene and brought to Henry Street Garda Station. She was detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996 and has since been released.   A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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Road safety assessment sought for Quin and environs

A ROAD safety assessment for the village of Quin is being sought, after numerous concerns were flagged by local councillors. The matter was raised at the most recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District Committee by Councillor Alan O’Callaghan, who tabled a motion calling for the assessment to be carried out. The Fianna Fáil member noted that Quin has been brought back under the remit of the Killaloe Municipal District since the boundary changes came into effect this year. “When Quin was in the Ennis District, there was a draft plan for traffic and I would like to see if that can now be progressed under our remit,” he told the meeting. The Kilmurry native acknowledged the work done already in the village in terms of pedestrian access and safety. “Lots of good work has been done around the area of Quin Abbey and the bridge,” he said. “There are a number of outstanding matters and there is a very …

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Crusheen train stop back on track with Green minister

THE prospect of trains grinding to halt for passengers at Crusheen have taken a turn for the better with the appointment of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan to the transport portfolio. The new Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport is also Minister for Climate Action and Communications Networks and his dual role has given people living in the Crusheen area hope that the Limerick to Athenry/Galway train will once again stop in the village. Such a development would be of benefit to those who have to commute to Galway or Ennis and Limerick for work, business or study. Journey times would be slashed, as well as reducing the stress associated with road travel. Michael O’Doherty, spokesman for the Crusheen Rail Stop campaign group, said directing people from cars onto trains would not only help them achieve huge savings in the long run, but would also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. Back in 2010, the then Minister for Defence and Clare …

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