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Flynn complains about crematorium lands

COUNCILLOR Gerry Flynn has lambasted Clare County Council following news that it has to pay over €87,000 to Shannon Development, after the sale of lands at Illaunmanagh for the development of a crematorium.Councillor Flynn objected to the decision to sell the lands and says the fact that the council will now not end up with the sale agree price of €140,000 has vindicated him.In a report issued to councillors representing the Shannon Electoral Area, Michael McNamara acknowledged that the council has no option but to pay the €87,000.“You will recall that last September the council approved the sale of 1.29 acres of land adjacent to the burial ground in Shannon to Illaunmanagh Ltd for the purposes of their constructing a crematorium on the lands. The sale price agreed was €140,000.“In the course of the legal transfer of the site, it transpired that this area was part of a larger area purchased eight to nine years ago by the council, principally …

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Kilkee safety audit due this week

AN Irish Water Safety Association (IWSA) safety audit is expected to take place before the end of this week at Newfoundout, West End in Kilkee, where two diving boards and two ladders were removed at the Pollock Holes last week by Clare County Council. A further three ladders were removed from three separate locations; Burns Cove, Edmonds Point and Georges Head. The decision, which was taken by Kilkee town manager Nora Kaye, was revealed at last Monday week’s meeting of Kilkee Town Council under ‘Any Other Business’. The decision was met with impassioned opposition in Kilkee. The decision was made on health and safety and insurance grounds but the diving boards and ladders were hastily put back in place late last week, when the IWSA told Clare County Council that it would be impossible to conduct a health and safety audit if the boards and ladders were not re-installed. In a statement issued late last week, Nora Kaye said that …

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Businesses fear fallout as Traught loses Blue Flag

THE loss of the Blue Flag at a beach in South Galway could have major repercussions for companies in the area according to local business people. Kinvara’s Traught beach is one of six beaches nationally to lose its Blue Flag status, it was announced this week.The beach was the only coastal area in South Galway to have a Blue Flag. Galway has only six Blue Flags in total, including two in the city. The ones in the county represent just four out of the 22 bathing areas under Galway County Council.A number of local people expressed their disappointment that the beach, which has been consistently classed as having a good water quality by the EPA, has now lost its Blue Flag status.The EPA describes Traught as “a gentle sloping sandy beach which is shallow for quite a distance and makes for a great family day out with the kids. It is a rural beach close to the Burren and located …

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Taoiseach launches East Clare projects

DESPITE the disquiet last week with motions of no confidence and a prospective vote of confidence tabled in the Dáil, An Taoiseach Brian Cowen was welcomed with “a vote of thanks” by Shannon Development CEO, Vincent Cunnane at an event in Scariff last Friday.Although the newspapers carried headlines announcing Labour as the biggest party in the State and showed support for Cowen plummet to just 21%, the Taoiseach appeared unfazed on Friday. The nation’s political leader seemed unperturbed by the political unrest brewing back in Dublin, which has developed and taken many twists and turns over the past week, as he offered warm greetings, smiles and shared jokes with the people of East Clare during his visit.Indeed, the low level of support for the Taoiseach was not evident in Scariff as Mr Cowen was rushed by people eager to shake his hand and he courteously obliged when locals asked for a snapshot with, as they saw it, Ireland’s top man …

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Inagh school celebrates extension opening

  ST Flannan’s National School in Inagh is setting itself apart in terms of educational facilities for children in the county with autism spectrum disorder.On Friday, staff and pupils celebrated the opening of a multi-room extension doubling the size of the school building and augmenting the space and facilities available to all its pupils.According to school principal Anne Quinn, the changes at the school and the additions to its specialist unit, Suaimhneas are hugely important for the educational development of all the children who attend it.“The extension means that teachers have the space and facilities to carry out the various therapies and programmes required and because it is part of the school, mainstreaming is very accessible. Some of the children are integrated into the mainstream classes for certain subjects based on their ability. The unit is an integral part of the school. It is not something isolated or separate,” she explains.The first primary school in Inagh was located in the …

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Councillors seek lower house prices

KILRUSH town councillors have urged the council executive to set realistic prices for perspective buyers of council houses in the town. At last Thursday’s June meeting of the town council, Councillor Liam O’Looney said that people feel part of a community if they own rather than rent their house. “The council should set a realistic market value. Tenants have more ownership when they buy a house,” Councillor O’Looney said. “In the last two housing estates that we’ve built, take-up has been very, very poor,” he suggested. However, Kilrush town clerk John Corry said that the local authority do seek an independent valuation for houses and that purchasers are entitled to appeal the price set up the council. He explained that Kilrush Town Council already has a Tenant Purchase Agreement in place, although councillors felt that the prices set under this scheme were prohibitive. “We’re going nowhere, as we are, with the scheme at the moment,” Councillor O’Looney claimed. Councillor Tom …

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Major spin-off expected from Féile Brian Ború

BUSINESSES and tourism-related enterprises in Killaloe and Ballina are looking forward to a major spin-off from the eagerly-anticipated 18th annual Féile Brian Ború Festival.An action-packed programme of events for all the family from Tuesday, June 29 to Sunday, July 4 is expected to attract thousands of day-trippers and tourists to the shores of Lough Derg.Festival chairman, John Grimes said the committee is confident the new attractions included in this year’s line-up will generate a lot of extra business for local pubs, restaurants and bed and breakfasts.Mr Grimes told The Clare Champion there has been a tremendous response from local businesses, who have put their shoulder to the wheel behind the festival.Top of the bill is the arrival of one of the Ireland’s most successful ballad groups, The High Kings, who will conclude the weekend with a performance in the Lakeside Hotel on July 4.People are advised to book early for the show as a lot of people who turned up …

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Mount Kilimanjaro climb for Corofin man

THIS weekend will see a North Clare man begin an attempt to scale Africa’s highest mountain.Rose of Tralee co-ordinator and former escort of the year, Ciarán O’Connell from Corofin will next week be battling the elements as he begins his ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Eastern Africa.Ciarán leaves on Thursday with a group of 13 previous roses and escorts, to climb the 5,895 metres or nearly 20,000 feet to the top of the volcanic Tanzanian mountain.“The real reason we are putting in all this effort, training, time and hardship with the possibility of death on the mountain is to raise vital funds for the Voluntary Service Overseas or VSO charity, which is a very worthy cause,” said Ciarán.Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is an international development charity that works through experienced volunteers living and working alongside local partners. It is the largest independent volunteer-sending organisation in the world.“I have been involved in the Rose of Tralee for a number of years …

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