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Council urged to take over Hastings Cottage

WITH the centenary of the 1916 Rising looming, Clare County Council has been urged to take Hastings Cottage under its remit as part of a project linked to Ireland’s commemorations of the Rising and the War of Independence. Hastings Cottage is one of the most historic buildings in Shannon, having been shown on the 1840 Ordnance Survey Map of the area. However, its construction may have been long before that pre-famine date. During the War of Independence Brigadier General Lucas, a senior British officer, was taken captive and held there. One of those guarding him was Major General Michael Brennan, who subsequently led the East Clare Brigade of the IRA. Last year Dúchas na Sionna held an open day at the building, which was attended by descendants of the General. Speaking at last week’s meeting Councillor Duff acknowledged his own involvement with Dúchas na Sionna and said that the heritage group wouldn’t be able to take responsibility for it without …

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Shannon’s population aging

FIGURES published by the parish show that 634 people have died in Shannon since 2000, with 2013 the year when most deaths were recorded. Speaking to The Clare Champion, parish priest Father Tom Ryan said that the town’s demographics are maturing. “Maybe 30 years ago there would be ten baptisms every Sunday, but now the town is maturing and it’s an ageing town. That’s reflected in the amount of grandparents in the town and even great grandparents which wouldn’t have been there in the past.” It’s not that long ago since the cemetery was put in place at Illaunmanagh. “The cemetery opened in 2001 and a number of years later an extension was sought for it and that’s filling up as well, but there’s still plenty of space available.” The parish was founded on Christmas Eve of 1967, although people had been living in the town for some years before that, as part of the Newmarket on Fergus parish. Number …

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Council defers crematorium land sale

A PROPOSAL to sell land at Illaunmanagh to a man who is proposing to develop a crematorium was deferred at Monday’s Clare County Council meeting. Some years ago Tony McMahon and Sean Hillery proposed developing a crematorium there, which would tap a large potential market, as the only ones in the country are in Cork and Dublin. Now Jim Cranwell is looking to extend the period of planning permission for the development and is seeking to buy the lands in question from Clare County Council. The disposal of the land was due to be considered at Monday’s County Council meeting but was deferred. In a report prepared in advance of the meeting, Michael McNamara of Clare County Council stated; “It is proposed to dispose of lands measuring 1.29 acres approximately at Illaunmanagh, Shannon to Jim Cranwell, Doonagore, Doolin, who proposes providing a crematorium on the lands. Planning permission was granted for a crematorium on the lands by An Bord Pleanála …

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Councillors seek odour information

INFORMATION regarding the Shannon smell needs to be made available to the public, a number of town councillors claimed at their meeting on Tuesday night. Councillor Cathy McCafferty put forward a motion seeking a number of documents regarding the issue, including “copies of any statements, reports and correspondence between Clare County Council, the EPA, HSE or any other agency in respect of this odour problem, its origins and effects”. She said she wants local people to be better informed about the situation. “The reason I have raised this issue is to have this matter discussed in public so that the people in Shannon might be better informed of what has been going on. “At our meeting on October 24, an EPA representative told how complaints started in September. He remarked that 20 complaints were received on one day alone. A joint investigation commenced and the treatment plant was identified as the most likely source of the problem. We were told …

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Fireworks Seized in Planned Garda Operation

Gardaí in Shannon have seized a large quantity of fireworks under Operation Tombola. The assortment of fireworks have an estimated street value of up to €2,000 and were discovered and seized as part of an intelligence-led operation. Gardaí from the Shannon Detective Unit carried out a planned search of a house in the Rossbracken Housing Estate in the town on Wednesday afternoon and uncovered the fireworks. No arrests have been made but the investigation is ongoing.

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Arts centre on track for €1m funding target

THOSE involved in the Shannon Venue Ltd, which is seeking to provide a new iconic, multifunctional civic and arts centre for the town, say they are well on their way to meeting a target of raising €1 million in funding by the end of 2013. In a statement this week, the group said locally-based EI Electronics has “committed significant funding to the project and, in so doing, becomes the first company to make a financial commitment to this very progressive cultural undertaking for Shannon”. EI Electronics managing director Mick Guinee said, “It is appropriate, as we celebrate 50 years in business in Shannon in 2013, that EI Electronics should give the lead to the corporate sector by making a significant contribution to the funding of the Shannon Venue. The majority of our employees come from Shannon and the environs and I believe that the proposed multi-functional civic and arts centre will enrich the lives of these people and their families. …

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Minister says no study into Shannon smell

ON Tuesday Minister for Health James Reilly declined to commission a study into the effect of the odours that have tormented residents of Shannon over the last month. In the Dáil, Clare TD Michael McNamara asked the minister “if he will commission a study to look into the effect of smells in Shannon; if he or his officials can provide assurances to Shannon residents that the smells there do not pose a threat to public health and if he will make a statement on the matter.” Responding, the minister said, “I do not propose to commission a study to look at the effect of smells in Shannon as an investigation into the matter is already underway. I am advised by the HSE that the investigation of recent odours in Shannon is being undertaken by the EPA and Clare County Council. This investigation is being assisted by the Public Health and Environmental Health Departments of the HSE.” Regarding the investigation, he …

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Shannon rat problem disputed

DEBATE and disagreement broke out over the scale of the rat problem in Shannon at Tuesday’s town council meeting. There have been numerous complaints about the amount of rats going around the town in recent weeks but at Tuesday’s meeting, there were suggestions that the problem isn’t as bad as has been claimed, something some of the members angrily refuted. At the meeting, Councillor Sean McLoughlin put forward a motion asking that County Council carry out rat baiting on a regular basis in Shannon and for the council to clean out any place where rats might nest. Councillor Cathy McCafferty had another motion requesting that members be informed of what arrangements the council had entered into with regard to pest/rodent control since the last local elections in 2009. The written response to Councillor McLoughlin’s motion from senior executive engineer Eugene O’Shea said Shannon isn’t worse than any other county. “While it is impossible to inspect all possible locations where rodents …

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