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EPA turns nose up at council’s offer

THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declined an offer from Shannon Town Council to send a representative to a meeting. Shannon Town Council previously wrote to the agency and the EPA’s response was presented at the February meeting.“The agency acknowledges the concerns that have been expressed by the elected members of Shannon Town Council in relation to the odour issues, which affected the Smithstown area of Shannon in September and October of last year. The agency notes that you refer to our previous letter of October 28, 2011 in which we set out the position in respect of our investigation of these odour issues. In that letter, we confirmed that odour complaints had been received concerning two EPA licensed facilities, that the details of these complaints had been passed to the operators for their investigation and that the odours had been investigated by EPA personnel and by independent specialists on a number of occasions.“As a result of these measures, the …

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Soccer club angry over grounds rezoning

THERE is anger in the ranks of Shannon Hibs ­Soccer Club, as the draft Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-18 proposes reclassifying both of its two grounds for low-density residential use.The club has six pitches, three at the old Newtown grounds in Ballycasey and the rest at Riverside Park, close to St Patrick’s ­Comprehensive. One of the pitches at Riverside Park is unused.Brendan Wall is a well-known member of the club’s committee and said he was very angry that the club hadn’t had any contact about any change in zoning. “There was absolutely none. Absolutely none,” he said.He said the club has around 14 teams and that number of pitches is needed because of how damp the terrain is. “We have to have them because the land around Shannon is of such poor quality you wouldn’t be able to play game after game on a pitch.”Mr Wall said the club hadn’t made any type of submission on the …

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Dog warden needs garda protection

CLARE Dog Warden Frankie Coote said that while in Shannon, he frequently needs the gardaí to come with him when he needs to call to a house.Mr Coote addressed Tuesday night’s meeting of the Town Council and said things seem to escalate in Shannon in a way that’s not very common in other parts of the county.“This is no disrespect to Shannon but in a lot of cases in Shannon that I deal with, I have to bring the guards with me. I don’t have that problem in other areas,” he commented.Mr Coote said that on occasion in Shannon when he calls to a house, neighbours come out of their homes to confront him and said it “becomes a bigger issue”.He said previously, the councillors had expressed concern about dangerous dogs in the county but he said he feels he is “well on top of that” now. The warden also said he had more complaints from Shannon than any other …

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New helicopter touches down for coast guard

THE Irish Coast Guard and CHC marked the arrival of a new search and rescue helicopter at Shannon this week. CHC operate services for the Irish Coast Guard and managing director Mark Kelly said the new helicopter will make a huge difference.“It’s replacing the S61, which is in service in Shannon since 1991. It’ll go into service on July 1 and it’s adding quite a bit to our capabilities. This machine is capable of going out and doing a rescue in the region of 300 miles off the coast, whereas our current machine is capable of doing only 180 miles off the coast. It’s capable of flying in conditions that the older one wasn’t. We’ve a full paramedic set-up in the back, which is the same as what you’d get in a road ambulance. There is defibrillation and those types of medical services. It’ll be here for probably the next three decades.”Director of the Irish Coast Guard Chris Reynolds agreed …

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Joe looks back on Shannon garda career

Working in Shannon since 1984, Joe Burke retired from An Garda Síochána at the end of 2011. The Kilkenny man won a Minor All-Ireland Championship in 1972, alongside a certain Brian Cody and the following year he joined the gardaí. His hurling career fell victim to rounds of transfers and shifts that weren’t suited to training and matches but he took an awful lot of satisfaction from the job.“I looked forward to going in every day because it was always evolving, no two days were the same,” he said.When he came to Shannon, the garda station wasn’t in the centre of town, something he didn’t feel was very suitable. “The station was in the industrial estate and really it didn’t serve the needs of the community because it was so remote. It was quiet and uneventful and Shannon by and large was a peaceful, law-abiding place.”He has one extremely sad memory from his career. “The biggest shock I got was …

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Retail sector needs ‘a lot of TLC’ in coming years

WITH retailers all over the country facing a particularly difficult January, Helen Downes of Shannon Chamber says the sector will “need a lot of TLC” over the next few years.Since Christmas well-known sporting goods outlet Dressco, has closed its doors. This business had been in operation for well over 30 years and was one of the most well known outlets in Shannon. On the positive side a new sweet shop opened just before Christmas. Last year the arrival of  Buy Lo to SkyCourt provided a boost to the centre, but it didn’t last long as it was gone again well before the end of the year.However a replacement anchor tenant is close to agreeing to come in and it’s hoped that there will be some news on this front in the next few weeks. Securing major retailers is important to the store as a whole as they bring in additional shoppers to the centre.Ms Downes said it is difficult to …

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Wastewater treatment plant delayed

LACK of finance is likely to delay work on the upgrade of the local wastewater/sewerage treatment plant. At this week’s meeting of Shannon area councillors, Councillor Gerry Flynn put forward a motion asking that the “Water Section of Clare County Council provide a report in relation to the wastewater/treatment plant upgrade and provide information concerning tenders and start dates for various parts of the project”.In a written reply to the meeting, senior executive engineer Eugene O’Shea stated, “As previously advised tenders were invited some time ago for the Advance Works Contract that includes upgrades to pumping stations 2, 4A, 5A and 12. These tenders have been received and are currently being assessed. Due to financial difficulties it is not possible at this stage to provide details on a start date for this project.”Councillor Flynn asked where the financial difficulties were, and Mr O’Shea said they lay with the council. “The financial difficulties are with the council initially,” he claimed.He said …

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Methodist Church withdraws planning application

A PLANNING application to facilitate a place of worship for the local Methodist Church in Shannon was withdrawn, just before a decision on it was due to be made.The trustees of the Methodist Church in Ireland made an application for a single-storey extension to the rear of the existing church house at 5, The Grove, Shannon and for change of use and refurbishment of an existing outbuilding in the rear garden to church house use also.The application attracted two objections, one signed by a number of residents of the housing estate in question and the other coming from An Taisce.The residents outlined a number of concerns in their submission. “We wish to formally object to the proposed ground-floor extension at No 5 The Grove, Tullyglass, Shannon. Our objection is on the grounds that the development would cause significant harm to our residential amenities in The Grove by reason of its purposes, sighting, scale and design,” they claimed.“The submitted planning application …

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