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South Clare

€1.6m investment for Killaloe and Ballina unveiled

  ***The year in review*** WHILE most towns and villages are crying out for investment in the midst of Government austerity, Killaloe and Ballina bucked the national trend with the unveiling of developments totalling over €1.6 million in 2012. Undoubtedly, the twin communities benefited from having a junior minister on their doorstep. Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Alan Kelly, who lives between Ballina and Portroe, a few miles from Killaloe bridge, announced projects totalling €432,348 during the year.One of the most important developments was the green light for a €1.2m sports and recreational project, spearheaded by former Lions player and Ireland captain Keith Wood at Clarisford Park.Work started on the first phase of the ambitious project in May, following seven years of endeavour by a local committee. The Clarisford Development will see sports and recreational facilities brought into line with growing local need.The first phases of the development on 25 acres of parkland behind the former Bishop’s …

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Opinions divided on improvement works benefits

Opinions are divided in Killaloe about the long-term impact of an €140,000 investment on new pedestrian crossings, improved footpaths and refuge islands, which have resulted in a temporary loss of business for some traders during construction work.Clare County Council insist the overall scheme will enhance the environment for residents and visitors once the works are completed.Local traders in the southern end of the town, who claim they have suffered a drop in trade due to the loss of set down parking at Royal Parade, have questioned the timing of the works during the busiest time for retailers in the lead up to Christmas.The council explained that completing this work before the end of the year was a specific requirement of the project, which is funded by the Department of Transport’s Active Travel Town Scheme. It stated the works, which started a number of weeks ago, are now nearing completion and predicted that the remaining traffic management facilities should be removed …

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Broadford closures on the agenda at meeting

The recent temporary closure of Broadford Post Office and the permanent closure of the local garda station look set to generate some heated discussion at a local meeting in the new year.Angered by the shock closure of Broadford Garda Station, a meeting of the community alert group will be held on January 4.It is expected the Broadford Action Group, which is lobbying for the re-opening of the local post office, will also voice its concerns at this meeting if An Post management hasn’t provided a definite date for the return of postal services to the village.Group chairman P J Mason confirmed he had another brief discussion with An Post officials earlier this week, who were still unable to state when the post office would return.Broadford Post Office closed its doors on Friday, November 10 last when customers were advised to conduct their usual business at Tulla Post Office.Mr Mason pledged the group will use the community alert meeting to discuss …

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€5m housing project an ‘expensive joke’

THERE is a good level of interest in the controversial €5 million Glaise na Rinne affordable and step-down housing development, this week’s meeting of Shannon Town Council heard.Town manager Bernadette Kinsella told the meeting the 22 houses are going to cost a total €5.297m of public money to build, with the council and the Department of the Environment contributing.In her report to the meeting, she stated some of the cost would be recouped in the event of the council deciding to complete the project by building 38 more houses, something that was envisaged as the second phase of the development. “In accordance with the design, planning and tendering proposals, the major infrastructural services for the development of the total 60 units were provided with the Phase 1 development. These include water and waste water services, roads and associated services. A proportionate sum of these costs will be recouped by the council in any further phases of development.“The economic climate and …

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Traders urge people to Love Local

More than 5,000 leaflets have been printed by a traders’ association outlining the reasons why people should shop and dine locally.‘Love Local’ is the new campaign launched by the Ballina-Killaloe Business Association to get local shoppers and diners to spend local. Members of the Ballina-Killaloe Business Association want to strengthen the local economy and to develop the future of the two towns.As Mariam O’Donovan, chairperson of the association explains, the choice and value for money is there for locals and visitors. “That’s why we have developed a Love Local campaign to encourage people to shop local. By shopping and dining locally, people will be helping the local economy, ensuring the safety of local jobs and generating a feel-good factor, especially in the retail and hospitality sectors. This is vital now more than ever due to the difficult economic environment. “To succeed, this campaign needs people to make a genuine effort, and we are asking all the people of Ballina and …

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County council set to take charge of Westbury

Clare County Council expects to take the Westbury estate in charge in the first quarter of the new year. Councillors Cathal Crowe and Pascal Fitzgerald tabled a joint motion at Tuesday’s Killaloe Electoral Area council meeting calling on the director of services for planning to give a comprehensive update and expected timescale for the taking in charge of the Westbury estate.In a formal reply to the motion Ger Dollard director of services for planning, community and enterprise and economic development stated, “Our best assessment at this point is that, subject to a satisfactory outcome with the bondholder, that the overall process will be completed in the first quarter of 2013”. He outlined that the council “has assigned considerable resources” to deal with issues relating to the taking in charge of Westbury development and that the estate is on an extensive list of estates not taken in charge by the council for a variety of reasons. “There are a range of …

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