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West Clare

Missed opportunities as fishing sector struggles – Murphy

AN APPEAL has been made for greater support for what remains of Clare’s fishing industry. Figures seen by The Champion show the total value of fish landed at ports in Clare last year was worth just over €350,000. That accounts for around 0.1% of the national total of fish landings which came to more than €282 million. Councillor Cillian Murphy from Kilkee, who spent much of his working life in the fishing industry, said the data was an indictment of the policies of various governments since the 1970s. “The reality is that a decision was made to sacrifice fishing for farming and this has been the approach for decades,” the Fianna Fáil member said. “What’s happening now is that most of the fish landed is fired into the back of a truck and exported. Fishermen are only getting a commodity price. Jobs and income are being sent out of communities.” On foot of the Clare figures, which show that Quilty …

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New Ballynacally café at heart of the community

THE heartbeat of Ballynacally is strong, thanks to the recent opening, in the scenic village, of a new community café. The Estuary Way Café, which has to-date been catering for socially distanced chats, pop-up music sessions and high quality food and beverages, is credited with brining a new vibrancy to the village. “It’s been just amazing, everyone is delighted and the feedback we’re been getting is so positive,” said Dorothy Madden, Secretary of the Ballynacally Development Association. The project dates back to 2018 and, after securing funding from sources including the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and Leader, through Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), opened in July. “There has been a massive amount of work by everyone in the development association, with support coming from right across the community of Ballynacally,” Dorothy said. “Deirdre Mulpeter who leads the team at the café is doing a great job and there are two full-time and at least three part-time staff there, so …

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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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Miltown direct provision centre to close immediately

THE highly controversial emergency direct provision centre in Miltown Malbay is to close immediately. The Department of Justice and Equality has informed residents that all transfers will be completed by the end of this week. Also, there are no further plans for the premises in Miltown Malbay to be used as a direct provision centre. Miltown Malbay Welcome Group has expressed relief that the residents of the centre will now be relocated. “Although we are saddened to think that we are losing the men who have added so much to our small community, we hope that they will now be accommodated in places where their safety, dignity, human rights and privacy are respected,” the organisation said. Deputy Cathal Crowe said, “I have been in contact both with the residents of the direct provision centre itself and the local group set up in Miltown to ensure they have an acceptable standard of living and I know this is news that will …

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UPDATE: Swimming ban on five Clare beaches

CLARE County Council has issued an update today (Saturday, August 1) raising its alert level for Lahinch beach to a swimming ban. Temporary bans remain in place, until further notice, on five other beaches. In a statement, the council said that following ongoing monitoring of the bathing waters at Lahinch, the notice has been upgraded from advisory not to swim to swimming prohibition as a result of increased bacterial levels. There is now a temporary prohibition on swimming at the following locations in County Clare due to elevated bacterial levels in the water: • Lahinch • Spanish Point • White Strand Miltown Malbay • Kilkee • Quilty (front beach). The elevated bacterial levels are as a result of heavy rainfall in the catchment area which subsequently discharges into or near the bathing area. There is ongoing monitoring at the above locations, and Clare County Council is in consultation with the HSE. For further information, contact Clare County Council environment section …

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Wynne appointed to Dáil committee

Sinn Féin TD for Clare, Violet-Anne Wynne has expressed her delight at being appointed to the Dáil select committee on the Rights for People with Disabilities. Deputy Wynne said she is very passionate on the topic of people with disabilities and has experience and knowledge in this area since completing her degree in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin in 2009. “Over the years I have gained experience working with the home help services and I fully understand the frustrations that parents with children with special needs face, as my third born Travis was diagnosed in 2017 with Autism. I would hope that this experience will stand to me when dealing with the issues people bring forward to me,” she said. The Clare TD will be working alongside her party colleague Deputy Pauline Tully to ensure that the concerns of people living with disabilities right across this country are highlighted at the highest level. “I have been raising the difficulties being …

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Major funding boost for West Clare Greenway project

THERE has been a welcome boost for a long-cherished plan to create a greenway along the route of the old West Clare Railway, linking Ennis to the towns of Kilrush and Kilkee. This week, Minister for Climate Change, Communications Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan announced funding €255,000 for the project. The allocation will enable the start of an active consultation phase involving landowners along the route, with a view to creating another world-class visitor attraction in Clare. The funding, which was allocated under the Carbon Tax Fund 2020, represents a total allocation of €4.5m to 26 greenways and provides support for feasibility, planning and design. The allocation to the West Clare Railway Greenway Project will progress the proposed amenity past concept and feasibility stage and allow Clare County Council to start actively engaging with landowners on route selection and preparation of the statutory consent phase of development – namely planning permission, environmental impact assessment and preliminary design. It is envisaged …

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