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West Clare

Road safety concerns in Carrigaholt

A MEMBER of the West Clare Municipal District has expressed his fears over the safety of holiday-makers at a caravan park in Carrigaholt, where there is no footpath on a 350km section of road into the village. Tabling a motion at the most recent district meeting, Councillor Cillian Murphy said there was an opportunity for the council to put in a path after work on the drains along route between Carrigaholt and the Amigos Holiday Park. “This road is narrow, fast and dark,” the Fianna Fáil member said. “There are 120 caravans, the council gave planning permission for site. There could be up to 400 people staying there, many of them children.” Expressing his dissatisfaction with a response from the local authority, saying there are no plans to construct a footpath, Councillor Murphy said, “The park is a key economic driver for the village and is a rate-payer. The lack of a path reinforces reliance on cars”. The motion was …

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Call for rural roads to be ‘returned’ for cycling and walking

A CALL has come from the new Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District for local and secondary roads to be given back to local communities to provide safe places for people to cycle between local towns and villages. Councillor Joe Garrihy told the June meeting of the district that, during lockdown, record numbers of people had been able to safely walk and cycle and get to know their localities. “I saw people of every age out cycling,” he said. “My 14 year-old son learned how to cycle on roads he wouldn’t have been able to travel previously. We are all aware of how dangerous North Clare roads can be. Lately, people have been able to cycle and walk in a safe manner. We also have a vast number of roads in the district which poses a challenge in terms of maintenance.” Reacting to a council response outlining the complexity of making his motion a reality, Councillor Garrihy said he …

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Anger at Fáilte Ireland response on Atlantic Way signs for Miltown

A NORTH Clare councillor has been sharply critical of the decision by Fáilte Ireland not to erect Wild Atlantic Way signage in Miltown Malbay. Councillor Róisín Garvey told the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District that sometimes local authority members knew better than Fáilte Ireland when it came to tourism development projects. In response to the Green Party member calling for Miltown, “the real gateway to West Clare” to be put on the route, using new signage, the tourism authority said it had no plans to do so. A written reply to Councillor Garvey’s motion from Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, said it was felt that Miltown was already part of the destination marketing plan. “Being on or adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way,” Ms Kennedy said, “offers destinations an opportunity to influence the visitor’s travel patterns as they navigate along the route and given Miltown Malbay’s immediate proximity to the route, it is considered …

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Web series showcases Miltown’s musical youth

THE wealth of musical talent of the young people of the Miltown Malbay area is set to be showcased to audiences around the world in a new web series to be released from this week. The series, which was the brainchild of the Miltown Malbay Development Committee (MMDC) and was filmed by Neil Hynes, the manager of the state-of-the-art €1.4m community centre in the West Clare town, features some of those who have taken the tradition into the 21st century. The initiative was prompted after the pandemic forced the cancellation of this year’s Willie Clancy Summer School. Mr Hynes explained, “Realising the streets wouldn’t be heaving this July with musicians and tourists from all over the world, we felt that it may be easy for the public to assume that the spirit of the area had been sucked out of it, that it was no longer there. No Willie Clancy, no Miltown Malbay. Nothing could be further from the truth.” …

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New West Clare Cathaoirleach Optimistic About Region’s Recovery

WEST Clare must stand ready to capitalise on the opportunities coming its way, despite the challenges of Covid-19, according to the new Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District. Councillor Joe Garrihy said that while 2020 would be a difficult one, in light of the pandemic, there was strong potential to develop West Clare if members work together on strategically important projects. “It is a challenging time for the district in terms of tourism, agriculture and the overall recovery from the impact of Covid-19,” the Fine Gael member noted. “We have a great team, but we will need help from central government and strong representation. We will also need to diversify and end our over-reliance on tourism.” Councillor Garrihy, who was elected last year as a first-time member of the local authority, identified opportunities in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the investment in climate change projects. “Sustainable energy projects will be possible across West Clare,” he noted. “A new town …

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Son of West Clare emigrants in powerful position on Capitol Hill

Although born and raised in Connecticut, Dr Brian P. Monahan, the physician who recommended the measures to be implemented in Capitol Hill, the seat of the US Government, in the battle to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, has family ties firmly embedded in West Clare. Both his parents emigrated from Clare in the mid 1950s, his mother Mary (Troy) from Doonaha West and his father Martin from Glaunagonee in Lissycasey. Although less that 40 miles separate both villages, the couple actually travelled half way round the world before meeting up, getting married and setting up home in the States. A 59 year-old Navy rear admiral and the attending physician of Congress, Dr Monahan was described as the calm and professional voice of reason during the pandemic. He is known in the halls of the Capitol as much for his meticulous attention to medical detail as he is for his efforts to stay completely out of politics. His first …

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€500 million Shannon LNG project scrapped

The decision by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to sacrifice the long awaited €500 million Shannon LNG project to secure a coalition with the Green Party has been welcomed by environmental groups including Futureproof Clare. Criticism of the proposed Shannon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal near Tarbert had intensified in recent months, with celebrities like Cher and Mark Ruffalo speaking out over its proposed use of fracked gas. US company New Fortress Energy were promoters of the terminal which would have been the first of its kind in Ireland. Futureproof Clare has welcomed the commitment to scrap the Shannon LNG terminal project and to ban the importation of fracked gas in the proposed Programme for Government, ‘Our Shared Future’. “The ban on all new offshore gas and oil drilling in Ireland’s waters is revolutionary in its commitment to leave fossil fuels behind as we transition to a low-carbon society and economy. Ireland would become the first country in the world …

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Doonbeg woman’s top tips for surfing the waves of stress

WHEN Doonbeg native Deirdre Fitzpatrick O’Reilly made the decision, at the age of 28, to swap football for surfing, she feel in love with the waves off the west coast and found a metaphor for coping with the ups and downs of life. With a background in health and leisure management, as well as teaching wellness activities, the thrills and challenges of surfing have inspired Deirdre to write her first book on mindfulness and meditation. Surfing the Waves of Stress, which has just been published, is described as a guide to navigating life’s hurdles using a toolbox of strategies to maintain balance and calmness. “There are always going to be ups and downs in life, there will always be waves,” Deirdre explained. “Using mindfulness is like learning to surf. It’s not a cure for stress. Life will bring stress, but mindfulness is your surf board. It’s your buoyancy aid and a great tool to cope with stress. I was at a …

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