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West Clare

Unravelling the Loop Head code

A group of amateur ham radio operators will wind back the clock at Loop Head Lighthouse this weekend, when they attempt to communicate via radio and Morse code with hundreds of radio clubs throughout the world. The Limerick Radio Club, which features members from Clare, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary, will broadcast non-stop for 48 hours from the West Clare lighthouse as part of the 17th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW). During the broadcast, from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday, visitors to the popular tourism landmark will be able to listen into communications with some of the other participating ham radio operators, broadcasting from 400 other lighthouses and lightships in 65 countries. Last year, the Limerick Radio Club successfully made contact with lighthouses and lightships as far away as Brazil, Australia, Tonga, French Guiana, Asiatic Russia, Ecuador, The Azores and The US Virgin Islands. The majority of all radio contacts were made with operators in the United States …

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Tributes paid to Clare woman hit by train

The National Council for the Blind Ireland has paid tribute to a West Clare woman who died after she was hit by a train in Dublin on Thursday. Patricia Brennan, who is orginally from Cappagh in Kilrush, was waiting on the platform at Raheny DART station when she fell into the path of a train at about 1.45pm. Ms Brennan lived locally and was waiting for a northbound DART service when she fell  onto the track as the 1.30pm train from Pearse to Drogheda was approaching. This service does not stop at Raheny and while the driver applied the emergency brake, the train did not stop on time and hit the 57-year-old visually impaired woman. Emergency services were called and she was taken to nearby Beaumont Hospital but died later that day. Elaine Howley, CEO of NCBI services extended sympathy to Ms Brennan’s family and to all her friends in the Iona Day Activity Centre where she had been taking …

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Planning extension for West Clare windfarm

CLARE County Council has granted an extension of planning permission for the construction of a windfarm with 11 turbines, access roads, cabling and a substation compound at Glenmore, Bollynamweel, Sorrel island in West Clare. The planning report stated the development had been delayed, due to circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, Clare Winds Ltd. The report says, “A cover letter, as submitted by McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan Planning Consultants, states that further works at this site have been restricted due to the delay in the required improvements to the local transmission networks, including the extension of the Eirgrid Booltiagh Substation, which has a scheduled completion of 2016. “The letter from McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan Planning Consultants goes on to state that further works on-site have been restricted, due to the delay in the required improvements to the local transmission networks, including the extension of the Eirgrid Booltiagh substation and the applicant has progressed the project in so far as is possible.” …

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Clohanes NS celebrates 125th anniversary

CLOHANES National School in Doonbeg will mark its 125th anniversary on the weekend of August 15 to 17. The 44-pupil, two-teacher school also has a resource teacher, along with a special needs assistant and a school secretary. The committee established to mark the milestone, and chaired by Mick Carrick, has produced a very informative 160-page book, which details the long history of the school. School principal Aideen O’Mahoney is a past pupil and, intriguingly, was her mother’s boss when she was appointed to her current post in 1993. “My mother (Marie Shanahan) taught me in the junior classroom for four years. Then, when I came back in 1993 as principal, I was my mother’s principal for nine years,” Aideen said. So how did that work out? “We got on well. As I often said, I was the principal, she was the boss. She showed me the ropes. She knew everybody, knew the locality and knew all of the families. It …

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Geological trips to Loop Head on the increase

LOOP HEAD Tourism chairman, Cillian Murphy says that a recent LEADER-sponsored study has calculated that geological group visits to the peninsula are worth up to €1.5m to the West Clare economy. He says that geological visits have increased by approximately 30% this year. “We had a study done with the help of LEADER funding to look at putting a geology centre on the peninsula. Part of the study looked at where the companies were coming from and how much they spent. The estimate was that each trip is worth somewhere in the region of €50,000. That’s direct spend in here. That’s not left in an office in Houston. That’s bills paid on the peninsula. Definitely we have seen between 20 and 25 trips this summer,” Cillian Murphy revealed. “Anecdotally, I would think that we’re up about 30% this year. That’s group visits. Loop Head is now a very attractive proposition for the petro-chemical industry to come and look at the …

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West Clare windfarm faces High Court challenge

NEW windfarm developments in Clare may be blown off course by High Court challenges, after a group of West Clare residents became the first local opposition group to secure leave for a Judicial Review to overturn planning approval for a local windfarm. High Court Judge Marie Bake has granted members of the Coore/Shanaway Residents Group, represented by Kathleen Connelly, leave to seek a judicial teview of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for four 85m wind turbines in the Miltown Malbay area, on 10 grounds. The successful application for a Judicial Review was taken by resident Kathleen Connelly, the respondent was An Bord Pleanála, while the notice parties were Clare County Council and McMahon Finn Wind Acquisitions Limited. A spokesman for An Bord Pleanála said the board received the legal papers on Tuesday and has begun work on its response but it is only at the initial stages as yet. Efforts by The Clare Champion to obtain a …

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Cappa swimming lessons a winner

CHILDREN and teenagers in Kilrush, this week and last, are following in a long tradition of coming to Cappa for swimming lessons. During the last week in July and first week of August, everyone in Kilrush is aware of the lessons. Shoppers and shopkeepers meet and greet locals and returned sons and daughters who are “to-ing and fro-ing” with the new crop of swimmers to Cappa pier and beach, just one mile outside Kilrush. On the pier, the atmosphere is electric, where under the tutelage of organising committee member, Margaret Talty and Clare Water Safety, generations of families return annually to improve their swimming and water safety skills. Margaret Talty has been participating in and helping to run these lessons for over 40 years. Margaret, or Mags as she is known to everyone, has carved out a reputation for excellence in swimming and water safety training. She qualified as a safety instructor at 17 and went on to progress through …

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Clare storm damage funding ready for use – Minister Harris

Government funding for storm damage repairs in Clare has been allocated and is ready for use, according to Simon Harris, Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works. He has outlined the position regarding Government funding for storm damage repairs for Clare County Council and in particular recent reports about Clohaninchy. This immediately follows a meeting between department officials and their council counterparts on this Thursday. The minister said said the discussions would progress matters and lead to a meeting with local residents in September. Minister Harris said, “I note with concern that recent reports suggest that funding to carry out repairs following the devastating storms in early 2014 has not been allocated and that my Office has not been in contact with the local authorities concerned to outline the assistance available to them. “The position is clear:following the storms the Government allocated a total of up to €16.8m for storm damage repairs to Clare County Council …

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