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West Clare

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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Funding appeal to reopen Kilkee playground

Kilkee Community Playground will remain closed indefinitely unless the committee can come up with the funding to completely overhaul the public amenity. The schedule of works required to bring the facility up to an acceptable safety standard will cost in excess of €20,000 and a community fundraiser has been launched in the hope that through their GoFundMe appeal the committee will succeed in hitting their financial target. Fortunately, the committee has already received two generous donations, leaving a shortfall of €14,000. Local county councillor, Cillian Murphy has pledged €5,000 from his General Municipal Allowance which is a discretionary fund for elected representatives who can put it towards projects in their areas while €2,000 has been committed by Loop Head Windfarm. The committee will also be making applications with Clare County Council for funding under the Clár Programme and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. Estimates received to upgrade the facility to a satisfactory standard are priced at in excess of …

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‘Out of the difficulties and sadness of this pandemic, it has brought us closer together as a community.’

IN recent weeks, debate has been raging over the Covid-19 death toll in residential facilities across Ireland. Despite the differing political opinions, there is little doubt that those living and working in nursing homes were at the forgotten front line for a number of crucial weeks as the pandemic took hold. Keeping coronavirus out involves a heroic struggle against an ever-present enemy. St Theresa’s Nursing Home in Kilrush, is one of the facilities that has managed to avoid an outbreak, while as many a quarter of homes in Clare have been affected to-date, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE). “My heart goes out to those who have had outbreaks,” said Yvonne Moroney, Director of Nursing at the family run facility on the Kilkee Road. “They have done everything in their power, but there is a constant risk and we are all living with that risk.” Yvonne, who is on call 24/7 at St Theresa’s, has seen an already demanding …

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