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West Clare

Storms threaten more damage

POWER cuts lasting several hours affected many parts of the county on Saturday and Sunday, following damage to overhead cables, due to gale force winds. There is a high risk that this kind of weather will persist over the next couple of days. This continuing adverse weather has  heightened fears that coastal areas of Clare and the Shannon Estuary shoreline  badly affected by flooding a couple of weeks ago, could once again be in serious danger of further storm damage. The latest Met Éireann forecast is: Squally showers continuing in most parts of the country tonight, a few of them thundery and some falling as sleet or snow over high ground. Strong to gale force, westerly winds will persist countrywide, with stormy conditions much of the time in northwestern and western counties. Lowest temperatures 0 to 4 degrees Celsius but too windy for frost or ice to develop.

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€144,000 worth of cannabis found in Mullagh growhouse

GARDAí in Ennis have arrested a man in his early 30s following the discovery of a growhouse in Mullagh on Thursday night. Gardai seized cannabis plants at various stages of growth with an estimated street value of up to €144,000, pending analysis, following a search of a house on Main Street, Mullagh. The house was searched as part of an ongoing operation targeting the cultivation, possession and sale  of cannabis in the county. The growhouse, which was discovered shortly after midnight on Thursday by gardaí from the Ennis Drug Unit assisted by local gardaí, was described as “sophisticated”. A male in his early 30s was arrested at the scene and is currently being detained at Ennis Garda Station under the provisions of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996. He can be held for up to seven days. This is the sixth cannabis seizure in Clare in less than two weeks and brings the total estimated value …

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Terrorised pensioner cycles 30 miles to sanctuary

By CAROL BYRNE A 67 year-old man cycled 30miles with all his belongings in the dead of night to a nursing home in Ennis to take up residence after being subjected to two robberies at his rural West Clare home, Ennis Circuit Criminal Court has heard. The details emerged at the sentencing hearing of Noel Garry, (20), of Cooraclare; Shane Donnellan, also 20 years of age of Clohanbeg, Cree and Joseph Lernihan, (21) of Finnemore Park, Mullagh on Monday. They all pleaded guilty to robbing €3,000 from the man at his rural home in West Clare on February 25, 2012. Joseph Lernihan also admitted a further charge of robbery of €4,000 from the same man days earlier on February 21, 2012. Detective Garda Donal Corkery said the victim is 68 now and resided alone in a rural isolated location. “The nearest village was two miles away. At 10pm on February 21, 2012, he was at home and heard banging at …

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Bagged rock to defend Quilty

ONE thousand tonnes of bagged rock and sand is to be used as an interim emergency flood defence barrier at Cloughaninchy, Quilty, in advance of a spring tide in a couple of weeks. Clare County Council is providing the material in one tonne bags to alleviate the risk of flooding on February 3 when the spring tide is due to reach 4.8metres. The local authority is investing €50,000 in the emergency project, which it says it will seek to recoup from any future funding allocation from Government. The flood defence works are also required along the Seafield coast in response to fears that up to 15 homes could experience flooding. Recent storms caused significant coastal erosion at Cloughaninchy, leaving private residential properties exposed to severe sea water flooding. The O’Connor family had to be evacuated from their home during the worst night of the new year flooding. Cloughaninchy is already the subject of a funding application submitted to Government by …

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Human side of storms ‘neglected’

THE human side of the new-year storms, which caused extensive damage along the coast, has been neglected, according to a group representing 15 households in West Clare. At a meeting last week, Michael Neenan was elected chairman of the Clohaninchy Action Committee. He wants to see some protection in place for people in vulnerable areas on the coast. “The 15 houses that were under threat, nothing has been done for them. There is no emergency funding coming for the protection of their homes in particular,” he said. Mr Neenan said while Clare County Council has been very supportive in relation to the clean-up in the area, not enough has been done for the people worst affected. “The human side of all this has been neglected,” he said. “The council did a lot of work on the piers and prom in Lahinch and so on but no work has been done for the families and people in the 15 houses yet …

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‘Hijack’ claim against task force

THE West Clare Economic Task Force has been accused by one of its own members of claiming credit for achievements that it had nothing to do with. Councillor PJ Kelly has claimed the task force “hijacked” initiatives, which had been led by private individuals, community groups, LEADER or individual county councillors. He made his claim at Monday’s meeting of West Clare Electoral Area councillors, all six of whom are members of the task force. It came during a debate on a motion put forward by Councillor Christy Curtin, who asked that an invitation be issued to Fáilte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc and the Local Enterprise Office to re-engage with the task force. In a written reply, Clare County Council listed five specific task force achievements, including the establishment of Loop Head Lighthouse as a visitor attraction, preliminary work on proposals to develop tourism infrastructure on the Fergus Islands and the adoption of the Shannon Estuary Integrated Framework Plan. “There are …

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The private trail of storm destruction

RESIDENTS and business people along the Clare coast have spent the past week cleaning up after the recent storms. Clare County Council is looking for more than €23 million in funding from central government for work on public infrastructure but extensive damage was also caused to private property, including homes, by Storm Christine. Now, people with houses and businesses along the coast are wondering and worrying how they will pay for the damage done to their property. Noel Sexton owns White Strand Caravan Park outside Miltown Malbay. “I will have to pay for the damage myself,” he told The Clare Champion. “There are a lot of stones washed up onto the caravan park and sections of it were washed away with sea. The stones will have to be brought back down. I will have to get a machine in to do that. I will have to pay the man with the machine. The part that washed away was about a …

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Sand disappearing off Kilkee beach

THE  sand has never been so scarce on Kilkee’s famous strand, according to Mayor Paddy Collins, who has also warned that the town’s luck will run out unless the seawall is maintained. “Sand levels at the moment in Kilkee have never been as low. Whether that sand is all pooled out in the middle of the bay and is going to come in on the next big tide, we don’t know,” Councillor Collins said at Monday’s meeting of Kilkee Town Council. “At a meeting we had here with Paul Moroney [environment section Clare County Council], we were talking about the sand shifting,” he added. Kilkee beach is hemmed in at either side by spectacular cliffs. The town mayor said Kilkee escaped the worst of the recent flooding in West Clare but said consistent high tides are a persistent threat. “We were very lucky in the storm. We were only an hour either side when the wind turned. Every tide this …

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