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West Clare

Terence Mangan

Mangan’s building gifted to council and community

By Peter O’Connell A landmark building in Kilmihil has been handed over to Clare County Council and the local community. It is now up to the local authority and the Kilmihil community to come up with ideas to best utilise the former Mangan’s building, which is located in the centre of the West Clare village. Mangan’s moved from Kilmihil to Ennis in 1972. At one point, approximately 40 people were employed at the West Clare plant, with seven of the Kilmihil panel that reached the 1968 county final employed there. Company director Terence Mangan said he is hopeful the building will be used to generate local employment but that it can be used for whatever purpose is deemed fit.  “That’s not our decision. That’s up to the community and up to the council in terms of how they structure whatever they do. We’ve offered it to the community and to the council. Obviously, there will have to be some money …

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Clare’s Blue Flag beaches under threat

THE damage caused to coastal areas by the recent  storms may leave a question mark over the future status of Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards locations, it has emerged. Clare’s Blue Flag beaches are Cappa, near Kilrush; Kilkee,  White Strand, Doonbeg; Fanore, in addition to Ballycuggeran and Mountshannon on Lough Derg. The issue will be high on the agenda  will be discussed at the annual Blue Flag and Green Coast Award conference in Dublin, on Wednesday. The conference will be attended by coastal  local authority representatives, as well as Blue Flag and Green Coast Award jury members. Annabel FitzGerald, coastal programmes manager, An Taisce said, “There are some serious concerns for some candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches that have been left devastated by the recent storms particularly where infrastructure such as access roads, carparks and other amenities have been destroyed.” These are among the 32 imperative criteria required to achieve Blue Flag status. She added, “Local Authorities work …

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Towards a better Kilkee in 10 years

IN a somewhat ironic twist in view of the devastation caused by the weekend’s storm,  “Towards a Better Kilkee: A Town Improvement & Economic Development Strategy 2014-2024,” was launched last night at the Culturlann Sweeney Library. Prepared by Clare County Council, in association with Kilkee Town Council and various community groups, the  key focus of the 10-year strategy is to generate new employment opportunities in a town that has a 36% unemployment rate, promote the local tourism product and enhance the physical appearance of Kilkee. The latter presents a huge challenge, now that the much core element of the seaside infrastructure has been so badly damaged. The short and medium-term priorities outlined in the strategy include carrying out a branding and marketing exercise for Kilkee, establishing contact with owners of all opportunity sites, promote the existing coastal walks by upgrading signage and information, conducting a survey of derelict sites in the town, carrying out upgrading works to the bandstand, producing a comprehensive …

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Lynch turns away from Fine Gael

 By Peter O’Connell KILRUSH town councillor Ian Lynch is to switch his political allegiance from Fine Gael and stand in the West Clare area as an Independent candidate in the May election. He will join the battle for votes in the West Clare capital with his town council party colleague Marian McMahon Jones, who was added to the Fine Gael ticket after the November  convention. Sitting county councillors Gabriel Keating and Oliver Garry were selected at the Fine Gael convention to represent the party in the expanded west Clare constituency. Currently Kilrush is without a representative on Clare County Council for the first time in the local authority’s history. Councillor Lynch was elected to Kilrush Town Council, on the first count, in 2009 and says that he regrets not running for the county council five years ago. “Looking back this may have been a mistake because since the local elections in 2009 Kilrush town and the greater hinterland have been …

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A cloak of armour for Seafield

By Peter O’Connell RESIDENTS in Seafield and Cloghauninchy are happy that as much temporary defence work as possible has been undertaken in advance of this weekend’s high tide, which is expected to reach 5.9 metres. Minister of State Brian Hayes visited West Clare last Friday where he saw firsthand the damage caused by the recent high tides and storms. “The work commenced last Wednesday. It’s on a temporary basis and Minister Hayes gave an assurance that he would look for funding. Some of it will have to come in from Europe. The defences put in place last week are temporary and not a long-term solution. The Seafield houses are protected by bags of crushed stone and rock armour,” Cloghauninchy Action Group chairman, Michael Neenan said. “I’d be fairly confident that it will hold out the sea but with a high tide of 5.9 metres, along with the waves we’ve had, it would be very hard to keep that out with …

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Along the Wild Atlantic Way

FÁILTE  Ireland wants all Clare communities to row in behind the 2014 Wild Atlantic Way tourism initiative.  The tourism authority will be holding a series of community meetings along the west coast with one taking place in the Armada Hotel, Spanish Point on Wednesday night next. Encouraging communities to get involved, Fiona Monaghan from Fáilte Ireland said ,“Over the coming weeks we will be holding a series of community briefings so that you can learn more about the Wild Atlantic Way, share ideas and work together. These events are all about making sure your local area gets the most out of this  initiative.” The Wild Atlantic Way is a long distance touring route from Donegal to West Cork with a total length of 2,500km showcasing the Atlantic coastline. The objective is to link the destinations and attractions along the route together, with the ultimate aim of creating a variety of experiences and attracting more international visitors to the West Coast. …

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scattery island

Scattery Island photo exhibition

THE  intriguing history of Scattery Island and Kililmer – Tarbert,  can be appreciated in a new photographic exhibition launched at the University of Limerick  by UL president, Professor Don Barry. The exhibition entitled ‘Inhabiting the Shannon Estuary: Scattery Island and Kilimer-Tarbert’ was developed from the activities of the Scattery Island Heritage and Tourism Forum which ran and won the ‘Community Gathering of the Year’ award from Chambers Ireland for their Island Gathering in July 2013. The Scattery Island exhibition was pieced together by the voluntary group whose long term aim is to preserve the physical and built environment on the island, working with the Office of Public Works and Clare County Council. The photographs are drawn from the Limerick City Museum Collection, the National Monuments Service, the Lawrence Collection in the National Library of Ireland and personal perspectives provided by the Forum members. Professor Barry said, “The exhibition illustrates the rich history of the island from its establishment as a …

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