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West Clare

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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Water outages in Miltown Malbay

Irish Water and Clare County Council are working to restore water supply to Miltown Malbay and surrounding areas following a burst water main this morning.  Customers in Milltown Malbay, Annagh, Poulawillin, Knockloskeraun, Spanish Point, Rineen, Kilfarboy, Ballyvaskin, Toureen, Ballard and surrounding areas may experience low water pressure, discolouration and/or outages. It is expected that the repairs will be completed by 6pm today. However it may take a number of hours for normal water supply to fully return to all affected properties. “We understand the inconvenience when a burst occurs and thanks customers for their patience while we work to repair the burst and restore normal supply to impacted customers. Our customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1850 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries.  For updates please see the water supply and services section of our website. “Irish Water is working at this time, with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard …

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West Clare counts the cost of Summer School cancellation

MILTOWN Malbay and the wider West Clare community continue to count the cost of the cancellation of an event whose economic value has been set at between €5 and €10 million annually. The Willie Clancy Summer School, whose cultural value is probably impossible to estimate, is among the casualties of the coronavirus restrictions. Its absence, on what would have been its 48th birthday, will be felt well beyond the Banner county. This year’s event had been expected to attract 1500 students  between July 4 and 12, with many thousands more attending for sessions, talks, seminars, dancing, concerts and the general festival atmosphere. Administrative Director Harry Hughes described the cancellation of this year’s Scoil Samhradh as “disappointing but inevitable” in the context of Covid-19. “We had been hoping things might improve in terms of the virus, but that wasn’t to be,” he remarked. “We are very disappointed for all of our students and tutors who attend year after year and the cancellation …

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Vodafone restores coverage on Loop Head network

VODAFONE has fixed a fault which had caused a long-running problem with phone coverage in Loop Head. The company was contacted last week after local dairy farmer John Keane told The Champion of his concerns over the coverage for phone and data. He outlined how his family had paid over €1,000 over a six-month time-frame when they had virtually no coverage on the network. In response, Vodafone apologised for the network issue. This week, the company said its engineers have replaced a part on the network and that services are now available once again to customers in the area. The Keane family have confirmed that, as of last Monday, their phone coverage, and that of their neighbours, has been restored.

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St Patrick inspires Kilkee native working in Papua New Guinea

IT’S a long way from West Clare to Papua New Guinea, but Fr John Glynn who is a long-time citizen of the island nation still holds his native Kilkee very close to his heart. Currently on lock-down until at least early June, Fr John, who is full of energy and drive, despite his 80+ years, told The Champion he is keen to return to normal daily life. For the retired teacher, that includes working with some of the country’s most vulnerable, as well as co-hosting a weekly one-hour radio show on the Catholic station, Radio Maria. Over his many decades in Papua New Guinea, Fr John was instrumental in setting up the WeCARe! Organisation, to work with the poor and disadvantaged who make up a considerable percentage of the state’s eight million citizens. Fr John described his adopted home as “an absolute paradise” in terms of its beauty, but a land of deeply ingrained inequality.“Illiteracy rates here are around 85%,” …

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Anger boils over as Miltown water woes continue

CONCERN at ongoing delays in upgrading the water service in the Miltown Malbay area has prompted one local woman to go public on the matter, saying that a fourth outage in as many weeks, has put her family and her livestock at risk. In a letter to The Clare Champion, Dolores Murphy of Rineen described a litany of issues that she and her neighbours have endured in recent years. While Irish Water has apologised for the situation, the utility has confirmed that it will be 2021 before all works to secure the supply are completed. Last week, a burst water main led to an outage affecting Miltown Malbay, Mullagh, Spanish Point, Cree, Cooraclare and those on surrounding Group Water Schemes. Commenting on the situation, Mrs Murphy, wrote: “It has come to the point where I can no longer sit in silence. In the past month (four calendar weeks) we have been without water four times. The latest interruption to service …

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Kilkee blacksmith diversifies in response to Covid-19 crisis

A WEST Clare company that is steeped in tradition dating back hundreds of years has found itself diversifying radically to stay alive, and to serve the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kilkee Forge, which dates back to the 1700s, and is now run by fifth-generation blacksmith and industrial designer Conor Murray. With his normal bespoke commissions for sculptural projects and outdoor furniture drying up dramatically because of the Coronavirus restrictions, Conor identified a need for protective products for small businesses locally and drew on resources recently acquired by the businesses to create a new line of highly sought after products. “I had to pivot because while our regular lines of work were disappearing, new needs were arising,” he explained. “I could see that, in terms of the protective perspex sneeze guards, that the bigger shops and supermarkets were quickly looked after but the smaller ones weren’t. It seemed that, in West Clare in particular, smaller businesses were being left behind …

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