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West Clare

Clare volunteers lead appeal to fund RNLI’s lifesaving efforts

RESCUE figures for 2020 show that the volunteer lifeboat crew at the RNLI’s station in Kilrush launched nine times and brought 11 people to safety. Three of those launches were carried out in the hours of darkness. The figures were released as RNLI launched its Mayday Mile appeal which is calling on the public to cover one mile on any day in the month of May to help raise funds for the voluntary service. Kilrush RNLI Helm Charlie Glynn said, “Our callouts last year ranged from a young child blown out to sea on an inflatable to rescuing three people from a sinking vessel in gale force conditions. “For every callout there is a person behind it who is worried that something bad may have happed to a loved one and we are there to help find them and bring them home. “Thank you to everyone who supports the work of the volunteer lifeboat crews. From the vessel we use …

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Clare woman, 98, finally gets vaccine as she welcomes new great-great grand-daughter

SARAH Ryan’s great-great-grandchild River was born in London this Monday on the same day that the Clare woman finally got vaccinated against Covid-19, writes Dan Danaher. Sarah, who lives in Emelagh near Quilty, has 13 children, 34 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. The great-great-grandmother was left in despair in recent weeks amid concerns she was being left behind in the national vaccination programme. Her grandson, Declan Wilkes, (37) recently went public to highlight the family’s growing frustration over the delay. “Thank god the day has finally arrived. She’s uplifted, it’s completely transformed her mood – the thought that no one cared and of being left behind was so upsetting to see. “We’re relieved beyond belief; it’s been an emotional few days since Sarah’s story came out. It’s resonated with a lot of families out there still waiting. “It’s also brought great comfort to my mother, Rita, who as her carer, has lived with the fear every day …

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More lighting concerns in rural West Clare

FURTHER concerns have been raised in West Clare over the adequacy of street lighting in rural areas. At the March meeting of the Municipal District committee, the matter was brought up by Councillor Gabriel Keating who called for upgrade works in Knockerra Village. “There are a number of houses on the side road close to the church and there is not public lighting there whatsoever,” he said. “I would ask the authority to look at rectifying this situation as soon as possible.” A written reply from Alan Kennelly, Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) outlined that works are unlikely unless money becomes available to the authority. “Clare County Council does not have any plans to extend public lighting along the L-6168-0 – the side road up by the Church,” the response said. “If a funding source should become available then public lighting may be installed.” The response prompted Councillor Ian Lynch to ask officials to provide estimates on the cost of street …

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Call for boost to West Clare pier lighting

LIGHTING on piers in West Clare is critical to supporting what remains of the county’s fishing industry, a local councillor has said. At this month’s meeting of the Municipal District committee, Councillor Cillian Murphy described the issue as “close to his heart”. “As someone who was involved in the fishing industry, I know the importance of having proper services on our piers,” he said. “Fishing crews have started to gear back up and I’ve had contact in relation to both of the piers in Carrigaholt. But, equally, I’m making the call on behalf of fishermen using all of the district’s piers, lights must be operational on all of them. For the want of a few bulbs, we could be making these areas a lot safer. There was no light at all on either of the Carrigaholt piers at one stage. We have little enough left of our fishing industry at this stage and this would go some way toward supporting …

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Moves afoot to improve access to school bus transport

RESTRICTIONS on access to school bus transport in North Clare are causing hardship and inconvenience for many parents and students in the Corofin area, a recent meeting of local councillors was told. Councillor Joe Killeen, a former primary school principal and ex-president of the INTO, called on the West Clare Municipal District committee to contact the government on the matter and to ask them to redefine the catchment area for the secondary schools in Ennistymon. “Such a move”, he said, “would make pupils from Corofin eligible for school transport on a phased basis.” The Fianna Fáil member noted that, currently, the Department of Education provides subsidised school transport for post-primary pupils who live more than 4.8 kilometres away from the appropriate school. Because schools in Ennis are closer to those living in Corofin, students currently only have ‘concessionary’ status on school busses to Ennistymon. “We have had a huge increase in the primary school population,” Councillor Killeen noted. “Now, as …

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West Clare councillors demand clarity on population growth targets

ANGER has been expressed by West Clare councillors over national planning policies which they fear will stifle population growth. Tabling a joint motion at the recent municipal district meeting, Councillors Cillian Murphy, Ian Lynch, Shane Talty and Joe Garrihy sought details of population growth targets under the forthcoming County Development Plan. All voiced frustration at the reply, which was described as “a non-response”. “We’ve been briefed on now the new plan will have to tie in with the regional spatial strategy and so we’re now looking for clarity on the population allocation for West Clare,” Councillor Murphy said. “It’s kind of mind-boggling that any national policy would restrict any county’s ambition to develop. We are the district most likely to be affected if Ennis gets city status. That puts the development focus on the Limerick-Shannon-Ennis corridor. We have to question where we will get a chance to be ambitious for the growth of our area.” Councillor Lynch described as “a …

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Concerns continue over main arterial route to West Clare

A FIVE-YEAR programme to address the condition of one of West Clare’s main arterial routes has been called for, amid ongoing concerns at changes to speed limits on the N68. Reductions at a number of points on the road from Kilrush to Ennis were introduced in 2019, meaning there are 11 different speed zones on the route. At the West Clare Municipal District meeting last week, these concerns prompted a Kilrush-based councillor to consider voting against the Schedule of Municipal District Works. The programme was unveiled by Senior Engineer, John Leahy and described by Director of Services Leonard Cleary as “a very, very good result for West Clare”. There was a welcome, generally, for the fact that €34.5 million has been allocated for the county, but Councillor Ian Lynch said that the condition of the N68 from Kilrush to Ennis caused him to think twice before giving his backing to the schedule of works. The Independent councillor thanked Mr Leahy …

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Concerns raised over possible de-zoning of council land

THE risk that some lands owned by council could drop substantially in value, because of new national planning policies, has been flagged by a member of the West Clare Municipal District. Councillor Cillian Murphy told a meeting of the district committee that huge opportunity presented by the pandemic to bring people back to rural Clare could be lost if lands have to be zoned under the terms of the National Planning Framework (NPF), which will shape the forthcoming county development plan. The Fianna Fáil member asked the authority for details of all lands owned by the local authority and details of their zoning, whether residential, industrial or residential. “The impetus for this,” he explained, “is that we need to look at what lands the council owns in the context of the NPF. There is a huge drive from government to deliver affordable housing and a huge opportunity because of the pandemic, for people to live and work in rural Ireland.” …

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