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West Clare

A dozen As for Kildysart student

THE vice-principal of St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart said the school is “absolutely delighted” that one of its students was among the highest achievers nationwide in the Junior Cert. Sixteen-year-old Ciara Kenny secured 12 As and Deirdre Convey said while the school is very pleased for Ciara, it is very happy with the results “across the board”. Ms Convey said Ciara is an “excellent student”, who excels both in academic and extra-curricular subjects. “Ciara was a winner in the Féile na hInse competition and she participates in the girls’ basketball team,” Ms Convey said. “She was also a member of the Green Schools Committee, which won two green flags last year and she took part in the young environmentalist competition last year and was one of the group who got to the Mansion House.” Ms Convey said overall the students in the Kildysart-based school did very well and were supported in their endeavours by the “committed and dedicated” staff …

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Planning review sought for €20m windfarm

CLARE County Council has been asked to conduct a thorough planning review concerning the start of civil engineering works for a €20 million windfarm amid claims it constituted unauthorised development. Councillor PJ Kelly has called on chief executive officer, Tom Coughlan, to conduct a review into how a windfarm company, Tullabrack Energy Limited, was allowed to start work on its site in  Tullabrack in West Clare despite a series of written warnings about its alleged non-compliance with planning conditions. The Lissycasey councillor wants a review to establish whether or not planning laws were administered in accordance with proper procedure and to put the necessary structures in place to ensure there is no repetition of “administrative confusion”. “It seems that one section of the council doesn’t know what the other section is doing. There is a management deficit and I am calling on Mr Coughlan to intervene,” he said. A seven-day commencement notice for an ESB substation on the site came …

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Students’ flight from West Clare

UP to 80% of students educated at Kilrush Community School have no option but to leave West Clare, due to the absence of employment opportunities. That’s according to principal, Rock Kirwan, who is starting his 24th year at the 38-teacher school, which has a current enrolment of 430 pupils. “I would suspect that you are talking between 20% and 30%,” he replied, when asked how many of his past pupils live and work in the region. “That would be an interesting piece of research for some budding sociologist to take up in college, as to what is happening in rural areas. Most see that their futures lie elsewhere and not in the local area. Most are aware of that, particularly those that go on to third level, as most do. If you take what’s being called the recovery in the Irish economy, it’s being fed out of two or three major urban centres. I don’t see that that has filtered …

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Lighthouse shines as a tourist attraction

Loop Head lighthouse has consolidated its position as one of West Clare’s best tourist attractions. Figures for the period April 3 to August 31 show that 23,000 people visited the lighthouse, a 13% increase on the entire figure for 2014. This is the historic landmark’s fifth year of operation. 47.5% of the total visitor figure up to Sunday, August 30, is represented by Irish visitors, with Germany, North America, UK, France and Italy collectively accounting for 42.2% of the overall figure. Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until October 4. For the first time ,meanwhile, the attraction will be opened to the public during weekends in October. Councillor James Breen, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said, “The 19th century West Clare landmark is certainly benefiting from its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and as one …

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Getting lost in the music at Moyasta

MAIRÉAD Considine can’t help but admit to clear pride at the fact that Moyasta will host up to 70 traditional music musicians this weekend for the 13th Crotty Galvin Festival. Her native townland, Shragh, is just a couple of miles away and it was while at primary school there that her love of music was honed. Mairéad attributes this to Yvonne Griffin, who taught her at Shragh National School. “She is definitely responsible for me playing and she is probably responsible for my career path as well. She was such an influence and so passionate. She used to teach me at break time,” Mairéad, who teaches at Ennistymon National School, recalled. This weekend’s festival commemorates the seismic contribution made to traditional music by the Crotty brothers and Nell Galvin. “Growing up, Peadar would have been one of the musicians you would have wanted to play beside. I would also have known of his younger brother, PJ. When you’re young, you …

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Search continues for Japanese couple

Gardaí have issued an appeal for information on the movements of two Japanese tourists, for whom a land and sea search in ongoing in Kilkee. Eiji Takagi (63) and Ushio Azaki (61) checked out of their hotel in Spanish Point on Saturday morning and have not been seen since. The alarm was raised on Tuesday after their red Hyundai hired car was spotted in Kilkee, still in the same place where it had been parked a couple of days earlier. Concerns were heightened when it was established that they did not turn up for a flight from Shannon on Monday. A search was initiated along the northern section of Kilkee Bay on Tuesday evening but discontinued as darkness fell. The search resumed on Wednesday but was hampered by rough seas in the morning. The search resumed yet again in the afternoon and was called off when light faded. It is understood that the search on the shore and in the …

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Charlie fundraising for Kenyan project

KILKEE man Charlie McGrath is fundraising for a volunteer working trip to Kenya next January. While in Mombasa for a fortnight in 2016, the retired fire fighter, who operates a fuel business in Kilkee, will spend his time working with a Ray of Sunshine Foundation building project. As part of his efforts to raise €3,000, Charlie is organising a concert with TR Dallas in the Kilkee Bay Hotel on Friday night. “It’s all in aid of building a rescue centre in Mombasa, Kenya. It’s in support of the work of Dr Rory O’Keeffe, from Ennis, who is the medical supervisor in that centre. This is my third trip to Kenya,” Charlie told The Clare Champion. “The first time I was there, we built a rescue centre for blind children. We then built an extension to an overcrowded school and this time we’re building a medical centre for children who have been through difficult times. “It’s taking 200 volunteers to complete this …

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Tesco’s plans for petrol station in Kilrush

A PLANNING application has been submitted by Tesco Ireland Ltd for a four-island petrol filling station in Kilrush, which would include a shop and a forecourt and the addition of a three-armed internal mini-roundabout. The planning application was received by Clare County Council on July 29 and also seeks permission for underground storage tanks, a circulation area, “access and egress provisions, advertising signage, modifications and relocation of permitted totem, provision for air and water, landscaping, boundary treatment and all associated site development works”. Additional works that are also listed include the reorganisation of part of the existing car park to accommodate the proposed development. In November 2008, Kilrush Town Council granted planning permission to Tesco to build the four-island petrol station. However, Kilrush traders appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála. In 2009, An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for the petrol station because of traffic safety and access concerns. Planning permission had twice been granted by Clare County Council, …

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