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Councillor Ian Lynch. Photograph by John Kelly.

Hopes of reviving heart of west Clare town

DERELICTION in the centre of Kilrush is to be tackled, following representations by Councillor Ian Lynch. 

The Independent Council member raised the issue at the West Clare Municipal District meeting earlier this month when he highlighted the state of Moore Street in the heart of the town. He asked that the area be considered for inclusion on a suitable scheme to address dereliction and also that overhead electricity lines be put underground, if possible. 

In a written response, Mairead Corbett, Administrative Officer in the Housing section stated: “The Vacant Homes Office is currently undertaking a study of Moore Street, Kilrush with a view to identifying vacant properties with potential for redevelopment.  Assessment is ongoing on a number of properties to determine their potential and decide on future action”.

A second response was supplied in relation to the electricity cables. Alan Kennelly, Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) under took to contact the ESB in relation to their requirements relating to the possible undergrounding of the overhead cables.

“I have been in touch with a number of those involved with the Moore Street/Stewart Street resurfacing project (2011) but, to date, I have been unable to establish definitively if ducting to accommodate the undergrounded cables was laid as part of the project,” Mr Kennelly’s reply added. “A funding source will be required if the overhead electricity cables on Moore Street are to be undergrounded.”

Councillor Lynch told the meeting he was delighted with the replies. “This has been an extremely vibrant street over the years,” he said. “Now, unfortunately, there is a lot of dereliction. We have a big rise in demand for two-bed houses and there could be an opportunity to develop these in Kilrush.”

The motion was seconded by Councillor Gabriel Keating. “Around 2009, I had a motion seeking a study of vacant homes in Clare,” he said. “That was followed up to some extent. Moore Street leads a lot of traffic into the town of Kilrush. I was recently in a town in Mayo with a lot of closed buildings and it gives a bad feeling. Town teams might have local knowledge and ideas about this kind of thing. It’s a good motion and very timely.”

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