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Councillor Gabriel Keating

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 lighting so that elected members could look at the possibility of making a contribution from their General Municipal Allocation (GMA). At the previous meeting of the district committee, Councillor Lynch had tabled a motion seeking to have street lighting extended between the Shanakyle Road and St Senan’s Graveyard in Kilrush. He had also sought details on options and costs for new lights.

“This issues has come up up several times throughout the municipal district, and we’re discussing it once again,” he said, “and again, we’re being told the money isn’t there. If we could get an estimate of costs, we would be in a position to see what might be possible using GMA money.”

Mr Kennelly undertook to examine if providing such details was possible. His written reply to Councillor Keating also noted the national plan to retrofit public lighting, in the interests of energy efficiency, over the next few years.

“The Local Authority Public Lighting Energy Efficiency Project proposes to retrofit circa 280,000 Public Lights with energy efficient LED lanterns over the next 3-4 years in 24 Local Authorities across Ireland,” the reply stated. “It is estimated that the total capital expenditure for this project will be circa €150 million. I understand that Clare is in the Southern Region and that LED upgrading works are due to begin in Clare in 2022.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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