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Tag Archives: clare county council

Clare council challenged over record on Traveller accommodation

SINN Féin TD Violet Anne Wynne has raised, at national level, a number of questions over Clare County Council’s track record on providing accommodation for Travellers, writes Fiona McGarry. In a Dáil debate on a report by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Committee (IHREC), she said more must be done for those struggling to secure appropriate housing. “In Clare, based on information compiled by the council, members of the Traveller community accounted for a stark 52% of the homeless figures last year, although they comprise less than 1% of the overall population,” Deputy Wynne told the chamber. “They represent more than half of the total number of people affected by homelessness in Clare. The report flags that only 2% of those on the summary of social housing assessments for 2020, which catalogues the level of unmet need for social housing, are categorised as Travellers. “These numbers just do not add up. It is concerning because without proper disaggregated data, …

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Population plan the ‘end of rural Clare’

Councillors want legal advice on means to challenge NDP projections A COUNCILLOR has blasted proposed population allocations for the county saying it “effectively will be the end of rural Clare”. Legal advice is to be sought by Clare councillors on the constitutionality of proposed population allocations for the county set out in the National Planning Framework. Councillor PJ Kelly at the monthly meeting of Clare County Council insisted the population targets in the framework, which has to be adhered to in drawing up the County Development Plan, are “discriminatory” and “effectively will be the end of rural Clare”. He was backed by Councillor Joe Killeen who, while welcoming projected population growth in Ennis and the Limerick / Shannon Metropolitan area, said “the difficulty is for the remainder of the county the population projections are very low for Clare”. He said this puts services for communities in rural Clare “in jeopardy” with “a further diminishing of what is there already”. In …

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Clarity over council costs in preparing pyrite testing

DETAILS have been provided on the costs incurred by Clare County Council in preparing a report on the extent of pyrite in homes here. A Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows the council is seeking to recoup €80,000 after the Department of Housing asked it to make a case for extending the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme to Clare. The report is being considered by Minister Darragh O’Brien, alongside a major overhaul of the scheme itself, which currently only covers Mayo and Donegal. At a public meeting in October, attended by up to 80 homeowners, there were some fractious exchanges between Oireachtas members over the bill. A breakdown of the costs was sought by the Department of Housing and correspondence, secured under FOI, shows that the council clarified the bill. The authority said that external tests and reports were carried out on ten properties at a cost of €7,000 each. A further cost of €15,000 was incurred for “internal technical …

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Council spent €180k renting five public toilets in Clare this year

COUNCILLORS are seeking a review of spending on public toilets after a Clare Champion investigation revealed the local authority spends almost €180,000 renting five automated public conveniences in different locations, writes Dan Danaher. The expenditure on contract automated public conveniences increased slightly from €179,202 in 2020 to €179,714 in 2021, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. This includes an annual cost of €37,834 for a single automated public convenience in Killaloe, Market, Ennis, Abbey Street, Ennis, Kilkee and €28,375 in Kilrush. The cost of running and maintaining permanent facilities in Lahinch Seaworld fell from €49,701 to €37,355, while expenditure on Lissycasey public convenience fell from €7,077 to €2,012. This doesn’t include the estimated cost of €141,500 additional temporary public toilets that were put in place from May 1 to September 1. The authority spent €50,000 providing toilet facilities in Doolin Pier, €40,000 on Fanore Beach, €21,500 in Ballyalla, Ennis, €14,000 in Ballycuggeran, Killaloe and €6,000 in …

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Turnover of Clare’s retained firefighters ‘like a revolving door’

THE turnover of Clare’s retained firefighters is “like a revolving door” with 47 people leaving the service since 2016, a meeting of Clare County Council was told this week. However, council CEO Pat Dowling has insisted “Clare Fire and Rescue Service is not in a state of crisis.” Councillor Liam Grant, who works as a retained firefighter in Ennistymon, outlined that a full crew at Killaloe fire station would usually consist of nine firefighters but there are just seven at the moment. “There’s a lot of pressure being put on those seven and if they don’t get back-up, I’m full sure some will resign. When fully staffed we have 75 retained firefighters in the county. Since 2016, 47 people have left the fire service in Clare that weren’t at retirement age. We’ve had a turnover of about 60% in the last few years. It wasn’t because they retired, they just didn’t want to do it anymore. This is not sustainable”. He …

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O’Connell Street makeover set to commence next year

THE regeneration of Ennis’ main thoroughfare is set to begin next year, a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District has heard. Members of the municipal district have given their backing for the proposed public realm works on O’Connell Street, with the part 8 plans to go before a full meeting of Clare County Council for approval next week. At the monthly meeting Ennis councillors voiced their support for the project, while a call was also made for the retention of decorative poles for hanging baskets along the street as well as the salvaging of existing paving stones to be used elsewhere in the town. The works to O’Connell Street are Project B3 in the second phase of the overall Ennis Town Centre Public, and are a continuation of Project B1, O’Connell Square, High Street and Bank Place, and Project B2, Old Barrack Street and Barrack Square. Leonore O’Neill, senior executive officer, told the monthly meeting of Ennis councillors that the …

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Pedestrian access to St Flannan’s College to be reopened

PLANS to reopen a pedestrian entrance to St Flannan’s College, not used since the 1970s, have been given the green light. Clare County Council have granted planning permission for the proposal which also paves the way for the construction of a controlled crossing point on the Clare Road. The move is part of efforts by the school to reduce car dependency and increase walking and cycling among students and staff. The board of management at the secondary school applied to Clare County Council for planning permission to re-open the entrance on the boundary wall to the Clare Road, as well as erecting a barrier and gate. The access was previously used as a pedestrian access point in the 1970s and was the school’s main access location in the 1940s and 50s. The school, with a student population of 1,181 with 100 staff, currently has one vehicular access on College View Road and two existing pedestrian access points. According to documents …

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‘Bureaucracy’ delaying decision on Clare blocks redress access

FURTHER delays in giving Clare homeowners access to the grant scheme for defective blocks have been strongly condemned by the founder of The Clare Pyrite Action Group. There were conflicting reports, at a recent public meeting, on whether and when the Department of Housing had raised queries with the council, over its application to access to the scheme. The Department has now clarified to Deputy Joe Carey and to The Champion that it is to contact the council “shortly” about the report it submitted in June. Given the Minister gave an assurance, on his Clare visit in August, that a decision would be made in a matter of weeks, the delay has provoked anger. “This is disgraceful carry on,” Dr Martina Cleary said. “Bureaucracy is being used to drag out people’s suffering. This obfuscation is unacceptable, and the council’s application is being pushed from pillar to post. It’s an utter joke and they think people are stupid enough to believe …

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