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Tag Archives: clare county council

Vacant houses hold key to unlocking crisis

CLARE County Council has appealed to property owners to make their vacant homes available for social housing, in a bid to ease the “epidemic” accommodation shortage. According to the council’s director of services for housing, Ger Dollard, one of the keys to unlocking the solution is through the use of vacant properties. Owners of the thousands of currently empty properties in Clare are being encouraged to make contact with the local authority, with a view to making more homes available for those on the waiting list. Mr Dollard told a meeting of Clare County Council that this is the “real solution” to dealing with the housing issue in the short term. Figures contained in the 2011 Census show there are 11,782 vacant housing units in Clare out of a total housing stock of 55,616 units. The vacancy rate of 21.2% is the second highest in Munster and higher than the national average of 14.5%. At the meeting, Mr Dollard agreed …

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Councillors seek abolition of West Clare Municipal District

The two longest serving county councillors are seeking the abolition of the West Clare Municipal District (WCMD) amid claims it is no longer relevant due to a lack of funding. Stretching from Loop Head to Ballyvaughan, eight county councillors are members of this district and on the 28-person Clare County Council. District chairman Christy Curtin, and Clare’s longest serving councillor PJ Kelly, have suggested that the municipal district has no real role to play because of a lack of finance. They made their comments at last Friday’s local authority meeting in Miltown Malbay Community Centre when it emerged that their budget was set at €56,700. “Is there a case for our discontinuing?” Councillor Curtin asked. “I don’t see a role for us any more. Rural Ireland has become economically and politically irrelevant,” Councillor Kelly claimed. Chief executive officer Tom Coughlan told councillors at the meeting that the allocation was the same as that issued in 2014. Councillor Kelly asked how …

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Ennistymon right of way row

A DISPUTED right of way on the proposed site for a new Aldi supermarket “will be contested to the end”, a former mayor of Clare told an oral hearing last week. An Bord Pleanála held a two-day hearing in Ennis last week after three separate appeals were lodged against permission for the development of the discount supermarket on the mart site in Ennistymon. As well as the amenity value of the existing mart, Kevin O’Connor, the resident living closest to the site, described how schoolchildren, local people and firefighters at the nearby station have used a stile beside his home to access a right of way through the mart grounds for decades. Mr O’Connor described how he is the third generation of his family to live on Churchill, his children are the fourth and his grandchildren the fifth. In cross-questioning, he estimated that the stile “must be there over 40 years”. He said he had been using it for the …

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Plenty of rock salt to treat roads

Clare County Council has sufficient supplies of rock salt to treat the county’s regional and national roads over the winter months. The local authority’s depot/maintenance facility at Beechpark, has 1,600 tonnes of rock salt, which the council notes is sufficient to facilitate up to 30 applications on the county’s strategic road network. Salt stocks will also be drawn down by the council during the winter from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the NRA) and the Department of Transport. Further stocks will be available if required in an emergency situation from TII’s strategic salt reserve.

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Getting down to business about the Fleadh

Preparations for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 in Ennis stepped up this week with statutory bodies hosting an information briefing for business people in the town. The briefing was held in advance of Comhaltas Abbey Branch submitting a formal event licence application under the statutory planning process. The application process will afford an opportunity to the wider public to comment on proposals for what will be the largest event ever staged in the town. Local gardaí have provided a contact email address (ennis_ds@garda.ie) up to November 30, where businesses can bring to the attention of the agencies any proposals or issues that might be of relevance for Fleadh 2016. “This is a major event for Ennis and it requires significant advanced planning by all involved. We have opened up a channel of communication with the business community and we would ask that they would engage with the agencies at this point,” commented Superintendent Brendan McDonagh. Adrian Kelly, chief …

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Farmers have chance to clear hazardous waste

Clare farmers are being encouraged to avail of an upcoming opportunity to dispose of their hazardous wastes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has teamed up with Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Local Authorities, WEEE Ireland and the European Recycling Platform (ERP) to operate 10 bring centres for the collection of farm hazardous waste across the country, one of which will be located in Ennis next Monday, from 9.30am to 3.30pm. Waste items ranging from out-of-date pesticides to waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) and from waste engine oil to contaminated waste packaging can be deposited at Ennis Mart. The farm hazardous waste campaign was successfully piloted in 2013 and ran again in 2014. Over 3,000 farmers brought waste to 16 collection centres and disposed of 260 tonnes of hazardous waste and 100 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries. “This scheme provides farmers with an excellent opportunity to dispose of their hazardous wastes …

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Tulla Road closed to facilitate water works

Motorists are bracing themselves for traffic disruption on one of Ennis’ busiest routes from this Saturday with the start of a week-long 24-hour road closure. Senior engineer with Clare County Council Tom Tiernan has described the upcoming closure on the Tulla Road to facilitate works by Irish Water as “probably one of the most punishing elements” of the county capital’s watermain rehabilitation project. However, he has insisted that the full closure of the road was the best possible option for both residents and those behind the project, which involves the replacement of leaking pipes. Contractor Ward & Burke Construction Ltd are carrying out the works, which will see the road closed from the roundabout on the Lifford Road to the east side of the Tulla Road Bridge on the Tulla Road. The road closure will be in place from this Saturday until Sunday, November 1 inclusive and diversions are in place. Speaking ahead of the closure, he acknowledged that residents …

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Preparing a plan for Holy Island

A team of specialists has been appointed to prepare a Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island on Lough Derg. Clare County Council has announced that Dublin-based Solearth Architecture has been engaged to prepare proposals in relation to improving access to the island and the provision of tourism facilities on or near the island, as well as proposals on the marketing and promoting of the island as a visitor destination. In June last, the council acquired 41 acres on Holy Island which, together with the two acres already in the ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW), resulted in the entire island being brought into public ownership for the first time. Dating back to the 7th century, the island is one of the most important historical and ecclesiastical sites in Ireland, and it has important links to Brian Ború. Buildings on the island include a 24-metre high round tower, an oratory, and a number of churches. …

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