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Home » Tag Archives: Clare Deputy Michael McNamara

Tag Archives: Clare Deputy Michael McNamara

Shannon Heritage transfer in balance as funding fears grow

THE long-awaited transfer of Shannon Heritage sites to Clare County Council hangs in the balance after Chief Executive, Pat Dowling told councillors he was informed by two senior government officials a funding package estimated to be €15 million over three years would not be approved. While some councillors who attended a two-hour briefing behind closed doors to the public and media on Wednesday are adamant that no final decision has been taken by the council, this latest bombshell represents a major setback to the proposed transfer. An Taoiseach Micheál Martin gave a vague response about the future of this deal when questioned by Deputy Michael McNamara this week. Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy McNamara recalled the Taoiseach had told him on Tuesday he had met Mr during his recent visit to the Shannon Industrial Estate and the CEO had identified there was a funding gap from the council’s perspective. Deputy McNamara said the Taoiseach also stated, “I have …

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Clare TD – salvage some good from costly windfarm debacle

THE operation of the soon to be decommissioned Derrybrien Wind Farm could be be transferred to a local authority to salvage something from what has become a costly debacle. Deputy Michael McNamara suggested a county council could make a new planning application with the explicit undertaking that any and all profits made from the controversial windfarm go back into protecting the environment of Slieve Aughty. That was one of the suggestions made by the Clare Deputy to salvage some positive dividend for the taxpayer amid claims the total overall loss to the state could be as high as €70 million. Following a lump sum fine of €5 million and a daily fine of €15,000 plus legal costs imposed by the European Court of Justice ruling in November 2019, the Derrybrien Wind Farm may exceed an estimated €18 million depending on when the EU decides Ireland has fully complied with its ruling. The penalties were levied after it found Ireland had …

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Minister: coal burning at Moneypoint could continue past 2025

PLANS to cease burning coal to generate electricity in Moneypoint Power Station in 2025 may be delayed unless renewable sources of energy are delivered quicker than expected. Deputy Michael McNamara recently asked Climate Action and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan to outline the Government’s position regarding the operation of Moneypoint in view of ongoing energy security challenges. Minister Ryan confirmed the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) currently has a programme of actions underway to ensure the security of Ireland’s electricity supply over the coming winters. These actions include: procurement of new, enduring capacity through a number of capacity auctions; procuring additional temporary generation; extending the availability of existing generation capacity; additional use of grid scale batteries; and improved demand-side measures. Margins will remain tight during this coming winter period. “In line with the Government’s policy statement on security of electricity supply published in November 2021, it is appropriate that existing conventional electricity generation capacity, including existing coal, should be retained …

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Clare TD queries delay in opening of Ennis Primary Care Centre

CONCERN has been expressed about the delay in the scheduled time frame when the new multi-million Euro Ennis Primary Care Centre will be fully operational. Deputy Michael McNamara recently asked the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly when the Ennis Primary Healthcare Centre at Station Road Ennis will be fully operational. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that HSE Estates has advised that the centre is scheduled to become operational during the third quarter of the year. “The opening of the Station Road centre will be a significant development in the delivery of community-based health services for the people of Ennis and the surrounding area,” Minister Donnelly explained. However, Deputy McNamara is concerned about the latest delay after he was informed by Mid-West Primary Care Manager, Carmel McLaughlin the HSE Estates Department has advised this centre will become operational “in the latter part of 2022”. “The centre is currently being equipped and services will commence operation on a phased basis,” she stated. As …

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Mid-West patient waiting times ‘a national disgrace’

The fact that almost 58,000 people are now waiting for care across hospitals in the Mid-West has been condemned as a “national disgrace” by a local lobby group. The Mid-West Hospital Campaign (MWHC) has claimed removing 24-hour casualty cover from Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals in April 2009 has resulted in 58,774 people waiting for public hospital inpatient/day treatment, GI endoscopies or an outpatient appointment with a consultant throughout the region. New figures released by the HSE confirm that one in every three (33%) approved permanent Hospital Consultant posts in the UL Hospitals’ Group are either vacant or filled on a temporary or agency basis – an all-time high 68 out of 206 approved Consultant posts3 – an increase of 16 posts not filled as needed since November 2020. Outpatient waiting lists at hospitals in the Mid-West region have almost doubled, with a 94% hike since 2015. The number of ‘long waiters’ on the list to be assessed by a consultant …

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Varadkar challenged: What will you do for UHL as taoiseach?

TÁINAISTE Leo Varadkar has been urged to address chronic overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) when he takes over from Micheál Martin as Taoiseach. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Michael McNamara stated almost every day of the lifetime of this Government University Hospital Limerick, (UHL) has been the most overcrowded hospital in the country. “Of the 676 beds we were told would be required at the time of reconfiguration, more than one third have yet to materialise. As Head of Government, what will the Tánaiste do differently? “The current Taoiseach has said it is a matter for the HSE, even though the HSE is not improving the situation? “What will the Tánaiste do differently to ensure UHL is no longer providing a different level of healthcare from the rest of the country?,” he asked. Minister Varadkar said he knows UHL well and has visited it several times. “As Taoiseach and Minister for Health previously, I did my best to ensure …

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52% rise in attendances at Ennis Hospital MAU over two years

The number of attendances at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in Ennis Hospital increased by 52% in the two years to 2021, with a further 8% increase recorded during the first five months of this year. That’s according to figures released by the HSE in response to a Parliamentary Question from Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara. Official figures show the number of attendances at the MAU in Ennis increased from 3,740 in 2019 to 5,673 in 2021. It has also emerged that average inpatient bed numbers in Ennis Hospital remained static at five. The HSE also confirmed the recent recruitment of seven new staff with additional recruitment underway in relation to allied health, general support and radiology positions at the MAU. Deputy McNamara, who has pressed the HSE and Government on the need to increase services at Ennis Hospital since the 2020 election, has welcomed the ongoing investment in services in Ennis, noting that the MAU now has capacity to …

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Anger in Clare as four AIB branches to go ‘cashless’

Clare deputies have hit out at AIB’s decision to go cashless in 70 of its 170 branches nationwide, including Ennistymon, Killaloe, Kilrush and Shannon. AIB branches will be losing traditional services in the coming months, meaning that no transactions involving notes, coins, cheques, foreign exchange or bank drafts will be offered in the affected banks. ATMs located outside the 70 branches are also set to be removed. “This is yet another blow to rural Ireland and even more so to those who are of an older generation,” said Deputy Cathal Crowe. “There are people out there in their 70s or 80s – many younger again and some even not far off my own age – who have never used a debit card and prefer to operate in cash. “While this won’t be the way forever, it’s completely unjust to dismiss these people who have spent their lives working and contributing to society in the later years of their lives. “This …

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