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Clare councillor to focus on autism project after resigning seat

THE resignation of Susan Crawford of the Green Party from Clare County Council was prompted by an opportunity to take some ground breaking work on autism to the next level, she told The Clare Champion this week. When a research team approached her about a concept she had been working on, Ms Crawford said she knew she would have to resign from the Council. “My mind was made up for me for want of a better way of putting it. I was working on a medical device to relieve anxiety for kids with autism and a research team in DCU said they were really interested in driving this on, we want you for the team. I kind of had to make a call then, something had to give.” She said that to concentrate on the research, she knew she would have to stand down from the Council. Ms Crawford said work is currently taking place on patenting and intellectual property …

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Council seeks full examination of CETA

THE agenda for Clare County Council’s meeting on Monday was temporarily set aside, as members considered a special motion, asking for Government to allow a full and open debate, including pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Oireachtas Committee, ahead of a Dáil vote on the ratification of CETA. CETA stands for Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, a free trade deal between the EU and Canada. While most of the public would be unfamiliar with it, there are grave concerns in certain quarters about a provision in CETA for an Investor Court System, that would open the door for companies to sue countries for the loss of expected future profits. It is feared that this would allow companies to take legal action if countries change legislation to preserve and enhance the environment, in a manner that limits the earning potential of those companies. Sixteen members of the Council signed Monday’s motion and it was introduced by Sinn Féin’s Donna McGettigan. She complimented …

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Shannon airport

Market Shannon and look to develop cargo hub, say Council

ACTIVITY has almost stopped at Shannon Airport nowadays, but Clare County Councillors want it to be primed for whenever recovery is possible. At Monday’s meeting of the local authority Fine Gael’s John Crowe and Fianna Fáil’s Pat McMahon, both representatives of the Shannon Municipal District, put forward motions aimed at helping the airport, which is so important to the county’s economy. Councillor Crowe proposed that with Brexit having happened “it is now the time to develop Shannon as a leading European International Cargo Hub.” He welcomed talks between Amazon and Shannon Group and said that the tech giant’s invesmtnet could give the region “a huge boost in difficult times.” Councillor Crowe said that a huge amount of products go from Ireland to Heathrow by truck, before being flown from there, but Shannon has important advantages like an exceptionally long runway and plenty of nearby land which can be developed for cargo facilities. He proposed that the Council write to the …

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Planners seek further info on Shannon proposal

SHANNON Commercial Properties had been due to receive a decision on a proposal for an advanced technology manufacturing unit in the Free Zone, but Clare County Council have now sought further information. The proposed development would be a single storey high-bay industrial floor, with an ancillary office area. It would replace existing structures at the site, with planning permission for their demolition already granted. In a submission accompanying the application it set out what is proposed. “The site is located at Bay 77 and 79 within the Shannon Free Zone, adjacent to Rineanna House. Currently it consists of two free standing 1960s factory facilities with associated car parking and back of house amenities, which are earmarked to be demolished to make space for the new 40,000 square foot advanced technology manufacturing facility. “As part of Shannon Commercial Properties 5+ years development strategy, Shannon Commercial Properties with Hassett, Leyden and Association are exploring the redevelopment of this under utilised gateway site …

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Keating still due to finish library, Council told

KEATING are still expected to complete the new county library building, this week’s meeting of Clare County Council heard. There is much speculation about the future of the West Clare based construction outfit and at the meeting, Councillor Pat Daly said there is a lot of concern that work on the site of the new library, being developed at a cost of some €14 million, has stopped. Clare County Council chief executive Pat Dowling said there is “no doubt we will complete the new library building as soon as possible”. He said there had been communication with the operations director of the company, who said that Keating are currently engaging with their suppliers and subcontractors, while Mr Dowling said the council would be informed immediately if there is any change. He added that if there is a problem, the council will “deal with it as it arises” and an “alternative route” will be found if required. On being asked what …

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Ophelia causing damage across Clare

  THE impact of Hurricane Ophelia is being felt across Clare this afternoon, with trees down in numerous locations and many homes without power. Speaking to the Clare Champion Councillor Mike McKee said that about a third of homes in Shannon are without electricity, including many in the Ballycasey area. He also said a tree had fallen at Cluain Airne and a lamp post went down at Cill Cais. “It has been fairly wild over the last few hours, but I don’t think it’s as bad as when we had the last storm, three or four years ago,” he noted. Councillor McKee said that most business in Shannon Town Centre had closed, as had those in the Shannon Free Zone. He also said there have been dangerous driving conditions close to the airport, due to debris. In Ennis Councillor Mary Howard said the weather is very dangerous. “The gusts are very strong and its frightening,” she said. “My advice is …

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Crowe up and running in Dáil race

Councillor Cathal Crowe may become one of the youngest public representatives to contest the next general election in Clare but he chose an old style Fianna Fáil rally-type event to officially launch his bid on Wednesday afternoon. Standing on an open top trailer surrounded by political posters from the last three local elections, Councillor Crowe also turned back the clock by launching his election campaign outside the home of the last Dáil deputy from South-East Clare, Paddy Brennan. The fact that the Brennans were Free Staters and staunch Cumann na nGaedheal members didn’t deter the 34-year-old from declaring his intention to run in the next general election at Brennan’s Cross in Meelick. The passionate historian recalled that while on the run, the Brennans often took shelter at his grandparents’ house in Woodcock Hill, just three miles from the cross. With former Clare hurler Niall Gilligan providing the warm-up speech, Councillor Crowe then outlined his vision. “For 95 years, this corner …

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Covered Ennis market a step closer

THE redevelopment of Ennis’ market has moved a step closer this week with members of Ennis Town Council agreeing to seek a loan for the proposed plan for Garraunakilla. The council will be looking for a loan of €1.75 million from the government to facilitate the proposed works, with the construction of the covered market itself expected to cost less than half a million while much of the funding would also be spent on improvements to the general area. Members of the council gave their backing to the planned re-vamp of the market on Monday evening, with council officials stressing that this is just “one step in a process”. According to town manager Ger Dollard there will be full consultation, funding will have to be sourced and a tender process will have to be gone through before any works are carried out. He emphasised, “the users of the market will have to be happy with the facility, we want this …

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