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Tag Archives: Councillor Alan O’Callaghan

Call to fast-track flood relief work on Clare-Limerick line

TRANSPORT Minister Eamonn Ryan has been urged to approve funding to fast-track the completion of flood relief works costing an estimated €17 million on the Galway to Limerick rail line at Ballycar, writes Dan Danaher. The plea was made this week by Councillor Alan O’Callaghan, who wants to see a long-term solution to this long-running saga. Councillor O’Callaghan stressed that regardless of the high cost involved, this work needs to be completed to remove the uncertainty created by frequent closures on this vital piece of rail infrastructure for the West of Ireland. The Fianna Fáil Councillor said one of the difficulties with Ballycar flooding is the long period of time for water to drain away once this area is inundated. Clare County Council senior engineer in the roads and transportation department, John Leahy provided councillors with a briefing on the proposed flood relief works recently. The local authority acted as a facilitator for this project, working in conjunction with the …

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Step up in poo patrols as fouling issue raised

Wardens set to monitor Killaloe amenities with more dogs out and about in summer DOG fouling in East Clare is generating a huge number of complaints, according to the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Pat Hayes tabled a motion on the matter at the recent district meeting when he called for urgent action. “This is something that’s cropped up a lot because of the numbers of people out with dogs in recent times,” he said. “It’s a challenge we need to deal with because the amount of complaints is huge. There’s nothing as upsetting for those using buggies and wheelchairs. It leaves a very bad impression of a wonderful day at one of our public amenities.” The Fianna Fáil member said that while the issue is a county-wide one, there are areas that are particularly badly hit in the Killaloe district. “Some people are recklessly letting their dogs off, for example at Two-Mile Gate and in public parks,” …

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Footpath concerns raised in Kilkishen

A CALL has been made for an extension to the footpath opposite the GAA pitch in Kilkishen, in the interests of safety. The motion was tabled by Councillor Alan O’Callaghan, who told a meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District that the current situation is causing inconvenience for pedestrians. “If the council could cover this with black top, that would be great,” he said. “It’s not very long or wide and a small amount would go a long way. As it stands now, people with buggies still have to come out onto the road and that’s a situation that can’t continue.” In a written response, Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) Niamh Madden noted that the allocation for works to footpaths in the district has been significantly reduced for this year. “The footpath in question is currently a gravel footpath and should funding become available throughout the year, the Killaloe Municipal District will consider surfacing this pathway,” the reply said.

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Massive rise in catalytic converter thefts

SIGNIFICANT progress has been made in relation to a spike in thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles across the county, according to Clare’s top Garda. Outlining the crime figures for the first three months of 2021, Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran noted that thefts from MPVs had more than doubled on the same period last year. The figures, presented to members of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) bear out the big jump in reports of thefts at locations all over Clare in recent months. While all other categories of property crime fell in the first quarter, year-on-year, there was a 115% increase in thefts from vehicles. “There were 34 thefts from MPVs between January and March of last year and 73 this year,” outlined the chief superintendent. “Catalytic converters are very much the target. Significant arrests and in-roads have been made in this regard.” Reacting to the figures, Councillor Alan O’Callaghan noted that catalytic converters are stolen for their scrap value. …

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Sixmilebridge encampment ‘taking the mick’, JPC told

CLARE’S Garda chief has promised a “proactive” approach to an illegal encampment at the Station Yard in Sixmilebridge. The matter was raised at this week’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) by Councillor PJ Ryan. The Independent representative said there was considerable concern because those involved had turned down an offer of Council accommodation, and were refusing to move on until they are provided with housing at an alternative location of their choice. Deputy Cathal Crowe expressed his annoyance at the situation, saying it threatened the integrity of the social housing system. “At this stage, they are absolutely taking the mick,” he said. “They have obviously travelled from somewhere, during Covid, and despite the travel restrictions. They now say they can’t travel back to the UK, because of Covid, and that the Council has to house them as a solution. “It is important to say that Travellers have the right to housing. Everyone respects that. However, there are a …

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O’Callaghan demands action as forestry crisis deepens

ACTION is being sought from the Department of Agriculture to support those who invested in forestry, but now find themselves facing red tape and delays in securing their nest egg. Councillor Alan O’Callaghan was among those who recently attended a virtual meeting on the deepening crisis in the forestry sector, organised by senior members of Fianna Fáil. He said that many in Clare have been “left in limbo” over delays with the issuing of forestry licences, particularly those for thinning and felling. He also said that many of the 30 people in attendance raised concerns over compensation for ash die-back in their plantations. Councillor O’Callaghan also warned that unless the forestry sector is made more attractive, the entire farming community will suffer as a result of an increased obligation to reduce carbon emissions. At the end of the two-hour Zoom meeting, it was agreed that the issue would be pursued through the tabling of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) with a view …

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Council urged to make business case for Crusheen rail stop

A BUSINESS case for a rail stop at Crusheen has been called for by the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District. While council officials say that such a facility should be furthered as part of a forthcoming county-wide transport plan, Councillor Pat Hayes insists that success if more likely through an initiative focusing solely on Crusheen. Addressing this week’s meeting of the Killaloe district committee, Councillor Hayes said that CEO of Irish Rail, Jim Meade, had told the Oireachtas Transport Committee a business case for the Crusheen stop would be considered and that the council is responsible for doing this. “Crusheen is a growing area,” Councillor Hayes said. “It has a wide hinterland stretching to Tulla, Barefield and Ruan. It’s an ideal location for a rail stop.” The Caher native thanked Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) John Gannon for a written response which said that a Transportation Strategy for Clare is to be undertaken to highlight gaps in public transport and …

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Action sought on fly-tipping issue

CALLS for urgent action on illegal dumping have been repeated in response to concerns about the worsening biodiversity crisis. At a meeting of the Physical Development Meeting committee of the local authority last week, Councillor Alan O’Callaghan said community groups are fed up with having to respond to the ongoing problem of fly-tipping in scenic areas across the county. The Fianna Fáil members’ comments followed a detailed presentation from Heritage Officer Congella McGuire on biodiversity initiatives in the county, and an outline of the threats to nature created by pollution and other issues. “I don’t need to remind you that we are in a biodiversity crisis,” Ms McGuire said, as she outlined a number of initiatives that are ongoing in the county. “One-third of our bee species are threatened and two-third of bird species are in a red or amber conservation concern criteria. 85% of our important wildlife habitats are seen as being in an ‘unfavourable’ status.” Responding to the …

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