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Tag Archives: Councillor Cillian Murphy

Busy tourist season in Clare but ‘labour crisis’ is biting

Clare hospitality industry reaps staycation dividend as Irish tourists spend more money, writes Owen Ryan WITH schools back and the evenings shortening, the peak 2021 tourist season has ended in Clare. While international visitors were absent again, the fact Irish people couldn’t easily travel meant that west and north Clare got a large number of ‘staycationers’ which allowed local businesses to enjoy a very busy summer. Kilkee-based county councillor Cillian Murphy said that the area has been very busy since reopening from lockdown. “It has been unusual in that there was a short run-in, then craziness and a short run out. In a normal year you’d start in April, it’d get busier incrementally, and then you have the mad summer before winding down in September and October. “This year there was no run in, the doors opened on July 26 and it was championship football! I know from being in business myself and talking to a lot of my friends …

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Negative impact downplayed after county plan deferral

THE possible negative impact of the deferral the new County Development Plan (2022-2028) for seven months has been played down by the councillor who proposed the move. Councillor Cillian Murphy, who tabled the motion to invoke a new law that takes account of the impact of Covid-19, said that the net delay will be just three months. He added that the deferral is an opportunity to final alternatives to national policies that many fear will do irrevocable damage to rural areas. Last week, the deferral secured unanimous support, with some concerns raised about the potential impact on the county town, which will see both its Local Area Plan (LAP) and Ennis 2040 strategy deferred. “Because the Forward Planning team had actually started the County Development Plan process early, what we’re looking at, in real terms, is a delay of around three months,” Councillor Murphy told The Champion. “I respect the concerns of Ennis members but I don’t believe this will …

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Clare’s county town ‘stagnating’ over development plan delay

ENNIS has been described as “a ship without a captain” in terms of its development, due to the ongoing lack of an updated Local Area Plan (LAP). It follows the decision by county councillors to defer the County Development Plan (2022-2028) for seven months. The move has implications for the creation of the Ennis LAP, a process that started in 2015, but which was paused pending the finalisation of the county-wide plan. It also delays placing the Ennis 2040 plan on a statutory footing. Prominent Clare-based chartered building surveyor, Fergus Merriman voiced frustration saying he believes opportunities are being lost. “An Ennis LAP would be a field-by-field plan with clarity about acceptable development,” he said. “Ennis 2040 is a welcome long-term plan, but we cannot lose sight of day-to-day development. In the absence of a local plan, the risks are too high for many developers.” Mr Merriman noted that the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) wrote to the council …

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Benefits of campervan tourism questioned

LOW-BUDGET tourism was debated by the council’s Rural Committee this week when members heard that some visitors are going so far as to dispose of the contents of campervan sewage tanks in public toilets. Councillor Cillian Murphy said one particular blog had advice on travelling the Wild Atlantic Way without spending a penny. “This includes a guide on how to dump the contents of a sewage box,” he said. “It talks about walking into a shopping centre with a bag in order to do so. Explain to me the economic value of that.” The Fianna Fáil member made his remarks when asked by Councillor Pat Burke about the experience in West Clare last summer. It followed a presentation to the Rural Committee of The County Clare Tourism Strategy 2030. Councillor Burke welcomed positive tourism developments for East Clare, but raised concerns about the restriction of services due to the pandemic. “We had a number of campers arrive at Dromaan Harbour …

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Discrimination against Clare

Kerry and Limerick families can earn €5k more and access housing assistance THE plight of working families who are unable to access housing support because of “bizarre geographical discrimination” was highlighted in a joint motion from seven councillors at the May local authority meeting. The matter was raised by Councillors Cillian Murphy, Gerry Flynn, Tony O’Brien, Johnny Flynn, Shane Talty, Pat O’Gorman and Pat Hayes who called on the housing minister to review the maximum household income thresholds as a matter of urgency. Councillor Murphy outlined his concerns by describing a hypothetical case of a young woman, with three small children. “She works part time in a local business and earns €180 per week,” he said. “She gets income support of €152 and one parent allowance of €226 per week. “She is separated and doesn’t receive any maintenance, so her grand total income is €558 per week. Her rent is €165 per week and she pays out €240 every week …

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Call for boost to West Clare pier lighting

LIGHTING on piers in West Clare is critical to supporting what remains of the county’s fishing industry, a local councillor has said. At this month’s meeting of the Municipal District committee, Councillor Cillian Murphy described the issue as “close to his heart”. “As someone who was involved in the fishing industry, I know the importance of having proper services on our piers,” he said. “Fishing crews have started to gear back up and I’ve had contact in relation to both of the piers in Carrigaholt. But, equally, I’m making the call on behalf of fishermen using all of the district’s piers, lights must be operational on all of them. For the want of a few bulbs, we could be making these areas a lot safer. There was no light at all on either of the Carrigaholt piers at one stage. We have little enough left of our fishing industry at this stage and this would go some way toward supporting …

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Rural committee to ‘get tough’ on de-zoning threat

RURAL councillors will have to “toughen up” to ensure that smaller communities have a chance to develop in the face of a new national directive which threatens to de-zone lands without wastewater treatment facilities. At a discussion this week of a review of Clare’s Rural Development Strategy, members noted the challenges facing communities in accessing such infrastructure. Clare is still the only county to have a rural strategy and Director of Service Leonard Cleary told members of the Rural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) that it is now being reviewed to take account of changes including those caused by the pandemic. Councillor Pat Burke said that committee members would have to work hard to have their concerns addressed in the new County Development Plan. The forthcoming blueprint will have to take account of the National Planning Framework, which stipulates that lands where there is no prospect of wastewater infrastructure being built in the lifetime of the plan must lose their zoning …

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Red tape threatens development of ‘Grade A’ tourist amenity

INSURANCE hurdles stand in the way of the development of another “Grade A” tourism product for the Loop Head Peninsula, members of the West Clare Municipal District have heard. Addressing the January meeting of the committee, which took place online, Councillor Cillian Murphy appealed to the authority to consider taking a newly-created access path into Carrigaholt Castle under its public insurance policy, issued by Irish Public Bodies Mutual Insurances (IPB). The Fianna Fáil members commended the work of the local heritage group who had secured funding for the access route and noted that the insurance for public amenities is a recurring issue of concern. “The community group there have done some Trojan work,” he noted. “It’s taken them a long, long time to get to the bottom of ownership and to get permission from the owners to allow work. They’ve got significant funding from The Heritage Council and it’s the end of a long road, if you’ll pardon the pun, …

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