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Tag Archives: Councillor Ian Lynch

Playgrounds risk development funds over insurance issues

COMMUNITY playgrounds are facing huge hurdles in securing insurance cover, with the county council being urged to step in to support them. The matter was raised at this month’s meeting of Clare County Council, where Councillors Cillian Murphy, Ian Lynch and Joe Garrihy tabled a motion calling for new playgrounds and those whose policies had lapsed to be taken in under the council’s policy. “We could soon be looking at two-tier communities,” Councillor Murphy said. “Those who have community playgrounds and those who don’t, if this situation isn’t resolved. This is a grossly unfair and utterly risible situation.” The Fianna Fáil member said he was aware of two community groups who would not be able to draw down their core funds for playground facilities, if they are unable to get insurance cover. “In one case a group has spent €275,000 and is ready to go, but the playground has to have insurance cover,” he said. “Significant time and energy has …

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Enhancements for Ennistymon ahead of ‘Destination Town’ designation

TOURISM in Ennistymon is set to take a major step forward as a number of enhancement projects are ear-marked to tie in with the development of its status as a Fáilte Ireland Destination Town. Last December, the tourism body announced that €500,000 would be issued, in two rounds, in order to boost the town’s attractiveness to visitors. The aim is to capitalise on the huge numbers travelling to North Clare attractions like the Cliffs of Moher and to entice them to spend more time and money in the town. At the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Shane Talty urged the council to tackle the “low-hanging fruit” and examine projects that might be completed in conjunction with the Destination Town works. “The Fáilte Ireland funding will deliver a very welcome post-Covid boost for Main Street, Ennistymon, later this year,” the Fianna Fáil member noted. As an example of a project that might be tackled, Councillor Talty highlighted …

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New West Clare Cathaoirleach Optimistic About Region’s Recovery

WEST Clare must stand ready to capitalise on the opportunities coming its way, despite the challenges of Covid-19, according to the new Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District. Councillor Joe Garrihy said that while 2020 would be a difficult one, in light of the pandemic, there was strong potential to develop West Clare if members work together on strategically important projects. “It is a challenging time for the district in terms of tourism, agriculture and the overall recovery from the impact of Covid-19,” the Fine Gael member noted. “We have a great team, but we will need help from central government and strong representation. We will also need to diversify and end our over-reliance on tourism.” Councillor Garrihy, who was elected last year as a first-time member of the local authority, identified opportunities in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the investment in climate change projects. “Sustainable energy projects will be possible across West Clare,” he noted. “A new town …

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Decision needed on the future of Moneypoint

WITH West Clare’s tourism sector set for a difficult spell ahead, the future of Moneypoint is particularly critical to the region’s economy. Kilrush based county councillor Ian Lynch said that the slow progress in establishing what the future will hold is very frustrating. “The momentum has been taken out of the economy and we have spent years discussing how Moneypoint can be a key stimulus to it. There are several opportunities out there that we’re just not allowed to explore because the ESB aren’t willing to open the deepwater port. I think a couple of weeks ago the ESB said that the possibility of Moneypoint being shut down in the near future is becoming more likely. I don’t believe that because I do think it’ll always be there as a back-up, there would still be maintenance, but the amount of shifts would be minimal in the year. ESB management aren’t willing to open up the port for reuse, they’re talking …

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ESB urged to give clarity over Moneypoint’s future

The public acknowledgement by ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty that Moneypoint power station “faces a real risk of closure” has sparked renewed calls for the utility to come clean and outline its plans for the plant going forward. The 915-megawatt coal-fire station, once the top supplier to the country’s electricity demands, faces new challenges ahead of the Climate Action Plan’s goal of ending coal burning at the Killimer plant, built nearly 40 years ago for €900million, by 2025. Mr O’Doherty further fanned local concerns for the jobs that remain at the plant when he ruled out the conversion of Moneypoint to gas and described the station as a winter plant used only when electricity demand peaks. Kilrush Independent councillor Ian Lynch has called on the ESB to end the scaremongering and provide clarity on the future use of Moneypoint post 2025. He added that there was also need for a new government to be formed and a viable plan put …

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Economic imbalance ‘driver of deprivation’ in Clare

IN light of the Pobal Deprivation Index findings, Sixmilebridge parish priest, sociologist and rural Ireland campaigner Fr Harry Bohan has highlighted the economic imbalance in Clare, with peripheral regions left out of the development and job creation loop. The index, which was based on the 2016 Census, found that parts of Ennis, Kilrush, Kilkee and Ennistymon were areas of particular deprivation, while areas considered ‘disadvantaged’ included Sixmilebridge and Shannon. Lack of employment is an issue in all of these areas, with Kilrush Independent councillor Ian Lynch claiming that Clare Minister of State Pat Breen has failed to bring any jobs to West Clare, in his role as minister for jobs. “Ennis is to Clare what Dublin is to Ireland. I talked to a man from West Clare last week and he told me that, between three parishes in West Clare, there will be 12 children combined in infant class. The populations of West, East and North Clare have been stripped. …

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Councillor warns of threat to estuary dolphins

Councillor Ian Lynch has expressed concern over what he says is the continued trawling of the Shannon Estuary, claiming it could have a negative effect on the bottle-nosed dolphin population in the area. He says he was contacted by members of the public when two trawlers were seen operating on the estuary. “Trawling the river estuary is not illegal and I appreciate that fishing is an extremely tough industry but the Shannon Estuary is a designated Special Area of Conservation. Pair trawling could have a detrimental effect on the natural ecology of the maritime life,” Councillor Lynch said. “I am calling on the minister to ban trawling in the Shannon Estuary until a detailed study is carried out on the effects this activity could have on the ecological system. Only when this study is completed, will we truly know if trawling our fish stocks is sustainable. As well as an increased risk of capturing seals or dolphins, if we deplete …

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‘challenging’ turnover in fire services personnel

THE brain drain from the county’s fire services could lead to a  situation where “inexperienced” fire personnel are attending fires, it has been claimed. The assertion was made by Councillor Ian Lynch after it emerged that 22 personnel have left the fire brigade in the county over the past three years. Chief Fire Officer, Adrian Kelly described the loss of staff as “a larger than normal turnover in personnel” and something that creates challenges for Clare County Council. The information was disclosed on foot of a motion raised by Councillors Johnny Flynn, Gerry Flynn, Christy Curtin, Michael Begley, PJ Kelly and Ian Lynch at Monday’s local authority meeting. They had looked for a report into the sustainability of the retained mfirefighter model. In his response, Adrian Kelly outlined that of those that had left the service, six retired on medical grounds, four retired having reached retirement age, two took up promotional posts with other fire authorities, four took up other …

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