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Tag Archives: Councillor Joe Garrihy

Lisdoonvarna playground reopening restores vital community amenity

HUGE community efforts have been credited for the reopening last Friday of the playground in Lisdoonvarna. The venue, which is popular with kids and their extended families, has been described as one of the jewels in the crown of the facilities available for the town and a network of other centres in North Clare. The playground, which is next to the popular Cois Céim Childcare Centre, and part of a wider community amenity park, was closed as part of the nationwide response to the pandemic. An inspection discovered that in order to continue to meet standards set out by insurers, a significant – and costly – schedule of repairs was needed. “Fundraising during Covid-19 was difficult for everyone involved and they deserve huge credit, as do those who contributed so generously,” said Councillor Joe Garrihy, Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District and a board member of the community development association, Lisdoonvarna Fáilte. “Friday’s event was actually the first official …

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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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Councillor Susan Crawford takes Green seat on Clare County Council

CLARE Person of the Year, Dr Susan Crawford took her seat on Clare County Council on Monday evening last, following her co-option to replace Senator Róisín Garvey. Dr Crawford becomes Councillor Crawford and takes the Green Party mantle on the local authority and a seat in the West Clare Municipal District. Nominating her at the monthly local authority meeting, Councillor Joe Garrihy said that amid all of her previous accolades the autism action campaigner would begin “a new journey”. “It gives me great pleasure to nominate Susan to fill Róisín Garvey’s seat,” he said. “Susan’s addition is very timely. The West Clare district makes up half of the county and Susan is coming on board at a time of lots of challenges and exciting opportunities. Having Susan join us will provide a great boost across so many areas.” Mayor of Clare, Councillor Mary Howard said she was “honoured and delighted” to second Dr Crawford’s nomination. “I took the autism awareness …

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PPE donation protecting the common good

NURSING homes across Clare to from benefit from a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), secured after a fundraising drive coordinated by the Midwest Hospital Campaign. The initiative was prompted by concern at the start of the pandemic about the difficulty in accessing supplies of PPE, particularly for nursing homes and other congregated settings. “The donation will be especially important now that visiting has begun once again at nursing homes and there’s even more demand for PPE,” said Noeleen Moran, one of the coordinators. Some of the PPE was sourced through a network of contacts for manufacturers in Poland, while more was handmade by hundreds of individual volunteers and groups across Clare, including the Irish Countrywomen’s’ Association (ICA). Hilary Tonge of the Midwest Hospital Campaign said the effort to secure PPE had involved many groups and individuals from across the county. “When the pandemic was declared, there was a huge fear that there would not be enough PPE,” she said. …

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Concern over reduction in on-street parking in Ennistymon

THE business community in Ennistymon has been expressing its concern over the reduction of up to 16 parking spaces from the town centre. The matter was raised by Councillor Shane Talty at the July meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, who said he had been hearing of “huge trepidation” among retailers. Under a Part 8 planning application to revitalise Main Street in the town, 14-16 spaces will be removed with the council proposing to expand pedestrian facilities and increase street furniture. Councillor Talty said that while the Part 8, which is to be lodged later this year, was widely welcomed, an alternative town centre parking is needed. “We have a historic problem with congestion,” Councillor Talty noted. “There has been a welcome increase in the number of businesses opening, with one business from Parnell Street in Ennis recently relocating to Ennistymon. We have a very vibrant town, but I’m hearing of huge trepidation at the prospect of a reduction …

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Murphy calls for ‘Covid proofing’ of West Clare funding applications

A CALL has been made for future tourism projects for West Clare to be “Covid-proofed,” so that their viability doesn’t depend solely on large numbers of international visitors. Tabling a motion at the last meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Cillian Murphy asked that the council would undertake “a strategic review of its current Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF) applications” to ensure the most appropriate ons were being pursued. The Fianna Fáil member said the move was needed “in light of the changed global circumstances, due to Covid-19, especially with regard to tourism”. “There is a huge issue now around diversifying projects like the Loop Head Lighthouse and the Vandeleur Gardens,” he said. “Those projects were designed to capitalise on the type of tourism we don’t have at the moment. They’re locked on a path to outcomes they will now struggle to achieve and nobody could have foreseen this.’ Asking for details of projects currently being assessed, Councillor …

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Call for rural roads to be ‘returned’ for cycling and walking

A CALL has come from the new Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District for local and secondary roads to be given back to local communities to provide safe places for people to cycle between local towns and villages. Councillor Joe Garrihy told the June meeting of the district that, during lockdown, record numbers of people had been able to safely walk and cycle and get to know their localities. “I saw people of every age out cycling,” he said. “My 14 year-old son learned how to cycle on roads he wouldn’t have been able to travel previously. We are all aware of how dangerous North Clare roads can be. Lately, people have been able to cycle and walk in a safe manner. We also have a vast number of roads in the district which poses a challenge in terms of maintenance.” Reacting to a council response outlining the complexity of making his motion a reality, Councillor Garrihy said he …

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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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