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Tag Archives: Councillor Joe Killeen

Ennis has second longest wait time in country for gynaecological appointments

HEALTH services for women in the Mid-West must be improved as a matter of urgency, according to a former Mayor of Clare. At the April meeting of Clare County Council, Councillor Mary Howard described the waiting list for gynaecological appointments at Ennis General Hospital, which are the second highest in the country, as a sign of an “ongoing crisis”. In a joint motion, tabled with Councillors Donna McGetitgan, Alan O’Callaghan and Liam Grant, the Ennis woman outlined how figures released to the Dáil recently. These show the average wait time for an outpatient gynaecology appointment at the hospital is close to one year and five months and is second only to Tallaght Hospital nationwide “Waiting times at University Hospital Limerick are around half that number, averaging out at 291 days,” the motion said. “Some 599 women are currently waiting for such appointments in Ennis, along with a further 1,455 at UHL. “On foot of this information we request the Minister …

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Call for more North Clare links to planned greenway

EXPANDING the benefits of the West Clare Railway across North Clare is the aim of a motion tabled by Councillor Joe Garrihy at the local municipal district earlier this month.  The Lisdoonvarna man called for plan to link Corofin, Carron, Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, Liscannor and Lahinch with a greater range of walking and cycle routes “to ensure these settlements and communities have appropriate attractive and safe linkage to the overall West Clare Greenway in progress and the Green Road to the Burren, Fanore and Ballyvaughan”. Councillor Garrihy also asked that cycle and walking connectivity from from North Clare to County Galway through Bellharbour, New Quay to Kinvara and Boston/Tubber area to Gort be progressed. “Cycling and walking amenities are among our most successful tourism offerings,” he told the meeting.  The motion was backed by Cathaoirleach, Councillor Cillian Murphy who agreed with the potential that connectivity to the West Clare Greenway offered.  Councillor Joe Killeen agreed with the huge benefits of …

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Resources ready after ‘crazy staycation pressure’

EXTRA resources are to be available in West Clare to welcome visitors over the St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday weekend. At the March meeting of the municipal district, motions were tabled by two North Clare members calling for action following the exceptionally busy seasons in 2020 and 2021.  Councillor Shane Talty said the pandemic had created “crazy staycation pressure” over the last two years and he highlighted the need to be prepared in terms of lifeguard resources. Both he and his fellow Ennistymon area councillor, Joe Killeen, called preparations for the 2022 season to be stepped up. “Thankfully, people chose Clare as their preferred destination,” Councillor Killeen said. “However, it felt like we were putting emergency measures in place right through the summer season. There were several issues highlighted during the season and action had to be taken on a number of pinch points. Thanks to everyone who got the county ready.” Senior Executive Officer (SEO) John O’Malley outlined the …

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Public urged to engage with draft Development Plan

THREE North Clare councillors have tabled a motion urging people to inform themselves about the changes proposed in the new Draft County Development Plan. At the December meeting of the local authority, Councillors Joe Killeen, Shane Talty and Joe Garrihy asked for an outline of arrangements for information and consultation sessions. They also sought clarity on proposed taxes on vacant, zoned sites, “to give confidence to relevant landowners”. Proposing the motion, Councillor Joe Killeen said it is vital that members of the public inform themselves. “This plan is going to last until 2029 so it is significant,” he said. Councillor Garrihy noted that “long, hard process of workshops” had gone into producing the draft. “I think all of our strategies – Housing for All, our tourism strategy – everything is impacted upon and needs to converge in a joined up way. The more engagement we get with our communities on this the better.” Councillor Killeen noted that the draft plan …

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Population plan the ‘end of rural Clare’

Councillors want legal advice on means to challenge NDP projections A COUNCILLOR has blasted proposed population allocations for the county saying it “effectively will be the end of rural Clare”. Legal advice is to be sought by Clare councillors on the constitutionality of proposed population allocations for the county set out in the National Planning Framework. Councillor PJ Kelly at the monthly meeting of Clare County Council insisted the population targets in the framework, which has to be adhered to in drawing up the County Development Plan, are “discriminatory” and “effectively will be the end of rural Clare”. He was backed by Councillor Joe Killeen who, while welcoming projected population growth in Ennis and the Limerick / Shannon Metropolitan area, said “the difficulty is for the remainder of the county the population projections are very low for Clare”. He said this puts services for communities in rural Clare “in jeopardy” with “a further diminishing of what is there already”. In …

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Clare being left behind in population targets, say councillors

CLARE’S Oireachtas members have been urged to lobby for a dramatic change in the allocation of population growth for the county compared to other counties and cities along the West coast, writes Dan Danaher. Under the National Planning Framework, Councillor Joe Killeen said Cork City is to grow by 105,000, Galway City is expected to increase by 45,000, Limerick City is set to attract an extra 35,000 to 40,000 inhabitants, while Clare’s population is expected to jump from 119,000 to 130,000. With Ennis projected to grow from 25,000 to 35,000 under the Ennis 2040 plan, and a 3,500 increase planned for the Limerick/Shannon Metropolitian area, Councillor Killeen told a council meeting on Monday there isn’t a huge population growth planned for West Clare, North Clare and North East Clare. He claimed people living in some parts of the county were effectively paying the price because they couldn’t afford to secure new homes in tourist hot spots. “We are delighted we …

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Councillors voice concern over Clare planning department resources

THREE Ennistymon area councillors have raised concerns about the adequacy of resources in the local authority’s Planning Department, citing a backlog with access to pre-planning advice. In a joint, cross-party, motion tabled before the July meeting of the local authority, Councillors Shane Talty, Joe Killeen and Joe Garrihy described the pre-planning function as being “bedevilled by delays”. “Pre-planning should be the cornerstone of building a house,” Councillor Talty told the meeting. “Planning staff now appear to be swamped with full planning applications. Those have to get priority. This is not a criticism of the Planning Department, but there are delays, in getting pre-planning meetings, in some cases of four or five months and that’s not serving anyone. People are getting frustrated with the wait and they’re firing in their applications and then getting into conflict.” The Fianna Fáil member also described a “geographical lottery” for those looking for pre-planning advice. “There are huge build-ups in some areas and a long …

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West Clare councillors seek action on reform of Fair Deal scheme

A CALL has been made for progress on changes to the Fair Deal Scheme, which funds nursing home care, in the interests of Clare’s farm families. Councillor Joe Killeen made the appeal at the March meeting of the West Clare Municipal District when he proposed that members write to Clare’s Oireachtas members on the matter. “The Fair Deal Scheme takes 7.5% of the value of a family home for a period of three years,” he noted. “If someone wishes to defer payment, the State pays, and it’s essentially a loan on the estate of the resident. For those who have a farm or a business, it’s not capped and people pay indefinitely. A family farm could be lost in 14 years. The only exemption is in the case of sudden illness or disability. The Fair Deal Reform Bill proposes capping the 7.5% payment after three years, subject to terms and conditions. I am proposing that we ask our Oireachtas members …

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