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Tag Archives: Councillor Mary Howard

Clare youths waiting up to year for mental health appointment

FOUR young Clare people were waiting between nine and 12 months for an appointment with the Child And Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), new figures have revealed. These figures were released to Councillor Mary Howard following a question tabled at a recent HSE West Forum meeting. Councillor Howard said it is worrying that the four children are waiting between nine and 12 months for a CAMHS appointment. She inquired what is the knock-on impact of being on a waiting list for CAMHS due to the lack of staff. Last April, 45 young people in Clare were awaiting a CAMHS appointment. From this total, 19 were waiting up to three months, 12 from three to six months, 10 from six to nine months and four from nine to twelve months. Maria Bridgeman, Chief Officer, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare, said it is always their intention to provide children with the best possible service they can provide. While someone may be on …

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Call for ‘brave decisions’ on housing Ukrainian refugees

“BRAVE decisions” on housing people fleeing Ukraine has been called for, as the numbers seeking refuge in Clare continue to rise.  Councillor Mary Howard, called at the April meeting of the local authority, for a centralised facility to coordinate the distribution of support to the 2,000 Ukrainians known to have come to Clare to-date. Responding to the government’s outline this week of proposals relating to accommodation, the Fine Gael member said the time had come to “stop talking and start doing”.  Earlier this month, Council CEO Pat Dowling told elected members that people are being accommodated at 16 venues in seven locations, but that the authority had been mandated to step-up its support efforts. This week, the Department of Housing has announced that a Director of Service level member of staff at each local authority, along with a small team, will be assigned to coordinate the local response to the crisis.  “We now need very brave decisions,” said Councillor Howard. …

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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 placenames watchdog for new Clare developments

PLACE NAMES for new developments in the county are to be considered by a Council-sponsored committee. It follows the tabling of a motion by Councillor Mary Howard calling for the previous ‘Placenames Committee’ to be reinstated. The Ennis woman told the monthly local authority meeting that she had been a member of the committee between 2009 and 2015. “There were a number of very wise gentleman on the committee and it was a great group,” she said. “Lots of research was done to make sure that the names would actually mean something.” Backing the motion, Councillor Liam Grant said that he too had an interest in placenames and would like to be involved. The issue of follow-up to make sure that developers comply with the Council’s decision on the naming of estates and other developments was raised by Councillor Michael Begley. “I’m supportive of this motion,” he said, “and I’m wondering what happens when developers don’t act on the Council’s …

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Refugee support efforts in Clare to ramp up countywide

EFFORTS to support those fleeing the war in Ukraine will be ramped up in the coming weeks, according to Council CEO Pat Dowling.  The Council chief told members this week that local authorities “are now more centre stage” in terms of providing supports to the more than 20,000 people who have fled to Ireland to-date. Mr Dowling outlined that, as of April 4, Clare is accommodating 1,916 people in 16 venues at seven locations. That number is set to rise considerably, with the Council now mandated to source more accommodation.  The CEO’s remarks came in advance of an emergency motion from Councillor Mary Howard calling for a centralised venue for the distribution of information and services.  The authority, Mr Dowling said, has been asked to identify and activate options, including emergency accommodation, repurposing of venues, acquiring properties and commissioning suppliers. “We are entering a phase of being challenged in the extent of availability,” Mr Dowling said. “A venue in Ennis …

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Clare Covid-19 initiatives recognised at Council awards

Clare County Council took home a gold medal at the annual Community and Council Awards held in Dublin recently. The local authority won first place in the National Impact Award category for its Covid Heroes Award & Card Writing Initiative. A silver award was won in the Best Waste Management category for its Clare Waste Awareness Week initiative. The Council also took bronze awards in the Best Connected Council category for its Waterways Ireland Virtual Open Day; best disability access and inclusion category for its ‘Age Friendly Clare Digital Nursing Home Initiative’; Clare Fire Service was awarded in the Emergency Response Person/Team of the Year category. Announcing the Clare Covid Heroes initiative at the time, then Cathaoirleach Mary Howard said the idea was to provide recognition for people who have helped others, with no expectation of any reward. “This initiative is about celebrating the ‘everyday heroes’ all around us who have been quietly helping and supporting others during the past …

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Council gives cold shoulder to request for Ennis footpath

THE lack of a footpath and street lights near a popular local sports grounds used by hundreds of children and adults is “a serious accident waiting to happen”, an Ennis councillor has warned. Those attending events at Frank Healy Park, Ballaghboy, have to walk on a grass verge alongside a road if they want to get to a local shop, a meeting of Ennis Municipal District heard. Councillor Mary Howard has seen children walking on the grass verge close to the road where cars were speeding by, saying, “it frightens me to see”. While the Ennis Municipal District has said the proposal “has merit”, the local authority says it cannot be done as part of the annual works programme. Land acquisition, construction of embankments and the diversion of large culverts would need to be completed to allow the footpath go ahead. The municipal district office has said they will liaise with the council’s design office with a view to including …

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Some TLC called for former dump that is now lovely amenity

THE transformation of a former town dump in Ennis into a “little haven” for the community was praised as calls were made on the local authority to carry out regular maintenance in the area. The “overgrown” walking trails at Fr McNamara Park were raised at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District by Councillor Mary Howard. She stated that she regularly receives representations from the public regarding the amenity. “Is it possible to put a regular programme of maintenance in place as it gets very overgrown and the weeds and briars have become trip hazards,” she asked. Anthony Considine, executive engineer, replied, “Similar to 2020, maintainence works continue to take place to the walking trails around Fr. McNamara park. These works took place in mid November 2021 and again were completed outside of the bird nesting season which runs from March 1 to August 31 each year.” Councillor Howard stated that there is “a little haven out there, but it …

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