Home » Tag Archives: Councillor Pat Burke

Tag Archives: Councillor Pat Burke

‘The brain is fresher in the morning’ – early council meetings idea

MEETINGS of Clare County Council generally start at 3.45pm and finish well after 7pm, sometimes close to 8pm, with a small number of tired councillors still in the Chamber, the majority having departed earlier. The fact that so many leave before the end is hardly a great endorsement of local democracy, but it’s also entirely understandable giving that the meetings are so long and finish so late. Given the ongoing early departures and the length of the meetings, Councillor Pat Burke came up with an interesting proposal which was considered at this week’s meeting: starting the meetings at 10am. He said he himself has a long drive after the meeting, and that he sometimes has to leave before it ends, while he said that there are advantages to starting earlier. “Better business is done in the morning,” he claimed. Councillor Burke said if meetings started and finished earlier, he would hope that all members would stay for the full duration. …

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Council seeks to allay fears for Killaloe bypass project

AN ASSURANCE has been issued on the delivery of the Killaloe Bypass and Shannon Bridge Crossing, against the backdrop of rising costs in the construction industry.  The matter was raised at Monday’s meeting of Clare County Council on foot of the monthly Management Report. Councillor Pat Burke noted a paragraph referring to the “inflationary cost of building projects” and sought an assurance that the multi-million bridge and bypass are on track. “There is a little bit of concern on the ground,” the Fine Gael member noted.  Senior Engineer at the Project Management Office, Seán Lenihan agreed that there are a number of challenges facing big infrastructural projects. “Everybody knows about the pressures the construction industry is facing,” he said. “Our project is no different. This job was priced last August and we concluded negotiations with SISK. I would like to allay any fears. SISK have not withdrawn. The department has not withdrawn any funding. There are some genuine concerns over …

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Rich tributes paid at funeral of talented young Clare hurler

A PROFOUND sense of grief spread across East Clare following the untimely death of Whitegate’s Michael ‘Mikey’ Hynes.  The 22-year-old was a past pupil of Scariff Community College and a fourth-year Business Studies student at the University of Limerick (UL). His funeral mass at St Flannan’s Church, Whitegate, last Sunday (April 10) afternoon attracted hundreds of mourners to pay their respects and to support Michael’s parents Declan and Annette; his sisters Katie, Alison and Corinna; and his grandmother Teresa Hynes. Councillor Pat Burke, a neighbour of the Hynes family, said the scenes witnessed in recent days were unprecedented. “The outpouring of grief and sympathy for Michael and his family is something we have never seen before,” he said. “I have never seen as many people line the streets of Whitegate for anything, ever. There were six or seven different guards of honour from the likes of the national school, to the senior hurlers, to classmates from UL. Despite the crowds, …

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Timeframe outlined for Holy Island visitor centre

A VISITOR centre for Inis Cealtra is expected to be operational by early to mid-2023, local councillors have been told. Confirmation of the purchase, last year, of the Old Rectory building in Mountshannon, provided a boost for plans to maximise the potential of Holy Island as a major visitor attraction in the east of the county. At the January meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Burke sought an update on work to develop the centre and to provide visitor amenities on the 41-acre island. “The purchase of the Old Rectory last year was great news and very welcome for the whole of East Clare,” Councillor Burke said. “Since then, the dust has settled on that news and I suppose people have been getting curious about what’s happening next and they’re anxious to see progress. “The Holy Island project is eagerly-anticipated across the region and people are very optimistic about it.” A written reply from Tourism Officer Joan Tarmey, …

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Postcards for the hedge – how’s she cuttin’?

MORE than 130 landowners in the Killaloe Municipal District have been contacted and reminded about their obligations to maintain hedges while the season is open until the end of February. The figure was revealed at last week’s meeting of the district committee, on foot of a motion from Councillor Pat Burke. The Whitegate member sought an update after raising the issue previously last November. There was widespread support when Councillor Burke raised the matter and told the meeting that drivers, particularly those in high-sided vehicles, were losing windscreens and wing mirrors on a regular basis.  In a written response to Councillor Burke, Niamh Madden, Senior Executive Engineer, said many landowners had complied with correspondence from the authority, but that a number of them had not.  “Between September 2021 and December 2021, one hundred and thirty five letters have been sent by the Killaloe Municipal District to land owners/occupiers outlining their obligations under under S70 of the Roads Act 1993 and …

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‘Pathetic response’ to ash dieback

East Clare councillor says farmers feel ‘abandoned’ due to government inaction on disease killing native hardwoods AN EAST Clare councillor has described the response of government to the problem of ash dieback disease as “pathetic”. Councillor Pat Burke told the December meeting of the local authority that farmers feel “abandoned” by the Forestry Service, and are facing financial hardship over the loss of their trees. The Whitegate native was sharply critical of the Green Party minister with responsibility for forestry, Pippa Hackett and he urged Senator Róisín Garvey and Councillor Liam Grant to make representations to their party colleague on the issue. “I planted land myself back in 2011 with ash saplings which were approved by the Department at the time,” he said. “Since then, they brought in the virus – which is nearly worse the COVID Chairman – this ash dieback disease to our native trees. “I planted 17 acres of ash on reasonably good land that was well …

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Teamwork conserves Clare monastic site

HISTORIC church ruins at Clonrush, Whitegate, have been conserved thanks to an initiative between the local community, the council and the National Monuments Service. A socially distanced review of the works was facilitated in recent weeks between members of Whitegate Community Council and the local authority, at the 12th century monastic complex which is dedicated to St Colmán. Restoration works were carried out to safeguard the historic church ruins, which were at risk of collapse and had deteriorated in recent years. The main focus of the conservation works was the ruins of the stone church, but the site also contains many interesting remnants of its ecclesiastical past, including the monks’ house (Tig na mBráthar), original arched entrance gate and a little, stone-roofed oratory known as Poll Cholmáin (St Colmán’s Cave). The churchyard also contains many fine examples of carved memorials and ironwork from the 18th and 19th centuries. The works on the church and the archway gate were carried out …

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Councillors claim overgrown hedgerows taking out vehicle wing mirors

VEGETATION encroaching on a number of roads in East Clare has resulted in drivers losing wing mirrors and windscreens, a meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District has heard. The topic was raised by Councillor Pat Burke who described it as “a famous item” as it is comes up so often. “Many landowners do great work, but there are still sections of our roads where they don’t,” he said. “In this day and age, people deserve better, particularly drivers of HGVs. The problem hasn’t gone away. “The council are doing their bit and lots of landowners do good work. Some respond to letters from the Municipal District office, but others don’t. It’s a major problem. “Last Saturday, a lorry driver broke a mirror. In this day and age, it’s not good enough. Driving a car is no problem, but if you’re in a lorry or a tractor, mirrors are at risk. It’s awful to think you have to keep out to …

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