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Tag Archives: Councillor Tony O’Brien

Shannodoc service to be examined as part of wider GP review

THE provision of out-of-hours GP services in the Mid-West will be examined as part of a wider strategic review of general practice, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler has announced. Responding to questions in the Seanad from Senator Martin Conway, Minister Butler stated preparatory work for this review has already started this year. Since the emergence of Covid-19, the HSE provided out-of-hours co-operatives with a support grant to ensure continuity of care. Minister Butler confirmed funding for Shannondoc was increased to over €6.8 million in 2020. “Where there is increased demand in certain areas, Shannondoc can provide support from other treatment centres, to ensure services are provided where needed most,” said Minister Butler. “The service is demand-led, and the HSE has advised that Shannondoc has continued to meet the targets for urgent and routine calls set out under its service level agreement. “The Government is committed to increasing the number of GPs working nationwide and …

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Clare councillor blasts Minister Ryan’s ‘dictatorship’

WITH UL and Clare County Council having sought a strategic development zone designation for their ‘new town’ proposal, opposition to the plan within government was criticised by a local councillor. When Transport Minister Eamon Ryan addressed the County Council last week, he spoke about bringing university courses to Ennis, given it has existing infrastructure, which prompted an angry intervention from Councillor Tony O’Brien. “Are you trying to close down East Clare?” he bellowed at the Green Party leader. Referring to the UL project, he said there are 214 acres of land for development in East Clare, but if the Minister got his way the people of the area could “pack up our tents and go away”. Speaking to the Clare Champion subsequently, Councillor O’Brien said that Minister Ryan’s opposition to the development, and to the Northern Distributor Road is contrary to the principle of having effective local Government. “We have a county development plan, which we voted on and which …

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Concerns over ShannonDoc aired at Clare County Council meeting

CONCERN about the closure of out-of-hours GP centres in Kilrush, Shannon and Killaloe was expressed at a Clare County Council meeting on Monday, writes Dan Danaher. Citing the lack of an any other business item on the council agenda, Councillor Tony O’Brien told the meeting he wanted to raise a number of issues concerning ShannonDoc, which were highlighted in last week’s Clare Champion. The Fianna Fáil Councillor outlined his concern about the closure of ShannonDoc centres in Kilrush, Shannon and Killaloe in view of the allocation of €5.2 million in taxpayers’ money. He proposed ShannonDoc management should be invited to make a presentation at a council meeting and answer questions about why these centres remain closed and what services they are providing for public funding they are receiving. “I believe ShannonDoc made a substantial operating surplus in 2020.” Council chairman, PJ Ryan advised Councillor O’Brien he was fully entitled to table this proposal at the next local authority meeting as …

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Cross-border co-operation on mobility plan is praised

A NEW plan for the twin towns of Killaloe-Ballina has been hailed by the council’s CEO as an example of “political and executive collaboration across the water”. Pat Dowling made his remarks as an eagerly-awaited mobility plan was formally ratified by local authority members at their December meeting. The Killaloe and Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan (TEMP), outlines a number of key projects for both sides of The Shannon, including the future pedestrianisation of the old bridge once the new bridge and bypass are completed. Measures to boost walking and cycling are outlined as well as actions to connect the flow of traffic to the bypass, reducing the number of vehicles in the centre of the two towns. The drafting of the plan involved expensive public consultation and cooperation, over the course of more than a year, between the local authorities in Clare and Tipperary. “Killaloe and Ballina are often referred to as two towns, but one community,” Mr …

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Call to act as dog fouling remains a sticky issue

DOG fouling continues to be a “huge issue” in Killaloe, despite extensive efforts to encourage responsible ownership, the municipal district committee has been told. At last month’s meeting, Councillor Tony O’Brien called for the installation of special bins in the town to allow those walking their dogs to dispose of excrement. While the senior executive engineer (SEE) said that bins may not be necessary, as the existing ones can take dog litter, she gave an undertaking to look at the possibility of providing dispensers for litter bags. In a written response to Councillor O’Brien’s motion, SEE Niamh Madden noted that the majority of people walking dogs in public spaces are conscientious about picking up dog litter. “Unfortunately, still some dog owners … do not take proper responsibility in relation to dog fouling,” she said. “Providing dispensers and dog litter bags has benefits and encourages dog owners to be aware of their responsibilities.” Ms Madden noted that despite the best efforts …

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Call to drive on with Killaloe Ballina plan

AN ambitious plan for the twin lakeside towns of Killaloe and Ballina was adopted at the November meeting of local councillors, paving the way for a range of enhancement works. The Killaloe and Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan, (TEMP) outlines a number of key projects for both sides of the Shannon, including future pedestrianisation of the old bridge once the new bridge and bypass are completed. Measures to boost walking and cycling are outlined as well as actions to connect the flow of traffic to the bypass, reducing the number of vehicles in the centre of the two towns. The drafting of the plan involved extensive public consultation and cooperation, over the course over over a year, between the local authorities in Clare and Tipperary. The blueprint was warmly welcomed by Councillor Tony O’Brien who commended senior planner Brian McCarthy and the Killaloe Municipal District team. “This is simply a fantastic plan, I have been saying that the greatest …

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Call for ‘shared partnership’ in running of Killaloe-Ballina

‘A SHARED partnership’ between the two local authorities responsible for services in the lakeside towns of Killaloe and Ballina is being sought. Councillor Tony O’Brien made the call at the July meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District and asked that discussions be instigated with Tipperary County Council. With the Draft Killaloe-Ballina Town Enhancement and Mobility Plan currently open for public consultation, the Fianna Fáil member said he was “throwing the ball in ” on the idea of greater collaboration between the two county councils. “These are twin towns who need basic services on a daily basis,” he said. “With the advancement of a new town plan for the area, maybe it would be productive for both local authorities to engage and maybe share services like road sweeper for the two towns, and to cooperate on staffing levels. Instead of Clare County Council services stopping halfway across the bridge, maybe there could be a shared responsibility. I’m throwing the ball in …

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Outdoor summer prompts calls to provide more bins

CALLS for more bins at beauty spots in East Clare have been made as the so-called ‘outdoor summer’ gets into full swing after the Bank Holiday weekend. Addressing the most recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, two members appealed for a boost to waste management facilities as staycationers flock to the east of the county. Councillor Tony O’Brien welcomed an official response to a motion he tabled, calling for new bins in Killaloe town and for Council resources to service them. “I’m glad to hear that work is in progress and that new bins are to be procured for Killaloe,” he said. “I would hope that action is taken sooner rather than later. People are concerned locally and the fact is there’s no point in having more bins without resources to make sure that they are emptied and maintained. “This is particularly important at weekends. The existing bins are filling very quickly at the moment.” The motion was seconded …

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