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Tag Archives: county council

Protest repression not raised at Chinese ambassador meeting

REPRESSION of protests in China made headlines across the world in the last week, but weren’t even mentioned when the Chinese ambassador met with Clare County Council on Monday. The local authority hosted China’s Ambassador to Ireland, He Xiangdong, to mark Clare’s twinning relationship with Yunnan Province in China. Yunnan Province, which has a population of more than 46 million, is in the far southwest of China and borders Vietnam, Laos, and Burma. In a statement issued through Clare County Council, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Tony O’Brien said he had been honoured to host the ambassador. “A lot of work and time has been invested in nurturing the relationship between Clare and Yunnan Province and it was an honour to welcome the Ambassador to County Clare. “Though separated by thousands of miles, the twinning relationship has already made significant strides towards bridging this gap through a shared spirit of cooperation, mutual understanding, exchange of knowledge and more importantly, friendship.” …

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Clare rates increase might have ‘broken the camel’s back’

BUSINESS people across Clare will be relieved that the County Council’s 2023 budget agreed on Friday, contained no increase on commercial rates. While the initial proposal from the Council executive was for a 2.5% increase, that wasn’t accepted by the Councillors and the figure will now be frozen at the 2022 level. Speaking on Tuesday, Councillor Mary Howard said it would have been impossible to justify an increase. “Having come out of a worldwide pandemic, dealing with the after affects of Brexit, the war in Ukraine and the supply chain issues that have been there for the last two years, I just think increasing rates would be the wrong thing to do, absolutely, at this time.” She said that the “vast majority” of people she spoke to were similarly opposed to increasing rates for next year, and the proposed 2.5% increase had little support. “Looking at Ennis, what I’ve seen since businesses have reopened, in O’Connell Street a number have …

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Lack of urgency around affordable housing possibility slammed

WITH a major shortage of housing in the town, Councillor Gerry Flynn queried what is holding up the delivery of an affordable housing scheme for the town, at Tuesday’s meeting of Shannon Municipal District meeting. It has recently emerged that Ennis and Shannon are not ineligible for affordable housing schemes, although rural parts of the county are. At this week’s meeting Councillor Flynn put forward a motion asking that the Council “urgently submit an application for funding to the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien for the development of a scheme of affordable housing in Shannon to support the lower to middle income earners that want to purchase their own homes locally”. A written response to the motion was put before the meeting, for the Council’s Director of Service Anne Haugh, which said that the local authority needs advice from the Department on what to do. “Clare County Council initiated engagement with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in …

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Major projects for Ennis to get rolling next year

THERE will be planning applications next year for two major projects involving retail, office and housing in Ennis town centre. Briefing councillors this week, chief operating officer of Ennis 2040 Kevin Corrigan said it is intended, between office and large retail, to develop about 5,000 square metres of space, including more than 50 apartments. Mr Corrigan, outlining a number of masterplans, claimed significant progress is likely to come in the next two years. “We’ll be lodging two planning applications for town centre sites in 2023, so between office and large retail we intend to develop about 5,000 square metres of space, 50+ apartments,” he told county council members. “The funding models are still being developed, we’re hoping the construction will start after it goes through planning in 2024,” he added. “We’ll be doing a masterplan next year for the Post Office field and we’re hoping to commence construction in 2024 or 2025.” Restating some of Ennis 2040’s purposes Mr Corrigan …

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Council backing See Change ‘Green Ribbon’ campaign

CLARE County Council are encouraging people to show their support for the See Change ‘Green Ribbon’ campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination. See Change is an organisation dedicated to ending mental health stigma. Its national Green Ribbon campaign runs throughout the month of September and aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health to help end stigma and discrimination. According to See Change: “By wearing the Green Ribbon – an international symbol for mental health awareness – you show you are committed to influencing positive change. You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know you are there for them and simply listen. Let people know you are open to having a conversation by wearing the Green Ribbon.” Stigma is a significant problem for people who experience mental health conditions and has …

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‘There is an uplift coming’

THROUGHOUT the recession all Clare County Council meetings heard stories about the complete absence of funds, but with the country coming out of Covid, things are very different. At Tuesday’s Shannon Municipal District meeting, Director of Services Liam Conneally said that at the moment “a plethora of grants are being fired at us at the moment”. He said that the “Government are trying to assist businesses, trying to assist community groups, trying to assist local authorities.” One thing he said he was disappointed about was that other Municipal Districts were doing better at accessing supports than the Shannon area, but he said this could be addressed. Mr Conneally said that there are some very good reasons to be positive about the economy at the moment. “A lot of new job creation goes unannounced. Another 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 jobs that would be added to a company, they mightn’t want it announced but it is happening. There is …

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Susan Crawford to take Green seat on Clare County Council

SUSAN Crawford is to replace Róisín Garvey as the Green Party’s representative on Clare County Council. A former college lecturer and two time Fulbright award winner, she has run an independent autism consultancy in recent times. She is a native of Inagh, as is Ms Garvey, but has lived in Miltown Malbay for many years. Earlier in 2020 she was named Clare person of the year, having completed a 2,500km walk, run and cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale to Donegal in a bid to build awareness around autism and to promote Ireland as “autism active and autism aware”. She only recently joined the Green Party, but has been involved in campaigning for Ms Garvey in the past. She was selected by party members, defeating Ennistymon’s Sophie Pigott in a vote. Owen Ryan

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Mary Howard elected Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council

AN emotional Mary Howard was this afternoon elected Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, while her Fine Gael colleague Pat Burke was elected Leas Cathaoirleach. Both positions are essentially ceremonial, with the Cathaoirleach expected to represent the Council at a wide variety of events, while also chairing meetings of the local authority, while the Leas Cathaoirleach will deputise for her over the coming year. Councillor Howard said she was hugely honoured with her election. “To represent my county and its citiens is a lifelong dream and to be here now is humbling, exhilarating and a wonderful privilege,”she told this afternoon’s council meeting. She was very emotional as she paid tribute to the impact her late parents had upon her. “My late parents were firm believers in hard work as well as family, community, public service, playing ones part and contributing to ones home place,” said the Ennis woman, Councillor Burke said he believed it was the first time ever Fine Gael …

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