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Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

Restored road in pipeline

THE stretch of road from Mullagh to Miltown is to be fully restored after pipe-laying works are finished. The news was relayed to Deputy Michael McNamara who said Clare County Council and Irish Water are committed to the works. Irish Water’s main civil engineering contractors have recently excavated the Mullagh Cross to Mack’s Cross road to accommodate the laying of a replacement watermain. “The replacement watermain will replace a section of main that had become extremely problematic in recent years and will hopefully bring a reliable supply of water to Miltown and several other areas en route,” explained Deputy McNamara. The Independent TD acknowledged the issues caused for road users during the upgrade, but stressed that those are short term. “While the inconvenience to road users at present is regrettable, it is also temporary,” he noted. “In response to my representation on behalf of the people of Mullagh and Miltown Malbay, the Road Section of Clare County Council says residents …

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McNamara critical of low maternity benefit rate

CLARE’S Independent TD has called on government to stop penalising women who have just had children, by offering the a lower payment than they would receive under the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme. Addressing the Tánaiste at Leader’s Questions last week, Deputy Michael McNamara said it was an opportune moment to raise the matter given the historic fact that a cabinet member had just had a baby. Congratulating Justice Minister Helen McEntee and her husband, Deputy McNamara said “there is nothing more hopeful than the birth of a baby”. “We should recall that thousands of mothers across this State, when they went on maternity leave to give birth and bring a life into the world, had their rate of pay reduced from the PUP rate to the maternity benefit rate, which is €245,” the Independent TD continued. “Notwithstanding all the laws we rightly have in the private sector to prevent women from being discriminated against because they, uniquely, give birth, …

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New Moneypoint offshore wind energy plan will power 1.5 million homes

THE FUTURE viability of Moneypoint Power Station has been thrown a much needed lifeline under a new proposed offshore wind development project, which has the potential to generate enough energy to power up 1.5 million homes reports Dan Danaher. Under a new public private partnership between the ESB and Equinor, a new multi-million Euro project concerning a 270 km2 flaghship floating offshore wind development is being planned off the coast of Clare and Kerry. Details of the new plan are due to be announced by the ESB under Ireland’s long-term decarbonisation strategy this Friday. The Clare Champion has learned the ESB and Equinor submitted a Foreshore License application to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in January, and a lot of preliminary work has already been undertaken preparing the groundwork for a new planning application. In addition to revitalising Moneypoint Power Station, this project would provide a commercial rates windfall for Clare County Council, pending planning approval. This …

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Anger over lack of action on Inis Cealtra heritage designation

THE Burren will be the only Clare site proposed by the local authority for inclusion on a global list of outstanding heritage locations. The council confirmed to The Champion that an application is currently being made to keep The Burren on Ireland’s Tentative List. This means it could eventually go forward for potential future nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List, joining the likes of Brú na Bóinne and Skellig Micheal. “Neither Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) nor Cahercommaun Ringfort are at present under consideration by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in this round of nominations,” a council statement said. It added that the council is committed to “keeping this under review”. The news has met an angry response from Deputy Michael McNamara who previously called for the three Clare sites to be put forward, as well as Scattery Island (Inis Cathaigh) and Mooghaun Hillfort. “It beggars belief that the council would purchase Holy Island and a venue …

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Long Term Strategy Needed To Live With Covid-19 – Deputy McNamara

THE government has been urged to develop a long term strategy to deal with Covid-19 and ease stringent restrictions to allow people meet safely outdoors. That’s the view of Deputy Michael McNamara, who believes the government must outline a plan to allow people to meet each other in the open air, while employing social distancing, and provide some outdoor hospitality services. The East Clare Deputy has been informed by former Senator Billy Lawless, who runs restaurants in Chicago, that outdoor dining was possible in very cold conditions in the USA, which illustrated this could be replicated in Ireland during the Spring. He said most bars, restaurants and hotels would be able to work safely outdoors if they were given the opportunity to do so. “People have been cooped up for a very long time now. At what point do will allow people to live because if we don’t ease up, people will just crack? “A lot of what happened during …

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Deputy McNamara Calls For More Antigen Testing

` DEPUTY Michael McNamara has called for an increase use of antigen testing in hospitals, schools and homes to facilitate a quicker safe exit from stringent Covid-19 restrictions next month. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy McNamara recalled the European Commission advocated greater use of antigen testing last November and this is being rolled out right across Europe. The Biden Administration has now introduced far greater use of antigen testing in America, including in homes. He claimed the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has finally moved, reluctantly, to a very “circumscribed” role for antigen testing in the context of outbreaks. “Is there a conflict of interest between being chair of NPHET and being director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, which has very large contracts with the State for PCR testing? “I am not saying there is any subjective bias on the part of that member of NPHET, but there is a clear perception there is objective bias, or a …

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Windfarm concern group raises questions over risk of landslides

A PROPOSED windfarm earmarked for the slopes of Slieve Bearnagh in East Clare has prompted the setting up of the Carrownagowan Concern Group. The organisation, headed up by Deputy Michael McNamara, is among those to make submissions on the proposed Carrownagowan windfarm, currently being considered by An Bord Pleanála as strategic infrastructure. In its objection to the development, the group contends that “reasonable scientific doubt as to the absence of adverse effects on the integrity of the site must be removed before the project is authorised”. The submission concludes that, in applying for the 19 turbines, developers Coillte have not fully assessed the risk of landslides; the impact on designated sites including Lough Derg Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Slieve Bernagh Bog Special Area of Conservation (SAC); or the impact on birds and wildlife. The document describes the Carrownagowan Concern Group as being “comprised of persons who reside near the proposed development and have expressed concern that the information …

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Scariff protesters reject ‘anti-mask’ label

A MEMBER of a small group, who engage in weekly demonstrations in Scariff, has taken issue with the characterisation of their protests as ‘anti-mask’. In a letter to The Champion, Seán MacLeod denied the group are showing disregard for frontline workers and rejected suggestions that they are an intimidating presence for older people. The letter follows widespread condemnation of the group’s activities by the local community, a furious debate on social media, and a counter-demonstration highlighting the importance of the public health guidelines. While the protests have been peaceful, The Champion understands that local Gardaí are keeping the situation under review and have advised people that they must not breach the Covid-19 restrictions. In an email, Mr MacLeod said: “I would like to assure you that it is not the intention of anyone standing in the square to upset or intimidate anyone and also to say that many of us standing in the square are in the ‘vulnerable’ group of …

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