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Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

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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McNamara warns ‘Zero Covid’ strategy would devastate Clare economy

ZERO Covid is strategy that would be unworkable and herald the end of tourism and aviation in Clare, according to Deputy Michael McNamara. The approach has been mooted by a growing number of opposition TDs and members of the medical profession and would involve reducing coronavirus cases to an absolute minimum, through a combination of lockdown and tight border controls. “Zero Covid sounds fine,” the Independent TD said, “but even if it was achievable, and I don’t believe that it is, when we can’t decide where we are going to have our border, what then? If we get to zero Covid cases, how are we to maintain that situation without more or less permanent quarantining of people arriving into the country? If that’s to be the system, we can forget about tourism and aviation in Clare, permanently.” The Scariff-based deputy also rejected the narrative that the response to the pandemic involves a trade-off between public health and the economy. “I …

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Different views for future Shannon Heritage ownership

THE government has been urged to put a strategic plan in place to support the development of Shannon Airport and tourism attractions this year. This issue was raised by Deputy Michael McNamara in the Dáil recently when he reminded An Taoiseach Micheál Martin that he highlighted the Shannon Group, Shannon Airport and their pivotal role for the economic well being of the Mid-West following his elevation six months ago. Deputy McNamara asked what plan is in place to support aviation and tourism across the Mid-West in 2020. “What is the plan for Shannon Heritage? The two sites that have opened are closing on January 3. It is planned to open the sites again in April, but Shannon Heritage remains in the Shannon Group with a commercial mandate and the sites ill fit a commercial mandate because while they generate money, they generate money more broadly in the economy than they do within the group itself. The Taoiseach acknowledged this “serious” …

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