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Tag Archives: Deputy Michael McNamara

Early “Christmas present” for Shannon Airport as Ryanair re-opens base

RYANAIR has delivered an early “Christmas present” to Shannon Airport following its decision to re-open its base with one aircraft and the recommencement of 14 routes from April 1. According to Ryanair, a new five-year deal on airport charges, which was finalised between the Shannon Group and the airline in recent days, will create more than 330 direct and indirect jobs. Ryanair will reopen its Shannon base and operate 14 routes from Shannon for summer 2021 from Shannon Airport to the following destinations in 2021: Alicante, Barcelona-Reus, Faro, Krakow, Kaunas, Lanzarote, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Malaga, Manchester, Palma, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Last October, Shannon Airport was dealt a hammer blow when Ryanair announced it was closing its Shannon base for the winter months. With transatlantic closed down already and the Shannon-Heathrow route also suspended, Shannon Airport only has a very small number of scheduled passenger flights per week. In an interview with the Clare Champion, chief executive officer, Mary …

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Deputy McNamara requests Government to consider Covid-19 Antigen tests

AS the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 in Clare slumps to the lowest in the country, a local Dáil deputy has asked the government to consider using antigen testing to help curtail the spread of the virus during Christmas. A few months ago, the 14-day incidence rate of the virus in Clare was the fourth highest in the country. However, now the incidence has dropped from 32 per 100,000 on November 30 to 23.6%, which is the lowest in the country. This is in sharp contrast to Limerick, which now has the sixth highest incidence rate of 128% while the rate in Tipperary is now far greater than Clare at 70%, just below the national average of 84.7%. According to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 28 new cases of Covid-19 in Clare, 251 in Limerick and 112 in Tipperary from December 1 to December 14. On December 13, Limerick’s total number of cases stood at 3,021 …

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Rural Clare Will Remain Broadband “black hole” in 2021

THE government has been warned rural parts of Clare will remain a “broadband black hole” following the revelation that only four communities in Clare are scheduled for high speed broadband connection in 2021. This news will be greeted with dismay by thousands of Clare residents, who are working from home in line with public health guidelines to minimise the spread of Covid-19, despite difficulties with poor connection and coverage issues. Delays in the rollout of broadband will also hinder the government’s national plan to roll out 10,000 co-working and incubation spaces around the country over the next three years. Deputy Michael McNamara has expressed his disappointment at the “frustratingly slow” roll out of a high speed and future proofed broadband network across Clare as part of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led intervention. Deputy McNamara was speaking ahead of a briefing by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) to Clare County Council next Monday where the CEO Peter Hendrick will outline …

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McNamara seeks more transparency on Covid-19 deaths

Deputy Michael McNamara has asked Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to provide a greater level of transparency concerning the number of Irish people who died from and with Covid-19. His call coincided with the publication of figures on Tuesday of 18 additional deaths related to Covid-19, one death occurred in October, 15 deaths in November and two are under investigation. Deputy McNamara has asked Minister Donnelly for a breakdown of patients who died primarily from Covid-19, those who died with Covid-19 but primarily from other causes and those who died from the virus, having acquired it in hospital. The Independent Deputy was told this is a matter for the HSE and was assured he will receive a reply in due course. He expects to receive a typical vague response from the HSE. The 14-day incidence rate of the virus continues to fall and remain relatively low in Clare. This rate, which had rocketed about 70% from September 17 to September 30, …

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Speeding jetskis startled cow into throwing calf, says farmer

SPEEDING jet skis on Lough Derg created such a commotion that a cow on a Clare farm became distressed and miscarried its calf, according to a local Dáil deputy. The nuisance caused by jet skis on Lough Derg was criticised by Deputy Michael McNamara during a Dáil debate about the need to tackle the inappropriate use of quad bikes. Commenting on the increased number of people on the water this summer because of the lockdown and the initial good weather, Deputy McNamara recalled jet skis were used on lakes where they had never been seen before. “I spoke to a constituent about it yesterday. She told me of an incident on her family farm, which adjoins a lake. A cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf,” he said. Last June, Killaloe Coast Guard appealed to jet ski operators to operate in the open waters of Lough Derg away from restricted zones near …

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Council engaging with homeowners to verify pyrite problem

THE founder of a group of up to 40 home owners, whose properties are crumbling because of defective building materials, has appealed to the government not to delay the extension of a support scheme to County Clare. The council has confirmed that it has sought the extension of the scheme and been contacted by the Department of Housing. The authority has made contact too, in recent days, with The Clare Pyrite/Mica Action Group. “Our situation has been raised by the council, TDs and senators, we’re so grateful for that support,” Dr Martina Cleary said. “It’s very important now that the process isn’t made overly complex. Several of our members are living in homes that are ready to fall and they’re afraid for their lives. Each winter that goes by, with the damp and the frost, the situation is getting worse and you can literally hear the blocks cracking. You can imagine the psychological stress. In Mayo and Donegal, where people …

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Phased opening of new €19.5 million 60-bed modular unit starts next Monday

THE new €19.5 million 60-bed block modular unit to tackle overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) will be fully operational almost two months after a recent predicted timeframe given by a government minister. Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler stated in the Seanad recently “from a construction perspective, the new ward block should be ready to be operational by Monday, November 9”. However, it has now been confirmed the long-awaited modular unit will come on stream in three distinct phases, starting with 20 beds next Monday and will not be fully operational until January. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has told Deputy Cathal Crowe a new 20-bed ward, which is part of the 60-bed unit will open next Monday, this will be followed by a further 20 in December and the final 20 will be up and running in January. “A state-of-the-art facility will be in place at UHL now, and the timing couldn’t be better …

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Big steps taken in South-East Clare greenway project

PROGRESS with a greenway project for South and East Clare has prompted optimism that the development will have a transformative effect on tourism in the region, in the near future. Deputy Michael McNamara has learned that Waterways Ireland, who secured €140,000 last July, is to go to tender for a feasibility study and preliminary design works next week. Contractors for the study and design on the 41km route, which will start from the existing greenway to the University of Limerick (UL), crossing the River Shannon over the Black Bridge and following the old Errina Canal to O’Brien’s Bridge and onwards to Scariff, are expected to be appointed before Christmas. “Both reports should be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2021,” the Independent TD told The Champion. “Because so much of the land along the route is in the ownership of the ESB, I would hope that issues that are affecting the development of greenways in Kerry and …

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