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Tag Archives: East Clare

Further phone outages leave rural communities cut off

A MAJOR outage which affected the Vodafone phone and broadband network over a number of days last week has prompted renewed calls for better services for remote, rural communities. Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes said the lack of coverage had severely impacted hundreds of people over the course of last week. “Obviously, at the moment, we have many more people trying to work from home,” he noted. “Parents are home-schooling and their children have to be able to access the internet. For a lot of third-level students, their phone is their only means of getting online and from Tuesday to Friday of last week, people across East Clare had no reliable coverage. One farmer was telling me about how he relies on his phone to monitor his livestock remotely and that service wasn’t available to him for days. That’s a serious issue.” The Fianna Fáil member said that when contacted the provider had responded, but not …

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Cross-district support for road improvement plan

A STRETCH of road which extends across two different municipal districts will be repaired this year, but is not on the current roads programme for this year. The poor condition of the road at Ballycar North, Sixmilebridge, which crosses from the Killaloe to the Shannon Municipal District, was highlighted by Councillor Alan O’Callaghan. At a meeting of the Killaloe district committee, he called on the engineer from the area to meet her Shannon counterpart to draw up a proposal for the road. “This road is divided between both districts and in a very poor state,” the Fianna Fáil councillor said. “A lot of people use the route and it’s in need of a lot of repair. I understand it crosses two districts, that’s why I’m calling for the two engineers to work together on this.” In a reply to the motion, Senior Executive Engineer (SEE) Niamh Madden said she had spoken with the Shannon SEE on the matter. “As this …

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Icy weather prompts call for review of East Clare road gritting plan

GREATER efforts must be made to keep key local link roads passable during the current winter lockdown, according the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Pat Hayes made his remarks at this week’s meeting of the district committee noting that during the recent lengthy spell of sub-zero temperatures, there were particular issues around Flagmount and between Feakle and Scariff. In a motion calling for a review of the Winter Gritting Plan, the Fianna Fáil member noted that the Feakle-Scariff road and the Gort-Tulla road are among some key routes currently excluded from the plan. “These roads need to be included as a matter of urgency for the safety of motorists,” he said. “Now that people have to stay within 5km of their homes, it’s particularly important that they can safely access local services. If you take O’Meara’s in Flagmount, people have to be able to get there safety for essential food and supplies. I’m calling on the council to …

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Broadband frustrations increase for East Clare residents working from home

FRUSTRATION at poor broadband across large sections of East Clare has intensified as more people try to work and study from home in response to the pandemic. One Tulla resident has told The Champion of her efforts to improve her family’s service which has involved contacting ten different providers, to no avail. The women, who lives just a few kilometres from the town, is a customer with Eir and uses a mobile broadband dongle. “I originally had broadband through the phone line and the service was very poor,” she explained. “The mobile device is supposed to provide wireless internet for up to ten devices, but if you have any more than two connected, it is a disaster. I’m working from home and my daughter was in Leaving Cert, so her studies had to take priority. At best, the service is okay, but that’s all. It is affected by bad weather too, which doesn’t help.” After trying ten different service providers …

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Deer hunting licence delays prompts concern over farm and forest damage

DEER are said to be causing significant damage to farms and forests in East Clare, with the pandemic being blamed for a slow-down in the processing of permits for hunters, five weeks into open season. Concerns have also been raised about the ongoing issue of illegal deer hunting, which a major conservation and management organisation described as a recurring problem in the east of the county. “There are landowners in East Clare who might go out to find 30 to 40 deer on their grazing,” said William Shortall of the IFA  said. “As the population of deer expands, they’re competing for food and that’s what drives them into grassland areas and tillage. What we need in the long term is an agency with responsibility for the overall management of deer, who will be able to put effective plans in place to control their numbers. We’re entering the rut now, where stags move off their territory in search of females, so …

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Kilkishen Tidy Towns Forges Ahead

WHILE there may be no national Tidy Towns competition this year, that doesn’t mean that local groups around the county are sitting on their laurels. Quite the contrary. Since lockdown ended, most groups have never been busier and many have seen a bump in membership, because people have been spending more time closer to home. In Kilkishen, the Tidy Towns group is close to ticking another project off its ‘To Do’ list. That is the renovation of the old forge building, which dates back some centuries. “The forge building goes back to the 1700s, but we don’t officially know the date it was built,” Elizabeth Brady of Kilkishen Tidy Towns outlined. “It was built without plaster. It’s across the road from the old blacksmith’s house, which is in private ownership. That’s very quaint and Éamon de Valera visited it in the 1960s. It was a spontaneous thing. He saw it and asked his driver to stop. The locals who had …

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Henchy’s Cross ‘a danger’

SAFETY concerns over a junctions on the main arterial route into East Clare have been raised by local representatives who have described it as one of the most dangerous in the county. Henchy’s Cross on the R352, close to Clooney, was described by the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District as a “blackspot” and the site of a number of accidents. Councillor Pat Hayes told the most recent meeting of the area committee that it is time for the authority to take action, now that responsibility for the location has come back into the Killaloe district. “This crossroads is one of the most frequently used junctions onto the R352 and it’s also one of the most dangerous,” the Fianna Fáil member told the meeting. “It has been the scene of several accidents and I have had one myself at this location. It’s a danger for those coming out onto the main road, as well as for those using the R352, …

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Time to Deliver to East Clare, says New Killaloe Cathaoirleach

THE new Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District has outlined his priorities for year ahead, saying now is the time for delivery, and that representatives must “have their hands up” for funding from national government. Councillor Pat Hayes took over from Councillor Pat Burke of Whitegate who held the role for two consecutive terms. The Caher-based representative was nominated by Fianna Fáil colleagues Councillor Alan O’Callaghan and Councillor Tony O’Brien. At the district AGM, Councillor Hayes thanked Councillor Burke for his work. “We are fairly unique in Killaloe for our positive working relationship,” he noted. “The parties are all in government together and we’re working together in Clare for the greater good.” He also outlined his priorities for the year ahead, including projects like the Killaloe Bypass and Inis Cealtra. “We have many plans in the pipeline in this district,” he noted. “What I want to see now is delivery.” Councillor Hayes noted that boundary changes had brought a number of other projects into …

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