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Tag Archives: Feakle

Remote hubs a lifeline for Clare’s remote workers

THE remote working revolution prompted by the Coronavirus pandemic would have been impossible to predict at the start of this year. A life-time ago, back in January, working away from the office was still a fairly fuzzy concept for most of us, tied in with worthy but not-always-attainable aims like reducing our carbon footprint, cutting down on daily commuting and achieving a better work-life balance. Now that we have all been thrown into reality of having to meet our work commitments without venturing into crowded offices, finding an appropriate space for remote working has become a real challenge. Kitchen tables across the country have been acting as board room bases for video conferences, while serving as virtual classrooms at the same time – not always with harmonious, or productive results. In Clare, thanks to a synergy of two key departments, the local authority has been better able than many of its counterparts to respond to the surge in demand for …

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Clare Bus Hope Covid Restrictions Won’t Impact on Tender Plans

LIMITS on the number of passengers who can safely use public transport could have implications for the ability of Clare Bus to tender for nine local transport routes. Earlier this month, the National Transport Authority (NTA) sought Expressions of Interest for the routes, which had been operated by Clare Bus until the end of March. Due to a funding dispute, the Feakle-based accessible transport service lost a total of 12 routes and is hopeful of being able to tender again for nine of them. The chairperson of Clare Accessible Transport (CAT), which trades as Clare Bus, told The Champion the board would have to examine the tender documents in detail before making an application. “We have expressed our interest and the next step is that the NTA will issue nine individual tender calls,” he said. “We expect to receive those this week, but until we look at them, we don’t know exactly what will be required. Once the management team …

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Fears that ‘2m rule’ will force rural pub closures

PUBLICANS in Clare have reacted positively to news that pubs will be allowed to open three weeks earlier than planned, but have voiced concern that the two metre social distancing rule will force some rural pubs to remain closed. Under the accelerated road map unveiled by government last Friday, so-called “wet pubs,” which don’t serve food, can open for business from July 20. Pubs serving food may re-open, along with the rest of the hospitality sector, from June 29. While the news has been welcomed by organisations representing the trade, there is broad agreement that the two metre social distancing rule could mean smaller pubs face closure for the foreseeable future. In Feakle, Gary Pepper of Pepper’s Bar and Restaurant, said described the two metre rule as “a non-runner,” but expressed optimism about the pledge by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to reconsider the guideline. “We’re looking forward to June 29.” he said. “There is a lot of …

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Mediator appointed in dispute between Clare Bus and NTA

THE National Transport Authority (NTA) has agreed to enter talks with Clare Bus in relation to payments the company believes it is owned for providing vital services in rural parts of the county. In correspondence to Deputy Joe Carey, NTA CEO Anne Graham confirmed that the authority has agreed to “enter into a mediation on the amount allegedly outstanding to Clare Bus”. The potential breakthrough in the long-running dispute comes as the NTA also confirmed that nine key local routes are being put out to tender in the coming days. The Fine Gael TD welcomed the positive development and urged Clare Bus to enter the tender process. “Hopefully this will be the beginning of a process that can finally see a resolution to this dispute and I hope the NTA and Clare Bus use the opportunity so this vital service is not lost to the communities it serves,” he said. The row over the payments has become one of the major roadblocks …

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Wheelchair users raise concerns about access to new Local Link services in Clare

A SOUTH Galway wheelchair user has voiced his concern about the accessibility of vehicles on Local Link routes currently, and called on Minister Shane Ross to “cop on” and return the service to Clare Bus. Séamus Ó Donnacha from Kinvara, who works for Clare Crusaders in Barefield, has been using a wheelchair for 15 years, said the nature of the accessible buses currently on the routes removed independence from passengers with disabilities, and literally left them “stuck at the back of the bus”. “To my knowledge, there are some accessible buses in the fleet which are able to cater for wheelchair users,” Mr Ó Donnacha outlined. “Clare Bus had low-floor buses which meant that someone could get straight onto the bus. Now, what we have are vehicles with tail lifts at the back. That means that wheelchair user needs to be helped on board, and they’re left there away from everyone else and can’t interact with others. That’s an upsetting …

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Feakle man’s ‘Covid cut’ head shave to raise funds for The Mater

AS hair salons and barber shops remain closed until July 20, some people have been going to extreme lengths while others have opted for a so-called ‘Covid cut’ – and choosing to do some fund-raising in the process. Among them is Feakle native Trevor Collins who will have his head saved live on Facebook on Friday night, to raise funds for The Mater Foundation. The organisation is very close to the hearts of Trevor and his family, as his dad Michael had a life-saving lung transplant at the hospital in 2017 and is currently receiving treatment there after contracting a rare form of meningitis. “We will be forever in their debt,” said Trevor. “There’s a doctor there for everything and when dad took ill first, we were nearly looking at palliative care for dad, but for the fact that we did our own research and got him treated at the Mater.” Almost a decade ago, Michael was diagnosed with pulmonary …

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East Clare pays tribute to the late Nora Butler

FRIENDS and admirers of the late legendary Tipperary singer, Nora Butler, recalled the mark she left on East Clare, over her many years attending and performing at local musical events. Feakle’s Paula Carroll, presenter of The West Wind on Clare FM, recently remembered the Toomevara native, who passed away on May 3, with tributes coming from Gerry Shortt of Shortt’s Bar and Ballina-based singer Deirdre Scanlon. Nora was a frequent visitor to venues across Clare, through her work for Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann (CCE), as performer and adjudicator. She was particularly loved in the East of the county where she was a regular and popular guest, along with her late husband, Pat Swan, at gatherings in Spancihill, Tulla and Feakle. On The West Wind, Paula Carroll described Nora as “a gorgeous woman and a really sweet singer”. “My own encounters with Nora in recent years were mostly in Gerry Shortt’s Bar in Feakle,” she noted, “where she was a much loved …

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Transport Authority to meet local TDs over future of Clare Bus

A REMOTE meeting is to take place this afternoon (Thursday) between representatives of the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Clare’s four TDs, on the issue of Clare Bus. Deputy Cathal Crowe of Fianna Fáil confirmed that the teleconference will take place, but insisted that that the authority must also meet the operators, Clare Accessible Transport (CAT). “I welcome the offer of the NTA to meet with myself and my county colleagues this week,” said Deputy Crowe. “It will be an opportunity for us to seek some clarity on their plans for Clare Bus, as this saga has been going on for far, far too long now. But I am dismayed to see that they are continuing to refuse to meet representatives of Clare Bus. I have confirmed my attendance at the meeting and have also asked the NTA to arrange a meeting with Clare Bus themselves but will push their case anyway. I fully support Clare Accessible Transport being awarded …

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