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Tag Archives: Feakle

East Clare Community Response Group here to help

WITH the return of Level 5 restrictions, communities across East Clare are responding with the kindness and solidarity that they have shown throughout the last nine months of 2020. The East Clare Community Response group covers Flagmount, Killanena, Feakle, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Ogonnelloe, Bodyke, Mountshannon and Whitegate, and can be contacted on 085-8659889. Volunteers will respond to calls to that number, as well as texts or WhatsApp messages, and will support anyone who is elderly, vulnerable, or who has chosen to self-isolate. The response group will deploy Garda-vetted local volunteers in the relevant community area to ensure people have access to medicines and general supplies. Response group members work within strict medical protocols and in compliance with all public health guidelines. All requests for support are confidential and information is never held or shared. Anyone who wishes to volunteer is advised to contact their local community group.

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Freya fighting fit after open heart-surgery

A FEAKLE family, who have had “a roller coaster year” since their youngest member was diagnosed with a serious heart defect, are hoping to harness the goodwill of the festive season to raise funds for Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Back in April, in the teeth of the lockdown, Avril Collentine and her husband Henry Hayes were celebrating the birth of their second child, Freya, and looking forward to bringing her home to meet her two-and-a-half year-old brother Harry. “The lockdown did make things a bit harder, but at least I wasn’t a first-time mum,” said Avril. “Freya was born on a Monday and on Wednesday we were getting ready to go home and I was really glad about that. The team were doing a few final checks when one of the doctors thought she heard a murmur in Freya’s heart. We got referred to the neonatal unit and they did an ultra-sound scan. They sent the images to Crumlin, where they …

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East Clare windfarm application open for submissions

COMMUNITIES from Feakle to Killaloe are being urged to make themselves aware of the details of a planning application for a 19-turbine windfarm which have just been lodged with An Bord Pleanála. Along with reports detailing the potential impact on the environment and on wildlife habitats on the 749 hectare site, the Coillte application outlines the full specification for the Carrownagowan Windfarm, which is earmarked for the northern slopes of Slieve Bernagh. “I would strongly urge all of the communities of East Clare to make themselves aware of what is proposed,” said Chairperson of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes. “People need to be satisfied about the impact this development might have on the quality of life for this generation and generations to come. People need to inform themselves and make their views known.” Because the project has been designated as ‘strategic infrastructure,’ it has gone directly to the planning appeal’s board. Submissions are being accepted up to February …

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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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