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Tag Archives: Ger Dollard

Proposed upgrading of Cliffs car park

CLARE county councillors will be asked to support a proposed upgrading of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Car Park, despite a claim this it is contrary to a previous Bord Pleanála ruling. In a report prepared for councillors for the adjourned meeting last Monday, deputy chief executive Ger Dollard recommended that the council proceed with the works as outlined, subject to a number of conditions outlined in a local authority planning report. “The effect of the works will be to upgrade the existing car park at the Cliffs of Moher from its temporary construction state to the standard expected in a car-parking facility and which serves the second most visited tourist attraction in Ireland. “Subject to tendering process and funding arrangements, it is unlikely that works will proceed until late 2017 at the earliest,” he stated. It is expected that councillors will decide to accept, reject or adjourn a decision on this Part Eight planning application when they reconvene next …

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Regional workshop plots way forward on job creation

The Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor has met with the Mid West Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee to discuss the future of the plan to deliver more jobs for the entire region. A half-day workshop has taken place in Limerick with representatives of the state’s development agencies (IDA and Enterprise Ireland), local authorities (Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Tipperary County Council), Education Bodies (Limerick Clare ETB, LIT, MIC, UL), the Limerick and Shannon Chambers of Commerce, and industry representatives from the Manufacturing, IT, Financial Services, Agrifood and Tourism sectors all taking part. The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is an initiative where government and industry collaborate to improve the environment for enterprise to grow, and jobs to be created. The purpose of the half-day workshop was to review achievements to date and to explore options for future initiatives. Chairperson of the Implementation Committee Barry O’Sullivan from Johnson & Johnson outlined that the …

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Cliff queues to spend a penny

CLARE County Council director of service Ger Dollard has identified the concurrent arrival of buses at the Cliffs of Moher as a key contributor to subsequent long queues outside toilets. More than one million people visit the cliffs annually but many appear to arrive in urgent need of locating an empty toilet. At a West Clare Municipal District meeting, Councillor Gabriel Keating said that interminable toilet queues are “causing inconvenience” for visitors. In reply, Mr Dollard said that queues can sometimes reach 100 deep and suggested that all buses should have on-board facilities in an effort to offset the need to immediately rush to the toilet, upon disembarking at the Cliffs of Moher. “The arrival of two buses simultaneously could result in over 100 people wishing to use the toilet facility,” he calculated. “In such a scenario, it is not possible to provide a level of toilet facilities that would eliminate entirely queues for the use of these facilities. It …

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Too many chiefs in the council?

CHANGES in the organisational structure of Clare County Council, including the creation of five directorates, have led to “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”. Following the recent appointment of new chief executive Pat Dowling to Clare County Council, a “series of improvements to the organisational structure of Clare County Council” have been announced. “Five distinct directorates, each being led by a director of service/head of finance, will be created,” the council stated. Councillor Gerry Flynn has questioned if the right moves are being made. “The new CEO is after coming into his job in Clare County Council and already has had success in increasing the property tax for homeowners by 15%, which is going to bring in another €1.5 million into the coffers of Clare County Council. He more or less outlined the benefits of increasing the property tax and that’s what they [the councillors] did,” Councillor Flynn said. “On the other hand, I’m hopeful that the changes will …

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Kelly calls for reduction in planning levies

REDUCING planning levies on new houses and commercial developments in the parts of Clare most affected by population decline should be used as a means of helping those areas. Councillor PJ Kelly said that the Government seem to have forgotten the West of Ireland and that, if there was no levy for new commercial developments, it would encourage industries to locate in struggling areas. The Lissycasey man put forward a motion that a reduced scale of Section 48 planning levies be approved to encourage development in the worst affected areas. Referring to the most recent census, he said Kilkee had lost around 300 people, while the parish of Cooraclare, home of Bill Chambers, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, is down by 9%. He said that while Ennis might seem to be expanding, its population was up by a marginal 2%. “If we give a zero rate for areas in decline, it can encourage industries to go in,” Councillor Kelly said. …

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Council spent more that €500,000 on the Fleadh

CLARE County Council spent more than half a million euro on the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis, it has been confirmed. The local authority spent €560,000 on the Fleadh, in addition to the council’s direct financial contribution of €75,000 to the event. The estimated spend by Comhaltas on the Fleadh was in excess of €1.1 million. According to Ger Dollard, interim chief executive of Clare County Council, the local authority’s contribution was used to pay for promotional activities, improvements to infrastructure and enhancements to the town. Outlining a report on the aftermath of the festival to members of the Ennis Municipal District this week, Mr Dollard stated that the benefit to the county from the Fleadh was “overwhelmingly positive”. He said, “The overall perspective is that Ennis was presented very well and performed very well.” A number of debriefs are currently underway among the various agencies involved with the Fleadh. However, Mr Dollard said that, overall, it …

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Plans facilitate Cusack Park move

Clare Marts had requested the council to delete any references to the relocation of Cusack Park to the subject site from the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023. However, councillors took a different view and decided to include a resolution into the draft plan to facilitate the move, if this is sanctioned by Clare GAA in the future. The council stated, “This opportunity site on the edge of the town has been zoned for mixed-used development and, given its location, it is particularly suited to facilitate the relocation of Cusack Park, should the need for a new stadium arise during the lifetime of this plan. “Adequate lands have been zoned to also accommodate the necessary car, coach and bicycle parking on the site, the development of which will require the use of permeable surface, given its location within an area of flood risk,” the resolution stated. Councillors also decided at a recent meeting to include additional land to the west …

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Former councillor claims de-zoning cost his €2.5m

THE de-zoning of almost nine acres of land land in Quin due to flooding concerns has a potential loss of between €2 million and €2.5m in land sales, a former councillor has claimed. Sonny Scanlon has previously received in the region of €1m for selling land at Madara, Quin, which facilitated the construction of 45 houses in a new housing estate. The former Fine Gael Councillor had planned to provide land to a prospective developer to build phased housing on land adjoining the existing residential estate. However, Mr Scanlon’s plans suffered a major set-back on Monday after councillors supported a recommendation from acting chief executive officer, Ger Dollard, to remove residential zoning from this site and amend the settlement boundary accordingly. According to Mr Scanlon, he had received two offers to purchase this land for €2m and €2.5m from different developers. In a submission to the planning authority by Project Design and Building Services on behalf of Mr Scanlon, it …

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