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Tag Archives: Ger Dollard

Kelly chalenges council’s legal spending

If Clare County Council were a private company, it would be insolvent and its directors fired, Councillor PJ Kelly claimed at this week’s meeting of the local authority. He made his comments while discussing legal costs incurred by the council, having sought information about costs awarded to and against the council regarding court proceedings over the last five years. The information he sought was not available and a written reply said it “will take time to compile this information and, should the councillor require, this information can be collated over the coming weeks”. Councillor Kelly said the council has “very scarce finances” currently, while he noted that €100,000 had been spent on the council’s entrance door. He added that the council is open for 250 days in the year and that the legal expenses incurred averages at in excess of €3,000 per day. “That would be high wages for 15 people; I can’t accept that it is justified,” he commented. …

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Bus route could be worth €200,000 a year

A BUS route running from Clarecastle to Ennis could be worth €200,000 a year to an operator, it has been claimed as the pedal is being put back on efforts to initiate a service. Councillor Johnny Flynn, at this week’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, urged that the Minister for Transport and the National Transport Agency support any licence application to initiate a trial bus route from Clarecastle through Ennis and on to the Gort Road Business Park. According to Councillor Flynn, this could have the potential to become phase one of “an important transport option” for students, residents, visitors and workers in Ennis. He outlined that a feasibility study had been carried out by Ennis Town Council into the possibility of running a service. “The work was done but the collapse of the economy put a stop to it,” he said. According to the councillor, the proposed route has 1,300 students and 1,695 workers living and potentially travelling …

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Political alliance to remove poster cable ties

GETTING rival political parties together to form a government has been proving difficult enough in recent weeks. However, calls are now being made for politicians to cross the divide and come together to tackle a real bind. And their common foe? Cable ties that have been left all over the county on poles after the removal of election posters. Councillor James Breen has led the call for something to be done to remove the ties, which he says are still visible all over the county. “I took down any one I ever put up when I ran for election. What action is being taken to ensure that these are removed?” he asked. Councillor Ann Norton agreed, adding that the issue of posters being left up by candidates and even election posters re-appearing in previously checked areas is also a concern. The Clare Champion reported last month that Councillor Mary Howard had reported that up to 200 of her election posters …

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Work begins on Ennis market rejuvenation

WORK on revamping Ennis’ market to include a new “iconic” covered building for traders has now begun in the town centre. It is expected that the new market will be ready in time to be showcased to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will flock to Ennis for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Construction work has started on the Ennis Market Rejuvenation Project with a finish date of July 2016 for phase one of the redevelopment of the market at Garraunakilla. The new market will have room for 25 stalls, made up of internal covered areas and also space for stalls in the courtyard outside. The actual number of stalls for each market will vary, depending on the size of the stalls to be accommodated. According to the council, the allocation of stalls will be done through an open process and following discussion with market traders and other interested parties. Speaking to The Clare Champion at the site …

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A third of Cliffs visitors stay the night

ONE-third of all visitors to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in the past year stayed at least one night in the county, according to new figures. More than 1,660 people completed online surveys for the attraction in the 12 months from August 2014 to August 2015 and these figures show that 33.2% of visitors indicated they had spent either the night before their Cliffs visit, the night after or both nights, in County Clare. “This indicates a minimum of 536,174 overnights in the county, not taking into account those staying longer than two nights. In 2014, incentive pricing for group tours arriving before 11am or after 4pm was introduced, which further encourages an overnight stay locally,” Ger Dollard, director of services, Clare County Council, stated. The local authority, which owns the centre, reledased the new figures. Mr Dollard stated that while the average spend in the county per visitor to the Cliffs is not known, “by any measure the …

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A great lighthouse on Loop Head

Loop Head Lighthouse has been named as part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, an EU funded tourism initiative. Launched by Tourism Minister, Paschal Donohoe and the Commissioners of Irish Lights, featured are 12 lighthouses in stunning coastal location, which will offer unforgettable experiences and create a deep appreciation of the role of lighthouses, past and present, and in the maritime and seafaring story of the island of Ireland. From Loop Head Lighthouse it is possible to spot whales, dolphins and seals, and the rock ledges and caves of the dramatic cliffs are home to many seabirds. Ger Dollard, director of services at Clare County Council, who oversees the Loop Head lighthouse projects, said “Loop Head’s recognition among these 12 extraordinary sites will benefit all locations, enabling us to better showcase our individual attractions and the maritime heritage of the whole island to wider audiences. We see a lot of opportunities to further grow our international appeal and extend the season through …

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Ennis Market project goes to tender

Clare County Council has confirmed that Phase 1 of the Ennis Market Rejuvenation project is now proceeding to tender stage and construction is expected to commence in the autumn of 2015 The €1.75m loan for the Market Rejuvenation Project, which also includes the upgrading of the streets adjoining the market area, is now in place. Clare County Council says a detailed design will shortly proceed to tender stage in relation to Phase One of the redevelopment of the market which will begin at Garraunakilla, the site of the current Farmer’s Market. Speaking on behalf of the Elected Members of Ennis Municipal District Committee, Mayor of Ennis Councillor Johnny Flynn welcomed the progress being made in relation to the project in consultation with local residents and business people. “This project will have a significant role in the rejuvenation of this area of the town, which is significant, both from an economic and heritage perspective considering Ennis has always been an important …

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Minister shelves National Diaspora Centre

A BID to have the proposed National Diaspora Centre based in Bunratty has come to nothing, after the Government announced  that the project will not go ahead. Clare County Council had worked in partnership with Shannon Heritage and tourism advisers Sherwood and Associates to prepare what it called “an ambitious and detailed bid” for the project, which it wanted to build in Bunratty, which it claimed was an ideal site close to Shannon Airport and the M18 with an established tourism infrastructure. After learning this week that the Government has decided not to proceed with the project, Council Director of Services for Planning, Community, Enterprise and Economic Development Ger Dollard said, “The council has been advised that the process underway for the selection of a National Diaspora Centre has now been terminated. “This is disappointing in that a very detailed proposal had been prepared by the council, supported by Shannon Heritage and the Shannon Group. We will continue to work in …

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