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Tag Archives: Ger Dollard

UNESCO recognition for Scattery unlikely

SCATTERY Island, located close to Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary,  is likely to face a long wait to be recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. At a meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Independent Councillor Ian Lynch asked that the county council proceed with an application for the sixth century monastic settlement. However, in a written reply, Ger Dollard, director of services in tourism and community with Clare County Council, said that an application for World Heritage Site status is not within the remit of the local authority. The first step towards gaining status is to be included in the tentative UNESCO list but even that is unlikely. The last time this list was reviewed was in 2010 and prior to that in 1992. “It is unlikely that a review of the list will take place in the short term. It should be noted that the Burren was on the tentative list in 1992 and was again included …

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Accusation of ‘massaging’ housing lists

Clare County Council has been accused of “massaging” official figures on its social housing list, amid growing concern of a 28% hike in applicants seeking local authority accommodation. Strategic policy committee chairman, Councillor Gerry Flynn, claimed official figures did not fully reflect the real social housing waiting list, which is already at “crisis point” and of “epidemic” proportions. Councillor Flynn claimed the council is “massaging” the overall figures due to the lack of a proper validation process, as applicants were knocked off the list if they didn’t respond to a council letter, asking them if they had a house. He believes an applicant should be left on a list unless the council has “concrete proof” they have obtained permanent accommodation. His charge coincides with a challenge from Housing Minister Paudie Coffey for the council and other local authorities to “step up to the plate” in terms of social housing provision. According to the most recent figures provided by the council, …

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Reducing parking charges not feasible

REDUCING the rate of €1.30 per hour that applies in most of the main car parks in Ennis would have serious financial consequences for Clare County Council. That was the message from Director of Services Ger Dollard at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. Mr Dollard claimed that research showed that a drop of ten cents would result in a loss of income of in the region of €80,000 to €90,000. He was responding to Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy who put forward a motion asking that for a trial period a universal parking fee of €1 per hour be introduced throughout the town to enable a comparison with the same period one year previously. A written reply to her motion from the Council’s Barry Keating stated, “Parking income is an integral part of Clare County Council’s budget and is necessary in order to balance the resources available and the demands that are being place on the Council. Any potential …

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Council in talks to purchase Holy Island

CLARE County Council has confirmed it is at an advanced stage of negotiations to secure the purchase of Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) on Lough Derg. It is understood that a purchase price has been agreed between Clare County Council and the landowner and it is now at a stage where the council is seeking funding from Government to purchase the island. Ger Dollard, director of services with Clare County Council, confirmed that the acquisition of the island has been under consideration for a number of years and that an opportunity recently arose to bring the site into public ownership. “We are fully aware of the significance of this location and would be anxious to see it forming part of the local tourism product and be available to the wider public. We are conscious of the strong heritage, environmental and conservation considerations associated with the island and, for that reason, have commenced the preparation of terms of reference for a visitor …

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Rural Clare SMEs climb the IT ladder

SMALL and medium enterprises in County Clare are being invited to participate in an EU project aimed at improving the IT capabilities of rural businesses. The Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly Mid-West Office, formerly MWRA, is one of six lead agencies in CREATE, which aims to deliver a full package of advice and support to SMEs to enable them to fully exploit the potential of an improved online presence, faster broadband, and hardware and software investments. The project also aims to stimulate the virtual clustering of rural SMEs across partner regions of North West Europe, to help reduce expenses and the need for investment in expensive hardware technology for businesses through the shared use of hosted services. An expert workgroup of IT and online marketing professionals from across the CREATE partner regions are presently conducting a review of the Irish and European rural-based businesses before presenting them with individual actions plans aimed at introducing efficiencies. CREATE advisors were in Ennis …

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Unravelling the Loop Head code

A group of amateur ham radio operators will wind back the clock at Loop Head Lighthouse this weekend, when they attempt to communicate via radio and Morse code with hundreds of radio clubs throughout the world. The Limerick Radio Club, which features members from Clare, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary, will broadcast non-stop for 48 hours from the West Clare lighthouse as part of the 17th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW). During the broadcast, from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday, visitors to the popular tourism landmark will be able to listen into communications with some of the other participating ham radio operators, broadcasting from 400 other lighthouses and lightships in 65 countries. Last year, the Limerick Radio Club successfully made contact with lighthouses and lightships as far away as Brazil, Australia, Tonga, French Guiana, Asiatic Russia, Ecuador, The Azores and The US Virgin Islands. The majority of all radio contacts were made with operators in the United States …

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Financial foundation laid for Rock Road amenity

IN one of the final acts of Ennis Town Council, funding has been arranged for an amenity scheme for the Rocky Road and water-based leisure facilities at Ballyalla, both a couple of miles on either side of the town. The council, in its last financial statement, has recommended that credits available in its current account be assigned to a number of areas, including specific funding of €22,697 for the Rocky Road and €25,765 for Ballyalla. The statement recommends that development contributions paid and due for recreation and amenity projects be assigned to recreation and amenity improvements, open space redevelopment and development at Ballyalla. The allocation of funding to the Rocky Road and Ballyalla was welcomed by all councillors. Other recommendations in the annual financial statement include that tenant purchase redemptions be assigned to improvement works on the housing stock of Ennis Town Council; that development contributions paid and due for car parks be assigned to the acquisition and improvement of …

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Ennis is first in Ireland with free parking for eco-friendly cars

ENNIS has driven ahead with becoming Ireland’s first town to offer free parking for eco-friendly cars. Amendments to the town’s parking bylaws and on street pay and display bylaws adopted this week by Ennis Town Council, include the provision for free parking for electric and hydrogen powered vehicles at two town car parks. Under the new scheme, the vehicles will be able to park for free at Abbey Street and Glór car parks. The measure had originally been proposed by Councillor Brian Meaney who believes this will be an incentive for people to use more environmentally friendly modes of transport, as well as encouraging visitors to the county capital. “This is a first for Ireland” said the councillor following the adoption of the bylaws. “Ireland is almost completely dependent on very volatile imports of fossil fuels to power personal transport, we have to broaden our energy options. With only approximately 10 electric cars registered in Clare the changeover to the …

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