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Tag Archives: Liam Conneally

Clare businesses could face 3.8% rates hike in 2022 Budget

CLARE businesses may be hit with a 3.8% increase in commercial rates, if local county councillors approve the first hike since 2009 in the Draft 2022 Budget at a meeting this Friday, writes Dan Danaher. With Clare County Council’s overall expenditure projected to increase to €138.6 million in 2022, up €7.8 million on the previous year, it is expected this proposed rates increase will generate an additional €1.3 million in revenue, if it is approved. The Clare Champion has learned that councilllors were presented with this proposed commercial rates increase at a recent briefing. In total, 3,430 occupied properties generated €37.2 million in commercial property rates in 2021. Ten levied properties pay more than €20 million. This income comes from energy generation plants, windfarms, global utility networks, national retailers and large industry. The balance of about €17 million is levied across 96% of properties in the county. While income from extra properties or new builds will generate an extra €1.15 …

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Councillors divided over €10m Ennis plan

Political manoeuvring will intensify amongst Clare county councillors ahead of a council meeting next Monday to secure support for a controversial €10 million loan for what has been described as a new public-private partnership to provide a major development facelift for Ennis. Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company (DAC) has been registered as a company to assist in formulating identified opportunities for development and employment in Ennis and making the town an attractive place to live and work. The new high powered committee, which is chaired by former Roche Clarecastle chief executive, Gerry Cahill, includes TTM Healthcare Ennis chief executive Brian Crowley, Kieran Considine, head of AIB in Clare, Limerick and Kerry, Corporate Excellence Ireland chief executive, Linda Barron, Councillor Claire Colleran-Molloy, economic director of service, Liam Conneally and director of finance, Noeleen Fitzgerald. It is expected that Councillor Johnny Flynn and Councillor Ann Norton will become members of the board in the near future. This plan is expected to generate …

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‘There is an uplift coming’

THROUGHOUT the recession all Clare County Council meetings heard stories about the complete absence of funds, but with the country coming out of Covid, things are very different. At Tuesday’s Shannon Municipal District meeting, Director of Services Liam Conneally said that at the moment “a plethora of grants are being fired at us at the moment”. He said that the “Government are trying to assist businesses, trying to assist community groups, trying to assist local authorities.” One thing he said he was disappointed about was that other Municipal Districts were doing better at accessing supports than the Shannon area, but he said this could be addressed. Mr Conneally said that there are some very good reasons to be positive about the economy at the moment. “A lot of new job creation goes unannounced. Another 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 jobs that would be added to a company, they mightn’t want it announced but it is happening. There is …

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Councillors Call For More Land Zoned For Houses

CLARE councillors are calling for more flexibility to be applied to increase the amount of land that is zoned for residential development in the county. Following official sanction for the completion of the final part of the €58 million of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road Coonagh to Knockalisheen Road, Councillor P J Ryan said a lot of land on the N18 from Lansdowne to the Radisson Hotel should be zoned for commercial and residential development. Councillor Ryan said there are hundreds of acres of council land near Shannon Airport that should be zoned for residential development, excluding the so-called red zone. He said company directors in Shannon wanted to build houses in places like Ballycasey but can’t get a site. Every extra house that is built will pay Local Property Tax to the local authority while more housing will result in an increase in population that will in turn support businesses and generate more income for the council and the …

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Warning over threat of land de-zoning in national planning rules

CLARE is faced with “a premeditated depopulation of the countryside” unless pressure is put on organisations including Irish Water to provide essential services, according to a member of the local authority. Councillor Cillian Murphy made his remarks at the January meeting of Clare County Council after warning that tracts of land are at risk of being de-zoned under a new National Planning Framework (NPF), if services are not provided within the next seven years. The Fianna Fáil member tabled a series of detailed questions about the forthcoming development plan for Clare which will be in effect up from 2022 to 2028. He noted that the NPF outlines a tiered approach, whereby lands that are unlikely to be serviced within the period of the plan are recommended to be de-zoned for development. He was sharply critical of “a lack of ambition” for rural Ireland on the part of the State, and said organisations like Irish Water, instead of being instructed to …

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Emergency housing unit for Ennis

AN emergency housing unit for homeless people is set to be established in Ennis. Clare County Council is searching for a property in the town for the unit, director of service Liam Conneally has confirmed. At a meeting of the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), Mr Conneally said a bid was made for a property last year but it proved unsuccessful. A second option was considered but the cost of the fit-out was higher than anticipated. The council has now increased its bid for the first property. SPC member Dermot Hayes said, “Homelessness has more than quadrupled and it’s tragic to see so many houses lying idle.” Mr Conneally acknowledged that the acquisition of a property “has taken a lot longer” than anticipated but he said it would be operating as soon as possible. In terms of location, he said the unit “has to be central”. Trade union representative Tom Guilfoyle urged the council to borrow money to allow more houses …

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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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