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Tag Archives: Mary Howard

Suffragette Movement in Ireland ‘Lost in History’

CLARE Fine Gael held an event commemorating the granting of the right to vote to women at the Old Ground Hotel on Monday. Clare was the first constituency in the country to have a 50/50 male/female representation in the Dáil, this was following the election of Síle DeValera and Madeleine Taylor Quinn in 1987, along with Donal Carey and Brendan Daly. However, while there are constituencies nationally who have managed to have equal representation, it hasn’t happened again in Clare since. The event, entitled Vótàil100, after a new committee the party has formed featured guest speaker Maria Bailey TD, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, the 100th female TD to be in the Dáil. Also speaking at the event were former Clare TD Madeline Taylor-Quinn, Councillor Mary Howard, and Rebecca Gregan who stood for national president of Young Fine Gael this past year. The meeting was chaired by equality officer with the Clare Fine Gael executive, Geraldine Gregan. She outlined that the meeting discussed why …

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New year pledge for BreastCheck

Councillor Mary Howard is asking the women of County Clare to make a potentially life-saving new year’s resolution by attending BreastCheck appointments when called. Councillor Howard recently attended BreastCheck in Ennis and noted the poor turnout of people who had appointments to attend the service. She said the poor attendance raises questions over the sustainability of the BreastCheck service in the town, something which was hard fought to introduce in 2010. “The five appointments prior to me never showed up. I was talking to the nurse after my appointment and I realised the next person hadn’t come in either,” Councillor Howard noted. She later learned that out of 45 appointments that day, only 12 showed up and as recently as Friday, December 22, only half of the scheduled appointments turned up for screening. Councillor Howard outlined that while she was at the service, an unexpected visitor came into the BreastCheck team. “While I was there, a lady came in to …

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Mixed views on dog park for PO Field

IT is a ‘tail’ of two sides for dog-lovers in Ennis. The Ennis Municipal District executive has voiced support for the idea of a dedicated dog park in the town. However, the local authority has confirmed that it is “not in a position” to introduce the initiative at this time. A motion calling for the introduction of a designated space for people to bring their four-legged friends was proposed at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. This comes hot on the heels of the recent launch of a local campaign group, ‘The Ennis Puppy and Dog Park Project’, which is urging that the Post Office Field be developed to facilitate a dog park. The group has described the council’s response to a dog park as “positive”, saying they will be continuing their efforts. At the meeting, Councillor Johnny Flynn proposed that the local authority “to meet the needs of animals and animal lovers” follow the example of Dublin …

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Taking a stand against estate agent signs

AN Ennis councillor wants to bring down the hammer on estate agents who erect signage, which, she believes, are breaching planning laws. The planning authority will now write to all estate agents operating within Ennis, reminding them of their obligations under the regulations. Councillor Mary Howard has urged Clare County Council to “enforce the laws” regarding estate agent signs. Highlighting the issue at the Ennis Municipal District monthly meeting, she asked for a report from the planning authority on “breaches of planning law on this matter in the area”. The councillor said she has been contacted by members of the public, complaining about signs erected by estate agents. However, she explained, these are not signs advising that a property is up for sale. “There are signs being put up, asking, ‘Are you considering selling?’. These are advertising, rather than ‘for sale’ signs. People are looking out their windows and seeing these signs.” She added that she also has a “big …

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‘Shilly-shallying’ on Ennis flood relief

THE Office of Public Works has been accused of “shilly-shallying”, when it comes to the long-awaited Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme. A recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District was informed that a timescale for the works is not currently available. This sparked criticism from members of the council, with acting director of service Brian McCarthy telling councillors that he “understands the frustration.” Councillor Paul Murphy initially raised the matter, requesting an update on the tendering and likely timescale of works on the scheme. He asked, “What is the latest delay and is it possible to separate the St Flannan’s and Ballybeg projects from each other in order to achieve progress?” Eugene O’Shea, acting senior engineer, replied, “The current status in relation to the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme is that a tender recommendation has been received from the consultants for this scheme and sent to the OPW for their approval. “As the St Flannan’s and Ballybeg projects are both …

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Councillor seeks to protect defibrillators

An ENNIS-based Councillor Mary Howard has called for stricter penalties for those who vandalise defibrillators. At a recent meeting of Clare County Council, she also requested that the Minister for Health ensure that all future publicly-accessible defibrillators be fitted with a sensor that would notify emergency services once it has been removed from its holder. Speaking about the vandalism of the items, Councillor Howard said, “Last December, we saw CCTV footage of a group of 16-year-olds in Arklow in County Wicklow pull a defibrillator off a wall and proceed to kick it back and forth, destroying the unit. “In January, a defibrillator was destroyed in Cork for the fourth time. The list goes on. These life-saving devices cost in the region of €2,500 to be replaced.” She said it would be important to have defibrillators fitted with devices that would discourage vandals. “In the future, I would like to see these units fitted with a SIM module and internal camera, …

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Call for moratorium on evictions

THE plight of those evicted from their homes was highlighted at this week’s meeting of Clare County Council, with one councillor voicing fears that someone could take the law into their own hands. Calls were made for the Government to introduce a moratorium on evictions until the social housing crisis has been resolved. Councillor PJ Ryan commented, “One of these days I can see somebody taking the law into their own hands if the situation is not rectified. The banks are 95% the cause of the problem and they need to take a reality check.” Councillor Mike McKee raised the issue with the local authority where he outlined increases in the numbers of people evicted across the country, those in mortgage arrears and families being made homeless. “Hard-working families are being dragged through the courts by the banks, the very same banks that were bailed out,” he stated. “There is a crisis in social housing at the moment and until …

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Ann Norton new Mayor of Ennnis

Independent Councillor Ann Norton is the new Mayor of Ennis. She was unanimously elected at this week’s annual general meeting of the Municipal District Committee of Ennis. Councillor Norton was elected to Clare County Council for the first time in 2014 and succeeds Fianna Fail’s Pat Daly in the role. Councillor James Breen (IND) has been elected deputy mayor in place of the outgoing deputy mayor, Mary Howard, Fine Gael. Mayor Norton, in her acceptance speech said, “It is a great honour for me to hold this office in a year that will see Ennis host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for the first time since 1977. This is a huge occasion for the town and the entire county. “As mayor I also looking forward to supporting the various community initiatives and cultural projects that will be taking place over the next 12 months, including plans for the new flagship County Library project in Ennis. Another key priority of mine will be …

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