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Tag Archives: Pat Dowling

Playgrounds risk development funds over insurance issues

COMMUNITY playgrounds are facing huge hurdles in securing insurance cover, with the county council being urged to step in to support them. The matter was raised at this month’s meeting of Clare County Council, where Councillors Cillian Murphy, Ian Lynch and Joe Garrihy tabled a motion calling for new playgrounds and those whose policies had lapsed to be taken in under the council’s policy. “We could soon be looking at two-tier communities,” Councillor Murphy said. “Those who have community playgrounds and those who don’t, if this situation isn’t resolved. This is a grossly unfair and utterly risible situation.” The Fianna Fáil member said he was aware of two community groups who would not be able to draw down their core funds for playground facilities, if they are unable to get insurance cover. “In one case a group has spent €275,000 and is ready to go, but the playground has to have insurance cover,” he said. “Significant time and energy has …

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Councillors approve Local Property Tax 15% above standard rate

CLARE County Councillors have decided to adopt a Local Property Tax (LPT) at 15% above the standard rate for next year, despite an appeal from one councillor to reduce this charge. Last year, councillors agreed to increase the LPT 15% above the standard rate and this was retained again this year without a vote following a meeting in Glór on Monday. However, councillors have warned the General Municipal Allocation (GMA) must be retained at this same level to support community projects this year, which could prove to be extremely difficult for the local authority following a huge decline in its income stream due to the devastating impact of Covid-19. Councillor Donna McGettigan proposed the council should reduce the LPT rate in view of the uncertain times facing householders some of whom were in mortgage arrears. Her proposal was not seconded or supported by any other councillor. The need to increase the GMA considering the key role it plays in the …

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Stage set for inaugural Michael Cusack Day in Carron

THE significant contribution to Irish culture by the founder of the GAA will be celebrated next Sunday, with the inaugural Michael Cusack Day in Carron. A Shane Gilmore sculpture representing the central role of gaelic games in communities across the island of Ireland will be unveiled, exactly 173 years on from Cusack’s birth in Carron. A tree for each county will also be unveiled, along the Burren Fairy Trail and GAA Trail near the Michael Cusack Cottage, thanks to the support of the TOMAR Trust. Sunday’s event also will feature the launch of Going WeLL, a national wellness experience programme being developed nationally by the GAA to encourage people to take better care of their mental and physical health, and by so doing, to reconnect with their communities. Going WeLL is being rolled out on a pilot outreach basis to a range of communities, schools and FET (Further Education and Training) Centres from the Michael Cusack Centre this winter. It …

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Online book of condolence opened in Clare for the late John Hume

CLARE people are able to pay their respects to the late John Hume with the opening by Clare County Council of an online book of condolences. Mayor of Clare, Councillor Mary Howard, is inviting members of the public to sign the book and join people from all over Ireland and beyond in marking John’s legacy as “an inspiring and courageous politician and peacemaker who helped to redefine politics and was instrumental in bringing about peace”. “John Hume is widely acknowledged as having played a crucial role in the Northern Ireland peace process. His vision for communities finding a way of living together peacefully is an inspiration to all of us,” she added. Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling, said: “I invite people to sign the online Book of Condolence and add their names to the many tributes paid to John Hume by people around the country and all over the world.”  The Book of Condolence can be signed …

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#YourCouncilDay celebrates Covid-19 response in Clare

The innovative work carried out by the staff of Clare County Council during the Covid-19 crisis will be highlighted on #YourCouncilDay, which takes place on Wednesday, July 1. Clare’s swift reaction to the demands of lockdown saw the Library Service introduce several initiatives including a contact and collect service, a cocooning book delivery service and more than 40 online story-time, drawing and craft workshops for children. The library also offered its 75-piece toy and sensory collection to parents of children with complex needs, and distributed 500 wellbeing packs to those that are cocooning. A writing competition for children and teenagers was launched on May 4 and more than 100 entries were submitted under the theme ‘County Clare 2020: A Day in My Life’. The competition was offered as an alternative creative activity for children and teenagers by the Clare Library Service after the schools were closed on March 15. The winning and highly commended stories were selected by award-winning children’s …

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Clare Economic Taskforce holds first meeting

THE Clare Economic Taskforce held its inaugural meeting at Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis, today (Friday). The taskforce was convened by Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, to inform and guide appropriate economic measures that will stimulate job creation in Clare. The group comprises public and private sector leaders and is chaired by retired Ambassador Noel Kilkenny, former Consul General of Ireland in New York. The Clare Economic Taskforce will assist Clare County Council to: Identify the immediate priority actions required to maximise the area’s local and regional economic potential; Develop future resilience in the local and regional economy. The Taskforce will progress medium and long-term projects and actions; The Taskforce will examine how Clare, as part of the Mid-West region, can facilitate and enable decentralised employment opportunities; The Taskforce will examine how national, EU and international capital investment opportunities can underpin Clare’s future economic growth; The Taskforce will build economic confidence in Clare and the Mid-West region; …

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Council refurbish toilets at Cliffs of Moher

CLARE County Council has approved the commencement of work on the complete refurbishment of all toilet facilities within the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre. Clare contractor Jada Projects Ltd has been appointed to complete the project. Clare County Council signed the contract, which is valued at €208,444 ex VAT, earlier this month. The improvements include a full refit of the toilets on the ground floor and first floor. The works will see the unisex model that was in place revert to separate male and female toilet facilities. It is expected that the works will be completed in July. Mayor of Clare, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy, said: “The toilet refurbishment will be a welcome improvement to facilities at the world-class visitor attraction. With 1.6m visitors to the cliffs in 2019, it is crucially important to maintain high standards of accessibility, convenience and hygiene in Visitor Centre facilities – perhaps now more than ever, given the public health requirements to combat Covid-19.” …

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Questions raised over shelving of Meelick housing development

QUESTIONS are being raised about why a multi-million housing development planned for Meelick has been shelved at a time when private rented accommodation is securing monthly rents of up to €1,300. Deputy Cathal Crowe has written to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy asking for an explanation why this major development of 70 new housing units was not sanctioned by his department. “It is hugely regrettable that this project is not being developed at a time when there is an immense need for housing in the area. I liked this development because it almost had a 50 50 split of affordable and social housing. “There is a huge demand for housing in South-East Clare. Rents are averaging between €1,300 and €1,500 a month, which is some of the highest in the county. “There is huge rental pressure because of proximity to Limerick City and this housing development needed to happen,” he outlined. “There are other land parcels for sale in Meelick and …

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