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Tag Archives: Pat Dowling

Clare councillors seek means to track progress of their work

CLARE County Council has been urged to provide a mechanism to help councillors track the progress on their public representations to the local authority, writes Dan Danaher. Councillor Gerry Flynn has asked for the introduction of performance indicators for each Municipal District to monitor representations from elected members. While several motions have been supported by councillors over the years, he claimed at a recent council meeting no substantial progress has occurred from the executive. He called for a faster turnaround, particularly at municipal district level, in response to requests from councillors. “Councillors carry out a very important role on behalf of their communities and require a timely response to their representations. “It is not rocket science to ensure that what councillors request is acted on.” Councillor Johnny Flynn said it is important to be able to demonstrate that representations from constituents, which form an integral part of local democracy, are acted upon efficiently. Having tabled a motion on this issue …

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Council and Gardaí ask public to keep up Covid effort at ‘critical time’

THE people of Clare are being urged to keep up their efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at this “critical time.” Clare County Council and An Garda Síochána have joined forces to emphasise the importance of following the guidelines to save people’s lives. With case numbers persistently high and the health service coming under significant pressure, Chief Executive of the Council Pat Dowling and Chief Superintendent of Clare Garda Division Sean Colleran have called on everyone in the county to make another extra effort to drive down the levels of infection in our communities.  The risk of transmitting or getting Covid-19 is currently very high. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has described the situation in hospitals as stark, with people of all ages being admitted to hospital and being taken into intensive care units.  Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “This is a critical time. The situation is urgent. The Chief Medical Officer has warned …

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Vandaleur Gardens works get underway

HIGHLY-anticipated restoration works are set to get underway shortly at the Vandeleur Walled Garden, where a new interpretative museum is among the developments planned. Located in Kilrush, the gardens are among the jewels in the crown of tourism in West Clare and were visited recently by Clare County Council officials and project stakeholders. The socially-distanced site visit was in advance of the enabling works getting underway for the restoration and renovation of the old stable block. The tendering process is complete and Custy Construction Ltd, a Clare-based construction firm, has been appointed to this project. The restoration works are funded by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, under the Department of Rural and Community Development. Additional match funding has come from the council. The main works, due to begin early this year, will include an interpretative museum and new gardeners’ building, along with the development of a new visitor experience design and approach for the complex. “I very much welcome …

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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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