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Tag Archives: Pat Dowling

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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Economic taskforce to tackle impact of Covid-19

AN ECONOMIC taskforce is to be set up to address the massive financial impact of the coronavirus on Clare economy, which the council’s CEO has likened to that of a “juggernaut”. Members of the local authority were updated on the measure, as they gave unanimous backing to a cross-party motion to freeze commercial rates for the duration of the crisis. At their monthly meeting, councillors heard that the authority anticipates a hit this year of €19.7 million. They agreed that central government must compensate for this loss. Calling for “a complete freeze on the collection and charging of commercial rates… for the duration of this pandemic and for a time after at the very least,” Councillor Mary Howard said business owners were distraught. She also called for a “mandatory fund” from central government to compensate councils. “I’ve been getting calls from tearful people who didn’t know when they would be able to re-open their business,” she said. “Some still don’t …

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No time for drama as councillors hold monthly meeting at Glór

DRAMA was kept to a minimum when members of Clare County Council gathered at Glór in Ennis for their first full meeting since the lockdown. The state-of-the art auditorium, which has capacity for 485, enabled the attendance of councillors, media and the general public, while also ensuring social distancing. “It’s great to see you all,” said CEO Pat Dowling. “We’ve missed you – a little.” Monday’s meeting coincided with the first day of Phase Two of the road map for the re-opening of Ireland and provided an opportunity for local authority members to assess the impact to-date of Covid-19 on Clare, and to consider the actions needed and the choices to be made to turn the county’s fortunes around. Any councillor considering making a song and dance, in a venue more accustomed to theatrical performances than political ones, would have been dissuaded by the CEO’s sombre account of the economic impact of the coronavirus. Outlining the additional expenditure of €500,000, …

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council faces €19.7 million deficit

CLARE County Council is facing a potential deficit of €19.7 million as a result of the collapse in economic activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it emerged this week. Deputy Cathal Crowe has called on the government to intervene with additional funding to prevent the need for the local authority to request businesses to pay commercial rates next August. Even though local businesses have got a three-month commercial rates payment deferral, Deputy Crowe believes the government needs to address this issue to avoid a situation where the council will be seeking rates that are already owed. The Meelick Deputy said it is unfair to pubs and restaurants to be paying full commercial rates next Autumn. He pointed out a lot of the council’s expenditure can’t be cut because one of its biggest outlays is its wage bill. If the council has to reduce expenditure, he expressed fears that works on capital projects such as roads will have to be scaled …

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Council CEO calls for ‘champions’ in battle against Covid-19

CHAMPIONS are needed in every family and parish across the county in order to win the battle against the coronavirus, according to the CEO of Clare County Council. Making an appeal to the public to continue to stick to government guidelines and to avoid complacency, as Ireland sets out on the road to re-opening, Pat Dowling also thanked the public for their efforts to-date. “We are very grateful for all of the sacrifices everyone has made,” he said. “We understand that there can be slippage and fatigue, but we must continue to comply, and to adapt in order to survive. We have to persevere in order to prevail. We have civil leadership from all of our agencies who continue to collaborate, and who are used to working together for the greater good. What we need now is deeper leadership and people who are willing to be champions of the cause in every family and in every parish, because we must …

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Council give update on available services

Clare County Council says it is continuing to make public services as accessible as possible during the ongoing health crisis despite all council offices being closed to the public until further notice. The closure of office buildings came into effect following the Government’s introduction of new restrictions on Friday. “Clare County Council continues to deliver vital public services in the challenging circumstances arising from the Coronavirus emergency,” stated Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council on Monday. He continued, “Clare County Council staff will ensure continuity of our essential and critical services across our key operations and the Council’s Crisis Management Team will continue to meet on an ongoing basis. Clare County Council’s response is informed by advice received from the HSE and Public Health Authorities and is subject to ongoing review.” Members of the public requiring assistance relating to a local authority service are requested to contact Clare County Council by phone (065-6821616) or email (customerservices@clarecoco.ie) between 9am and 5pm, Monday to …

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Council offices closed but hubs remain open

Following the Government’s announcement of new measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19, Clare County Council has confirmed that local authority offices, cultural facilities, and sports and recreation buildings will be closed to the public until March 29. However, Clare County Council’s Digital Hubs in Kilrush, Ennistymon, Feakle and Miltown Malbay will remain open to users. Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said, “The Local Authority is taking actions we believe are appropriate to minimise the spread of the virus. Council staff will present for work to ensure a continuity of service across our key operations,” he added.  Mr. Dowling said the Local Authority’s Crisis Management Team will continue to meet on an ongoing basis as well as liaise with Government Departments and agencies across the Mid West Region.  List of closed Council-supported facilities: •    Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis •    Municipal District Offices in Shannon, Kilrush, Ennistymon, Scarriff and Shannon •     All public branch libraries •     Local Studies Centre and …

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