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Tag Archives: River Shannon

Speed up wastewater works in Ballina, urges councillor

Sewage flowing into our greatest natural resource, the River Shannon, is unacceptable, says O’Brien IRISH Water has been urged to fast-track the upgrading of the existing Ballina Wastewater Treatment Plant following Tipperary County Council’s recent planning approval for these works. Repeated overflows of the treatment plant, which has resulted in pollution of the nearby River Shannon has prompted calls for major upgrading of this overloaded sewerage treatment facility. Tipperary County Council has stated upgrading works are programmed to start in the fourth quarter of 2022, with a completion date by the end of 2024, subject to funding and statutory approvals. The plant, which serves the wastewater needs of Ballina and Killaloe, has a 4,000-person equivalent capacity and the current load estimate on this plant is for a 5,400-person equivalent. Councillor Tony O’Brien confirmed Clare county councillors have not been informed of any change in the projected completion of these long-awaited improvement works. “There is a major issue with the existing …

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Shannon tourism masterplan identifies Clare priority projects

HOLY Island and the Ardnacrusha hydro-electric power station have been identified as catalysts for development across the East and South East Clare regions in a new masterplan developed for the promotion of tourism along the River Shannon. The Shannon Tourism Masterplan was launched on Tuesday, after being commissioned by Waterways Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, and supported by Clare County Council along with nine other local authorities. The document proposes an investment of over €76 million in visitor facilities, along the river, up to 2030. Clare features in a Lower Shannon Discovery Zone which runs from Portumna to Limerick. Among the ‘hero products’ of this zone is Inis Cealtra. According to the masterplan, the monastic island will “form a core element of the emerging Pilgrim Way, offering clusters of early Medieval monastic sites of exceptional interest… at Limerick, Killaloe, Tuamgraney, Inis Cealtra, Johnstown, Lorrha and Portunma”. The new masterplan also underlines the importance of the proposed Shannon Greenway which will link …

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Flood-hit Residents Are “living in hell”

FLOOD-hit residents in South-East Clare are “living in hell” and are “living in fear” of more flooding, a local Dáil deputy has claimed. The devastation caused to several households and farmlands in Springfield, Clonlara was highlighted in the Dáil this week by Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne when she presented a case for the establishment of one single body to manage the River Shannon. Commenting on the River Shannon Management Agency Bill, Deputy Wynne warned flooding is becoming too regular and must be tackled with timely action rather than “more kicking the can further down the road”. Last February, she recalled several households and farmlands were destroyed or severely impacted due to flooding in South-East Clare. “One man in Clonlara was quoted as saying “I am living in hell”. For him it has become a very common life event. While many people have commented on the ways we can tackle flooding along the River Shannon, I believe that one of the most …

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Post-Covid ‘staycation’ hopes for East Clare tourism

TOURISM operators in East Clare have said they remain cautiously optimistic in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 lock-down, which has brought the sector to a standstill for now. The season would normally begin around Easter, and tourism providers are currently coping with a raft of cancelled tour bookings, as well as the shelving of key events and activities. Hope is being drawn, however, from the anticipated demand for ‘staycation’ breaks once the restrictions on movement are lifted, and from the development of key projects including the River Shannon Tourism Master Plan 2020-2030, which is currently in draft form and open for public submissions. “A good season in East Clare would be starting around Easter,” noted Arlene White, Chairperson of Tourism East Clare. “What we are now seeing instead is the cancellation of bookings for months ahead. It’s very tough for everyone, but we understand the need for the restrictions and we are hoping that 2020 won’t be a complete …

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Dragonboats help women with cancer

A NEW group in Castleconnell, just over the Limerick border, is looking to help women who are recovering from breast cancer by dragonboat racing. An ancient Chinese sport, dragonboat racing dates back over 2,000 years and has been in Ireland since the 1990s. Chairperson of Shannon Dragons, Bríd O’Connell, says it is very helpful for women in recovery. “It’s the upper body movement. It aids recovery and it helps to minimise lymphedema, which is a complication you can have if you’ve had the lymph nodes removed.” Originally from Birdhill, Bríd has close ties to Clare, having gone to school in Killaloe and having a role with Sixmilebridge Scouts Group. She says some women from Clare are already involved with Shannon Dragons but she wants to spread the word a bit. “We have women coming from Shannon and Ennis but we want to reach into the community in Clare; we want women around the county to know about this. We have …

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High Court hearing on Killaloe bypass

AN environmentalist has been refused leave to appeal against the rejection of his legal challenge to a grant of permission for a 2km bypass around Killaloe in South East Clare. Peter Sweetman, and an environmental protection company, The Swans and the Snails Ltd, claimed the project, including construction of a 170 metre bridge over the River Shannon, would result in irreversible destruction of a woodlands habitat. The habitat, an alluvial wet willow-alder-ash woodland, is located on the western side of the proposed bridge. The High Court case was brought against An Bord Pleanala after it granted permission for the project in March 2013 to Clare County Council. Mr Sweetman, Bunahowen Cashel, Countty Galway, and the company, with an address at Rossport, South Ballina, County Mayo, claimed an environmental impact assessment carried out by the Board did not comply with the Habitats Directive or planning legislation. Mr Justice Paul McDermott dismissed their challenge last month after finding the board received comprehensive …

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Lough Derg levels drop

As levels in Lough Derg continue to drop, the ESB has advised that the flow of water through Parteen Weir will reduce to 405 cubic metres per second today (Monday). The situation will be reviewed again tomorrow. This level of water flow will continue to have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick. Other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick may also be vulnerable to flooding due to local issues. ESB is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant county councils.

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Water levels at Springfield recede slightly

Water levels on the Lower River Shannon at Springfield, Clonlara, reached the November 2009 peak level during Wednesday afternoon but have since receded by approximately 100mm, Clare County Council has said. The council has received confirmation from the ESB of its decision to maintain the spill rate at Parteen Weir at 440 cubic metres per second during today (Thursday). The council says it is monitoring water levels at Springfield, having regard to any potential increase in the spill rate at Parteen Weir and flood levels on the Mulkear River, which enters the River Shannon south of Annacotty. Clare County Council area staff, Clare County Fire & Rescue Service, The Defence Forces and Clare Civil Defence are continuing to provide support on the ground in Springfield, as well as assist in the transportation of residents of approximately a dozen properties isolated by floodwaters. Meanwhile, at Ballycoree Bridge, Ballyalla, Ennis, the River Fergus has recorded its third highest flow rate on record. The flow …

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