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Tag Archives: rural Clare

Clare councillors seek to ‘buy time’ for new development plan

AN ATTEMPT is to be made to secure extra time to iron out controversial elements of the forthcoming County Development plan. A group of 11 council members have indicated their intention to seek an extension of time for the creation of the blueprint which will cover the period 2022-2028. They have cited concerns about the impact of national policies on rural Clare. Population projections contained in the National Planning Framework (NPF) and the distribution of new development have alarmed many members of the council. They have also taken issue with the requirement that lands with no prospect of being serviced in the lifetime of the county development plan be de-zoned. At the local authority meeting this week, Councillors Murphy, Hayes, Cooney, Gerry Flynn, Norton, Crowe, Kelly, O’Callaghan, Colleran-Molloy, O’Gorman and O’Brien tabled a motion calling for the extension of time in light of new guidelines on rural housing and wind energy, as well as changes brought about by the pandemic. …

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€10m Ennis loan passed after heated exchanges

Reservations over funding ‘private company’ and possible neglect of other districts CLAIMS and counter claims were expressed by county councillors during heated exchanges before a controversial €10 million loan was approved for the Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company (DAC) by a majority vote. Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company (DAC) has been registered as a company to assist in identifying opportunities for development and employment in Ennis and making the town an attractive place to live and work. While councillors support investment for Ennis, several expressed grave reservations about the new funding mechanism proposed by the council executive at a meeting on Monday, and the lack of a similar package for rural Clare. The loan was passed by 23 votes to five, with Councillors Tony O’Brien, Gerry Flynn, Donna McGettigan, P J Kelly and Susan Crawford officially recording their opposition. Some of the remaining councillors who supported it – Pat Burke, Joe Killeen and Ian Lynch – did so reluctantly. Councillor …

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Concern over the timeline of Kilrush health centre

CONCERN about the lack of a definitive starting date for the proposed Primary Health Centre in Kilrush has been expressed by a local Dáil deputy. Sinn Féin TD Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne is calling for more concrete commitment and action to be taken to ensure community health care services continue across rural Clare. The Sinn Féin deputy’s comments came following a vague and non-committal response from the Department of Health concerning the development of the promised Primary Health Centre in Kilrush two years after it was officially announced. “The fact that this new Primary Health Centre was announced in March of 2019, but the HSE are still effectively refusing to commit to any concrete action or development two years down the line is unacceptable,” said Deputy Wynne. “We all know that various developmental projects have been stalled as a result of the pandemic but the HSE’s response to any questions seeking clarification about projected timeline are unnecessarily vague and seem to …

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Rural Clare’s future jeopardised by ‘dire broadband’

HUGE tracts of Clare are on the wrong side of the so-called ‘digital divide’ according to local politicians and business people, with concerns this is hampering economic development and will continue to do so for years to come. Research published this week by switcher.ie shows that there is an average download speed in Clare of 17.4 Megabits per second (Mbps). This is the 12th quickest of the 26 counties and while this is dramatically quicker than last-placed Longford (just 7.25Mbps), it is also way behind first-placed Dublin (44.85Mbps) and also some distance behind Waterford (27.9Mbps) and Kildare (27.36Mbps). The research also shows that Shannon, home to companies such as IT giant Intel, has an average download speed of 51.64 Mbps, the eighth quickest city or town in Ireland. While the figure in Shannon is almost three times quicker than the average for the county, there is no doubt that many rural areas are experiencing much slower speeds. Fianna Fáil TD …

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Government agrees to broadband debate

The Government has agreed to Fianna Fáil’s request for a full Dáil debate on the major broadband problem facing rural Ireland, an issue that is of serious concern in many areas of Clare. Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications in the Seanad Senator Mark Daly has welcomed this but called on the Government to stop paying lip-service to the roll-out of rural broadband. “I welcome the fact that the Minister for Communications, Alex White, has agreed to Fianna Fáil’s request for a full Dáil and Seanad debate on the major problems with broadband in rural Ireland. “The Government has repeatedly committed to delivering a quality broadband service to all areas of the country. This was reaffirmed before May’s local elections where the Government promised to deliver high quality broadband to all areas. “The Government then cynically scrapped the National Broadband Scheme; which provided basic broadband services to rural users through a subsidy to providers; after the local elections. It will directly …

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