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Enda Kenny, Taoiseach is escorted by Councillor Gabriel Keating, Councillor Mary Howard, Fine Gael candidate, and Pat Breen, TD during his visit to Loop Head to launch the Fine Gael tourism initiative. Photograph by John Kelly.

Taoiseach visits wet and windy Loop Head

HAS there ever been such excitement outside 11am mass in Kilbaha on a stormy Sunday morning in February?
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited Kilbaha and Carrigaholt where he canvassed mass goers inside the Little Ark church in Kilbaha before the congregation concentrated on what their parish priest, Fr Michael Casey, had to say. An Taoiseach also met with a range of some startled locals outside the church. They were somewhat taken aback to be met by Deputy Kenny and a sizeable media presence.
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An Taoiseach and his entourage left before the ceremony started and were met minutes later by a large crowd inside the pavilion, which was buffeted by incessant wind and rain, at Loop Head lighthouse, where Mr Kenny’s grandfather served as a lighthouse keeper.
While at Loop Head lighthouse, the Fine Gael leader stressed his belief that while the economic recovery has not reached everybody in the country, he feels that the current government are in the best position to ensure that happens.
Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, revealed some details of  a €100m investment in tourism, which includes plans for the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way. One of the plans mooted is the provision of regular charging facilities for electric cars along the route, in tandem with the expansion of walk ways along the western seaboard.
Speaking to The Clare Champion in Carmody’s bar, Carrigaholt, Minister Donohoe said that he would not rule out the suggestion that farmers would be paid to maintain greenways and walking routes on their land, under the proposed scheme.
Meanwhile, speaking to the local media, Enda Kenny claimed that rural Ireland has not been left behind by the “recovery” which the government maintain is under way
“When we had the Presidency of the European Union, for the first six months of 2013, we put together a programme of €12 billion for the Common Agricultural Policy. There was a €4 billion fund in there for rural development. We followed that by listening to people from all over Ireland and we got Pat Spillane to consult with communities from all over the country, particularly along the West coast for the CEDRA report. Out of that we launched launched the Charter for Rural Ireland in Banagher. In every community there are leaders where the communities get together themselves and say ‘what do you want?’ and they want to take advantage of the changes the government has made at national level,” Mr Kenny said at Loop Head lighthouse.
“We recognise the challenges in respect of broadband, which is an issue for myself at home, two miles outside Castlebar. In order to deal with that Eir are now competing directly with Siro. The government changed the law to allow for the ESB to partner with a service and they chose Vodafone. The combination is now called Siro. As well as that you have companies called E-Net,” he explained, adding that that the state is seeking to provide broadband in “non commercial areas.”


Peter O’Connell

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