What I did this month



22nd June

  • Meeting with CCC rural development officer and Kilkee Waterworld manager to discuss future development and funding  opportunities
  • Took part in a Public Participation Network (PPN) organised energy webinar to discuss community owned energy and setting up sustainable energy communities

23rd June

  • Attended a briefing by head of finance to the West Clare Municipal District on the Local Property Tax (LPT)
  • West Clare Municipal District Annual General Meeting
  • Elected Cathaoirleach of the West Clare MD…!!
  • Participated in a three hour workshop on the new County Development Plan
  • After 6 hours of meetings…had a spectacular swim in Kilkee..:-)

24th June

  • Chaired a briefing to the West Clare MD members on the Burren World Heritage Application and the Enhancement Strategy for Ennistymon Town Centre
  • Chaired a Special Meeting of the West Clare MD to adopt the ‘West Clare Casual Trading Bye-laws 2021’
  • Attended the unveiling of the memorial for County Clare Nursery (Mother and Baby Home) in Kilrush

25th June

  • Discussion with TV producers about the possibility of a Clare participant in a program about people moving from the city to the country.
  • Clare County Council AGM, election of the new Mayor of Clare Cllr. PJ Ryan and deputy mayor Cllr. Joe Killeen.
  • Meeting with the three Cathaoirleach of the other municipal districts in Clare to discuss the implications of the new county development plan on rural Clare.

26th June

  • My CRM system shows just under 40 new individual representations made on behalf of constituents this month….as well as following up on many other previous cases. Thanks to Cathal Crowe TD, Senator Timmy Dooley and Senator Mark Daly for assisting when needed.

28th June

  • Attended Fianna Fail parliamentary party sub committee consultation meeting with county councillors on “Communities First – A New Vision for Ireland”

29th June

  • Attended the elected members “Local Property Tax” briefing by Clare County Council head of Finance

1st July

  • Clare FM interview regarding the issue with littering in Kilkee and detailing the councils response to dealing with it
  • As Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District I co-signed the contracts, with my colleague Cllr. Joe Killeen, between Clare County Council and Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting Engineers to progress the options, route selection, design and assessment phases of the first section of the West Clare Railway Greenway between Kilrush and Kilkee via Moyasta

2nd July

  • Attended online training session on “Championing Leadership – Local Authority Climate Action Training Programme
  • Was elected chair of the board at a directors meeting of Kilkee Waterworld CLG.
  • Facilitated a meeting to look at a new music festival in Kilkee

5th July

  • As Cathaoirleach of the West Clare MD, I attended my first corporate policy group (CPG) meeting. A robust discussion around the future county development plan and the implications of national policy on housing and population growth allocations will have on rural and coastal communities.
  • Meeting with the senior engineer to discuss a number of local issues in West Clare

8th July

  • Attended a ‘Hemp for Soil’ webinar hosted by Laura Foley of Wild Atlantic Hemp and presented by Lena Madden and Sushanta Kumar Shaha from LIT. Discussion on the opportunities for anaerobic digesters on the Loop Head Peninsula.
  • Preliminary discussions with landowners on the potential for extending the Cliff Walk in Kilkee

9th July

  • Attended a photo-call to mark the commencement of the renovation works to Loop Head Lighthouse Keepers Cottage

12th July

  • Attended the July full council meeting. Lead a motion with other MD chairs and cross party support to defer the development of the new county development plan for 12 months due to concerns around adequate consultation. This motion was deferred to a special council meeting later in the month.

15th July

  • Attended a full council workshop in Ennis to discuss the impacts and potential consequences of deferring the county development plan as proposed in our notice of motion at the July meeting

16th July

  • Meeting with Mark O Connell of ‘Repucon’ and Siobhan King of Failte Ireland for a discussion on the ‘Cliff Coast’ visitor experience development plan.

19th July

  • Following a serious incident in the sea in Kilkee Bay over the weekend, and the highlighting of  issues around emergency vehicles gaining access to the slipway i met with our senior executive engineer on location to discuss possible solutions to better traffic management.

20th July

  • Clare FM interview on the lack of facilities at Seafield Pier and beach
  • Chaired the adjourned July meeting of the West Clare MD where i had three notice of motions tabled. See below for NOMs and responses
    1. Notice of Motion from Cllr. Cillian Murphy:

    That low-cost speed measures be put in place in Doonaha village.

    Reply from Alan Kenneally, Senior Executive Engineer, West Clare MD:

    In the short term, Clare County Council will place some “SLOW” road markings on the L-2006 near Doonaha. We can also place some advance warning signs (compliant with the traffic signs manual) if safe locations can be found.

    Subject to funding becoming available, it may be possible to erect 2 Driver Feedback Signs in Doonaha. Again, subject to funding becoming available, it may be possible at a future date to construct additional footpaths in the village. This would narrow the carriageway width through the village and would serve as a traffic calming measure.

    1. Notice of Motion from Cllr. Cillian Murphy:

    That view points be included as part of the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Works Allocations 2021 on the R473 at Erribul and at Aillroe.

    Reply from Alan Kenneally, Senior Executive Engineer, West Clare MD:

    Clare County Council successfully applied to the Department of Transport’s “Climate Adaptation and Resilience Works 2021” grant scheme, and has received funding to raise the protective estuary wall at Erribul (approximately 200 linear metres) & Aillroe (approximately 150 linear metres). The works are necessary as the estuary waters regularly flood the R473 at both locations and raising the estuary wall locally will alleviate this.

    Clare County Council did not apply to the grant scheme for monies to create a viewing point at either or both locations. However, the feasibility of a viewing point may be examined (subject to traffic safety considerations on a busy regional road). Subject to funding and assuming that it is possible to provide a safe viewpoint along the R473, then Clare County Council can look at gaining the necessary planning and environmental consents for a viewing point overlooking the Shannon Estuary.

    1. Notice of Motion from Cllr. Cillian Murphy:

    An assessment of the footpaths in Carrigaholt Village with a view to either making an active travel funding application, or inclusion in a multi annual program of upgrade works.

    Reply from Alan Kenneally, Senior Executive Engineer, West Clare MD:

    Clare County Council successfully applied to the National Transport Authority’s “Active Travel 2021” grant scheme, and has received funding to replace footpaths in Carrigaholt village. We have been granted €10,000 for Carrigaholt village in 2021, and footpath works should be completed this year.


21st July

  • Spent the morning with Michael Shannon for a tour of Quilty, Seafield, Lough Donnell, Clohaninchy and Mullagh to meet some local community members and hear some of the pressing issues in the area.
  • Attended a Clare Fianna Fail councillors party meeting to discuss a number issues of concern to us all across the county.

26th July

  • Following a report to me of serious pollution incident over the weekend I discussed possible enforcement measures with our environment section to ensure an appropriate clean up and the mitigation of future occurances.

27th July

  • Met with the West Clare MD senior executive officer to discuss a number of issues at Seafield, Kilkee, Kilrush and the Loop Head area
  • Met with John Carmody and Thomas Linnane to look at the progress made at the Kilmihil Peoples Park as they prepare to open it to the public having been approved for insurance cover through the council. A project of particular interest to me as it was a result of a notice of motion prepared that this issue was resolved…

28th July

  • Attended the scheduled Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) meeting in the morning
  • Presented our adjourned motion to a special meeting of the full council asking for a deferment of the County Development Plan for 7 months. The motion was passed overwhelmingly, albeit some members had concerns. This will ensure we have a further 7 months to engage further with the forward planning team and as an aside, presents us with an opportunity to try and address some other substantive issues around housing and population growth and rural decline and depopulation

29th July

  • Clare FM interview discussing the Notice of Motion at the special meeting of the full council to defer the County Development Plan by 7 months.
  • Spent the rest of the day with Minister Heather Humphreys as she visited a number of West Clare projects that were funded though her department of Rural and Community Affairs. 1st up was the Vandaleur Gardens in Kilrush, next was the official opening of the DigiClare hub at the former national school in Cross village and finished up with a visit to the Peoples Park in Kilmihil.

31st July

  • Its been another very busy month with individual representations, over 40 new cases on my CRM system so far in July…again thanks to Cathal Crowe TD and Sen. Timmy Dooley for their support with a few issues that needed to be escalated to the higher ups in the relevant departments..:-)

1st August

  • August is traditionally a month where many of the staff in our own local authority and other agencies are on holiday, which means we don’t have any statutory meetings to attend. Our workload in this regard often looks quieter than it is, but councillors are still very busy dealing with individual issues and concerns.

2nd August

  • Attended the official opening of the newly developed course at Kilkee Golf Club

3rd August

  • Online meeting with John Evoy, general manager of Grow Remote, to discuss the implications of the population allocations and housing projections within the National Planning Framework and Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy on the capacity for remote work to deliver on rural regeneration. Both those documents are overarching principles we must be mindful of when making our own county development plan and as they were created before Covid there is a real danger our CDP will be restricted in its capacity to reap the rewards provided by the growth in remote work

4th August

  • Meeting in Doolin, along with some of my West Clare MD colleagues, with the consultants who are preparing the Cliffs of Moher 2040 strategy

10th August

  • Meeting with members of the Kilkee Currach Club to discuss the design of new stands for their curraghs at Kilkee pier

16th August

  • Attended a webinar hosted by Futureproof Clare detailing the impacts the data centre being planned for Ennis would have on the environment

19th August

  • Meeting with Limerick and Clare Local Link to discuss the possibility of amending the route at Loop Head to include the coast road into Kilkee and to discuss the ongoing issue around the new bus stop.