Housing Update – May 26th

Every Wednesday, I will update you here on the social houses that are available via Clare County Council.

As always, it is vital that you register with Clare County Council’s housing section for their Choice Based Letting site, where you are able to register your interest for a property. You can contact the housing section on (065) 6821616.


Address: 29 Westbourne Court, Ennis, Co. Clare

Details: 2-bed, terraced

Kitchen/Dining area – appliances not included; Sitting room; Heating – Gas heating; Upstairs bathroom – Shower in bath

N.B-  Please note applicants are not to access sites or properties. Many properties are under final stages of construction, or refurbishment and not accessible or safe for viewing


Address: Saint Senans Terrace, Kilrush, Co.Clare

Details: 3-bed, semi-detached

House 1

Kitchen/Dining; Sitting Room; 3 Bedroom; 1 Bathroom (With shower in bath); Air to water heating ONLY (no chimney); Front garden; Undesignated parking to outside property

House 2

Kitchen/Dining; Sitting Room; 3 Bedrooms; 1 Bathroom – Level access; Air to water heating ONLY (no chimney); Railing to the front of the property; Front garden; Undesignated parking to outside property

Housing Update – May 19th

Every Wednesday, I will update you here on the social houses that are available via Clare County Council.

As always, it is vital that you register with Clare County Council’s housing section for their Choice Based Letting site, where you are able to register your interest for a property. You can contact the housing section on (065) 6821616.


Address: 2 Clarehill, Clarecastle, Co.Clare

Details: 3-bed, terraced

Kitchen/Dining area; Sitting Room; Shower in bath; Front garden; Private entrance

N.B-  Please note applicants are not to access sites or properties. Many properties are under final stages of construction, or refurbishment and not accessible or safe for viewing



Address: Aisling, Shanaway Road, Ennis, Co.Clare

Details: 3 and 4-bed, houses and duplex apartments

Houses: 3 and 4-beds set over three floors; Natural gas central heating; Sitting room with electric fire; Kitchen/dining area; Ground floor toilet; Main bathroom on first floor with bath; Master bedroom with en suite on second floor

Duplexes: 4-bed apartments over two floors; Natural gas central heating; Open plan living; Kitchen/Dining area; Two bedrooms inc. one with en-suite on first floor; Two bedrooms and bathroom on second floor

N.B-  Please note applicants are not to access sites or properties. Many properties are under final stages of construction, or refurbishment and not accessible or safe for viewing



Address: 3 Considine Terrace, Ennis, Co.Clare

Details: 2-bed, semi-detached bungalow

Kitchen/Dining room; Sitting room; Heating – Solid fuel and oil heating; Bathroom -Level Access; Ramp to front of the property

N.B-  Please note applicants are not to access sites or properties. Many properties are under final stages of construction, or refurbishment and not accessible or safe for viewing

Decision to scale back Bus Éireann Route 51 must be overturned

  • Well-used by Clare students and others
  • Reduced evening services have been announced


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is calling on Bus Éireann to immediately reinstate its full complement of services on the 51 and 51x Expressway routes it operates.

A recent announcement has seen the end of the provision of the 18.05, 19.05 and 20.05 services from Galway towards Limerick (facilitating Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Ardrahan, Kilcolgan, Labane, Gort, Crusheen, Ennis, Shannon and more).

Though temporary, Deputy Crowe believes it should return to full service in as swift a manner as possible.

“The decision to withdraw some of the evening services on Expressway route 51 and 51x is illogical and is happening at the worst possible time, when we need people to be able to travel safely and socially distanced on public transport,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the National Transport Authority has stepped in to fund some of the national public transport services that were seen as essential – Expressway services were one of those that came under this emergency contract with the NTA.

“They recently undertook a review of services which has resulted in the suspension of some of the lesser-used routes around the country.

“My understanding is that this is temporary measure but nonetheless it makes very little sense, when we are moving from a period of high Covid cases towards an overall reopening of the country.

“The announcement happened in the same week that inter-county travel was once again allowed so it would make sense to have a full complement of public transport services once again operational.

“In recent weeks, I have started to commute to the Dáil on the train, using my bike to cycle from my home to the station and again from the station to Leinster House.

“I have noticed a marked increase in the number of people travelling on the train over the past week now that intercounty travel is once again permissible and non-essential retail has reopened.

“A lot of pensioners, who have been vaccinated and stuck in their homes for over a year now, should be able to travel once again with their free travel passes.

“I have made contact with CEO of the NTA Anne Graham and senior Bus Éireann officials in the Midwest about this asking that they rethink their decision.

“This decision, though temporary, must be immediately overturned and the full service which benefits communities such as Ennis, Clarecastle, Crusheen, Shannon and Bunratty, must be immediately reinstated.”


Aer Lingus withdrawal from Shannon Airport a devastating blow

  • Up to 130 jobs to be lost
  • Huge loss for Clare and Midwest region


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe is calling for immediate state action to attempt to reverse Aer Lingus’ decision to pull out of Shannon Airport for good.

The airline has this afternoon confirmed its intentions to permanently close its base at Shannon, putting 130 workers’ jobs on the line.

The 81 cabin crew members based in Shannon are to be offered “enhanced” redundancy terms or, where possible, a transfer to Dublin Airport, while around 45 ground crew will be laid off.

“This news is beyond devastating for all of the Aer Lingus staff who work out of the Shannon Airport base and is equally devastating for Shannon Airport and the Midwest region overall,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Aer Lingus has a long and proud history spanning over seven decades in and out of Shannon Airport and today’s announcement by the airline puts an end to that.

“I don’t think this should be accepted as a fate a complete. I have asked the Taoiseach to intervene in the case and speak with the company directly, because even though the job losses are central to everyone’s thoughts, there are even wider ramifications for our region when one considers the loss of connectivity to the US, Heathrow and continental Europe.

“Without Aer Lingus flying out of Shannon, we are left with very little.

“The Digital Green Cert will be implemented in a matter of weeks and its final agreement and implementation is contingent on it being ratified by all EU member states – the fate of Irish aviation and the fate of Shannon Airport hugely depends on this deal being struck and international air travel resuming in the quickest possible time.

“In recent years, Aer Lingus’ commitment to Shannon has been questionable – at a whim they’ve moved aircraft to serve routes out of Dublin and more recently to Manchester.

“Shannon Airport, although an international airport, is very reliant on Aer Lingus and Ryanair in terms of regular outbound and inbound services – other airports are able to spread their offering over a broad spectrum of airlines so this withdrawal of commitment from Aer Lingus adds huge pressure on top of the existing pressure on Shannon.

“Whilst Covid has had a devastating impact on international aviation, it alone doesn’t account for the entirety of today’s decision by Aer Lingus.

“The decision is a commercial one but I hope that some eleventh hour interventions from government and other stakeholders in the region can avert this.

“As my party’s Aviation Spokesperson but moreover as a TD for Co. Clare, I recognise fully that the fate of our region lives and dies with Shannon and I pledge to the Aer Lingus workers and all who hold Shannon Airport close to their hearts that I will do everything possible, along with others, to try to save the airline’s Shannon base.”



Community complaint to be lodged with Gardaí on Sixmilebridge playground vandalism

  • Persistent anti-social behaviour taking place
  • Community risks losing playground for good


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is to front a formal complaint to An Garda Síochána in relation to the ongoing issues with anti-social behaviour and vandalism at a community playground in Sixmilebridge.

A large number of local concerned citizens have been in contact with Deputy Crowe in recent weeks, pleading for action to be taken to bring this spate of activity to an end before the playground is lost for good.

“I’ve been up there a number of times in recent weeks to see first-hand the vandalism that has taken place at the playground,” said Deputy Crowe.

“I have seen large holes punctured into the plastic moulding of slides, which could very easily injure the children that they’re made for, I have seen where a fire was lit within a cubby house in the playground and on my most recent visit found traces of broken glass vodka bottles near the swings.

“I have met with some of the local committee that oversee it and have also spoken with many residents in Sixmilebridge who are upset, fearful and dismayed by the way a minority of troublemakers are holding the community to ransom.

“This playground was developed about 10 years and it includes some state-of-the-art equipment including a zip line, skateboard ramps and so much more – it really is a fantastic amenity when it’s not abused.

“But in recent months, children and young people have been deterred from playing there because of the extent of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“The perpetrators are definitely a minority in the wider community but nonetheless it’s important that the community stands strong and gives a message that this won’t be tolerated.

“If this behaviour persists, there’s a very real risk that this playground will be removed and lost forever.

“Having spoken with a number of residents, I’ve decided to front a formal complaint to An Garda Síochána to ensure that an investigation is triggered.

“I hope that many local residents will feed into this process and provide the Gardaí with any information they have to help in the course of this investigation.

“I believe that many children and adolescents in the community will have an idea who is behind it and parents should try to illicit this information from them to report to the authorities.

“Thousands of euro worth of damage has been caused so far and the place is no longer safe for usage.

“I’m engaging with the community of Sixmilebridge and with Clare County Council to see if a source of funding can be found to undertake remedial works at the playground but this is contingent on the cessation of the anti-social behaviour – there is no point spending more taxpayers money if it will once again be destroyed.

“As a father of three young kids, my heart goes out to the families in the community who, for many years have loved using this facility.

“They are the ones losing out most of all and it’s for that very reason that the community must stand strong and ensure that those causing this trouble are taken to task.”



Housing Update – May 12th

Every Wednesday, I will update you here on the social houses that are available via Clare County Council.

As always, it is vital that you register with Clare County Council’s housing section for their Choice Based Letting site, where you are able to register your interest for a property. You can contact the housing section on (065) 6821616.


Address: 4 Fana Glas, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare.

Details: 2-bed, semi-detached

Kitchen/Dining area; Sitting Room; Heating – Gas Heating; Shower in bath; Driveway; Rear garden

N.B-  Please note applicants are not to access sites or properties. Many properties are under final stages of construction, or refurbishment and not accessible or safe for viewing

Almost €140,000 in funding for Clare community facilities

  • Funding to support local groups to re-open their facilities post-Covid
  • Small grants for repairs and renovations, new equipment and safety upgrades


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has welcomed the allocation of €139,257 in funding to Clare County Council under the Community Enhancement Programme 2021.

This funding will provide grants from a few hundred euro up to €10,000 to assist in the re-opening of facilities such as community centres, men’s and women’s sheds, parish halls and youth centres.

It will allow for necessary renovations and repairs or to purchase equipment such as tables and chairs, tools and signage, laptops and printers, lawnmowers, canopies, training equipment and so on.

“Today’s announcement is all about injecting a bit of financial assistance into these local groups and clubs which are a lifeline to so many but due to Covid-19, were forced to close or wind down their usual operations,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Having visited the Ennis Men’s Shed on the Quin Road and met with some of the lads there in recent months, I know exactly how important these groups are to so many people around the county and indeed the country.

“Nothing in life comes free, of course, so many of these organisations will incur some reopening costs and this is where this funding will be a significant help.

“For some, it might be as simple as needing to upgrade furniture, for others it could be larger repairs or renovations, but without this funding, such work may be out of reach for many.

“For interested groups, they should contact the Clare Local Development Company that will be administering the funding and put together their case to get a slice of this scheme.”


Aer Lingus needs to clarify Shannon plans

  • Concern that transatlantic flights off the cards until summer 2022
  • Blow at low ebb for aviation sector if true


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe says it is crucial that Aer Lingus clarifies its plans for transatlantic travel to and from Shannon Airport for the next 12 months.

A document, which outlines the airline’s timeline for the resumption of services, is said to have been circulated among company workers and states that the Shannon to New York and Boston routes will not recommence until the middle of next year.

“I’m calling on Aer Lingus to urgently make clear their future intentions for flying out of their Shannon base,” said Deputy Crowe.

“A story circulating today hints that it could be more than a year before they return transatlantic services to Shannon, which is of huge concern to their workers but would also have a devastating impact on the economy and tourism trade in the Midwest.

“Shannon, for many decades, has been the first stepping-stone for many North Americans entering Ireland and indeed Europe and it is essential that this connectivity is restored in the quickest possible timeframe.

“Aer Lingus, like many airlines, can feel disgruntled and hugely frustrated with the situation over the past 14 months, whereby practically all aircraft were grounded, very few took to the skies but the fact is there is now a clear pathway emerging for the restoration of international air travel.

“Just last week, the Digital Green Certificate was voted through the EU Parliament and this process of certification which will facilitate vaccinated and PCR-tested passengers to take to our skies once more is now going through final stages of refinement before being adopted by all member states.

“It’s expected that adoption and implementation will happen in approximately six weeks’ time.

“Parallel to this, the EU Commission is working on a separate set of proposals for Schengen Area countries that would allow a return of flights coming from North America

“At last night’s meeting of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party, I urged An Taoiseach and my colleagues in government to embrace these proposals with open arms.

“Though Ireland isn’t a Schengen Area country, we have been invited to partake in the talks and it’s in our best interests that we would go along with these proposals.

“All going well, it should be possible to see airplanes return to our skies in the next six to eight weeks.

“Whilst I fully understand the need for airlines to have a lead in period so that pilots and cabin crews can be ready and certified to return to the air, and also for marketing purposes, there is nonetheless an expectation that airlines here in Ireland and further afield will now start to commit to running services in the months ahead.

“Ryanair recently announced a new route from Shannon to Corfu and they expect to be running from Shannon in the summer and autumn period – we need to same commitment from Aer Lingus.

“This period of uncertainty is near an end and whilst I look forward to a staycation in Ireland with my family, I’ve already booked a flight from Shannon in August in anticipation of a return to international travel.

“It’s important that we here in the Midwest commit to supporting Shannon but we also need equal commitment from our airlines that have for so long serviced the region.”


Ennis now officially a university town

  • Technological University status for LIT given government designation
  • Historic day for LIT and education in Ennis


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has welcomed the news this morning that LIT has officially been given government designation as a Technological University, securing university status for Ennis.

The LIT-AIT consortium formally commenced in October of 2019 and was granted €5 million by the Higher Education Authority to assist it with creating and developing a technological university.

“Today, LIT is receiving government designation as a Technological University in what is a hugely historic day for LIT but also for our county, with the Ennis campus on Bindon Street now meaning our county town is officially a university town,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Two years ago, LIT and its Athlone equivalent formed a consortium in order to reach a higher benchmark and achieve this university status.

“This new technological university will comprise a student population of up to 15,000 and a staff complement of around 1,200 people across its six campuses in Ennis, Limerick, Clonmel, Thurles and Athlone.

“As a TD for Clare, I’ve been in regular contact with Professor Vincent Cunnane, president of LIT, since my election and on many occasions I raised this campaign to be classed as a university with An Taoiseach and my colleagues in government.

“Today, I am particularly delighted for Vincent, his team and all of the staff and students of the college.

“The opening of the LIT campus in Ennis took place to much fanfare during my tenure as Mayor of Clare and it was an incredibly exciting day for all.

“Elevating it to TU status is a real boost for the town and for our county as a whole.

“It’s also important to note that the new TU campus being so close to Shannon Airport and the Shannon Free Zone – less than 15 minutes by car – is invaluable and no doubt played a major role in securing this upgraded status for LIT.

“I think there’s huge potential here to pioneer aviation courses and training from a university in Clare.

“Along with the huge boost in terms of the provision of education in Clare and the Midwest region, this has massive potential for the economy of Ennis.

“I look forward to seeing hundreds of students living here, working here and spending their money in the wealth of local businesses we have in our county town.”


Education Minister to hear concerns on future of Ennis Educate Together

  • School accommodation needs to be discussed
  • Collaborative approach will be needed


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has secured a meeting between Education Minister Norma Foley, management of Ennis Educate Together National School and Clare’s coalition Oireachtas members to discuss the extreme accommodation needs for the school.

Ennis Educate Together NS is located on the Gort Road in the county town and at present, has no permanent building in which it can deliver education to its pupil population.

Deputy Crowe has been in consultation with the Minister, her officials and school management for a number of months with a view to furthering this case.

Minister Foley will meet virtually with all stakeholders tomorrow to hear the reasons behind this critical need.

“In recent months, I’ve held a number of discussions with the principal and management at Ennis Educate Together,” said Deputy Crowe.

“As many people will be aware, the school is located beside the Cois na hAbhna site on the Gort Road and is made up of a complex of prefab buildings, most of which are not fit for purpose.

“I have raised concerns with Minister Foley that, on a long-term basis, the school will not be able to continue to operate out of this facility and will need a new building to be constructed.

“There has been some talk at departmental level about a site being acquired elsewhere in Ennis town to provide for a new building for the school but we need to hear some certainty on this.

“I also hope that Minister Foley and her department officials will also consider the DEIS status of the school.

“DEIS status means that the department support schools that may have pupils experiencing socioeconomic and educational disadvantages and this is crucial to ensuring these kids get the education they need and deserve.

“For this reason, the school are hoping that they can be reclassified, and I’ve corresponded a number of times with Minister Foley on this particular aim and will be raising this in our meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).

“The meeting will also be attended by other Oireachtas members from the county who are members of government coalition parties and I will work with them in furthering the work that I’ve been carrying out in relation to this school.”