Significant benefits for rural transport in Clare under NTA proposals

  • National 25% increase in rural bus services proposed
  • Several key Clare routes namechecked


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is urging people living across the Banner County to have their say in the public consultation period of the National Transport Authority’s Connecting Ireland plan.

The plan proposes a 25% increase in rural bus services in Ireland over the course of five years, highlighting a number of key routes and areas of Clare.

“It is very encouraging to see the National Transport Authority recognise and recommend changes that are needed in terms of the provision of rural transport in Ireland,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Clare is a largely rural county and for those who don’t have access to a car, or who used to but cannot now drive, it’s incredibly isolating to be cut off from our towns and cities.

“We’ve seen far too many cuts to our public transport routes so to have formal recognition for the need to increase the provision of rural transport is most, most welcome.

“In terms of specific changes looked at in our county, I’m extremely glad to see that the NTA is recommending enhanced local services between Lahinch and Kilkee; from Kilrush and Killimer and Ennis; between Sixmilebridge, Limerick and Shannon as well as between Scariff, Killaloe, Ballycannon and Limerick.

“Our position as a county slotted between two major cities has also been recognised, with the NTA targeting Ennis and Galway and Limerick, but moreover onwards to Cork too.

“In terms of other urban centres, there’s also the suggestion to link Ennis with Portumna, Ballinasloe and Nenagh, taking in a number of villages en route, while Shannon Airport’s importance has been namechecked by ensuring increased services between the airport and the region’s main cities.

“Clare’s rural status has seen decades of depopulation and the demise of local services but the past 18 months has shown us how beneficial rural living can be.

“With a significant move towards working from home, as well as increased transport links and other necessary services, I am confident that rural Clare has a buoyant future coming down the tracks.

“I would encourage all who have a vested interest in our county to have their say on the Connecting Ireland plan by logging onto the NTA’s website.”


Housing Update – October 27th

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.

Please note: Some weeks, no properties come online and therefore there will be no housing update.


Address: 8 Cooraclare, Cooraclare, Co. Clare

Details: One-bed, semi-detached bungalow

  • Semi-detached bungalow
  • Kitchen/dining area
  • One bedroom
  • Bathroom (level access shower)
  • Heating: Oil central heating (no fireplace)
  • Front and back gardens
  • Driveway


Address: 4 Cluain Chormaic, Kildysart, Co. Clare

Details: Two-bed, semi-detached

  • Semi-detached two storey
  • Kitchen/dining area
  • Sitting room
  • Two bedrooms
  • Bathroom (shower in bath)
  • Heating: Air to Water
  • Front and back gardens
  • Garden shed
  • Driveway



Address: 16 Wilson Road, Kilrush, Co. Clare

Details: Two-bed, bungalow

  • Bungalow
  • Kitchen/dining area
  • Two bedrooms
  • Bathroom (level access shower)
  • Heating: back boiler stove central heating
  • Ramped access to front door
  • Front garden


Housing Update – October 13th

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.

Please note: Some weeks, no properties come online and therefore there will be no housing update.


Address: Bruach na hAbhainn, Ennis, Co. Clare

Details: Four-bed, semi-detached


  • Two-storey semi-detached house
  • 4 bedrooms: one ensuite
  • Kitchen/dining room
  • Sitting room
  • Bathroom
  • Front and back garden
  • 1 off-street parking space
  • Garage

As this is a 4 bed property, only applicant households who are qualified for a 4 bed property can be considered.

Hydrogen powered aircraft enter Irish aviation sector

  • ASL Aviation signs partnership with Universal Hydrogen
  • Significant step towards reducing carbon emissions


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe has hailed the announcement of plans for hydrogen powered cargo aircraft in Ireland as the beginning of the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.

Irish company ASL Aviation Holdings has announced the plans today, in collaboration with US firm Universal Hydrogen.

The move will see Universal Hydrogen conversion kits installed on the existing fleet of ATR 72 planes owned by ASL and operated on services for its major customers throughout Europe.

“Today’s announcement really is a landmark one for Irish and European aviation,” said Deputy Crowe.

“This move will mean a significant step towards net-zero emissions as soon as it’s practicable.

“While today’s announcement is very much cargo-focused, it gives huge hope that we will see a similar move for passenger airlines in the not-so-distant future.

“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, commercial aviation accounted for about 2.5% of global emissions of carbon dioxide – to some, this probably sounds like a small proportion of the whole, but it is more than the whole of Germany (2.2%) – and that’s not even the whole story.

“I welcome this announcement and I firmly believe that making Ireland a centre for this cutting-edge technology could create a huge amount of potential investment across the island.

“I would also hope that as ASL continues to grow thanks to this partnership, that Shannon Airport continues to benefit from their operations – as they already perform a lot of their business from our airport.

“The climate emergency is well documented at this stage and it’s been a challenge for this generation to move to a more sustainable and tackling aviation in this way is one of the most exciting developments we’ve seen in quite some time.”


300 jobs secured and expansion on the horizon as AAG acquires Lufthansa Technik Shannon

  • Significant investment in Shannon’s aviation
  • 300 jobs secured


Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe has welcomed the announcement today that the Atlantic Aviation Group has acquired Lufthansa Technik Shannon – securing 300 jobs at the facility.

Today’s announcement has also been confirmed by AAG to be of strategic importance in terms of future growth and expansion of their operations in Shannon.

“This is a massively welcome development for not only the Atlantic Aviation Group but also Shannon Airport and aviation in the Midwest as a whole,” said Deputy Crowe.

“It’s been four months since Lufthansa Technik began carrying out a review of its Shannon operations – a move that was a huge concern to all with a vested interest in aviation in the Midwest.

“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, some 500 workers were employed by the firm in Shannon – this now stands at around 300, with all of these employees to come under the AAG umbrella once the acquisition is complete.

“Both companies will now spend the remainder of the year ensuring a clean and smooth transition into the new era for AAG.

“Today’s announcement is significant in terms of what it means for aviation in the Midwest.

“AAG is now by far the largest MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) operator in the country and to have that based here on our doorstep is hugely valuable.

“I am particularly interested in AAG’s future growth plans, as highlighted in today’s announcement, and I look forward to working directly with the management team in terms of assisting in any way possible to ensure that this growth takes place in Shannon and the Midwest.”


Farmers should be awarded carbon credits rather than penalised

  • Database of planting already in existence
  • Would help meet climate goals


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is calling for farmers to be rewarded with carbon credits based on the level of planting on their land, rather than operating a system of penalisation.

Deputy Crowe wants to see farmers incentivised to have areas of their land planted with native trees, in an effort to help Ireland reach its climate targets, as part of the ongoing negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy.

“Speaking at the public consultation meeting relating to the CAP review in Ennis Mart, I asked Minister Charlie McConalogue to ensure that, as negotiations on CAP deepen, farmers in Clare and throughout Ireland who have trees growing on their property should be awarded carbon credits for the sequestration that these trees provide,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Some farmers would have large parts of their land planted while others may just have hedgerows incorporating native species like ash, beech and oak.

“Regardless of what quantity of trees they have growing on their property, the Department of Agriculture and EU Commission on Agriculture have thorough data of the extent of planting on each landholding.

“Digitised maps and aerial imagery, which are used to determine the extent of one’s Single Farm Payment, provide a lot of detail in terms of hedgerow and tree plantations.

“This information is available to both the department and commission in percentage terms of the overall landholding and I think that percentage should be used to provide each farmer with a carbon credit.

“This year, government is preparing its first ever carbon budget and whilst each sector will be impacted by this, I think insofar as farmers are concerned, we need to take a more carrot, less stick approach.

“For centuries, farmers have been custodians of the landscape and most are practitioners of environmental farming.

“I have also spoken with Minister McConalogue about opportunities such as solar panels on the roofs of farm sheds, which farmers could be incentivised to provide.

“I hope that the government and the EU can look at ways of carbon crediting farmers, as opposed to penalising them.”


Energy retrofit works completed at St Anne’s Community College

  • Part of Pathfinder 2020 programme
  • Energy rating raised from D to B


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has welcomed the completion of an energy retrofit project for St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe.

Under the Department of Education’s and SEAI Pathfinder 2020 project, the school building has undergone substantial upgrading works including improvements to the school building envelope and fabric including wall insulation, attic insulation, new roofs, windows and doors and more.

“As someone who served on the school’s board of management for over a decade, I very much welcome this initiative undertaken by St Anne’s to bring the building in line with the most modern of standards,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Bringing the school up to a B energy rating will not only result in lower heating costs for the building, it will also mean that St Anne’s will lead the way in terms of being energy efficient and more sustainable going forward.

“The building was built in the 1980s and while it has served as a fantastic school for generations of kids in Killaloe-Ballina and the surrounding villages, it was in need of an upgrade to bring it in line with modern standards.

“The pathfinder project is an important aspect of delivering the Department’s commitments under the Climate Action plan and marks a significant investment in achieving these goals and I’m thrilled that a Clare school is one of those that is leading the movement.

“I look forward to this pilot scheme being rolled out more widely and I hope that more Clare schools can benefit from it.”


Housing Update – October 6th

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.

Please note: Some weeks, no properties come online and therefore there will be no housing update.


Address: 39 Connolly Villas, Ennis, Co. Clare

Details: Two-bed, semi-detached


  • Two-storey semi-detached house
  • 2 bedrooms: 1 double; 1 single
  • Kitchen/dining room
  • Sitting room
  • Utility room.
  • Shower room
  • Heating: Oil fired central heating and stove in sitting room
  • Front garden
  • Garage
  • 1 off-street parking space

As this is a 2 bed property, only applicant households who are qualified for a 2 bed property can be considered.

Pyrite redress scheme for Clare on the cards by Christmas

  • Crowe meets with Housing Minister to seek assurances
  • Commitment is there to address Clare issues


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has expressed confidence that a pyrite redress scheme will be operational for effected homeowners in Clare ahead of Christmas.

Deputy Crowe has met with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to seek assurances that any changes emerging from the ongoing review of the scheme currently operational for counties Donegal and Mayo would be applied to this county, once a scheme is launched here.

“I have met with Minister Darragh O’Brien, as a follow-up to his visit to Clare to meet with the Clare Pyrite Action Group,” said Deputy Crowe.

“Minister O’Brien assures me that the review of the redress scheme currently operational in Mayo and Donegal will very shortly conclude and any benefits that are accrued following the conclusion will also pass on to homeowners in Clare.

“I am confident that a redress scheme will be up and running in Clare before Christmas and I believe that they will benefit from the immense effort being made for improved redress, up to 100%, in Donegal and Mayo.

“It is vital that a redress scheme in Clare is approved in the quickest possible time – they took several years to devise and implement in other counties and we should learn from mistakes that have been made.

“In particular, I am concerned to see houses once considered to be Category 2 properties (i.e. could be repaired) have now deteriorated to the point where they are now Category 4 properties (i.e. requiring demolition).

“Any procrastination in having a scheme operational in Clare will cause prolonged anguish for the homeowners but will also prove more costly to the taxpayer.

“Separately, I am asking Minister O’Brien to initiate legal action against the quarries and block manufacturers who sold defective blocks in Co. Clare and beyond.

“I think this action needs to be treated as a separate issue from the redress scheme.

“If the two are intertwined, it will most likely lead to further delays in redress.

“A separate legal process needs to get underway. Some of these companies continue to trade very profitably and it’s only right that they too should have to pay some compensation.”


National Development Plan gives hope to unsewered villages in Clare

  • Minister reiterates commitment to Broadford
  • Hope on the horizon for Cooraclare, Doolin and Carrigaholt


Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has held a meeting with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien following yesterday’s announcement of the National Development Plan and received assurances for the unsewered villages of Co. Clare.

Under the plan, Irish Water is to receive a significant budget of €6 billion, while an additional €243m has been allocated to advance projects that are outside the realm of Irish Water.

In essence, this means that local authorities such as Clare County Council would be able to advance small, localised sewerage and water schemes in villages.

“I have met with Minister Darragh O’Brien this afternoon and he has promised me that this additional money that his department now has will be used to design a pilot scheme for small towns and villages over the coming months,” said Deputy Crowe.

“This pilot scheme paves the way for villages like Broadford, Carrigaholt, Doolin and Cooraclare to finally be in a position to have 21st century sewerage infrastructure.

“I expect of the Clare villages requiring this, that Broadford will be first off the mark given that land has already been acquired, planning is approved, and it is for all intents and purposes a shovel-ready project.

“Last month, Minister O’Brien visited Broadford and gave a very positive indication to PJ Mason and other members of the Broadford Action Committee that he intends to deliver on their local sewerage scheme – a project that has seen far too many false dawns.

“With hopes high that Broadford can be the first village in our county to benefit from this scheme, I hope to work closely with the other unsewered villages of Co. Clare to ensure that they too become beneficiaries in the second, third and subsequent years of the scheme.

“Many people find it hard to comprehend that, in this day and age, some villages are still without a sewerage system.

“I have been in many homes in Clare where sewerage flushed down a toilet flows into either sub-standard septic tanks or gravel soak pits at the rear of the house.

“This becomes problematic when you have a concentration of houses close by to each other and watercourses nearby that are used for domestic consumption.

“Lack of sewerage infrastructure also hugely limits how a village can grow.

“Villages like Broadford, Carrigaholt, Cooraclare and Doolin can look forward to a bright future once they have this type of infrastructure in situ.”