Consultation needed to lessen pressure on GP and other essential services from refugee and asylum seeker accommodation

Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara has called for ongoing consultation with communities hosting refugees and asylum seekers, in particular for the Government to outline its plans to address the increased strain placed on GP services as a result of the arrival of Ukrainian refugees and international protection applicants, citing his hometown in East Clare as an example.

Read More
Funding boost for Kilrush

I am delighted to learn that €3.5m has been allocated for the redevelopment of a vacant building on the marina in Kilrush into a new Maritime Training Centre.

I have raised this project repeatedly with the Minister for Rural and Community Development and her officials, and I have engaged locally with Cllr Ian Lynch and Clare County Council project officer Brian McCarthy. This project will establish Kilrush and West Clare as an important maritime centre on the west coast of Ireland.

Burren Businesses Recognised for Sustainable Tourism Practices

Great energy at the Falls Hotel & Spa in Ennistymon last night where 58 Burren Ecotourism members were honoured for fulfilling their commitments under the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism. A brilliant project which shows the way forward for sustainable tourism not just in Clare, but also across Ireland.

Read More
Indoor spot for Under 18s

Following my correspondence with Sport Ireland, Basketball Ireland and the Government, I welcome the decision to address the issue of Under 18 games/competitions particularly for Basketball amongst other indoor sports. This has been amended so indoor games/competitions can take place for under 18s. Sport Ireland will shortly provide detail to sporting organisations.

McNamara Hails Significant Infrastructure Project For Scariff

Clare Independent T.D. Michael McNamara has described the proposed Scariff Regeneration Project as the “biggest infrastructure investment in the town in a generation”.

Clare County Council has lodged a Category 2 application with the Department of Rural and Community Development for funding under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund. If successful, the funding would enable the local authority to proceed with the design and planning stages of the project before submitting a Category 1 funding application to deliver the works.

Deputy McNamara this week wrote to Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, to pledge his support for the project which he said, “would have long lasting positive implications for the community and economy of the town and surrounding area.”

He stated, “I fully support Clare County Council in its efforts to secure funding for a series of significant infrastructure developments in the town, including a multi-service innovation and commercial space, improvements to the public realm in market square and the town centre, and the delivery of enhanced parking and ancillary facilities.

Deputy McNamara added, “As a lifelong resident of Scariff, I acknowledge the significance of this project for the town and the wider East Clare region. There was a very positive response from the local community to a public consultation process led by Clare County Council, which further underlines the desire locally for such an investment in the town.”

Deputy McNamara said the proposed project represents the first significant central government allocation for the town of Scariff since he was previously a TD from 2011 to 2016.

He continued, “The last significant funding allocation accommodated the delivery of new footpaths from the bridge in Scarriff to Market House. The proposed new regeneration project will deliver additional and significant streetscape improvements more widely through the town centre and square area of the town, which will greatly improve accessibility for all residents of and visitors to the town. The proposal to deliver extra parking capacity and ancillary facilities, including those for coaches, will help bring new tourism business to Scariff.”

Deputy McNamara said the proposed delivery of an enterprise hub in the town would facilitate local community and visitors to the East Clare area with short and long-term working space.

“Clare County Council, through the Information Systems Broadband and Digital section of the Rural Development Directorate, has developed a comprehensive network of Digital Hubs across the county in recent years,” explained Deputy McNamara. “The addition of a significant innovation and commercial space in Scariff would reap huge dividends for the town and wider area in terms of facilitating local enterprise, community organisations and remote working.”

“I look forward to the outcome of the Department’s review of Clare County Council’s Category 2 funding application, which represents the first of two stages in delivering this vitally important infrastructure project. A decision on the application is expected during November,” concluded Deputy McNamara.

Limited capacity for Clare v Cork

I have requested Minister with responsibility for Sport, Deputy Jack Chambers to explain why capacity has been set at 500 for the Clare versus Cork game when the same venue hosted 3,000 spectators for the Munster Championship semi-final between Clare and Tipperary three weeks ago.

We’re aware of Delta but also that there will be further variants. Supporters are rightly annoyed especially given the match is only on Sky Sports.

School Transport Refunds To Be Issued From Today

Clare Independent T.D. Michael McNamara has received confirmation from the Department of Education that school transport refunds will be issued on a staged basis over the next six weeks.

Responding to a Parliamentary Question by Deputy McNamara on the matter, Minister Norma Foley confirmed that Bus Éireann will from today (30 June) commence issuing refunds to families who are due to receive a refund for the unused portion of their ticket for the period of school closures arising from public health measures/Covid-19 restrictions in the 2020/2021 school year.

Deputy McNamara, who first raised the issue of refunds with Minister Foley in Dáil Éireann on 3rd March has welcomed the news.

“This is the correct decision by the Department of Education as thousands of parents will have paid in advance for transport to schools which were shut through no fault of their own or the Minister,” he stated.

Deputy McNamara added, “The refund due for each primary school student is €31, with the figure rising to €108.50 per post primary school student. From today, families will receive an email from Bus Éireann if they are eligible for a refund. The refund will be automatically made to the bank card used to make the payment, or by cheque if a card wasn’t used. Bus Éireann says refunds will be issued to all entitled family account holders starting from 30th June until mid-August.”

In response to Deputy McNamara’s Parliamentary Question, Minister Foley confirmed, “School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the current school year over 114,100 children, including over 14,700 children with special educational needs, are transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country at a cost of over €224.7m in 2020.”

Further information is available from the Bus Éireann website at

Clare Bus

In Dáil Éireann today, I called on the National Transport Authority and Minister for Transport to review the decision to cancel a two-year contract won by Clare Bus in December to operate 12 routes. This move has threatened jobs and has undermined the future provision of Local Link services in Clare.

Reverse Clare Bus decision

I have submitted a request to the National Transport Authority and Minister for Transport to immediately review the decision to cancel a two-year contract won by Clare Bus in December to operate 12 routes. This move threatens jobs and undermines the future provision of Local Link services in Clare. I would ask that any decision be reversed until the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has passed after which a comprehensive review should be carried out.