The Ennis bypass has removed a huge volume of traffic travelling through the village of Clarecastle. An opportunity now exists to push ahead with the implementation of the Clarecastle Regeneration Scheme which if implemented will lead to a dramatic improvement in the physical appearance of the village.”
I have today called on Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, to affirm his commitment to community regeneration and sustainable planning by making the necessary funds available to help breath life back into the village of Clarecastle.
This is an issue very close to my heart. Clarecastle is a strong community with a proud cultural and sporting tradition. The village suffered greatly in the years when an estimated 25,000 vehicles a day travelled through it prior to the opening of the Ennis bypass. This had an obvious effect on the economic development of the village and took its toll on the physical appearance of the area.
Seeing the potential that the bypass presented I put forward a strong case for a regeneration plan for Clarecastle to be drafted. This plan was later approved and adopted by Clare County Council in late 2007 and has since been incorporated into the latest Ennis & Environs Development Plan. The delivery of the Clarecastle Regeneration Plan is hugely important to the continued development and growth of Clarecastle. The Village is screaming out for a face-lift – it looks rundown and neglected. The Clarecastle Regeneration Plan takes account of all the areas in the village that need attention, including redevelopment of the main street, to new lighting and paving and upgrading of public roads and footpaths.
All the local population are asking is not to be left behind, and for the village to receive proper facilities and funding. For decades the road through Clarecastle was a vital component in the national road network. The National Roads Authority must recognise this fact and release the required funding to bring it up to an acceptable standard. I have being making representations to the Minister for Environment Heritage and Local Government, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Clare Co. Council and the National Roads Authority and will continue to do so until this plan is made a reality.
In my Dáil speech recently, I again called on Government to be proactive in releasing funds to implement this regeneration plan. The Clarecastle Regeneration Plan must be implemented as soon as possible.