Fianna Fáil’s only candidate for the Ennistymon electoral area has singled out fixing Blake’s Corner as a key aim in his bid to be re-elected.
Cllr Richard Nagle was co-opted onto Clare County Council in 1997 and has been a permanent fixture since. On Sunday, he was one of two nominees at the Fianna Fáil selection for the Ennistymon area, Spanish Point’s Cllr Michael Hillery withdrew as he announced his retirement from politics which was prompted by the boundary changes. “Michael Hillery’s departure has caused shock and surprise and I would expect Fianna Fáil would be looking for a replacement candidate or candidates,” Nagle stated.
Currently the Chairperson of the Economic Development SPC, Nagle is fearful of the damage Blake’s Corner is having on the local economy of North Clare. “We all want the gridlock that exists on a daily basis at Blake’s Corner solved as a matter of urgency, it is hindering the economic development of the town of Ennistymon and indeed the whole of North Clare. The volume of traffic is increasing particularly with the economic recovery and that is making the situation much worse for the town itself and indeed for the whole of North Clare because it is the whole artery into North Clare”.
Recently, he along with Fine Gael’s Cllr Bill Slattery were appointed to the Board of the Cliffs of Moher. If he is unsuccessful in May’s local elections, he will cease to be a member of the Board.
While his Fianna Fáil colleagues, Michael Hillery and Pat Hayes (in East Clare) were unhappy with the boundary changes, the retired Kilkee Community College teacher felt the system in place for the current Council term did not make sense. “The present North Clare area is very similar to the old Ennistymon electoral area, the last time we had one huge area stretching to Loop Head to the Galway border and virtually down to the borders of Ennis, this time we’re gone back to something similar to what we have had previously which is an Ennistymon electoral area of its own. The situation which exists at the time did not make sense because you had parishes divided, communities divided and while there is still division in some areas at least some attempt has been made to think of parishes and geographical areas together”