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Austin Hobbs

‘Morally obliged’ to disobey drug laws

  A 53-YEAR-OLD West Clare man has told a judge that if he can be accused of committing a crime, it is ‘bananas, unjust and absolutely absurd’. John O’Regan of the Kilkee Bay Apartments, Kilkee made his comment before Judge Patrick Durcan convicted him of cultivating cannabis without a licence and unlawful possession of cannabis at his home on April 7, 2016. At Kilrush District Court, Judge Durcan fined the defendant €250 for the cultivation and took the unlawful possession offence into account. Mr O’Regan told Judge Durcan that because he is obliged to oppose unjust drug laws, he will not be paying the fine. He said, “Judge, you are as fair minded as they come but I am very sorry and I cannot pay the fine.” In a search of Mr O’Regan’s apartment in April 2016, gardaí found 13 mature cannabis plants. The cannabis was for his own use and the defendant told that the court that the relevant law “is unjust and all citizens are morally obliged to disobey it”. …

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Storm Fionn on the way

As Storm Fionn approaches, Met Éireann has no fewer than four weather warnings in place. It’s very cold across the country today (Tuesday), with wintry showers and strong winds. A status orange wind warning has come into effect for Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Cork and Kerry, with gusts of up to 120kph due and a risk of coastal flooding. A status yellow wind warning is in place for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, with gusts expected up to 110kph. A yellow snow-ice warning is in effect for Ireland with temperatures expected to drop to minus one tonight. One to three centimetres of snow is anticipated, most especially in Ulster, Connacht and north Leinster with higher accumulations on hills and mountains. A status yellow warning is also in place for high seas along Atlantic Seaboard over the next few days, leading to an increased risk of coastal flooding from Donegal to Kerry. “The weather is very disturbed …

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Fatal collission at Birdhill

Gardaí are investigating a fatal collision on the M7 at Birdhill, County Tipperary this afternoon (Tuesday). A collision involving three vehicles occurred at approximately 2pm. A man in his 70s has been fatally injured and two other people have been brought by Ambulance to University Hospital Limerick. Gardaí and Emergency Services are at the scene and diversions are in place. The  southbound lanes of the motorway between junctions 26 (Nenagh) and 27 (Birdhill) expected to remain closed to traffic overnight. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact them. Anyone with information is asked to contact Nenagh Garda Station (067) 50450, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any garda station.

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Weather Alert for Clare

HIGH seas, coupled with high tides, are going to batter the the Clare coast over the next few days, leading to an increased risk of flooding.  There is also a warning for freezing temperatures, snow and ice, leading to dangerous road conditions in the coming days. The weather advisory is for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick. Met Éireann issued its latest weather warning on Tuesday (today). A status yellow wind warning has been issued for all of Ireland in an update to their previous warning. The current warning was issued at 5.30am on Tuesday and warns of mean winds speeds of 55 to 65 km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h. The warning is in effect until 3am on Wednesday.

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Real Madrid star with Clare name

COUNTY Clare is the homeland of the Maloney name and derivations of that name. Molowny is, I presume, one of these? If it is, and I suspect it undoubtedly is, it is rarely seen these days in County Clare, nor in Ireland. It is, however, a famous name in the Canary Islands, but more of that anon. Census records between 1847 and 1863 record only five households in Ireland who registered under the name Molowny. The name seems to have died out in Ireland, with perhaps people changing it to the more common Moloney form. Yet, by some strange set of circumstances, the largest number of people bearing the name Molowny in the world reside in Spain. There are 150 registered Molownys, most of them residing in the Canary Islands, with a few families in Madrid. By sheer accident, I discovered a connection between one particular Molowny and Real Madrid Football Club. I was having a coffee one morning in …

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Gardaí question people after Shannon attacks

GARDAÍ have questionned people about recent attacks on people in Shannon, which have caused a large amount of local disquiet. There was an outcry on social media following the incidents, and local Sinn Féin Councillor Mike McKee said he is hopeful there will be no repeat. “I hope the message got across and they got the message that enough is enough. I think they have got the message that Shannon is kicking up against them and will not tolerate it.” Regarding the local reaction to the attacks, Councillor McKee said, “It was massive, absolutely massive. No matter where I went, people were stopping me to talk about it. Whatever about prosecutions, we just want it stopped. People were scared to go out, they were scared to let their children out. It was the first time I’ve actually experienced that in Shannon, that kind of fear.” He feels that those involved probably realise that the behaviour is not acceptable. “The message …

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‘I live my life in fear’ after Eleanor

LAST year he spent thousands of euro trying to rebuild the flood defences close to his home, but Storm Eleanor has left North Clare farmer Richard O’Shea sitting back on square one again. The money he invested wasn’t easily available to him and he is disappointed that he can get no support, as he tries to carry out necessary repairs once again. Richard lives close to the sea in the townland of Bartra, an idyllic spot when the weather is calm, but a place that takes a battering from the Atlantic when the increasingly frequent storms strike. While his house is a little bit back from where the sea meets land, the road to it is very close to the edge. With his defences badly damaged by Storm Eleanor, Richard is frightened that another storm could potentially leave his home inaccessible by car. Seeing the work he carried out washed away on January 2 was a very frustrating experience. “Last …

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Donagh to revive De Regge’s work at Carmody’s Hotel memorial mass

On this Sunday, mass will be celebrated in Ennis Cathedral by Bishop Fintan Monahan to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Carmody Hotel tragedy. Music for the mass, which will remember the eight who died on January 15, 1958 and others affected by the tragedy, will be sung by the Enniscorthy Choral Society, under the musical direction of the Ennis-born Donagh Wylde. The choir is an amateur mixed-voice group of 30 singers from the Enniscorthy area and the county of Wexford. The choir has travelled extensively in Ireland and abroad for competitions and performances, including England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Belgium. Highlights include performances in Rome, Belgium and Prague. The music to be sung is The Mass of Blessed Oliver Plunkett, written by Ernest De Regge for an outside broadcast by Radio Éireann in 1947 by Ennis Cathedral Choir. De Regge was the organist and choirmaster in Ennis Cathedral from 1923 until his untimely death in …

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