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Competitors race towards their bikes at the start of the Brompton World Championships in London.

Brompton World Championships – again

Another year, another Brompton World Championship but unfortunately, this year I didn’t manage to win a place in the lottery to get an entry to the race. Fortunately, only a week before the event, I managed to ‘acquire’ an entry and made arrangements to ship both myself and my Brompton folding bike over to London. Last year, I competed with a bulging disc in my spine and the rain was incessant. I had high hopes that this year’s race would be better on all counts. On the day before the race, I met up with friends from the London Brompton Club near Buckingham Palace and we cycled through St James’ Park and Hyde Park to end up at the Brompton Junction shop in Long Acre, near Covent Garden for champagne and nibbles. It was an enjoyable run, despite the heavy rain that fell for most of the hour. I got talking to an Australian who had come over specifically with …

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Alcohol as big a crime factor as other drugs

ACCORDING to the Probation Services, alcohol is just as significant an issue as drugs, when it comes to those engaged in offending behaviour. David Kenny, regional manager, South West Probation Service, said alcohol, together with benzos, cannabis, unprescribed medication, pockets of opioid use, and heroin are the types of substances most commonly used among those who become involved in criminal activity. Among offenders seen by the Probation Services in Clare, they have identified alcohol, cannabis, and benzos as the types of substances that “are coming up the whole time”, and this is because “they are the most accessible”. Leah McGuire, of the Probation Service in Clare, said cocaine does present itself also, but while it is often thought cocaine is a drug for those with money, at the end of the day it comes down to what’s most accessible at any given time. That, she said, “comes in waves and troughs, and it comes down to what’s a good price …

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Man injured in car accident near Lissycasey

GARDAI in Kilrush are investigating a serious road traffic accident, which happened this morning, about six miles from Ennis. The collision occurred at approximately 9am at Caherea, Ennis. The car hit a tree, the male drive, who was the sole occupant, was injured and taken to Limerick University Hospital, where his injuries are described as serious. Gardaí have one lane closed to facilitate a forensic collision examination and have a traffic management system in place allowing for traffic movement. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have been on that stretch of road between 8.45 am and 9.15am to contact them at Kilrush Garda station on 065 9080550, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.  

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‘If I had sex with them they’d reduce the debt’

UNBEARABLE pressure is being inflicted on young people once they fall into the debt of Ennis drug dealers, a local mother has warned. She once worked in two jobs to clear her own son’s debt and was subjected to numerous threats, with warnings that her young daughter could be a target. “They threatened me, they threatened my son, they threatened my [other, younger] child. They told me that if I had sexual relations with them they would take money off the debt. I’d say I have been threatened at least 40 times. At least. It’s been on my doorstep, up the town, if your son doesn’t pay up, this is what’s going to happen.” At its worst stage her son’s debts reached €2,000, with cannabis very much his drug of choice. “It’s awful stress, oh my God, it’s awful. Even talking about it now, I’m not living through it now, but Jesus it was so hard, working two jobs paying …

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US bride recalls “perfect” wedding on Cliffs’ Walk

  AN American bride has recalled her “perfect wedding day” ceremony, which was held in idyllic surroundings on farmland near the Cliffs of Moher last year. Shannon and Thomas Young exchanged their wedding vows at a “most gorgeous” location on land owned by Pat Sweeney, who provides guided walking tours on his Cliff Walk. The ceremony and reception, which was held on May 9, 2017, illustrates the tourism spin-off from the introduction of the cliff walking tours. In total, 71 guests – 63 Americans, two English, and the remaining include their Irish friends enjoyed a series of visitor attractions throughout North Clare. All of their wedding guests stayed in Doolin. The wedding party booked all 17 rooms at Hotel Doolin from Sunday until Thursday. Shannon created a spreadsheet listing a large number of the Bed and Breakfasts in Doolin so that her guests could book a room that would be walking distance to the hotel. Most guests stayed from Sunday …

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“The cure is in the family”

THE Bedford Row Project has been operating in Limerick City for almost 20 years, having been established by the Franciscans and Sisters of Mercy, in conjunction with Limerick City Council, as there was a need to provide a service that supported people and their families around imprisonment. Today, the Bedford Row Project has extended into County Clare, where one part-time project leader has been appointed to provide support to Clare prisoners, those at risk of imprisonment and their families. Lee-Ann Purcell has been providing this service, offering one-to-one support for Clare men and women who are in Limerick prison, and offering a safe place to support their families, who are affected by their imprisonment. Tasked with linking in with prisoners with Clare addresses, Lee-Ann said “There is an 80% to 90% chance they have been affected by drugs.” She questions whether there is a denial in Clare about the drug issue, but she believes there is a bit of a …

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“There is very little I can do to keep her safe”

KEEPING children away from drugs is proving extremely difficult, and there is frustration in some communities about a weak institutional response. A Shannon mother, who spoke to us, has recently discovered her 14-year-old daughter has been taking drugs. She says it is going to be very hard to keep her away from the suppliers. “Short of locking her in the house and walking her to school and home every day, there’s very little I can do to keep her safe. I know the area she is buying the drugs, she has to walk past this place, it’s called the Boreen. It’s a known fact that’s where young lads have been dealing drugs for years. The Guards know this. “Drugs have been out there for a long time, the Guards know this and they’re doing nothing. A couple of years ago the trees were cut back to try and discourage them but it didn’t. The street lights get fixed and they …

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“In addiction there is chaos, there is mayhem, there is violence”

WATCHING a child being torn by addiction may be the most excruciating experience a parent can go through. That’s the view of a Kilrush mother who has lost a child who went through that struggle, and she has some very strong and informed opinions on the drug problem. “As a parent I think one of the hardest things you’ll ever see is your child being in a place where you can’t take that demon from them. You can do your best to help them as much as you can and let them know you’re there for them, but it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever watch,” she says. As well as losing her child, she has eight siblings who are addicted to drink and/or drugs, so substance abuse has really wreaked havoc on those around her and affected her own life. In recent years she has taken courses in addiction studies, allowing her understand the issues more fully. She believes …

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