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Breaking News

Peter O’Connell appointed new Clare Champion editor

PETER O’Connell has been appointed as editor of The Clare Champion and will take up the position on Thursday next, May 31. Mr O’Connell succeeds Austin Hobbs, who has held the position since 2006 and will remain on in the newsroom. Mr O’Connell is married with two daughters and lives in his native Kilmurry McMahon. He is a past pupil of Drumdigus National School and Kilrush CBS. His media career began with Midlands Radio in 1996, while he worked at Clare FM from 1999 to 2002, before joining The Clare Champion. In his 16 years as a reporter with The Champion, he has covered both news and sport. Four years ago, Mr O’Connell found himself at the centre of a significant story himself. He and the then Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald clashed publicly in Cusack Park, with the Sixmilebridge man angered by some opinion pieces that had been written by Mr O’Connell. This week, Mr O’Connell said the newspaper …

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National Drowning Prevention Strategy

As temperatures rise and the indications are for good weather ahead, the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring and Irish Water Safety have launched Ireland’s National Drowning Prevention Strategy. It sets out how Irish Water Safety aims to reduce the number of drownings in Ireland by targeting at-risk groups, particularly children. Announcing the plan, Minister Ring said, “Our waters are an amazing resource yet 133 people on average lose their lives to drowning on them each year. Ireland’s National Drowning Prevention Strategy sets out a clear and achievable vision to halve that number by 2027. “There needs to be greater awareness of the danger that our waters present and on how to prevent drownings. In 2015 there were 122 drownings compared to 165 deaths on the road. However there is far greater public awareness of road safety than of water safety. “We have more than 3,000 km of coastline, over 12,000 lakes and our five longest rivers measure …

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Swimming ban at Whitestrand Doonbeg

Clare County Council, on the advice of the Health Service Executive (HSE), has announced that due to elevated levels of bacteria (e-coli) in the bathing water arising from heavy rainfall on Sunday night and Monday morning, swimming is prohibited at Whitestrand Doonbeg. Public bathing notices indicating that swimming is prohibited are being put in place.The councilis carrying out an investigation into the cause of the pollution. Clare County Council is hopeful that the restrictions could be lifted for the weekend pending that water test results from today and tomorrow are deemed by the HSE to be within bathing water quality limits. None of Clare’s other designated bathing waters are affected.

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Fish kill near River Shannon

On Thursday last, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) received a report of a fish kill on Ballycorrigan stream and near the confluence with the River Shannon in Ballina, County Tipperary. Staff observed approximately 100 brown trout of various age groups, three juvenile salmon and a stone loach dead in an approximately 100 metre stretch from the Ballina Waste Water Treatment Plant discharge pipe to the confluence with the River Shannon. There are live fish upstream of the WWTP. Preliminary investigations have indicated that maintenance works carried out during the day in the Ballina WWTP may have caused a deleterious or polluting effluent to discharge to this stretch of river causing the observed fish mortality. IFI, in a statement on Monday (today), confirmed it is  continuing to investigate the cause of the fish mortality and are working with Irish Water and the EPA in this regard.

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council advised to link data centre plans with renewable energy sources

Plans by Clare County Council to attract new large-scale data centres to the county should be accompanied by a link to generate the required energy through renewable sources. That’s according to An Taisce heritage officer Iam Lumley, who stressed that lessons need to be learned, following Apple’s decision to abandon its plans for an €850 million data centre in Athenry. The company, which was facing a fresh Supreme Court and European Court appeal to a facility it announced more than three years ago, is proceeding with a second data centre in Denmark. “Several years ago, we applied to build a data centre at Athenry. Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre,” said the company in a statement. Mr Lumley said that, if a data centre is being planned for a county, it should be linked to the provision …

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Total Rethink needed for today’s world

HE grew up in working-class South Boston in a home with nine people to one bathroom, but a glittering career has seen David McCourt amass an estimated fortune of $1 billion. The Irish Times described him as “the most successful Irish American tech businessman you’ve never heard of”, and his company Enet has been chosen to finally roll out the national broadband plan. Now the Boston entrepreneur, who has a house in Newmarket-on-Fergus where he spends much of his time, has written a book explaining what he feels people need to do to succeed in a fast-changing world. McCourt has obviously enjoyed a huge amount of success himself, giving him a certain amount of gravitas when it comes to the subject of his book, Total Rethink. The 60-year-old says people need to make the most of all their abilities, and shouldn’t confine their expectations of themselves. “I’ve made a career, and a life, on being both left- and right-brained and …

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Ennis goats moving to new pastures

ENNIS’ famous goats are moving to pastures new in County Louth. The animals have been taken to their new home on a mountain farm for safety reasons, according to Clare County Dog Warden, Frankie Coote, who revealed that since straying from their traditional home on the Rocky Road, at least three of the herd have been killed. Mr Coote, who was involved in moving the goats on Wednesday, said he recovered the body of a kid that was struck by a car in recent days. This is in addition to two kids that were electrocuted after wandering into an ESB substation. The goats made headline news across the country and further afield when videos of them roaming around the Kilrush Road were posted on social media. Though their antics were a source of amusement for many, some locals reported that the animals were getting on top of people’s cars, damaging gardens and roaming out onto the road, sparking calls for …

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Pieta House Darkness into Light

Bucket theft ‘heartbreak’ for Pieta House

AS thousands of people walked through the streets of Ennis to show their support for Darkness Into Light and Pieta House, callous thieves stole from the charity and are continuing to do so, in what has been described as a “heartbreak”. A collection bucket was stolen in the early hours of Saturday morning, May 12 and unsuspecting members of the public are now being targeted by fake collections. Reports have already been received by the Darkness Into Light organising committee in Ennis of a number of fraudulent bucket collections in the county town, Bunratty and Corofin. The matter has been reported to An Garda Síochána and the charity is appealing to members of the public who might suspect a fake collection, that they contact the gardaí. It is understood that the collections are being carried out by a male teenager wearing a blue Pieta House t-shirt. Councillor Mary Howard, one of the organising committee of Darkness Into Light, said, “Pieta …

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