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Breaking News

Appeal to conserve water

Irish Water is advising customers in Clare that due to the extremely cold weather conditions and exceptionally high water demand, some water treatment plants in the county are struggling to keep up with supply demands. All customers are being asked to conserve water to avoid reservoirs emptying and water pressure to homes and businesses being affected. Customers throughout the county are urged to conserve water by avoiding unnecessary water usage. Customers with external taps should ensure that these are securely turned off as we try to protect the levels of our reservoirs and secure drinking water for local communities. A continuous flow from an external tap over a 24 hour period could use the equivalent of the daily water usage of 40 households. “Irish Water working, in partnership with Clare County Council, thanks customers for their patience while we work to resolve all issues due to the extremely cold weather conditions and would like to apologise to customers for any …

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Heavy snow hits Clare

THE county has been hit by the heaviest snowfall seen here for many years, which has seen schools and businesses close and made travel near impossible. More snow is set to fall throughout the day, and into the early hours of tomorrow morning, with some improvement expected later on Saturday, although temperatures are unlikely to rise above five degrees Celsius. Met Éireann’s forecast for Munster states, “There will be further snowfall across the province in strong and gusty northeasterly winds; the heaviest snowfall will continue to be across the east of the province. Later in the day the snow may turn to rain or sleet near the south coast. Highest temperatures between -1 and +3 degrees. Strong and gusty northeasterly winds. “The snow will continue overnight but it will become lighter and the northeasterly winds will ease a little also. Lowest temperatures of 0 to -3 degrees. “Snow showers on Saturday will gradually turn back to rain or sleet through …

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Strengthening family bonds with kidney donation

A GORT man, who donated a kidney to his brother, is organising an event in aid of the Irish Kidney Association this Saturday. This time last year, Gerry Quinn donated a kidney to his brother, John, after the latter had been on dialysis for more than a year. Kidney transplants where the donor is alive are still quite rare in Ireland, with only 50 taking place in 2016. The Quinn brothers’ story is a very positive one, in that there was a family member who was a match and willing to donate. Tragically, for hundreds of other dialysis patients across Ireland, they must await a phonecall relaying the news that someone has passed away before donation is possible. The lifespan of a kidney donated from a ‘foreign’ donor – a person who is not a family member – is usually between 10 and 15 years. A kidney donated from a family member is a much stronger match and will last longer. Indeed, …

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Sea eagle confirmed to have avian flu

A WHITE-tailed Sea Eagle, which was born in the spring of 2017, has been confirmed to be Ireland’s first and only case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza this year. The eagle, called Shannon, was found dead on the shores of Lough Derg in County Tipperary on January 31 and, following testing, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that the avian influenza subtype H5N6 was detected in the wild bird. This is the highly pathogenic strain that has previously been confirmed in Great Britain and mainland Europe. It is the only case detected in Ireland so far. In a statement to The Clare Champion, the Department of Agriculture outlined that the White-tailed Sea Eagle is a re-introduced species, monitored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Golden Eagle Trust. “Any dead White-tailed Sea Eagle that are recovered are submitted to the Department of Agriculture’s regional laboratories for post-mortem. This was the only White-tailed Sea Eagle …

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Red Alert: Severe weather hits the Banner

PARTS of Clare were hit with heavy snow last night and this morning, but the worst seems yet to come. Temperatures around the county are well below zero at the moment, and with snow having accumulated in many areas last night, driving conditions are already very challenging. All schools are closed, while many businesses have closed their doors, even in the centre of Ennis where paths and roads have been treated extensively. At the moment, a status red warning is in operation and it will remain in place until 3pm on Friday. In a Met Éireann update this morning it warned that “During the afternoon and evening blizzard conditions will develop across Munster and Leinster as heavy snow together with driving easterly winds spread northwards to all areas through the rest of the day.” Strong winds are forecast for the afternoon, while many parts will see heavy snow this evening, tonight and tomorrow morning, with large accumulations very likely. In …

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Lisdoonvarna says no to Direct Provision

A public meeting held in Lisdoonvarna on Wednesday night, voted 197 votes to 15 to reject the location of a Direct Provision centre in the town. Up to 30 asylum seekers are due in Lisdoonvarna on Monday March 12, with 115 to be housed in the King Thomond Hotel throughout the duration of a one year Direct Provision contract. The hotel proprietor, Marcus White, told a public meeting on February 23 that he would listen to the views of local people. However the vote has no statutory standing and the Department of Justice have clearly indicated that it will not influence their decision to establish a Direct Provision centre in the North Clare town. At the vote on Wednesday, residents of Lisdoonvarna, Doolin and Kilshanny were asked: “Do you want the proposed Direct Provision contract?” “It has become very obvious over the past week that the community empathises with asylum seekers but is opposed to them being kept in Direct …

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Lisdoonvarna to vote on arrival of asylum seekers

THE people of Lisdoonvarna are set to vote on whether they will accept asylum seekers in the North Clare town from March 5. A Direct Provision centre is to open on the first Monday in March with approximately 30 asylum seekers due on that date. A maximum of 115 can be housed in the King Thomond Hotel in the town. The hotel is owned by Marcus White who spoke at a public meeting last Friday, which was attended by approximately 100 local people. A further meeting has been called for Wednesday night in the Pavilion in the town at which Fáilte Lisdoonvarna, a local community group, has said a vote will take place. The idea of holding a vote had initially been mooted at last Friday’s meeting. “In order to vote, you must be on the register of electors for the parish,” Lisdoonvarna Fáilte said on their Facebook page. “Or bring an official document, bill or a bank statement with …

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Ennis auctioneer to serve eight years for rape

A man “of some standing” in his community who repeatedly raped his friend’s daughter when she was a child has been jailed for eight years. Noel Kelleher (64) was found guilty by a jury of six counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault, three counts of oral rape and one count of attempted oral rape of his victim at various locations in County Clare between June 1991 and August 1992. Kelleher, of Gort na hAbhna, Roslevan, Ennis, was found not guilty of a further 16 counts of rape, indecent assault and sexual assault by the jury following a Central Criminal Court trial last November. His victim, who was aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the attacks, wished to waive her right to anonymity, the court heard. Sentencing Kelleher on Monday, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said his abuse had a “deep and long-lasting impact” on his victim, which continues to this day. “These are very serious offences perpetrated …

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