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Breaking News

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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ISME weather warning to employers

Employers have been advised to remain vigilant this week due to anticipated worsening of weather conditions over the next couple of days and the possibility of a “Red weather warning” being issued later on in the week. “Unlike Ophelia, we now have the opportunity to prepare for this event and we advise employers to take time to put measures in place to reduce the potential business impact this warning could have”, a spokesperson for ISME, the employers’organisation has cautioned. During Ophelia, widespread business closures occurred at short notice. While it is very possible that business closures will not be necessary on this occasion, businesses should prepare for the possibility. “As employers have a duty of care for all employees under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, a key consideration needs to be whether, in the circumstances, it is safe to ask employees to travel to work, or to undertake their work. The potential risk could be greater for …

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Graduates reminded to claim Seanad vote

SENATOR Alice-Mary Higgins encourages all NUI graduates, including Shannon College of Hotel Management and Burren College of Art, to claim their vote in Seanad Éireann elections, before the registration deadline. All NUI graduates who are Irish citizens are entitled to vote in Seanad Éireann elections. However, they must first claim their vote by downloading the voter registration form from NUI or phoning to request a form. Completed forms must be scanned and returned by next Monday, February 26. NUI graduates who are living overseas are entitled to claim their vote and can vote in future Seanad elections from abroad through a postal vote. Independent Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, who was elected to the NUI panel in Seanad Éireann in 2016, said, “On the centenary of Irish women winning the right to vote, I will continue to work for equality and democracy. I am committed to pressing for Seanad reform so that all Irish citizens will be entitled to vote in future …

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Heated views at Lisdoonvarna Direct Provision public meeting

A public meeting, addressing the opening of a Direct Provision centre in Lisdoonvarna on March 5, was attended by approximately 100 people at the Pavilion in the town on Friday morning. The meeting heard stringent criticism from many speakers who questioned whether Lisdoonvarna was equipped to cater for up to 115 asylum seekers, approximately 30 of whom are due to start living there on the first Monday of next month. While some speakers said that they would like to help the asylum seekers, many maintained that the town, which has a population of 300 people, does not have sufficient health, educational or social services to cater for the perspective new arrivals. However, some doubt was cast on the future of the Direct Provision centre in the town when King Thomond Hotel proprietor, Marcus White, said that he had yet to formally sign the contract and that he would listen to the views of local people, before making a definite decision. …

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Stay clear of Limerick hospital

Members of the public to consider all their care options before presenting to the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick. The hospital is currently managing high volumes of patients, including a surge in flu cases and significant volumes of frail elderly patients with chronic conditions and complex care needs. The 266 patients who attended the ED on Monday, February 19th was the highest ever recorded for a single day. The pattern has continued all week, averaging at over 200 attendances per day. On Monday, February 12, there were 12 flu cases admitted across the Group. Today (Friday) the number of patients with flu being accommodated across the Group stands at 26. UL Hospitals Group can confirm that at 8am on today, there were 47 admitted patients in the ED at UHL. This included patients who were being accommodated in some of the 49 single rooms/designated bays within the new department. It included, for example, 13 patients who were appropriately isolated …

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Direct Provision in Lisdoonvarna

UP to 115 asylum seekers are to be accommodated at a Direct Provision centre in Lisdoonvarna from March 5. In an email seen by The Clare Champion, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) has confirmed that the King Thomond Hotel in Lisdoonvarna, owned by hotelier Marcus White, was selected as Clare’s second Direct Provision centre, following a public advertisement for expressions of interest on January 8. The county’s other Direct Provision centre in Knockalisheen, Meelick opened in 2002. When contacted on Wednesday for a comment, Mr White said he could not speak on the matter until Friday, when a representative of the RIA will be in Lisdoonvarna to meet with local councillors and TDs “to answer any queries” they may have. In a short statement, Clare County Council said it had urged the RIA to consult with the community in Lisdoonvarna. “Clare County Council was contacted by the department in relation to this matter last week. Clare County Council strongly …

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Floodlights fail but Clare march on in Oscar Traynor cup

THERE was drama in Frank Healy Park this Wednesday night, when the floodlights failed early in the second period of extra-time of this Oscar Traynor clash, with Clare ahead by 2-1. At the full-time whistle, Clare and Limerick were dead-locked at 1-1 each, meaning extra time was required. In the first minute of the second period of extra-time, Clare went in front with a Derek Fahy goal, following a Dylan Casey corner. Two minutes later the floodlights failed and the referee took both teams off the field. The game resumed after a few minutes and when the extra time concluded Clare were 2-1 winners and into the last eight with their dream of a third title in a row still alive Visitors Limerick were full-value for their 1-0 half-time lead, as they had the better of the first half exchanges and could have been further ahead at that stage. Limerick took the game to their opponents from the off. They …

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New houses for Feakle

A Part 8 process for the development of a 13-house scheme in Feakle has been unanimously approved by the members of Clare County Council. The new scheme is being developed as part of the Rebuilding Ireland Programme and is the first social housing development in Feakle since 1973. The development, which comprises a mix of three and two-bed houses to cater for the needs of the area, has gone through extensive public and department consultation and includes a new pedestrian way linking the main street to the school and playground. Councillor Tom McNamara, Mayor of Clare, said, “The design, accessibility and usability of previous social housing developments in County Clare have been of the highest standard and I am sure these schemes will be welcomed by applicants on the Council’s waiting list for social housing.” Councillor Gerry Flynn, Chair of the Social Development SPC, commented, “2018 is the year for moving projects into construction stage. This is a positive step …

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