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Guilty of placing two female first aid students in ‘choke hold’

A HSE paramedic faces a prison term up to five years after pleading guilty to assaulting two female first aid students when he placed them in a choke hold five years ago. Andrew Long, aged 35, changed his plea at Ennis Circuit Court last Friday just before the State and defence were about to make their closing speeches before a jury at the end of the three day trial. Mr Long, who knocked mother of one, Mary Nihill out and rendered her unconscious with his choke hold, said ‘guilty’ when re-arraigned on the charges. Mr Long changed his plea after discussions between his legal team and the State prior to the court where the State agreed to a less serious charge against Mr Long’s second victim and mother of three, Elise McMahon. However, Mr Long of Carraig Dubh, Tobertaosceain, Ennis now faces a jail term up to five years after his plea of guilty to the more serious assault causing …

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Minister Breen meets EU Commissioner Gabriel

The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen is today (Monday) meeting the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. Minister Breen will be in Brussels to attend a meeting of EU Single Market and Industry Ministers at which a range of issues related to EU competitiveness, including the digitisation of the EU Economy, the 25th anniversary of the Single Market and EU Industrial Policy, will be discussed. Minister Breen said he would be emphasising Ireland’s commitment to the digital agenda and, in particular, to the pursuit of the EU Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy. “Digitisation is increasing on a vast scale and Ireland continues to be regarded as one of the EU’s digital frontrunners. We fully support the overall DSM agenda and the Government sees obvious synergies between digital policy initiatives at EU level and national policy. “In particular, we want to underline the benefits to Small and …

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€661k upgrade of Kilkee Fire Station

Clare County Council has today (Friday) signed contracts for the delivery of a €661,000 upgrade and extension of Kilkee Fire Station. The project involves the construction of an extension to the rear of the existing building including a new drying room and BA servicing /compressor room, and the provision of a lecture room and kitchenette on a new first floor, new mezzanine floor for storage, female shower and toilet facilities with disabled access, two roller shutter doors and various other upgrade to services. The contract is being funded by the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, which is providing €661,000 for all costs,including construction costs and design fees. Kilkee Fire Station is being relocated to Dough in order to facilitate construction work which will commence in the coming weeks and is expected to be completed during early 2019. Mayor of Clare, Tom McNamara, said,“The signing of this contract represents a …

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Snow compounds fodder crisis for farmers

AS the impact of Storm Emma continues this week, one farm leader has condemned the national subsidised fodder transport scheme as a “shambles”. Former regional Teagasc advisor, Brendan Henaghan, has also warned that there may not be a plentiful supply of grass on some Clare farms until early May. IFA president Joe Healy has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to look at the implications of Storm Emma, which looks set to create a major fodder crisis. “Grass growth is at zero in March. Grass is saturated and will rot with any hard frost. We will not see good growth for a few weeks. “The bad weather has put back growth by about a month. It will be at least two weeks before land is dry again and then the cold weather will add to the fodder crisis,” Mr Healy said. He described the introduction of the transport scheme as a “gesture” to tackle the fodder shortage, but …

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Honan disputes board chairman’s comments

All-Ireland winning U-21 and senior star, Darach Honan, has disputed county board chairman Joe Cooney’s claim that Clare GAA did all it could to help with the medical costs incurred by him as a result of injury. On Wednesday, Honan said, “I am still very disappointed with the way I was treated by the county board. Joe Cooney did make overtures for me to come and speak to the officers last week but I was unable to do so, because of training commitments with Clonlara U-21s [he is their team manager] and work commitments. “I am disapponted that I wasn’t properly looked after. I went to the county board and no help whatsover was offered. On my own volition, I went to the GPA and they did help with part of the funds, for which I am very thankful,” he added. At Tuesday night’s county board meeting, Joe Cooney had said Clare GAA did not let down Darach Honan. “We …

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Tulla man faces 10 counts of dangerous driving

A man appeared before the district court this week concerning 10 counts of dangerous driving across Ennis and areas in East Clare. Andrew Moroney (32) of Lower Main Street, Tulla appeared in connection with 16 alleged driving offences in Ennis and East Clare in the early hours of Monday of this week. In the case, Mr Moroney is facing 10 separate dangerous driving counts from the incident that lasted just under one hour after 2.30am on Monday morning. The Tulla man is facing two counts of dangerous driving from his driving on Abbey Street, Ennis, two counts from his driving on O’Connell Square in Ennis and two counts on the Quin Road, Ennis. Mr Moroney is also charged with dangerous driving at Station Road, Ennis, Monamoe townland, Clooney townland and Sraheen townland. Mr Moroney is also charged with drink driving at Derrynaneil, Feakle and criminal damage of a Garda patrol car at Sraheen townland. He is also charged with failing …

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Nurse alleges paramedic tried to choke her

At Ennis Circuit Court today (Wednesday), a student nurse got visibly upset in the witness box, as she alleged how a HSE paramedic rendered her unconscious during an evening first aid class at the Vocational Education Centre in Scariff in March 2013. Mary Nihill, a fourth year nursing student and a mother of one, told the court that after the incident “I was in shock. I thought I was in safe hands with a professional paramedic. He tried to knock me out – he did knock me out”. In the case, Andrew Long (35) of Carraig Dubh, Tobertaosceain, Ennis has pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mary Nihill and Elise McMahon – who was seven months pregnant at the time – in March 2013. In the case, mature student, Ms Nihill said she was taking an evening occupational first aid course that was been given by Mr Long. She said that after the class, Mr Long called her out …

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Jail sentence for tax fraud

An ex-director of a building contractor firm is to be sent to jail for a €2.594m Revenue tax fraud after being told that his original suspended term was too lenient. Patrick Mahony (50), with an address at Craglea, Woodstock, Ennis, had pleaded guilty to five Revenue offences over the failure of Boxform Ltd to remit VAT, PRSI and income tax for the years 2006 and 2007. He was given a wholly suspended three year sentence and fined €10,000 by Judge Gerald Keys at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on April 25, 2017. The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully sought a review of Mahony’s sentence this wewk on grounds that it was “unduly lenient” and he was accordingly jailed for 12 months. Giving judgment in the three-judge Court of Appeal, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said Mahony was a director of Boxform Ltd, a building contractor firm based in Ennis, at all relevant times.In 2007, the company had a turnover of €8.6m and …

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