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Back home for Christmas

“CHRISTMAS is definitely my favourite time of year to come home; there’s a different atmosphere, it’s really family-oriented,” said Aileen Griffin on Wednesday afternoon, just after arriving in Shannon Airport. The Kilmaley woman was one of the thousands of emigrants returning to Ireland this week, mainly from the UK, the US and Australia. Aileen was greeted by her father, Joe, in Shannon. “He’s very diligent. He always does the airport pick-ups and he carries the luggage as well,” she joked. Peggy Hennessy had come in from Kilkee to pick up her son, Patrick, who is based in New York, where he works for an airline and is part-owner of a bar. Unlike many Irish people in America, he has legal status there. Peggy was very pleased to see him. “Of course, it’s brilliant to get him home. He shouldn’t have had to go in the first place, they shouldn’t have to emigrate in the first place. So many youngsters are …

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Rents on upward trend in Clare

In the July-September period this year, the average rent in County Clare for newly registered properties with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was €678. This was up €31 when compared to the average rent in Q2, 2017, which was €647, and is up €60 when compared to a year earlier, in Q3, 2016. This is according to the latest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index, which is produced in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The RTB Rent Index is the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland as it is based on data from all new tenancy agreements registered with the RTB nationally in Q3 this year. In total 29,528 new tenancies nationally were registered in Q3, this represents an increase of over 6,000 registrations since the previous quarter. Rents are highest in Dublin, the surrounding counties and larger urban counties such as Cork, Galway and Limerick. …

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President Higgins sends Christmas greetings

May I, as President of Ireland, mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, send you my warmest wishes for a peaceful and a Happy Christmas and New Year. Christmas is a time when we can pause for reflection, as we look back on the year gone by. It is a time when it is surely appropriate to recall the story that lies at the heart of this festive season. That story is of a long and difficult journey, and the birth of a child, in a temporary home, in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Let us think too of how far from a state of peace that region is today, and how the absence of peace reflects our failure at a human and diplomatic level, and how, sadly, we hear words that provoke rather than heal. Across the many years and miles that separate us from the original Christmas story, we can unfortunately see too many parallels in our own society today. As …

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University Hospital Limerick.

UHL Hospitals’ Group issues ED appeal

  UL Hospitals’ Group has appealed to patients throughout the Mid-West to avoid the Emergency Department (ED) in the University Hospital Limerick (UHL) unless they have a serious of life-threatening injury. In a statement issued to the Clare Champion, the group acknowledged the ED in UHL has been very busy over the last few days following the admission of a lot of seriously ill patients, many of whom remain in the ED awaiting a bed. The gropu are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Many patients with limb injuries can go to an Injury Unit in Ennis, Nenagh or St John’s Hospital. Injury Units are open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday and 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday at St. John’s Hospital. Other patients with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of …

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Beckman Coulter to create 70 jobs in O’Callaghan’s Mills

BECKMAN Coulter, based in Lismeehan, O’Callaghan’s Mills is to create 70 jobs over the next two to three years as it just announced expansion plans today. Beckman Coulter develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical testing and has revealed it is expanding the company’s development and manufacturing facility at Lismeehan. The project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland. The company’s 9,700 sq. metre site at Lismeehan in County Clare is a strategic site for the global Beckman Coulter Diagnostics business, with 330 people working there. Work carried out currently on the site includes the development, manufacture and support of reagents (mixtures for use in chemical analysis) for clinical chemistry, immunochemistry and haematology product lines. The expansion will provide capacity for two new product streams at the Clare site, and will also provide for the ongoing growth of the current product streams. The new expansion will add an additional 6,700sq. meters to the …

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Christmas safety standards check

Clare homeowners and shoppers have been reminded by Minister of State Pat Breen to check for safety standards during the festive season. Supporting the “12 Day’s of Christmas Safety” by the National Standards Authority of Ireland, which is under his remit, Minister Breen wished all Clare people a safe Christmas. “To ensure we all remain safe and happy during this special time of year, it its worth remembering the safety advised being issued by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). “The NSAI will issue daily reminders to help us all stay safe including advice such as the CE mark must be present on all children’s toys, fairy lights and other electronics. “We are also reminded to buy products from trustworthy shops and legitimate online stores and check all your Christmas lights for signs of wear-and-tear and replace them if necessary,” Minister Breen said.

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Ennis home lights up for charity

A FESTIVE house in Ennis has been lighting up the faces of both the young, and the young at heart. For the second year in a row, Gerry Keane has transformed his Ashfield Park house with a dazzling display of Christmas lights in every colour and style imaginable, all in the name of charity. Gerry said people are welcome to come along and see the house and take photographs and he is encouraging those who visit to make a donation to Milford Hospice. He explained that he first began decorating the house about four years ago, for his grandson, Sean, and he was encouraged last year to use the interest in his home to raise money for charity. “I started, about four years ago, to make a big deal of Christmas for my grandson and I decided to keep going from there. Then, last year, Mary Howard said to me, why don’t I help get money for charity. I’d never …

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Businessman convicted of rape

A 64-year-old Clare businessman is to be sentenced early in the new year, having been found guilty of multiple counts of rape, oral rape and indecent assault at the Central Criminal Court. The man, who is from County Clare but cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Justice Isobel Kennedy late last month facing multiple counts of rape, oral rape, sexual assault and indecent assault on a young teenager 27 years ago. The charges are alleged to have taken place on various dates between December 8, 1989 and March 31, 1992 at various locations within the county. At the time, the complainant would have been between 12 and 14 years of age. The trial opened initially on Thursday, November 23 but due to an issue with the availability of a juror, the case was rescheduled to start before a new jury on Monday, November 27. The trial concluded at the Central Criminal Court on Wednesday, December 6, when the …

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