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Breaking News

Investigation into alleged child sexual exploitation continues

Eleven people arrested by gardaí as part of an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children have been released without charge. Files will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and the investigation is ongoing. Gardaí from Newcastle West, Bruff, Henry Street, Mayorstone Park and Roxboro Road in conjunction with the Limerick Divisional Protective Services Unit on Monday last arrested 11 adults (six females and five males ranging in ages 20s to 70s) as part of an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children who were resident in the Newcastle West Garda District. All eleven were arrested in Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry were detained at various Garda Stations in Limerick, Cork and Clare under the provisions of Section 4 – Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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Huge jobs boost for the Mid West

US company Edwards Lifesciences Corportation has announced plans to employ 600 people in the Mid West, with 60 to be hired this year in Shannon. A global leader in medical innovations for structural heart disease and surgical monitoring, the company has chosen the Mid West as the site for a new plant to manufacture delivery components for its transcatheter heart valve therapies. It expects to begin hiring new employees in Shannon by June, in roles such as production staff, engineering and professional management. The company plans to have completed a new purpose built manufacturing facility in the Mid West in 2020. Once operational 600 people are to be employed. “On behalf of everyone in the Mid West I would like to warmly welcome Edwards Lifesciences to the region. Their presence here serves to highlight the attractiveness of the region as a destination for progressive, innovation-driven companies,” said Minister of State Pat Breen.

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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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