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Breaking News

West Clare Man Facing Trial Over Fatal Inagh Crash

A 60-year-old West Clare man has appeared in court this week charged with dangerous driving causing the death of three-year-old Estlin Wall in Inagh earlier this year. Senan O’Flaherty, with an address at Lower Gowerhass, Cooraclare appeared before Ennis District Court on Wednesday. He is charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Estlin Wall at Ballyea South, Inagh on March 15, 2017. The substance of the charge alleges that the defendant drove in a manner, including speed, which, having regard to the circumstances of the case, was dangerous to the public thereby, causing the death of Estlin Wall. Garda Ruth O’Sullivan gave evidence of arresting Mr O’Flaherty at 9.45pm on Monday, September 30 at his address. She said he made no reply after caution in respect of the single charge of dangerous driving causing death. Solicitor Joe Chambers, representing the defendant in court, said he did not have an application for free legal aid. Inspector Tom Kennedy, prosecuting, outlined that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the case proceed on indictment to the Circuit Criminal Court for trial. He said a Book of Evidence would be required in the matter and requested an adjournment to facilitate this. Judge Patrick Durcan, presiding, adjourned the case to December 13 next and granted an application to extend time to serve the Book of Evidence in the case. It is expected that the book will be served on the accused on that date Estlin Luna Wall was the daughter of Amy Dutil Wall and Vincent Wall from Ennistymon and was a sister to Mannix. She died just 11 days shy of her fourth birthday. Her dad, Vincent, is the brother of Steve and Joe Wall of the band The Stunning. He was also in the car on the day she was killed. The family, who run a framing business in Ennistymon, made the decision to donate Estlin’s organs before taking her off life support a number of days after the crash. Arising from the tragedy, Steve Wall set up an online fund to help the family and it received a significant amount of support, with more than €70,000 raised for the family. Donations above this were made to Temple Street Children’s Hospital. In memory of Estlin, her former créche, Inagh Ark Childcare, planted a pink cherry blossom tree. They said when they look at it, they will recall Estlin as “the most beautiful girl with curly fair hair”, “funny, witty, playful and loveable. She had a heart of gold and the most infectious smile”.

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

29% Drop in Uptake of HPV vaccine in Clare

There has been a 29% drop in the uptake of the free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme for girls in County Clare since it commenced in 2010, according to figures released by the HSE. Provisional figures show that the uptake of the vaccine in the county is 10% above the national average at just slightly below 60%, but this has fallen from 89% since the vaccine programme was first introduced. This reduction is something that has not been helped by the comments made by, and later retracted, by Bishop of Waterford Alphonsus Cullinan, who is originally from Lahinch, according to a HSE spokesperson. Bishop Cullinan was quoted in the media last week suggesting that the vaccine would encourage promiscuity. In an interview with WLR (Waterford Local Radio), he preached abstinence, stating the vaccine was “lulling teenage girls into a false sense of security”. “We have to do better than giving our boys condoms and our girls injections,” he said. …

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Shannon airport

‘Body blow’ as Shannon to Chicago route axed

ON Wednesday United Airlines announced it was axing its seasonal Shannon-Chicago service, citing “poor financial performance”. Describing it as a “body blow” to tourism in Clare, hotelier Michael Vaughan said it poses “fundamental questions” about the viability of transatlantic services from Shannon. In a statement to The Clare Champion, the airline said; “United will discontinue its seasonal service between Shannon and Chicago/O’Hare.  The last service operated on September 6, 2017 (westbound). We have regretfully taken this decision because of the route’s poor financial performance.” In July United announced it was suspending its Shannon-New York service for the winter. It will re-commence flights on that route next March. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Mr Vaughan, who is based in Lahinch and is a former president of the Irish Hotels’ Federation, said the loss of the link to Chicago is very negative for tourism in Clare and surrounding counties. “It’s most disappointing news. Chicago is a key gateway from the west coast of America …

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Emergency landing at Shannon

AN American Airlines flight from Miami to Paris was forced to divert to Shannon this morning. It is understood that an emergency landing was required due to signs of a fire in the cargo hold. Emergency services met the plane upon it landing. American Airlines have tweeted that they expect the flight to leave Shannon again at around 1pm. One of the passengers on board tweeted, “Great start to our European adventure. We’re safe. Looks like it was a false alarm.” He also put up a picture of the plane alongside two fire brigades and an ambulance as well as a number of emergency services personnel and passengers.  

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Surgery cancelled over hospital roof leak

Patients from North Clare and South Galway who had scheduled orthopaedic surgery at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway, are facing longer waiting times, as a result of a leak on the roof of a building accommodating two theatres. Hospital management has admitted it will not be possible to restore orthopaedic theatre surgery for a number of weeks. Up to 80 patients, who were scheduled for surgery, have been rescheduled to a later date. More patients will be contacted with cancellations over the coming weeks, until the service is re-established. Staff from theatres and the wards have been reassigned to Merlin Park and UHG into existing vacancies, which have to be filled in the short term. Describing the cancellations as “unfortunate”at a recent HSE West Forum West meeting, forum chairperson Councillor Mary Hoade said about 70 surgeries nwere carried out in Merlin Park, while there are more than 800 inpatients on the day case waiting list, with 56 reaching the 15-month waiting …

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Book of Condolence opened for Las Vegas attack victims

Clare County Council has opened a Book of Condolence at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis in memory of the victims of Sunday night’s attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Councillor Tom McNamara, council chairman, and Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, have signed the book, which is available for members of the public to sign in the foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis. On behalf of Clare County Council and the people of Clare, Councillor McNamara extended his deepest sympathies and condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this attack. “I wish the people of the United States of America strength as they seek to overcome such a brutal and indiscriminate attack.” “The appalling massacre of music lovers of different generations, at a public event in Las Vegas has shocked people all over the world,” he said. On behalf of the people of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins also expressed his …

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Never too late to learn

HAVING learned to read in his 50s, Sixmilebridge-based Joe McDonagh will give a talk in Shannon Library next Tuesday at 11am about his journey as an adult learner. Originally from Fedamore, he left school at the age of 13 and admits that he had almost no understanding of the written word. “I could just write my own name. I used landmarks to get places. If you showed me a place once, I could get back there but if I saw a sign, I wouldn’t know what it meant.” A painter and decorator by trade, he spent years in England, originally working with his uncles and sending money home to his parents in Limerick. “I’d paint rooms, pass bricks; you didn’t need to read or write to do that,” he reflects. In the early 2000s he was back in Ireland when his working life came to an abrupt halt. “I got scoliosis in the spine and got vertigo. The doctor told …

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Major coup for CF charity

A LOCAL charity has landed a major coup by securing a rare iconic horse racing photograph for a forthcoming auction. World-renowned Irish horse-racing trainer Aidan O’Brien has donated a signed, framed, embossed photograph of his historic one-two-three winning horses in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year to the Truck Run 4 Katie charity. Once Aidan O’Brien heard about the charity, which raises money for medical equipment at the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit in memory of the late Katie Drennan who died in February 2015, he donated the photograph to her mother, Linda. Katie and her boyfriend of almost six years Josh Halley had previously met Mr O’Brien and the latter’s father also works for the trainer. When Linda’s brother, Rodger Lee, who is also involved in the horse-racing industry, approached the horse trainer to support the event, he was delighted to donate the photograph. Linda said Mr O’Brien has only two framed photographs of his historic triumph, one …

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