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No going back to Cree for Michael

HIS room in St Theresa’s Nursing Home, Kilrush is neatly dotted with photographs and postcards. The photos include local GAA teams and shots of Michael McMahon with his brother, Stephen, who has lived and worked in England for 50 years. Until he was robbed and abruptly left his dilapidated home in Cree six years ago, Michael lived without electricity or running water. He had to leave his front door permanently ajar. Otherwise, his house would fill with a dense smoke from the turf fire. He kept to himself and didn’t mix, not realising what he was missing out on. Now, he is certain that he could never return to that lifestyle. “I’d be dead in a week. The cold was immense. When I’d be going to bed, my fingers would be stiff with ice after handling the clothes on the bed. I’d have to go up to the fire to try and loosen them. I was looking at a bleak …

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Drugs found in car

Gardaí from the Clare Divisional Drug Unit, based in Ennis, stopped and searched a car in Bunratty last night (Wednesday). The car was stopped shortly after 7pm and during the course of the search gardaí discovered cannabis herb with an approximate street value of €5,000 (subject to analysis). The driver of the car, a man (39 years) was arrested and is currently being detained at Ennis Garda station under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 as amended.

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Council owed €28m

DEBTS owed to Clare County Council exceeded €28 million last September. This represents about 25% of the council’s expenditure of €110m for the next 12 months. The figure has prompted a call from Councillor Michael Hillery for Government to give more statutory powers to local authorities, to pursue people of good financial means who will not pay. For those who cannot afford to pay a bill upfront, Councillor Hillery noted at a council meeting on Monday, that the authority will work with debtors to discharge what they owe over a longer period of time. However, he believes the authority should be given powers akin to the Revenue Commissioners to legally pursue those who have money but refuse to pay. Describing the outstanding €17.4m rates bill as “worrying”, he hopes it will decline by the end of the year with the upturn in the economy. The debt includes €17.466m in outstanding commercial rates, €6.837m in development contributions, €1.806m in housing loans …

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Mary Harney appointed UL chancellor

University of Limerick’s Governing Authority has appointed former Tánaiste Mary Harney as Chancellor of University of Limerick and Chairperson of UL’s Governing Authority. Mary Harney, who retired from politics in 2011 and is now the director of a number of private companies in pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology and financial services sectors, will take up office as UL Chancellor immediately. The Office of UL Chancellor is honorary and Ms Harney’s tenure will extend to 2022. Mary Harney was born in Galway, studied economics at Trinity College and was the first woman auditor of the “Hist” debating society. After graduation she spent a year teaching mathematics and economics in Castleknock College. In 1977, her political career began when she was appointed to the Senate, becoming the youngest ever member of Seanad Éireann. She continued to make history throughout her 34-year career in politics. Ever ready to challenge the status quo, Mary Harney’s entire political life has been characterised by a passion for reform, …

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Further remand for men on alleged farmhouse burglary

  THE four alleged burglars of a rural Clare farmhouse, here a 95-year -old man was asleep last Friday, were further remanded in custody at a court sitting on Wednesday (today). At Ennis District Court, the four Limerick men appeared in court via video link from Limerick prison and Inspector Tom Kennedy applied to the court that the case be put back for two weeks to allow the get the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) get directions. In the case of the four, Judge Patrick Durcan remanded all four in custody to re-appear in court on January 24. Two of the four, Paul Kiely (30) of Glencairn, Dooradadoyle, Limerick and Edward Woodland (18) of Greenmount Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick have consent to bail if they can provide an independent surety, but they have not provided an independent surety to date. In the case, three of the alleged Limerick burglars fled from a farmhouse after discovering that the sole occupant was a man in his 90s …

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President to open young scientist expo

Thousands of students will descend Dublin’s RDS tomorrow (Wednesday) as the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition begins. The event brings together some of the country’s brightest young minds as they compete to take home the coveted title of the BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year 2018. President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins will officially open the exhibition at a special ceremony on Wednesday evening attended by students, teachers, exhibition partners and stakeholders, and presented by broadcaster Aidan Power and TG4’s Roisin Ni Thomáin. The ceremony will be streamed live on Facebookfrom 2pm. Leading communications and IT Services company, BT, has announced announced an increase in prize money for the winner and a trip to the home of code-breaking in World War II, Bletchley Park. This year winner(s) of the competition, will be announced on Friday, will be presented with a cheque for €7,500, (an increase from €5,000), a trip to the historic Bletchley Park and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy. The 2018 overall winner(s) will …

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Minister Breen on US visit

The Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, continues a programme of engagements in the United States during which he will highlight developments in Ireland’s data protection environment and its steadfast commitment as an EU member state. The programme will include 18 high-level meetings and events in San Francisco and Seattle, including a series of meetings with client companies and representatives of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. During the course of the visit, the Minister will use the opportunity to emphasise Ireland’s attractiveness as an investment location – as an English speaking, common law jurisdiction with direct access to Europe’s single market – and its commitment to EU membership, particularly in the context of Brexit. Speaking in San Francisco, Minister Breen said,: “I am delighted to be here on the West Coast, it is a valuable opportunity to further strengthen the strong economic and cultural links between Ireland …

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A wealth of cultural heritage in Clare

Clare County Council is encouraging people to make submissions to Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, launched by Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Once compiled, the Inventory will acknowledge and promote Ireland’s living culture through official State recognition. In tandem with this, it will fulfil Ireland’s obligations under the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which Ireland signed up to in December 2015 to raise awareness of, and respect for, our unique living culture. Congella McGuire, Clare Heritage Officer, said, “The goal is to record elements of our national and local living heritage that are still being practiced and passed down from generation to generation. The practices must be living practices in one form or another: still taught or practiced, and passed on. The idea is that the more that becomes known of these practices, then the better their active cultural contribution is acknowledged.” She continued, “There’s such a wealth of cultural …

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