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Merry Christmas to all our readers

Clare Champion dog, Daisy, would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas. She has also issued a warning that this time of year can be hazardous for pets, so keep an eye on them. Chocolates and some fruits, including grapes, are very harmful to dogs, so they should be supervised at all times. Most of us are planning Christmas dinner and, next to gifts, food and drink play a huge part in our celebrations. But just as we should be careful not to over-indulge, we need to make sure our pets are looked after as well. Coffee, hot chocolate and caffeine products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cocoa seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some fizzy drinks. When ingested by pets, these can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, panting, excessive hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and sometimes, in excessive amounts, …

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Ennis man in court over alleged machete carjacking

A 22 year old Ennis man has appeared before a court charged with hijacking his neighbour’s car using a 29 inch bladed machete in Ennis this past Thursday. Declan Sherlock with an address at 40 Dromard, Lahinch Road, Ennis appeared before a special sitting of Ennis District Court on Friday having been charged with eight offences alleged to have occurred on Thursday, December 21. Evidence of arrest charge and caution was given to Judge Marie Keane by Detective Garda Damien O’Connor. Mr Sherlock is charged with using the threat of force and intimidation to unlawfully seize control of a car by threatening to stab a person with a machete at an address in Dromard, Lahinch Road, Ennis contrary to Section 10 of the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976. He is further charged with having a machete with a 29 inch blade in a public place, and that he intended unlawfully to use it to intimidate a person by allegedly threatening …

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Aldi gets approval for Killaloe store

PLANS for the development of a new Killaloe store, which could, it is claimed, generate a projected turnover of €9.12 million in 2019, has been approved by An Bord Pleanála, despite objections from local traders. Welcoming the decision, an Aldi spokesperson said the company believes competition is good for consumers. “Aldi will now move forward with our plans to open a new store in Killaloe, bringing our range of award-winning products at unbeatable prices to the local community. “The opening of every new Aldi store has brought greater choice, quality and value to more and more consumers across Ireland. Since 1999, we have invested €1.2 billion in our store opening programme and, last year, we spent over €700m with Irish suppliers,” the spokesperson continued. “Aldi are engaged in a three-year €100m expansion programme, with plans to open 20 new stores and creating 400 new jobs by the end of 2019.” This was the second time the German multinational submitted plans …

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Clare County Council Grants Coastal Erosion Works in Doonbeg

Clare County Council has issued a decision to grant permission for the development of coastal erosion management works at, and adjacent to, Carrowmore Dunes, White Strand, Doughmore Bay and Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, Doonbeg. As per the provisions of the planning acts, any decision made may be subject to a first or third party appeal to An Bord Pleanála within four weeks of the decision date. The application was lodged on December 22, 2016 and has attracted more than 40 submissions from interested parties, including Eammon Ryan TD,  West Coast Surf Club; Irish Surf Association Ltd; Save the Waves Coalition;  Friends of the Irish Environment; community groups and individuals. The decision is subject to nine planning conditions, which include the payment of two separate planning conditions totalling €265,231. The conditions set out that public access and rights of way to the beach shall not be obstructed in any way by the proposed development. Mitigation measures outlined in the …

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St Joseph’s beds to be re-registered

All 120 registered beds in the public elderly care facility St Joseph’s Hospital are to be registered again, following the outcome of a long and complex regulatory process. “The decision announced today (Thursday) by the HSE is fantastic news for St Joseph’s, its staff, the local community and for the users of the facility,” commented Senator Martin Conway. “This confirmation shows the hard work and commitment of those working in St Joseph’s and the HSE to make sure the necessary changes were put in place so that this positive result could be achieved. “I have no doubt that the staff and management in St. Joseph’s will continue to make improvements and that they will strive to ensure they are a patient focused facility.The centre is currently earmarked for a major new build by 2021 under the Capital Programme approved by Government and I look forward to following the development of St. Joseph’s over the next few years,” the Fine Gael …

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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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