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“In addiction there is chaos, there is mayhem, there is violence”

WATCHING a child being torn by addiction may be the most excruciating experience a parent can go through. That’s the view of a Kilrush mother who has lost a child who went through that struggle, and she has some very strong and informed opinions on the drug problem. “As a parent I think one of the hardest things you’ll ever see is your child being in a place where you can’t take that demon from them. You can do your best to help them as much as you can and let them know you’re there for them, but it’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever watch,” she says. As well as losing her child, she has eight siblings who are addicted to drink and/or drugs, so substance abuse has really wreaked havoc on those around her and affected her own life. In recent years she has taken courses in addiction studies, allowing her understand the issues more fully. She believes …

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“Most Shannon teens smoke weed”

AT the age of 18, Jack (not his real name) has been through rehab twice, and now attends four or five meetings of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous each week. The Shannon teenager started taking drugs aged 15, beginning a very rapid descent, after which he admits he is lucky to be alive. Now clean and sober for well over a year, he says his hometown is awash with drugs. Disturbingly, he believes the majority of teenagers in Shannon consume illegal substances. “If you went out and walked down the road and asked 10 people under 18 if they smoke weed or not – if they were being honest with you – I’d say at least six or seven of them would say yes.” The drugs are available from dozens of dealers, all over the town. “There are so many (dealers), I couldn’t even name them all. Literally every estate you go into four or five people are selling drugs. …

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Renewed appeal for Missing 17 year old

Gardaí have renewed their appeal seeking the assistance of the public in tracing the whereabouts of 17-year-old Natasha McNeil who is missing since Thursday June 21, 2018 and who may be in the Ennis area. Natasha is described as 160cm (5’2”) and is of slim build. She has brown hair, and has tattoos on her right ankle and wrists. She was last seen near Heuston Railway Station in Dublin. Anyone with information is asked to contact Henry Garda Station, Limerick on 061 212400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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Ennis dive expert lauds Thai rescue as ‘amazing miracle’

AN ENNIS cave-diving expert, who played a major role in rescuing 12 school boys trapped in a Thailand cave, has described the rescue operation as an “amazing miracle”. Jim Warny flew into Shannon Airport on a flight from Heathrow on Friday morning where he was greeted with a warm welcome from onlookers. Mr Warny’s exploits has gained international media attention after reuniting the 12 school boys trapped in the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non caves in Thailand with their families. Jim flew out last week to help in the massive rescue effort, which saw divers from all over the world get involved in rescuing the boys and their football coach from the caves in Thailand’s Chiang Rio province. Originally from Belgium, he has been living in Ennis for more than a decade. Shannon Airport visitors burst into applause when Jim came through the arrival’s area flanked by his father, Réne, his financée, Asia Mania and Brian McCoitir from the Irish …

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Call for village ‘health checks’

A CO-ORDINATED and planned approach is needed to regenerate rural towns and villages throughout Clare, according to RGDATA director general, Tara Buckley. Her comments came after a Clare Champion survey of retail outlets has revealed numerous villages in West, North and East Clare no longer have a grocery shop. Several towns and villages in the county face the classic “chicken and egg” scenario – declining populations mean the numbers aren’t there to sustain certain rural services, and new people will not come unless these services are already in place. RGDATA is involved in a pilot project with the Irish Heritage Council to complete a health check in 10 towns throughout the country. Ms Buckley believes one of the best ways to tackle rural decline is to complete a town and village health check and devise a strategic plan to address its challenges and opportunities. In an interview with The Clare Champion, she acknowledges this approach may not benefit all rural …

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Contractor withdraws from Ennis flood relief scheme

AN €8.6 million flood relief scheme that will protect more than 120 homes, along with businesses and St Flannan’s College, in Ennis is being delayed as a result of a “contractural issue”. Clare County Council has confirmed that the preferred contractor for the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme has formally withdrawn their tender and works are now not expected to begin until next year at the earliest. It had been anticipated that the project would get underway this summer. The scheme now has to be re-tendered “at the earliest juncture” and “works on the ground will most likely not commence until the spring of 2019,” the local authority stated. Councillor Johnny Flynn expressed disappointment at the delay in “this crucial piece of infrastructure”. The scheme represents the final phase of flood defence works in the town and includes the townlands of Clonroadmore, Ballybeg and Clareabbey, which suffered badly during the floods of 2009. Minister of State Pat Breen assured that …

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Government under fire for “neglecting Kilkee and Kilrush”

  The Government has come under fire for “neglecting” two of the main West Clare towns – Kilkee and Kilrush. Michael Haugh from Doonbeg is keenly aware of impact of rural depopulation in West Clare, having seen the closure of Baltard National School in recent years. He believes that urgent action is needed to secure a major new industry for West Clare. “The Government has neglected towns like Kilkee and Kilrush. They are putting no new industry into these towns. “I have been to towns in Kerry where ministers like Dick Spring got in industries to places like Tralee and Killorglin. “What can be done to create jobs? A big factory should be brought into Kilrush. They have these factories in places like Killorglin, Kenmare and Cahersiveen but not in Clare. “Our problem is we don’t have a senior minister. Brendan Daly brought the Kilrush Creek Marina to Kilrush, nothing else has happened since then. “We need a big industry …

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West Clare schools battle for survival

DISTURBING new figures have revealed that the projected number of enrolments in seven West Clare schools, in just three years’ time, will just be sufficient to fill a single classroom. Additional statistics also found that there is significant decline in full time residents living in Doonbeg village, with only 41% of houses occupied permanently. According to information obtained by the Clare Champion, the combined influx of Junior Infants in the three most westerly parishes on the Loop Head Peninsula, Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Cross, will be just above 30 pupils in 2021. Co-parish priest of Kilkee, Cross, Carrigaholt and Doonbeg, Fr Gerry Kenny warns that more national school amalgamations will have to be considered in the peninsula, unless there is a dramatic increase in population. Fr Kenny expressed grave concern about the generation gap, pointing to the lack of young people in their 20s and 30s, settling down to live in West Clare. “While urbanisation will always be a factor, current …

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