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Breaking News

Clare’s €190m property bonanza

MORE than €190 million was spent on property in Clare during 2017, according to property price register figures. In all, a total of €192,553,535.10 changed hands, well over €3.5m per week. Most of the money was spent in the second half of 2017, when transactions of €108.7m took place. The total for the first quarter was €42,891,537.16, while it was marginally lower at €40,686,186.90 in the second quarter. In the third quarter it was substantially higher at €50,097,538.60 and rose higher again to €58,698,606.40 in the last three months of the year. In the year as a whole, there were 1,278 transactions, giving an average value of €150,667. The first two months of the year were relatively sluggish in comparison with what was to follow, with just over €12.5m spent in the month of January and €12.23m in February. The March figure was far higher at €18.1m. April saw combined values of €9.36m but in May, the equivalent figure was …

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Installation of Bishop of Galway on Sunday

MOST Most. Rev. Dr Brendan Kelly will be formally installed as Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora this Sunday. The ceremony will take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, Galway. Born in Derrybrien, County Galway in May 1946, he was the second of nine children born to Sean and Annie Kelly. Following his Leaving Certificate in 1964 he was accepted by the then bishop, Michael Brown, to study for diocesan priesthood in the Galway Diocese. He was sent to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in September of that year. As a seminarian Bishop Brendan completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1967 and a Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1970. He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1971 by Bishop Brown in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas. His first appointment was to the parish of Kinvara as a curate before being appointed to the teaching staff of Coláiste …

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IFA hit out at Government Planning Framework

THE draft National Planning Framework developed by Government has been described by the IFA as “Dublin-centric and lacking ambition for rural Ireland.” “The Government’s aspiration to develop a planning framework out to 2040 in a balanced and coherent way fails rural Ireland, particularly in the addressing following four areas: the decline of rural towns and villages; the need to rebalance development towards the regions; the need for rural housing; and, supporting community based renewable energy development,”said Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment chairman. In a submission to Government, IFA has detailed a number of areas that need to be addressed. To reverse the decline of rural towns and villages, IFA says new business start-ups should receive incentives, such as exemptions from rates, for an initial time period and relief from capital gains tax, to encourage innovation and enterprise. Double tax relief should be provided on rental expenditure for businesses establishing in rural towns and villages. A condition for a valid planning application for …

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Garda warning on scams

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is reminding the public about the dangers of providing personal and financial details to third parties, following a number of recently reported scams. The first relates to a Bank Compromise Fraud (Vishing). The victim was contacted by an individual purporting to be from their bank stating their account had some suspicious transactions. In order to provide a refund, the victim was instructed to send funds via financial money transfer to locations including Nepal, Kenya and Cambodia. The second relates to a fraud targeting Indian and other nationalities after recently travelling to Ireland, who were contacted by phone and told they had incorrectly filled in a form at the airport in their country of origin. They were told their Visa would be invalid and they would be deported unless they sent funds via financial money transfer to India to rectify the issue. Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, said, “I want …

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Measles outbreak leads to hospital restrictions

Strict visitor restrictions are in place at University Hospital Limerick in light of the continuing outbreak of measles in the Limerick City area. Restrictions had already been in place since late December following an increase in seasonal influenza. However, the restrictions will remain enforced as a precaution in view of the ongoing outbreak of measles in the Limerick City area. There are currently a small number of patients with measles in isolation at UHL and the hospital is taking all necessary precautions to contain the illness. UL Hospitals Group is working closely with public health and community colleagues on the Outbreak Control Team set up to manage this outbreak. Until further notice, it is necessary to restrict visitors to one person per patient only and to remind members of the public that visiting hours are from 2pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 9pm only and are to be strictly adhered to. This applies to adult and paediatric patients alike …

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Gardaí target child porn suspects

GARDAÍ have carried out a major swoop on people suspected of being involved in many aspects of child pornography. Operation Ketch is an operation targeting those in possession and involved in the distribution of child pornography either through social network sites or via file sharing networks. The operation took place from February 2 to 52018 and was led by the Online Child Exploitation Unit (ONCE) at the Garda National Protection Services Bureau. During this phase of the investigation, searches were carried out under warrant pursuant to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998 across a number of Garda divisions. The searches were carried out by newly established Divisional Protection Service Units and local detective Units. A total of 31 locations were searched and digital material which included thousands of images were seized for forensic examination. Child protection concerns at all the locations searched have been addressed. Assistance was received by the Online Child Exploitation Unit from the Federal Bureau of …

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LEOs roar about new jobs

Start-ups and small businesses from across the country that have been supported by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) have delivered a net total of 3,700 new jobs in 2017. This brings the total number of new jobs created by LEO-backed companies to 15,000 since the LEOs were set up in 2014. The jobs results by the LEOs were welcomed by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and the Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen, the opening of the annual LEO Forum in Athlone today (Monday). The 31 LEOs nationwide, run in partnership by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities, provide a ‘first stop shop’ for the supports available to entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. Minister Breen said, “In a challenging environment, LEO clients have contributed substantially to economic development up and down the country, especially outside of the main urban centres. I would encourage the Local Authorities and …

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Snow and hazardous road conditions

A yellow weather warning is in place for snow, which may lead to hazardous conditions on roads and footpaths for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Tipperary, East Cork and Waterford. Gardaí are asking road users to check local weather and traffic conditions and be aware of the conditions before setting out on a trip. Following the snow road temperatures nationwide are set to fall and road conditions will be hazardous overnight and in the morning in many places. •Drivers should reduce speed and increase braking distances. •Use dipped headlights at all times to ensure you are seen by other motorists. •Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space. •Cyclists and motorcyclists check local road conditions and consider alternative transport where necessary. •Pedestrians should walk on a footpath, not on the street. Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths Motorists before commencing your journey •Clear …

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