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Breaking News

Prospect of five-way race for FF ticket

POLITICAL manoeuvring among Clare Fianna Fáil delegates stepped up a gear after five candidates were nominated to contest a coveted place on the party ticket for the next Dáil race. The Clare Fianna Fáil Dáil Selection Convention looks set to attract a very large attendance as hundreds of local delegates consider the selection of at least two Dáil candidates. Outgoing Deputy Timmy Dooley, former 2011 General Election candidate Dr John Hillery, Councillor Cathal Crowe, former Ennis Chamber chief executive officer Rita McInerney and former Clare County Board chairman, Michael “Malty” McDonagh have all been nominated to contest the selection convention. However, Mr McDonagh, who secured 4,726 first preferences votes in the 2016 General Election, has told The Clare Champion he will not be a candidate at convention. He may come under pressure to change his mind before the convention, which still has not been fixed. It is expected the party’s drive to win two seats at the next General Election …

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Ennis woman loses claim against Dunnes Stores

A 23-year-old Ennis woman is counting the cost of taking on retail giant Dunnes Stores over a “nasty” finger injury caused by a broken Dolmio pasta sauce jar – and losing. This follows Judge Gerald Keys at Ennis Circuit Civil Court dismissing Maria McDonagh’s personal injury action against Dunnes Stores and ordering her to pay the retailer’s legal costs from her unsuccessful action. Judge Keys made his ruling, after finding Ms McDonagh’s injury was probably caused when picking up the glass debris of the Dolmio pasta sauce jar she let fall at the retailer’s Ennis store on February 4, 2014, and not, as Ms McDonagh claimed, sustained when picking up a broken or defective jar of Dolmio from the shelf. Judge Keys said, “It is more probable that the injury was inflicted when she handled the debris of the glass when it hit the floor. The plaintiff has not discharged the onus of proof and can’t succeed. It was a nasty …

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Deputies looking forward to testing airport’s new intruder security system

Dail deputies, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly have said  they are looking forward to testing out the new intruder radar detection tracking system being put in place to protect the 12.5km perimeter fence at Shannon Airport. The two made their comments with confirmation that Shannon Airport is set to splurge a maximum of €150,000 on the first phase of the new intruder detection tracking system at the airport perimeter fence. The perimeter fence, erected around the 968 acre airfield, has been scaled a number of times this century by anti-war activists angry over the use of Shannon by the US military. The fence was most famously scaled by Deputy Wallace and Deputy Daly in July, 2014 when the two used a rope ladder to make their incursion into the airfield. They were fined a total of €4,000 after being convicted of breaching airport regulations when entering a restricted area of Shannon airfield. However, the two did not pay the fines …

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Passenger videoed sex assault on bus

A 70-year old man is to be sentenced next month for sexually assaulting a man in his eighties on a bus travelling through west Clare last Summer. During the course of the assault on June 9 last, a passenger sitting across the aisle from the two men on the west Clare Bus Éireann service to Ennis filmed the assault. The footage from the passenger’s smart phone along with CCTV footage of the attack would have formed part of the State’s evidence if the case had gone to trial. However, the 70-year old’s plea of guilty recorded at Kilrush District Court this week has eliminated the need for the video evidence to be shown and also for his elderly victim to go into the witness box and give evidence. Giving an outline of the facts in the case at Kilrush District Court, Inspector Paul Slattery said that the video footage shows the accused starting to grope the other male alongside him …

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Train services to resume on Limerick to Ennis line

Trains will be back operating on the Limerick to Ennis line from tomorrow, March 21 after the railway line was closed for several weeks due to flooding at Ballycar in Newmarket. The line has been closed since late January due to flooding at Ballycar. Iarnród Éireann said a test train will operate today, but no issues are expected. The railway track at Ballycar Lough has flooded on a number of occasions in recent years and this flooding has led to temporary closures of the railway line for extended periods of up to 20 weeks at a time. Flood waters rose to a maximum height of 1.60m above the railway track during some flood events, despite works which saw Iarnród Éireann has previously raised the track level by 60 centimetres at Ballycar in 2003 to mitigate against the effects of flooding. In addition to causing disruption to rail services, these flood events also caused disruption to the water supply to Newmarket …

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Teenager questioned over Shannon stabbing released from custody

A 19 year-old arrested by gardaí in their investigation into a fatal stabbing at a Shannon night club at the weekend has been released without charge. Gardaí say a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions for his consideration. Employees at the Shannon Knights night club have been interviewed by gardaí while CCTV footage has also been examined to determine the sequence of events which led to the 23 year-old man being fatally stabbed. The dead man has been named as Jamie Higgins from Mungret in Limerick city. He is a past pupil of Crescent Comprehensive School in Dooradoyle and was a noted rugby and soccer player. He celebrated his 23rd birthday only last month. Another man injured during this incident is still being treated at University Hospital Limerick. However his injuries are not life threatening. An altercation took place between a number of males at the night club and two males were injured and taken …

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19 year-old remains in custody over fatal stabbing

Employees at the Shannon Knights night club have been interviewed by gardaí while CCTV footage is being examined to determine the sequence of events which led to a 23 year-old man being fatally stabbed at the weekend. The dead man has been named as Jamie Higgins from Mungret in Limerick city. He is a past pupil of Crescent Comprehensive School in Dooradoyle and was a noted rugby and soccer player. He celebrated his 23rd birthday only last month. A 19-year-old man, also from Limerick city remains in Garda custody in relation to the incident which occurred around 2am on St Patrick’s night. He is still detained at Shannon Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 as amended. Gardaí believe the man in custody and the deceased were known to each other. A 22-year-old man injured during this incident is still being treated at University Hospital Limerick. However his injuries are not life threatening. …

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Clare goes all out to celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Green is the colour throughout County Clare this weekend, as we celebrate the feast day of our patron saint, St Patrick. A festival atmosphere is evident in  town and village, with parades showcasing our traditions, culture and music, as well as everyday life in farming, business and industry.  Of course, no parade would be complete without colourful characters representing local, national and even international figures. The county’s main parade in Ennis attracted a huge crowd, which stretched all along the route from Áras Contae an Chláir on New Road to O’Connell Street.  Mayor of Ennis Paul Murphy and grand marshall John Burke, the Everest climb hero, led the parade in a horse drawn carriage.

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