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Coveney flanked by Clare Fine Gael TDs during Ennis Visit

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and Fine Gael leadership candidate Simon Coveney was flanked by party colleagues Minister of State Pat Breen, and Deputy Joe Carey at ministerial engagements in Ennis today, Friday. The Minister will later address members of Clare’s Fine Gael party at their Annual General Meeting this evening, where he will hope to secure some undecided votes in the leadership contest. As yet undeclared, Deputies Pat Breen and Joe Carey would not be drawn on their stance in favour of one candidate over the other at today’s events, and Minister Coveney said he would not ask them to publicly declare during the media questions and answers session. The first of Minister Coveney’s engagements was to visit Laurel Lodge, Clare’s only homeless hostel located on the Clare Road in Ennis. While there he met with some of the residents and discussed his leadership bid with journalists. He then went to Pairc na Coille bungalows to meet …

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Revenue seize cannabis at Shannon Airport

Revenue officers at Shannon Airport seized 1.1kg of herbal cannabis with an estimated value of €22,000 on Thursday when, as a result of routine profiling, they stopped and searched a passenger who had arrived on a flight from Tenerife. In announcing the siezure today (Friday), Revenue said the drugs were discovered in the checked in baggage of the passenger, a 31-year-old Lithuanian man. He was arrested by gardaí and detained at Ennis Garda Station. Separately, yesterday, Revenue officers carried out a search under warrant of a house in Cahir, County Tipperary, and seized over 2,500 cigarettes, branded ‘Richman’, ‘John Bull’ and ‘M1’. The cigarettes have a retail value of almost €1,500, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of around €1,300. These operations are part of Revenue’s on going operations targeting the illegal importation, supply and sale of drugs, tobacco products and alcohol in the shadow economy. If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or …

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Dan Danaher

Clare Champion Reporter Scoops Local Ireland News Series Award

THE Clare Champion has scooped another award at the Local Ireland Media Awards, as reporter Dan Danaher’s series focusing on the EPA took the news series prize. This is the second award for The Clare Champion in the two year history of the Local Ireland Media Awards, as last year the regional newspaper took the prize for best feature article. Also nominated for an award was ‘Clare Champion reporter Peter O’Connell for his news story, Death by Geography. Over a 10 week period, Dan Danaher’s award winning news series examined the environmental compliance of 17 local companies who deal with various different types of chemicals and hazardous waste. Of those that were featured in The Clare Champion/Mary Raftery Special Investigation, 15 companies were initially granted Integrated Pollution and Prevention Control (IPPC) licences. The two exceptions were Enva and Clean Ireland Recycling Limited, who have waste licences. The main function of these licences is to ensure that companies, who are handling …

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Coveney on visit to Ennis

A contender in the race for the Fine Gael leadership, Housing Minister Simon Coveney will visit a number of sites in Ennis this afternoon (Friday). Mr Coveney will visit to Laurel Lodge, Ennis, a homeless facility, at 1pm, before moving on to Pairc na Coille Bungalows , 27 of which are leased senior citizen accommodation units. The minister’s visit to Ennis will conclude at Aisling, Shanaway Road, Ennis, to view a former unfinished estate. Twenty-three units are under construction, with a completion date of July, while a further 11 units are due to be completed by September.

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Michael Noonan to retire

A day after Enda Kenny stepped down as leader of Fine Gael, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has announced that he will not be contesting the next General Election. A TD for Limerick City, Mr Noonan’s constituency exends into a small area of South East Clare. He is a former leader of Fine Gael. Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan, has paid tribute to her constituency colleague, saying, “Michael Noonan will be remembered for his contribution to the economic recovery of this country as Minister for Finance, working alongside Brendan Howlin as Minister for Public Expenditure. “He has also made a substantial contribution to Limerick, and as minister I found him to be a constructive and supportive colleague in Cabinet. Concluding, Deputy O’Sullivan said, “We worked together on many issues that matter to Limerick and its people over the years, and I wish Michael well in the future.”

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Katie’s €120k gold standard CF legacy

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients can now look forward to “gold standard” testing equipment, previously only available at international specialist centres. All proceeds from the Truck Run 4 Katie fundraising event have been used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit in the Leben Building at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Katie Drennan, who died in February 2015 aged 24, tirelessly campaigned for better services for CF patients in UHL. The Truck Run 4 Katie, which was held in her memory last September, raised more than €120,000. Respiratory consultant Dr Brian Casserly said the new equipment means the hospital is now “operating at an international standard, above and beyond national standards for the treatment of CF patients”. “University Hospital Limerick wants to be the leading light in terms of CF and this is one step in that direction,” he added. CF patients attending UHL can now avail of equipment that provides direct measurement for exercise tolerance and capacity. Previously, …

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Kenny resigns as FG leader

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny will retire as Fine Gael leader, with effect from midnight on Wednesday. The Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is the 2/5 favourite to succeed Mr Kenny as party leader, while one time favourite, Housing Minister Simon Coveney is the 7/4 second favourite. Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin is the current 1/2 favourite to be Taoiseach after the next General Election, with Leo Varadkar next at 9/4. In a statement following the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Kenny said, “Last year I indicated I would not lead the Fine Gael party into the next General Election. I will continue to carry out my duties as party leader in an acting capacity, until my successor is elected through the Fine Gael Leadership election process. After 15 years at the helm, including two stints as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny wants the party executive to expedite hand over process by June 2 but stressed that he will …

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Clare man conquers Everest

JOHN Burke is the first Clare man ever to conquer Everest. The Spanish Point hotelier reached the roof of the world this morning. In a facebook post his wife Aoibhín Garrihy wrote, “At 9:45am local time John Burke became the first Clare man to successfully summit Mt Everest. Now hoping for a safe descent ” This afternoon she added, “John has arrived safely back at Camp 4, exhausted but sounding great from the sat phone! More wonderful news in…fellow Irish climber and friend of John, Cian O’Brolchain, also summited Mt Lhotse (8516m) this morning. It’s a great day for Irish climbing” A prayer service for John and his fellow climbers was held in the Armada hotel last night and on the hotel’s facebook page today it posted, “Our MD John Burke has just made it to the top of the world and is the 1st Clareman ever to summit Mount Everest this morning! We are so proud of his achievement …

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