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Breaking News

Clubs row back on Laois boycott

THE managers of the last two county senior football champions have confirmed to The Clare Champion that withdrawing county players from Saturday’s All-Ireland qualifier against Laois was a live option. County champions and Cusack Cup holders, Kilmurry-Ibrickane, along with their neighbours, St Joseph’s Miltown, are furious that Clare County Board imposed a €200 fine on them and handed the points to O’Curry’s and Doonbeg respectively, after Cusack Cup fixtures were not played on the weekend of June 3. Clondegad and Éire Óg have also suffered a similar fate, with the points awarded to Lissycasey and St Breckan’s. All four fined clubs had refused to line-out without their inter-county footballers in the sixth round of the Cusack and Garry cups. “We are very upset over it. We got a lot of support from the county players but we felt that the nuclear option wasn’t feasible after all the hard work these guys have put in and their long years of service,” …

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Dooley calls for waste regulator appointment

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that the proposed new bin charging regime must be frozen pending the establishment of an independent waste regulator. Deputy Dooley was commenting after Minister Naughten’s announcement that from July 1 waste collection operators will be allowed to provide either pay by weight or pay by lift services all over the country. “There is deep unease and concern right across the country, in both urban and rural communities that this change will lead to rocketing prices. This is of special concern to consumers who are on fixed incomes or those who have considerable waste output as a result of medical concerns. “Many feel that the current offer of €75 per year for people with excessive waste usage due to medical issues is too low. Minister Naughten must explain how this level of support was calculated, and should, we believe, ensure that hard pressed families with a large number …

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Man dies in Labasheeda following farming accident

THE estuary village of Labasheeda was hit by tragedy on Tuesday night, when a local man, Michael McGrath, died following a farming accident. Mr McGrath, who is in his early 50s, was loading slurry on his farm in the townland of Ballina, when the accident happened between 7.15pm and 7.30pm. Ambulances, the fire service and Kilrush gardaí attended the scene, where the man was pronounced dead. He was well-known in the area and lived in Labasheeda with his partner and their four year-old daughter. The tractor involved in the accident has been removed for inspection and separate enquiries are being carried out by the gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority. This fatality brings to 14 the number of confirmed deaths on Irish farms in 2017. Last week, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed appealed to farmers to prioritise farm safety during this busy period. Peter O’Connell  

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Norwegian Air International ushers in new era for Shannon

The strength of tourism across the regions will be emphasised on Sunday next when Shannon Airport operates its largest number of transatlantic destinations in 17 years with the commencement of two Norwegian Air International services. Two weekly flights to Stewart International Airport, Orange County – just 90 minutes from New York – and two weekly flights to Providence Green Airport, Rhode Island will be added to the already strong Shannon US schedule. The new services create an unprecedented line-up to the USA from Shannon Airport, with five airlines serving seven destinations. Looking ahead to the commencement of the new services on Sunday, Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said: “This is a remarkable day in many respects. It heralds another new carrier at Shannon and what’s most notable here is that Norwegian Air International, a new transatlantic operator, not only chose Shannon but is introducing the second largest number of flights at any airport here. That clearly demonstrates the strength of …

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Carol Byrne honoured at Justice Media Awards

Clare Champion journalist Carol Byrne has again been acknowledged for her outstanding work in the field of legal reportage and features. At the annual Justice Media Awards event, held in Dublin on Thursday (June 22), Carol received her fifth Justice Media accolade for her story on how law researchers at the University of Limerick worked with the late Judge Michael Reilly, Ireland’s first inspector of prisons, on a report recommending the creation of a database to record deaths in Irish prisons. The judging panel awarded a certificate of merit in the regional print category to the Ennis resident for her article entitled ‘Breaking new ground in prison law: the late Judge Michael Reilly’. The graduates’ work with the late Judge Michael Reilly, was compiled in a report which was presented to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald last year. The Justice Media Awards recognise outstanding print and broadcast journalism that contributes to the public’s understanding of law and justice, the legal system, or specific …

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Shannon housing complex on hold

PLANS for a new €10 million 50-unit housing development at Tullyvarraga, Shannon, have effectively been put on hold, following concerns about a number of planning and design issues. Clare County Council has requested John Walsh, c/o Roy O’Shea, 20 Lower Hartstonge Street, Limerick, to submit revised plans for the development, which comprises of 10 detached, 24 semi-detached and 16 apartment units and ancillary works for a site at Tullyvarraga. The planning authority expressed concerns that the house type mix has not sufficiently been informed by the 2017-2023 Clare County Development Plan. The authority believes there is an over-provision of three-bed semi-detached dwellings and that greater consideration should be given to incorporating some single-storey dwellings. It proposed that the siting of unit number one, relative to the existing property, should be revised by relocating same closer to the second unit and by relocating the turning area closer to the eastern boundary. The authority expressed concerns about the siting of units number …

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Clare walkers save stranded man

Members of the Ballyvaughan-Fanore Walking Club recently completed the Four Peaks Challenge and, while climbing Carrauntoohill, they were instrumental in saving a man, who was stranded near the Devil’s Ladder. With 6.30am starts each day, the group, led by chairperson Mary Clarke and mountain guide Gerry Reidy, from Ennistymon, criss-crossed the island of Ireland in three days, from June 3 to 5. Gerry has more than 20 years’ mountain-climbing experience, having completed four or five of the seven summits, including Denali in Alaska and Mount Elbrus in Russia. The weather was against them over the few days and, on their final challenge, Gerry recalled the difficult conditions and meeting a man in severe difficulty. “There was a waterfall coming down the Devil’s Ladder against us, but we worked as a team and got everyone up and down safely,” Gerry said. When they came across a fallen runner, on his own, wearing only a singlet and shorts, who was suffering hypothermia, …

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Bishop defends principal appointment

BISHOP Fintan Monahan has defended his appointment of Fr Ignatius McCormack as principal of St Flannan’s College in an interview with The Clare Champion, following concerns raised and reported in The Irish Times. The Bishop of Killaloe said direct appointment is the way priest principals were appointed in the past, that it is “not without precedent” and that he had it “utterly checked” beforehand. He said direct appointment “is normal practice”. “That’s the way all past priest principals would have been appointed and there is a facility for doing that in diocesan colleges. There is a thing called the articles of management and under Article 20, the patron of the school is entitled to appoint a priest directly to be principal of the school, so that is allowable in diocesan colleges”. He outlined that lay principals would be advertised publicly and filled following an interview process. He added that St Flannan’s College is “very fortunate to have Fr Ignatius in …

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