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Breaking News

HSE challenging St Joseph’s admissions ban

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed it will challenge efforts by the independent health watchdog HIQA to impose restrictions on new admissions to St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital in Ennis. HIQA is on a collision course with the HSE over regulatory issues at the hospital, which provides vital public step-down facilities to elderly people. The Clare Champion has learned that admissions will continue at St Joseph’s, pending the outcome of a court appeal being prepared by the HSE. A SIPTU spokesman told The Clare Champion that its members have been providing the best quality care to patients in St Joseph’s. The spokesman explained the regulatory issues do not cover patient care but moreso difficulties in relation to the physical infrastructure, which HIQA have been highlighting for some time. Over the last three years, he said there have been plans to carry out remedial works at St Joseph’s, as well as an overall plan to construct a new facility on the …

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No evidence of babies buried in Kilrush

KILRUSH historian Rita McCarthy, who investigated the operation of the County Clare Nursery on the Cooraclare road in the town, believes it is unlikely that any babies are buried on or close to the site. It follows revelations of the discovery of human remains at the site of the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway. The nursery in Kilrush is one of the mother and baby homes nationwide that is part of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation, which was established on February 17, 2015 and is chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy. The home in Kilrush was operated by Clare County Council from 1922-1932. Ms McCarthy told The Clare Champion that she could not yet reveal details of her contribution to the report, which is likely to be published in 2018. “I can’t talk about the specifics in that report because that is subject to the commission releasing it. But before that, I had done quite …

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Bishop expresses ‘shock’ and ‘sorrow’ at Tuam revelations

BISHOP of Killaloe Fintan Monahan has expressed “shock” and “sorrow” at the discovery of human remains at the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam. He served as a priest in the Tuam diocese and as diocesan secretary from 2005 to 2006. The find came at the conclusion of test excavations at the site. They were carried out at the behest of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation, which was established on February 17, 2015 and is chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy. The commission has been asked to establish the circumstances for the entry of single women into mother and baby homes and the living conditions they experienced there. It has also been asked to examine mortality among mothers and children who lived in these institutions. “The reports that have emerged over the past few years have made for me such sad, shocking, disappointing and sorrowful reading. The level of shock and sadness among the …

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Shannon Group starts work on €10m high spec office block

The inward investment potential of the Shannon Free Zone is set to be significantly boosted following the sod-turning by Shannon Commercial Properties for a €10 million state-of-the-art new office block. The high-spec 55,000 sq ft facility, built to LEED (Leadership in energy and environmental design) Gold standards and located on the newly named Airport Avenue, is the first speculative new-build by Shannon Commercial Properties, a Shannon Group Plc company. The build is part of a €25 million first phase redevelopment programme at the Free Zone. Launched by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen TD, the facility will be built to top international standards and is designed for FDI and Irish enterprises seeking high-end office space. In excess of 120 construction jobs will be sustained during construction. The site, located adjacent to Shannon Airport perimeter which was demolished ahead of this investment, work on which will be completed by in May of next year. …

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Mid-May completion date for Kilkee Wastewater Pumping Station

Irish Water has appointed contractors to carry out repair and upgrade works to the Kilkee wastewater pumping station, with all works on site due to be completed within the next two months, in time for the start of the 2017 bathing period. A ‘Do Not Swim’ notice issued by Clare County Council in December remains in place pending completion of the work at the pumping station. This notice was issued in the interest of public health following an emergency discharge of storm water containing elements of wastewater from Kilkee pumping station into the sea via Kilkee beach. The emergency discharge occurred due to a failure in an operational safety device at the pumping station, combined with heavy rainfall in the area. Since then, Irish Water has commissioned the manufacture and installation of a new surge protection system to replace the one which failed in December. A specialist electrical contractor has been appointed to review all electrical issues at the pumping …

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Scariff entrepreneur one of Ireland’s best

A 35-year old businessman from Scariff who developed a smart connected office chair (Agilis) for athletes that helps to reduce muscle tightness and back pain has been named as a Runner-Up in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). Damien Mason of FlexiBod, representing Local Enterprise Office Clare, was runner-up in the Best Business Idea Category (pre-trading) having already won the coveted title at the IBYE Regional Final during February. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., made the announcemen at the IBYE national final held at Google’s European Headquarters at the weekend. The overall competition was won by Ciara Clancy of Beats Medical, a company which has developed an app that is transforming the lives of thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease. The competition, which is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland and run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, attracted entries from over 1,800 18-to-35-year-olds, showcasing some of the country’s best …

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Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme to go to Tender

Minister For Employment and Small Business Pat Breen said he is satisfied that progress is now being made on the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme as the project has gone to tender. “It is my understanding that the tender documents will be going out to contractors for pricing on Monday (yesterday). The tender period will be eight weeks, and pending no further complications, work is to commence on the ground in July,” said Minister Breen. “This third phase of the Ennis Flood Relief Scheme had been delayed due to technical difficulties, but I am pleased that the project is finally moving on,” added Minister Breen. “I understand the frustration of residence effected by flooding in this area of Ennis as they await the project to begin, a frustration that must be multiplied in recent days during the inclement weather, and I sincerely hope this is the beginning of the end of flooding issues for these people. “I have been working …

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New dermatology clinic in Ennis

A NEW dermatology clinic in Ennis Hospital has spared Clare patients the time and expense of regular trips to University Hospital Limerick. The clinic, run once a month by locum consultant dermatologist Dr Maeve Lynch and Sheila Ryan, advanced nurse practitioner in dermatology, can accommodate up to 20 outpatients per clinic. “It is a general dermatology seeing all the common skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne and skin cancer patients. We see patients of every age from birth up to the elderly,” said Dr Lynch. “The clinic started in September 2016 and we are running it once a month. The aim is to improve access for patients in Clare to save them having to travel in to Limerick. It has just started but we are pleased with how it has been going so far,” added Dr Lynch. Patricia O’Gorman, Operational Director of Nursing, Ennis Hospital, noted: “It is part of the strategy for the UL Hospitals Group that …

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