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Breaking News

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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A ‘sinister smear’ against councillor

SIXMILEBRIDGE Councillor PJ Ryan has hit out at the author of a “sinister smear”, which he believes was designed to sully his good name and character. Councillor Ryan has been the subject of an anonymous letter containing details of financial judgements made against him, when he was owed an estimated €200,000 by sub-contractors and other traders who went to the wall during the economic crash. The oil distributor does not know who was behind the publication of an unsigned document, which was circulated among local businesses in the village in recent weeks, detailing court rulings against him when he was owed a substantial amount of money. The independent councillor was shocked when he was contacted by local business people who received the letter and informed him of its contents. It contains details of four judgements against him, totalling almost €100,000, with a rhetorical question at the end of the document, “Does he owe you?” The typed, addressed envelopes were posted …

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Flooded roads warning

Clare County Council is advising motorists to slow down and drive with extreme caution due to continued heavy rainfall across the county. Spot flooding is reported on numerous routes, particularly throughout West Clare. Met Éireann is forecasting further falls of heavy rain today, tonight and into Saturday. Another 30 to 40mm of rainfall are expected, with greater totals on some higher ground.

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Councillor seeks to protect defibrillators

An ENNIS-based Councillor Mary Howard has called for stricter penalties for those who vandalise defibrillators. At a recent meeting of Clare County Council, she also requested that the Minister for Health ensure that all future publicly-accessible defibrillators be fitted with a sensor that would notify emergency services once it has been removed from its holder. Speaking about the vandalism of the items, Councillor Howard said, “Last December, we saw CCTV footage of a group of 16-year-olds in Arklow in County Wicklow pull a defibrillator off a wall and proceed to kick it back and forth, destroying the unit. “In January, a defibrillator was destroyed in Cork for the fourth time. The list goes on. These life-saving devices cost in the region of €2,500 to be replaced.” She said it would be important to have defibrillators fitted with devices that would discourage vandals. “In the future, I would like to see these units fitted with a SIM module and internal camera, …

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Ennis to get all beefed up

ENNIS is set for a financial boost, with the arrival of a major livestock event to the Clare Co-operative Marts later this year, The Clare Champion can confirm. The Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Society’s winter fair will be held in the county capital in October, the first time the event has been held in the West of Ireland. Organisers estimate that Ennis’ hosting of the winter fair on October 22 and 23 will bring in around €250,000 to the local economy. Around 1,000 people are expected to attend, with 200 exhibitors also taking part in the event, which will see farmers gaining access to a marketplace where some weanlings are likely to sell for in excess of €5,000. This year will mark the 21st annual showcase, which regularly attracts both Irish beef producers and overseas visitors. Muireann Hannon, PRO for the Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Society, explained why Ennis was picked as the host venue for 2017. “The society has chosen Clare, …

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Pat Spillane backs rural development

FORMER Kerry footballer Pat Spillane made a presentation to members of the recently established Clare Rural Development Forum in Ennis today (Wednesday). Better known nowadays as a TV football pundit, Pat Spillane has a new role as Government Ambassador for the National Action Plan for Rural Development. Comprising members drawn from local community, business, tourism and farming groups, as well as Clare County Council, elected members, third level institutes, and State and Development Agencies, the Forum is currently developing a strategy for Clare, which will be launched in May. Mr Spillane referred to his passion for rural Ireland, his chairmanship of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) and the importance of interagency collaboration. He also acknowledged Clare County Council’s role in convening the Rural Development Forum and establishing of the country’s first Local Authority Rural Development Directorate. The forum meeting was also addressed by Ciaran Lynch, development manager for LIT, who has a strong background in …

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Medical card changes for over 70s

Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced that 390,000 people over 70 years with a medical card, including their dependants, will benefit from reductions to prescription charges. From this Wednesday, prescription charges will be reduced from €2.50 to €2 per item and in addition the maximum monthly limit will be reduced from €25 to €20 per person or family per month. These changes will benefit over 390,000 medical card holders, advancing a key Programme for Government commitment to reduce the cost of medicines for medical card holders. Commenting on move, Minister Harris said,“I am very pleased to be in a position to announce its immediate effect. Naturally as we grow older, we require more medical help and assistance and from tomorrow, 390,000 of our older friends and family will pay less for their medicines”.

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