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Gardaí investigate Ennis burglaries

Gardaí in Ennis are continuing with their investigations into a number of burglaries in the town during the past week. At around 4am last Thursday morning, a hooded man was seeing trying the windows of houses in Ivy Hill on the Gort Road. This person was then seen inside an adjoining apartment of a house, was disturbed and fled the scene on foot. Gardai say the man wore a grey hooded top and was a small man approximately 5’2” or 5’3” in height and had a sallow complexion. On the same day , at around 1.45am, a house in Glenina on the Gort Road was entered through the patio door. Items stolen included a red “Hello Kitty” purse, a purple HP notebook and a silver Packard Bell laptop. Between 12.30am and 2.30am last Sunday, a shed was broken into which was adjoining a house in Radharc na Locha. Items stolen in the burglary included a red Marugana hedge trimmer, a green Florabest chainsaw, a yellow 300 Karcher power washer, a red strimmer and two wind deflectors from a Ford Galaxy car which was parked at the rear. Two  burglaries were also committed in the Ard Aoibhinn estate on the Limerick Road and Springfield estate, near St. Flannan’s college. A man was arrested for these crimes and is helping the Gardai with their enquiries.

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Giant luminarium to light up the Fleadh

The Mirazozo luminarium, a giant art installation featuring caverns for members of the public to explore, will be a colorful focal point on the Ennis landscape during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The structure, designed by Alan Parkinson of the company Architects of Air, is being brought to Active Ennis Tim Smythe Park by Clare County Council. The structures designed by Alan having been visited by more than two million people in 43 countries around the world at iconic locations such as the Guggenheim in Spain and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Inspired by Islamic architecture and natural geometry, Mirazozo features winding passages of small domes inspired by repeat forms found in the bazaars of Iran. Inside the spaceship-shaped structure is a multi-coloured world of bright luminous green, red and blue stripes of light forming bouncing patterns of colour on the walls of five interlinked domes. Monica Meehan, Community and Tourism, Clare County Council said the 158 ft. by 94 …

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Minister under fire over military use of airport

Minister Paschal Donohue has come under fire from a local lobby group over the use of Shannon Airport by US military troops in the wake of the Nice attack. Shannonwatch, which is campaigning for an end to the military use of Shannon Airport, has taken issue with  Minister Donohue over his defence of the use of the airport by US troops. Minister Donohoe said a careful response is needed to terrorism attacks like  in Nice where 84 people were killed. However, Shannonwatch claimed that “ferrying armed troops to the Middle East through Shannon Airport to continue the cycles of war and violence isn’t a calm or measured response”. Minister Donohoe said the Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald, had met with the Garda Commissioner on Friday last and added that gardaí are prepared to tackle and prevent such attacks here. “It’s so important now that the response back from all of us isn’t a cycle that can harden the worst impulses and lock …

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Visitor numbers up in Loop Head lighthouse

Visitor figures at Loop Head Lighthouse are up almost 5% in 2016. Clare County Council, which manages the facility in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says 7,129 people visited the West Clare landmark between April and June compared to 6,806 people during the same period in 2015. June was the busiest month at the Lighthouse with 3,202 visitors recorded during the period. The total visitor numbers at Loop Head Lighthouse from March 18 last to July 15 was 9,440. Approximately 22% or 2,072 of these visitors were children. The nationalities of visitors to Loop Head Lighthouse during the same period were Irish (39%), German (27%), American/Canadian (10%), British (6%), Italy (2%) and other (16%). Loop Head Lighthouse is a landmark location on the Loop Head Heritage Trail which was named winner of the ‘Culture and Heritage’ category of the 2015 World Responsible Tourism Awards. It is also one of 12 lighthouses which make up Great Lighthouses of …

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Building bridges for peace in Scariff

PEACE advocates Jo Berry and Pat Magee will open this year’s Scariff Harbour Festival. Jo is the daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, a Tory MP who was killed during the Brighton Bombing of 1984 and Pat Magee was the Republican activist who planted the bomb. Having sought out and reconciled with Pat, Jo went on to found Building Bridges for Peace and now she and Pat conduct peace and reconciliation talks and workshops. They will hold a workshop for a group of Foróige members on Saturday, July 30 and will give a talk at Scariff Library during the festival. On October 12, 1984, the IRA exploded a bomb in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, during the Conservative Party Conference killing five people, including Sir Anthony, and injuring many more. Sir Anthony’s family were devastated but for his daughter Jo, it also started a life-long mission for peace. Sixteen years later, Pat, the man who planted the bomb, was released from prison …

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Call for moratorium on evictions

THE plight of those evicted from their homes was highlighted at this week’s meeting of Clare County Council, with one councillor voicing fears that someone could take the law into their own hands. Calls were made for the Government to introduce a moratorium on evictions until the social housing crisis has been resolved. Councillor PJ Ryan commented, “One of these days I can see somebody taking the law into their own hands if the situation is not rectified. The banks are 95% the cause of the problem and they need to take a reality check.” Councillor Mike McKee raised the issue with the local authority where he outlined increases in the numbers of people evicted across the country, those in mortgage arrears and families being made homeless. “Hard-working families are being dragged through the courts by the banks, the very same banks that were bailed out,” he stated. “There is a crisis in social housing at the moment and until …

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Priscilla Lernihan with her daughter, Sophie Rynne. Photograph by John Kelly

A ‘living hell’ pregnancy

A debilitating and sometimes life-threatening condition became the focus of international attention after the Duchess of  Cambridge’s battle with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) during  her pregnancies. Dan Danaher spoke with Clare Champion staff member Priscilla Lernihan about her own experience with HG Priscilla Lernihan shares a common experience with Kate Middleton. Both of them suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) but Priscilla would rather not be able to draw any comparison with the royal family member’s experience of the condition. Speaking about the “living hell” she endured during her pregnancy, Priscilla underlines the importance of early diagnosis in the treatment of HG. Her daughter, Sophie, will be 12 in August. A devoted mother to her, Priscilla says she could not have coped with a repeat of her HG experience with another pregnancy. “If I had known back then what I know now, it would have been a very different experience. I was lucky to have a healthy, beautiful baby girl, Sophie, at the …

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Ballycar group visits the Áras

The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins recalled his boyhood days in Clare, when a group from Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus were among his garden party guests at Áras an Uachtaráin last Sunday. The President mingled with his former neighbours, exchanging stories of their formative years in Ballycar National School. Talk also came around to many events that made their way into the parish history books and he even recalled enjoying playing handball in the local alley. President Higgins and his wife, Sabina, welcomed the 80-strong Ballycar group, part of a gathering of nearly 500 people, at a marquee on the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin. The afternoon programme included a tour of the stately residence, viewing the gardens and even a respite to watch the Ireland-France soccer game on a large screen. President Higgins’ one-time neighbour, Kathleen O’Leary, presented him with a hollowed vessel made from Ballycar ash by local man Ray Walsh. Each year, President Higgins and Mrs Higgins open …

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