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Donald Trump is not Barack Obama

LOTS of comments are flying about Donald Trump’s vocabulary. Some of the conversation has been about his lack of vocabulary. Others have pointed out that he is uncouth and crude in his speech. Others have noted that Trump tells it like it is, holding nothing back, saying whatever comes to his mind or speaking from his heart. Some on social media have commented they don’t want a president who cannot communicate more articulately or smoother than what Trump does. I have to note that we have a smooth president by the name of Barack Obama. I personally think that he uses the teleprompter as well as anybody I’ve ever seen. Or, when he has time to master his content, he can release his words in a very convincing manner. I don’t see that there is much debate on our current president’s ability to deliver a high-powered speech. On the other hand, we’ve all heard the president at press conferences “hem …

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Olivier Award nomination for Ennis actresss

An Ennis actress is in good company as a nominee for one of the world’s most prestigious theatre awards. Denise Gough has been nominated in the Best Actress category for the Olivier Awards, along with Hollywood actresses Nicole Kidman and Gemma Arterton. Denise, from College Green, has been nominated for her performance in Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places and Things. Critics have been raving about her performance, describing it as “career changing”, “astonishing” and “emotionally shattering”. She has already won the Best Actress Award at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2015 for the same part and was nominated for the Best Actress Award by The Evening Standard for her “career-defining performance” as an actress whose life has spun recklessly out of control because of her addiction to drink and drugs. When she was named best actress for the Critics’ Circle Awards, she admitted almost giving up acting before she got the part with the National Theatre. Now she is the toast …

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Supporting mothers in the developing world

Kilmaley native, Eamonn Meehan from Trocaire is calling on people to remember the extraordinary mothers across the developing world this Mother’s Day. This weekend people across Ireland will celebrate the mothers in their families and honour the women in their lives. The ‘Irish Mammy’ is a blessing to be cherished, but having worked and lived in the developing world I always also remember the ‘Global Mammies’ I have met who, despite struggling against unimaginable poverty and injustice, are making sure their children have a brighter future. Mothers across the developing world are struggling to feed their children and earn enough money to send them to school. The sacrifices mothers and families are making is extraordinary and highlights their strength and determination. This week Trocaire is celebrating the women the organisation has been able to support thanks to donations from county Clare and across Ireland particularly during the Lenten campaign. The Trocaire Box is our biggest fundraising campaign and provides the …

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Mid-West hospital leads Caesarean research

NEW research spearheaded at University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL) has shown a reliable way to predict which first-time mothers are likely to need a Caesarean section when in labour. The research paper, The Genesis Study, was the only one from outside North America among the first 30 selected, from some 1,600 submissions from all over the world, for oral presentation at the recent annual meeting of the Society for Foetal-Maternal Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. The Perinatal Ireland research team showed in the study, which involved some 2,500 first-time mothers, that five key patient characteristics out of 37 characteristics that were analysed can be combined in a mathematical model to predict which patients are more likely to need a Caesarean delivery in labour. These characteristics are older maternal age, shorter maternal height, higher maternal BMI, bigger foetal abdomen size and bigger foetal head size. The study was designed and proposed in 2009 by Dr Gerry Burke, clinical director for Maternal and Child Health …

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Cathal putting his life back in order

AFTER losing his wife Jackie to cancer in England, Cathal Shanahan moved back to Clare and started to put the pieces back together, living and working in an area he had left decades before. The grief hit him hard and fast after Jackie’s death but, having set up a business in Ennis, lost weight and taken up exercise, he feels he is making a good fist of things again. “She was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the treatment for that, she had chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and then radiotherapy. That was fine. She had about 10 months then until it came back. When it came back it was only ever going to be palliative, it had spread. She passed away about two and a half years after that. That’s two years ago this August,” he says. Watching his wife dealing with terminal cancer was very difficult. “It was very tough but we were very lucky as well. With Jackie’s work …

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Kilkee, a winter experience

“Kilkee and all that lies about it offers only ordinary happiness, a most precious thing that any child can enjoy or any old man. But on the right day in West Clare, under the right light, that ordinary happiness takes on an immaculacy, an innocent radiance which lifts it near to what we mean by heavenly delight.” (Kate O’Brien) One searches in vain to aptly describe Kilkee in winter; the best I can come up with is ‘an experience with a difference’. The month of February usually spells the beginning of, or at least the onset of, spring. However, Sunday last, February 5, certainly defied that assumption. I awoke to the sound of John Bowman on radio followed by Sunday Miscellany, which has remained an enduring part of my Sunday morning line-up for almost 40 years now, together with that all-important, Sunday morning fry. When I woke, I had promised myself a walk over towards the Diamond Rocks prior to …

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Dress to impress in the Dáil

Mick Wallace, Richard Boyd Barrett and a couple of other outgoing TDs, if re-elected, could well face another drive to oblige them to wear ties in the Dáil chamber. Senator Lorraine Higgins has called for an Oireachtas dress code to be introduced following General Election 2016. The Galway senator said, “It is unacceptable that members of Dáil and Seanad Éireann would enter the chambers of our national parliament dressed in unsuitable attire.” She noted in 2011, the Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges drafted a proposal requesting TDs and Senators wear ‘appropriate business attire’ in their function as legislators. “This has clearly not been heeded and a small cohort of deputies continue to dress in an unprofessional manner, unbefitting of our national parliament. ‘’I am calling today on the Taoiseach and Ceann Comhairle to meet prior to the formation of the next Dáil with a view to agreeing a set of rules governing the standards of dress acceptable so that incumbent members of the Oireachtas know what to expect.” she said. “I have always taken my position …

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Students’ union campaign on STIs

The Union of Students in Ireland has launched its SHAG week campaign across the country in six different colleges today (Monday). The campaign, at NUIG, NCI, IT Carlow, GMIT, DKIT and IADT, has two key messages – to get tested and to ask for consent. This follows a survey, published last December, showed an increase of sexually transmitted inifections (STIs) in Ireland by 4% and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre reported an increase in rapes and sexual assaults. The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said the victims of recent rape and sexual assault went up to 303 in 2015, from 221 in 2014, but only one in 10 are reported. This figure is only for the Rotunda hospital where the sexual assault treatment unit (SATU) is located which covers the Dublin and Leinster area. There are five other units in the country – Cork, Galway, Donegal, Limerick and Mullingar. The report showing the increase in STIs in Ireland was published by …

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