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Calls For Meningitis B Catch Up Vaccination Programme

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) is calling for a national Meningitis B catch up vaccination programme for children born before October 2016, up to the age of 18. It comes in light of the announcement this week of 3 deaths from meningitis, and Dr Maitiu O Tuathail, President of the NAGP, is urging parent to contact their GP if they have any worries in relation to the disease. He said: “GPs across the country have been inundated with concerned parents. Many parents whose children have not been vaccinated against Meningitis B, have requested that their children be vaccinated as soon as possible. Unfortunately the HSE does not provide for Meningitis B vaccination for children born before October 2016. The vaccine was only introduced to newborns from October 2016”. As a result of this, parents are being forced to pay up €450 for the vaccination with fears that this cost may prove prohibitive for some families. Dr O’Tuathail continued; …

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Opening doors to AA

THERE will be an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous next Thursday at 8.30pm at St Senan’s National School in Shannon. While almost all meetings of AA are confined to people who have a desire to stop drinking, this is quite different, with anyone welcome to attend. This means it is a chance for someone who feels they could potentially benefit from what AA offers to find out a bit more about the organisation, for anyone who feels a loved one may have a problem or anybody who simply has an interest in finding out about AA. In relation to next week’s event, a spokesman for AA in Clare said, “An open meeting is a public one, open to anyone who wants to walk in. All AA meetings are closed, except for those. Members of the public, press, anyone who wants to attend, can come in. “There are two AA speakers, then an Al Anon member as well, who will give …

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‘I can see the difference it makes to people’s lives’

WHEN Government ministers or business leaders talk about prioritising what they call STEM, it shows a very one-dimensional view of what Irish education should be. Such a view isn’t particularly concerned with developing people, rather with creating human units of economic activity but, thankfully, people with a more balanced view of young people are also active in Irish schools and classrooms. Cora Guinnane is one of them, a woman who serves as chaplain of St Caimin’s in Shannon, and whose enthusiasm for what she does is very obvious. “I love chaplaincy, love it. I really believe in it. I can see the difference it makes to people’s lives. I see the kids at a different level. I would know the kids who might come to school without a breakfast or the kids where there is a bereavement or separation. “There could be addiction, just the kids that are struggling with emotional difficulties, their well-being mightn’t be great or their mental …

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Calling time on drinking at Ennis cathedral

ENNIS parish priest Fr Tom Ryan has often had to mop up urine and worse in Ss Peter and Paul’s Cathedral after the mess left by people who frequented the building to smoke and drink alcohol. Fr Ryan, who became parish priest in his home town last July, has now adopted a “zero tolerance” to anybody “hanging around the cathedral or its grounds”. “When I was appointed parish priest, I soon became aware of a small number of homeless people with addiction problems who frequented both the grounds of the cathedral and the cathedral itself. Their presence was a cause of concern for many parishioners, especially the elderly who come both to the adoration chapel and the cathedral to pray each day. “I also witnessed people in the cathedral, smoking, drinking alcohol and urinating in public. I often had to clean up and mop up after them….you can imagine. This type of behaviour is not acceptable in a consecrated building,” …

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The late Judith Ironside – a great volunteer

JUDITH Ironside, a woman whose voluntarism permeated through local and national organisations all her life, died peacefully at home in Spanish Point this week. Wife of the late James Ironside, a well-known vet, Judith was a person who threw herself headlong into any projects she became involved in. She was a founding member of Ennis Soroptomists, one of whose most significant achievements was to set up Caring for Carers, subsequently to become Caring for Carers Ireland, with a presence in 23 counties. Judith was a great ambassador for West Clare in a quiet way, as she attended many prestigious functions over the years. She was especially proud of Spanish Point and Miltown Malbay and was involved in several committees who shared a common goal of working to achieve major social and infrastructural improvements in the area. She was an active member of the local Church of Ireland community and was a member of the committee responsible for the €22,000 restoration …

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“It’s a different kind of a scene now”

ADJACENT to Shannon Airport’s runway, The Honk Bar is in the rural townland of Rineanna in the parish of Newmarket-on-Fergus. John and Mary Quinlivan run the bar, which has been in John’s family for a couple of hundred years. “We’re the eighth generation here; it’s been in the family the whole time. It would be one of the oldest pubs in the country, definitely one of the oldest in Munster.” Born and reared there himself, John’s brother Pat also ran it, before John took over in 2001. “It’s part of the community. The local Community Alert was set up here; the few meetings that are on would be in here,” he says. It may be relatively isolated but its location close to the airport means it is fairly well known, right around Clare and Limerick. John has been around the bar all his life and says the changes in pub culture have been drastic. “When I was a young fella, …

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Moran on election trail for Sinn Féin

NOELEEN Moran, who polled more than 4,000 first preference votes as a Sinn Féin candidate in the last general election, will be aiming to win a seat on Clare County Council in next year’s local elections. At a recent election convention in Lisdoonvarna, Ms Moran was selected to run in the new North Clare Constituency. Noeleen, from Ballyvaughan, narrowly missed out on a seat in the West Clare area in the 2014 local elections. She also ran for Sinn Féin in the 2016 general election and the strong showing copper-fastened her position as one of the party’s key figures in the county. “There are a number of important issues that need to be addressed for the people in North Clare, among them housing, health, decline of rural services; we face big challenges in terms of investing in upgrading our public infrastructure, as well as addressing environmental and traffic management issues,” she said Ms Moran said it is important to address …

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County-wide approach to addiction

AN outline of a county-wide approach to dealing with drugs and alcohol addiction was presented to members West Clare Municipal District. It came after Councillor Ian Lynch submitted a motion asking the director of service to “give an update on the multi-agency meeting in relation to addiction and what steps have been taken to help people in West Clare to deal with current addictions and prevent further addiction”. Monica Meehan, senior executive officer, rural development, stated in a written response, a meeting of all key agencies was convened by the Mid West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Forum to discuss interventions for post addiction services in West Clare and in particular pathways for long term recovery and engagement in the community. The organisations represented at the meeting included the Mid West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Forum, Bushy Park Treatment Centre, the Probation Service, Clare Local Development Company, An Garda Síochána, Bedford Row Clare, Ana Liffey Drugs Project Mid West, Clare Youth …

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