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Russian gangsters may have teamed up with Trump on Doonbeg, US intel committee hears

RUSSIAN mafia figures may have become involved with Donald Trump in Doonbeg, it has been claimed at a sitting of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In an interview with the committee in November, a transcript of which was published this week, researcher Glenn Simpson detailed links between US President Trump and Russian organised crime figures. Mr Simpson also said that in the course of carrying out research on the US President at the time he was a candidate, it had been found that the development of Doonbeg was one of several unusual deals. A former journalist, Mr Simpson works at Washington commercial research firm, Fusion GPS. In the autumn of 2015, it was hired to take an open-ended detailed look at Trump’s business career, litigation history and his relationships with what were described as “questionable people”. Asked about deals of interest involving the now US President, Mr Simpson said, “Some of the things that we have…looked …

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UCC designated university of sanctuary

Seven asylum seekers and refugees will receive full scholarships enabling them to study at University College Cork, today (Thursday) designated University of Sanctuary status. Set to be provided from September 2018, the scholarships will cover full fees and tuition, in addition to a number of annual bursaries covering travel and expenses. UCC’s Sanctuary Status is a marker not just of what has been achieved in UCC, but an indicator of the need for sustained and creative work to support asylum seekers and refugees locally and internationally, according to UCC’s Senior Vice President, Professor Caroline Fennell. “Universities provide a key space in which to challenge societal assumptions and to support and highlight work aimed at fostering a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees. “Through the range of initiatives cultivated over many years in UCC, we are dedicated to providing spaces to learn about what sanctuary means, to develop a sustainable culture of welcome and to share our practices and …

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Man dies in Kilkee drowning

A visitor to Kilkee died tragically at the weekend, when he drowned while at the bottom of a cliff on the Dunlickey Road in Kilkee. It is believed that the man was taking photographs. The man is understood to be a Hungarian national who had been living in Galway. The alarm was raised on Saturday afternoon with the local coast guard and Rescue 115 joining in the search, along with Kilrush gardaí. The man was located and brought to University Hospital Limerick where he subsequently died.

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Gardaí question people after Shannon attacks

GARDAÍ have questionned people about recent attacks on people in Shannon, which have caused a large amount of local disquiet. There was an outcry on social media following the incidents, and local Sinn Féin Councillor Mike McKee said he is hopeful there will be no repeat. “I hope the message got across and they got the message that enough is enough. I think they have got the message that Shannon is kicking up against them and will not tolerate it.” Regarding the local reaction to the attacks, Councillor McKee said, “It was massive, absolutely massive. No matter where I went, people were stopping me to talk about it. Whatever about prosecutions, we just want it stopped. People were scared to go out, they were scared to let their children out. It was the first time I’ve actually experienced that in Shannon, that kind of fear.” He feels that those involved probably realise that the behaviour is not acceptable. “The message …

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Rediscovering the lost village at Fanore

By John Galvin IN what is becoming a New Year’s Eve tradition for me, I headed for North Clare to meet the RNLI’s Joe Queally and others to walk the shoreline at Fanore. Our destination was the deserted village at Loch an Uisce, which was abandoned in the early 1900s. Up to a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even aware of its existence but from the 1820s, there was a settlement of around 14 families right on the shore. They survived by farming, labouring and, of course, fishing and I’m sure it was a hard life. They eked a living by bartering with Aran Islanders, who often traded with them Poteen, obtained from Connemara. The islanders swapped this to obtain essential supplies of turf, vegetables and other goods that were hard to come by. Sometimes the sea was so rough that the currachs were barely able to land and had to return immediately. In these cases, the Poteen was left …

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Mixed views on dog park for PO Field

IT is a ‘tail’ of two sides for dog-lovers in Ennis. The Ennis Municipal District executive has voiced support for the idea of a dedicated dog park in the town. However, the local authority has confirmed that it is “not in a position” to introduce the initiative at this time. A motion calling for the introduction of a designated space for people to bring their four-legged friends was proposed at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. This comes hot on the heels of the recent launch of a local campaign group, ‘The Ennis Puppy and Dog Park Project’, which is urging that the Post Office Field be developed to facilitate a dog park. The group has described the council’s response to a dog park as “positive”, saying they will be continuing their efforts. At the meeting, Councillor Johnny Flynn proposed that the local authority “to meet the needs of animals and animal lovers” follow the example of Dublin …

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Taking a stand against estate agent signs

AN Ennis councillor wants to bring down the hammer on estate agents who erect signage, which, she believes, are breaching planning laws. The planning authority will now write to all estate agents operating within Ennis, reminding them of their obligations under the regulations. Councillor Mary Howard has urged Clare County Council to “enforce the laws” regarding estate agent signs. Highlighting the issue at the Ennis Municipal District monthly meeting, she asked for a report from the planning authority on “breaches of planning law on this matter in the area”. The councillor said she has been contacted by members of the public, complaining about signs erected by estate agents. However, she explained, these are not signs advising that a property is up for sale. “There are signs being put up, asking, ‘Are you considering selling?’. These are advertising, rather than ‘for sale’ signs. People are looking out their windows and seeing these signs.” She added that she also has a “big …

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EPA file still open on asbestos disposal

THE ENVIRONMENTAL protection agency has revealed that a file concerning Clare County Council’s disposal of asbestos-containing wastes at a number of West Clare sites remains open, pending further local authority works. Clare councillors passed the 2018 Budget Estimates recently, in the knowledge that the council was still not able to make a financial provision for the cost of properly disposing of asbestos-cement materials from six unauthorised sites in Kilkee and three in Kilrush. Estimates vary from €1.5 to €3.3 million for the disposal of material, which was first reported to the local authority by Kilkee resident PJ Linnane in June 2013. It is understood that the exact cost will depend on whether the council has to remove all this material or whether it is allowed to remediate the different sites. Asbestos waste material disposal is governed by legal requirements and the requirements of the HSA and the EPA. Responding to Clare Champion queries, the EPA outlined that it has a …

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