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Campaign to get tested for HIV

THE Union of Students in Ireland has teamed up with Operation Zero today (Wednesday) on Irish AIDS Days  with the message ‘no shame, no judgment, just support!’ This is to encourage students to get tested, as new figures from Health Protection Surveillance Centre show a 30% increase in HIV in Ireland.There were 491 new HIV diagnosis notified during 2015 – an increase of 30% compared to 2014. Among those 491, 49.7% were men who have had sex with men, 23.8% were heterosexual, 9.2% were people who inject drugs, and 0.8% were mother-to-child transmissions. “USI is encouraging students across Ireland to regularly get tested.” Kevin Donoghue, USI president said. “STI screenings are available in health clinics across campuses and from local GPs. There are also free rapid HIV testing in locations such as Panti Bar in Dublin; GOSHH in Limerick, Chambers nightclub in Cork and a walk-in clinic in UCH Galway. STI screenings only take five minutes and are essential for a healthy …

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High Court overturns wind turbines permission

A WEST Clare woman has won a High Court order overturning a grant of permission for a development of four wind turbines near her home at Coore, near Mullagh. In a judgment strongly critical of absence of clarity and specificity in An Bord Pleanála’s grant of permission, Mr Justice Max Barrett said decisions of public bodies must be clear enough for people to decide if there is a legal basis to challenge them. “Proper planning was never intended to be, nor can it be allowed to become, a perk reserved for the few who can afford expert lawyers, with something less than best being the lot of the many who cannot,” he said  on Tuesday. Kathleen Connolly was “rightly insistent” there be full compliance with the law before a windfarm is planted by her homestead, he said. While the board had criticised her case as “opportunistic”, arguing it had “little or nothing to do with a bona fide concern for …

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Submission on Doonbeg coastal management

AN Taisce has made a submission to Clare County Council in respect of a planning application for coastal erosion management works at Carrowmore Dunes, White Strand, Doughmore Bay and Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, Doonbeg. The applicants are Trump International Golf Links Ireland Enterprises Ltd, headed up by business tycoon, Donald Trump, who will be the Republican Party candidate in the US presidential election in November. He is due to visit Doonbeg on Sunday, June 24. Commenting on the submission, Fintan Kelly, An Taisce’s Natural Heritage Officer, stated, “The solution being put forward by Trump International Golf Links Ltd is in our opinion inappropriate, completely unsustainable and outdated. The conservation of sand dunes in the Netherlands, USA and UK have proven themselves to be more cost effective than hard coastal protection works and are supplying valued biodiversity and ecosystem services to local communities.” “Given the vast sums of money Donald Trump is claiming he will invest in Doonbeg Golf …

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Road safety appeal for cyclists

As part of National Bike Week, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has unveiled a series of online videos aimed at promoting awareness and safety among cyclists and other road-users. Using new technology to give viewers a 360 degree look at dangerous driving from a cyclist’s point of view, the videos allow the users to ‘look around’ and experience the dangers for themselves. The videos focus on the high risk behaviours that put vulnerable cyclists in danger, such as drivers not allowing enough space when overtaking, opening a car door without checking, or making a left turn when a cyclist is approaching. As the viewer changes their viewpoint, they can look at the action from another angle, see the dangers and risks of dangerous driving behaviour, and experience the shock that comes with them. Moyagh Murdock, chief executive, Road Safety Authority said, “Cyclists are among our most vulnerable road-users, yet many drivers do not demonstrate enough caution and awareness when sharing …

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Giving Ennis a fresh lick of paint

A free clinic on appropriate colour schemes for Ennis businesses will be held at the Temple Gate Hotel on Wednesday next from 6.30pm. The workshop, which is being facilitated by Dulux Paints Ireland and supported by Local Enterprise Office Clare, forms part of the recently announced Ennis Streetscape Improvement Scheme 2016. Under the Clare County Council scheme, financial assistance is being provided to the owners and occupiers of new and existing commercial premises in the town centre who carry out improvements, external painting in particular, to the front of their properties. Grant amounts of up to €700 or 50% of the cost of any planned works will be provided by the local authority to applicants successful under the scheme, the closing date for which is Friday next. Application forms / guidance notes on www.clarecoco.ie. Ahead of next Wednesday’s workshop, attendees are being reminded to bring along a colour photograph of their premises and a Dulux consultant will provide individual advice on …

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Arrest in prostitution operation

A person has been arrested as part of an operation targeting prostitution in the Mid-West region, following Garda searches in Ennis and Limerick in recent weeks. Ennis gardaí involved in the operation carried out a series of searches of premises in the town and on the back of this, one person was arrested last weekend. A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecution in relation to the matter. Clare gardaí are working in conjunction with other garda divisions across the Mid-West as part of the operation and their investigations are ongoing. By Carol Byrne

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Wake up to drugs ‘scourge’

A CIRCUIT Court judge has said it is “high time we wake up to the seriousness of drugs” and hit out at the lack of services being provided to deal with this “scourge” in society. Judge Gerald Keys highlighted the dire need for drug rehabilitation clinics to be established, warning that in the absence of these services the problem will only get worse. Speaking in the case of a Clare drug dealer caught with more than €15,000 worth of cocaine and cannabis, Judge Keys said, “It’s high time we wake up to the seriousness of drugs, it’s at a level that is destroying our society”. “No new clinics have been resourced to deal with drug addiction and without it, the number of drug cases will increase”. In his judgement in the case on Tuesday, Judge Keys said he was “blue in the face” from highlighting this matter. He reiterated what he is now known for saying at each of these …

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Drink driver to seek ‘nice woman’ in Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Willie Daly could be facing an unusual challenge in September. A Kerry bachelor farmer, convicted of driving with excess alcohol, will not be put off the road until he has an opportunity to “find a nice woman” at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, who could drive him around. John O’Shea, aged 60, of Derrinadin, Mastergeeha, had previously pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Tarmons, Waterville, on July 25, 2014. Mr O’Shea’s  solicitor John O’Dwyer, son of the famous Mick O’Dwyer, reminded the court in Cahersiveen that “football had been his downfall on the day.” On the date of the offence, he had gone to Waterville for animal feed for his cows and ended up talking about Kerry’s performance in the Munster Final, forgetting to eat and drinking too much, hitting the ditch on the way home in what was a single vehicle accident. The blood-alcohol reading was 198mg so the offence carried a three-year penalty, the court …

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