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Cliffs – a place of great beauty and sadness

A MEMBER of the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coastguard has helped to talk down “11 or 12 people” contemplating taking their own lives at the Cliffs of Moher. Thomas Doherty has been a volunteer with the unit for the last 30 years and he said that over the course of that time, he has talked down 11 or 12 people from the cliff edge “from an 80-year-old woman to a woman in her 40s”. The softly spoken and self-effacing Doolin man said, “Anybody that has been on the edge has come back for me. It is a good success rate actually. I hope it stays that way.” Asked what he says to people he suspects may be about to jump, Mr Doherty said, “I ask them straight out, ‘are they thinking about self-harm?’ You have to get straight to the point.” Mr Doherty has undergone specialist training to deal with such situations and said, “If they say they want …

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Ennis Town Council on the way back?

ENNIS Town Council could be set for a return. Clare County Council CEO Pat Dowling told a meeting of Ennis councillors that in discussions taking place around the possible reintroduction of some local authority structures, “Ennis is most definitely being earmarked”. He was speaking at a meeting to consider the budgetary plan for the Ennis Municipal District. He outlined that the county capital’s position in the national planning framework strategy and its size strengthen Ennis’ position for a return of a local authority structure. Fianna Fáil has been pushing for the return of the local authorities, introducing a bill to that effect earlier this year. Town councils were abolished in June 2014 when the Local Government Reform Act was implemented in a move that drew much criticism. Meanwhile, it was also agreed at the meeting that the Ennis Municipal District would have €274,400 of discretionary funding to spend. Mr Dowling stated, “The general municipal allocation for 2017 for the Ennis …

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Council removes illegally dumped waste

Clare County Council has completed clean ups of significant illegal dumping sites at Ballyblood Bog, Tulla; Donail, Killimer; and Islandavanna, Clarecastle. More than 40 tonnes of illegally dumped waste were collected during the clean-ups were facilitated by national funding from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) supported by the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority (WERLA). Anne Haugh, Director, Physical Development, Clare County Council, said, “Clare County Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team secured funding this year to allow a number of significant clean ups to take place across the county. A number of illegal dump sites were prioritised by the enforcement team and additional monies were drawn down in recent weeks, bringing the total grant aid under the Anti-Dumping Initiative to €40,000.” “There were a number of sites identified for action under the Anti-Dumping Initiative. The recently cleared sites in Tulla, Clarecastle and Killimer are particularly notorious illegal dumping locations and covert CCTV cameras and signage have been installed …

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Andrew Kelly

Shannon man elected president of airline representative body

SHANNON man Andrew Kelly has been elected president of the European Regions Airline Association, a representative body for 53 airlines and 22 airports, including Shannon. Director of corporate affairs at ASL Aviation, Mr Kelly is a past pupil of St Senan’s National School and St Patrick’s Comprehensive. He still regularly visits Shannon for work and to see family members. Mr Kelly has had a varied career, which began as a journalist. “I worked in the Limerick Echo first and then The Clare News. Part of my job was to cover Shannon and all the aviation in Shannon. I was in RTÉ for 10 years and I covered aviation there. Then, as a consultant in the commercial world, I worked for Aer Lingus for about 13 years. “I worked with their corporate affairs department, I worked with their marketing department and I also did their inflight entertainment. “One of the chief executives in Aer Lingus that I worked with was Gary …

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Teen luck not to be blinded in stiletto attack

A teenage girl who stabbed another girl with a stiletto heel during a drunken row after a school graduation ceremony, has been told that she faces jail if she doesn’t co-operate with the Probation Service. Judge Gerald Keys gave the warning to Shannon Jordan (19) of Lios Anama, Sixmilebridge at Ennis Circuit Court this week. In the case, Ms Jordan’s victim, Natasha Griffin McMahon – who was aged 17 at the time of the assault in August 2015 – suffered a fractured eye socket and laceration, when Jordan used the pointed heel of her shoe to strike her in the face. Ms Jordan has pleaded guilty to the assault and in her victim impact statement, Ms Griffin McMahon said that she came close to being blinded by the stiletto attack. She said the deepest cut from the stiletto “was millimetres below my eye”. “If it had been even slightly higher, I would have lost my eye completely or, at best, …

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Clare teens get down to business

A total of 742 students from 13 local secondary schools in Clare are learning about the world of business by setting up their own enterprises through the Student Enterprise Programme with Local Enterprise Office Clare. The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. has officially launched the 2017/2018 Student Enterprise Programme, which is the biggest enterprise education initiative of its kind in the country. Minister Breen said: “Since the Student Enterprise Programme began in 2003, more than 150,000 students have benefitted and we want to keep nurturing Ireland’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders in the years to come. Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the Irish economy and initiatives such as the Student Enterprise Programme are key to fostering a more enterprising culture. I would encourage principals and teachers to get in touch with their Local Enterprise Office, to find out how they can get involved in the next Student Enterprise …

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‘Lack of confidence’ in Kilkee coastguard

ONE of the principal organisers of a protest in Kilkee, aimed at highlighting concerns relating to the Irish Coast Guard in the town, has claimed that locals are not confident with regard to the local unit. “There is a big lack of confidence in the current service in Kilkee and that was borne out this summer. They only got a couple of call-outs. I got two call-outs to go out and pull people in and the dive centre got one call-out, instead of them ringing the coast guard,” Manuel Di Lucia revealed. Almost 50 people attended a second public protest in Kilkee on Sunday. It was emphasised that a year on from the tragic death of volunteer, Caitríona Lucas, the Kilkee unit of the coast guard has been largely land-based, with members not allowed beyond St George’s Head. “Most incidents happen way outside the bay, up and down the coast,” Kilkee Marine Rescue founder Di Lucia said. That service was …

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Dowling critical of Government’s NPF plan

THE chief executive of Clare County Council has said that the Government’s National Planning Framework (NPF) will “undermine” potential investment options in Clare and the Mid-West. Pat Dowling, who is also the chair of the Mid-West Chief Executive’s Group, said the region’s three local authorities will soon make a joint submission to Government stressing the need for the NPF to correct economic imbalances across the island. Among the targets outlined by the group, which includes representatives of Clare County Council, LIT, UL, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Shannon Group and private enterprise, is the expansion of the Clare campus of UL, the development of a conference centre within the county, securing Shannon Airport as the designated airport for the Wild Atlantic Way and promoting indigenous industry in rural areas. Speaking on behalf of members, Mr Dowling expressed concern that the draft NPF “does little to redress the existing economic imbalance across the country and, in its current form, will undermine future …

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