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The hidden homelessness of couch surfing

THERE were 10 more children homeless in the Mid-West in June, compared to May. The figures for “hidden homelessness”, however, where people are couch surfing with friends and family, could push the figures higher. Figures from the Department of Housing relating to the Mid-West show there were 112 dependents homeless during the week of June 19-25, compared to 102 from May 22-28. In total, it found that 317 adults accessed local authority-managed emergency accommodation during the period June 19-25, of which 39 were in Clare and 278 in Limerick. Of these adults, 42 are aged 18-24, 196 from 25-44, 72 from 45-64 and seven are over 65. About two-thirds were in supported temporary accommodation, including hostels, with on-site professional support. Another 82 were in private emergency accommodation, which may include hotels, B&Bs and other residential facilities. The figures compare poorly with June of 2016, when there were 18 homeless adults in Clare and just 19 dependents in the Mid-West. Tracey …

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Cultural Clare focus on US website

COUNTY Clare’s artistic and cultural creativity has been highlighted on IrishCentral.com, a US-based website with more than 3.5 million visitors per month and a social media following in excess of 750,000. The website, the leading news source for the Irish diaspora around the world, is partnering with Creative Ireland, the Government’s five-year initiative, to place creativity at the centre of public policy. As part of this programme, IrishCentral featured the 2017 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. It also looked at Sparks Youth Film Festival, which offers animation and film workshops from October to November to encourage creative expression in young people aged six to 18 years, as well as the Inisowiacy-Polish Folk Dance Group, who will be organising workshops in Ennis in September, showcasing the culture and traditions of folk dancing in Poland. Commenting on the partnership from New York, Mike Rich, IrishCentral CEO, said, “IrishCentral.com is the leading Irish website in the US, with a loyal readership base in New York, …

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Sligo figures can point to a bigger Fleadh

BASED on the Sligo experience, Ennis Chamber is expecting a major increase in crowds for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Chamber president William Cahir said figures provided by the organisers of the Fleadh in Sligo reveal a major increase in footfall from 900,000 in year one to 1.2 million in the second year. Mr Cahir said there is also evidence of people living abroad travelling in huge numbers to sample the great music and atmosphere at the festival. “If the weather holds up, we would expect much bigger crowds this year, particularly for the main weekend. Some people stayed away last year, due to the inclement weather,” he noted. “The reputation the Fleadh gained from the superb quality of the music in Ennis last year will also attract large crowds,” he added. The office in the Market has confirmed that most of the accommodation providers in the county town are effectively full. Most enquiries for accommodation are for Friday, August 18 …

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“Nobody was meant to die that night”

A 21 year-old Kilrush man charged with assaulting the late Karl Haugh causing him serious harm told gardaí after caution, “Nobody was supposed to die that night”. Robbie Walsh, of 20 Island View, Kilrush appeared before Judge Marie Keane at Ennis District Court this Tuesday morning charged with assault, intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm, to Karl Haugh at Marian Estate, Kilkee on Sunday, August 6. During the brief hearing, Garda David King gave evidence of arresting and charging Mr Walsh at 5.53pm on Monday. He said having been cautioned Mr Walsh made the following response, “nobody was meant to die that night”. An application was made by solicitor Edel Ryan of Patrick Moylan Solicitors for free legal aid and this was granted. An application for bail was refused by Judge Keane following a bail hearing. She directed that while on remand that all appropriate intervention regarding drug addiction be made.

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Man charged following death of Karl Haugh

A 21 year old man is to appear in court in Ennis tomorrow morning in connection with the death of Karl Haugh at Marion Estate in Kilkee on Sunday morning. Gardaí investigating the fatal stabbing have confirmed that one man  has been charged in relation to the incident and he will appear before Ennis District Court, tomorrow morning, Tuesday August 8, at 11 am. The two other men arrested as part of the investigation have been released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr Haugh died at University Hospital Limerick having been stabbed at approximately 1.15am on Sunday morning at the Marion Estate. An incident room has been set up at Kilrush Garda Station and anyone with information is asked to contact 065-9080550. Mr Haugh’s funeral details have been confirmed. He will be reposing on Tuesday evening August 8 at St Senan’s Church, Kilkee from 6.30pm with prayers at 8pm. His funeral …

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Crowe up and running in Dáil race

Councillor Cathal Crowe may become one of the youngest public representatives to contest the next general election in Clare but he chose an old style Fianna Fáil rally-type event to officially launch his bid on Wednesday afternoon. Standing on an open top trailer surrounded by political posters from the last three local elections, Councillor Crowe also turned back the clock by launching his election campaign outside the home of the last Dáil deputy from South-East Clare, Paddy Brennan. The fact that the Brennans were Free Staters and staunch Cumann na nGaedheal members didn’t deter the 34-year-old from declaring his intention to run in the next general election at Brennan’s Cross in Meelick. The passionate historian recalled that while on the run, the Brennans often took shelter at his grandparents’ house in Woodcock Hill, just three miles from the cross. With former Clare hurler Niall Gilligan providing the warm-up speech, Councillor Crowe then outlined his vision. “For 95 years, this corner …

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15% of Clare’s population born overseas

MORE than 15% of Clare’s population are now foreign-born, census statistics show, while more than a quarter of households in the Banner County consist of a single person. Figures show the county had a population of 118,817 on census day and a usually resident population of 116,460. Of the second figure, 98,420 were born in Ireland and 18,040 abroad. This equates to 84.5% born here and 15.5% outside of the country. Apart from those born in Ireland, the next biggest group are people born in the UK, of which there are 7,616 in Clare. There is also a large Polish population (2,684), with 333 people from Lithuania. Another 2,424 come from other EU countries and a further 4,983 people are from non-EU countries. The vast majority of Clare’s population are white, with 99,244 people identified as white Irish, 905 as white Irish Traveller and another 9,432 as other white. A total of 1,653 were identified as Asian or Asian-Irish and …

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Tapping into Ireland’s creativity

Creative Ireland is all about you. It’s about how, whether you are young or old, you can benefit from getting more involved in arts, culture and creativity. It’s an ambitious five-year Government strategy that aims to boost wellbeing in schools, homes and communities nationwide. You might remember the huge success of the commemorative programme last year, when thousands of cultural events were held nationwide to remember 1916. We knew that something special was happening through the commemorations; it awoke a great appetite for people to engage with their unique culture at a local and national level. We wanted to build a legacy from that tremendous cultural awakening, and that legacy is Creative Ireland. One of the key aims of Creative Ireland is to ensure that every child in the country will have access to lessons and tuition in art, drama, music or coding over the next five years. Research shows that children who engage in the arts and cultural activity …

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Ennis Players need new premises

POPULAR local drama group Ennis Players are facing a potential crisis in the coming months, as they are set to be left without a premises. Explaining the situation, Arthur Forde, who first became involved with the Players in the late 1970s, said, “We’re sort of homeless at the moment. The property boom has meant that if a place is at all useful in a commercial way, it’s gone. “We’ve been in various places, various halls, various pieces of property around. We had a unit out in the Quin Road industrial estate, but that was always just a temporary stop-gap. As soon as it became needed, we were to be on our bike.” The group have been there for the last two years but are due to vacate the premises this October. Arthur says that, while the group would not be very particular, there are certain things that would be helpful. “It has to be reasonably high anyway. We need the …

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Irish College awaiting fire safety inspection

A fire inspection at Coláiste Eoghain Uí Chomhraidhe in Carrigaholt was due to take place on Wednesday evening, to determine if the 105-year-old building can open for its August intake of students on Sunday. Fifty children have enrolled for a two-week course in the Irish language from Sunday until August 13. Following concerns over fire safety, the college was forced to close in early June and all 25 students had to return home. There were no July classes but significant maintenance work has taken place in the intervening weeks. Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, college principal Domhnall Ó Loingsigh said that Clare County Council was due to carry out a fire safety inspection, which would determine the immediate future of the historic college, which is located on the Shannon Estuary. The June and July closure was the first in the college’s history. “The council fire safety inspectors are the people who laid down the requirements and we’re following their recommendations to …

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