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Suffragette Movement in Ireland ‘Lost in History’

CLARE Fine Gael held an event commemorating the granting of the right to vote to women at the Old Ground Hotel on Monday. Clare was the first constituency in the country to have a 50/50 male/female representation in the Dáil, this was following the election of Síle DeValera and Madeleine Taylor Quinn in 1987, along with Donal Carey and Brendan Daly. However, while there are constituencies nationally who have managed to have equal representation, it hasn’t happened again in Clare since. The event, entitled Vótàil100, after a new committee the party has formed featured guest speaker Maria Bailey TD, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, the 100th female TD to be in the Dáil. Also speaking at the event were former Clare TD Madeline Taylor-Quinn, Councillor Mary Howard, and Rebecca Gregan who stood for national president of Young Fine Gael this past year. The meeting was chaired by equality officer with the Clare Fine Gael executive, Geraldine Gregan. She outlined that the meeting discussed why …

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Risk of €693 million worth of damage if Shannon’s flood defences aren’t improved

SHANNON’S flood defences are not adequate, and unless €14.6 million is invested, a massive €693 million worth of damage could result. That is the conclusion of the report on the Shannon Town and Airport embankments, carried out on behalf of Clare County Council, the Office of Public Works and Shannon Group. The report warns, “There are considerable concerns regarding the adequacy of the existing embankment flood defences fronting both Shannon Town and Airport. The findings of the investigations undertaken for this report confirm that these concerns are justified. The embankments do not provide an adequate standard of protection from flooding from the Shannon Estuary.” It said that because of the hydraulic connectivity between the town and the airport, and the common flood risk, measures should be taken jointly by the three bodies. Regarding what works should be carried out, the report says, “The preferred method of providing an appropriate standard of defence to the two frontages is by the raising, …

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Gardai investigate Connolly armed robbery

GARDAI are investigating an armed robbery which occurred in Connolly on Thursday afternoon. A man armed with a knife entered a shop from which he took a sum of cash and cigarettes. A car was subsequently stolen from a local house and it was recovered on Friday. It is thought the incident may be linked to an attempted robbery at an Ennis petrol station on the same day.

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‘He has far surpassed how bad I thought he could be’

WHEN Donald Trump comes to West Clare, one house he shouldn’t call to is Janet Burke’s, even though she is a fellow American abroad. Trump might not be a popular president anyway, but when Janet talks about him it is very clear her dislike of The Donald is very acute. Even when he was just a celebrity billionaire she didn’t care for him, and her attitude only hardened as the Trump presidential campaign proceeded, and Janet says his two years in office have been much worse than she feared. “Living through that election process, the things he was saying and the way he was behaving, at first it seemed like a joke. From the beginning it was terrifying to think that this man might get that job. He was so erratic, he was so divisive and hateful. “I was worried when he got it, but he has far surpassed how bad I thought he could be. I didn’t think he …

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Google: “We’re working to stop misinformation”

FIONNUALA Meehan, head of Google in Ireland, has defended the company’s record on privacy, its use of people’s information and the company’s impact on politics. Ms Meehan attended a business event in Limerick on Tuesday on the same day that US president Donald Trump tweeted that “Google & others are suppressing voices and Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good.” Most people take Trump’s social media utterances with a pinch of salt, but there is no doubt that Google, and a handful of other technology companies, have a previously unseen level of global influence, which is potentially very malevolent if not used responsibly. Ms Meehan claimed the company are taking its obligations in this area very seriously. “We are a platform and the platform can be used in different ways. We have a whole team who look at developing and enforcing policies around how bad actors could potentially use that platform in a way that spreads misinformation. “On …

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Rape Crisis Centre helping recovery from long lasting trauma

A TEENAGER in the 1960s, Seán (not his real name) became the target of a sexual predator but kept the ensuing trauma entirely to himself for well over 30 years. Although he kept it hidden, the pain still bubbled up throughout his life, leading to depression and what he calls “unhealthy relationships in the past” with drink, gambling and drugs. Only recently has he found support through the Rape Crisis Centre in Ennis, which he feels can finally help to free him from the effects of his experience. Coming to The Clare Champion offices last Friday to talk about his devastating teenage experience was very hard for him but he did it to show other people that there is help available to deal with their pain. “I’m sweating now just talking to you about it, even though I’m glad to talk about it. I know, on one level, that I haven’t done anything wrong and I haven’t anything to be …

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No easy ticket to rehab

THERE is no “quick fix” when it comes to treating someone entrenched in addiction, and it requires not only the will and desire to get clean, but a host of supports also need to be in place, according to the Probation Service. Getting into treatment does not necessarily resolve the problem. According to Leah McGuire, assistant principal Probation Officer in the county, many pieces of the puzzle need to come together for it to be a success. “It’s not a quick fix. Addiction builds up over time and people see abstinence as the only answer and the only way they’ll see improvement. Whereas if you are taking someone off heroin, down to nothing, that takes time. I think the criminal justice system has got to see it like that as well. “A case might be adjourned for three months and [the offender] has got to get into treatment and get clean. They do it, and they might avoid prison. Then …

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Comment: In the age of the sugar tax, we are abandoning kids to drug dealers

IF you were an outsider with a reasonable sense of perspective and you heard about the introduction of the sugar tax, you’d think Ireland cared about its young people far more than it actually does. On May 1, cans of fizzy drinks went up by 10 cents and two-litre bottles by 60 cents, with the thinking being that this new charge –debated in the press and at political level for months – was a wonderful move to combat obesity. Yes, this caring, health-conscious society was taking concrete action to make sure its young people were going to grow up as close to the peak of health and fitness as possible. But on May 1, as the new charge came into operation and our policymakers lauded themselves, teenagers all over Clare (and undoubtedly everywhere else), were out buying cannabis, cocaine, benzos and heroin. The ability to ignore this inconvenient truth is absolutely staggering, with no coherent strategy to tackle the parasites …

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