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Oil spillage exercise at Spanish Point

A training exercise testing the response capabilities of Shannon Foynes Port Company, local authorities and other organisations who operate in the vicinity of the Shannon Estuary took place at Spanish Point this week. The simulated event, which was hosted by Clare County Council on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT), centred on a major spillage of crude oil from an exploration platform located approximately 220km off the south west coast of Ireland with oil coming ashore at Spanish Point. Other parameters for the exercise included notification that the source of the pollution had been brought under control and that there had been no casualties on the oil exploration platform. There was a practical element on site at Spanish Point involving operation and demonstration of equipment while a technical briefing was be carried out on equipment on site for officials. The second day of the event consisted of the management of a simulated large scale event for senior management …

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One campside plan for Fleadh 2017

THERE will only be one campsite for Fleadh revellers this year if the plans in the event licence application are approved, local businesses have been told. While there were a number of campsites last year, this year there is only one campsite, which is in Clarecastle, in the event licence application. Details of car-parking arrangements and event control were outlined at the meeting by Clare County Council Fleadh co-ordinator Noleen Fitzgerald. The early part of the festival comprises of Scoil Eigse, a summer school of Irish traditional music, song and dance for children. It is competition time from Thursday to Monday, when competitors will flock from the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom and provincial champions from all over Ireland. Patrons can also look forward to concerts, lectures, Seachtain na Gaeilge and Fleadh TV. The Gig Rig will be located in Abbey Street again, although its orientation and layout will be slightly different this year. It will back …

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Contractor avoids jail in €2.5m fraud case

AN Ennis building contractor who was “ill prepared” to be in charge of a company employing hundreds of people, has escaped jail but been fined €10,000, having committed “significant Revenue fraud of €2.594 million”. Patrick Mahony, 49, with an address at Craglea, Woodstock was sentenced at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday, having pleaded guilty to five charges out of a total of 16 under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. The accused was a former director of Boxform Limited, now in liquidation, a company that had a turnover in excess of €8m at its peak and employed up to 350 people nationwide. The outstanding tax liability across the 16 charges, the court outlined, came to €2,594,446. The five charges are that Mahony, as a director of Boxform Limited, “knowingly or wilfully” delivered incorrect VAT returns to the Collector General in connection with the VAT periods of January/February 2006, November/December 2006 and November/December 2007. He also admitted to failing to file …

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Study indicates poor water quality in Lough Derg

A series of remedial measures are needed to improve the water quality in Lough Derg, a major €500,000 angling project has revealed. Dr Fran Igoe, who is one of the promoters involved in a ground-breaking 10-year research programme into native Lough Derg fish species, claimed the water quality of the lake is mostly moderate to poor, with only a few sections classified as good. The regional co-ordinator for the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office Southern Region said water quality needs to be improved by involving all stakeholders in forestry, agriculture, wastewater treatment systems and septic tank owners. “Water quality in the lake underpins angling and tourism. It is important that people join the dots, so a better appreciation develops on the importance of managing the land near the lake properly,” Dr Igoe noted. The status of the lake and contributing rivers is based on a combination of water quality and habitat. The study noted that the quality of the …

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Parachute fatality at Cliffs

It was a bad weekend for accidents in County Clare, in one case a precision parachute jump going astray and resulting in a fatality, and the other involving a serious car crash. The parachute jump incident occurred on Saturday at the Aill Na Searrach section of the Cliffs of Moher. Three men went to the sport to undertake a ‘base jump’, when people jump from a fixed structure or cliff wearing a parachute or wingsuit. The first man completed a safe jump but there was a tragic outcome for the second jumper whose parachute failed. The Irish Coast Guard was alerted, while an ambulance, rapid response advanced paramedic unit and gardaí responded to the scene . With good sea conditions, the Doolin Coast Guard craft was able to get close enough to the cliff base to allow three members make their way ashore. The Shannon-based rescue helicopter winched a crew member on the shore below. The man was airlifted onto …

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Boston milliner wows Chinese fashionistas

NORTH Clare milliner Margaret O’Connor has just returned home from China this week with a Global Innovation Design Award, having showcased at Guangzhou International Fashion Week. The Boston, Tubber woman was invited to design a collection of hats to complement a line of clothing by London-based fashion designer Derek Lawlor at the event in China. Margaret made 15 hats accompanying Derek Lawlor’s 30 looks at a catwalk event, as part of the international fashion week. Exhibited as a designer in her own right, Margaret was delighted to then be chosen as the recipient of a Global Innovation Design Award at the closing of the 10-day fashion extravaganza. Guangzhou International Fashion Week showcased more than 150 designers across its programme of events and Margaret said she was delighted to be the only Irish designer among them. She explained how a friend of Derek’s felt his line needed a little something extra and he approached Margaret to create stunning hats to complement …

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Judith Spencer Merrill and Barry Merrill, who have commissioned the life-size statue of Willie Clancy, with the Willie Clancy bust that was also sculpted by Shane Gilmore. Photograph by John Kelly

UL and Willie Clancy team up

THE Blas International Summer School at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in University of Limerick (UL) is linking up with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy to offer students an opportunity to extend their immersion in traditional music studies. Students attending Blas from June 19 to 30 can also enrol in the Dúchas an Cheoil/Scope of Irish Traditional Music course at the Willie Clancy Summer School from July 1 to 9. This collaboration will offer students an accredited programme based at UL and Miltown Malbay. This initiative will enable students to earn university accreditation worth three undergraduate credits. Students wishing to pursue accreditation will be required to complete both the second week of Blas and the Scope of Irish Traditional Music Course at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy. Over the past 40 years, the Willie Clancy Summer School has attracted thousands of students and followers of Irish traditional music from all over the world. On average, 40% of the annual …

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University Hospital Limerick.

CAT-like speed at Limerick Hospital

PATIENTS should be more speedily able to obtain diagnostic procedures thanks to the provision of a Euro CAT scanner in the new emergency department at University of Limerick (UHL). The CAT scanner, which is the biggest of its kind in the UK or Ireland, will help minimise delays for patients and spare them the inconvenience of trips to and from the radiology department. The scanner will be mounted on a track which means it can be moved between rooms in the emergency department, allowing for imaging of the most seriously ill patients without the requirement to transfer to the radiology department. Currently being commissioned by Siemens, the scanner will result in much faster diagnostics and provide a greater capacity to diagnose sick patients. UL Hospitals’ Group CEO, Colette Cowan, admitted that patients waiting to access CT or MRI scans would often wait a number of days due to sheer demand on existing resources. Acknowledging a second MRI scanner is needed …

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