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Noel Gavin of Kilkee who is running in the local elections in May in the West Clare area.

Garda whistleblower joins IT group

Dan Danaher THE new non-party grouping, founded by a Loop Head community activist, has scored a  major coup in getting garda whistleblower, John Wilson, to run under its banner in the local elections. Retired garda John Wilson has joined the ranks of Independents Together (IT), which aims to provide a voice for people who feel abandoned and disillusioned by traditional party politics. IT, founded by Jim Connolly, has now secured 17 candidates spread over nine counties. Mr Wilson, from Cavan, a nephew of the late Tбnaiste John Wilson and a brother of current Fianna Fбil whip in the Seanad, Senator Diarmuid Wilson, was forced to retire after revealing details of penalty-point terminations. Frustrated by his inability to have his complaints dealt with as he wished within the garda complaints system, Mr Wilson last year took his information to a number of Dбil deputies, under the Garda Sнochбna Act 2005. He was supported by Mountnugent man, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, based in …

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Shannon effluent sampling failure

Dan Danaher SHANNON was one of 44 Irish towns that didn’t comply with mandatory effluent quality and sampling standards in 2012, a newly published report has confirmed. The Environmental Protection Agency report found that Shannon was one of the areas that “did not meet all the relevant mandatory effluent quality standards for biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, nitrogen and phosphorus”. The report said that Shannon failed to meet the standards set for effluent quality and pointed to “persistent failures”, in that at least 50% of the effluent samples from the town’s treatment plant did not achieve all of the relevant quality standards during 2012. It said that such a performance is “indicative of poor plant performance or overloading of the treatment plant”. In a statement, Councillor Sean McLoughlin said he was dissatisfied with the report, claiming it failed to adequately address concerns regarding odours coming from the Shannon Sewerage Scheme. The former Mayor of Shannon said, “The EPA has …

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National Lottery

Lucky seven share €8.3m Lotto Jackpot

A SYNDICATE of seven, who wish to remain anonymous, became instant millionaires when their numbers turned up trumps in the biggest  Lotto jackpot of the year. The syndicate have played Lotto each week for the last two and a half years and their winning ticket was bought in Miniters on Henry Street in Kilrush. It was a mixed-play ticket and a Quick Pick was the winning line that landed them the massive €8.3 million win. This week National Lottery Chief Executive, Dermot Griffin, presented a cheque for €8,302,204 to the delighted winners as they claimed their huge prize at National Lottery offices in Dublin. One of the lucky syndicate members spoke of the excitement the group has experienced since suddenly becoming Lotto millionaires. The spokesman recalled that when he heard that the winning ticket was sold in Kilrush, he logged on to the Lottery website and was in “total disbelief when I saw we’d won”. “I couldn’t focus on the …

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Shannon figures up 10.9% in February

Owen Ryan SHANNON Airport showed a significant year-on-year improvement airports in February, according to figures from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). According to the IAA figures commercial terminal flights at Shannon were up by 10.9% last month, when compared with February of 2013. There were 1,122 enroute and airport commercial movements at Shannon last month, up from 1,012 in February last year. While Dublin also showed growth in February, Cork had a 5.3% drop when compared with February 2013. With Shannon rising and Cork falling the gap between the two airports narrowed considerably last month, with a difference of 352 movements last year cut to 170 in February 2014. In a statement the IAA said that terminal traffic (journeys that begin and end at an airport) at Shannon and Dublin is set to improve in the near future. “New airline services at Dublin and Shannon are set to boost Irish terminal air traffic. In particular, Dublin traffic will be boosted …

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Fair Deal cuts worry

AGE Action has this Wednesday called on the Minister for Health and the National Treatment Purchase Fund to urgently clarify what cuts are being made to payments to nursing homes under the Nursing Home Support Scheme, and if home owners are being encouraged by Fund officials to pass these cuts on to their nursing home residents. Correspondence publicised this week by the Irish Patients Association shows that the NTPF has offered one home a rate of  €1,050 per bed per week under the Fair Deal scheme – a cut of €60 per week.  The home owner claimed that the official involved in the negotiations suggested that the shortfall be passed on to residents by charging for social activities in the home. Age Action is extremely concerned by these claims, noting that nursing home residents on low incomes were already under severe financial pressure under the terms of the Fair Deal scheme.   It urged the Minister for Health to clarify the …

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Digital agenda ward for MEP

THE title of  MEP of the Year for the Digital Agenda has been awarded to Sean Kelly. The awards, presented in Brussels on Tuesday night, recognise the work of MEPs in a series of categories and winners are decided on a vote by their peers. “I am honoured to win this award.  I wish to dedicate it to the excellent work done by Coder Dojo and all of the work of the European Parliament in furthering the digital agenda. Our present and our future is digital.  We need to foster an environment in the EU where the digital economy can generate jobs and growth and the European Parliament has a key role to play in this,” said Mr Kelly. Mr Kelly spoke of how cyber-bullying is a worrying trend associated with so much of our lives moving online. “I have held a series of forums across Ireland and in the European Parliament to gather together young people, teachers, community leaders and …

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Dog control to avoid sheep kills

AS we head into the peak lambing season, the Department of the Environment and the ISPCA have issued strong joint warning to dog owners to act in a responsible manner. Under the Control of Dogs Act, dog owners can be held liable for financial damage caused to farmers and costs can run to several thousand euro. “Owners of dogs must be vigilant at all times, but especially now as we are in the lambing season”, stated Minister Phil Hogan. “Whether you live in or near the countryside, or visit it for recreational purposes, I ask that you are on guard the whole time”. He also reminded dog owners to be careful if they leave their dog out in the back garden at the end of the day for a ‘quick run and to do their business’ – this can result in even docile dogs joining with other dogs and partaking in attacks on sheep. The ISPCA has asked dog owners to …

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‘Bridge welcomes St Patrick

SIXMILEBRIDGE played host to an enthusiastically supported St Patrick’s Day Parade. Both young and old turned out in strength to show their appreciation for efforts which participants put into preparing their floats and marching units.

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