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Local post office protest meeting

A PUBLIC meeting focused on saving rural and urban post offices and retaining social welfare payment services through the post office is taking place in the West County Hotel this Thursday at 8pm. Postmasters all over Ireland are worried that post office services in communities are under threat. The meeting is organised on the back of a major campaign instigated by the Irish Postmaster’s Union (IPU), which represents 1,100 people throughout the country, demanding the Government produce an action plan to ensure the sustainability of the Post Office network. The nationwide campaign began last Sunday in Sligo and a series of meetings of postmasters is currently underway across the country. Brian McMahon of Feakle Post Office, the second-oldest post office in County Clare after Killaloe, has said the concern is that there is a move to have social welfare and pension payments made directly into bank accounts. “A motion goes before the Dáil next week in support of the postmasters. …

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Heavy caseload for early intervention teams

  EARLY Intervention Teams (EIT) for children with disabilities in Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary have double the nation case load, it has been revealed. HSE West Forum member, Councillor Brian Meaney is not only unhappy with this situation but also that EITs in the Mid-West have four times the number of children per team compared to other counties in the West. Councillor Meaney was reacting to HSE figures released in response to a Dáil question from Deputy Colm Keaveney. The figures show that nationally there are 58 early intervention teams providing disability services for 6,399 children and young people. That is an average of 110 children and young people per team. There are 12 EITs providing disability services for 2,764 children in the Mid-West, which is an average of 230 children – double the national average case load per team. Five EITs provide services to 430 children in Galway, which equates to 86 children per team. HSE Mid-West area …

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Mulcahy labels his father ‘a bully’

Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said, from what he can remember, his father was “ a thug and a bully”. He made the comment in a  contribution to a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, which was discussing submissions on domestic and sexual violence. During the speech on Wednesday night, at the end of which he received a round of applause, the Shannon-based senator said he was not sure how his family would react to his sharing these personal details but said he thought nothing had changed in Ireland since then with regards to this issue. As regards gardaí being called out to investigate an alleged domestic incident, he remarked, “What’s perpetrated at the time is an absolute assault, right, and it is a criminal act, and we need to treat it as a criminal act,” he said. More power should be given to gardaí, as first responders to these incidents, Senator Mulcahy suggested, adding that community …

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Dooley protests over haulage levies

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley  has called on the Minister for Transport to immediately raise the concerns of Irish hauliers with his British counterpart regarding the imposition of a new levy on all foreign vehicles entering British soil, including Northern Ireland. Deputy Dooley said that Minister Leo Varadkar must make it a priority to have the roads in Northern Ireland excluded from this levy, which could impact over 9,500 vehicles in Ireland. “Over 9,500 heavy goods vehicles in Ireland will be subject to the new levy which will be introduced on all roads in Britain and Northern Ireland from the first of April. “This will particularly affect hauliers from Donegal, for instance; that have to travel through Northern Ireland to access the South in many cases. It will also impact all businesses that transport goods between both sides of the border, it will actually discourage companies here from expanding into and trading with the North. “This could cripple …

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Prospect of industrial action at Shannon Airport

Owen Ryan WHILE Minister Leo Varadkar was in Shannon last week to laud the airport’s recovery, there were some dark clouds gathering as its workers, along with their colleagues in Dublin and Cork airports, have all voted for industrial action. It’s because of a €780 million hole in the Irish Aviation SuperAnnuation Scheme, and Aer Lingus employees, also affected by it, have voted for industrial action too. Commenting on the situation, the Minister said; “It’s really for them (the pension scheme Trustees) to come up with revised proposals and I really think its incumbent on the unions to see and study those proposals before going out on strike.” He said he expects more twists and turns before any solution is found. “I think it’s fair to say there’s probably a few more chapters yet in this dispute and I’d very much call on the unions to wait for the proposals from the trustees and to study them before inconveniencing passengers …

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Ennis fundraiser for storm hit communities

LOCAL businesses are rallying behind those hit hardest by recent storms on the county’s coast with an entire weekend of fundraisers organised in Ennis. Dubbed the Clare Coast Storm Benefit the three nights of events with something for everyone will take place in The Grove, Roslevan from Friday, February 21 to Sunday, February 23. And funds raised from the three events will be divided with half going towards the repairing the playground in Lahinch while the second half will be donated to another worthy cause yet to be decided. Donagh Vaughan, owner of The Grove explained that their efforts to help those in need following the storm have been greatly supported both in Ennis and in other parts of the county, including areas still reeling from the bad weather. “We all have to pull together and help out in times like this,” he said. “The idea behind this came when we started seeing the pictures of the damage coming through …

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Postmasters fight for local offices

THE Irish Postmaster’s Union (IPU), is to hold a meeting for Clare postmasters, their families and supporters in  Ennis this week to discuss plans to ensure the sustainability of all local post offices. All public representatives are being invited to attend the meeting at Treacy’s West County Hotel on Thursday night. Tom O’Callaghan, national executive member for Clare with the IPU, will host the meeting, which will form part of a major campaign seeking a coordinated plan from the government to ensure the sustainability of the Post Office network. “Many Post Offices in Clare are seriously threatened with closure right now. We urgently need the Government to deliver on its commitment made in the programme for government and produce a plan that will sustain the network. We plan to move our political lobbying up a gear through a nationwide campaign involving all members and this meeting is a stepping stone in an overall national campaign to secure the future of …

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Clare pupils Doodle4Google finalists

SIX Clare pupils have been named as finalists in the sixth annual Doodle 4 Google competition. They are now amongst 75 children from across Ireland who now have the chance of being named Ireland’s top doodler and having their doodle displayed on the Google Ireland homepage for millions of people to see. Everyone in Clare is now being urged to visit www.google.ie/doodle4google and vote for Caroline, Fionn, Samuel, Kyla, Paul and Seán. · Caroline Hamilton from Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge (Group 1) · Samuel Hamilton from Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge (Group 2) · Paul Hamilton from Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge (Group 3) · Fionn Rush from Kilfenora National School, (Group 1) · Kyla Baumann from Knockerra National School, Kilrush (Group 2) · Seán Lineen from St Michael’s Community College,  Kilmihil (Group 4) The 75 finalists were shortlisted by a panel of judges including Ciara O’Shea, Marketing Manager of Dublin Children’s Museum, Imaginosity, Irish artist Christine Crotty of The Swan Academy …

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