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Prison sentence for sexually assaulting child

By Aoife Nic Ardghail A TWO and a half years in prison sentence has been imposed on a Clare man for sexually assaulting a then eight-year-old girl in her home. The 53-year-old man pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexually assaulting the girl by touching her private parts on November 23, 2009. He has no previous convictions. Judge Mary Ellen Ring said although the man had pleaded guilty, she was concerned that he had not fully accepted the implications of what he had done. An investigating garda revealed that the little girl had been watching TV when the man came into the room and lay down beside her on the sofa. The girl told gardaí the man had touched her chest area and private parts and asked her if she wanted to see his penis. The girl said “no” and nothing else happened. The garda told Tara Burns SC, prosecuting, that the girl complained to her mother after …

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112th birthday for Feakle woman

FEAKLE native, Kathleen Snavely, who is Ireland’s oldest ever woman, celebrated her 112th birthday on Sunday last. Mrs Snavely, nee Hayes, is originally from Garraun Feakle, made the record books in January as the Republic’s oldest living person, surpassing a record held by Katherine Plunkett of County Louth, who was born in 1820 and lived to 111 and 327 days. Now a resident of Syracuse, New York, Mrs Snavely celebrated her birthday at St Camillus retirement centre. She is in good health. She was born on February 16, 1902 to parents, Patrick and Ellen Hayes (nee Moroney). Her closest relatives live in Ireland, and Kathleen’s nearest relative  is nephew, Gerard Hayes, who lives in Limerick. She has a number of other relatives in Meath, Dublin, Louth and Leitrim. There are also bonds in Feakle. Former Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Hayes; renowned fiddle player Martin Hayes and their sister, Helen Hayes are also related to Mrs Snavely, as their father …

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A countywide celebration of adult learning

A CELEBRATION of adult learning will take place throughout the county next week. Aontas Adult Learner Week runs from Monday, until Saturday, March 1 and a host of events have been planned for venues all over Clare highlighting the benefits of adult education. Jacinta Davenport, Educational Guidance Counsellor with LCETB (Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board), based in the Adult Education Centre in Clonroad Business Park explained, “Aontas believes that all adults in Ireland should have equal access to learning opportunities, that adult learning has a hugely important role to play in the economic and social future of Ireland. We know that adult learners and adult learning centres do vital work on a daily basis.” In the last seven years, the festival has become a firm fixture on the adult learning calendar with events taking place nationwide, including anything from information sessions, taster workshops, sample lectures to small gatherings of people who love to learn. She added, “The Adult …

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Rory Moloney with his eight-year-old twins, Caoimhe and Jack, at the completely submerged roadway to their home near O’Callaghans Mills. His wife and kids have had to leave the family home due to the flooding but Rory remains to look after his animals and farm.

Dooras Flood Repairs to reach €80,000

MORE than €240,000 is necessary to deal with damage caused in non-coastal flooding in the county, following the recent storms, and of that, €80,000 to €100,000 is estimated to be required at Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills. According to a revised report issued at a meeting of Clare County Council last week, the estimated cost of repairs for non-coastal storm-related flooding remained at €240,000. However, additional costs are expected due to continued monitoring of flood levels, management of interim defence pumping facilities and construction of sandbag defences until early February. This process, according to the report, is continuing due to ongoing intensive rainfall events and very elevated river systems. In outlining the works required for the areas of non-coastal flooding, county engineer Tom Tiernan highlighted in the report that Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills has been cut off from services and the wider community since just before Christmas, due to flood inundation of the access road to them. He states the requirements involved at …

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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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