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€1.3m cannabis plants seized

A SEIZURE of 240 cannabis plants in East Clare on Wednesday brought the approximate street value of plants found in separate garda searches around the county to €1.29 million in the past week. Gardaí seized 240 cannabis plants with an approximate street value of €190,000 at a house in Faha, Cahir at 2.30pm on Wednesday. The seizure was made as a part of an ongoing operation into the sale and supply of illegal drugs in the Clare area by the Clare Divisional Drugs Unit. There were no arrests as part of the search. The scene was being preserved for technical examination on Wednesday evening. Last Wednesday as part of an operation targeting the cultivation of cannabis, gardaí from Kilrish Garda Station searched a house at Breaffa, Carraigaholt, and discovered 600 plants growing and evidence of in excess of 500 harvested plants. The drugs seized were estimated to have a street value of almost €500,000. On Monday morning, gardaí searched a …

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Emergency funding delegation

CLARE TD Timmy Dooley yesterday met EU Commissioner for Regional Development, Johannes Hahn, to outline the case for emergency funding due to the damage caused to Clare and other counties as a result of the recent adverse weather conditions. In addition to the €23m needed to repair public infrastructure in Clare,  individuals in the county also need several million euro for damage to private property, both houses and land. Deputy Dooley was part of a Fianna Fáil delegation that also included Ireland North West MEP Pat The Cope Gallagher and  MEP for Ireland South Brian Crowley.  

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EU aid for uninsured damaged property

EU funding for storm damage will cover both private and public infrastructure in Ireland, that is otherwise uninsured, which is a new departure from previous applications under the EU Solidarity Fund. That was confirmed by Sean Kelly MEP after his meeting with Regional EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Strasbourg today. Mr Kelly, who is Ireland’s only full member of the Parliament’s Regional Development Committee which oversees the Solidarity Fund, said Commissioner Hahn was very positive and supportive of Ireland making an application under the solidarity fund. “In a new departure, the fund will cover private and public infrastructural damage. So I am calling on all city and county councils to immediately prepare a comprehensive overview of the damage caused and the cost of repair so that the government can prepare an overall application under the fund. The deadline for the application is 10 weeks – but that is from the end of the storm, not the start, which gives us …

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Dooley seeks flood aid

FIANNA FÁIL  spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley  is to meet the EU Commissioner for Regional Development, Johannes Hahn, today to seek EU assistance for the flood damage around the country. He will be joining MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher at the meeting in Strasbourg. “There is a mechanism in place for relief funding to be provided for countries that encounter severe weather conditions. In 2009, the Irish Government received €13 million in relief funding for the devastating floods of that year. “The Government needs to immediately apply for relief from the EU Solidarity Fund, we have already heard from Clare County Council that there was over €24m worth of damage caused in the county. Councils throughout the country are already struggling with substantially reduced Government grants and they urgently need some relief funding from central government and from Europe,” Deputy Dooley said.

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Receivers appointed to Doonbeg Golf Club

Luke Charleton and David Hughes of Ernest and Young have been appointed joint receivers to The Lodge at Doonbeg and Doonbeg Golf Club in West Clare. The property is one of Ireland and Europe’s most distinguished five-star luxury resorts. “The Lodge and its facilities are recognised as one of the premier golf and leisure destinations in Ireland and Europe. The Lodge at Doonbeg and Doonbeg Golf Club will continue to trade as normal, with all employment being maintained and suppliers being retained. Additionally, there will be no change in the status of members of Doonbeg Golf Club,” Luke Charleton commented. There will be no disruption to services as a result of the appointment, events booked will go ahead as scheduled and all deposits and gift vouchers will be honoured. Mr Charleton said he was aware that interest has already been expressed in the property and is hopeful of concluding a sale as a going concern within a short time frame.

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Gardaí scupper cannabis cultivation

GARDAÍ targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the Kilkee area,  yesterday discovered two separate cannabis cultivation operations. Gardaí searched a house in Lislanahan, Kilkee, where approximately 200 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €160,000  were discovered. A man and woman, both aged 23 years, were arrested and detained at Kilrush Garda station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984. In the second operation, gardaí searched a property in Tullaroe, Kilkee, where approximately 300 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €280,000 were discovered. A man in his 50s was arrested and detained at Ennis Garda station under the provisions of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996. These finds follow on from from a cannabis “grow” find in Carrigaholt area last week.

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West Clare surrogacy journey to India

A FILM following a West Clare couple as they travel to India to fulfill their dream of starting a family together was broadcast on RTE One on Monday night. Over the course of a year, from conception through birth, Her Body, Our Babies captured the trials and tribulations of an emotional process fraught with legal complications and ethical dilemmas. Fiona Whyte and her partner Seán Malone, from Miltown Malbay,  had been trying to have a child together, since they met eight years ago. Although parents, they wanted a child from their relationship. Sean has a son from his previous marriage. Fiona was also married and raised two boys in Dublin before returning home to Clare to be with Seán. For couples who cannot have children together, fertility treatment offers hope, but no guarantees. In recent years, an increasing number of Irish people are opting for surrogacy as a last hope of having a child. But it’s a costly and complicated process – which poses …

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Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins

Banner budget passes at first attempt

AFTER three and half-hours of debate, Clare County Council passed their budget for 2014 on Wednesday evening. As is so often the case nowadays, the relative lack of finances proved a stumbling block, and Councillor James Breen proposed delaying the budget, until Clare was allocated more money from the Local Government Fund. His proposal was seconded by Councillor Tommy Brennan on condition that it also call for money raised in property taxes in Clare over the last two years to be returned to the county. After being questioned by Councillors, County Manager Tom Coughlan told the members that the local authority has 21 days to pass a budget from its first meeting. If that deadline were to pass, the Council would face the prospect of being dissolved and functions taken over by the Department of the Environment. Mr Coughlan made it clear he didn’t believe there was any realistic chance of any more money arriving, simply because it was being …

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