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Cratloe pupils’ prizewinning badger project

PUPILS from St John’s National School in Cratloe were the overall winners at the Intel Mini Scientist Grand Final, held in the Helix at Dublin City University. A special award for best visual display went to pupils from Bridgetown National School. Now in its 10th year, the competition gives pupils from fourth to sixth class the chance to explore science through project-based learning and exhibitions. The Cratloe project was an investigation into the behaviour and habitat of the Irish badger. The four winning pupils looked at the association between badgers and the spread of bovine TB and an alternative to culling was studied, in the form of vaccination. The pupils also developed their own badger repellent, based on their investigations. The winning pupils were Sean O’Brien, Marc O’Brien, Eoin Carey and Shane Leahy. As part of the prize for the overall winning project, the school will receive a grant of €1,000 from Intel. Minister Richard Bruton addressed the pupils at …

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Gort cancer centre’s appeal for computers

GORT Cancer Support Centre has appealed for sponsorship to facilitate a new course on the use of information technology for cancer sufferers. Cancer centre manager Carmel Kerins explains that a lot of cancer patients have to give up full-time work during their illness but would love to learn new skills, such as how to use a computer. All the money donated to the centre is specifically ring-fenced for services. To comply with this policy guideline, the centre is hoping to acquire good quality laptops or cash donations that will be put aside for this purpose. The centre is also considering resuming the men’s card game social night for male cancer sufferers, which ran very successfully about two years ago. While men and women benefit from all activities and facilities at the centre, Ms Kerins explained they felt it was necessary to organise something that was particularly appealing for men. “Men have come to the centre in recent years before moving …

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Honouring a campaigning Corofin priest

A CAMPAIGN is underway in Corofin to erect a permanent memorial marking the famous march of the 40 shilling freeholders from the village to Ennis to vote for Daniel O’Connell in the 1828 Clare Election. The freeholders were led by the parish priest of Corofin, 39-year-old Fr John Murphy, a native of Newmarket-on-Fergus, who became a central figure in the election of Daniel O’Connell as MP for Clare, an event which subsequently led to Catholic Emancipation in 1829. In Corofin Community Hall recently, a special night was devoted to the memory of Fr John Murphy by Cumann Staire is Dúchais Chora Finne. The night included a lecture on Fr Murphy, who was parish priest in Corofin from 1818 to 1831, by the association’s chairperson Declan Kelleher and a talk on his biographer, Fr Denis Spellissy, by its president Dr Maccon MacNamara. “The Clare election of 1828 was in itself a statement of defiance from a downtrodden people, who put their necks on …

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Kilrush road cycle path work

Construction will commence next week on the construction of a new footpath/cycle path on the N68 Kilrush Road in Ennis. Designed by Clare County Council and funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the works will take place from the Kilrush Road Roundabout southwards as far as the junction of the N68 and L 4176 at Rockmount Cross. When complete, the works being carried out by Ward and Burke Construction, will deliver improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists accessing Ennis National School from residential areas around the N68 and Ballybeg and provide a continuous footpath connection to Ennis Town Centre. Motorists are advised that temporary traffic lights will be in place on occasion during the six-week project, which begins next week with site clearance, tree cutting and vegetation removal. Traffic restrictions will be eased during school drop-off and pick-up times. Clare County Council confirmed that the new 3 metre-wide shared use bi-directional footpath/cyclepath will be constructed along the east side of …

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Doonbeg makes Washington Post headlines

ONE of the world’s leading newspapers has cited US President Donald Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to build a coastal defence barrier at his Doonbeg golf resort as a major influence in forming his approach towards the European Union. Washington Post writer Griff Witte has written, “For a man who loves to win, the defeat, just a month after his election as president, has left a bitter taste. And despite the motley nature of the resistance, Trump seems to have singled out a lone culprit: the European Union, whose rules and regulations underpinned many of the objections.” The article was headlined Trump tried and failed to build a wall in Ireland. That could mean big trouble for Europe. Last December, in a joint interview with The Times of London and German newspaper Bild, President Trump said that Doonbeg was a “magnificent property” but added, “Now, I couldn’t care less about it.” He made his comment in the context of his frustrations with …

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Clare to gain from PRSI reforms

The PRSI reforms announced by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, will benefit small business in Clare, is has been stated. “Small businesses and the self employed sector are the back bone of our economy and are particularly essential in the future economic stability of rural Ireland, accordinig to Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen. “These tax equalisation measures will ensure that if a self-employed person’s business experiences a bad year or a few bad years and they don’t pay PRSI in those years, they can now protect or improve their right to a contributory State pension, and a pension for their spouse or child’s guardian should they die prematurely,” added the Care deputy. “This Government continues to support growing small businesses and promoting job creation, at a time when we see a 12.7 per cent decline in the live register figures here in Clare since this time last year. “The Fine Gael TD said the new PRSI …

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Making strides on energy efficiency

€100 million for energy efficiency projects, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten said today (Wednesday) as he announced his endorsement of the Energy Action Conference, to be held in Croke Park on March 6. Minister Naughten said he is “determined to implement policies that can help people in fuel poverty make their homes more energy efficient and switch to cleaner fuels and noted that the additional funding will support critical fuel poverty programmes like the Warmer Homes scheme and the new Warmth and Wellbeing pilot which will demonstrate that improving energy efficiency can lead to wider benefits including less reliance on medication and health services”. “Fuel poverty, energy efficiency and the air we breathe are closely related issues”, he added. This made the theme of the conference in Croke Park ‘Fuel Poverty and Climate Change’, all the more timely. “Empowering people means giving them the means to reduce their bills, to cut the fuel they consume, …

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Bill for supervised drugs injecting

The Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017, which was approved by Cabinet this morning, will allow the Minister for Health to issue a licence, with conditions, to operate a supervised injecting facility. This is a controlled environment where drug users may self-administer, by injection, drugs they have brought with them. Such facilities will provide access to clean, sterile injecting equipment and have trained staff on hand to provide emergency care in the event of an overdose, as well as advice on treatment and rehabilitation. They will also help alleviate the problems associated with injecting on the street, including drug-related litter. The Bill does not establish a location for a supervised injecting facility, but a pilot facility is planned for Dublin city centre. The HSE have established a working group to gather data, consider possible options and to undertake consultation before any decision is made. Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Communities and the National …

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