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Feakle woman is Ireland’s oldest ever

A FEAKLE native, now living in the United States, has reached a remarkable milestone as she has become Ireland’s oldest ever living person at 111 years of age. Kathleen Snavely, née Hayes, originally from Garraun in Feakle, reached the 327th day of her 111th year on Thursday and on February 16, will turn 112. The title for Ireland’s oldest born person was held by Katherine Plunket from County Louth, who was born in 1820 and lived to 111 and 327 days. Ms Plunket was listed from the earliest days of the Guinness Book of Records as Ireland’s oldest ever person and, in more recent times, a group called the GRG has maintained a table of the world’s oldest people. Now living Syracuse in New York State, Mrs Snavely resides at the Centres at St Camillus healthcare facility but up until she was around 104 years of age, she lived alone in her own home. Born in Feakle on February 16, …

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‘Ghost’ rides the West Clare Railway

A MYSTERY figure has been detected in a photograph of the carriage of the West Clare Railway. May Byrne, who visited the Moyasta last summer, recently contacted Jackie Whelan, who operates the tourist attraction, when she spotted a lone figure in the carriage of the Slieve Callan steam engine. Her husband, Ray, who is adamant that there was nobody on the train at the time, took the photograph. “He is 100% certain that there was nobody on the train at the time. Mr Whelan was giving the tour in the station and Ray took the photograph while there was no people on the train,” May Byrne explained. Speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday, Jackie Whelan was equally adamant that the train was unoccupied at the time. “There definitely wasn’t anyone on board and I’ll tell you why. There was a crowd of people there together and they all came off the train. The standard practice is that when the …

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Icy roads alert

TEMPERATURES dropped overnight, leading to icy conditions on many roads in both rural and urban areas across the county.  Motorists have been urged to reduce speed and drive with caution as, with early morning temperatures just above zero, ice is likely to remain in sheltered areas for some time. Any rainfall could make conditions even worse.

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Minister Pat Breen

Breen to lead delegation to Iran

A DELEGATION from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, headed by chairman Clare Deputy Pat Breen, will travel to Tehran this Thursday for a series of engagements aimed at developing relations and bolstering trade links between Ireland and Iran. As well as meeting its parliamentary counterpart, the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, the delegation will hold discussions with Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Zarif, Agriculture Minister Mahmud Hodjati and Dr Ali Laridjani, Speaker of Parliament, and will meet with the Iranian Chamber of Commerce. The delegation will also meet with the Head of the Iranian Human Rights Council Dr Mohammad Javad Laridjani. Committee Chairman Pat Breen will lead the cross-party delegation, which includes TD’s Eric Byrne, Sean Crowe, Maureen O’Sullivan and Senator Deirdre Clune. Deputy Breen TD said, “The visit to Tehran will provide a new impetus in relations between Ireland and Iran. We are looking forward to positive and open dialogue with fellow parliamentarians, senior Ministers, …

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Ralph Lauren’s Niece Fined €2,000

THE niece of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Jennifer Lauren has been fined €2,000 for being intoxicated  on board a Delta Airlines flight from Barcelona to JFK on Monday, where she frightened and upset passengers and crew. The 41-year-old, who has an address at 210 East 65th Street, New York was on board a flight that was diverted to Shannon on Monday, was charged with three counts under the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1973. She appeared before Killaloe District Court on Tuesday charged with being intoxicated to such an extent that she would endanger herself or others on board a Delta Airlines flight on the previous day. She was also charged with engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to those on board the flight, having been requested by a crew members to cease this behaviour. She was  further charged with engaging in behaviour of a threatening, abusive or insulting nature on the aircraft. The case was …

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Council urges public to recycle Christmas waste

THE public are being urged to play their part in reducing the amount of Christmas waste sent to landfill by availing of one of the county’s five recycling facilities. The Environment Section of Clare County Council says people can bring a carload of recyclable waste to its recycling centres and transfer stations at Ballyduffbeg, Lisdeen, Shannon, Scarriff and Ennis for as little as €5. “With the Christmas holidays comes lots of extra packaging, particularly in the home,” explained Joan Tarmey, Clare Environmental Awareness Officer. “However, most of this packaging can be recycled. Clare boasts one of the highest household recycling rates in the country, and this year we are again reminding the public to bring their recyclable waste to our recycling centres and bottles and aluminium cans to the 54 bring banks around the county. “We are also reminding the public to keep bring bank sites clean and tidy by depositing only bottles and aluminium cans into the banks. Boxes, …

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Sean Kelly seeks EU debate on flooding

THE  possibility of accessing EU funding to help with the clean-up costs of storm damage in Ireland and other EU countries will be debated by MEPs during the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg next week, if a request made by Sean Kelly MEP is accepted. In the aftermath of the storm damage across Ireland , Mr Kelly today called on the EPP Group, the largest political grouping in the European Parliament to which Fine Gael is aligned, to support Ireland in the aftermath of the storm, and to table a debate on the matter next week. At a Group meeting in Brussels today, Mr Kelly urged the EPP members to support Ireland in accessing relief funding under the €1bn EU Solidarity Fund. The Ireland South MEP, who is this country’s  only full member of the Parliament’s Regional Development Committee which oversees the Solidarity Fund, is also due to meet the EU Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, on the matter. …

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Storms response review

THE National Coordination Group met today to review the response to date, to assess the impact of the storms on infrastructure and communities and to ensure that the response of relevant goverment agencies and local authorities continues to be coordinated. Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes was among the attendance. Met Éireann reported that Ireland has been subject to a sequence of Atlantic storms since December 18, resulting in extreme wind conditions, episodes of heavy rainfall and lately storm surges associated with high tides and low pressure atmospheric conditions. It was noted that the new Met Éireann colour-coded weather warnings (red, orange and yellow) issued in accordance with the international meteo-alarm system was of assistance to the public, as well as to Government departments, local authorities, utilities and transport sector in understanding the threats posed by the weather situations. Safety messages had been responded to well by the public but, regrettably, one fatality was attributed to …

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