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Four surprises on Lahinch farm

Well-known North Clare farmer, Tom Clair, certainly had his hands full after checking to see his cow calving on his farm at Maghrea, Lahinch this week. “I checked her at 1.30am on Sunday and nothing was happening but when I returned at lunch-time on Sunday, I could not believe my eyes. She had two calves standing in front of her, there was one behind and, to my amazement, a fourth had made its way out of the building.” The mother is a Hereford cross and the four healthy charolais heifer calves are identical in weight and colour and are by a pure-bred Devon Cottage charolais bull. Tom has named them Rosie, Fluffy, Mia and Jennie. “I will keep them on the farm until they die,” he said. It is believed that the odds of a cow having quadruplets with all calves born alive are 11.2 million to one.

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Ennis hotel scores €2m bullseye

ENNIS is set for a €2 million boost to the local economy after a major deal was signed between a local hotel and the Irish National Darts Organisation (INDO). Treacy’s West County Conference and Leisure Hotel has announced it has signed the deal with the INDO, which will see up to 10,000 competitors travelling to the Ennis conference venue for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 National Darts Championships. Speaking ahead of the 2017 National Intercounty Darts Championship event, which takes place this weekend, hotel owner Patrick Treacy said, “It is a tremendous boost to us and the wider Ennis economy to have these prestigious darts events returning to Treacy’s West County Hotel. The event has gone from strength to strength with us over the past three years and our new three-year deal with the INDO is an endorsement of what we have to offer. We have committed up to €100,000 to bring these events to Ennis and we are delighted …

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Storm Doris approaches

A NATIONWIDE Status Yellow weather warning has been issued by Met Éireann. The warning, issued at 10am this morning, states, “A rapidly deepening wave depression will track eastwards over northern parts of Ireland later Wednesday night and early on Thursday.” Storm Doris will bring a period of severe winds and heavy rain, with snow on northern hills. “Strong to gale force southwest winds will develop overnight and become gale force northwesterly by Thursday morning with severe gusts, especially in northern and eastern areas.” The warning is valid from a minute past midnight on Thursday morning until 11am later that day. Storms with the potential to cause substantial impact are named by the British Met Office and Met Éireann, moving through the alphabet. The first was named Abigail in November 2015, after members of the public suggested monikers for the Name Our Storms project. The forecasters are now in their second run of the alphabet – after Doris, people can expect …

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Social housing for Feakle and Clonlara

Clare County Council has signed contracts for the provision of two new social housing developments in Feakle and Clonlara. The 10-unit scheme in Feakle is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and is scheduled for completion in early 2019. The scheme of 10 houses in Clonlara also is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and is scheduled for completion in early 2019. Councillor Bill Chambers, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said, “The design, accessibility and usability of previous social housing developments in County Clare have been of the highest standard and I am sure these schemes will be welcomed by applicants on the Council’s waiting list for social housing.” Pat Dowling, chief executive of Clare County Council, said, “Clare County Council is committed to building sustainable and successful communities through the provision of quality and affordable housing developments. The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government continues to support …

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Shannon chopper on rescue mission

The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 has this Tuesday evening evacuated a seriously injured crewman from a large Russian fishing vessel approximately 140 nautical miles West of Kerry Head. The operation is being coordinated by the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia and is being supported by the Naval ship LÉ Róisín. Crew members from the LÉ Róisín went on board the vessel and assisted with casualty evacuation. Communication support and back up, known as Top Cover was provided by a second Coast Guard helicopter, the Waterford based R117. Weather conditions in the area for helicopter operations were difficult, bordering on marginal for such operations with a strong West South West swell and winds gusting in excess of 35mph. The helicopter is currently routing to University Hospital Limerick, to arrive before 7:30pm, following an essential fuel stopover at Kerry airport. This is the second operation in recent weeks where the LÉ Róisín assisted the Coast Guard in an …

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Drive to cut unemployment continues

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has pledged to strive towards a further reduction in unemployment in the year ahead. He was reacting to the latest figures showing unemployment in Ireland at its lowest rate since 2008. “In every month last year the unemployment level fell by more than 3,300 people. This is a really significant result for the many individuals and families who were blighted by the crash years, and shows that our policies to tackle unemployment are getting results. This Government intends to make even more progress in the year ahead,” said Minister Varadkar, who is one of the main contenders to take over from Enda Kenny as leader of Fine Gael. Unemployment is now at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2008, falling by 21.4% in the 12 months to the end of last year, a drop of 40,000 people to 147,400. Long-term unemployment also fell by 22%, a drop of 2,500 to 79,700. Significantly, the …

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Warning to women on seatbelts

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has launched a new digital road safety campaign focusing on the misuse of seatbelts by women. The campaign entitled “Get This Season’s Killer Look”, is aimed at discouraging women from wearing their seatbelts under their arm, which can cause horrific injuries in the event of a collision. A study of 300 women aged 17 to 34, undertaken in 2016 by Behaviour & Attitudes, on behalf of the RSA found that: · 28% admitted to misusing a seatbelt by wearing it under the arm, rising to 35% among younger women. · 53% of those interviewed said that their friends wore the seatbelt under the arm · The main reasons cited for wearing the seatbelt under the arm were to relieve neck tension (49%) and for general comfort (47%). · 9% said it was to protect their tan, or 7% to protect clothing. · While seatbelt compliance is consistently very strong among young females, it is not …

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UL professor’s fight against bacteria

A UNIVERSITY of Limerick academic is a member of a team of European experts examining the potential of antimicrobial coatings to prevent the spread of drug-resistant bacteria in hospitals. The Anti-Microbial Coating Innovations (AMiCI) consortium is studying the development, regulation, and “real life” use of these coatings, which can be used on textiles, including bed sheets and gowns, and solid surfaces such as walls, floors, beds and tables. Professor Colum Dunne from University of Limerick (UL) Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) is a member of the AMiCI Management Group. Previous research, published by Professor Dunne and his colleagues, has reported the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in Irish hospitals. It has also examined how outbreaks of these organisms have been successfully managed by infection prevention and control teams. On the latest project, he said,“New approaches are needed to protect hospital patients and healthcare staff. Antimicrobial coatings have great potential. These are surfaces fortified with active ingredients that are responsible for the reduction …

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