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Court fund to benefit charities

JUDGE Patrick Durcan has this year distributed €42,000 from what used to be known as the Court Poor Box, but which he has now renamed the Court Discretionary Fund. This year’s fund has been divided across 30 local and national organisations, with the largest beneficiary this year being the Bedford Row Family Project Ltd in Limerick, an organisation that supports the families of prisoners. The group has received €15,000 from the fund. St Vincent de Paul services in Clare were the next biggest beneficiary; Ennis received €3,000 from the fund, while St Senan’s Kilrush Conference St Vincent De Paul received €2,000. A number of Clare organisations benefited from €1,000, including Rape Crisis Midwest, Home Share Clare, Clare Youth Service, West Clare Family Resource Centre, North West Clare Family Resource Centre, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland Clare, Raheen Hospital Support Services Limited, Killaloe-Ballina Community and Family Resource Centre, Ennis Community Development Project Traveller Education, District Daycare Centre in Clarecastle, Poor Clares …

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Tragedy following diverted flight

TRAGEDY struck last night as a young girl reportedly died following an emergency landing at Shannon Airport. An Air Canada flight from Toronto to London made the unscheduled stop at Shannon at 7.41pm after the child had been taken ill on board and given medical attention. While the girl was rushed to hospital, she was reported dead some time later.

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Electric bus to go round the Loop

IN an innovative effort to add to the tourism product in West Clare, Loop Head Tourism has revealed early plans to deploy an electric bus linking Kilkee with the peninsula villages. It is envisaged that the bus would be powered by two wind turbines, which are located in the area and that it would cater for both tourists and locals. In tandem, the tourism body is planning to launch a network of bog road walking routes in the region, which would be directly linked to the proposed bus route. “As far as we’re aware, this would be ground-breaking. The innovative thing here is the electric bus. There are places in South America and South Africa where they operate hop-on hop-off local buses but they are public transport in effect. Tourists and locals use it,” Cillian Murphy of Loop Head Tourism told The Clare Champion. “Because of our settlement patterns, public transport is a big problem to provide for spread-out rural …

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Coast Guard safety message

The Coast Guard is requesting members of the public planning on engaging in any coastal activities over the Christmas period to first check that it is safe to do so and to be mindful of the risks and life threatening dangers that can arise without warning. Many people will be engaging in outdoor activities along the coastline, be it on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or other coastal areas. The simple safety message from the Coast Guard is, “Stay back, stay high, stay dry. Storm Barbara, which will give rise to stormy conditions, is forecasted to blow through today (Friday) and there is a risk of some stormy weather returning on Christmas Day. A general improvement in weather conditions conducive to outdoor activities, is forecast from St Stephen’s Day. Spring tides that generate higher tides, peak in the latter part of the week and pose an additional risk. Christmas Day swims are a popular pursuit and the …

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Look out for rural dwellers

The ICSA has appealed to all rural dwellers to look out for one another over the Christmas period. The organisation’s rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said, “We all lead busy lives and none more so than farmers but it’s important to keep our older and more vulnerable citizens in mind over the coming weeks. This will be all the more pertinent given the bad weather forecast for the weekend which may add to the difficulties for many.” Continuing Mr Sherlock said, “A quick call may be all that is needed to make a big difference in the life of someone who feels lonely or isolated at this time of year. It is important that these people are reassured and reminded they are still a much valued and respected part of their communities. Farmers are renowned for lending a helping hand to others when in need so let’s all work to keep that tradition alive.”

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Bishop Monahan addresses social issues

As the Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Fintan Monahan celebrates his first Christmas in the diocese, he has addressed a number of social issues “The festive season of Christmas is a time to look back at the events and happenings of the year just gone by and reflect on what has been. We look back, savour and enjoy the good times while acknowledging the difficult times as well. This has been a most significant year for us as we remembered the events of 1916, the sacrifices of many for the freedom of our nation, one hundred years ago. “Christmas is a time that we become aware of those less well-off, less fortunate than ourselves. It is a time when we do our best to reach out to others with care, with concern, with Christian love. We remember in a special way those suffering economically, the elderly, people living on their own, the bereaved, the homeless, refugees, victims of war and bloodshed, …

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Swim ban at Kilkee beach

SWIMMING has been banned indefinitely by Clare County Council at Kilkee beach following an instance of sewage entering the water from the pumping station this week. The latest ban is the second in six months at the same location and for the same reason and comes just days before the annual charity Christmas Day swim at the beach. On Wednesday afternoon, Clare County Council issued a prohibition notice on swimming at Kilkee beach “until further notice”, on the instruction of the HSE and in consultation with Irish Water. “The restriction has been introduced following the failure of a storm surge vessel at the Irish Water pump station in Kilkee. The situation will be kept under review,” the council statement said, while confirming that signage notifying the public of the prohibition on bathing would be erected. Irish Water also confirmed that a ‘do not swim’ notice has been issued following an emergency discharge of storm water, which contains elements of wastewater, …

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Tears of joy at Shannon

THOUSANDS of reunions took place at Shannon Airport this week, but there may not have been an embrace as warm as that between Michael and Lilly Gleeson on a rainy Tuesday evening. The 16-year-old and her grandfather hugged tightly as all around them fellow emigrants and their loved ones were catching up. Lilly actually grew up in Ireland until her family moved to Detroit six years ago and she was delighted to be back. She has visited several times but plans to move back in the relatively near future. Asked about life in Detroit, she says, “I prefer Ireland but it’s fine. Definitely for college I’ll be back here”. Her mother Aoife is also delighted to be home and looking forward to seeing all her relatives. “It’s been a few years since we had Christmas here. I can’t wait to see everybody, all the nieces and the nephews and brothers and sisters.” White Christmases almost never happen here, but that …

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