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Ennis Samaritans respond to 50,000 calls for help

Ennis Samaritans answered 40,995 calls for help in the last 12 months, with most of these calls received out of hours when other support is not available. These call details were released in the 2015-2016 Impact Report covering Samaritans’ work in Ireland, which was launched this week. According to the report, over 639,652 calls for help were answered by Samaritans volunteers across Ireland in the last year. More than one in three calls to Samaritans’ national helpline were received between 6pm and 12am and 63% of all calls to the service are made between 6pm and 6am. Claire Cremmin, Director of Ennis branch, said: “We know that people don’t just struggle to cope between the hours of 9 to 5. The statistics released in our Impact Report 2015-2016 show many calls come through to the service throughout the evening and early morning hours, a time that can be lonely and isolating for those experiencing feelings of distress. Samaritans are the …

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New investment forecast for Clare

OVER the last decade, Clare has received very little Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), but that is likely to change in the next two years, according to Shannon Group CEO, Matthew Thomas. Mr Thomas, who was appointed in May, said there is now plenty of interest in investing in the Mid West, with results likely to be seen in 2017 and 2018. At the launch of the upgraded Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Mr Thomas noted, “In my short time as CEO, there have been some very exciting enquiries. It is an uncertain world we are living in with Brexit and global political events at the moment. People are a bit nervous but we would be very hopeful that there is more FDI coming, if not in 2017, in 2018.” While Shannon Group has a large property portfolio right across the Mid West, the Free Zone is its top priority for now. “I think our immediate focus is on developing the …

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Clare dreaming of a green Christmas

The people of Clare are being urged to play their part in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill this Christmas by availing of one of Clare’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. Councillor Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said, “I am delighted that the council’s environment section is issuing important advice to the public on how they can minimise the impact of their Christmas on the environment. “The people of Clare have always been very responsible when it comes to disposal of plastic, paper and glass materials built up over the Christmas period, and I am confident that they will respond similarly this year.” “With the Christmas holidays comes lots of extra packaging, particularly in the home,” explained Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare …

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Council owed €21m in commercial rates

CLARE County Council is owed close to €21 million in commercial rates, latest figures have confirmed. The figures also show that as well as the €20,995,000 outstanding for rates as of September 30, other monies owed to the council are €8.25m in development contributions, €1.65m in housing loans and rents, €629,000 in fire charges, €426,000 in LEO refundable aid and €1.5m for other charges. The details were released at this week’s meeting of the local authority on foot of a request by Councillor Michael Hillery, who described the amounts as “frightening”. “I know we are going through a recession and there are people availing of the council’s payment plans, but there are people out there who have money are not paying,” he said. He called on the Government to give councils the power to collect outstanding debts. “The council cannot carry on with debts like this, they have to be collected.” Niall Barrett, head of finance, commented, “In 2015, the …

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ESB warning on risks over Christmas

With a massive increase in domestic electricity use over Christmas, together with the risk of fallen wires in winter conditions, ESB Networks has advised people to be safety conscious. “In the home make sure your own electrical system is safe. Check that your safety trip switch – called a Residual Current Device (RCD) – works by pushing the test button and that there are no damaged plug tops or frayed wires. If in any doubt, get in touch with a registered electrician. When it comes to the overhead wires and poles that ESB Networks uses to supply electricity to everyone, remember that these poles and wires are live and dangerous and should never to be used for anything else. Here are a few simple safety tips from ESB Networks for the home around Christmas time,” a spokesman said. While the weather during winter 2016 has so far been relatively benign, ESB Networks are reminding people to never approach or touch …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Visiting restrictions at University Hospital Limerick

Strict visiting restrictions remain in place at University Hospital Limerick following an outbreak of influenza. As of 3pm this Friday afternoon there were nine confirmed cases of seasonal influenza in the hospital. In addition there is one confirmed cases of norovirus in the hospital. The Health Protection and Surveillance Centre has this week urged people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated against as the number of reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Ireland has increased in the past week. UL Hospitals Group has asked that members of the public respect the current restrictions on visiting at UHL. Only those visiting critically unwell patients and parents visiting sick children are unaffected by the restrictions. All other visitors are asked to stay away from the hospital at this time, and in particular the under-16s, those with flu symptoms and those feeling unwell in general. “We regret any inconvenience caused by the restrictions, which are being implemented in the interests of patient …

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Carron boil water notice lifted

Irish Water has lifted a boil water notice affecting approximately 20 premises in Carron in North Clare following remedial works to remove the threat of cryptosporidium. The lifting of the notice, on the advice of the Health Service Executive, follows completion of a number of remedial works at the treatment plant and the subsequent recording of satisfactory monitoring results. This notice was put in place by Irish Water and Clare County Council in May of this year due to the detection of low levels of cryptosporidium in the Carron water supply. The works carried out at the treatment plant involved the installation of an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system on the supply. Customers can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth. Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Specialist with Irish Water, commented: “Irish Water and Clare County Council acknowledge the patience, cooperation and assistance of the general public during the period of the Boil Water …

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A vintage Christmas in Ennis

A real team effort has helped the staff of the Cahercalla Hospice charity shop scoop first prize in The Clare Champion’s annual Christmas Window Display Competition. This year’s competition theme was A Vintage Christmas, with a particular emphasis on 1916 and the 100th anniversary of a changing Ireland. The charity shop in Ennis’ Marketplace wowed the judges with its impressive array of authentic period pieces, including books covered in newsprint from the time. Anne Gavin, who works in the shop, explained, “All of the staff came together and brought something in from home to decorate the window. It was a big team effort and we all had great craic doing it.” Co-worker Mary Casey brought in an old book of Irish fireside songs which her father owned, while other items donated for the display include clay pipes, an old fashioned bottle of stout and glass, coins and an old teapot. The staff say they were thrilled with the win. “We …

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