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Christmas fire risk warning

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service has issued an appeal to the public to remain fire safety aware over the Christmas period. The fire service says the main causes of fire during the festive season are candles left unprotected, fairy lights left on all night or improperly wired, Christmas trees falling over, open fires without fireguards, and decorations catching fire. Clare chief fire officer Adrian Kelly says people should familiarise themselves with the fire safety advice available on www.clarecoco.ie and www.fireireland.ie. He added, “Christmas is a time for celebrating with families but it also is a time when extra fire hazards appear such as fairy lights, candles, open fires and decorations. I encourage householders across Clare to think about fire safety ahead of and during the Christmas period to avoid the risk of their Christmas being ruined.” “Open fires are used for longer periods during the winter and Christmas period as people spend a lot more time at home. Electrical …

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Funding boost for Lough Derg

THE Lough Derg region is to benefit from a €200,000 fund to market, develop and promote the Lough Derg Blueway, which includes the soon-to-be completed Lough Derg Canoe Trail. The funding boost was announced by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys and is to be spread across the Scariff and Nenagh rural economic development zones (REDZ). Under the 2016 REDZ scheme, just over €5.3 million was approved for 41 projects, of which eight were local authority-led projects impacting on the wider waterway network. They included Scariff/Nenagh on Lough Derg, from Bagnelstown on the Barrow to Banagher on the Shannon and Ballinamore on the Shannon-Erne Waterway. Minister Humphreys said, “The REDZ scheme aims to improve links between rural towns and their hinterlands to stimulate activity at a local level. It is one of a number of schemes that my department has been rolling out to boost economic activity and improve living standards across rural Ireland.” Managed …

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13 superintendents in Kilrush in 25 years

WHEN a new superintendent transfers to Kilrush later this month, he will be the 13th officer over a 25-year period to hold the post. Superintendent John Galvin will move on promotion from Ennis to the Kilrush Garda District, when Superintendent Martin McGonnell relocates from West Clare to Blackrock in Dublin on December 13. Superintendent McGonnell was stationed in Kilrush for 20 months. Addressing the point that having such a high turnover of superintendents in Kilrush is not ideal, Clare Garda Chief Superintendent John Kerin acknowledged it is an issue. “There has been a very high turnover, which certainly has not been desirable from my perspective. But, having said that, a lot of the people who have come have brought a lot of experience from different policing perspectives with them. We’ve learned from some of the people that have come there over the years,” he said. “I’m absolutely delighted to have a person of John Galvin’s capability and standing in the …

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Clare forest owners to join pilot scheme

FOREST owners in the county may be included in a Knowledge Transfer Group to be funded by the Department of Agriculture. The Clare Timber Producer Group will be holding meetings in Kilkishen Cultural Centre on Wednesday night next and the Fiddle Head in Kilmihil on December 12 to outline the draft pilot project, identify forest owners willing to participate and gather feedback to develop the project with the department. The department is proposing that participants will receive expenses for taking part in the pilot project. Welcoming the inclusion of Clare in the pilot project, Brian Meaney, secretary of the Clare Timber Producer Group, stated, “This is an opportunity to increase the level of forest management activity among participants of the project, realising and improving the value of their forests and will ultimately benefit all forest owners in County Clare. “It is also important to develop a forest owners group in Clare to operate as a collective to improve financial return from farm forestry, to develop …

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Remembrance service for deceased babies

THE annual Lights Of Love Remembrance service takes place on this Sunday in Ennis Cathedral at 4pm. The service is dedicated to families that have experienced the loss of a child and offers families and friends the opportunity to come together to remember their loved ones. “In years past, many parents and families may not have had the opportunity to acknowledge the loss of a baby and we especially encourage you to join us in remembering your loved one with us,” said a spokesperson for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (Nilmdts) Along with the service, a toy box appeal in aid of Barnardos will be held. During the service all new and unwrapped gifts will be brought to the altar and placed under the Christmas tree. This gives a great sense of comfort to know that a toy donated in memory of your child is going to such a worthy cause. Fr Fergal O’Neill will lead the service, and with …

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High radon gas levels in Clare

RADON gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and Clare has one of the highest rates of radon in the country, with 18% of monitored houses in the county recording high levels of the gas. On foot of an awareness campaign, the EPA is encouraging householders to check the levels of radon in their homes and take measures to reduce their exposure to the silent killer. Senior scientist with the EPA and manager of the radon and radiation measurements services, David Fenton, said acceptable levels of radon within the home are anything up to 200 units but, in the last 12 months, a recording 10 times that was found in Ennis. “In County Clare, the highest level we found was 3,500 units near Lisdoonvarna in a private house in 2010. The radiation dose that people in that house were receiving would be the equivalent of 12 chest x-rays a day. The more we measure, the more …

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Shop local on Small Business Saturday

The Small Firms Association has called for December 3 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’, with shoppers across the country asked to support small businesses in their communities. SFA assistant director, Linda Barry, stated, “Retail sales are expected to exceed €4 billion in December, but much of this will be spent in large stores or online. The latest figures show that the value of online purchases increased by 20% in the last quarter to €1.2 billion. If each adult spent just €20 extra in small businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €70 million for small Irish firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres.” “The first Saturday of December is traditionally a busy shopping day and consumers should use this weekend as an opportunity to focus on buying Irish and supporting their local businesses, as the Christmas celebrations can add a major economic impetus to …

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Child vaccines from GPs

Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Thursday) welcomed the commencement of the Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccination programme. Parents can now avail of Meningococcal B and Rotavirus vaccinations from their family doctor. The rollout follows consultation under the Framework Agreement between the Irish Medical Organisation, the Department of Health and the HSE. The Minister stated, “I am pleased that today Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccines have been added to the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme. I again want to thank the IMO and GPs for helping us deliver this Programme.I look forward to continuing dialogue with the IMO and GPs, in particular in relation to the development of a new and modernised GP contract. ” All babies born on, or after October 1, 2016 will receive vaccines for Meningococcal B (Men B) and Rotavirus disease in addition to the other childhood vaccines currently given. The first doses of these vaccines are given at two months of age, which means that …

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