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Council spent more that €500,000 on the Fleadh

CLARE County Council spent more than half a million euro on the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis, it has been confirmed. The local authority spent €560,000 on the Fleadh, in addition to the council’s direct financial contribution of €75,000 to the event. The estimated spend by Comhaltas on the Fleadh was in excess of €1.1 million. According to Ger Dollard, interim chief executive of Clare County Council, the local authority’s contribution was used to pay for promotional activities, improvements to infrastructure and enhancements to the town. Outlining a report on the aftermath of the festival to members of the Ennis Municipal District this week, Mr Dollard stated that the benefit to the county from the Fleadh was “overwhelmingly positive”. He said, “The overall perspective is that Ennis was presented very well and performed very well.” A number of debriefs are currently underway among the various agencies involved with the Fleadh. However, Mr Dollard said that, overall, it …

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Lay-by potholes ‘the size of craters’

POTHOLES “the size of craters” in a lay-by along one of the busiest routes in the county are to be brought to the attention of the gardaí. Councillor James Breen has vowed to make contact with gardaí in Ennis and Ennistymon in a bid to prevent farmers and those driving heavy machinery from being prosecuted for not pulling in to allow cars pass due to the state of the lay-by. At this week’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, the councillor urged that the passing bays on the N85, both east and west of Kilnamona Cross, be upgraded. Photographs of the waterlogged potholes were presented to the council, with Councillor Breen saying that he will also be sending the images to the gardaí. Councillor Breen stated, “I was going to bring my dog with me to take the photographs to show the size of the holes. He’s a fairly big dog but I was afraid he’d get drowned.” He continued …

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Puppy cruelly dumped and left to die

A FIVE-week-old puppy suffered extensive injuries and was dumped, before dying, in what Clare’s county dog warden has described as “one of the worst things I’ve seen”. The small black terrier was found by a young boy and had a broken back and two broken legs. The cold and wet animal had been thrown in a bush near Our Lady’s Hospital. Mr Coote was contacted and efforts were made to save the pup but he sadly died on the way to the vet. The dog warden believes that an attempt was made to deliberately kill the pup. “It’s terrible what was done. He was in a lot of pain. He had two broken back legs and his back was severed, you could clearly see it was broken. Fair play to the young boy for having the sense to bring him to us. It was traumatising and terrible for the pup but it was also terrible for that young boy to …

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Go ahead for Lahinch Pro protection works

Business and community leaders in Lahinch breathed a collective sigh of relief this week, following the green light for €2.85m of major coastal protection works for the promenade area of Lahinch seafront. The long wait for the start of this work, which will be fully funded through the OPW and will be undertaken under the auspices of Clare County Council, is now over. It includes the addition of extensive rock armour storm defence to the existing structure, a new concrete apron in front of the current seawall, refurbishment of existing steps and ramped access to the beach, along with development of a new universally accessible ramp at the north end of the promenade. In a recent council briefing document for councillors, the council acknowledged that the existing sea wall and boulder protection along the promenade have proven to be inadequate to prevent wave action overtopping the structure during extreme storm events. This has led to extreme flooding in the car …

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Kilrush man seek access to new CF drug

THIRTY-two-year-old Robert Cook from Kilrush faces an every-day battle with cystic fibrosis. He lives in the West Clare town with his wife Sandra and their two children and, on the surface, everything appears normal. “We are an ordinary family that do the day-to-day things all families do. But the difference between my family and most is that I was born with an inherited life-threatening genetic disease. Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs, pancreas and most other organs in the body. The lungs are affected the most. Cystic fibrosis is a thick green mucus, which is produced in the lungs, making it harder to breath and also is a breeding ground for lung infections and inflammation,” Robert explained. Every morning, Robert has to use a nebuliser before trying to get on with his day. “My daily routine before I have breakfast or even a cup of tea involves having a number of nebulisers to work through, to help my lungs and the …

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Beckman Coulter to create 105 additional jobs

BECKMAN Coulter intends to expand its operations in O’Callaghan’s Mills by creating a further 105 jobs, as it becomes a second European manufacturing site for one of its medical products. The California-based medical diagnostics company, which manufactures biomedical testing instrument systems, announced plans in 2014 to close its Galway facility, resulting in job losses and a relocation of some staff to the Clare-based plant. However, following announcements last year that it intended to increase its workforce by 80 personnel in Clare, it has now confirmed that it intends to generate a further 105 jobs at the site. Speaking to The Clare Champion, a spokesperson for the company outlined that this expansion is due to growth in one of its product lines, which is called Urinalysis. “This is a secondary manufacturing site for a product called urine test strips, which are used in instruments that detect abnormalities in the urine that might signal that the person has an illness, such as …

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The new face of news2day

An Ennis man has been unveiled as the new face of RTE children’s programming. First-time television presenter, Tommy Meskill is the newest addition to the news2day team. news2day is RTÉ’s news service designed specifically for children, featuring Irish and international news of interest to a young audience. Following a call out to media and journalism graduates across the country, Tommy was chosen to join the team and began broadcasting live this week on RTÉ Two and RTÉ News Now. A graduate of Communications Studies from Dublin City University (DCU), Tommy interned with Clare FM during his studies. After completing his degree he worked as a newsreader with Spirit Radio, East Coast FM and then became a reporter at Dublin station FM104. The 22 year old went to school at Barefield National School and then Rice College Ennis.Tommy learned to play piano as a kid, but says he wasn’t great at practicing! He loves to swim and keep active. His favourite …

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Memorial service to mark Shannon’s worst air crash

THIS Saturday is the 55th anniversary of the worst air crash in Shannon’s history and one family are travelling from Austria to commemorate the tragedy. Eighty-four people were killed when a President Airlines Douglas DC-6 crashed into the Estuary on September 10, 1961. Thirty-three-year-old Ferdinand Berger was one of those on board and his death left his wife and three children bereaved. This weekend, his two daughters, Eva and Christa, are visiting with their families. They have been in contact with Fr Tom Ryan over recent months and, speaking about their arrival, he said. “I was contacted during the summer by the Berger family, to help organise a memorial service this Saturday for their father, who died 55 years ago in this crash. “Their contact led me to do a bit of investigation into all that happened in that era in Shannon, which is fairly well documented. Unfortunately, at that time, so many people lost their lives. Everyone who lost …

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