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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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Accused of raping teenager 27 years ago

A 62-YEAR-old man has appeared in court charged with the rape, sexual assault and indecent assault of a young teenager 27 years ago. The man, who is from County Clare and cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with 11 counts of rape, four counts of oral rape, six counts of sexual assault and four counts of indecent assault on the same female. The charges are alleged to have taken place on various dates and at various locations within County Clare between December 18, 1989 and March 31, 1992, when the complainant would have been between 12 and 14 years of age. At a sitting of Ennis District Court, Detective Garda Claire O’Shaughnessy gave evidence of arresting the man and informed the court that the accused made no reply to any of the charges after caution. The man, who appeared in custody, was admitted to bail on his own bond of €500, subject to conditions that he reside at …

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New council CEO sets 4,000 jobs target

CREATING the environment to deliver an additional 4,000 jobs in Clare over the next five years is one of the ambitious targets set by the Clare County Council chief, Pat Dowling. Next Monday, Mr Dowling officially starts his seven-year term, with the possibility of a three-year extension, as the council’s new chief executive officer. In an exclusive interview with The Clare Champion, Mr Dowling has outlined a number of key economic objectives, which will help to transform the county, if they are successfully implemented during his term of office. Asked if he feels the target of 4,000 is achievable, Mr Dowling said that, while it is ambitious, “If you don’t go for it, you don’t get there.” He added, “Tipperary thought that Kilkenny were favourites to win the All-Ireland title but they annihilated them. Clare has to do the same. Clare has to show it can punch above its weight in the region. Instead of saying Clare is not getting …

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Loughnane making blood cancer visible

CLARE’S two-time All-Ireland-winning hurling manager, Ger Loughnane launched the Make Blood Cancer Visible initiative this week and spoke about how he suffered acute myeloid leukaemia for a number of months before it was diagnosed. Blood cancers can be extremely difficult to recognise, the Feakle man said. “The problem with it is there are no physical symptoms really, as regards lumps or swelling, or even pain; there’s no pain involved. That’s why the blood cancers are known as the silent killers. The only sign is constant fatigue; fatigue lasting over a long period of time and flu-like symptoms. “That’s what makes it so dangerous. You’re inclined to ignore it and say it’ll go away, that your energy will come back. While all this is happening, your system is getting weaker and weaker. By the time you are diagnosed, your system is very, very weak and that makes the treatment all the more difficult, if your system is that low. That’s where …

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Charged with possession of child pornography

A 78-YEAR-old East Clare man has appeared before a sitting of Killaloe District Court, charged with possession of child pornography. The accused man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with knowingly having in his possession child pornography on April 30, 2009, at an East Clare address. Garda Aidan Sweeney outlined at this week’s sitting of Killaloe District Court that, of the images that are the subject of these charges, 81 fall under category 1, which is the most serious and relates to images depicting children engaging in explicit sexual activity or witnessing explicit sexual activity. A further 116 images, which are also subject to the charge before the court, relate to category 2. Judge Patrick Durcan was asked to determine whether the case would be dealt with in the district court or the circuit court, and he refused jurisdiction. He remanded the defendant to Killaloe District Court on November 1 for the preparation and service of a …

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