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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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Doireann clasps literature prize

A CLARE writer has won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Bilingual poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa won the €10,000 prize, which is awarded for a body of work by a young Irish writer that shows exceptional promise. The award follows the recent publication of her collection of poetry, Clasp. Announcing the winner, Ireland chair of poetry and selection committee member Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin said, “Doireann NI Ghríofa is a poet to watch, with a fresh view of the world: apparently ordinary houses, shops, common objects and activities. The sureness of her touch and the skill with which she handles language and shapes her poems are almost invisible but it is through them that she achieves the feat of making us look again at the usual and illuminates its pulsating strangeness. “She is a brilliant addition to the distinguished succession of bilingual poets writing in Irish and English.” Doireann said that contrary to some descriptions in the media, she is a …

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Olympic rower visits Children’s Ark

Staff at The Children’s Ark, University Hospital Limerick were delighted to welcome former colleague and Olympic rowing champion, Sinéad Jennings to the ward earlier this week. Sinéad was invited by Consultant Paediatrician Dr Michael Mahony to drop by and share her experiences in Rio this Summer, where she competed in the lightweight double sculls taking sixth place in the race. During 2013, Sinéad spent six months with the Children’s Ark, UHL as SHO (Senior House Officer) as part of her medical training to become a GP. A Letterkenny native, Sinéad lives in Limerick and is a member of St Michael’s Rowing Club on O’Callaghan Strand in the city.  She moved to Limerick after her marriage to Limerick’s two time Olympic rower Sam Lynch. They have three daughters Clodagh (5), Molly (3) and Hannah (2). Speaking about her SHO training at UHL, the Olympic rower said, “Working as an SHO was much harder than training to be an Olympic rower, but just …

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Body of fisherman recovered from Galway Bay

A multi-agency air and sea rescue operation was mounted in Galway Bay yesterday evening after a fisherman was reported missing. Following an intensive search the man was recovered from the water and removed to Galway University Hospital where he has since died. The Irish Coastguard was alerted at about half past three by a local fisherman who came across a local fishing boat with its engine running and no one on board, in an area south of Tawn Island off Maree, Oranmore, south of Galway Bay. Galway RNLI Lifeboat launched from Galway Docks and were joined by the Aran Island All weather RNLI Lifeboat, the Irish Coastguard Helicopter from Shannon and the Casla Bay Coastguard Lifeboat. Within an hour they were joined in the search by nine local fishing boats from across the bay. The Aran Islands RNLI Lifeboat recovered the casualty about one mile west of Blackrock, off Salthill, and proceeded to Galway Harbour where the emergency services were …

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Element Six workers serve notice of strike action

SIPTU members in Element Six in Shannon have served management with notice of a 24-hour work stoppage which will begin on Wednesday, September 21 at 6.30am. SIPTU Organiser, Ray Mitchell, said: “Last month, our members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in response to the failure of management to fully implement a Labour Court recommendation in relation to changes of work practices and shift patterns at the industrial diamond manufacturing plant. “Since then, there has been no attempt by management to engage with our members to discuss the issues that have resulted in this dispute. SIPTU representatives remain available to meet with management to engage in serious negotiations to find a solution to the outstanding issues.” He added: “If management was to engage in negotiations with our members that were really aimed at finding a resolution to the issues in dispute, the upcoming action could yet be averted. It is now up to management to show its willingness to focus …

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