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Clarecastle man pleads guilty to dealing Cocaine

A 62-year-old Clarecastle man has pleaded guilty to having €4,000 worth of cocaine in his possession for sale or supply at a sitting of Limerick District Court this week. Gerard Casey of 68 St Joseph’s Terrace, pleaded guilty to charges of having cocaine for sale or supply and possession of the illegal drug on April 20, 2017 at a sitting of Limerick City District Court on Monday, October 2. The Clarecastle man has admitted having the drugs at Bunlicky – a townland on the N18 earlier this year. The court heard that the Director of Public Prosecutions had consented to the matter being dealt with summarily before the district court on a plea of guilty only, and jurisdiction was accepted. A probation report was ordered and the matter was adjourned to December 6 next for this to be prepared and it is likely that sentencing will take place on that date.

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West Clare Man Facing Trial Over Fatal Inagh Crash

A 60-year-old West Clare man has appeared in court this week charged with dangerous driving causing the death of three-year-old Estlin Wall in Inagh earlier this year. Senan O’Flaherty, with an address at Lower Gowerhass, Cooraclare appeared before Ennis District Court on Wednesday. He is charged with dangerous driving causing the death of Estlin Wall at Ballyea South, Inagh on March 15, 2017. The substance of the charge alleges that the defendant drove in a manner, including speed, which, having regard to the circumstances of the case, was dangerous to the public thereby, causing the death of Estlin Wall. Garda Ruth O’Sullivan gave evidence of arresting Mr O’Flaherty at 9.45pm on Monday, September 30 at his address. She said he made no reply after caution in respect of the single charge of dangerous driving causing death. Solicitor Joe Chambers, representing the defendant in court, said he did not have an application for free legal aid. Inspector Tom Kennedy, prosecuting, outlined that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the case proceed on indictment to the Circuit Criminal Court for trial. He said a Book of Evidence would be required in the matter and requested an adjournment to facilitate this. Judge Patrick Durcan, presiding, adjourned the case to December 13 next and granted an application to extend time to serve the Book of Evidence in the case. It is expected that the book will be served on the accused on that date Estlin Luna Wall was the daughter of Amy Dutil Wall and Vincent Wall from Ennistymon and was a sister to Mannix. She died just 11 days shy of her fourth birthday. Her dad, Vincent, is the brother of Steve and Joe Wall of the band The Stunning. He was also in the car on the day she was killed. The family, who run a framing business in Ennistymon, made the decision to donate Estlin’s organs before taking her off life support a number of days after the crash. Arising from the tragedy, Steve Wall set up an online fund to help the family and it received a significant amount of support, with more than €70,000 raised for the family. Donations above this were made to Temple Street Children’s Hospital. In memory of Estlin, her former créche, Inagh Ark Childcare, planted a pink cherry blossom tree. They said when they look at it, they will recall Estlin as “the most beautiful girl with curly fair hair”, “funny, witty, playful and loveable. She had a heart of gold and the most infectious smile”.

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

29% Drop in Uptake of HPV vaccine in Clare

There has been a 29% drop in the uptake of the free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme for girls in County Clare since it commenced in 2010, according to figures released by the HSE. Provisional figures show that the uptake of the vaccine in the county is 10% above the national average at just slightly below 60%, but this has fallen from 89% since the vaccine programme was first introduced. This reduction is something that has not been helped by the comments made by, and later retracted, by Bishop of Waterford Alphonsus Cullinan, who is originally from Lahinch, according to a HSE spokesperson. Bishop Cullinan was quoted in the media last week suggesting that the vaccine would encourage promiscuity. In an interview with WLR (Waterford Local Radio), he preached abstinence, stating the vaccine was “lulling teenage girls into a false sense of security”. “We have to do better than giving our boys condoms and our girls injections,” he said. …

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GAA star to elevate youth wellness issue

ELEVATE has announced that Podge Collins will be its first ambassador to champion youth wellness in Clare. The Elevate Foundation was established by Clare’s first Mount Everest summiteer John Burke and his wife Aoibhín Garrihy. A not-for-profit organisation, it aims to fund the roll-out of a multifaceted wellness programme to young people, utilising independent organisations and professionals, who specialise in youth wellness and mental health. Podge said it is something he would have liked to have seen in place when he was a teenager. “The projects that Elevate hope to roll out across secondary schools in Clare, they weren’t around when I was in school. A lot of people my age would have benefited from them.” Elevate are offering five mindfulness sessions for every second-level student in Clare and he said teachers he has spoken to are very positive about it. “It’s great for them to get a bit of support from an organisation like Elevate that is willing to …

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Ennis All Stars bid to retain SARI Cup

ON Saturday, Ennis All Stars FC head to Dublin to participate in the Tesco Mobile Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) Cup, with hopes of bringing it back to the Banner for the third time. Ennis All Stars won the SARI annual national tournament twice, firstly in September 2011 and again in 2015, after beating a team from Mosney in a dramatic penalty shoot out. Ennis All Stars are the only team in the 21 years of the tournament to win the cup twice. The SARI inter-cultural Soccerfest will take place at the Garda Sports grounds, Phoenix Park alongside the launch of the European Week of Sport. Teams will be drawn from all over Ireland and will include teams representing the Syrian and Rohingya refugee communities. This will be a huge celebration of the benefits of sport from keeping healthy to social inclusion. The organizers are inviting people to come along and try out the many sports that will be on …

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ISME warning on cyber attacks

ISME, the Irish SME Association, in its E-crime report, has noted the high number of cyber-attacks on small and medium sized enterprises over the last 12 months. The issue of cyber-attacks and online computer related incidents has increased over the last decade. This E-crime report is part of wider research publication launched earlier this week and makes several recommendations on preventing and tackling cyber-crime. Commenting on the report, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said, “Crimes against business takes many forms, but the area in which we see most increased activity is cyber-crime”. “Increased online business activity has expedited and expanded trade, creating a cheaper, more flexible, and far reaching business environment; but with this comes security risk”. “Businesses must become more aware of the threats posed by cyber-attacks and take proper preventative measures. It is worrying that 20% of businesses surveyed do not change their password settings. This is a very simple preventative measure any business can take”

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Decrease in July retail figures

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, has warned that the retail sales figures for July, released by the CSO today (Monday) act as a timely reminder not to take continued growth in the sector for granted. Core retail sales in July decreased by 0.6% when compared with June, indicating a mid-summer dip in performance. However, the group said that broader retail trends remain positive, with sales increasing by 3.5% in the year to date. Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke stated, “Despite a return to growth in retail sales values, core retail sales, excluding motor trades and bar sales, remain volatile. While there may be a perception that all is well again in the retail sector, much of the current growth is being driven by deep discounting in shops and ongoing sales activity. Such prolonged discounting, while necessary in the current uncertain consumer market, is undoubtedly draining profits for retailers. “This environment makes it difficult for retailers to …

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New Research Paper Highlights Inequity in Anomaly Scan Offering

A NEW research paper published by the Irish Medical Journal, which was co-written by a South East Clare obstetrician, has revealed pregnant women living outside of Dublin only have a 38% chance of being offered an anomaly scan in the public system. Parteen native Dr Karen McNamara is a specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology and a clinical research fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College Cork. She was involved in compiling the recently-published research, Maternity Ultrasound in the Republic of Ireland 2016; A Review. Dr McNamara noted the number of women being offered an anomaly scan outside of Dublin stands at 38%, a number that has remained largely unchanged despite it being highlighted in previous pieces of research in 2007, 2012 and 2013. She said the review she conducted with Dr Deirdre Hayes Ryan, Dr Noirin Russell, Professor Louise Kenny and Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, showed an inequity in the service that pregnant women are receiving; most notably, that 100% of public patients are being offered the anomaly scan if they attend maternity services in Dublin but only 38% are offered it elsewhere in the country. …

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