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Kilkee coast guard unit further down-graded

ACROSS the May Bank Holiday weekend, Kilkee had no coast guard service available in the event of an emergency. A source has told The Clare Champion that the limited service the Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard had been providing was further down-graded, following a recent training incident. It has also been claimed that the current coast guard crew have not recently passed an Operational Readiness Assessment (ORA) in more than two years. The Clare Champion contacted the Department of Transport on Wednesday for a comment on the claims, but it had not responded at the time of going to press. “The coast guard will say that they have a boat. We all know they have a boat but they don’t have a crew. Every time they need to go in the water, they need to bring an instructor down from Maritime SAR to even get on the water to do the training. There are about six people who …

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Gender equality award for UL

The School of Education and the Physics Department at University of Limerick has been awarded Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) Bronze Department Awards. The award recognises and celebrates good practice towards the advancement of gender equality and specifically representation, progression and success for all. In particular, the charter was set up to encourage the advancement of careers for women in STEM, and higher education and research. The School of Education will be the first School of Education to receive an award in the higher education sector in Ireland. Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board require Irish HEIs to secure Athena SWAN Bronze awards by the end of 2019 to ensure they are eligible to compete for research funding allocated by any of the three agencies. By the end of 2023 HEIs will be required to hold Athena SWAN Silver awards to be eligible for research funding. University of Limerick was one of the …

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Inquiry into CervicalCheck Screening Programme

The Cabinet has agreed this week to establish a scoping inquiry into the issues which have recently come to light in relation to the CervicalCheck Screening Programme. Dr Gabriel Scally has been appointed to carry out the inquiry and report back to the Minister for Health by the end of next month setting out his findings. Dr Scally has also asked an international expert in women’s health, Dr Karin Denton, consultant in cellular pathology, North Bristol NHS Trust and previously regional head of screening quality assurance, Public Health England, to provide assistance in undertaking this review. Minister for Health Simon Harris said, “I gave a commitment that some good would come from this situation and today Cabinet has agreed to establish a scoping inquiry into the issues which have recently come to light in relation to the CervicalCheck Screening Programme. We need to examine the facts and get answers quickly for Irish women, while also identifying issues that may merit …

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Bishop’s invitation to choose life

THE question posed by the Eight Amendment to the Contitution has profound moral and religious implications for us all and specifically for the right to life of the unborn child, according to the Bishop of Killaloe Fintan Monahan. “The choice we make will shape our society for generations to come,” he said in the introduction to his pastoral letter, published this week. Cherishing Life Christians believe that all life is sacred and is a gift from God. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says ‘The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit.’ To destroy the body is to deny the human soul its right to full development. Modern medicine and science has done so much to help us appreciate …

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Leader backs new plans for Tulla

A NEW development plan for Tulla is on its way, after the village was successful in its application to receive support from Clare Local Development Company and the LEADER programme. The proposed plan will help Tulla to meet the needs of the community for the years ahead. The first step is a public consultation that aims to find out what people think about Tulla, what locals like about it and what they don’t like. To achieve this, the Tulla Planning Group is distributing a short survey. It is hoped to reach as many people as possible, so the survey will be distributed through schools, churches and businesses. Jim O’Sullivan, of the planning group, explained they have asked people to leave their club or group affliations at the door when filling out the survey. He said the group expects to get a variety of views across all demographics and aims to address these concerns in a plan. “Parking is of interest …

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Clarecastle solar farm ‘will not affect pilots’

THE global energy company behind plans for a proposed solar farm in Clarecastle have insisted that pilots flying in and out of Shannon Airport will not be affected by reflections of the sun from its solar panels. Engie Developments Ireland Ltd has applied to Clare County Council seeking a 10-year planning permission for the development of a solar farm on a site located in the townlands of Lissan West and Ballaghafaddy West, Clarecastle. The proposed solar farm will comprise the construction and operation of solar PV arrays mounted on metal frames on a site over 33ha, inclusive of a single electrical control building, substation, up to eight inverter units, one temporary construction area with ancillary facilities, boundary fencing with CCTV, an access track and all associated works. According to the developers, the solar farm, if given the go-ahead, will have a generation capacity of up to 19mw, enough electricity to power approximately 3,356 households. The planning application has been objected …

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Bishop celebrating family with a diocesan picnic

Bishop Fintan Monahan has invited families from all across the Diocese of Killaloe to join him this Sunday for a Family Picnic Day. The event will take place in the Showgrounds in Ennis, from 2pm to 6pm, and admission to the picnic day is free. The event is being organised by the Killaloe Diocesan Youth Council, in conjunction with the World Meeting of Families. While there will be some limited catering at the event, families are encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets and there will be prizes for the best turned out ones. There will also be lots of entertainment to suit all the generations, in terms of live music and family-friendly activities. Welcoming families to the event, Bishop Monahan said, “I look forward to the coming together of all the generations to celebrate and rejoice in all that it means to be a family. It is a wonderful preparation for when Pope Francis joins us for the World …

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Night nurse humbled by work

A Kilmihil-based cancer support night nurse says she is “humbled” by the welcome she receives from families while she is caring for their loved ones. Working with the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) since June 2002 as a night nurse, Anne Normoyle is one of the night nurses who are the link between the living and the dying. Speaking at the launch of the ICS’s Relay for Life, Anne admitted there is a huge trust issue when by families let a total stranger into their home to look after a loved one at a very vulnerable stage in their lives. “Night nurses are humbled by the fact we are accepted into peoples’ homes at such a delicate time for the patient and their family. “A person may be all dressed up the first night but, by night two, generally, they are in their pyjamas ready to go to bed. It is a good sign that they have their trust in us …

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