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Northern education minister to attend INTO conference

Minister for Education in Northern Ireland, John O Dowd is to address the INTO conference in Ennis in April, is has been confirmed. He will speak on Tuesday, April 7 following the address of the Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. The INTO general secretary, Sheila Nunan will respond to both ministers on behalf of approximately 850 delegates, representing 33,000 primary teachers in the south and 7,000 teachers in the north, at Treacys West County Hotel. The Conference will be addressed at its opening session on the previous day by INTO president, Sean McMahon from Mullagh and and Tom Healy, director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). Tom has previously worked in the Economic and Social Research Institute, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the National Economic and Social Forum and the Department of Education and Skills.

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Ennis woman nominated as judge

Ennis solicitor, Marie Keane has been nominated by the Government for appointment by the President as a judge to the District Court. He appointment, along with that of Mr John King, arise from the elevation to the Circuit Court of His Hon. Judge Eugene O’Kelly and the recent retirement of Judge Eamon O’Brien on 24 January 2015. A partner in the firm of [John] Callinan Keane; after her early education,Marie studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway, qualifying with a BA (1988) and LLB (1991), and the Law Society – Solicitors Professional Course in 1994. She also has qualifications in commercial property, mental health law and in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. She is a member of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society, a founding member of the Family Law Mediation Group and a member of the panel for the Mental Health Commission. Marie has been at the forefront of new legal developments since the recent property crash …

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Ennis landmarks going green for Patrick’s Day

Áras Contae an Chláir and the O’Connell Monument in Ennis will be illuminated in green light in the days leading up to St Patrick’s Day. Clare County Council is also encouraging businesses and building owners, particularly of high profile well known buildings around the county, to support the initiative by turning their properties green for Ireland’s national holiday. Welcoming the decision to illuminate some of the town’s best-known landmarks, Mayor of Ennis, Johnny Flynn said, “Famous buildings and locations all over the world will be lit up as part of Tourism Ireland’s drive to grow overseas tourism to Ireland. I am delighted Ennis is participating in this initiative and in illuminating the O’Connell Monument and Áras Contae an Chláir. The Clare capital and the people of the county will also be able to showcase their national pride to the world.” Meanwhile, St Patrick’s Day 2015 in Ennis promises to be a major celebration, with large crowds expected on the streets. …

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Prison term for indecent assaults increased

A 71-year-old man has been returned to prison for one year following a finding by the Court of Appeal that his two-year prison sentence for indecently assaulting two boys in the 1980s was too lenient. However, in its decision delivered today (Tuesday), the court found that the maximum penalty for indecently assaulting a male in the 1980s was two years in prison and not 10, as had been suggested. James (Tony) Maher of Clonroad Beg, Ennis, had pleaded guilty to 18 sample counts of indecently assaulting two boys in the county between January 1982 and April 1985. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment on each count to run concurrently by Judge Carroll Moran at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on January 14 2013. The Director of Public Prosecutions successfully applied for a review of Maher’s sentence on grounds that it was unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal agreed and increased Maher’s sentence by one year. President of the Court of …

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Walk or bike it to the Coláiste

Coláiste Muire in Ennis will launch its ‘Fresh Air Friday’ initiative this Friday, as part of efforts to secure a Green-Schools Travel Flag. The Travel Flag encourages students, parents and teachers to walk, cycle, car-pool, Park N’ Stride or use public transport on the school run. Staff , as well as parents of students being driven to school, will be leaving the car at home or a distance away to participate in the initiative, which is being facilitated by An Taisce Green-Schools and supported by Clare County Council. Having saved 2,650,000 litres of water from 2011 to 2014 while working on the Green-Schools Water Flag, one of three Flags held by Coláiste Muire, the school is now working on securing the Travel Flag. “At present over 65% of their 860 pupils at Coláiste Muire are arriving to school in a car, so the school has taken on the Green-Schools Travel flag with great enthusiasm,” commented Róisín Garvey, travel education officer …

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Contact signed for Ennis water mains upgrade

Irish Water, in conjunction with Clare County Council, has signed a contract for the replacement of around 17km of water mains that are in poor condition in Ennis and surrounding areas. The work to be undertaken by Ward and Burke Construction is part of the Clare Water Conservation Water Main Rehabilitation Strategy. The project will involve the installation of 11.8km of new polyethylene and ductile iron water mains at various locations around Ennis town. Additionally, works will include the replacement of 95 backyard and 978 front of house service connections (which includes replacement of 230 lead service connections) and the transfer of 44 service connections to a recently laid water main in Clarecastle, delivering improved levels of water pressure for customers there. A ring water main between Claureen Roundabout, Lahinch Road and Kilrush Road will also be re-commissioned to improve water pressure in those areas. The project will deliver financial savings over the medium and long term, with reduced maintenance …

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Howard backs new alcohol bill proposals

An Ennis councilllor, whose family was involved in the drinks industry for many years, has welcomed the proposals contained in the heads of The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015. These proposals are long overdue and the bill contains far reaching measures to tackle the widespread problem of alcohol misuse in this country, according to Coucillor Mary Howard. Ms Howard is very familiar with the licensed trade, as a daughter of the late Senator Michael Howard, who owned and operated the One Mile Inn in Ennis for many years. Senator Howard was also a past president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland. “I particularly welcome the proposal to make it illegal to sell alcohol at a price below a set minimum price. The minimum unit price will be set at a level which evidence shows will reduce the burden of harm from alcohol. “This is the most far-reaching legislation on the matter of alcohol. This legislation addresses alcohol as a public health measure. …

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Anne’s crew remember her to Rapunzel

STAFF members in St Joseph’s Hospital are planning a ‘crew cut’ for a fundraising event in memory of their former colleague, Anne Fox, who lost her battle with cancer in September 2013. Three of Anne’s former colleagues are stepping forward for the short back and sides by hairdressers from K&G Hair Salon on Parnell Street, at the function in O’Keeffe’s Bar, Lifford, on February 27. But that’s not all. The group, and the 10-year-old niece of one of the volunteers and the daughter of another, will then hand over their tresses to the Rapunzel Foundation to make into wigs for children and adults who suffer from alopecia. Tommy Guilfoyle, Deirdre Allan and her daughter, Mary, who works in Ryan’s Centra, and St Joseph’s colleague, Nuala Casey haven’t had a haircut since last April or May. Tommy’s niece, Ava Burke, aged 10, a pupil in Gaelscoil Micheál Chiosóg, has never had more than a trim. Now she’s prepared to have 14 …

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