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NASA helping Clare athletes back to fitness

Space age technology originally developed by NASA is being used at Active Ennis Leisure Complex to help improve recovery times, increase mobility and lessen the chance of future injury for athletes and patients. The Ennis complex [part of swmming pool] is the only facility in the Mid-West to provide public access to an anti-gravity AlterG treadmill, which has previously been used by internationally renowned sports stars such as former Irish rugby international Brian O’Driscoll, Barcelona footballer, Luis Suarez; multiple tennis Grand Slam champion, Rafa Nadal and Irish Olympian, Derval O’Rourke. It’s more widely used across the United States where it is a regular feature of the recovery process for injured professional basketballers and American footballers. Physiotherapists throughout the world have hailed the treadmill for its role in expediting rehabilitation for athletes overcoming lower leg injuries, or for patients with a variety of medical conditions such as strokes, Parkinson’s Disease and total knee and hip joint replacements. “We are delighted to …

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Ennis singer auditions to be the next Voice of Ireland

THE Voice of Ireland may have found an Ennis voice to represent County Clare ahead of the screening of Sarah McTernan’s audition in the New Year. The popular singing competition returns for a fourth season on Sunday January 4 on RTÉ One where the coaching panel made up of Una Foden and Rachel Stevens, Kian Egan and Bressie will determine who gets a spot in the series. Among those who are due to go on stage to perform in blind auditions in front of them is Sarah McTernan from Ennis. The 20 year old is currently studying vocals and dance at the University of Limerick and she will sing Who You Are by Jessie J for her audition. Speaking about her passion for music and reasons for going on the show, the Ennis woman says her Mum has always pushed her to sing and play instruments. However, she says she has only recently started gigging and writes some of her …

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Ennis Fleadh bid gets a boost

CLARE could be tuning up for a €30 million Fleadh Cheoil windfall in 2016, after a bid to secure the return festival to the Banner County got a major boost. Efforts to host the lucrative 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competition in Ennis got a significant shot in the arm after a submission from the local branch defeated Cork City by 11 votes to nine. For the first time ever, counties have to submit their plans for hosting the event and Clare’s bid, which was in the name of the Abbey branch in Ennis, triumphed, with two votes to spare. It is expected a final decision on the current shortlist will be made next March. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was last held in Ennis in 1977. People always remember the 1956 Fleadh too, made famous by the Robbie McMahon song, The Fleadh Down in Ennis. Ennis is now in a three-horse race involving Sligo, who are hosting the All-Ireland showpiece …

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IWS recognises Liam’s dedication

FORMER Clare Civil Defence officer and water safety development officer (WSDO), Liam Griffin, has been named Irish Water Safety’s 60th Life Governor in recognition of his dedication towards the humanitarian goal of saving lives from drowning. Clare County Council’s WSDO from 1996 until his recent retirement, Liam followed in the footsteps of the late Noel Carmody, who died before his time and was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best WSDO’s ever. Liam maintained and then improved standards in the performance of his duties as WSDO and as a member of Irish Water Safety (IWS). Clare is one of the most challenging counties in which to hold this brief, being surrounded by water on three sides. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean, with the west coast famous for its many swimming and surfing beaches, from Bishop’s Quarter in North Clare, to Fanore, Lahinch, Milltown Malbay, Spanish Point and Kilkee in the south. Inland, Clare is bounded by …

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Nursing home addressing issues of non-compliance

A Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report, from an announced inspection of a nursing home in Ennis, found 10 out of the 18 ‘outcomes’  were non-compliant, two of which were categorised as ‘major’ non-compliance. The HIQA inspection took place at Ennis Nursing Home, Showgrounds Road, on September 30 and October 1 of this year but the report was only published last week. Despite the issues of non-compliance, the report states that residents of the nursing home told the inspector they were happy living in the centre and they felt safe there. Staff also demonstrated good knowledge of the residents’ care needs when speaking with the inspector. However, “significant improvements were required in the documentation of nursing assessments and care plans and medication management”. The report found major non-compliance in the area of safeguarding and safety. The inspector found that training in adult protection had not been delivered to all staff or was overdue for some others. Improvements were required …

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Fears over ‘unsafe’ hospital plan

UP to 1,200 nurses in the Mid-West look set to approve industrial action early in the new year over “unsafe” plans to provide more than 100 extra beds in corridors and unsuitable rooms at Ennis Hospital and other local acute hospitals without extra staffing. Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) and SIPTU will ballot for industrial action during the first week of January over a new HSE escalation plan, which is designed to tackle chronic overcrowding in the emergency department (ED) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). The general consensus indicates this ballot for industrial action will be approved by a large majority, paving the way for a work-to-rule as a starting point possibly during the third or fourth week of January. INMO representative, Mary Fogarty has demanded to know who sanctioned the reconfiguration of acute hospitals services in the Mid-West, which involved the closure of 24-hour emergency services in Ennis without putting the required additional resources into …

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14th White Flag for Ennis Leisure Complex

Active Ennis Leisure Complex has today (Friday) been presented with its 14th White Flag Award. The prestigious awards scheme, which is coordinated by Ireland Active and endorsed by Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), is the only comprehensive quality and excellence award for Irish health and leisure facilities. Ennis Leisure Complex is the only facility in Clare to have received the White Flag every year since the award scheme’s inception in 2001. The White Flag Award was presented to Tim Forde, Active Ennis general manager, by Mayor of Ennis, Johnny Flynn and Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe. Mr Forde said, “The staff are immensely proud to have achieved the benchmark for highest standards within the health and leisure industry. They regard this success as a vote of confidence in the range and quality of services provided at Ennis Leisure Complex, including the 25-metre public swimming pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium, and various training and fitness programmes.” He added, …

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‘Champion brings a warm glow to ‘Frozen’ windows

THE retail community in Ennis have created a series of magical, sparkling windows allowing the public to dip into the world of Christmas fantasy. Their imagination was inspired this year by the theme of The Clare Champion’s annual window display competition, Frozen in Ennis. This is the 11th year of the competition and entrants were invited to, once again, give free rein to their creative sides and they certainly Let it Go. The wide interpretation of Frozen in Ennis, inspired by the 2013 Walt Disney film, the highest grossing animation movie of all time, was reflected in the glittering shop fronts all around the town. Since its release last year, Frozen has become a firm favourite with children of all ages. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, it tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey along with a rugged iceman, his loyal pet reindeer and a naive snowman, in …

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