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Philomena author for Ennis Book Club Festival

MARTIN Sixsmith, the journalist and author, whose book inspired the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated film Philomena, will appear at the Ennis Book Club Festival just days after the Academy Awards ceremony. He is just one of many well known authors and personalities who will visit the town in March for the popular festival. Ciana Campbell of the Ennis Book Club Festival voluntary committee said they are delighted to welcome Sixsmith to Ennis, along with the other participants. “It’s all taken off for him; it’s been brilliant so we are looking forward to welcoming him. In fact he seems very enthusiastic about coming here. He will be here just after the Oscars ceremony, but Oscar or no Oscar the success has been phenomenal for him,” she outlined. In 2009 Sixsmith wrote The Lost Child of Philomena Lee about the forcible separation of a Limerick mother and child by the nuns of an Irish convent during the 1950s, and the subsequent …

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Ennis crematorium plan under fire

A PROPOSAL for the development of a crematorium on the outskirts of Ennis has come under fire from the man who has taken over plans for the construction of a similar facility in Shannon. Jim Cranwell has acquired the interests of Illaunamanagh Ltd, which had originally been granted planning permission for a crematorium, chapel and remembrance garden in Shannon in March of 2009. Last year, the local authority granted Mr Cranwell an extension of planning permission for the development at Illaunamanagh, and  he intends to begin construction within the next 12 months. He is now urging Clare County Council to refuse an application for planning permission for another crematorium close to Ennis. The site is two kilometres south of Ennis and one kilometre to the west of Clarecastle and is currently zoned residential. Late last year,  Fenloe Property Development Limited applied to the local authority for permission to construct a chapel, crematorium unit, furnace and remembrance gardens and cemetery at Ballaghfadda …

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Dedication award for Carmel

ENNIS woman Carmel Harnett  was among 90 workers honoured for their dedication in the 2014 GEM Awards, (Going the Extra Mile), presented this week by ISS. GEM Awards recognise the valuable contribution of employees involved in workplace supports such as cleaning, catering, security, pest control and property services. Silver Olympic medal winner, boxer Kenny Egan,  introduced this year’s GEM awards for ISS, a major provider of outsourced businesses. He said that people who work in essential support services are generally the unsung heroes of the workplace. “Their efficiency can sometimes go unnoticed, but without them the business could not function,”  he stated. Carmel, who works in security, impressed the awards panel with her friendly and courteous manner in interacting with the public and her high level of performance and work attitude.   “

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Pedestrian knocked down in Ennis

An elderly man is recovering in hospital after being knocked down in Ennis. The man in his 80s was hit by a car as he stepped off the footpath in Francis Street at around 6.30pm yesterday. He was brought to University Hospital Limerick to be treated for minor injuries to his shoulder and head. Gardaí in Ennis are investigating the accident.  

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Two €100,000-winning tickets sold in Clare

2014 started well for a young Dublin couple after they claimed their prize on Thursday in the Christmas Millionaire Raffle. Their ticket was one of two €100,000 winning tickets sold in County Clare. Lauren Doyle and Patrick O’Sullivan picket up €100,000 in the Christmas Millionaire Raffle draw on Tuesday evening. Lauren’s aunt gave the couple the lucky ticket for Christmas. “It’s the best Christmas present ever,” said Lauren. “We got engaged in November so this will definitely help with the wedding.” The winning ticket number is 098 894 and it was bought in the Post Office, Bank Place in Ennis, Co. Clare on Thursday, December 19. A second ticket worth €100,000 was also sold in Ennis. The winning ticket number is 005 294 and it was sold in O’Dowds, Turnpike Road on Saturday, November 9. The winner has not yet made contact with the National Lottery. The winner of the €1 million winning ticket has not yet claimed the prize. …

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Christmas closure of rehab unit

THE lack of public rehabilitation services for patients following the closure over Christmas of a unit in St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital, Ennis has provoked anger. The Rehabilitation Unit in St Joseph’s, which can accommodate 11 male and 11 female patients, was closed at short notice on Monday, December 23 last. It also provides respite support for Clare carers, who are looking after family members that require 24-hour care, such as Alzheimer’s patients. This is the first time that this unit closed in the last four or five years. While the HSE is unable to give a definite date for the reopening of this unit, the agency predicted this service would resume “when demand increases, most likely next week”. HSE West Health Forum member, Councillor Brian Meaney, is “shocked” with its closure and has requested the HSE to allocate whatever resources are necessary to fast track the re-opening of this unit. Councillor Meaney stressed this rehab unit provided a vital recovery …

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Electricity back in most areas

ELECTRICITY should  be restored to all homes in County Clare by the end of the day, according to the ESB. Power outages occurred in many areas, as a result of the storm-force winds of recent days. Throughout the West and South-West, ESB repair crew had a very busy few days dealing with power lines brought down by falling trees and damage to high voltage lines. In the Ennis area, as many as 200 houses were without electricity up to Sunday afternoon, while pockets of other parts of the county were also affected. Met Éireann’s forecast is for continued bad weather with a warning to motorists to watch out for ice on roads, especially minor roads, in the event of temperatures dropping below freezing on wet surfaces.  

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O’Donnell on target for GOAL

ALL-Ireland hurling hat-trick hero, Shane 0’Donnell will operate on a more leisurely pace on Christmas Day that he did in late September when he officially launches the annual GOAL Mile. O’Donnell will be up bright and early on Christmas morning and he is hoping that the people of Ennis and surroundings will come out and join him in support of the event. The now traditional seventh GOAL Mile will take place on Christmas morning in the Fair Green, St Joseph’s Hospital side, at 11am. Shane will be blowing the whistle to get this year’s mile underway. Mary Collins, organiser told us that she is delighted that Shane agreed to get on board and support the GOAL Mile. “It’s fantastic that Shane will be there to blow the whistle and get the mile going, he is a real role model to so many people in Clare. The GOAL Mile is always a fantastic event taking place every year in the Fairgreen …

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