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Broadford Man dies at Lahinch beach

A South-East Clare community is in mourning this week after a Broadford pensioner died suddenly at Lahinch beach on Sunday afternoon. He has been named locally as Patrick O’Connell, Doon Road, Broadford. The 72 year-old man was paddling in shallow water about six to eight inches deep when he collapsed suddenly and fell down with what is believed to a suspected heart attack shortly after 3 pm.The incident took place about 30 yards out from the shoreline at the north end of the Lahinch promenade. According to Lahinch Search and Rescue secretary, Tomsie O’Sullivan two women and a man pulled the man in from the water on the beach where one of them, who was a qualified nurse proceeded to give Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Mr O’Sullivan recalled he was contacted by the Valentia Coast Guard service to confirm that an incident had taken place that required assistance and he confirmed this with two lifeguards who were aware of what had …

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Sisters celebrate slimming success

A health scare prompted two North Clare sisters to shed 11 stone 11 pounds between them in just nine months. Ann O’Sullivan and Bernie Bennis, both from Ennistymon, joined Slimming World in Ennis last October after a trip to the doctor showed the toll Ann’s weight was having on her health. “Initially, I didn’t realise I had put on so much weight. I got a terrible shock when I stepped on the weighing scales on October 9. What happened was like everyone else, you get married, you are cooking, you are picking at food and my GP said it was time to do some bloods. We did the bloods and my cholesterol was just slightly over 5. That is how it happened. “I went back to get the results of my cholesterol and it had jumped to 6.4. So she gave me an ultimatum saying I had to either had to drop the weight or take the medication,” Ann recalled. …

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Shannon Aerospace on the up

SHANNON Aerospace saw a boost in profitability in 2013, according to newly-filed accounts. The profit recorded for the year was €1,119,000, which was more than nine times the 2012 figure. The company was involved in a serious dispute with workers over pensions earlier this year, with industrial action almost resulting. Regarding the pension scheme, the accounts state, “The company operates a contributory defined benefit pension scheme. At the end of 2013, the net pension deficit calculated by the scheme’s actuary had decreased to €15.69 million (2012: €17.79 million). The company has maintained its contribution rate at 13.3% of pensionable salary, up to a salary cap of €50,000. Since the year-end, the company have ceased contributions to the defined benefit pension plan and will replace it with a defined contribution benefit plan for its employees. Management are currently in negotiations with the company’s workforce regarding the structure of this new scheme.” The accounts state that the number of workers at Shannon …

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New Ryanair flight good news for Clare

Ryanair’s announcement of a new flight from Manchester to Shannon Airport this winter, which will help boost tourism to Co Clare and the West of Ireland from the all-important British market, according to Tourism Ireland. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement is more good news for tourism to the West of Ireland this year. We already work very closely with Ryanair and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of this new flight to Shannon. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in visitor numbers.” Britain is the largest single market for tourism to the island of Ireland; last year, we welcomed approximately 3.8 million British visitors, who contributed some €1.2 billion in revenue to the economy. Niall Gibbons continued: “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to Ireland and we are really pleased to see strong growth …

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Ballinakill man receives Benemerenti medal

A well-known local activist and primary school principal was presented with a Benemerenti papal award recently. As a teaching principal at Ballinakill National School, the promotion of the Catholic ethos was first and foremost in Martin Fahy’s vision for the school. However, the leadership role Mr Fahy played on several committees in the parish such as pastoral councils, school committees and hall committees resulted in official recognition in the form of this prestigious medal. His son, Ger, is musical director for Michael Flatley, while his daughter, Mairin, plays with the internationally renowned Chieftains. Both are involved in the staging of Trad on the Prom in Salthill each year. Although Mr Fahy is a native of the neighbouring parish of Kilnadema, he has made a major contribution to the social, educational and spiritual development of the people of the parish of Derrybrien/Ballinakill since he came to live there more than five decades ago. During his long stints of community work,  he …

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Asian family claim they are ‘victims of racism’

AN Asian family living in Shannon’s Cúl na Gréine housing estate claim they are victims of racism, having been verbally abused, assaulted and having had their house egged many times over several years. They have blasted Clare County Council claiming they have failed to respond to numerous complaints and that the racism has come from the local authority, as well as those behind the direct abuse. One family member said that assurances they were given when they arrived have not been honoured and that incidents of racism were ignored by the local authority. “We are here for seven or eight years, since this estate was built. We were the first tenants here and when we signed the lease, we were given an assurance that if there was any anti-social behaviour, the people involved would be evicted. It was in the terms and conditions. We thought it sounded good, we were naïve, we didn’t know that council estates could be like …

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Pollock holes ‘eighth wonder’ of the world

MANUEL DI Lucia insists the 320 million year old Pollock Holes in Kilkee, along with Duggerna Reef, are akin to the eighth wonder of the world. The reef is tidal and can only be accessed at low tides or two hours before low tide, which gives in the region of five hours access between tides. Located at the West End of the West Clare resort town, the Pollock Holes have been examined in detail by geology professor Andy Pulham, who conducts regular field trips to Kilkee and the Loop Head Peninsula. He brings geologists from across the globe to the area, where they examine the wonders of the coastline. “The reason the reef is called the Pollock Holes is because they are inhabited by small pollock for around six months of the year. They have been known as this name for as far back as 70 years.  I was the first person to swim in the Pollock Holes with a …

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Banner leading the way in tackling beef crisis

Local farming and mart representatives are leading the way in the battle to prevent hundreds of suckler cow producers facing “decimination” in the wake of the latest beef “crisis”. Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has been asked to take urgent action to deal with the crisis affecting thousands of beef producers at a meeting organised by the Clare Fianna Fáil Agriculture Committee. Their growing concern is highlighted in figures from the Teagasc National Farm Survey 2013, which show the difficulties facing suckler farmers and beef finishers. The figures show that, on average, net losses on suckling enterprises were 167% higher in 2013 than in 2012. “Suckler farmers lost an average of €123 per hectare, which is more than twice the level of the average negative net margin in 2012. In terms of loss per cow, the figure was €171, more than twice the 2012 figure, clearly representing an unsustainable level of losses,” said ICSA president, Patrick Kent. “Cattle finishers also …

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