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Regional

Christmas at the coalface of Syrian crisis

BACK in 1995, Mountshannon woman Ann McNamara decided to leave her job with an insurance company and work with Concern in Bangladesh for a two-year period. More than 20 years later, she is still working with an organisation responding to crisis situations. An assistant country director with GOAL, based in Antakya on the Turkey/Syria border for six months, Ann says spending Christmas away from home and family has become the norm. “Over the 22 years I have been overseas, I have probably spent two or three Christmases back in Ireland,” she says. “This is normal for me. It’s so crazy here you don’t even realise it’s Christmas.” Ann initially worked with Concern for 11 years as a regional HR advisor, before working with Oxfam and then Save the Children UK in South Sudan. She returned to Concern in 2011 to work as an assistant country director in Liberia for two years and then spent one year in Lebanon. “I finished my …

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‘Bandaid’ for Liscannor sewage ‘geyser’

Work on a wastewater treatment plant at Liscannor will not begin until 2017, Irish Water confirmed this week however the utility said it had replaced an outfall pipe in the North Clare village, a move described as a “Bandaid” by Patrick Blake of the Liscannor Harbour Amenity Organisation. “We are very disappointed in Liscannor. €68,000 has been wasted in producing another pipe to allow the sewage to flow directly into Liscannor Bay. We recognise that they already have started to do work but we feel, at the moment this, is only a Bandaid treatment. We want to stop sewage going in to Liscannor Bay,” Mr Blake stated. The popular seaside village made national headlines back in August when a ‘geyser’ of sewage was spotted gushing from a pipe there. The people of Liscannor have sought a sewage treatment system for the past two decades. This study was to “look at possible solutions for the upgrade of wastewater infrastructure” but a …

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Finding comfort at nativity at the Height

THE spirit of Christmas is set to be brought out onto the streets of Ennis in a very special way this week. On Christmas Eve, a nativity scene crib will be set up at O’Connell Square, highlighting the spiritual meaning of the holiday season to passersby on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. This is the second year that the crib has been installed at the prominent Ennis location. The crib will be in place from 2pm to 4.30pm on Thursday. As well as the nativity scene, there will be festive music from the Wylde Roses choir and the Clarecastle Youth Choir, and some mince pies on the day. Ennis priest Fr Ger Fitzgerald who is behind the endeavour explained, “The whole idea behind the crib is to show people another side of the church, in that the church is not just four walls. It is a part of life, the church wants to identify with people’s …

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Garda Alert: Ennis man missing

Gardaí are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 20-year-old Ennis man, Michael Bugler, missing from Galway city since Friday last. Michael was last seen in the Quay Street area, Galway City on Friday night at approximately 1am. Michael is described as being 5’9″ in height, of thin build with short brown hair and blue eyes. When last seen Michael was wearing a grey coloured jumper and jeans. Gardaí are concerned for his welfare and are asking anyone with information to contact them at Galway Garda Station on 091 538000, The Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.

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New Year decision on Ennistymon mart plan

People in North Clare will have to wait until next year to find out if controversial plans to knock Ennistymon Mart and build an Aldi supermarket will be allowed. An Bord Pleanála had been expected to decide earlier this week whether or not to permit the proposed demolition of existing buildings on the site and the construction of a single-storey discount foodstore, including off-licence and a carpark with in the region of 80 spaces. However, a decision on the future of the site will not be made until next month. The proposed project was given the go-ahead by Clare County Council earlier in the year, subject to 21 conditions, but this was appealed by three separate parties, Save Ennistymon Mart Committee, local residents and former Mayor of Clare, Flan Garvey. An Bord Pleanála held a lively oral hearing on the proposed development in November, at which all three parties were represented along with Clare County Council and Aldi Stores (Ireland) …

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Doorus family cut off by floodwater

Four houses were completely cut off at the weekend when flood waters rose rapidly at Doorus in O’Callaghan’s Mills. One of the families affected were Martina and Rory Moloney who have 10-year old twins, Caoimhe and Jack. The family, who were forced to evacuate their home, have been promised temporary accomodation in O’Callaghan’s Mills by Clare County Council. Out pictures how the Swift Water Flood Response Team from Clare Civil Defence moving the family and some of their possessions out by boat on Tuesday afternoon. For an extensive interview with Mrs Moloney see page 17 of this week’s Clare Champion. [doptg id=”88″]      

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ESB to release water at Parteen Weir

Limerick City and County Council has been informed by the ESB of plans for further significant releases of water from Parteen Weir. The volume of water planned for release is at a level which is likely to cause flooding of roads and could also potentially affect property in flood-prone locations, according to the council. The areas most at risk of experiencing flooding are Montpelier, Castleconnell and the Mountshannon Road, Lisnagry. The local authority is liaising with householders in these areas that were affected by the 2009 flood and is putting additional measures in place to help alleviate the effects of flooding. At this time, there is no expectation of flooding in Limerick City but the council is monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis. The council is advising property owners in flood-prone locations, and motorists, to exercise vigilance over the coming days. The Council is also calling on property owners and landowners to ensure that drains and gullies on their property …

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Tourism chair to address Washington forum

LOOP HEAD Tourism chairman Cillian Murphy will be among the speakers at the World Bank Tourism Forum, which will be held at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington DC next Tuesday and Wednesday. The theme of the forum is Driving Development Through Tourism and among the speakers will be Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank; Aireen Omar, CEO Air Asis and Mauricio Ventura Aragon, the Costa Rican Minister for Tourism. “I did an assignment for my masters on tourism and local economic benefit. One of my tutors puts together part of the programme for the World Travel Market  discussions and was impressed with the Loop Head story and invited me to present it at World Bank Tourism Forum,” Mr Murphy explained. Mr Murphy’s discussion on Wednesday will be moderated by journalist and author Elizabeth Becker and he will be joined by Gabriella Crescini, head client and partner relationships, Swiss Contact; Brian Said, executive director of Visit Philadelphia …

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