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Regional

Thomond Community College opens

A NEW second level school to serve a catchment area of north Limerick city and into Clare, opened yesterday (Thursday). Thomond Community College is located in the state-of-the-art, former St Nessan’s Community College facility off the Old Cratloe Road.  The college is an amalgamation of Salesian Secondary School and St Nessan’s Community College that will be run under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB). Its initial intake of 96 first years walked through the doors on Thursday starting out their five year second level education. In addition to the new first year intake, fifth year and second year students from Salesian Secondary School have today (Friday) transferred to the Thomond Community College, with all set to retain the teachers for the various subjects they had in the 2015/2016 school year at the Salesians. The First Year intake at the college is up 50% from three years ago when the amalgamation was announced. Overall numbers …

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Parteen scientist leads €2m MS research

A PARTEEN scientist is leading a new €2.39 million research programme at Queen’s University Belfast to investigate reversing the damage caused by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr Denise Fitzgerald from the Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s is working with a team of international scientists on the ground-breaking MS research project to develop a new class of treatment for MS, which could restore lost functions in patients and significantly improve their quality of life. The research programme, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aims to understand how myelin, the insulating layer that surrounds nerves in the central nervous system, can be repaired. Thousands of people in Ireland are affected by MS, with Northern Ireland having the second-highest incidence of MS in the world. Dr Fitzgerald was paralysed by a condition similar to MS when she was 21 but has fully recovered. Dr Fitzgerald, who graduated from UCD, has been in the Queen’s …

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Fatal accident near Loughrea

Gardaí at Ballinasloe are investigating a single vehicle fatal road traffic collision which occurred at Coolagh, near Loughrea, in the early hours of the morning. The collision occurred at approximately 2.45am on the Loughrea to Killimor Road, about three miles outside Killimor,when the car collided with a concrete barrier.The 26 year-old male driver was seriously injured and taken to University College Hospital Galway. He was later pronounced dead in hospital. No other persons were involved. The road was closed to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators but has since reopened. Gardaí wish to appeal for witnesses in particular anyone who was on that stretch of road between 2.30am and 2.45am to contact Balinasloe Garda Station on 090 9631890, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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Funding approved for Ennis flood scheme

A total of €4.71 million in funding for the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme has been approved by the Office of Public Works. The money will be made available to Clare County Council when it addresses some technical aspects of the scheme. The scheme will involve extensive flood alleviation work to the St Flannan’s and Ballybeg streams in the Clonroadmore, Ballybeg and Clareabbey areas of Ennis and Clarecastle. “There are some residual matters that require further consideration by the council and its consultants prior to implementation of the scheme. The offer of funding has been made on the basis that the council addresses and satisfies itself in relation to these matters prior to entering into any binding contractual commitments,” explained Clare TD, Joe Carey. Responding to a parliamentary question from Deputy Carey last month, Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohue acknowledged that discussions relating to technical aspects of the scheme had impacted on progress but he expected that the OPW would …

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Book of Condolence for victims of Nice attack

Clare County Council has opened a Book of Condolence at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis in memory of the victims of last night’s attack in Nice, France. Councillor Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said, “On behalf of Clare County Council and the people of Clare, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this attack.” “I wish the people of France strength as they seek to overcome yet another senseless attack but I am confident that the abiding principals of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité will never be diminished by those who oppose them,” he said. Ennis is twinned with the southern French town of Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet, which is located west of Nice on the Mediterranean coast. Mayor of Ennis Councillor Ann Norton said, “On behalf of my colleagues in the Municipal District of Ennis, I wish to extend our sympathy and support to the people of Saint-Paul de Fenouillet …

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Man rescued From River Fergus

A man in his 60’s has been rescued from the River Fergus. Gardaí were alerted around 9.30 last night after a man got into difficulty close to the bridge on the N85 ring-road near Clareabbey in Clarecastle.. Three units of the Ennis Fire Service, including a specialist Swift Water Rescue Team, were sent to the scene, while the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard was also alerted, but was later stood down. Members of An Garda Síochána located the man beneath the bridge and attempted to reach him by wading into the water before fire service personnel brought him to safety. The man was transferred into the care of the ambulance service.

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Clare Champion car sticker celebrates Fleadh

With Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 in Ennis only a matter of weeks away, The Clare Champion has produced a car sticker to highlight the county’s rich traditional music heritage. “The Banner – home of traditional music”, is the catchphrase on the must-have car sticker, available free with this week’s Clare Champion on Thursday. Displaying this car stick will be an endorsement of your pride in the Fleadh returning to Clare after a long wait.

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No to Clarecastle motorway plaza

AN Bord Pleanála has rejected plans for a Barack Obama-style motorway plaza just outside Clarecastle. Earlier this year, Supermac’s Owner Pat McDonagh was granted planning permission by Clare County Council for a rest stop and drive thru on the Limerick – Gort motorway but the decision has been overturned on appeal.Supermac’s has a very successful plaza at Moneygall in County Offaly and another near the M6 at Loughrea. The planning permission in respect of the Clarecastle project was appealed by service stop rival, Applegreen, which has its own plans for a service area, 8km south of the Supermacs site. Later, however, Applegreen and Claureen Service Station withdrew their appeals and local man, Shane Brigdale was the only remaining opposition. The rejection of the plan represents a blow to the prospects of up to 100 jobs during the operation phase and up to 80 jobs during the construction phase. The appeal board refused planning on three grounds, including that it would …

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