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Regional

‘Epidemic’ of village signage thefts

THE theft of village signage has been described as “epidemic” by local Councillor Pat Hayes, who highlighted that signs have been stolen in four villages in East Clare. Councillor Hayes said Feakle, Caher, Flagmount and Killanena have had signage taken. He said some thefts have occurred in recent weeks, while others were some time ago. He said it is not the directional signage, which is usually the common problem, but in this case it is the larger signs for the villages themselves. “It seems to be specific to this side of the county. Directional signposts are also missing. The GAA one in Caher was taken down and a couple of business ones were taken as well. It seems to be an epidemic for the last while. I would very much be appealing to the public out there. There might be huge value in those signs but it is the communities that put them up and maintain them. They are part …

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Shining a light on Loop Head’s maritime history

WEST Clare’s maritime history and unique landscape will be showcased at Loop Head Lighthouse this May Bank Holiday weekend through its status as one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland. This weekend a flagship festival will take place at eight of the 12 Great Lighthouses of Ireland, an all-island tourism initiative that also includes lighthouses at Hook Head in Wexford, Valentia Island in Kerry and Donegal’s Fanad Head. Loop Head will offer family-friendly events that include tours, storytelling and a local food and craft showcase. On Bank Holiday Monday, a guided walk will be hosted along the peninsula from 11am, while there will be food-tasting stalls from 12 noon until 2pm. “This three-day weekend festival celebrates the best of Loop Head’s stunning coastline through a series of events and workshops. The public will be able to enjoy the stories of our maritime past, explore the tower to discover its hidden secrets, get tips on being safe and enjoying our coast …

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€128,000 of damage to ‘gutted’ Tinerana House

A COURT has heard more than €128,000 worth of damage was caused to Tinerana House during a burglary that “gutted” the Killaloe mansion, which is now owned by the son of Euromillions winner Dolores McNamara. It emerged that although €10,000 worth of antique light fittings and fixtures were stolen from the property, these were sold on for the nominal sum of €1,355 to a scrap metal depot. Jeffrey Lee, 44, with an address at 25 Cosgrave Park, Moyross pleaded guilty to the burglary of Tinerana House, Ballycuggeran, Killaloe on a date unknown between August 17, 2013 and September 14, 2013. A co-accused Declan Browne, 27, from Lakyle, Ardnacrusha, but who is currently living with a relative in Clonlara, pleaded guilty to handling stolen property at Clare Circle Metals, Ballysimon Road, Limerick on September 13, 2013. They both appeared before Ennis Circuit Criminal Court this week, where the sentencing judge was given an overview of the facts in the case. Detective …

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Search still continues for missing Japanese tourist

THE search continues for a missing Japanese tourist eight months after the body of her travelling companion was recovered from the waters off Kilkee. An inquest into the death last August of 63-year-old Eiji Takagi at Clare’s Coroner’s Court this week heard that the search is ongoing for fellow tourist Ushio Azaki, who also went missing. The remains of Mr Takagi, who had a Californian address, were recovered in Kilkee bay in water about 27m deep on August 30 of last year, following an extensive search of the area. The inquest was told that the pair were last seen alive when they checked out of The Bellbridge House Hotel and were due to visit Kilkee. Concern was raised when their hire car was seen parked at George’s Head for a number of days and a search operation was launched. Along with search and rescue teams from Lough Derg, Ennis and Aughinish, local coast guard units from Kilkee, Doolin and Ballybunion …

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‘Microwave hearing’ cited in Cooraclare mast appeal

Angela Collins, Leitrim, Cree, has lodged an appeal against Clare County Council’s decision to grant Brian Sexton of Clare Broadband planning permission to retain a broadband mast at Cloonreddan, Cooraclare. As part of her appeal, Ms Collins submitted a letter from her consultant neurologist, Dr Harib Rahman of the Neurology Department, University Hospital Galway and Galway Clinic. “Angela Collins is suffering from microwave hearing, due to the location of the mast near her home,” Dr Rahman stated. Corofin planning consultant, Brendan McGrath submitted a number of planning documents on behalf of Ms Collins. In a submission to the appeals’ board, Mr McGrath stated that a visual inspection shows the mast is about 17 metres in height, 70% higher than the 10 metres stated in the retention application. “In my opinion, the documentation and information submitted are of poor quality. In addition to misrepresentation of the physical scale of the development, there are other deficiencies. “The submitted drawings and plans do …

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Kilbeacanty GAA spreading Be Well message

A South Galway GAA club has begun a mental health initiative which proponents hope will spread nationwide. Kilbeacanty GAA Club recently launched its Be Well programme, dedicated to maintaining and improving the mental and physical well-being of members of the club and the wider community. “Two years ago, Niall Donoghue passed away. As a follow-up, we have done a few small things but this is an initiative we came up with and it might be a way of getting information to everyone in the parish. The county board is hoping to roll it out in other areas,” explained club secretary Alan O’Grady. The death of the outstanding young hurler was a devastating blow to the club and community. “It has woken up a lot of communities. It put a lot of alarm bells ringing in clubs across the county and country. Every parish should be aware that this could happen, people are depressed and we don’t want it happening in …

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Dutch explorers in the Burren

One of the biggest tour operators in the Netherlands, de Jong Intra Vakanties, together with 16 of its top-producing travel agents, were in Ireland this week as guests of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The aim of the travel agents’ fact-finding visit is to allow them experience some of the country’s superb tourism offering, so that when they return home they will be even more enthusiastic, and better equipped, to advise their clients about travelling here. In Clare, the group enjoyed visits to the Burren Centre in Kilfenora, the Ailwee Caves and the Cliffs of Moher. Karen van der Horst, Tourism Ireland’s manager the Netherlands, said, “Fact-finding visits like this are an important element of our work with the travel trade in the Netherlands, as the travel agents get to experience at first-hand what’s on offer here for Dutch holidaymakers. “2016 looks set to be another good year for tourism from the Netherlands, with the latest CSO figures showing visitor numbers from …

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Flight Diverts to Shannon over Disruptive Passenger

An Austrian Airlines plane diverted to Shannon Airport this Thursday (April 21) and a disruptive passenger was removed from the flight. It is understood the man, who is 29 years of age, was intoxicated on board the flight which was travelling from Vienna to New York. The plane landed in Shannon at 1.10pm on Thursday and the passenger was taken from the flight. A senior garda confirmed that the passenger had consumed a significant amount of alcohol and was refused more alcohol on the flight. “He then became aggressive and difficult to the staff. They had to move a number of passengers away from his area. Obviously the disruption was so severe that the captain diverted the plane, he wanted him removed from the flight as he felt it was unsafe to continue with him on board,” the garda spokesperson said. The man is understood to be from Albania originally but has been living in the United States for 25 years …

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Ennis Market closures

Work on the Garraunakilla Market Regeneration Project in Ennis will lead to the closure of both Market Street and Market Place from Monday next for a 12-week period. The closure of both roads from Barrack Street to Market Place, including Drumbiggle Road junction, is to facilitate the construction of new roads and footpaths, including diversion of overhead services and the provision of new sewers. Municipal District engineer, Eamon O’Dea said that as a result of the road closure, Summerhill will be temporarily open to two-way traffic, with parking restrictions on Summerhill. Mr O’Dea outlined that access to Summerhill, Market Place, Lower Market Street, Cabey’s Lane and Lower Parnell Street will be via Summerhill, with exit through Cabey’s Lane and Summerhill. He said existing signs and road markings on Summerhill would be removed and adjusted during the temporary road closure. Pedestrian access, Mr O’Dea explained, would be provided on Market Street and Market Place through the works area adjacent to the …

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Young folk doing old stuff

ST Joseph’s Secondary School in Tulla were this week treated to a lunchtime concert by a young group of visiting traditional musicians from Vermont in the United States. The Young Tradition Touring Group, made up of 19 musicians aged between 12 and 19, are currently touring the West of Ireland and have stopped in Clare for performances in The Powerhouse in Tulla, Pepper’s and Shortt’s in Feakle. The group play North American traditional tunes, as well as Appalachian music, Cajun and some bluegrass. They also dance during their performances. The musicians are being hosted in Clare by Mary MacNamara and her group of young East Clare musicians. As part of this, they performed a lunchtime concert in the secondary school in Tulla on Wednesday for students and teachers. Students at St Joseph’s also played music, sang and danced for the visiting group. Most of the visiting group members are from Vermont, although a few hail from as far as Maine, …

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