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Regional

North Clare GP takes High Court action against HSE

A North Clare-based GP has launched a High Court action over the Health Service Executive’s decision that he does not qualify for payments under a scheme designed to ensure services are provided to medical card-holders in rural areas. The action has been brought by Dr Liam Glynn, a GP working out of Ballyvaughan and Fanore, arising out of a decision by the HSE earlier this year that he no longer qualified for payments under a scheme known as the Rural Practice Allowance. The scheme applies where a doctor lives and practices in a centre with a population of less than 500 people and where there is not a town with a population of 1,500 or more within a three-mile radius of that. He provides medical services  from Ballyvaughan Medical Centre and Fanore Dispensary, and makes numerous house calls to patients every week. The HSE in correspondence with Dr Glynn said its decision was based on the fact that Dr Glynn …

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‘Proud’ Rachel backs Sarah in judges’ spat

Voice of Ireland judge Rachel Stevens insists Scariff singer, Sarah McTernan deserves her place in the Voice of Ireland final this Sunday, despite claims from another judge she qualified because she had the support of her employers, Penneys. Kian Egan has no act in the final since his top acts John Bonham and Helena Bradley Bates were knocked out in this week’s semi-final. However, Kian feels that John, in particular, should be in the final whilst Sarah should not. He said that Sarah has Penney’s behind her, which has made a huge difference to her. He recalled in the quarter-finals, she was in the bottom two and now with Penney’s behind her she has reached the final. Dunnes Stores is also backing Patrick Donoghue who works for the store. Kian, who says he is not bitter about the situation, just feels for his acts, also revealed that he will not return for another series of The Voice of Ireland, even …

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Barman assaulted by brothers

A bar man who had worked at a Shannon hotel for well over a decade never returned to his job, after he was assaulted a number of hours after Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland win, Ennis Circuit Court has heard. In a written victim impact statement, Paul Ryan said he would never do the same type of work again, as he wouldn’t feel safe. Brothers Mark Hayes (26) and Sean Hayes (25), who both live at 106 Aidan Park, Shannon, pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing harm at the Oakwood Arms in the early hours of September 29, 2013. Mark Hayes also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a bar table. Garda Colm Moriarty told the court that when he arrived at the hotel on the night in question, he met with Mark Hayes, whom, he said, was not wearing a shirt. He claimed that the defendant had been irate and was “roaring and shouting, alleging he was assaulted”. When …

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Keeping the Burren tidy

The North Clare business community is getting involved in keeping the roads and laneways of the Burren tidy through a scheme rolled out by the Burren Ecotourism Network (BEN), and supported by Clare County Council and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Over 30 businesses have already signed up to the Adopt a Hedgerow Scheme, which sees participants clearing, monitoring and reporting on litter in the protected landscape of the Burren. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is providing training and materials to BEN under the GeoparkLIFE project to ensure that adopt a hedgerow becomes a long term scheme that will inspire other business communities in other parts of the county. BEN says the scheme will be extended in June to include the reporting of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Dogwood, which can negatively impact on native species that have been part of the Burren ecosystem for millennia. “Each of the participating businesses, which are all members of our network, is taking …

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Lisa ahead of the rest in fundraising

WHEN Lisa Aherne leaves her house, she’s bound to draw a few puzzled glances. While she had shoulder-length hair last week , she shaved it at Shannon Knights as a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society. Speaking afterwards at her home in Carrig Hill, she said, “I was sick a couple of years ago and a lot of people fundraised for me and I always thought since then that I’d like to give something back. About five weeks ago, I decided to do it. I put it up on Facebook, got my first donation and I couldn’t go back then.” On her own illness she says, “I had a tumour in my neck. It wasn’t cancerous but it was potentially deadly because it was wrapped around my carotid artery. “They couldn’t deal with it in Ireland so I had to go to London to get it sorted. There were two operations in Guy’s Hospital. One of the operations was in May and …

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Willie O’Dea sees life on the dole

Limerick Fianna Fáil TD, Willie O’Dea, whose constituency extends into South East Clare is one of four public representatives featuring in a new TV3 series, Dáil on the Dole. In a first for Irish television, elected representatives will spend time with their constituents, who are dependent on social wlefare, in order to get a better understanding of what the real issues affecting their day-to-day lives are. Produced by Mind the Gap Films for TV3, the four part documentary series, airing on Monday night at 9pm, will show the TDs exactly how the other half lives. As well as Willie O’Dea, the other TDs in the four-part documentary are Catherine Byrne (Fine Gael – Dublin South Central), Joanna Tuffy (Labour – Dublin Mid West) and John Halligan (Independent – Waterford). Dáil on the Dole takes TD’s out of the current affairs realm and into the real world. Viewers will get an insight into the reality of living on social welfare and …

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Clare emigrant makes immigration his business

It is all coming full circle for Doolin-man Lorcan Shannon. The young North Clare emigrant has recently opened his own immigration law firm in midtown Manhattan. Lorcan deals mainly with new visa applications but since opening his Broadway offices he has also worked with undocumented Irish eager to legalise their situation. It is in this area he has encountered a recurring anomaly. “One thing that comes up that is kind of curious is that often people might not realise that their parents are U.S. citizens from way back. They don’t realise that citizenship is quite often something that is acquired at birth if certain conditions are met. There are people who have come to our office who were citizens but who thought they were living here illegally. That is not uncommon so you have to explore every option and get as much information from the person as you can because often they think something is nothing but it is a …

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Sarah set for Voice semi-final

A young Scariff singer has described securing a place in the last eight of The Voice competition as “surreal” and a “dream come true”. Sarah McTernan from Fossabeg never expected to reach the semi-final when she first entered the competition but is now hoping that huge support from the Banner and elsewhere in the country will help her win a place in the last four. Regardless of how she fares in the remainder of the competition, she believes the huge experience and training she has obtained in recent weeks will prove invaluable in her bid to make a singing career out of her favourite past-time. Only two members of Rachel Stevens’ team were in a position to qualify from the quarter-final on Sunday night. Kieran McKillop was selected from the public vote, leaving Sarah sweating it out with her team mate, Paddy Kennedy for the second spot in the last four. The Scariff singer has been working on her confidence …

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