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Mike’ll row the boat ashore

  An experienced member of the Killaloe Coast Guard Unit is poised to become the first person from the Irish Coast Guard service to row 5,000 kilometres across the Atlantic OceanMike Jones, who also works as full-time operations manager with the University of Limerick Activity Centre (ULAC) at Ballycuggeran, Killaloe, was due to join five international crewmates to embark on a gruelling endurance test from the Port de Plaisance Marina in Agadir, Morocco, to Bridgetown in Barbados this Thursday morning. The voyage will be the first to use Agadir as a start port for an ocean row and will only be the second ever ocean rowing voyage to start from a Moroccan port; a staggering 213 ocean rowing trips have left from the Canary Islands.Two charities, Milford Care Centre, Limerick and Marymont Hospice, Cork, will also benefit from Mike’s adventure. Having set a target to raise €25,000, half of all the money raised will go to the charities and the …

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Sandbags used for gritting in Westbury

Sandbags could become a must-have household accessory in South-East Clare judging by their versatility in dealing with different weather extremes in recent weeks.They proved to be vital in the successful battle to keep rising flood water out of homes in Shannon Banks when the Shannon burst its banks last November and were also used to ensure that no house was flooded in nearby Westbury.Once the water subsided, very few people realised that they would come in handy for another purpose a few weeks later – the gritting of paths and roads during the current big freeze.Councillor Pascal Fitzgerald and local businessman Tony Hayes used sand from spare sandbags to grit the car park and areas around St Nicholas Church and Westbury to facilitate a safer passage for motorists and pedestrians who struggled to get to grips with icy patches.Although the main parts of the Killaloe to Shannon Banks road was gritted, Councillor Fitzgerald said byroads didn’t receive any sand or …

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More dredging needed to reduce risk in Clonlara

More dredging is needed near Castletroy in Limerick to significantly reduce the risk of a repeat of the havoc created by flooding for residents in South-East Clare last November, according to a resident. The Office of Public Works (OPW) carried out some remedial works to remove sediment deposited over the years at the confluence point of the Old River Shannon and its Mulcair tributary in Clonlara last year.However, Fergal Marrinan, who was part of a delegation who met then Minister of State Tom Parlon in March 2007, claims a wider channel needs to be dug to prevent a repeat of the flooding, which caused devastation in Clonlara.Describing the most recent flooding as much worse than the previous incidence in December 2006, Mr Marrinan said that the scale of the remedial work carried out on the Old River Shannon wasn’t sufficient to prevent a repeat of the flooding.He hoped that the OPW would conduct a review of the work they had …

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Fears water shortages could strike again

Much of West Clare, including the towns of Kilkee and Cross, had no water supply for several days during the Christmas period. The cut-off of the water supply occurred when pipes burst on Blackweir Bridge, which is located between Moyasta and Kilkee, near Poulnashsherry Bay.“As far as can be ascertained at present, this burst was not directly related to the weather conditions,” Clare County Council explained. The council added that the local authority is hopeful that reservoir levels in West Clare will be fully restored soon. “The burst mains was replaced by a smaller-sized pipe, which restored supply slowly to the peninsula. We are looking at options to increase the capacity of the new pipe so as to ensure quicker recovery of reservoir levels in the peninsula. We have also brought the Lislanaghan (Kilkee) water treatment plant, which is usually used as a back-up for increased demand in the summer, back into operation to supply Kilkee town,” the statement said. …

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Kilkee tourist office could move to library

Shannon Development, who are responsible for the operation of the seasonal tourist office in Kilkee, will make a decision by the end of the month with regard to relocating the branch.If the office is moved, it may operate from Kilkee library or from an existing business in the town. The office opens during the summer months and provides visitors with tourist information to Kilkee and the peninsula area from May until September. A meeting on the issue will be held in Kilkee on Thursday, which will be attended by John Quinlivan, Shannon Development, Fine Gael TD Pat Breen and Mayor of Kilkee, Lily Marrinan Sullivan. “I understand Shannon Development are looking at the library as one possible alternative location for the tourism office,” Deputy Breen told The Clare Champion. “Obviously if you put it into an existing business the cost won’t be as high and also you could have longer opening hours. Shannon Development have said that they have problems …

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Captive at home for Christmas

Conor O’Sullivan, who lives with his wife Ann between Corofin and Ruan in Cooga, has had a quiet Christmas. Too quiet.   A paraplegic who has been confined to a wheelchair for 26 years, Conor has been stuck in his house since December 21. Although his wife had a supply of medical supplies stocked up and he only had to do without antibiotics following an infection, Conor O’Sullivan ended 2009 and began the New Year completely demoralised. “There was no way we could get out from our house. It was just pure ice on both sides of our drive and it was just impossible to drive down to the main road,” he told The Clare Champion on Tuesday. “I’ve been in a wheelchair for the last 26 years due to cancer of the spine. I’m totally wheelchair-bound and I rely on my car,” he added. Along with having to stay in his house for the Christmas, Conor also missed out …

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North Clare scientist leads team to breast cancer breakthrough

GROUNDBREAKING research by a team of scientists at NUI Galway led by a North Clare man could result in early detection and better tracking of breast cancer, it was revealed this week.   Kilnamona professor Michael Kerin headed the team that looked at the role of MicroRNAs in breast cancer. For the first time, the work shows that MicroRNAs are measurable in the blood of breast cancer patients and the levels of mir195 in particular, suggests that it is a breast cancer specific tumour marker.  Professor Kerin led the research, presented by Dr Helen Heneghan and co-authored by Dr Nicola Miller and Dr John Newell. The work shows that microRNAs are measurable in the blood of breast cancer patients, that levels of certain miRNAs drop after breast tumours are surgically removed and that mir195 is likely to be a breast cancer specific tumour marker.  The novelty involves a modification of standard techniques allowing these little molecules to be reliably measured …

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Well Donn to Sarah Jane

A young Gort woman is set to become the new face of one of Ireland’s best-known retail brands. Sarah Jane Waters from Shanaglish, Gort was recently revealed as the winner of the Carraig Donn/Ireland AM Carraig Donn Woman competition.The competition had been running on Ireland AM, in the Sunday World and in all the Carraig Donn shops nationwide. The object of the competition was to find the typical Irish women who personifies the brand, Carraig Donn.Carraig Donn Woman wanted to find a woman who is interested in clothes and fashion, who has a busy life and yet makes an effort with their appearance. Hundreds of entries were received and 10 women nationwide reached the final.However, Sarah Jane, who is a primary school teacher in Gort, didn’t enter the competition herself. It was her proud mother who filled out the entry form and submitted it.The finalists were from a range of age and size profiles to reflect modern life but it …

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