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Regional

Call for investigation into Spanish Point facility

THE health watchdog has been asked to conduct an investigation into care at a Spanish Point residential facility, after several deficiencies were revealed in a recent inspection conducted by the Mental Health Commission. Mental health support group, Support Link, has asked HIQA to conduct a review into the Cois Mara facility which, at the time of inspection on November 27, 2013, had 14 residents ranging in age from 52 to 77. Support Link highlighted the findings of the report, including a lack of specialised nursing staff, no occupational therapist, physical therapist or proper therapeutic intervention. The group claimed it was “disgraceful” that residents were paying €134 weekly, despite the absence of a multi-disciplinary team and other basic services. It alleged the HSE is breaching the Mental Health Act by keeping it open as an ‘unapproved’ centre since 2002. Apart from the renovation of the accommodation, such as extending the activities room and shower rooms, the report did not outline any …

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Clare woman the face of charity calendar

A SHANNON woman has become The Face of a new calendar celebrating positive body images, regardless of shape, size or individual hang-ups, which has been released for the Christmas season in aid of Clare’s Wish Foundation. The calendar has been produced by Limerick photography company, Boudoir Darlings, which is run by women for women and creates an artistic interpretation of those it photographs, capturing the beautiful woman within. In September, they launched a Facebook competition to find 2015’s Face of Boudoir Darlings, who would be on all promotional material and would do various shoots throughout 2015. However, as the idea grew, they decided upon partnering with a charity and Clare’s Wish Foundation was chosen. Clare’s Wish is a Limerick-based charity, which was founded in April 2013 in memory of the founder’s sister, Clare, who was born with Spina Bifida and passed away aged 24. The charity’s main goal is to grant a wish for adults with a terminal or life-threatening …

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14th White Flag for Ennis Leisure Complex

Active Ennis Leisure Complex has today (Friday) been presented with its 14th White Flag Award. The prestigious awards scheme, which is coordinated by Ireland Active and endorsed by Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), is the only comprehensive quality and excellence award for Irish health and leisure facilities. Ennis Leisure Complex is the only facility in Clare to have received the White Flag every year since the award scheme’s inception in 2001. The White Flag Award was presented to Tim Forde, Active Ennis general manager, by Mayor of Ennis, Johnny Flynn and Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe. Mr Forde said, “The staff are immensely proud to have achieved the benchmark for highest standards within the health and leisure industry. They regard this success as a vote of confidence in the range and quality of services provided at Ennis Leisure Complex, including the 25-metre public swimming pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium, and various training and fitness programmes.” He added, …

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‘Champion brings a warm glow to ‘Frozen’ windows

THE retail community in Ennis have created a series of magical, sparkling windows allowing the public to dip into the world of Christmas fantasy. Their imagination was inspired this year by the theme of The Clare Champion’s annual window display competition, Frozen in Ennis. This is the 11th year of the competition and entrants were invited to, once again, give free rein to their creative sides and they certainly Let it Go. The wide interpretation of Frozen in Ennis, inspired by the 2013 Walt Disney film, the highest grossing animation movie of all time, was reflected in the glittering shop fronts all around the town. Since its release last year, Frozen has become a firm favourite with children of all ages. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, it tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey along with a rugged iceman, his loyal pet reindeer and a naive snowman, in …

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Outpatients’ list like Connacht final crowd

THE number of people waiting for outpatient treatment in Galway’s two main public hospitals would practically fill Pearse Stadium for the Connacht Senior Football final, a meeting has been told. Official confirmation that 23,395 people are still waiting for treatment on Galway University Hospitals (GUH) outpatients list has left a local councillor “astounded”. This doesn’t include 7,109 adults and 381 children who are on the in-patient waiting list, ranging from one month to more than 12 months. Speaking at a recent HSE West Forum meeting, Councillor Padraig Conneely claimed the situation concerning people waiting for outpatient treatment in the public health system hasn’t improved in recent years. Despite obtaining a new chief executive officer, a new logo and hiring a new private public relations company, Setanta Communications, Councillor Conneely said the one thing that isn’t new is the fact that more than 23,000 people are still waiting for treatment. He expressed concern that some patients are waiting more than three …

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Technical examination at Kildysart tragedy scene

Post mortem examinations of the bodies of a South African couple found dead in Kildysart yesterday are taking place at University Hospital Limerick this evening. The individuals, who died in the Shannon Estuary village on Wednesday night, have been named locally as Angelique (27) and Cornelius Billing (44). Mrs Billing was seen collapsing in the street at approximately 6.50pm on Wednesday by a local garda, who was attending the scene of a fire. She is understood to have sustained injuries to her upper body. Fire crew who were dealing with a fire at the hardware store across the street from where Mrs Billing collapsed came to her aid and provided medical assistance, but her injuries proved fatal. While the fire crew were attending to Mrs Billing, the local garda went into the apartment that she shared with her husband and two children, aged two and three and found Mr Billing with serious neck injuries. The couple had been renting the apartment, which …

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Oireachtas Committee discusses hen harrier

The Oireachtas Joint Committee Agriculture, Food and the Marine agreed of Tuesday evening to progress farmers’ concerns around the designation of Special Conservation Area to protect the hen harrier. In addition to Clare and Galway, there are hen harrier protection areas in Tipperary, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Laois, Offaly and Monaghan. As part of the process to deal with farmers’ concerns, the committee intends to call officials from the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. The committee was meeting with representatives from Irish Farmers with Designated Land (IFDL), who outlined how changes of designation under EU Directives have served to dramatically devalue the land of about 4,000 farmers. Committee chairman, Deputy Andrew Doyle said, “The meeting with IFDL representatives illuminated the difficulties that many farmers have endured in light of the designation of 169,000 hectares of land to protect the hen harrier. The committee heard that farming and the hen harrier have coexisted for …

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Weaving a stronger web on Wild Atlantic Way

Minister of State for Tourism, Michael Ring has announced the provision of an additional €850,000 for Fáilte Ireland, much of which will be invested in developing the web presence of the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin. The funding is part of the Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, which was recently announced by Minister Paschal Donohoe. “The provision of €850,000 to Fáilte Ireland as part of the Supplementary Estimate will be used to support IT investments, including promoting the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin. This will ensure that marketing and social media aspects of promotion can be prioritised so that the message about Ireland’s attractiveness is delivered loud and clear. This will allow us to continue to build on the strong growth we have seen in tourism in 2014.” The Government has already provided €8 million in funding for the Wild Atlantic Way this year to establish discovery points and enhance signage as well as other …

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