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Regional

Parteen audiologist retains top award

Providing a new lease of life to a Dublin St John of God Sister has helped a top Parteen hearing aid specialist scoop the most coveted award in his field for the second successive year. Peter Ferguson, a long-time resident of Parteen, fought off stiff competition to secure the Irish Audiologist of the Year crown for the second year running. Mr Ferguson was nominated by his patient, Anne Casey, age 64, who described how he helped her participate fully in life, after an infection caused severe hearing loss. Anne’s hearing began to deteriorate when she was just 27, having contracted Rubella, which caused damage to the nerve endings in her ear. At the time, Anne had just embarked on a teaching career in Dublin and was left devastated when her hearing aid audiologist informed her that the infection had caused such severe hearing loss that hearing aids would be of no help. Anne decided to try hearing aids for herself …

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barra macmahon, na tonnta, gort community school

Gort students win Comortas Beo

A group of Gort students made waves in Kerry last week where they won a top Irish language music prize. Eight songs were selected for the final of the Comórtas Beo song-writing competition for young people held in Killarney on Thursday last. Sixteen year old Barra MacMahon from Kinvara composed the song and with classmates from his music class in Gort Community School performed it on stage in the final which coincided with Oireachtas na Gaeilge. The group’s song Bí Imithe proved a hit with judges winning the overall prize of €3,000. “My music teacher Yvonne Conroy told us about the competition. She had received an email about it. That was back in September,” Barra recalled. To enter people between 11 and 18 had to compose a song in Irish lasting less than five minutes, be prepared to perform it live at the finals, supply a video including the song and details of the writing process as well as recording …

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Clúid officially opens its doors

A 22-apartment complex in Pound Lane, Ennis, was officially opened this Thursday by Housing Minister, Paudie Coffey. The one and two-bedroomed apartments are owned and managed by Clúid Housing, one of the State’s largest housing associations. The apartments were originally built as a private development and, following consultation with Clare County Council, Clúid purchased the units for €970,000 in April this year, under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) scheme and invested a further €130,000 in refurbishing the complex. The first tenants, including returned emigrant Jim Houlihan, took up residence in September 2014. A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver, Jim Houlihan arrived back from London to his native Kilrush seven years ago, just as the Celtic Tiger era came to an abrupt end. “I was living and working in London for 30 years as a HGV driver and then as a bus driver for a year and I decided to come back to live and work in Ennis. But the …

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Minister opens new €3.2m Clonlara housing scheme

A new €3.284 million social housing development in Clonlara was officially opened by Housing Minister Paudie Coffey on Thursday morning. Clare County Council’s newest social housing development at Glór na Srutha, Knockbrack Lower, Clonlara was unveiled by Minister Coffey in spite of heavy rain. The minister took the opportunity to examine the houses and was with their overall energy efficiency and compliance with national building regulations. The scheme, comprising two-bed and three-bed units based on a single storey and two-storey grouping, was developed to meet the social housing need in the Clonlara area. All 12 units have been occupied since the development was completed in September 2014 by L and M Keating Contractors, and featured a design team comprising Hassett, Leyden and Associates Architects, Tom McNamara and Partners Quantity Surveyors and Moloney Fox Mechanical and Electrical Consultants. The minister was joined at the official opening by chief executive officer, Tom Coughlan, councillors, council officials, members of the project team, the …

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Councillor James Breen

Teens feel the fear on streets of Ennis

TWO thirds of teenagers and young adults surveyed by Clare Youth Service have felt unsafe in the Ennis Town area during the past 12 months, while 60% of those who said they had experienced crime said they were assaulted, a study by UL has revealed. More than half (54%) of senior-cycle secondary school students surveyed have also admitted to feeling unsafe, and a little less than half (46%) of the general population, who responded to the survey questionnaire, said they also felt unsafe. The study, Feeling Safe in Ennis, an exploration of perceptions of safety in Ennis, was presented to Tuesday’s Ennis Municipal District councillors by Dr Chris McInerney from the Department of Politics and Public Administration in UL. The study was commissioned following feedback gained during the Ennis 2020 consultations that had indicated some level of concern about safety issues in the town. Dr McInerney told the councillors that Ennis ranks on the lower end of the scale in …

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movember, David Olsthoorn

Cliffs of Mo-her mark Movember

The Cliffs of Moher were the iconic canvas for a vast image of a moustache recently, as part of the launch of Movember. Over 3,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ireland each year and one in eight Irish men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Now in its seventh year, Movember is a month-long campaign to raise money and awareness of men’s health. This year Movember created The Cliffs of Mo-her, officially the biggest Mo ever. Live for just one hour last week, the giant Mo measured 200 metres high by 600 meters wide as it was projected on one of Ireland’s most iconic natural landmarks. Following weeks of planning with the local community of surfers and photographers, the Movember Ireland team travelled to Clare to project the epic symbol on the cliff face to encourage Irish men to register and grow at www.movember.com. Movember Ireland Country Manager Neil Rooney said, “This year we wanted …

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Night road safety campaign

Ennis will host the very first Light Up The Night safety campaign event on this Thursday evening. The main focus of this campaign is to educate all vulnerable road users on how to be visible to traffic. The campaign is to ensure that all road users not only wear high visibility clothing but clothing that is reflective also. The campaign will begin at 6pm with a Light Up Your Bike safety workshop on the ground floor of Unit 1 , Westgate Business Park , Kilrush Road (across from World of Wonder). The RSA will be providing free high visibilty and reflective gear, as well as a free set of lights to all vulnerable road users. The workshop will be followed by a cycle of Ennis by-pass or the N85 Western Relief Road. “We are asking the runners and walkers of the Ennis area to put on your high visibility reflective gear and come out  and support this idea and help …

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A lotto luck for North Clare syndicate

A  North Clare group collected their prize of €556,194 in National Lottery offices in Dublin on Tuesday (November 4). The “Rum for Me” syndicate, so-called as spiced rum is their drink of choice, raised a glass to celebrate their big win after matching five numbers and one lucky star number in last Tuesday’s EuroMillions draw. The lucky group comprises seven winners, aged 26 to 55, who live and work in the Lisdoonvarna, Corofin and Doolin areas. The group members have decided not to release their names. “We started this syndicate just six weeks ago”, said a member of the group. “Each week, we won small amounts and today’s winning ticket was bought with the money we’d won the week before.” The winners have lots of interesting plans for the win. “I’m going to pay for the damage I did to my father’s car this summer’, said one; another said he intends to pursue a career in 3-D animation; another member …

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