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West Clare

Simon feeding 200 in West Clare

THE Simon Community-run food bank in Kilrush has been inundated with requests for food and household items for West Clare families since it opened three weeks ago. The food bank is the first of its kind opened in the town and Mid-West Simon Community manager, Jackie Bonfield says the resource has been flooded with requests for aid. “We have 49 families registered and three single people registered in Kilrush to collect food from us every week. It’s a huge number. If you take an average of three children per family, you are talking about 200 people. It’s not just Kilrush town. We are getting people from across West Clare. Every day we are seeing new faces,” Ms Bonfield said. She has found that those using the food bank are from a cross-spectrum of people. “Some people are in social housing and we’re also meeting people who are in private rented accommodation, some getting rent supplement but some of whom are …

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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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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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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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Tourism award for Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way has won the Best Tourist Attraction at the third InBusiness Editor’s Choice Awards. A number of leading Irish companies and individuals were recognised at an awards ceremony in Dublin, to honour outstanding achievement in the Irish business community. All the winners were selected based on the broad criteria of growth, profile of business, range of services and customer care. The Government, via Fáilte Ireland, had provided for a significant investment of €10 million this year for the route (stretching from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale) to bring it alive and boost its attraction for overseas visitors. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring said, ‘This award is the latest accolade for an initiative, which has proved to be a huge success to date. As someone from the west, I have seen first- hand the enthusiasm out there for this project and it’s not only amongst tourism businesses but also in the wider …

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Pauline heads Kilrush RNLI callout

Newly appointed lifeboat operations manager at Kilrush RNLI, Pauline Dunleavy, had her first callout in charge, when an alert was received on Sunday morning. The lifeboat was launched to reports that a plane flying overhead had observed an indication that a fire may have broken out in the cargo hold. In these circumstances it is standard procedure to launch the lifeboat and it gave Pauline a chance to see how fast the lifeboat can be launched and the response of the volunteers in times of emergency. The lifeboat was launched at 9.20am and kept a presence on the river before they learned that the flight, which was en route to France, had landed safely at Shannon Airport and they were stood down. Commenting on the callout, Pauline Dunleavy said, “During my first callout in this new role, it was great to see the lifeboat crew respond to an emergency from the other side. I had the opportunity to see the …

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Following the heritage trail at Loop Head

AT last week’s launch of the Loop Head Heritage Trail, Trea Heapes and Frances Bermingham unveiled details of their heritage audit of the three parishes that primarily make up the Loop Head Peninsula. Working in conjunction with the Heritage Council, they have come up with an 872-item inventory for the parishes of Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Kilballyowen. This audit was separate but complements the Loop Head Heritage Trail, which includes 18 attractions on the peninsula. Both will be used to help tourists experience Loop Head in some detail. “It’s an inventory of all items of heritage on the Loop Head Peninsula. You’re talking about nearly 90 townlands. In some townlands there isn’t even a house in it. That’s from Baltard, west of Doonbeg, down through Tullaher Bog, to Poulnasherry Bay and then west to Loop Head. There was mainly three parishes in the audit – Carrigaholt, Kilballyowen and Kilkee. About 400 odd of the 872 are recorded monuments,” Trea Heapes explained. …

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Loop Head joins Global Top 100

Loop Head Peninsula is the only Irish destination to be named in the inaugural Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100. A joint initiative of TravelMole.com, Vision on Sustainable Tourism, Totem Tourism and Green Destinations, the awards and recognise destinations around the world that have adopted sustainable tourism practices. Nominated by Ecotourism Ireland, Loop Head Tourism joins a host of well-known global destinations in the Top 100 List, including the New Forest and Lake District National Parks (United Kingdom), Rapa Nui – Easter Island (Chile), Vancouver (Canada), La Palma (The Canaries, Spain), Etosha National Park (Namibia), Svalbard (Norway) and Wild Coast (South Africa). Chair of Loop Head Tourism, Cillian Murphy said, “Loop Head’s inclusion in this prestigious list is a great honour for everyone concerned. It is the result of of a concerted voluntary effort to take responsibility for ensuring the long term sustainability of our community. We have set ourselves the target of becoming a best practice example of how tourism …

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