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West Clare

Embracing support after farm tragedy

Diane Banville should be celebrating her third wedding anniversary on Tuesday with her husband, Kevin. But just 11 months after their big day, Kevin was killed in a farm accident. Formerly Kelly, Diane lives with her two young sons in Wexford but is well known in her home county, having played football for Miltown Malbay and Clare. Diane met Kevin Banville in a pub in Wexford on the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2007 when she was visiting a friend who lived there. By October, she had foregone the offer of a job in Barbados and moved to the sunny south-east. On April 19, 2013 she married the love of her life. St Patrick’s Day of 2014 started off like any other and the pair and their two young sons, two-year-old Ryan and five-week-old Cillian, were going to go to the local parade. “I remember walking up the lane about a week or two beforehand and just going, ‘I really …

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Kayaker pulled from water in Kilkee

A KAYAKER in his mid 30s, who is believed to have been visiting the area, was pulled from the water in the West End, Kilkee late on Wednesday afternoon. Members of the public had tried to help him by throwing life buoys into the water. The man got into difficulty at Majella’s Cove just before 5pm and was rescued shortly afterwards, after Kilkee Coastguard were alerted by the public. “It kicked off at 4.55pm, following reports from numerous members of the public that there was a person in difficulty in the bay in Kilkee. He was clinging to a kayak that had got overturned. The weather had got extremely bad here fairly fast,” Martony Vaughan, officer in charge of Irish Coastguard Unit in Kilkee said. “We were alerted and we got him over on the rocks. We took him to safety, recovered his kayak and several other bits. Members of the public had been throwing life rings into him from …

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Local backing for Doonbeg coastal works

FOLLOWING an information meeting between Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland and Doonbeg Community Development, the chairman of the community group has said the vast majority of people in West Clare favour the proposed coastal protection works at the golf club. Consultants on behalf of the resort, which employs 230 people during the summer months, have submitted plans to Clare County Council, which would involve the use of 200,000 tonnes of limestone during the eight-month project. The consultants also claim that the West Clare economy would benefit to the tune of €38 million, between 2017 and 2024, if permission is granted. The plans lodged with the local authority will cost €10m if they are given the go-ahead, while the “beach augmentation” will be a 2.8km long coastal protection infrastructure, which golf club management say is “not a wall”. “From what we have heard, 99.9% of local people are in favour of these coastal protection works,” Doonbeg Community Development chairman …

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When is a wall not a wall?

WHILE Donald Trump is planning to build a wall between American and Mexico if elected United States President this November, his “small potatoes” resort in West Clare has applied to Clare County Council to construct a €10 million “beach augmentation” coastal protection barrier, which management insist is not a wall. If planning permission is granted to Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg to proceed with their 2.8km long beach augmentation plans, which would constitute the use of 200,000 tonnes of limestone, it will take eight months to complete the project. In their submission to the council, consultants warned that if planning permission is not granted, the resort may have to close. The consultants also claim that the West Clare economy would benefit to the tune of €38m, between 2017 and 2024, if permission is granted. A detailed non-technical summary, issued by resort management, states that the development will involve placing limestone rock armour in the vicinity of …

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Mary Dolling up for big fundraiser

MARY Conroy has so many dolls she won’t be able to bring all 20,000 of them to her fundraiser for Crumlin Children’s Hospital on the first weekend in April. Out of action for a few years due to back trouble – not, she insists, caused by lugging dolls about – the upcoming fundraiser in Sandyford, Dublin, will be her first for a few years. The Kilrush woman, who is originally from Pound Street, has been collecting dolls since she was a child and has two houses teeming with them in her back garden. “I have two big dolls houses in the garden and I have another shed full of prams. Unfortunately, they’re getting packed out now at the minute. They need to be somewhere to be displayed properly,” she mused. “I have a fair amount of them,” Mary conceded, when it was put to her that 20,000 dolls is a lot. “It’s a lot of work packing them up in …

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Carrigaholt woman sues Tesco following fall

A woman who claims she suffered severe back and other injuries after slipping on grapes while shopping in a Tesco store has brought a High Court action for damages. The action by Patricia Walsh, of Shannondale Stud, Rehy, Carrigaholt, opened this week before Mr Justice Anthony Barr. Ms Walsh (45) has sued Tesco Ireland over the incident in the Tesco store at Kirush, on August 28th 2012. Tesco denies the claims and pleads Ms Walsh’s injuries were her own fault or there was contributory negligence on her part. In evidence, Ms Walsh said the fall occurred while she was in the fruit section of the Kilrush store. Becoming upset, she said her legs shot out from under her, she hit the ground and was unable to get up afterwards. The judge heard she was taken by ambulance to Ennis hospital from where she was moved to Limerick Regional Hospital where she remained for seven days. She said she had severe …

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Kilkee, a winter experience

“Kilkee and all that lies about it offers only ordinary happiness, a most precious thing that any child can enjoy or any old man. But on the right day in West Clare, under the right light, that ordinary happiness takes on an immaculacy, an innocent radiance which lifts it near to what we mean by heavenly delight.” (Kate O’Brien) One searches in vain to aptly describe Kilkee in winter; the best I can come up with is ‘an experience with a difference’. The month of February usually spells the beginning of, or at least the onset of, spring. However, Sunday last, February 5, certainly defied that assumption. I awoke to the sound of John Bowman on radio followed by Sunday Miscellany, which has remained an enduring part of my Sunday morning line-up for almost 40 years now, together with that all-important, Sunday morning fry. When I woke, I had promised myself a walk over towards the Diamond Rocks prior to …

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Fears for estuary dolphins’ health

ALTHOUGH a report published by the Zoological Society in London has found that the effect of pollution on bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon Estuary is the lowest in Europe, Dr Simon Berrow of the Kilrush-based Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed alarm at the level of pollution in the estuary. Levels are above the toxic threshold thought to impact on bottlenose dolphins’ health and reproduction. Information collected by the IWDG in Irish waters fed into the research led by Dr Paul Jepson of the Zoological Society. Dr Berrow, project manager with the IWDG and lecturer in applied freshwater and marine biology at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, was one of the co-authors in the study. “We provided samples from bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon Estuary for the study and, although concentrations in the Shannon dolphins were the lowest in Europe, the levels were still well above the toxicity threshold, which leads to serious impacts,” Dr Berrow said, adding that …

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