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West Clare

Drugs are part of Kilrush life

A KILRUSH mother of a former drug addict has told The Clare Champion that drugs have been available in the town for as long as she can remember. “Drugs have been in this town since I’ve been a kid, starting from LSD to ecstasy. That’s going back to when I was 11. I could see it then. When I got into my teens, it became more prominent, as my brother had got into it. I remember passing a comment to a then councillor, who is no longer there. I said ‘you’d want to start doing something about drugs in the town.’ I was told back then, ‘will you go away and stop talking rubbish. There’s no such thing as drugs in Kilrush’,” she recalled. Aside from her son, the mother has other younger children whom she is trying to ensure do not take drugs. “You can’t be there holding their hands all the time. The one thing I instil into …

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Obstacles to treatment for heroin addicts

By Peter O’Connell A Kilrush mother thinks people who seek treatment, locally, for heroin addiction have obstacles placed in their way. “There isn’t a methadone programme in Kilrush. Kilkee is only a small seaside town and they’re getting methadone up there,” she said, before detailing what is involved, locally, in the programme. The woman, whose son has received treatment for drug addiction, said, “It’s normally a two-year programme. To get you off the heroin, they’ll put you on a dosage of methadone and, over a period of two years, they’ll lower the dosage. Once a week, you’ll pick up your prescription. I think you take it in liquid form on the premises. Then you have the after-care, which is in Limerick. “So if you’re on heroin and you want to go on the programme, you can’t get the methadone or the after-care in Kilrush. “While you’re doing the programme, you have no facility in Kilrush to help you to come …

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Kelly makes it eight in a row

Lissycasey county councillor PJ Kelly (FF) won his eighth successive election to Clare County Council when he was elected on the eleventh count. “It was good I got elected. I’m delighted. It was awful cheeky to go for eight in a row but I made it. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this. If we were to have predicted who would win or lose, the bookies would have been in for a good day,” he said of a day of twists and turns in the west Clare race. Meanwhile Bill Chambers (FF) was equally relived to have pulled through at the same stage of the day long count. “It feels great and I’m delighted with the result but I’m really sorry too that we’ve lost two marvellous colleagues in Oliver Garry and Patrick Keane. Two thorough gentleman,” he commented. He described the new west Clare constituency as a challenging one geographically. “It has proved we were …

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Signs of resurgence for Fianna Fáil in the West

There are signs of a Fianna Fáil resurgence in West Clare as party men will occupy four out of the eight council seats in the electoral area for the next five years. Sitting councillor Michael Hillery (FF) was elected in the 11th count. He puts part of his vote down to the elimination of Fine Gael’s Corofin-based candidate Gerry Kennedy. “When the tally came in yesterday and I had almost 1400 votes I thought I was in fourth position so I thought I was quite safe. Looking at the overall tally I knew there were a lot of candidates in the Southern section of the area and when they would be eliminated I wouldn’t get many votes from that particular area and that is what would happen but when Gerry Kennedy was eliminated that is when the thing changed around and it looked good from there on in and I’m delighted that it resulted in me being elected in Clare,” …

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Family work as hard as candidates says Nagle

Councillor Richard Nagle, (FF) has been re-elected to Clare County Council. Shortly after 6pm Councillor Nagle was elected as the second councillor to West Clare, after Christy Curtin (NP). Councillor Nagle paid tribute to his canvassers and all who had helped him get elected, especially his family, “who have seen very little of me over the last three months and did everything possible to support me and put up with my moods during the campaign.” “It is equally as tough on family members as it is on the candidate because during a long campaign, extending over three months candidates have various mood swings going from highs to lows and the people living with them have to put up with those mood swings and everyone in my family helped out in several ways, not just in one way and it is as difficult, if not more difficult, for family members as it is for the candidate. Today is one of the …

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Emotional election for Slattery and Senator Conway

A clearly emotional Bill Slattery hugged an even more emotional Senator Martin Conway at the count centre in Ennis after the former was deemed elected shortly after 6pm on Sunday. Councillor Slattery was co-opted to a seat in North Clare electoral area after Conway, then a county councillor, was elected to the Seánad in 2011. Councillor Slattery ran in the local elections in 1999. “I went with Martin Conway and geographically we weren’t situated that well, I being from Lahinch and he being from Ennistymon…I didn’t get elected and I haven’t been involved in politics until I was asked to go for co-option in 2011, after the election of Martin to the senate. I was very reluctant that time because I had left politics but since I was co-opted I put my head down and worked very hard for the last three years to get where I am today and it has paid off with the work I have done …

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No birthday ‘miracle’ for Kennedy

Gerard Kennedy (FG) didn’t get the birthday present he was hoping for today after a recount of the West Clare electoral area saw him eliminated. Mr Kennedy requested the recount after he was eliminated on the fifth vote with just six votes separating him from Fianna Fáil’s Pat Keane. “The advice I got was that it was worth having a recount because at that stage we didn’t know what the story was. I was always under pressure in the position I was in because so many of the candidates around me were all from the Southern end of the constituency so I was unlikely to pick up any transfers,” he told the ‘Champion. Yesterday (Saturday) it looked like Mr Kennedy had polled much worse than his 1,010 first preferences. Tallies showed him more than 200 below this. “I was very disappointed because I thought that 780 was a poor enough reflection on what we had done on the canvas, and …

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Curtin elected to West Clare on first count

For the fifth time, Independent Christy Curtin has topped the poll in his electoral area. He was elected on the first count with 42 votes to spare. He gathered 1,938 votes in the new constituency which includes much of the old Ennistymon Electoral Area. According to Christy, the change in boundary made a considerable difference. “The change in boundary definitely benefitted me. I am strategically located in Miltown Malbay and I worked in Kilmihil for almost 30 years, I started my career in Ennistymon but I am located well geographically and the demographic suited me,” he said. The change brought Miltown Malbay, his home, back into the electoral area in which he was standing. “I was extremely nervous. I was back again in my own home town after 22 years and there was a strong candidate there already and for that reason I felt nervous, but they did not let me down, they stood by me,” he said. Councillor Curtin …

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