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Bishop laments lifting of Good Friday pub closures

Bishop Fintan Monahan shares the concerns of some people who fear Christmas Day will soon succumb to the demands of commercial pressure in the same way as Good Friday. Reflecting on the end of restrictions on the sale of alcohol in licensed premises on Good Friday, the Bishop of Killaloe has pointed out that many people have noted that the only two unique family days where alcohol could not be purchased were Christmas Day and Good Friday. However, the bishop believes it is now “just a matter of time until Christmas Day will succumb to the demands of commercial pressure in the same manner”. He described Good Friday as a special day in the Christian calendar, as it commemorates the death of Jesus Christ. He said it is a special day of mourning and a day when many Christians attend special religious ceremonies. Traditionally, because of the importance of the day and because it was the penultimate day of Lent, …

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increase in drink driving arrests

A total of 105 people were arrested for drink driving in Clare so far this year – an increase of 21. This has prompted an East Clare county councillor to ask if the enforcement level in this area is a “bit over the top”. At Monday’s meeting of the county’s Joint Policing Committee, Whitegate councillor Pat Burke suggested the idea of breathalysing people at all times of the day was a bit much. “I don’t know of too many women who are going to schools, collecting their kids, who are drink driving,” he said, adding, “Yet they are being breathalysed.” He also said he has a friend in his own area who likes to have three or four pints on a Sunday and will walk to and from the pub to do that. He said now, however, that he will no longer go to the pub because he is afraid to drive into work in the morning. Having received an …

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Pubs stock up for busy week

FACTORS such as rising prices, the smoking ban and a severe recession have seen pubs endure several years of decline, but Ennis publicans are now preparing for what is likely to be one of their busiest ever weeks. Gerry Kelly is involved with The Diamond on O’Connell Street, Considine’s on Parnell Street and Dan O’Connell’s in the Square. Reflecting on the last time the Fleadh was in Ennis, back in 1977, he said, “I remember, I was working in The Cloister. Culture has changed an awful lot since. At that time, all the windows on the shops in town were barred up. But you don’t get a rough crowd following the Fleadh.” There are fewer premises now to take the drinkers, he added. “I would say there is about 14 pubs less than the last time it was here. It can be frightening when you think about it. If you remember the crowd that was in O’Connell Street after we …

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West Clare battling against business closures

MORE than 160 outlets, including shops, pubs, post offices and banks, have closed in West Clare in the last 25 years. These approximate figures, which have been compiled by The Clare Champion, do not include additional outlets such as seasonal businesses in resort towns like Kilkee. The figures show that the region, from Ballynacally to Kilbaha and up to Miltown, has lost 102 shops and 53 public houses since 1989, while AIB has closed outlets in Kildysart and Kilkee. Ballynacally, Coolmeen, Cranny, Cross and Knock have lost their post offices in that period. In the last decade, Kilrush has lost eight pubs and a total of 53 businesses, including 19 in Moore Street alone. However, in the same period, 42 businesses have opened in the town. The breakdown of what has closed in West Clare towns and villages during that period include: Ballynacally, two shops, one post office. Lissycasey, two pubs, two shops; Kildysart, three pubs, two shops and AIB …

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