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People power as Ballinruan polling station stays open

LATE last week, there was surprise and then anger in Ballinruan as it emerged that there were no plans to use the local community centre as a polling station in the General Election. The community centre is where Ballinruan people have voted for decades and some works have been carried out on it even since last year’s local elections, with a view to keeping the facility up-to-date and as user-friendly as possible. Frustration was even more acute, as there was no notice given of the decision to close. “It’s very disappointing for people in Ballinruan, who always voted there and something else they have removed from a rural community without even telling us,” was part of the content of one post put on the Ballinruan Development Association Facebook page. However, local people were not about to take the decision lying down and quickly began to mobilise to ensure that the centre, which would have been used by generations of local …

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Bobby the Cow, painted by Laurie Hehir, from Quilty.

Laurie chosen for art competition TV advert

A PAINTING by a young Clare artist and student of the Ennis Art School has been brought to life as part of a new television commercial. The painting by young Laurie Hehir, aged seven, was chosen to illustrate the promotion of the closing date for receipt of entries in the 2020 Texaco Children’s Art Competition. Her teacher, local artist Carmel Doherty told us, “This is a massive achievement for Laurie, her parents are delighted and very proud of her. She’s a very nice kid, full of beans and really creative. It’s marvellous to see her art work on the screen.” Screened here and in Northern Ireland throughout the months of January and February, its purpose will be to notify young artists, parents and teachers that the 66th Competition is underway. The commercial’s storyline centres upon Laurie’s painting of ‘Bobby’, her grandfather’s Friesian cow for which she was awarded a prize in the competition last year. Focusing on the characteristics that …

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SF choose Clare General Election candidate

ON Saturday afternoon Sinn Féin selected Violet Anne Wynne as its candidate in Clare for next month’s general election. Originally the party had chosen Mike McKee and Noeleen Moran to run. However Councillor McKee became ill and died earlier this year. In addition, so long had elapsed following its original selection convention, that Ms Moran’s nomination was no longer valid, and another convention was required. On Friday Ms Moran issued a statement ruling herself out of the race, making it clear she was not happy with the process that had been followed. “I will not be putting my name forward at the Sinn Féin selection convention for the forthcoming General Election. Sinn Féin has had since last August to select a candidate in Clare, yet they chose to leave it until this very late stage to do so. “I do not think that is an appropriate or fair way to treat someone who was willing to put their name forward …

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Black Jeep of Interest to Gardaí in Sixmilebridge shooting

GARDAÍ in Shannon have said they are particularly interested in speaking with the driver of a “black-type Jeep or SUV” seen around the area of Sixmilebridge last night before the shooting of two men took place. The men, aged 21 and 66, were taken to UHL for treatment having suffered gunshots wounds outside a public house around 12:20am last night. Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening. Gardaí have appealed to anyone who may have seen this jeep or may have dashcam footage of such a vehicle captured around Sixmilebridge to contact Shannon Garda Station at 061-365900 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666.    

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‘Shock and Disbelief’ at Sixmilebridge Shooting

THE shooting of two men last outside a pub in Sixmilebridge last night has brought “a sense of shock and disbelief’ to the village, according to TD Joe Carey. Two men, aged 21 and 66, were treated on site for apparent gunshot wounds, before being removed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for further treatment. Their injuries are not thought be life threatening. Gardaí have made no arrests and are appealing for information. The scene has been preserved for a forensic examination to take place and an incident room has been established at Shannon Garda Station. Deputy Carey has said the local community are outraged that something like this could happen in their village. He said he has been in contact with local councillors and they will aid the case in any way possible. He also joined the garda call for anyone with information to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact Shannon Garda Station 061-365900 or the …

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Gardai investigate Sixmilebridge shooting

Gardaí in Shannon are appealing for information following a shooting incident in Sixmilebridge. At approximately 12.20am (on Saturday) Gardaí responded to reports of shots fired outside a public house in Sixmilebridge village. Two men (aged 21 and 66 years) were discovered at the scene with apparent gunshot wounds. They were treated on site before being removed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick. Their injuries are not thought be life threatening. No arrests have been made to date and the scene is currently preserved for forensic and technical examination. An incident room has been established at Shannon Garda Station. Investigators will hold a case conference later this Saturday morning and are appealing for witnesses to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact Shannon Garda Station 061-365900 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666

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SF choose McGettigan for Shannon Municipal District seat

FOLLOWING a meeting in Shannon this evening, Sinn Féin have opted for Donna McGettigan to fill the vacancy on Clare County Council left by the death of Councillor Mike McKee. It is understood she was the only candidate put forward by party members. She was nominated by the late Councillor McKee’s wife, Eileen. She still has to be approved by the party’s Ard Comhairle, but this is a formality. The party are expected to announce a candidate for the general election tomorrow.

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“They don’t have any empathy with rural Ireland”-Harty on FG leadership

ON Monday, Dr Michael Harty announced that he is not looking to be re-elected to the Dáil and in an interview with The Clare Champion, he said the outgoing Government has failed rural Ireland, while the administration didn’t accept obvious solutions to major problems facing the country. Dr Harty also revealed that he had turned down invitations to stand for established parties in the General Election. “Obviously, the economy has recovered and that brings benefits to everybody. But I think there is still a huge dissatisfaction within rural Ireland that they are being left behind, that services are still being withdrawn to rural Ireland,” he commented. As it stands now, he feels that the likes of Leo Varadkar, Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy do not understand the needs of a county like Clare. “I think that the Government is urban-orientated. We have the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Health, the Minister for Housing, who are all urban-based …

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