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Tina Kenneally and Fiona Moloney, mothers of Shay and Jack holding the new rugby cup at the Ennis Rugby Club. Photograph by Paul Corey.

Brothers in Arms Legacy Lives On

TWO Ennis families will come together, a year on from Ennis Rugby Club’s U-15s North Munster Cup win, to present a newly-established Brothers in Arms Cup dedicated in memory of Jack Kenneally and Shay Moloney. On April 28, ahead of the first anniversary of Jack and Shay’s tragic passing as they enjoyed the summer sunshine swimming in Ennis, the Kenneally and Moloney families will join in solidarity to present the cup to the new U-15s champions.Coaches Eamon Connaughton and Pádraig Brennan decided to dedicate a new North Munster Cup in memory of the two players, who are deeply missed but never forgotten. Shay’s mother Fiona said, “The cup means so much to us as a family; it is lovely. We were so involved.Most of my Sundays for years were spent on the sideline, so it was like they were all my children. Shay’s favourite things were family, rugby and friends and they were one family. It’s beautiful to have Brothers in …

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Clinical Directors of UL Hospitals Group issue open letter to the Mid West

THE clinical directors of the UL Hospitals Group have written an open letter to the people of the Mid-West, in which they call for “a great collaborative effort”, to improve services in the region. The standard of service provided to the people of the Mid- West has been under fire in recent weeks, after record-breaking numbers on trolleys were recorded at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). From Monday to Thursday this week, more patients were waiting for a bed at UHL than at any other Irish hospital. The letter states, “In recent years, our main acute hospital, UHL, has experienced serious challenges in providing enough inpatient beds for the acutely-ill patients that have presented to our Emergency Department (ED). These shortages have led to unacceptable numbers of elderly and frail patients waiting for far too long in the ED for a bed in the hospital. “The experience of some of these patients has been very bad. We profoundly regret that this …

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Man’s body recovered

THE body of a man has been recovered from the Shannon Estuary. The body was found while a search was being carried out for a Sixmilebridge man on Friday morning. The search was launched when John O’Gorman, who was last seen on Wednesday evening, failed to return home. Two fishermen found the body about 8km south-west of Shannon Airport. The body was removed to University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem.

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“You’re supposed to learn from mistakes” Frustration after councillors meet hospital representatives

THE failures of University Hospital Limerick, which recently broke Irish records for patients waiting on trolleys; was the background to a behind closed doors meeting between UL Hospitals representatives CEO Colette Cowan, Chief Clinical Director Paul Burke and Clare County Council on Monday. Councillor Tom McNamara was one of those who attended but he didn’t accept all that he was told. “They outlined the reason for the overcrowding, they said there was an MRI scanner down and they need a second one. They said that 25 beds extra were opened up when the 17 closed, which we found hard to believe. You know in your heart and soul if 25 beds were going up in Limerick Regional Hospital, there’d be a big fanfare. From what we can gather from below, there weren’t 25 beds open. How come if there were 25 beds opened, when the 17 closed, the numbers on trolleys jumped up to 81?” A few years ago the …

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New Ennis Chamber President relishes role

2019 is not a bad time to become president of Ennis Chamber, as Gwen Culligan is doing, with the town’s economy in a relatively sweet spot, while still strengthening and improving. Gwen is co-owner of the County Boutique on O’Connell Street, with her sister Maeve Flouch, and it is a family business that goes back to the 1960s. The business was a huge part of Gwen’s childhood. “Our playground was O’Connell Street. After school, at lunchtime from school and whatever, we’d be there. I’m from Clon Road, so we’re real townies,” she laughs. Her mother worked in the business right up until her death in 2005. Gwen was away for a number of years working in AIB but has been in the shop for around 30 years now, placing her at the heart of Ennis commerce. She has also been active in the chamber for quite a long spell. “I’ve been involved in the chamber on and off for years. …

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HSE failures continue 10 years on

TEN years ago this month, 24- hour emergency department services in Ennis closed and services in the region were reconfigured, despite dire warnings that the HSE’s new plan would not work and could, in fact, prove disastrous. When one looks back at the reports from that time, it is very striking how prescient the people who made the objections were but even they surely could not have believed that things would be so bad so long later. On Monday, Clare County Council passed a motion of no confidence in Minister Simon Harris, after 81 people were left on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) last Wednesday. In The Clare Champion of April 3, 2009, Clare TD Pat Breen opposed the new acute model and, at the time, he felt far more moderate figures were also terrible. “Patients have been left on trolleys for extended periods. There were 17 people on trolleys in Limerick on Tuesday and 28 people on Monday,” …

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Gardaí Launch Investigation into GAA Coach

A GARDA investigation is underway into a Clare underage football coach, who is suspected of sending ‘graphic images’ to a number of boys he coached. Gardaí have confirmed that they are currently interviewing relevant parties, after a complaint was made to them through a GAA club last week. It is understood that the man at the centre of the allegations is in his mid- 30s and has been involved with the GAA as an underage club coach. He is also believed to have been involved in coaching national school children and has represented his club as a player. It is alleged that images, which were believed to be graphic in nature, were sent directly to a number of individuals under the age of 16 by phone. For more on this breaking story see this week’s edition of The Clare Champion.

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