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Breaking News

Marts will operate as normal under Level 3 restrictions

CLARE Marts have confirmed that its facilities will continue operations under Level 3 pandemic restrictions. The Department of Agriculture had indicated that marts are designated as an essential service, but suggested some may have some of their operating procedures adjusted to take account of the new national restrictions. Martin McNamara, general manager of Clare Marts noted that since re-opening of marts in early June, huge efforts had been made to adhere to national public health guidelines and to facilitate on-line sales to reduce the number of people attending in person. He also expressed the hope that the move to Level 3 would make it easier to enforce the regulations. “The move to Level 3 shouldn’t make any great difference,” he said. “The rules are already being strictly enforced with social distancing, masks, sanitisers and so on. The bottom line is, though, that people won’t be allowed in if they have no business at the mart, because numbers are restricted until …

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“I felt I could die” Quilty paramedic recalls battle with Covid-19

A WEST Clare paramedic has revealed she thought she would die as she battled to breathe in an intensive care unit after contracting a very severe bout of Covid-19. Paula King Delaney (41) is still being treated for the virus in Tullamore Regional Hospital after she tested positive on September 14. While the Quilty mother-of-two understands people are frustrated with the extent of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, she has appealed to everyone to comply with all public health guidelines and adopt a healthy respect for the virus. “Covid-19 doesn’t care who you are and what age you are or what condition you have or haven’t got. It very dangerous and vicious. “I would urge everyone to do what they can when they can to minimise the spread of the virus. I am not judging anyone, I just want people to protect themselves. “I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I am going through ever. I wouldn’t wish it on my …

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Mixed Views On HSE’s Record €600 Million Winter Plan

MIXED views have been expressed by local deputies about the provision of a record €600 million for the government’s 2020/21 Winter Plan. The importance of providing an effective Winter Plan was illustrated on September 16 when 80 patients in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) were without a bed, which was the highest figure recorded in an Irish hospital since Covid-19 restrictions began. This resulted in at least eight vulnerable elderly patients being left on chairs in UHL. The INMO has called for urgent intervention from the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly with the immediate appointment of an external crisis management team to oversee governance at the hospital Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne described the Winter Plan as a “wish list” lacking in detail, targets and timelines for staff recruitment and bed delivery. “It falls far short on the number of beds and staff required to safely deliver Covid-19, non-Covid-19, and catch up care in the coming months. “Our plan, which I launched in …

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Community Group Seeks Traffic Calming For O’Brien’s Bridge Crossroads

CLARE County Council has been urged to introduce traffic calming at a “very dangerous” crossroads near O’Brien’ s Bridge to avert a potential fatality. The call was made this week by O’Brien’s Bridge Community Group chairperson, Margaret O’Connor, who said it is essential this crossroads is made safe. The crossroads serves motorists travelling from Limerick to Killaloe and O’Brien’s Bridge to Bridgetown and Broadford. Ms O’Connor outlined this junction can be blind for any motorist exiting from O’Brien’ s Bridge, particularly if they are travelling to Bridgetown because they have to travel far out in the middle of the road with the risk of being hit by a car travelling at speed from the Killaloe or Limerick direction. She pointed out some motorists drive at high speed travelling from Killaloe to Limerick because they view it as a straight road. “From day one, I felt it was not safe. If you were a pedestrian or on a bike, you wouldn’t …

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Pyrite Action Group call for more political support

POLITICAL support is increasing for a number of Clare householders whose properties are beginning to crack and crumble as a result of defective material in the blockwork. Since it was formed at the start of last month, the Clare Pyrite Action Group has had more than 30 people come forward from all parts of the county to highlight the condition of their homes. After a virtual meeting with Deputy Cathal Crowe last week, the action group is to hold an open event on Monday in the hope of garnering the support of more Oireachtas members and county councillors. To-date, a number of parliamentary questions have been tabled on their behalf about the possibility of extending a remediation scheme for those affected by defective blockwork, but none has received a positive response. Last week, the Department of Housing approved a call to have Limerick city and county taken under the remit of a scheme for homes where pyrite is present in …

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Application made for Kilmihil windfarm

MCRE Windfarm Limited have lodged a planning application for a major windfarm project on lands at Cahermurphy and the surrounding townlands near Kilmihil. It would consist of up to ten wind turbines with a maximum overall blade tip height of up to 170 metres. It would have a 30-year operational life span from the date of commissioning. A community engagement report accompanying the application says that it is looking to build on a successful earlier development. “MCRE has been involved in the successful development of the Cahermurphy 1 windfarm since 2013 and though the process of planning and developing of the Cahermurphy 1 project it has developed many relationships with the local families in this general area. The Genesis of the current project evolved though these relationships following the successful planning and development of the Cahermurphy 1 project when local farm families approached MCRE with a view to building on the success of the original project. Through the model of …

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“He threw a firework my way”-intimidation in Shannon Town Park

THERE have been complaints of anti-social behaviour at Shannon Town Park for months now, and recently a woman and her two-year-old son were left terrified after a firework was thrown in their direction. She also observed a resident being verbally abused by a teenager, apparently unconcerned for any consequences of his behaviour. Thirty-five year old Lucia Palacka has lived in Shannon for several years, and herself and her partner are raising their two-year-old son, Luka. On last Tuesday afternoon at 1.45pm Lucia was approaching the park with Luka in his buggy, when they came across a large group of young people. “There were a lot of kids, I don’t know how many, 15-20 maybe. They were probably at lunch and it would have been time for them to go back. I heard the first firework and when I was coming closer my words were ‘Jesus, can you stop?’ because Luka had said in our language ‘what’s this, I’m scared, Mum, …

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Shannon Airport not going back to DAA-Transport Minister

SHANNON Airport will not be going back under the Dublin Airport Authority, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has confirmed. While Shannon Airport struggled when part of the DAA, it has also failed to reach targets set for it at the time it separated at the end of 2012. While 2020 had been set to be Shannon’s best year since separation, the onset of the pandemic has seen calls from Sinn Féin and some trade union elements for the airport to go back under the DAA. However in the Dáíl, in response to a statement from Limerick TD Maurice Quinlivan, who argued that Shannon needs to go back under the DAA, the Minister said, “I believe Deputy Quinlivan said that Shannon Airport should be regrouped under the DAA. I will be honest. I met the unions based in the airport. I felt that change would take two or three years and would not solve the underlying strategic issues. We have to make …

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