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Breaking News

Healy Rae firm to replace Miltown watermains in 2021

Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara says he has received confirmation from Irish Water that the proposed replacement of the old watermains from Miltown Malbay to Mullagh will commence during first quarter of 2021. Deputy McNamara says a contractor (Healy Rae Plant Hire – HRPH) has been appointed to carry out the works, the First Phase (Site Investigation) of which has already been completed. Meanwhile, Irish Water has confirmed to Deputy McNamara that four smaller but significant watermain replacement projects will be completed in Clare during the final quarter of 2020. They include the watermain at Mains Street in Scarriff, the Castlecrine to Kilmurray watermain, 2.5km of watermain at Milltown Road in Tulla, and the watermain in Parnell St, Ennis. Responding to the update regarding the Miltown Malbay to Mullagh works, Deputy McNamara said, “I cautiously welcome this news from Irish Water as there have been numerous false starts regarding this project in recent years. It has been a frustrating and …

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Visiting ban at mid-west hospitals remains in place

UL Hospitals Group has reminded the public of the Mid-West that the ban on visiting at its six hospital sites remains in place, to help protect the safety of our staff and patients during the ongoing Covid-19 public health emergency. The visiting ban introduced in early March at Ennis Hospital, University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital, Nenagh Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital is unaffected by the activation this week of Phase 1 in the five-phase reopening Ireland’s society and economy. “UL Hospitals Group welcomes the beginning of emergence from the restrictions of the past two months. We regret the distress or inconvenience our visiting ban causes for patients and their loved ones, but it is necessary to keep the ban in place while the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 remains present. The reasons for limiting movement within our hospitals remain as urgent as they were when the visiting ban was introduced in early March …

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Significant funding for Ballyvaughan and Carrigaholt piers

A total of €138,000 in funding is to be rolled out to three separate harbours in Clare for essential works. Clare County Council has been granted the funding for works in piers at Carrigaholt, Ballyvaughan and Bournapeaka. The grants are part of an overall €3.1 million package for coastal local authorities to carry out improvement works at these developments. The biggest sum of €51,750 has been granted to Bournapeaka Pier in Ballyvaughan, which will go towards underpinning the mid-section of the pier; removing and replacing a cracked section; the removal of a section of deck and removing and relaying a cracked stone along the pier edge.Nearby Ballyvaughan pier has been awarded €48,750 for the installation of flood gate and three flap valves, as well as the provision of rock armour to protect the pier wall. The final grant of €37,500 has been awarded to Carrigholt pier for essential repair work and the reconstruction of section of old pier wall. “I …

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One additional Covid-19 case in Clare

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been informed that a total of four people with COVID-19 have died. There have now been a total 1,547 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. The number in Clare increased by one today. A total of 315 people in the county have now been diagnosed with Covid-19 As of 11am today the HPSC has been notified of 88 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 24,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. The HSE is working to identify any contacts the patients may have had to provide them with information and advice to prevent further spread. Today’s data from the HPSC, as of midnight, Saturday May 16 (24,036 cases), reveals: · 57% are female and 43% are male · the median age of confirmed cases is 48 years · 3,127 cases (13%) have been hospitalised · Of those hospitalised, 391 cases have been admitted to ICU · 7,615 cases are associated with …

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Free flu vaccine to be extended

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has announced his intention extend the influenza vaccine to children without charge. Minister Harris confirmed all of those in the HSE-defined at-risk groups, aged from six months to 69 years inclusive will also be available to access the vaccine without charge. All people aged over 70 already have access without charges. The vaccination will be available to all children aged from two to 12 years inclusive. Work is underway to plan and give effect to this policy and further information will be provided when arrangements have been finalised. Minister Harris said: “A resurgence of COVID-19 during the coming flu season could present a significant challenge to the delivery of healthcare services in the coming winter. “That is why officials from my Department have been working closely with the HSE to put in place an expansion of the seasonal influenza vaccination programme for winter 2020/21. “Flu is a potentially fatal illness and I want to …

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new group continues fundraising for PPE

A NEW lobby group hopes to distribute another batch of scrubs to a long term residential care facility later this week. Nursing homes in Clare have been the big winners of a new campaign to provide additional supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) thanks to work co-ordinated by a new support group. The Mid-West Hospital Campaign group estimates that hundreds of cotton face masks have been made inside the last seven days by 37 sewers working voluntarily on behalf of this new lobby group. Clare PPE co-ordinator Hilary Tonge confirmed that nurses in St Senan’s Nursing Home in Kilrush received newly- made scrubs on Tuesday. She hopes that the group will have another large batch of scrubs ready to benefit another nursing home later this week. Three health care workers in Ennistymon received scrubs, face masks and hand sanitiser from the group on Tuesday. The group has collected more than €3,000 in financial donations to date and would welcome more …

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FG councillors support new coalition deal

A majority of Clare Fine Gael councillors support the current proposed national coalition of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, according to the findings of a Clare Champion survey. Councillor Gabriel Keating said efforts should have been made to form a national government made up of a number of political parties last March. Stressing the need for a new government to be elected as quickly as possible, he is a little reluctant to give his full support for a Fianna Fáil (FF), Fine Gael (FG) and Green Party (GP) coalition as he doesn’t think this will be good for rural Ireland. Instead, he supports a coalition of these parties with Labour and a group of rural Independents like Michael McNamara, which he feels would be better able to deal with these challenging times. Councillor Johnny Flynn said he would not vote for any coalition deal with Fine Gael and Sinn Féin as he disagreed with some of their …

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“The unknown was the disaster for everyone”

THE Leaving Cert is one of the great Irish rites of passage but the class of 2020 will never negotiate it. It may not be ideal but Alan Cunningham, principal of St Caimin’s in Shannon, feels it is probably the least worst option at this stage. “Yeah, the unknown was the disaster for everyone. Taking into account everyone’s wellbeing, keeping them hanging until July 29, when it might not have happened either. They had to come up with some kind of plan and it is what it is now, we can all get on with it and see how it comes out the other end.” Some young people are happy with the idea of predicted grades, but not everyone is, he feels. “There’s a fair mix. You’d have some people delighted with it and some people who would feel they have a better chance on the day, with the paper. Every student has their individual way of looking at it. …

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