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Better off singing than crying, says 67-year-old Clare Insta star

APPROACHING his 68th birthday, Padraig Howley is a late starter as an Instagram influencer, but in less than a fortnight his journey to veganism has seen him gain over 66,000 followers. On his account you can watch Padraig discuss the vegan foods he is choosing and preparing, while he frequently gives the viewers a song. A self employed welder and farmer, he says that going vegan hasn’t been easy, but he is seeing the benefits already. “Look it, it’s tough, there’s no point in saying it isn’t, but I’m going to stick with it a while and see how I get on. I’m learning and I’m getting a lot of help. “Anything new like that is tough but I have to do it for health reasons. I was told to give up dairy, but my daughter said why don’t you go vegan, so I’m doing it. “I think it’s going to get easier because a lot of people are contacting …

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Council does not have to pick up the human misery created in Ennis, says Clare judge

CLARE County Council does not have to pick up the messes and human misery created in Ennis, a judge said this week when refusing a certificate to operate an adult-only amusement arcade in the county town, writes Gordon Deegan. Judge Patrick Durcan made the comments in Ennis District Court when the applying solicitor said the Council had granted planning permission to operate 60 gaming machines for a new adult-only amusement arcade. Judge Durcan replied that the council would not have considered the impact the arcade would have on the social fabric of society. He opined that there are already enough gaming machines in operation in Ennis town centre. Judge Durcan refused the application by Girdol Ennis Ltd pointing out that there are already three other certificates in operation for a total of 105 gaming machines for Ennis town centre. The judge said the relevant Act stated that he shall have regard to the number of gaming certificates in the area …

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Health authorities reveal latest Covid-19 figures in Clare

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has notified of 10 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in county Clare this Thursday. The health authorities reported 39 additional deaths related to Covid-19; 10 of these deaths occurred in March, 12 occurred in February, 13 in January, and three occurred earlier than this. One further death is under investigation. The median age of those who died was 81 years and the age range was 0 – 97 years. There has been a total of 4,396 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight, Wednesday March 3, the HPSC has been notified of 462 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 221,649 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. Of the cases notified today 224 are men while 236 are women. Some 69% are under 45 years of age while the median age is 31 years old Of today’s cases, 207 were in Dublin, 29 in Cork, 26 in Meath, 20 in Kildare, …

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New figures reveal how many have died from Covid in Mid-West

MORE than 360 deaths associated with Covid-19 have been recorded in the Mid-West since the start of the pandemic a year ago, new figures have revealed. There were 10,502 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Limerick, 4,597 in Clare, and 2,326 in North Tipperary on February 28 last. In total, 17,425 cases recorded in the Mid-West between March 4, 2020 and February 28, 2021. The majority of these cases were recorded in 2021—8,903 in January, and 1,613 in February. As of February 28, there have been 364 confirmed and possible deaths associated with the virus in the Mid-West region, with an age range of 42 to 105 years. While the 14-day incidence of the virus in the Banner has fallen from 322% on February 10 to 77% this week, the HSE has appealed to people to continue their work suppressing the virus while the vaccination programme is rolled out. According to figures produced by the National Disease Surveillance Centre, there were …

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Ten years in, Clare-based network is a world leader in sustainable tourism

THE Burren Ecotourism Network is celebrating its 10th anniversary, marking a decade of growth, achievements and awards which have seen it become a worldwide leader in sustainable tourism. The network which now consists of nearly 70 tourism businesses has grown from 18 founding members when it was launched by Darina Allen and then Mayor of Clare, Councillor Christy Curtin at Gregans Castle Hotel on March 3, 2011.   Members range from operators like Burren Fine Wine & Foods and Marie McGauran’s Burren Walks to iconic tourist attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher. Businesses include those from hospitality, food, farming, activities, culture and heritage sectors, all committed to sustainable tourism in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark. During the 10 years that followed the network continued to develop, with new members joining and initiatives in food and sustainability. This has contributed to the tourism group being widely regarded as ‘best in class’, with regular invitations to share the Burren story …

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€200k funding for riverside amenity in Clare village

THE O’Brien’s Bridge Trail Head and Canoe Trail Project is to benefit from government funding of €200,000, it has been announced. Minister Heather Humphreys announced the funding of 38 projects under Measure 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. The scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways. Deputy Joe Carey welcomed the allocation saying, “This is fantastic news for the community of O’Brien’s Bridge. This funding will enable the local community to develop much needed amenities on the River Shannon which will be used by residents and visitors alike.” The project will provide a series of four canoe trails together with a trail head at O’Brien’s Bridge. Visitors and users will be able to access O’Brien’s Bridge via a floating pontoon jetty.  The Clarecastle-based TD paid tribute to the huge efforts made by local community leaders and residents who worked closely with Clare County Council to advance the …

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Post office deal sees bank ‘piggybacking’ on State – Talty

A POSTMASTER and local councillor has accused Bank of Ireland of “piggybacking on the State,” in its deal which the bank says is designed to cushion the blow of branches closures in Miltown Malbay, Kilkee, Tulla and elsewhere. Last Monday, in tandem with announcing the shutting of over 100 branches, Bank of Ireland outlined a new deal to allow its customers to do their financial business in post offices. Councillor Shane Talty, who is postmaster in Ennistymon and Lahinch, described the planned closures as “regressive”. “There’s a report from consultants Grant Thornton recommending an annual €17 million Public Service Obligation (PSO) commitment to the post office network,” he said. “The bank is piggybacking on the State and the fact that it will ultimately have responsibility to support services. The bank is abandoning the community and the State will be left holding the post office network in its lap. The transaction fee to postmasters will not sustain the network.” Deputy Michael …

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Clare prisoner support project threatened by lack of funds

A FUNDING shortfall is threatening the work of Bedford Row Clare, a project designed to help prisoners to avoid reoffending. The most recently available figures, dating to 2019, show there were 124 people in prison with Clare addresses, with many more people affected by the imprisonment of family members. While the need remains consistently high, the Bedford Row project, which has an office at Centrepoint Business Park in Ennis, has seen its staffing and funds reduced since the onset of the pandemic. “We had a full-time worker supported by part-time volunteers, as well as resources from our founders, the Bedford Row Family Project in Limerick,” outlined Frank Gunter, a retired Garda Superintendent. “We now have one part-time staff member only, working to respond to the needs of people in prison and their families. The pandemic has made their situation more complex and it’s a very challenging time for them.” Mr Gunter, who is the chairperson of Bedford Row Clare and …

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