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Compliance with travel restrictions remains ‘relatively good’

INCREASED traffic on roads across Clare has been reported by Gardaí, but general compliance levels with Level 5 restrictions are said to be relatively good. As the country comes to the end of a third straight month at the highest lockdown level, Superintendent John Galvin said that while movement beyond 5km is increasing, a lot of it is down to the return to school, as well as the distances that Clare people normally travel for essential work reasons. “We are certainly seeing a rise in the number of people on the roads at the moment,” the Kilrush-based superintendent said. “A certain level of that is down to the reopening of schools and overall people’s compliance is quite good. If you think about someone living in Kilrush and working in Ennis, if they’re an essential worker, they have to travel well beyond the 5km.” Superintendent Galvin said that fears over large-scale house parties around St Patrick’s Day weren’t realised. “Overall, it …

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Kilkee to retain ATM after Bank of Ireland branch closure

BANK of Ireland has moved to reassure Clare’s Independent TD that its ATM in Kilkee will be retained after the closure of the branch. From September, the outlet will be one of three in this county – and 103 on the island – to be closed in a move which the bank said comes in response to online banking and cashless transactions. Deputy Michael McNamara questioned bank officials on Tuesday at the Joint Oireachtas Finance Committee. Gavin Kelly, CEO of Retail Ireland at Bank of Ireland confirmed that Kilkee is one of four locations in the Republic of Ireland that will retain their existing ATM. “There will be four locations that we are going to keep an ATM in the branch because there isn’t an alternative branch in the town, and Kilkee is one of those locations,” Mr Kelly said. “So, we are committed to maintaining the ATM in Kilkee for that reason.” In response to Deputy McNamara’s question about the …

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Fewer than five new cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Clare

THE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of fewer than five additional cases of Covid-19 in Clare, while there have been three additional deaths related to Covid-19 nationally.Of the deaths reported today, two occurred in March and one in February. There has been a total of 4,631 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland. As of midnight, Wednesday, March 24, the HPSC has been notified of 606 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 232,758 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. Of the cases notified today: 298 are men / 305 are women 75% are under 45 years of age The median age is 33 years old 249 in Dublin, 57 in Donegal, 39 in Kildare, 32 in Meath, 31 in Louth and the remaining 198 cases are spread across all other counties*. As of 8am today, 312 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 75 are in ICU. 24 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours. As …

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New 60-bed Block Unit Requires Discharge Co-ordinator – Deputy Crowe

PATIENTS are being discharged from a new 60-bed block unit at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) without adequate planning for step down supports, a local deputy has claimed. Deputy Cathal Crowe is calling on the HSE to ensure that an official discharge co-ordinator is put in place for the new 60-bed block. At present, the role is not filled for the €19.5 million modular unit at UHL, which began taking patients in late 2020 and hospital management have no plans to appoint a new person to this post. “I have been raising the issue of a lack of a discharge co-ordinator for this block both in the Oireachtas Health Committee and with Colette Cowan, CEO of the UL Hospitals’ Group,” said Deputy Crowe. “Several families of patients and workers in the system have been in contact with me highlighting the fact that where a patient is being discharged, there’s very little in terms of stepdown planning for having supports in place …

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Nugent Glad To See Galway United Banner Contingent Growing Ahead Of New Season

At just 22 years of age, the career of Maurice Nugent has already ticked plenty boxes with the latest one seeing him embark on his first year as a full time professional player with Galway United. The Ennis native is entering his fifth season with the Tribesmen’s senior team where his reputation as a solid and versatile defender has seen him earn plenty plaudits around Eamon Deacy Park and beyond. It is no major surprise to see the former Avenue United man take that next step, having come through the academy system with Galway United including a spell as captain of the U-19 side. The NUIG graduate has also had the honour of captaining his country with two international caps to his name having played at World University Games in Taiwan in 2017 with the captains armband coming last year when the squad travelled to Italy. His first full senior season in Galway came in 2017, when former Clare Oscar …

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Ennis murder accused further remanded in custody

AN Ennis man charged with the murder of mother of two, Sharon Bennett was today further remanded in custody. At Gort District Court, Patrick Ballard (34) appeared after being charged with the murder of Wexford native, Ms Bennett before the sitting of Ennis District Court on Wednesday. Mr Ballard of Ashford Court Hotel, Ennis, has been on remand in prison after being initially charged with the assault causing harm of Ms Bennett (29) in the Market area of Ennis on Thursday, January 28, last. Ms Bennett died 13 days later at University Hospital Limerick. At Gort District Court today, Sgt Daithi Cronin stated that Mr Ballard could be further remanded to appear at Ennis District Court via video link from Limerick prison on April 14. Sgt Cronin stated that Mr Ballard was being further remanded to that date for the serving of the Book of Evidence. The initial charge of assault causing harm against Mr Ballard has been withdrawn now …

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Investigation into suspicious approach to child in Clooney

GARDAI are investigating reports of a suspicious approach to a child outside Clooney National School on Wednesday afternoon. It is understood a male in a van approached a child and said that the child’s mother had asked him to pick the child up. However the child declined to go with the man, and he drove away. The incident occurred outside the school at around 3.05pm. Gardai have asked that anyone who saw anything suspicious or who has dashcam footage would get in touch with them. They have urged parents to warn their children not to accept any unsolicited lifts. In a subsequent email to parents, principal Shane Greene wrote, “This is an extremely serious and upsetting incident. I would ask that we all remain vigilant. parents should remind children not to leave the school grounds until their car is visible after school.” Owen Ryan

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17,167 First Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccine Delivered In Mid-West

MORE than 17,000 first doses of vaccines against Covid-19 have been delivered by vaccinators in the Mid-West, according to official figures. The UL Hospitals’ Group vaccination programme resumed administering the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Mid-West Vaccination Centre in the Radisson Blu on Sunday, March 21. Up to close of business on Sunday March 21st, ovaccinators had delivered a total of 17,167 first doses, and 5,248 second doses of Covid-19 vaccine. The group’s Vaccination Programme has been rolled out to healthcare workers across the Mid-West, including staff from the group, HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare, the National Ambulance Service, and staff and residents of some nursing home facilities. It has also included patients at very high risk of illness associated with Covid-19, of whom some 699 received their Dose 1 vaccinations on Sunday. Colette Cowan, Chief Executive Officer, UL Hospitals’ Group, said staff are privileged to be part of this mass vaccination programme and noted it is a great boost to …

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