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Anger over vandalism at Aistear Park, Mountshannon

SANITIZER dispensers have torn down at Aistear Park, in a spate of weekend vandalism which has been described by the head of Mountshannon Community Council as “just horrendous”. Last Monday morning, members of the Community Employment (CE) scheme arrived at the park to find a significant amount of rubbish, with broken glass and fragments of cans strewn in the grass close to a children’s play area. A popular community book-swapping facility, which is located in the park, was also vandalised, forcing the community council to consider removing it altogether. “The CE scheme members have worked so hard during, the earlier lockdown, to keep the park up to a standard where everyone in the locality can get in and enjoy it,” said Joanne Dunphy-Allen. “We were delighted to get support from Clare County Council who gave us the sanitizer dispensers and signage, so that we could really help people to feel safe in the park and to remind them of their …

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“It’s no way to have to live”

THE plight of local householders who are seeing their properties decay due to pyrite/mica in the blocks of their home was discussed at Monday’s County Council, with the members unanimously passing a motion requesting the Minister for Housing to extend the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme to Clare. During the course of the debate it became apparent that several of the members had been to some of the damaged houses, and they were clearly struck by the poor conditions that their residents have to live in. Councillor Pat McMahon said that pyrite and mica are natural minerals but if they are present in blocks they can lead to degradation and collapse. In Clare, he said that 33 homeowners have come forward with issues, but that there could be a lot more people out there with problems. He said that the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme is already open to people in Donegal and Mayo, but that it should be extended to this …

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McNamara slams Covid policy and the government

A VEHEMENT critic of the State’s approach to dealing with Covid-19 for some months, Clare TD Michael McNamara has again slammed the latest policy move, as Ireland switches to so-called level five restrictions. “I don’t know really what these levels mean, how we arrived in this paradigm of levels that determine what constraints we have on our lives, our ability to earn a livelihood and our basic right to liberty. I don’t know how we ended up here and I don’t know what purpose it serves,” he said this week. The Scariff man said that Ireland has had the toughest restrictions in Europe for months now, and it has not succeeded in suppressing the virus. He questioned how justifiable imposing significant restrictions is. “How much do you detain somebody, an ordinary healthy person, who doesn’t suffer from any mental illness, for how long is it legitimate to detain them for their own protection?” Mr McNamara said that while very severe …

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High Incidence of Covid-19 in Clare

DEPUTY Cathal Crowe is appealing for a collective effort from Clare people to reduce the very high incidence of Covid-19 in the county and avoid spending Christmas in lockdown. As Clare people face six-weeks of Level Five restrictions from last Thursday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded 1,000 for the first time in the county when 1,030 were notified on October 17. Thirty-three more cases were confirmed a day later bringing the county total to 1,063 on October 18. Deputy Crowe said he feels particularly bad for businesses facing closure again and remains fully available to help and advise them in terms of supports. “The people of Clare have already made huge efforts to flatten the curve back in the spring months and yet here we are facing into the same situation once again. “I know how disheartening this will be, how detrimental it will be to people’s mental health, but I hope that people in their individual actions …

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Arrests made following spate of burglaries in four counties including Clare

Gardaí have arrested two men in relation to approximately 10 incidents of burglary and theft in counties Tipperary, Clare, Cork and Limerick. The burglaries took place at petrol stations, post offices and shops, over the last number of months with cash, cigarettes and safes taken. As part of the investigation gardaí arrested two men, aged in their 20s and 30s, on Wednesday, October 21. They are currently detained at Tipperary Town and Nenagh Garda Stations under the provisions of Section 50 Criminal Justice Act, 2007. A car, believed to have been used during the course of the burglaries was also seized and is currently being examined. The arrests took place as result of Intelligence led operation coordinated across the Southern Region over the last number of weeks. The operation focused on an organized crime group believed to have been involved in these offences.

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Only Four Extra ICU Beds at University Hospital Limerick

THE number of critical care beds in University Hospital Limerick to treat seriously ill non-Covid-19 and Covid-19 patients has only increased by four, a hospital boss has confirmed. UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive Colette Cowan has revealed there are currently 22 critical care beds in UHL – 12 intensive care and 10 high dependency beds. This represents an increase of four since the start of the year. During the peak of the first wave, the group initiated their critical care surge plan involving training and redeployment of staff, the temporary conversion of other beds in the Critical Care Block into ICU/HDU beds and the procurement of equipment. “The group are currently monitoring matters closely in the event we may need to open critical care surge capacity in the coming weeks. A plan is in place should we need to increase capacity,” she stated. In a recent overview provided for public representatives, Professor Cowan confirmed it is planned to hand back …

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22 cases referred since June to Divisional Protective Services Unit

TWENTY-TWO investigations have been referred to the new specialist Garda unit tasked with investigating sexual and domestic crime, since the Clare unit was set up this summer. The Divisional Protective Services Unit (DPSU) opened in May and became fully operational a month later, according to Detective Sergeant Paul English who made a presentation to the Joint Policing Committee last Monday. There is now a unit in every Garda division, Sergeant English noted, tasked with investigations into areas involving vulnerable adults, sexual crime, online child exploitation, domestic abuse, trafficking, organised prostitution and victim liaison. He also told JPC members that while there had been a drop, during the lockdown, in the number of survivors coming forward to organisations such as Rape Crisis Midwest (RCMW), there had been a noticeable increase as the country reopened. Of the 22 investigations referred to Clare’s DPSU, 18 related to sexual assaults, including rape; two concern child exploitation and two involve coercive control. Giving an overview …

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Garda patrols stepped up after graveyard thefts in Ennis, Tulla

GRAVEYARDS in two locations in the county have had Garda patrols stepped up in response to a spate of thefts that has been going on since the start of the year, Clare’s Garda chief has said. Addressing last Monday’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran urged people to continue to report incidents and pledged that they would be fully investigated. Since January of this year, there has been a hike in incidents of theft and anti-social behaviour at Drumcliffe Cemetery in Ennis. There has also been an ongoing issue at the graveyard in Tulla, with a spate of thefts of grave ornaments and flowers, over the last nine months. The issue at Drumcliffe was raised by the Mayor of Clare, who voiced frustration with the perception that calls were not being logged. “Since January, I’ve been bringing this to the attention of the Gardaí and the local authority,” Councillor Mary Howard said. “I have found …

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