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Breaking News

‘Delta is out there’

THE Delta variant is out there, but with schools having reopened from lockdowns already and having had to learn how to protect students and staff from the Covid threat, they aren’t facing an unknown enemy this time. Principal of St Conaire’s in Shannon is Peter Walsh and he said that the guidelines are well established now. “The Department have issued the information and we’re following all that, we have the template from last year, we’re following that and getting on with it. We’re doing all the sanitising, everyone is used to that now, we’ll do the best we can. The staff are very good and they’re well used to it, we’ll see how it goes.” While there is some familiarity around Covid now, he doesn’t feel that schools will be as relaxed when they reopen as they would have been pre March 2020. “No, I don’t think the stress is gone out of it. You’re depending on the community monitoring …

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New series has Kathryn Burren bound

The Aran Islands and the Burren will feature in two separate episodes of the new season of “No Place Like Home” on RTÉ One. The second episode, airing this Sunday, will see host Kathryn Thomas take in the sights of Inis Mór, go diving in the Atlantic Ocean and glamp overnight on the island; the piece will be accompanied by a live segment airing from the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin. In the third episode on September 5, Kathryn explores the Burren and greater Clare, visiting Doolin Cave and swimming at Spanish Point, while a live section will air from the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Co Waterford. Niall Tracey, Director of Marketing at Fáilte Ireland, said: “The “No Place Like Home” series proved extremely popular last year and it is fantastic to be collaborating with RTÉ once again, to encourage people to take breaks at home this autumn. The domestic market will be key over the …

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School a ‘risky situation’ for unvaccinated teachers

Teachers’ representatives alarmed over plight of pregnant teachers THE Clare chair of a major teaching union has said she has received calls from pregnant, unvaccinated members suffering from severe anxiety at the prospect of having to return to the classroom. Kate Hehir of St Michael’s Community College in Kilmihil said teachers, who cannot be vaccinated until they are 14 weeks pregnant, have been contacting her about the added stress of being required by The Department of Education to teach in person as the new school year begins. “I have had calls for women who cannot sleep at night due to the stress,” the Clare Chair of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) said. “These are not teachers who are looking to make trouble. In some cases, they might have had repeated IVF treatments or recurrent miscarriages. “These are women who deserve far better protection and to be allowed to work remotely until they are immunised and I can’t understand why …

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Clare based Afghans ‘ill’ with worry over their families’ fate

FORTUNATE enough to escape the hellish political climate of Afghanistan themselves, a number of people across Clare are “ill” with worry themselves this week, very concerned about what the return to power of the Taliban means for their loved ones, still there. “The Clare Immigrant Support Centre is working with ten individual families or single people about their own family situations back in Afghanistan at the moment, and seeing what can be done,” said its spokesperson, Orla Ní Éilí. They are also working with people who were here, but have gone to other parts of Ireland since. Common to all those they deal with are massive fears about what the Taliban are going to do now. “It’s shocking, people aren’t able to sleep. Communication could become more complicated too. One man, we know that the Taliban did come to his home. Luckily his children and his wife were not there, but he knows what kind of trouble they would be …

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Minister to visit Clare pyrite home

STRICKEN homeowners affected by pyrite will have the opportunity on Friday (August 27) to ask the Housing Minister directly for support. Minister Darragh O’Brien is to meet members of the Clare Pyrite Action Group in Ennis before travelling to one of their homes to see first-hand the devastating impact of defective blocks. The Department of Housing is in receipt, since the end of July, of a detailed report compiled by the local authority to prove the presence of pyrite. The detailed technical document asks that the Defective Concrete Blocks Scheme be extended to Clare. Dr Martina Cleary, founder of the action group, will be among those to meet the minister. “I hope he’s listening and will take the situation seriously,” she said. “There is no excuse now to delay redress for homeowners here. The evidence is there. He had already visited and provided independent support for his own constituents and that’s more than he has done for us to-date. We’ve …

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Barefield the base as Crusaders gear up for tractor run fundraiser

Clare Crusaders are very busy gearing up for their eagerly-awaited Tractor Run on Sunday, August 29. This is the first public fundraising event the clinic has been able to organise, in view of the fact it is open-air, and it is regarded as very safe to comply with stringent Covid-19 guidelines. Starting at 2pm, the Tractor Run goes from Barefield up the back road to Ruan, on to Tubber and Crusheen, before returning to Barefield village. It is expected that up to 100 vintage and modern tractors will participate in the run. It costs €20 for tractors to participate and money will also be raised from a raffle. Raffle tickets are currently on sale in the clinic and can be also purchased on the day. Tractors can park in Hassett’s car park, at the clinic, on the main road and up towards the school. All the participants will be staying in their tractor and will follow an arranged route, while …

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Works sought after South East Clare staycation bonanza

SAFETY works are being sought in South East Clare where a busy summer of staycations has brought record visitor numbers to the area. Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney welcomed the boost to the local economy and commended everyone involved in developing amenities in areas around Ogonnelloe, Ballycuggeran and Two-Mile Gate. However, he repeated an appeal to Clare County Council for safety and traffic management works to facilitate locals and visitors alike. “It’s really important that traffic calming goes into Ogonnelloe,” the Fine Gael member said “We are all aware that this is a long, drawn-out village and with the Killaloe Bypass and bridge crossing set to come on stream, where will be additional traffic travelling through Ogonnelloe. It’s vitally important, going forward, that traffic calming goes in.” The chairperson also noted the ongoing work of volunteers in Ogonnelloe. “There is a very active community council in the village,” he said. “They’ve done wonderful work and they …

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Lisdoon PP says people distinguish between priest and institution

AMID some clerical changes within the diocese, Father Robert McNamara will be replacing Reverend Conor Cunningham as Parish Priest in Lisdoonvarna, while the latter takes a sabbatical until 2022. Father Robert will be travelling from Craughwell parish in Galway, where he served as administrator, but is a familiar face to many in Lisdoonvarna as he has often held service in Reverend Cunningham’s stead, when needed, over the years. Before his role as administrator he also served in the Regional Hospital Galway as a chaplain, and even earlier in his career he completed a few years working in the Philippines as well. Father Robert said, “I am honoured and delighted to be appointed Parish Priest in Lisdoonvarna, and I never thought I would get the position. The people there are so nice, and it is such a lovely place.” Father Robert challenged the popular perception that congregations are ageing and that less young people are attending Mass, insisting that he has …

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