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Call for assets of local drug dealers to be seized

DRUGS have been described as “a catalyst for many other crimes,” by Deputy Cathal Crowe who has called for dealers who parade their wealth around villages and towns in Clare to be tackled by the Gardaí. “They are in every town and village and a real scourge,” he told last Monday’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC). “We all know the guy who doesn’t go to work in the morning, but has a lifestyle that none of us could hope to aspire to. There are people going in and out of his house at all hours and packages are being dropped through car windows. These are the people that we want to see taken down. The trouble they are causing is untold.” Deputy Crowe added that “a mini CAB” in the county had been effective in tackling those living on the proceeds of crime. He also called for a liaison officer to be tasked with working with the council …

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Hotel Moves To Clear The Waters Over Covid-19 Restrictions

A WELL known hotel on the banks of Lough Derg has moved to clear the waters over confusion surrounding its location in view of national guidelines for people to remain in their own county during Level Three Covid-19 restrictions. The Lakeside Hotel, Ballina, Killaloe has confirmed their registered address with Fáilte Ireland is Killaloe, County Clare, even though the hotel are located just inside the Tipperary border and pay their commercial rates to Tipperary County Council. Straddling two counties and located just a short distance from the historic bridge linking Ballina and Killaloe, the hotel created something of a social media flurry when it posted government advice for people to stay in their own county. Manager, Eoin Little is a bit bemused by this “unusual situation” for the town, as he believes Killaloe and Ballina work together as one community, apart from Gaelic Games. “It is what you get from being in a twin town. Before I moved to this …

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Taking the artists’ view

THEATRES and concert halls closed, TV productions stalled, art galleries shut, it has been a hard time to work in the creative sector in Ireland. Siobhán Mulcahy is Arts Officer for Clare and she acknowledges that the last seven months have been very hard. “It has, I suppose on two fronts. “Number one with the closure of cultural venues, that would be the most obvious one, or to the public it would be the most obvious one anyway. “It has affected those artists that might have been working on programmes and projects, which have now been delayed or signficantly altered because the public elements of them have changed, which can be very challenging, if you’re working on something and things change. But they have changed for society generally so most people would be very understanding of the necessity that artists have to regroup and realign, in terms of what they are doing. “That would be one element and the second …

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Clare County Council Faces €16.5 Million Deficit

CLARE County Council will face a major financial headache trying to balance its books next month following confirmation the authority is facing a €12.6 million deficit in funding due to the catastrophic economic impact of Covid-19. The grim financial situation facing the council was laid bare this week after it emerged the projected loss of income from commercial rates will total €5 million, €5.6 million will be missing from other income that is normally generated, while an additional €2 million had to be spent on unplanned public health measures. The major financial challenge facing the council was raised by Councillor Pat McMahon at a recent local authority meeting when he asked chief executive Pat Dowling to outline the financial impact of Covid-19 on the operations of the council and the council’s interactions with other bodies and agencies. Councillor McMahon stressed it will be vital to seek substantial government support as no local authority could sustain this shortfall. Commenting on the …

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Older people report feeling ‘unsafe’ in Clare towns

ONE-fifth of Clare’s older people living in towns have reported feeling unsafe at all times, according to the coordinator for the county’s Age Friendly initiative. Karen Fennessy revealed the findings of a survey of the county’s older residents to last Monday’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC). She noted that ongoing cooperation between the Gardaí, the council and other agencies is required to boost the safety of older people in their own homes and in public. Ms Fennessy outlined how an incident at a wedding had highlighted for her the challenges faced by older people. “I was speaking to a woman who had been a nurse and given a huge contribution,” she said. “She told me that when she retired she became invisible. She said that when she goes out in public, she is invisible. She said she’s afraid of groups of teenagers on street corners and she is afraid of falling down. She also said she doesn’t understand …

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Shannon food bank running out of supplies

A SHANNON food bank is set to close for most of the last two months of the year, because the demand for what it offers is too great. Feed Clare has been operating at the Kincora building in the Town Centre for some time, but last Friday was the first time it opened in three weeks, as it had run out of food to distribute. Local woman Karen Cassidy is involved in running Feed Clare and she explained why it hadn’t been open. “We ran out of supplies, we just have a bigger number of people coming in, so obviously we’ve been going through our supplies more quickly, so we had to close until our next delivery was due. We’re with Food Cloud and we’re allotted a certain amount every year, now we’ve applied for more credit from them, but we have to wait and see.” While a fresh delivery last week allowed it to reopen on Friday, she says …

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Kilmihil Tree of Hope planted

LAST Saturday saw the planting of a so-called ‘Tree of Hope’ at the People’s Park in Kilmihil. Organised by the local Darkness Into Light committee, it stands as a symbol of hope for people. Camilla Cleary is part of the committee and she said it had been suggested by Pieta, in line with an initiative they are running around the country. “Basically it’s for World Mental Health Day and Pieta suggested we plant a tree as a Tree of Hope, so that’s what we’re doing in Kilmihil in the People’s Park. “It’s just a tree to hopefully give people a bit of hope, it’s something that is happening nationwide, not just in Kilmihil. It’s our first year and we were supposed to have the Darkness into Light walk, but obviously it didn’t go ahead, so it was suggested that we do this.” The local Darkness Into Light committee is newly formed and unfortunately things haven’t gone their way. “It’s our …

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Deputy McNamara Calls For Inquiry Into Meat Processing Industry

Deputy Michael McNamara has confirmed he proposed an amendment to the final report of the Dáil Special Committee on Covid-19 Response calling for a new state inquiry into the meat processing industry. The Clare Independent Deputy has welcomed the fact his amendment was adopted and included in the final report thanks to the support of the committee. This report has recommended an ‘Inquire, Record and Report Inquiry should be established to examine the operation of the meat processing industry, including the use of agents to procure workers, the State’s response in terms of protecting workers, while ensuring necessary food supplies to the general population, as well as ensuring fairness for primary producers. Meat processing plants emerged as a significant hotspot for Covid-19 infections. While meat processing is highly regulated regarding food safety and hygiene, the same level of regulation and protection is not extended to workers and their conditions of employment. The committee heard that the Health and Safety Authority …

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