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Clare councillors feature in RTE probe into alleged expenses contraventions

A CLARE councillor has said she enjoyed driving and covering long distances was not a chore to her when an investigation highlighted she made claims to different public bodies for overlapping events at distant locations on a number of occasions. Fine Gael Councillor Mary Howard was one of two Clare elected representatives to feature in an investigation aired by RTE’s Prime Time into alleged breaches of rules on expenses this week. Councillor Howard had overlapping expense claims for Clare County Council, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and GMIT. She had claimed expenses for travel between Bantry and Limerick; Gorey and Galway and also Donegal and Limerick for engagements that overlapped. Councillor Howard and Fianna Fáil Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy, both elected to Ennis Municipal District, were part of an RTÉ Investigates probe into potential contraventions of the law by councillors through failing to declare expenses received from external organisations. This week’s  Prime Time, RTÉ Investigates show highlighted a sample …

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Steer clear of UHL ED with ‘less urgent complaints’

THE UL Hospitals’ Group has warned that patients with less urgent complaints will face long delays when they attend the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick following chronic overcrowding, writes Dan Danaher. There were 44 patients on trolleys in UHL on Wednesday, which was the highest in the country, and was nine more than the 35 in Cork University Hospital. The group has advised people to consider attending injury inits, GPs, out-of-hour GP services and pharmacists before presenting at an Emergency Department, which is experiencing record numbers. Dr Joe Kelly, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, UL Hospitals Group, said: “In common with colleagues in emergency medicine across the country, the Emergency Department here in University Hospital Limerick is managing very high numbers of emergency presentations and admissions, of a level rarely experienced here, even before the pandemic. “On Monday of this week, alone, there were 280 presentations to ED – that’s 85 more than the average attendance in the last full …

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Clare fall foul of ruthless Rebels in Munster minor QF

Clare 0-6 Cork 6-28 CLARE hurling received if not its largest defeat, then definitely one of its greatest setbacks as Cork signalled their intentions for national honours by providing Clare with a lesson in hurling, movement, skill and legitimate aggression in Semple Stadium on Wednesday evening. The pre-match suggestion that Clare were underdogs on a grand scale could not set up one for what transpired. Galway had beaten Clare with some ease in a challenge but Cork had done likewise to Galway. Cork wing forward Tadhg O Connell and his colleague at wing back James Dwyer had Cork two points to the good after four minutes action in Semple Stadium. Clare had threatened with positivity in the early minutes but two more scores from Jack Leahy (free) and Diarmuid Healy had Clare four in arrears s and on the backfoot as Cork raided with pace down the wings with full forward Leahy moving out the field. Clare’s first effort for …

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Clare pharmacists in the dark over future vaccine supply

CLARE pharmacists have been left in dark about future vaccine deliveries for young people in the 18 to 34-year old cohort, writes Dan Danaher. Sean Hurst of Hurst Pharmacy Kilkee expects to get another delivery of between 100 to 150 vaccines on Monday week, having spoken to a HSE representative. Mr Hurst pointed out pharmacies don’t choose or order vaccines and noted the HSE will be monitoring the administration of vaccines in pharmacies once they are recorded on a central system to see how fast they are being given. Speaking to the Clare Champion, he said if pharmacies were using up their vaccine supply quickly they may get a higher allocation for their next delivery. “The HSE’s supply chain is also limited. I have half of my vaccine delivery on Monday used up for the 18 to 34 year olds after just two days. I needed about four times what I am getting. “Some young people have their name down …

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Residents ‘concerned’ by surveyors’ actions

THERE was some concern last week after people working on surveying for the new Shannon flood relief scheme were seen taking photos of local houses. Councillor Donna McGettigan said, “A few people had said that they had seen people taking pictures of their houses. My Mum went out and asked them had they ID, they said they didn’t, and she said you really should have ID. I rang our Shannon MD office about it, because there are so many scams happening.” She said there had been some communication, but not everyone had been informed. “One resident sent me a letter that he received. There are letters going around, but not everybody received the letters and people are suspicious of these people taking pictures of their house.” She said people would be accepting if they were aware of the reasons. “If they knew what it was about it’d be okay, they’re not asking to come in or anything, but they are …

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‘Voices need to be heard’

Clare TD questions county’s exclusion from pyrite scheme review THE Tanáiste has said that homeowners in Clare, whose properties are being damaged by pyrite, will have to be included in efforts to assess the effectiveness of a State-supported remediation scheme. Leo Varadkar made his remarks in response to a Dáil question from Deputy Violet Anne Wynne who voiced concern as to why a working group, set up to review the Defective Concrete Blocks Grant Scheme, had failed to include a representative from this county. The Clare Sinn Féin TD said that while the establishment of the group was a positive move, the government could not continue to ignore the people of this county. “I would like to know why a representative from the Clare pyrite group was not invited and included,” she said. “This is completely unacceptable, disheartening and, quite simply, not good enough. It has taken 12 years to get to this point for those affected in Mayo and …

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Sally leaves St Senan’s with fond memories

AFTER 17 years as principal of St Senan’s, Sally O’Neill is retiring next month. Living in Quin, Sally had taught in Ballycar before taking the job at St Senan’s, which she found very rewarding. “I reallly enjoyed it, it was a central part of my life. I worked with fantastic teachers really, the group that were there when I started had great experience and I learned from them. “The deputy principals I worked with were all absolutely super. Midway through my time at St Senan’s there were a lot of changes, and the teachers we had were a fantastic team; hard-working, dedicated, professional people. It was just a joy. “I didn’t know anything really about Shannon when I started there and the people of Drumgeely were so welcoming to me. They were generous in spirit and every way, we did a lot of fundraising for the school, the Parents’ Association always rowed in. There was great spirit and great heart, …

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Epic walkers ‘delighted’ with Cliffs of Moher welcome

THE Cliffs of Moher welcomed some very special guests on Friday with the arrival of two Dublin teenagers who had just completed a mammoth journey. Friends Scott Ward and Derek O’Brien reached the cliffs after walking for six days from Coolock in Dublin, 250km, for charity. The pair had been sharing their journey across social media, touching the nation with their epic endeavour and raising more than €70,000 to date. Arriving at the Cliffs of Moher the 19-year-olds paid tribute to all who came to welcome them saying, “Thank you all so much for coming to the cliffs yesterday in the rain. It was an absolute pleasure seeing everybody and I can’t thank you all enough for the experience.” The youngsters had raised the funds for Abacas Kilbarrack Special School, where Scott’s cousin Lucas attends. “I know the amazing work they do each time I see Lucas in his progression. This school is amazing and I wanted to say thank …

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