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Breaking News

Gardaí seize more than €26,000 worth of Class A Drugs in Kilrush

Gardaí have dented the operations of a major supplier of class A drugs in West Clare, after cocaine and heroin, with a combined value of €26,320, was seized during a day-long search operation in Kilrush this week. The drugs were seized from a premises in the Chapel Street area on Tuesday, as part of a joint operation between the county’s Divisional Drug Squad and Kilrush gardaí. Searches took place across the town of Kilrush and involved up to 12 gardaí. One man was arrested following the detection on Tuesday and was detained under drug trafficking legislation. He was released without charge that night and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Gardaí also confirmed that they are looking for a second man in connection with this seizure. Chief Superintendent John Kerin said the drugs haul is among the highest in the county so far this year and warned that class A drugs have taken a foothold in …

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Harty favours access to abortion in certain circumstances

DEPUTY Michael Harty has confirmed that he favours allowing abortion in certain circumstances but not in the latter stages of pregnancy. In an interview with The Clare Champion, Dr Harty said as much as possible needs to be done around education and provision of contraception to ensure that women are not left in what he called an “unenviable position”. He said, “I am male and I will never have to consider having an abortion and I think that’s an important factor, when males are speaking about this issue. “We don’t know what the wording of the referendum is going to be so it’s difficult to comment on how one will vote, when one doesn’t know the wording of what legislation is proposed to define the circumstances under which termination of pregnancy is going to be allowed. We have to wait for that, before we can make a definitive decision on how to vote.” While Dr Harty favours allowing terminations in …

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Michelin Success for Clare Chefs

History was made this week when a North Clare pub secured its first Michelin Star, the first public house to receive the accolade in the country. The Wild Honey Inn, in Lisdoonvarna owned and run by prominent chef Aidan McGrath and his partner Kate Sweeney was awarded a Michelin Star in the 2018 Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland earlier this week. This wasn’t the only Clare success at the awards event, as Sixmilebridge woman, and head chef at the Five Fields restaurant in Chelsea, London Marguerite Keogh retained the Michelin star she received last year at the same event. The Wild Honey Inn has been a Michelin Bib Gourmand holder since 2010 and becomes the only newcomer to join what is now an 11-strong list of Michelin Star restaurants in the Republic of Ireland. Rebecca Burr, editor of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, said, “It’s such good news that Ireland has its first pub with a Michelin …

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

29% Drop in Uptake of HPV vaccine in Clare

There has been a 29% drop in the uptake of the free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programme for girls in County Clare since it commenced in 2010, according to figures released by the HSE. Provisional figures show that the uptake of the vaccine in the county is 10% above the national average at just slightly below 60%, but this has fallen from 89% since the vaccine programme was first introduced. This reduction is something that has not been helped by the comments made by, and later retracted, by Bishop of Waterford Alphonsus Cullinan, who is originally from Lahinch, according to a HSE spokesperson. Bishop Cullinan was quoted in the media last week suggesting that the vaccine would encourage promiscuity. In an interview with WLR (Waterford Local Radio), he preached abstinence, stating the vaccine was “lulling teenage girls into a false sense of security”. “We have to do better than giving our boys condoms and our girls injections,” he said. …

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Shannon airport

‘Body blow’ as Shannon to Chicago route axed

ON Wednesday United Airlines announced it was axing its seasonal Shannon-Chicago service, citing “poor financial performance”. Describing it as a “body blow” to tourism in Clare, hotelier Michael Vaughan said it poses “fundamental questions” about the viability of transatlantic services from Shannon. In a statement to The Clare Champion, the airline said; “United will discontinue its seasonal service between Shannon and Chicago/O’Hare.  The last service operated on September 6, 2017 (westbound). We have regretfully taken this decision because of the route’s poor financial performance.” In July United announced it was suspending its Shannon-New York service for the winter. It will re-commence flights on that route next March. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Mr Vaughan, who is based in Lahinch and is a former president of the Irish Hotels’ Federation, said the loss of the link to Chicago is very negative for tourism in Clare and surrounding counties. “It’s most disappointing news. Chicago is a key gateway from the west coast of America …

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Emergency landing at Shannon

AN American Airlines flight from Miami to Paris was forced to divert to Shannon this morning. It is understood that an emergency landing was required due to signs of a fire in the cargo hold. Emergency services met the plane upon it landing. American Airlines have tweeted that they expect the flight to leave Shannon again at around 1pm. One of the passengers on board tweeted, “Great start to our European adventure. We’re safe. Looks like it was a false alarm.” He also put up a picture of the plane alongside two fire brigades and an ambulance as well as a number of emergency services personnel and passengers.  

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Surgery cancelled over hospital roof leak

Patients from North Clare and South Galway who had scheduled orthopaedic surgery at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway, are facing longer waiting times, as a result of a leak on the roof of a building accommodating two theatres. Hospital management has admitted it will not be possible to restore orthopaedic theatre surgery for a number of weeks. Up to 80 patients, who were scheduled for surgery, have been rescheduled to a later date. More patients will be contacted with cancellations over the coming weeks, until the service is re-established. Staff from theatres and the wards have been reassigned to Merlin Park and UHG into existing vacancies, which have to be filled in the short term. Describing the cancellations as “unfortunate”at a recent HSE West Forum West meeting, forum chairperson Councillor Mary Hoade said about 70 surgeries nwere carried out in Merlin Park, while there are more than 800 inpatients on the day case waiting list, with 56 reaching the 15-month waiting …

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Book of Condolence opened for Las Vegas attack victims

Clare County Council has opened a Book of Condolence at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis in memory of the victims of Sunday night’s attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Councillor Tom McNamara, council chairman, and Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, have signed the book, which is available for members of the public to sign in the foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis. On behalf of Clare County Council and the people of Clare, Councillor McNamara extended his deepest sympathies and condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this attack. “I wish the people of the United States of America strength as they seek to overcome such a brutal and indiscriminate attack.” “The appalling massacre of music lovers of different generations, at a public event in Las Vegas has shocked people all over the world,” he said. On behalf of the people of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins also expressed his …

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