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Breaking News

Bid to axe ‘Mayor of Clare’ title divides council members

ACCUSATIONS of an ambush on Clare’s first citizen, as she chaired the monthly meeting of Clare County Council, were robustly denied by three members who tabled a motion calling for a ban on the use of the title ‘Mayor of Clare’. Councillors Ann Norton, Mark Nestor and Paul Murphy refused a number of requests from fellow councillors to withdrawn their motion. They noted that, under the Local Government legislation, the only mayoral title is that of ‘Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District,’ owing to the population of the area, and that the title for the county council chair is ‘Cathaoirleach’. Their motion asked “that the executive use the correct titles of Cathaoirleach of County Clare and Mayor of Ennis in all correspondence and media releases”. Responding, Councillor Howard, who is the current council chair, said she found it hard not to take the motion personally. She agreed with the assertion of Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy that it represented an ambush. …

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Gardai investigating Shannon shooting incident

SHANNON Gardai are investigating an incident in which it appears a shot was fired in the Illaunmanagh area of the town on Wednesday morning. A video clip has been in circulation in which a dark car is seen following a white van, before the sound of a gunshot is heard. Gardai are anxious to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious or who may have relevant dashcam footage. They can be contacted at 061 365900. The Gardai are also investigating damage that was done to caravans parked at Illaunmanagh on Sunday.

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Drug seizure at Shannon

REVENUE officers seized 1.1kg of herbal cannabis at Shannon Airport on Wednesday. The smuggled drugs had an estimated value of €22,000 and were discovered concealed in large packets of sharing crisps, that were contained in a parcel that had originated in Spain and were destined for an address in Limerick City. This seizure is part of Revenue’s ongoing operations targeting the importation of illegal drugs. If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding smuggling, they can contact Revenue in confidence on Confidential Phone Number 1800 295 295.

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Lahinch firm doubles workforce amid remote working boom

REMOTE working and other changes prompted by the pandemic have provided a business boost for a Lahinch-based tech company who is to double the size of its workforce. HRLocker, a specialist in the use of human resource (HR) solutions, is to create 50 new jobs such is the rise in demand for its services. The new roles, many of which will be in Sales and Marketing, are said to be a direct result of the huge shift to remote working prompted by Covid-19. The company automates the administrative elements of HR, such as performance management, absence management, continuous professional development and timesheets and also offers a range of tools to help manage remote teams. In response to demand from clients, over the course of 2020, HRLocker introduced a number of new features to support remote and blended working. These include geolocation logins, contactless clock-ins, employee self-service and digital noticeboards. Adam Coleman, CEO of HRLocker, said employers are now actively looking …

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Hayes warns funds crisis will put voluntary sector at risk

COMMUNITY and voluntary organisations across the county are at risk and facing a funding crisis, the chairperson of the Killaloe Municipal District has warned. Councillor Pat Hayes said that the public health restrictions have left the sector reeling and fighting for survival, despite the fact that it continues to make a huge contribution to the Covid-19 response, particularly in rural parts of Clare. He is now calling on government to open up funding opportunities so that organisations can apply to cover some of their basic running costs. “What you have here is a double blow to the sector,” the Fianna Fáil member outlined. “If you take a community hall or GAA facility, they’ve had to shut down which means they’ve lost any income they might normally be able to generate. Most of them still have basic costs to cover and restrictions on gatherings have meant that most of the normal fundraising events have been impossible.” Councillor Hayes said that while …

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Happy Howly Christmas everyone.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas break. I know it was a bit different from other years but that didn’t make it any worse. Before the real lockdown happened, I got the chance to pay a flying visit to two of my favourite places – Brooklodge in Wicklow and The Twelve in Barna. We hardly stirred from either hotel, with lazy days spent snoozing in the room or in the lounge. A change is as good as a rest and snoozing in different surroundings is very refreshing I always find. I had some sad news in BrookLodge though. My friend Oscar went to Doggie Heaven a few weeks before our arrival. I’ll miss him as he was always good for a laugh and a gossip. He had a lovely, long, happy life though and that’s all a dog ever wants. On the way to Galway from BrookLodge, we stopped in Dublin to meet my Aunty Aileen and we …

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Health insurance companies must eliminate small print – Conway

THOUSANDS of Clare patients have been urged to seek clarity on what their private health insurance documentation covers before signing up for another year. Senator Martin Conway has urged the health insurance industry to eliminate small print from all their documentation in order to ensure all customers are fully aware of what they are covered for. The Fine Gael Spokesperson on Health in the Seanad said it is not acceptable that people only discover that they have either partial cover or no cover at all when they are in need of a medical procedure. “This is adding to the stress and anxiety that people are facing during what is a traumatic and difficult period in their lives. “The last thing that somebody facing medical treatment should be anxious about is whether their health insurance will cover them or not. They deserve to know that information and not have to find it out when the cover is needed. “I also believe …

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No timescale for elective surgery deferrals

HOSPITAL waiting lists look set to increase significantly again following the cancellation of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments in public acute facilities amid concern from a local senator Covid-19 is spreading in Clare like “wildfire”. UL Hospitals’ Group has confirmed the deferral, until further notice, of the majority of scheduled surgery and outpatient appointments across the group. This includes University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. University Maternity Hospital Limerick is unaffected by the reductions. The number of Clare and Mid-West public in-patient and day case waiting lists soared from 4,198 in January 2020 to 6,612 last November, while the numbers on outpatients’ lists jumped dramatically from 47,134 to 55,088 during the same period. There has been an increase of almost 3,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Mid-West from December 19 to January 3. According to official statistics, the number of positive cases in Clare jumped from 1,546 to 2,135; …

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