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Breaking News

Wynona goes on the run for mental health charity

ON December 12, Ballycasey’s Wynona Grant will be undertaking a massive challenge, all for youth mental health charity Jigsaw. At 5am that morning Wynona will begin a 12-hour run, continuing until 5pm that evening, with only minimal stops for bathroom breaks and to refuel. It’s a massive challenge for the 27-year-old, who works in digital marketing and has just qualified as a personal trainer and running coach. Running for 12 hours would be impossible even for many very fit people and it’s clear that Wynona is in fantastic shape, although she only really started running seriously a few years ago. “I kind of got into it about two and a half years ago, so not that long in the grand scheme of things. As a kid I would have exercised a lot, I played camogie and football for Wolfe Tones and soccer for Bunratty FC and stuff like that, but like a lot of people when I went to secondary …

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Late Late show tribute for Sharon Shannon

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins and Adam Clayton are set for a special Late Late Show musical tribute for Sharon Shannon tonight. In a statement yesterday RTE said, “She’s the doyenne of traditional Irish music, best known for her performances on the button accordion, and Sharon Shannon will be in studio for a very special evening honouring her contribution to the Irish trad scene over the years. Among those who will be paying tribute to Sharon’s talents will be President Michael D Higgins, and U2 bassist Adam Clayton. During the show, Sharon will be joined by some well-known Irish musicians including Adam, Donal Lunny, Denise Chaila, Steve Wickham, and Mundy to perform some of her best-known numbers for viewers at home. It will be a family affair, as Sharon’s brother Gary and niece Caolinn O’Donovan will also be joining in the trad session.”

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McNamara seeks more transparency on Covid-19 deaths

Deputy Michael McNamara has asked Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to provide a greater level of transparency concerning the number of Irish people who died from and with Covid-19. His call coincided with the publication of figures on Tuesday of 18 additional deaths related to Covid-19, one death occurred in October, 15 deaths in November and two are under investigation. Deputy McNamara has asked Minister Donnelly for a breakdown of patients who died primarily from Covid-19, those who died with Covid-19 but primarily from other causes and those who died from the virus, having acquired it in hospital. The Independent Deputy was told this is a matter for the HSE and was assured he will receive a reply in due course. He expects to receive a typical vague response from the HSE. The 14-day incidence rate of the virus continues to fall and remain relatively low in Clare. This rate, which had rocketed about 70% from September 17 to September 30, …

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Letters on the subject of windfarms

THE Clare Champion has received a huge amount of correspondence on the theme of windfarms this week. Here is a sample of some of the letters. Windfarm woes Sir, I was horrified to discover Slievecurry Ltd intend to erect eight 175 metre turbines in the Miltown Malbay/Moy area, some of which are directly across from our home. They say there was widespread consultation with the local community this is simply untrue as the first we learned about it was reading a planning notice that appeared in your paper The Clare Champion. Toureen is a lovely rural community overlooked by beautiful Mount Callan. Erecting eight 175 metre turbines would totally dominate the landscape. The resulting noise would destroy the peace and tranquility enjoyed by generations. No regard has been given to the health/mental health and wellbeing of those living adjacent to these monsters. The disruption caused to the wildlife and biodiversity of the mountain and the bog by the construction/running and …

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Clare asylum advocate optimistic over end to Direct Provision

A CLARE-based advocate for those seeking asylum in Ireland has said he remains hopeful that plans to end Direct Provision by 2023 will succeed, despite considerable opposition from the Department of Housing. South African national Bulelani Mfaco, who lives in Knockalisheen, is a member of an expert group, led by Dr Catherine Day. In October, the panel published a report calling for a new asylum system to be put in place over the next three years. The plan recommends housing applicants in a State-owned centre for three months, then helping them to move to own-door accommodation with the support of a scheme similar to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). While Mr Mfaco and fellow members of the advisory panel argue that the proposed system would lead to cost savings for the State and more humane living conditions for asylum seekers, there is considerable resistance from the Department of Housing. Submissions by the department said the plan has the potential to …

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Reopen the streets and end the nonsense, say Ennis traders group

THE chairman of the Retailers of Ennis group has slammed Clare County Council’s policy of keeping O’Connell Street and Abbey Street closed in peak trading hours, something he says is killing business in the town centre, and will not help stop the spread of Covid-19. The streets have been closed to vehicles to allow more room for pedestrians, which the Council claims will help limit the spread of Covid-19, but business owner John O’Connor says it is a nonsense. “The rationale the Council used is based on a fallacy, that if you walk a normal street landscape you have every chance of transmitting or contracting the virus. The logic behind that is a total fallacy. At the start there was an element of fear and total ignorance, “What the Council have been doing is continuing with that ignorant discourse and trying to convince people, and they have a lot of people convinced, that if you walk the streets of Ennis …

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Objections to 175 metre turbines

OBJECTIONS have been lodged against an application for the development of wind turbines outside Miltown Malbay, which would be up to 175 metres in height. The development would involve works in the townlands of Glendine North, Fahanlunaghta More, Curraghodea, Letterkelly, Cloghaun More, Cloghaun beg, Silverhill, Doonsallagh East, Shanavogh East and Knockalassa. In her objection, Marian Kenneally said the proposal would seriously affect her home. “The proposed development consists of wind turbines which would be the largest in the country, standing at 1.75 metres. These wind turbines will be covering over my family’s homes and my own.” She claimed that the applicant, Slieveacurry Limited, hasn’t liaised with her. “I was never approached by any of the developers and did not hear about this until the evening of the public consultation in Miltown Malbay-which I could not attend as it was by appointment only.” Ms Kenneally added; “The construction of these wind turbines will block sunlight from my home and I fear …

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Spike in calls to Rape Crisis Midwest, as funding drops

RAPE Crisis Midwest has seen an increase of more than 50% in helpline contacts since the start of the pandemic, as it struggles to make up a funding shortfall of around three-quarters. Fundraising Manager, Verena Tarpey told The Champion that many of the calls since March relate to abuse experienced decades ago, and that the lockdown may have triggered painful childhood experiences for some. “There’s no doubt that, particularly during the first lockdown when people were at home with their kids, there may have been triggers for them,” she said. “People also had time to reflect and to take stock. We saw a marked increase in calls to our centre during lockdown. Between March 1 and September 30, there was an increase of approximately 54% in helpline contacts when compared to the same period in 2019. There was also a significant increase in contact from particular age groups in the Midwest with a spike from those in the 24-29 and …

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