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Walk-In Clinics for Covid-19 vaccines this weekend

    UL HOSPITALS’ Group vaccination teams will be holding scheduled walk-in vaccinations clinics this weekend for people aged 12 years and older who have not yet received a first or second vaccine dose. The group has revealed the total number of Covid-19 vaccines delivered under the vaccination programme has now exceeded 400,000. These walk-in clinics are strictly for Dose 1 and Dose 2 vaccines, and should not be attended by anyone seeking a third vaccine dose. Walk-in clinics administering Pfizer Dose 1 and 2 will be held at the Mid-West Covid-19 Vaccination Centres in Limerick on Saturday and Sunday, and Nenagh on Sunday. There will be no walk-in clinics in Ennis this weekend, due to that centre’s temporary relocation from the West County Hotel to the grounds of Ennis Hospital. Clinics will be held in Limerick Racecourse for Pfizer Dose 1 and 2 on Saturday between 4 and 7pm and Sunday from 3 to 6pm. People can also receive …

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‘Step up for Change’ to support Rape Crisis Midwest

WITH demand for services at an all-time high, Rape Crisis Midwest relies on fundraising events to bridge the annual deficit. Against that backdrop, the service will run the Step up for Change event in January. “We are challenging people to walk with us ‘virtually’, raising awareness of the services of Rape Crisis Midwest to both men and women who have been affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse,” said Sharon Meaney, manager of the Clare Volunteer Centre. “You can challenge your friends, work colleagues, neighbours or buy a gift for Christmas that really makes a difference. “We have a new website, idonate.ie/stepupforchange, which will allow you to log your steps, access online resources provided by Tracy Guilfoyle of Heart, Health & Fitness and try out some delicious and healthy recipes shared by Frank Landy, Sweet ‘n’ Green.” Ahead of the launch, Ms Tarpey explained how people can get involved: “You can purchase a ‘Christmas Box’ for …

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Irish Water replacing watermains in Ennis

IRISH Water, in partnership with Clare County Council, is replacing problematic watermains in Ennis to improve water quality and provide a more reliable water supply. The upgrade involves the replacement of over 740m of problematic watermains with new modern pipes. The programme to replace the watermains in Tobarteascáin will commence this month and is being carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme. The works will also involve laying new water service connections from the public watermain in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customers’ water supply. Where the existing service connections on the public side are lead these will be replaced as part of this improvement work. Outlining the benefits that the mains replacement will bring, Gerry O’Donnell from Irish Water, explained: “The upgrading of these watermains will continue to strengthen and reinforce the water network in Ennis and the surrounding areas. The new pipes will create a more efficient network, …

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Rape Crisis Midwest records major increase in past year

CALLS to Rape Crisis Midwest increased by almost three-quarters last year, new figures show. Data also reveal that there was a very significant increase in the time spent on helpline calls. The news comes as Rape Crisis Midwest prepares for a major funding initiative next January in a bid to respond to increased demand. The total number of calls to the centre increased by 74% during 2020, with 2,119 calls up from 1216 in 2019. One of the other notable statistics was the length of time on calls with an increase of 77% in calls lasting up to 30 minutes. Verena Tarpey of Rape Crisis Midwest highlighted the vital work and cooperation of the Garda Protective Services Unit, based in Crusheen, in supporting those who experience sexual violence. “Without a doubt, the work of the Protective Services Unit has transformed the experience for a survivor of a sexual crime, whether recent or in the past,” she said. “The Gardai working …

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Reah pours soul into debut poetry volume

Caher woman supporting Clare Haven Services with proceeds from book of poems POEMS can pop into Reah Higgins’ head at any time of the day. The Caher woman has been finding her creative voice over the course of the last year-and-a-half, when lockdowns kept many people at home with a little extra time on their hands. “I don’t sit down to write,” she said. “The poems just keep coming. It could be something that comes into my head while I’m reading or watching TV, or a poem could be sparked by something someone says. “It’s been a childhood dream to write and lockdown started something by giving me more time for creativity.” Last year, the Wexford native launched her first CD collection of poetry to give something back to the Irish Kidney Association (AKA). In 2017, the organisation was a lifeline when Reah donated a kidney to her husband Aaron. Now, the professional social care leader has turned her literary …

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Clare redress access ‘expected’

Minister awaiting clarification around Council application before confirming access to defective blocks scheme THE Housing Minister has said he expects the scheme for homes with defective blocks to be extended to Clare, once queries over a county council application are dealt with. Responding to a query from Deputy Joe Carey, Minister Darragh O’Brien outlined the communications between his department and the local authority on the matter. “We received a submission from the local authority in July requesting an extension of the defective block grant scheme to County Clare,” he outlined. “We issued a response on August 3 indicating we would review the submission and we did so. We saw details of a breakdown of costs associated with the report on September 28. “A number of issues arose, none of them insurmountable. It is standard that clarification is needed. “I have been directly involved with regard to the submission on Clare. In this regard, I asked my officials to deal with …

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Lights out on scouts in ‘Bridge

THERE is dissatisfaction in Sixmilebridge, as street lighting close to the Old Station House, which is used by the local scout group has been turned off. Some 170 young people use the facility, while there are 30 adult volunteers there.  In a letter sent to local councillors recently, it was claimed that the lack of lighting makes things dangerous there. “While it was possible to hold these meetings without streetlighting during the brighter months, it is now coming to the point where we are considering suspending weekly meetings.” They claim that children could easily fall in the area. “ Visibility in the grounds of the Scout Hall and on the footpath that is adjacent to it is extremely limited. Children will run and play as is their nature and the light coming from within the Scout Hall is not enough to illuminate the outside areas. Even to walk around the building requires a torch as you simply cannot see the …

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‘Buy Safe and Pay Safe’ when shopping this Christmas

CLARE gardaí are urging people planning for the festive season to ‘Buy Safe and Pay Safe’ when it comes to online shopping. In the lead up to Christmas and in particular the Black Friday sales promotion period An Garda Síochána are supporting Europol’s online fraud prevention campaign which encourages safe online shopping by customers. “More and more businesses are using the internet as the primary channel to sell goods and services. Whilst convenient for both the consumer and retailer it also presents opportunities for fraudsters who can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off consumers or target retailers who do not have the necessary defences in place to protect themselves,” outlines Clare Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks. There was a total of €22 million in credit and debit cards fraud losses on Irish consumers in 2020, according to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). “Consumers and eCommerce merchants will be particularly active online over the …

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