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Reward offered for conviction in Doonbeg animal deaths

A €5,000 reward has been put forward by animal rights group, ARAN for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of animals found at the base of cliffs in Doonbeg. Carcasses of at least 16 animals, including horses and cows, were discovered at the base of Baltard Cliffs earlier this week leading Clare ISPCA warden, Frankie Coote to describe the incident “as sinister”. The carcasses, believed to have been at the base of the cliffs for up to two months, were spotted by a passerby. The Department of Agriculture along with An Garda Siochana, Clare County Council and the ISPCA are investigating. ARAN’s spokesperson John Carmody said, “. As a nation we should hang our heads in shame that we’ve reached a point where animal abuse has now gone so out of control that those who are involved in it, simply don’t have anything to fear.” However, Minister for  Agriculture, Food …

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All-Star transplants kidneys for Ennistymon brothers

By Dan Danaher RETIRED Dublin All-Star footballer, David Hickey has the distinction of transplanting new kidneys for two Ennistymon brothers, 10 years apart. Dr Hickey, who is the current director of transplantation in Ireland, performed the surgery to provide Stefan Davis (23) from Ennistymon with a new kidney on November 13 last. He carried out the same operation for his brother, Gary (27), who works in Liscannor as a kitchen porter, 10 years ago in 2004. Meanwhile, their mother, Mary is on haemodialysis for ten years. Stefan was on dialysis for two and a half years and was on the kidney pool a year before he went on dialysis. Mary explains for the first time in 23 years he is not in and out of hospitals. “He is only back to work three weeks but the difference in him is amazing. Stefan was a premature baby and from the day he was born until now he was a regular visitor …

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Nurse in tears over hospital overcrowding

A YOUNG nurse at University Hospital Limerick broke down in tears on her doorstep after outlining the problems caused by chronic overcrowding. That’s according to Councillor James Breen, who has requested Health Minister James Reilly to take urgent action to address the lack of beds at UHL. During a recent canvass, Councillor Breen met a young nurse who asked him if there was anything he could do to stop the “inhumane treatment of patients who are made to lie on trolleys for hours waiting for admission. “The pressure and stress on nursing staff that are at the cold face of this situation and who also have to contend with abuse and criticism on a daily basis, is adding to the already intolerable work conditions,” he said. As a former member of the Ennis Hospital Action Committee, he said it is distressing to think that 20 years since the committee was founded, nothing has changed. “Only this time there seems to …

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Sentence reactivated after child porn possession

A CLARE man, who was previously jailed for repeatedly raping and sexually abusing a child, has had the suspended portion of that sentence reactivated for possessing and distributing child pornography. The 33-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, received a sentence of seven years, with two years suspended in 2010, after pleading guilty to three charges of sexual assault on dates between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2003. His victim was under 10-years-old at the time, while the accused was 21 when the abuse first started. At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday, Judge Mary Ellen Ring granted an application by The Probation Services to reactivate the suspended portion of that sentence. The court heard that the accused has entered a plea of guilty at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court to distribution and possession of child porn and is awaiting sentence. Probation officer, Eoghan Ryan told Pieter LeVert, BL, that he met the offender in prison in July …

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Cahercalla Hospital

Cahercalla surgery unit closure ‘catastrophic’

Thousands of private patients will have to travel to Limerick or Galway for day procedures and consultations with the closure of the surgical unit at Cahercalla Community Hospital from May 1. Catering for up to 2,500 day surgical admissions and 5,000 consultations annually, the unit, which has signicantly reduced waiting times for patients for almost 15 years, is no longer deemed viable.  The ending of this service also places a question mark over the future of 11 employees. Describing the closure as “catastrophic”, HSE West Forum member, Councillor Brian Meaney, said it is another major blow for health services in the county. “Its closure is a significant loss in the options available to Clare people to have their health issues dealt with locally. The availability of   medical  and surgical services at the facility where many Clare people were born, reduced the stress many people encounter when they have health concerns,” he stated. “This also sends out a distress signal for …

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From left, Saoirse Byrne as Annie, Maeve Plunkett as Chris, Rachael Culligan as Celia, Sandra Cox as Cora and Rita Brady as Jessie. Photograph by John Kelly

Good ‘nudes’ as €31,000 raised for charity

IT’S certainly good ‘nudes’ for four local charities following the amazing success of the Ennis Players production of Calendar Girls. A fantastic €31,000 has been raised over the play’s four-night run in Glór, with the amount expected to rise even further. Ennis Players are the donating proceeds to Cahercalla Hospice, Sláinte an Chláir Cancer Centre; the West Clare Mini Marathon Cancer Centre and the Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre in Ennis. [doptg id=”6″] According to Ennis Players, the show was such a success that they have not ruled out returning their 40th anniversary production to the stage.  Chairperson Jackie Scanlan said, “The cast and crew need a much-deserved break but, who knows, we might just look at running it for two nights in October or November. In the meantime, we will be concentrating on our annual supper theatre in The Old Ground Hotel. To those lucky enough to get tickets for the Calendar Girls, we thank you for your continued support …

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Horses and cattle carcasses ‘dumped’ at Clare cliffs

FOUR authorities are investigating the grim discovery of the carcasses of at least 16 horses and cattle at the base of Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg. Clare ISPCA warden Frankie Coote, having visited the site on Wednesday, described what he saw as a “planned and sinister” operation. Another horse that lay dead within 200 yards of the cliff edge had, in fact, been put down by a veterinary surgeon on Monday. Up to 15 of the animals were located close together at the bottom of the stunning, isolated cliffs, while another dead horse lay close by when The Clare Champion visited the scene on Tuesday. “We can confirm that we’re carrying out an investigation in conjunction with the ISPCA, the Department of Agriculture and Clare County Council. We can’t say any more at the moment for operational reasons,” a Kilrush garda spokesperson said on Wednesday. The ISPCA’s Frankie Coote visited the cliffs on Wednesday where he examined the dead animals. “I …

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Unofficial rally on Wild Atlantic Way

By Nicola Corless PARTS of the Wild Atlantic Way tourist route were closed to facilitate an unofficial “modified car rally”, it emerged this week. Gardaí have said they were “shocked” by a large, “planned and organised”, unofficial motoring event, which took place in the dead of night on roads between Lahinch and Ballyvaughan last month. On March 7, approximately 70 cars converged on the promenade in Lahinch before travelling to the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin and on to Corkscrew Hill in Ballyvaughan, where the main event occurred. Chief Superintendent John Kerin said that gardaí were shocked by what they saw on the night. “Activities of what people call ‘boy racers’ have dwindled a lot in recent years because of the economy but in the last couple of months there has been an increase in activities and they have become more organised so we put an operation in place to tackle this,” he said. “We had noticed ‘doughnuts’ on the roads …

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