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Clare Gardaí remind public help is at hand during Covid-19 pandemic

GARDAÍ in Clare are reminding people that help is available to those who need assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are also reminding drivers on their way to or from a Covid test not to roll down their windows if stopped at a checkpoint. “Just show the Garda your appointment on your phone through the closed window of your car,” explained Clare Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks. She outlined that the Community Policing Sections of the Clare Garda Division in partnership with Clare County Council and multiple other agencies “are available to assist those who might require assistance during these challenging times of the Covid pandemic. We are asking people to abide by Government guidelines ad regulations in an effort to keep themselves and others safe. “Where assistance is required you make contact with the Clare Community Response group on Freephone 1800 203 600 which is in operation from 8 am to 8pm seven days a week.”

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Mullagh funding boost for West Clare Mental Health Association

THE West Clare Mental Health Association, which operates the Lighthouse peer support centre in Kilrush, received almost €5,200 in funds raised from the Festival of Hope, which was organised by the Pastoral Council in Mullagh. Peer Support Co-ordinator at the Lighthouse James Fennelly said, “Basically it was a virtual festival for a week before Christmas. There were various performers, musicians, entertainers and storytellers on for the whole week. Davy Fitz gave an interview one night, I think Marty Morrissey arranged a lot of the prizes for the raffle. “We were nominated to be one of the beneficiaries of the funds raised. All of the funds were divided between ourselves and St Vincent De Paul.” During the festival he spoke about mental health and the Association’s TALK campaign was launched on its last night. “It’s no secret that suicide has affected every community in West Clare, there’s no community unaffected. While we have a peer support centre, people who are in …

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Man dies in workplace accident in West Clare

A man has died in a workplace accident that happened shortly after midday today near the village of Doonaha in West Clare. Two units of the Clare County Fire and Rescue Services from Kilkee station along with National Ambulance Service resources were sent to the scene. A Garda spokesman confirmed that gardaí also attended the incident along with a request for the Athlone-based Emergency Aeromedical Service air ambulance to attend. Volunteers from the Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard were tasked to secure a safe landing site for the helicopter, however, the man was pronounced dead at the scene and the helicopter was stood down and returned to its base. The man’s body has been removed to University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem examination will be carried out. The Garda spokesperson confirmed that the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will conduct an investigation into the tragedy and that gardaí will assist as required.

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Clare Gift Card hailed a success as the public gets behind local business

ENNIS Chamber’s Clare Gift Card initiative attracted sales of more than €125,000 in the run up to Christmas, it has been confirmed. The business representative group has described the success of the card launched in November as proof positive of the outstanding support from the people of Clare as they got behind local businesses for Christmas 2020. “Ennis Chamber has a track history in the vouchers market, having previously sold Ennis Gold Gift Vouchers, but we realised during the first lockdown that we had to move away from a paper-based voucher scheme this year to offer a gift card solution that could be purchased locally but also online. As with many of our fellow chambers around Ireland we opted to outsource the delivery of Clare Gift Card to One4all who could ensure sales of the card through local post offices as well as online,” said Margaret O’Brien, CEO, Ennis Chamber. “We used local press, radio and social media to push …

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Scariff anti-mask protests strongly condemned

ANGER over the regular presence in Scariff of a number of people protesting about pandemic public health guidelines has prompted furious debate on social media and a rejection of the anti-mask agenda. Since the end of last year, a group of up to 10 people been gathering in the centre of the East Clare town at weekends, carrying placards with phrases including, ‘Breathe again, masks do nothing’ and ‘I am here for your freedom too’. It is understood the group operate under the name ‘Vigil for Freedom’. In recent days, The Champion has been contacted by a concerned senior citizen living locally. In a strongly-worded letter, the man said he was “angered and appalled” by the demonstrations and the “callous disregard” of those taking part. “At this time when hospitals are being overrun by the sick and dying it is just not acceptable to have this type of demonstration going on,” he said. “Doctors, nurses and other health workers are …

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GP calls for clarity over Covid vaccine priority list

AN ENNIS GP has described a number of incidents where Covid-19 vaccines were administered people in non-priority groups as “insulting”. It emerged in recent days that so-called ‘remnant’ doses, left over after vaccination of priority groups at the Coombe and Rotonda hospitals in Dublin, were administered to relatives of staff. “The idea that hospitals would start giving spare doses to other people without evening thinking of their other frontline healthcare colleagues is insulting,” said Dr Máire Finn. “The fact that hospitals would get extra quantities of the vaccine and wouldn’t consider other staff or calling in GPs in their area makes me incredibly cross. There’s a sense that GPs have only been getting the scraps off the table.” Dr Finn welcomed updated guidance from the Health Service Executive (HSE) stating that hospitals should compile stand-by lists of other healthcare workers who would be vaccinated in the event of any spare doses becoming available. She also commended the roll-out of a …

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Council and Gardaí ask public to keep up Covid effort at ‘critical time’

THE people of Clare are being urged to keep up their efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at this “critical time.” Clare County Council and An Garda Síochána have joined forces to emphasise the importance of following the guidelines to save people’s lives. With case numbers persistently high and the health service coming under significant pressure, Chief Executive of the Council Pat Dowling and Chief Superintendent of Clare Garda Division Sean Colleran have called on everyone in the county to make another extra effort to drive down the levels of infection in our communities.  The risk of transmitting or getting Covid-19 is currently very high. The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has described the situation in hospitals as stark, with people of all ages being admitted to hospital and being taken into intensive care units.  Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “This is a critical time. The situation is urgent. The Chief Medical Officer has warned …

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Call for council apology over role at Kilrush mother and baby home

CLARE County Council has been urged to apologise for the role it played, in the 1920s and ‘30s, in the running of the County Clare Nursery in Kilrush. Last week, in the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, the high infant mortality rate there was revealed. The deaths of so-called “illegitimate” infants is recorded as 168 during a ten-year period from 1922 to 1932. The commission concluded that the vast majority of those children died at the home. The facility was owned and financed by Clare County Council. At the outset of this week’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Shane Talty proposed that an apology would be issued by the council at its February meeting.  He said the council was proud of its history but added, “We should acknowledge our dark chapters and if the local authority had a role in that, albeit nobody today can take responsibility, I think at a …

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