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Ennis Railway Station on track for accessibility

ENNIS Railway Station is on track to being more accessible to people with reduced mobility. A new accessible footbridge crossing with stairs and lift is to open at the station in the start of the new year. This follows a €1 million investment by Iarnód Éireann, enabling people with reduced mobility as well as those with buggies and prams to have better access. Councillor Johnny Flynn, who has been campaigning for the move for 10 years has welcomed the development saying, “I welcome the circa € 1 million investment in wheelchair / buggy / pedestrian lifts and cross track bridge opening after Christmas at Ennis Railway Station. This will make rail transport to and from Ennis  more accessible to all by having accessible use of both platforms at all times and improve travel times by eliminating current occasional delays of up to 15 mins when simultaneous safe wheelchair user access is required from platform 1 to both Galway and Limerick …

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Oral history projects sparks Christmas memories for nursing home residents

AFTER what has been a incredibly tough year for nursing home staff, residents and their families, a unique oral history project is hoping to spark reminiscences about times long before the threat of Covid-19. Cuimhneamh an Chláir has dipped into its extensive archive to compile an album of Christmas stories which it is distributing to every nursing home in the county. “We celebrated our tenth anniversary last year and were delighted that we got to mark it,” said Leonard McDonagh, Chairperson of Cuimhneamh. “Some people who attended our celebrations, including the late Chris Droney, are no longer with us and that’s a huge loss. We’re also conscious that many people in nursing homes have contributed their stories and memories to our archive. We wanted to give something back to them and that’s why we created the CD.” The album contains voices from all over Clare and many colourful memories of Christmases past. Among the traditions described are preparing the house, …

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West Coast Motorcycle Club rev up €2,000 for St Clare’s school

THE West Coast Motorcycle Club have revved up behind plans for the creation of a sensory memorial garden at St Clare’s School in Ennis. While Covid-19 has seen many charitable events cancelled this year, the annual Toy Run by the West Coast Motorcycle Club went ahead earlier this month raising an amazing €2,000 for St Clare’s. John Murphy of the motorcycle club said they were delighted to be able to once again do the toy run for St Clare’s “even in these different times”. He explained the reason behind the event was “simply to give back something to those who need it most”. He added, “The school are raising funds to establish a sensory memory garden as a thoughtful tribute to all the young people and members of St Clare’s community who have sadly passed away over the years. This will be a quiet reflective place where one can be comforted and inspired.” John expressed appreciation to everybody who supported …

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Clare gardaí issue safety advice this Christmas

GARDAÍ in Clare have issued a number of safety tips for this Christmas. In relation to Covid-19 gardaí advise that every contact counts. “If you must meet up this Christmas keep your contacts to a minimum, wear a mask if you can’t stay two metres apart and follow the HSE guidelines for your safety and others,” says Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks. However, the advice is not confined to Covid safety. “Drink alcohol responsibly and if you are going out plan your night, tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back. Don’t walk home alone but if you have to walk in well-lit areas,” she urges. People are being reminded to take care when carrying your handbag and phone, keep handbags zipped and don’t put a wallet in your back pocket. “Only take out as much money as you need at ATMs and cover your pin,” she says. Other advice includes not leaving shopping on view …

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‘This Christmas has to be different’ health chiefs warn

HSE chiefs in the Midwest have issued a warning over the impact of a possible third wave of Covid-19 on service delivery in the region. “This Christmas has to be different,” Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Midwest told members of the local authority. “The next couple of weeks are so important and will determine what happens in January, which is always tough anyway in terms of healthcare. We are appealing to people to reduce their social contacts immediately. Keep washing your hands and keeping social distance.” Dr Mannix also said there were far too many instances where people were sick and still turning up at work. “This cannot continue,” she said. Professor Brian Lenehan, Chief Clinical Director said that University Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) could not rule out having to cancel elective procedures in January. He said the acute hospitals were preparing for a possible Covid spike in the New Year. “January is always a challenging …

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Four cars found to be “dangerously defective” by Clare gardaí

FOUR out of ten cars examined as part of Operation Curb in Clare this month were found to be “dangerously defective”, according to gardaí. Gardaí from the Divisional Roads Policing Unit in Clare carried out Operation Curb on December 12 last. Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks explains, “The purpose of Operation Curb is to detect and educate road users in relation to road safety and the dangers of modifying cars over the legal limit.” She confirmed a total of ten cars were examined by the PSV inspector, “four of which were found to be dangerously defective. One car, which has recently failed its NCT more than once, was found to have a major defect with its steering rod whilst another car had oversized wheels which would hit the wheel arch when turning.  This affects steering and braking and also causes excessive wear and tear on the tyres. It also causes spray and debris to be thrown back onto following …

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Holidaymakers urged to stay away from Kilkee for health reasons

A former Mayor of Kilkee has urged tourists and visitors to stay away from the West Clare holiday hotspot during the holiday period to minimise the spread of Covid-19. While Claire Haugh stressed holidaymakers are normally very welcome in Kilkee, she is concerned that any large influx of people into the town could result in the unwanted transmission of the virus. “It is a hugely difficult and dangerous time for everyone and the safety of people in Kilkee is paramount. We welcome visitors all year round but these are different and frightening times. “People in Kilkee are trying to mind ourselves and visitors should be cautious of their own health. “There will be good times ahead when the vaccine comes in and then there will be a thousand welcomes for people to come to Kilkee. “When things get better, the doors will be wide open to welcome them as usual. We love having visitors in Kilkee and it is great …

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Supermacs owner says motorway plaza will be “a huge boost to Ennis”

SUPERMACS managing director Pat McDonagh has said the granting of planning permission for a new Barack Obama plaza-style motorway service station on the outskirts of Ennis “will be a huge boost” to the county capital. Clare County Council have given the green light to the €10 million development adjacent to Junction 12 of the M18 at Kilbreckan, Doora which is set to create 120 jobs. This was the fast-food chain’s fourth application to develop the service station at this location. Reacting to the granting of planning permission for the development, Mr McDonagh said the decision is affirmation of the commitment of the local authority to the people of Clare. He said Supermac’s will do, “everything to respond generously in job creation and all it takes to ensure that this development will contribute significantly over decades to the economic and social development of Ennis and the whole county”. He said there is “no substitute for tangible investment and that the creation of …

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