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Bed reduction claim refuted by HSE

THE Mid-West HSE has rejected union claims that up to 19 beds will be removed from the Acute Psychiatric Unit at Ennis hospital as part of the reorganisation of the Clare Mental Health Service.IMPACT had claimed mental health services would be badly hit with the removal of 19 beds in Ennis and 26 beds closing in Limerick at St Joseph’s Hospital. It also warned that community mental health services would be affected by the closure of some high-support hostels and a reduction in day services.Clare Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) representative Denis Meehan claimed 13 of the 36 beds at the Ennis unit are already being filled by patients from North Tipperary, following the closure of a mental health facility in Clonmel and queried where Clare patients with acute psychiatric problems would be treated if the 19 beds are removed.The Mid-West HSE confirmed there would be a reduction of 30 acute mental health beds in the Mid-West, following the closure of …

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Bed reduction claim refuted by HSE

THE Mid-West HSE has rejected union claims that up to 19 beds will be removed from the Acute Psychiatric Unit at Ennis hospital as part of the reorganisation of the Clare Mental Health Service.IMPACT had claimed mental health services would be badly hit with the removal of 19 beds in Ennis and 26 beds closing in Limerick at St Joseph’s Hospital. It also warned that community mental health services would be affected by the closure of some high-support hostels and a reduction in day services.Clare Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) representative Denis Meehan claimed 13 of the 36 beds at the Ennis unit are already being filled by patients from North Tipperary, following the closure of a mental health facility in Clonmel and queried where Clare patients with acute psychiatric problems would be treated if the 19 beds are removed.The Mid-West HSE confirmed there would be a reduction of 30 acute mental health beds in the Mid-West, following the closure of …

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Minister supports septic tank charge

MINISTER for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan has said while rural Ireland is facing radical upheaval, the imposition of septic tank charges is not a negative factor. He was speaking at the opening of the refurbished Kilkee library on Monday.“Since we went into the EU in 1973, rural Ireland has been under pressure because of bigger farmsteads. Also, you’ve less farmers, who are the people who created activity in rural Ireland. Then you’ve fewer small businesses. The big multiples, the Tescos, the Aldis, the Lidls certainly are closing down all the small shops,” he said.Asked if the Government is to blame for some of this decay in implementing the septic tank charges, Minister Deenihan disagreed.“At this moment in time, the whole septic tank issue is not fully understood. People don’t want to understand it. It’s a European Court judgement and the main part of the judgement was that we didn’t have any register of septic tanks. “They have …

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Conflicting statements over €120m motorway

CALLS for the postponement of the route selection process for the controversial €120 million motorway through South-East Clare look set to generate heated debate between councillors and officials in the local authority chamber later this month.The latest twist emerged following mixed messages reportedly expressed by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar about his views on the importance of the Northern Distributor Road during discussions with Clare Labour Deputy Michael McNamara and a delegation of residents from the area on Wednesday.During discussions with Minister Varadkar, Deputy McNamara outlined his opposition to the provision of another bridge across the River Shannon, in addition to the new crossing linking Killaloe and Ballina.According to Deputy McNamara, the minister stated he is willing to divert the money for the route selection to another scheme if that is the wish of Clare County Council. The minister told Deputy McNamara he was responding to a request from the council to build this road and acknowledged there is no funding …

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Report calls for Shannon financial support

IF Shannon leaves DAA control, arrangements need to be put in place regarding funding, according to the Booz report.“Depending on the option selected and policies on competition, there may be a need to clarify the mechanism under which Shannon Airport is part-subsidised, either through integration with adjoining industrial land or via direct financial support from the owner or from Government.“The amount of support provided to a fully separated Shannon Airport has consequences for the other DAA airports in terms of greater competition and a challenge lies in determining the appropriate support that balances local development with national competition objectives. Given current economic conditions, Government support is highly unlikely.”While the losses incurred at Shannon are blacked out, the report states that some policies implemented by the DAA are viewed as being detrimental to Shannon. “There are also a number of well-informed stakeholders that consider the DAA’s current approach to managing risks across its three airports is preventing Shannon from achieving the …

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Airport autonomy inevitable, says Mulcahy

Full autonomy for Shannon is inevitable after the Booz Report this week recommended an end to the DAA’s management of the airport, said to Fine Gael senator Tony Mulcahy.He said the report strengthens the arguments put forward by various agencies and organisations regarding an autonomous airport and free zone.  “I spoke with Minister Varadkar today [Wednesday] and reiterated my long-held belief that Shannon Airport will require full autonomy if it is to prosper in the future. The Booz report clearly backs up this view and I would be confident that once due diligence has been undertaken in relation to the financial implications of such a move, that the minister will issue a decision that will benefit Shannon Airport, the surrounding free zone and the wider Mid-West Region.”Clare TD Joe Carey welcomed the decision to publish the report and also backed its findings. “I welcome the decision taken by Minister Varadkar to publish the Booz and Co report today and have …

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20 Nua jobs created in healthcare facility

Twenty new jobs are to be created in Clare when a specialist child and adolescent facility opens in the county in the coming months.Nua Healthcare, which provides residential care, community outreach and day services to adults and children with intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, mental health issues and Asperger’s Syndrome, among others, made the jobs announcement on Wednesday. The company already has 14 facilities in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. It is expanding its services this year, creating 80 new jobs by opening additional specialist facilities in Offaly, Wicklow, Kildare and here in Clare. Currently, the organisation employs over 180 full-time staff.A location for the Clare facility has yet to be identified but Ed Dunne, CEO of Nua Healthcare, believes the staff will be in place by June and that planning will not be required for the building, which he says is likely to be a 3,000 square foot, six-bedroom detached home.“This will be a community-based care setting, not a hospital,” …

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