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HSE regret but no apology

KARL Henry has received expressions of regret from the HSE over his wife Ann’s death but no apology. However, he views the settlement reached in the High Court as “an admission of sorts” in that the HSE “sees itself as in some way liable for what has happened”.“I was not concerned there was no admission of liability. The HSE doesn’t pay out a sum of money for something which they have no hand, act or part in,” he suggested.Mr Henry admitted to The Clare Champion that he had found himself in difficult financial circumstances as a result of being out of work for long periods following his wife’s death.The Ennis-based Revenue Commissioners employee pointed out that the settlement “wouldn’t allow him to give up work” and “walk happily down the street”.“It is a sum of money. It is just a cold figure. It doesn’t mean anything. I could never put a value on my wife’s life or attempt to put …

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Government credibility in tatters

THAT was clearly the worst week for Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore and the two Government parties since the general election in February. Is the honeymoon over already? We will know in time. It is one thing to make false promises during an election campaign but to deny having made them, as Kenny did at the weekend in relation to Roscommon hospital, is a far more serious matter.The Labour Party is not blameless either. Gilmore also promised the Labour Party in Government would keep emergency services at Roscommon open for 24 hours, seven days a week. He is also opposed to cut-backs at his local hospital in Loughlinstown in his own constituency of Dún Laoghaire.The fact is the credibility of the Government is already in tatters.To cap it all for Fine Gael, the party hierarchy got the last candidate they wanted for the presidency in Gay Mitchell. They now believe they are going to have an uphill battle on their hands …

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Burren publican brews his own

WITH about a pub a day estimated to be closing across the country, one North Clare vintner has come up with some novel ways to keep the wolf from the door, while attracting customers through it.Peter Curtin of The Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna, has set up his own microbrewery, his own pub loyalty club with card and is challenging members of his newly established club to spin a wheel of fortune to find out if they get discounted drink or have to contribute to charity. The wheel, which is being specially made, will decide how much club members pay for the newly brewed range of Burren beers, Burren Black (stout), Burren Red (ale) and Burren Gold, (lager).The wheel will have a €4 segment, a €3.50 segment, a €3 segment amongst others as well as a euro symbol, which indicates that the customer pays the regular price as well as €1 to a local charity. “We are the first pub in …

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Parents told Megan’s ‘clear of cancer’

THE parents of four-year-old Megan Malone, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year, have been told that she is “clear of cancer”.Megan, whose father John is from Ballyalla, has been continuing her treatment in Boston after amazing doctors with her progress in New York’s Presbyterian Hospital.  This week, Megan’s parents, John and Sheila, described how the latest MRI scans for Megan are “truly amazing” and that “this is the best news we could have asked for”. Last month, doctors in New York told the family that while scans showed that Megan’s brain looked completely clear of cancer, there was uncertainty about a small area of her spine. However, the most recent scans have shown that this area is now clear.He explained that after the scan two doctors rang with the “unbelievable news”. “After examining the MRI scans, there is a noticeable difference between these and ones taken in June. All the areas of concern in the …

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Furniture dumped at cancer centre

HOUSEHOLD furniture and an 18ft trailer were among the items found illegally dumped by the roadside near Ruan village last week, with locals appalled that the quiet woodland area has been turned into an “eyesore”.The rubbish was dumped under cover of darkness, with five armchairs discarded at the entrance to the Clare 250 Cancer Centre at Ballygriffey and a badly damaged twin-axel trailer abandoned at the entrance to the Coillte forest.According to one local person, “It’s an absolute eyesore. I don’t understand what kind of people can come along and do this. This is a very quiet road and, unfortunately, forested areas tend to attract these kind of people. They came during the night and left their rubbish here and it’s a disgrace.”Ennis West Councillor Tom McNamara condemned those responsible and called for CCTV cameras to be installed to prevent further dumping.“Unfortunately, there are ongoing problems with illegal dumping across the county and I would like to see cameras put …

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Councillors seek apology for colleague

A NUMBER of county councillors have called for an apology to be made to their colleague, Pat McMahon, following a letter written by Shannon Airport director Mary Considine, which appeared in The Clare Champion. The councillors were speaking at this week’s Clare County Council meeting.However, in a statement, the airport stood by Ms Considine’s letter, which they claim corrected an earlier statement by the Newmarket representative.“Our letter merely sought to set the record straight regarding the inaccurate statement by Councillor McMahon at a previous meeting that it takes almost twice as long to use the preclearance facility in Shannon Airport compared to the same facilities in a number of US airports. We are happy this was clarified in our letter published in The Clare Champion,” an airport statement on Wednesday read.The letter, which appeared in The Clare Champion on April 8, was written by Shannon Airport director Mary Coughlan and referred to comments made by Councillor McMahon at a previous …

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New coastguard boat to reduce rescue times

A NEW boat, being delivered to Doolin Coast Guard on Friday, could cut rescue times by up to one-third. The 9m Delta rib is specially designed for the sea conditions off the West Coast of Ireland and can travel up to 48 knots or the equivalent of 50mph compared to the unit’s current boat, which manages just 35mph.“The new boat will get to casualties faster. It also has better capability in bigger seas, not that we would be going out in much bigger seas than we are but the capability is there if you want it to. This boat is almost one-third faster than what we have and it is also much more powerful, which means that if we had to hold another boat that might be in danger of going on the rocks or anything, the new boat would be better able to hold it while we wait for a bigger RNLI boat to tow it,” explained Mattie Shannon, …

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Cuimhneamh an Chláir work praised at council

TWO representatives of oral history group Cuimhneamh an Chláir addressed members of Clare County Council this week about the work the group does recording the recollections of the county’s older people.The group is chaired by Mayor of Clare Pat Hayes but speaking to the councillors were project co-ordinator Tomás Mac Conmara and its leas cathaoirleach Cormac McCarthy.Mr McCarthy said a lot of work has been done since the group’s foundation. “In two short years, over 205 recordings have been taken from over 190 people.”He said the group has been more prolific than other organisations with a similar emphasis in Roscommon and Kerry. “It shows the degree of volunteerism here in Clare and the rich oral history in the county,” he commented.Mr McCarthy said the group has been featured in local papers, on local radio and on RTÉ’s Nationwide and the coverage has been very helpful.He said Cuimhneamh an Chláir now have 25 volunteers going out on a regular basis taking …

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