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Clare crime down

A SPATE of burglaries and thefts in County Clare in recent weeks underlines the national trend of increasing crime, as revealed in this week’s Central Statistic Office figures.While these incidents are worrying, the overall situation in the Clare Garda Division for the first nine months of 2009 points to a reduced number of recorded offences under several headings, including theft and related offences, burglary, dangerous or negligent acts and damage to property and the environment. Stand-out statistics on the down side during this period record one homicide, compared to none, and 21 sexual offences, compared to 15 last year.Instances of elderly people being attacked and robbed in their homes, in some case with fatal consequences, have caused huge upset across the country, particularly in rural areas.In supporting An Garda Síochána, organisations such as Muintir na Tíre and Macra, along with many other community groups, are always reminding people of the importance of keeping an eye out for elderly people living …

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Ryanair ultimatum on travel tax and charges

RYANAIR’S Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley has reiterated the airline’s claim that it is ready to axe the vast majority of its Shannon services unless the airport management cut charges in half and the Government abolishes the €10 air travel tax.In an interview with The Clare Champion Mr Cawley said that if the airline does pull its services, thousands of jobs will be lost in the Mid-West. He also said that there is no room for negotiation, as Ryanair has numerous other options with airports that will offer better terms than Shannon.Mr Cawley said that if Ryanair doesn’t get its way, passenger numbers would be trimmed from approximately 1.9 million back to around 300,000.“Around 1,600 jobs would be lost around the airport. That’s not just my figure, the Airport Council International estimate that every thousand passengers create one job,” he commented.He said that tourism and other industries around the region would feel the knock-on effects, resulting in further significant job …

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Malone reinstated to Paralympic team

FOLLOWING his dismissal from the Beijing Paralympic Games having been deemed “not disabled enough” to play on the Irish soccer team by the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association (CPISRA), Clare’s Derek Malone, was this week reinstated. The reversal of the decision was taken by a review panel of CPISRA, led by new head of classification, Carol Mushett-Johnson.The Whitegate soccer player, in welcoming the decision, said he had “mixed emotions”.“They have let me back in but they have refused to apologise. It’s been a battle and it has taken 13 months. There was a mistake made in Beijing but they have refused to hold their hands up and say sorry. I should have been allowed to compete in Beijing. While I am happy with the decision, I would have liked an apology,” he said.Now studying for a masters in strength conditioning at Edinburgh, while working part-time in Ireland, Derek hasn’t decided yet whether or not he will return to …

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Breen won’t comment on expense claims

CLARE Fine Gael TD Pat Breen refused to comment to The Clare Champion this week following the publication of his expense claims for the last four years. In that period, he was the second highest expenses claimant amongst the 166 TDs in Dáil Éireann, coming in just behind Fianna Fáil TD Ned O’Keeffe, who claimed €304,137.80.Deputy Breen, who was elected to the Dáil in May 2002, has claimed €301,206.72 in expenses since 2005. This is on top of his basic wage, which is in the region of €100,191 per annum. Therefore, Deputy Breen would have earned more than €187,000 in 2008, when his expenses claimed totalled €87,283.54.In 2005, he claimed €73,055.14, €67,152.04 in 2006 and in 2007 the Clare TD put in for €73,716.00 in expenses. The Fine Gael party leader Enda Kenny claimed €285,277.30 during the four-year period in question, almost €16,000 less than Deputy Breen.When contacted by The Clare Champion to explain how his expenses were so high, …

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No objections to Mike Mac as manager

THERE were no objections to Mike McNamara continuing as Clare senior hurling manager for 2010 at this week’s GAA county board meeting. n fact, the meeting confirmed that McNamara was given a two-year stint as manager 12 months ago and this remains the position.In recent weeks, a meeting of the players had voiced opposition to the Scariff man continuing as senior team boss. A letter to this effect was sent to the county board last week but it wasn’t signed. Board chairman Michael O’Neill acknowledged when addressing the delegates at Tuesday’s meeting that, “We had a note from the players which outlined certain difficulties and we should be given time to discuss this, the board officers, the management and the players”.McNamara attended this week’s meeting and told delegates that his only interest is what’s best for Clare hurling.“At the end of all of this, Clare will be stronger and better and that is all that is important, with or without …

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Ennis CT scanner services suspended

CT services at the Mid-West Regional Hospital have been suspended in the short term while the Health Service Executive recruits for a temporary consultant radiologist to fill the vacancy.However, acting network manager John Hennessy has emphasised that the suspension of the Ennis service was done in the best interests of patient safety and will only last until suitable replacements are available.“An active recruitment campaign is underway at national and international level against a background of a shortage of qualified specialists for a temporary consultant radiologist, pending the permanent appointment of consultant radiologists in early November.“Meanwhile, patients from County Clare who require CT scans are being accommodated in Limerick with minimal, if any, increase in waiting times,” Mr Hennessy said.He also disclosed that as a further support to radiology in general and CT scanning, the Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis has been identified as a pilot site in the roll-out, during the first quarter of 2010, of the PACs IT system. …

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