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New study examines male death by suicide

A NEW study group is looking to make contact with young men who have lost male friends through death by suicide over the last five years.In 2007, 17 people were suspected of taking their own lives in the county, all but one of them male. Six of the males were in their 20s.The study is being carried out by St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD and the researchers are seeking to interview men aged between 18 and 30 who have lost male friends of a similar age.Lorna Sweeney of UCD said that it’s a group that haven’t been studied closely before. “The majority of young men that die by suicide don’t consult their GP or a mental health practitioner so it’s important to focus on their support networks and get their perspectives.”Suicide among the age group in question needs to be studied in more depth she feels. “This is the leading cause of death in young men. Because they often …

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250 Clare jobs are saved in hotel group

WITH creditors consenting to write off debts of €3.5 million, the Clare-based Lynch Hotel Group has successfully emerged from its examinership process and the jobs of over 500 people employed in its hotel chain secured.The Lynch Hotel Group voluntarily undertook the process earlier this year in order to protect its business and the employment of staff members, 250 of which are based in its three Clare hotels – The West County, The Clare Inn and The Ocean Cove in Kilkee.In total, the group, which had debts in excess of €22.85 million, owns and operates seven hotels in the West of Ireland. All properties in the group remain intact and will continuing trading as normal as part of the Lynch Hotel Group.The group, Ireland’s largest family-run hotel chain, received a positive outcome at a confirmation hearing in front of Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan in the High Court this week following the issuing of the report of examiner Michael McAteer of Grant …

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Lodge closure will benefit residents, says minister

CLINICAL assessments of residents in a Kilrush high-support unit has determined their needs would be better served in a different therapeutic setting, according to Minister of State at the Department of Health, John Moloney.Responding to concerns expressed by Deputy Pat Breen in the Dáil last week, Deputy Moloney said that the Health Service Executive (HSE) has consulted and engaged with carers, families and clinical and nursing staff and provided opportunities for them to have a constructive input as part of their current review of mental health services in the county. “At present, there are 16 residents in Orchard Lodge and following individual clinical assessments, it has been concluded that 11 of the residents, given their changing needs, would be more appropriately cared for in an older persons’ setting.  It is therefore proposed to refer these residents to the older persons’ placement panel for consideration as to the most appropriate care setting for each individual. The remaining five residents, who at …

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Old septic tanks could raise financial stink

UP to half of the old septic tanks installed to facilitate one-off housing in Clare before the adoption of stringent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines would probably fail the most up-to-date percolation test, a North Clare civil engineer has claimed.Kilfenora-based civil engineer, Michael Daffy, has warned the European Union will impose severe financial penalties on Ireland until it gets its act together on the provision of proper on-site waste water treatment systems for soil with poor percolation qualities.Because wastewater treatment is such a technical matter, Mr Daffy, who has been involved in the installation of septic tanks for 32 years, argued that ultimate responsibility in law should not rest solely with the householder, as they had the least amount of knowledge about this important matter.If a serious problem develops with an on-site waste water system, he warned a resident could end up wasting time and money with a short-term solution, which is not in accordance with the EPA code of …

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Clare sea rescuers are recognised at ­national safety awards ceremony

A NUMBER of people who were involved in dramatic near-drowning rescue incidents, several of them at Clare beaches, were honoured at the Irish Water Safety National Awards in Dublin on Tuesday.Athenry man Thomas Thompson was involved in saving two little girls who were swept out to sea at Spanish Point on September 25.“We had been out surfing and we were after coming back in and were getting changed,” says Thomas of the day of the rescue. “Then we heard the girls’ mother in distress and we went down to see what was happening. We found out they’d been dragged into the water. I went out on the surfboard and thankfully I found them, they were gone about 150 metres.”Emily Luff was one of the girls rescued that day and after being swept out to sea she kept a grip of her younger sister Isobel, something that probably saved her life. As a reward, Emily was presented with a SEIKO Certificate …

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Clare in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cycling destinations

  CLARE is one of the 10 best places in the world for a cycling holiday, according to the Lonely Planet.In the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2010, the world’s best cities, regions and attractions are listed, with County Clare recommended as one of the best places in the world to explore on two wheels. Other destinations also on the list include the San Juan Islands in the US, La Farola in Cuba and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy.“Beginning in fertile lowlands flanking the Shannon Estuary, this route rolls past golden-sand beaches to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher facing the Atlantic. Next come the music hotbed towns of Miltown Malbay and Doolin, where you enter a pub only if you’re in for the long haul, leaving before the last song is sung seems a monstrous breach of etiquette,” the guide states.“From here, progress to the relentlessly grey, yet captivating, limestone expanse of the Burren, reminiscent of a lunar landscape. Then take …

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Fáilte Ireland figures show decline in US visitors

THE US element of Shannon Region tourism is the only one showing consistent decline, according to the latest official figures from Fáilte Ireland.In what has been an up and down performance over the four years up to 2008, American visitor numbers are down by just short of 17% and compare with growth of 20% and more in numbers coming from the UK and Europe.According to the breakdown of regional tourism performance, the Shannon Region suffered setbacks from all markets in 2008. Numbers from Britain were down by 78,000 to 407,000 and represented a 16% fall on the 485,000 levels of 2007. That was short of the 2006 high when 572,000 UK visitors came to the region. The 2008 figures also show slippage in the level of tourism business from continental Europe after four years of substantial growth. Numbers from Europe fell back by 22,000 from 378,000 in 2007 to 356,000 in 2008. That converted into a decline of 5.8%. The …

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