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Player cover-up for ‘unfit’ colleague

SENIOR players in the Clare hurling panel covered up for another player who was in “an unfit state” to tog out for a National Hurling League game last year.And Ollie Baker, a member of Mike Mac’s backroom team, also alleges that the genesis of the player revolt was a backlash to management coming down hard on discipline.Speaking exclusively to The Clare Champion, Baker declared, “The only thing that changed this year from our first year in charge was that we dealt strongly with discipline breaches. Nothing else changed”. Disillusioned that it had come to the point where management had been shafted by the players, Baker said, “There was no room for compromise from the players in terms of any issues they had. It just seemed to be an agenda to get Mike Mac out. Since Mike got involved at minor level in ’89, he has been consistent in his approach which is that players work hard, train hard and give …

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Flood risk highlighted eight years ago

THE risk of severe flooding in various parts of Ennis from underground channels connecting tributaries and loughs within the River Fergus system, was highlighted in a report commissioned by Ennis District Council in 2001, The Clare Champion can exclusively reveal.Consultants who prepared the Ennis Main Drainage and Flooding Study for the council warned that flooding of swallow holes in a number of locations could happen due to limited capacity and vulnerability to partial collapse or blockage.They warned that surface flooding could occur upstream of swallow holes that couldn’t discharge quickly enough at St Flannan’s, Drumcaran More on the Lahinch Road and Ballybeg and drownstream of springs that couldn’t connect with the river due to high flood levels in the Tobairteascain area.Water flowed over the boundary wall of St Flannan’s and Lough Girroga burst its banks resulting in substantial flooding on the Gort Road, including the industrial estate during the recent flooding after unprecedented rainfall levels.The report stated that the swallow …

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Two week deadline for Ballynacally PO

WITHOUT a village shop or post office since October 30, the prospect of Ballynacally again acquiring a post office service appear remote, unless An Post receive a suitable application before the end of this month. So far, An Post has received just a single expression of interest in operating a postal agency. However, in a letter to Ballynacally Fine Gael TD Pat Breen, An Post chief executive, Donal Connell, said the proposed premises is located outside the Ballynacally catchment area. Mr Connell has not, however, completely ruled out opening a postal agency in Ballynacally if a proprietor and premises are found within two weeks.  “Be assured that we are prepared to give favourable consideration to any suitable application for a postal agency in Ballynacally, which might be forthcoming between now and year end,” he explained in the letter. Ballynacally post office and shop closed almost two months ago having been in the Hehir and Tighe families for generations, leaving the …

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Council removes boil notice from Ennis drinking water supply

The partial boil notice on the Ennis water supply, which has been in place since May 2005, was lifted by local authorities on Wednesday following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE).It had been envisaged that the notice was going to be removed once the new €9 million water treatment plant at Drumcliffe became operational last April.This was delayed, however, as a result of unexpected problems with the commissioning process for the new treatment plant.The drinking water alert, which was introduced following the detection of cryptosporidium in May 2005, affected over 30,000 customers in Ennis town and surrounding areas, including Clarecastle and environs, Crusheen, Barefield, Doora, Drumcliff and Spancilhill and group water schemes on the supply.Clare County Council has confirmed that the HSE/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria for lifting the boil notice has been met. The criteria include water quality, plant commissioning, sustainability of process and epidemiological evidence.Welcoming the decision, county manager, Tom Coughlan, said that Ennis Town Council and …

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102 job losses expected for cabin crew

THERE are few hopes that Aer Lingus will renege on plans to cut 102 cabin crew jobs at Shannon in 2010 after a meeting between management, including CEO Christoph Mueller, and staff held at the Park Inn on Wednesday morning.Niall Shanahan of the Impact Trade Union said there was disappointment among workers that the outlook was so bleak.“They’ve said they’re going to forge ahead with 102 job losses under the so-called greenfield plan. That would leave between 20 and 25 cabin crew in Shannon and the plan for 2010 would be that they’d work on the Heathrow route. There was a lot of emotion and some people were devastated because they had hoped that something would be done to save more jobs.”Mr Shanahan said that, as yet, there is no definite time frame for job losses at Shannon and the fact that management went to Shannon for the meeting is an indication of their seriousness.He also said that the loss …

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Prendeville accuses Kilrush mayor of ‘dishonouring chain’

Before storming out of the December monthly meeting of Kilrush Town Council last Thursday night, Fianna Fáil town councillor Tom Prendeville warned the council executive and his fellow councillors that they should think twice before trying to stop him talking for more than five minutes on a motion. “God help the one that tries to stop me from making a contribution for more than five minutes,” Councillor Prendeville advised.The former county councillor made his comments in the middle of a heated exchange dealing with a change to the town council’s standing orders.The meeting voted by five votes to two, with one abstention, to curtail councillors from talking for more than five minutes on one of their motions. Until last Thursday, councillors could speak for up to 10 minutes under standing orders.The change to the standing order was proposed by Fine Gael Mayor of Kilrush, Marian McMahon Jones and seconded by Independent town councillor, Mairéad O’Brien.“I think it’s very wrong of …

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