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€150,000 price tag for Quin woman’s vital cancer treatment

A QUIN woman, with an aggressive form of cancer, has hit out at the fact that so many sick people have to fight to access life-saving treatments. Maria Meade’s oncologist has recommended a break-through drug, but currently her health insurer doesn’t automatically cover the cost for patients at her stage of illness. A year-long course of Pembrolizamub, an immunotherapy treatment, will cost at least €150,000, a price tag which Fianna Fáil Deputy Cathal Crowe compared, in the Dáil, to paying a second mortgage. Maria and her husband Tom describe themselves as “very private people”. Speaking publicly on sensitive health issues is the last thing they would ordinarily do, but the couple said they have been left with no choice. After some physically gruelling surgery, carried out in the depths of the lockdown, Maria is cancer free. Her oncologist has told her that her best chance of staying that way is to start a course of the break-through drug, also known …

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Joy For Clare Liverpool Fans As Premiership Finally Docks At Anfield

When it comes to Gaelic Games, Michael Considine and David O’Brien are very firmly on opposite sides of the fence. Considine is a key figure in the Kilmurry Ibrickane club, while O’Brien is the man who led Miltown to the intermediate title in 2013 before adding the senior crown to his CV with victory over the neighbours last year. That was all forgotten about last week though with their love for Liverpool FC being that uniting force as the Reds bridged a 30 year gap to claim the Premier League title. They are regular visitors to Anfield, with one of their first trips as a group seeing them present Michael Owen with the award for the Young Player of the Year. Considine also has a special memento of a match ball signed by the likes of Jamie Redknapp, Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler, but still recounts the story of how it almost ended up left on the roof of a …

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Web series showcases Miltown’s musical youth

THE wealth of musical talent of the young people of the Miltown Malbay area is set to be showcased to audiences around the world in a new web series to be released from this week. The series, which was the brainchild of the Miltown Malbay Development Committee (MMDC) and was filmed by Neil Hynes, the manager of the state-of-the-art €1.4m community centre in the West Clare town, features some of those who have taken the tradition into the 21st century. The initiative was prompted after the pandemic forced the cancellation of this year’s Willie Clancy Summer School. Mr Hynes explained, “Realising the streets wouldn’t be heaving this July with musicians and tourists from all over the world, we felt that it may be easy for the public to assume that the spirit of the area had been sucked out of it, that it was no longer there. No Willie Clancy, no Miltown Malbay. Nothing could be further from the truth.” …

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Funds needed to keep the show going on for Ennis Musical Society

THE future of the Ennis Musical Society is in doubt having suffered “substantial” losses after this year’s highly-anticipated production was shut-down due to Covid-19. However, the society is doing all it can to ensure that the show must go on and have launched an on-line fundraising campaign with a colourful, sing-along video. Ennis Musical Society were due to perform a run of Seussial the Musical last March, however Covid-19 forced the show to be cancelled after just one night. Chairperson Rachel Culligan tells us, “It was really heartbreaking to a lot of us to have put so much into the show and for the wider audience never really have gotten to see it and while we can all take comfort in the knowledge that we did the right thing it has unfortunately left Ennis Musical Society in a very critical position.” She explains that musicals cost tens of thousands of euros to put on, with sets, costumes, light, sound and …

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Scariff Bay Community Radio awarded second 100-day licence

AFTER outstanding service to the communities of East Clare during the lockdown, Scariff Bay Community Radio has been awarded a second one hundred day FM licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). The station is also pursuing plans to open new studios in O’Callaghan’s Mills, Tulla and Killaloe in the near future. The licence came into effect last Monday, and once again allows the station to broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am on both 88.3FM and 92.7FM, throughout the east of the county. The station will also continue to stream all shows on-line and on its website scariffbayradio.com, as well as on the Tune In app for smart devices and phones. Led by Chairman Jim Collins, the roster of 30 volunteers has continued to present its shows during the Covid-19 crisis. Using a range of remote working technologies, they have broadcast to the local communities and a wide diaspora abroad. Hosting shows and interviewing guests using social media including WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook and …

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Senator Dooley returns from political wilderness

AS one of the so-called ‘Taoiseach’s 11’, Senator Timmy Dooley said he is delighted to return to the upper house, where he pledged to leverage his close contacts at the cabinet table in the best interests of Clare. The Mountshannon native denied that the beard he sported during lockdown was symbolic of his stint in the political wilderness, after two two unsuccessful election campaigns, one for the Dáil and the other for the Seanad. A fund-raising shave raised over €2,000 for Sláinte an Chláir and sharpened his image for a return to Leinster House. The former Fianna Fáil TD is intimately familiar with the corridors of power, and his senator’s office is in close proximity to some of those who will be sitting at the cabinet table. “My close colleagues Micheal McGrath and Darragh O’Brien have two powerful portfolios,” he said. “I was in Ógra Fianna Fáil with Norma Foley 30 years ago. I won’t be slow to use my …

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Visiting ban remains in place at UL Hospitals

UL Hospitals Group is reminding members of the public that the ban on visiting across its six hospitals remains in place. The activation of Phase 3 in lifting the Covid-19 public health restrictions will allow us to gradually increase elective activity across our sites. However, the visiting ban remains in place to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and to help protect the safety of patients and staff during the ongoing public health emergency. The visiting ban was introduced in early March at University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, St John’s Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Ennis Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. The ban also applies to the Intermediate Care Facility which opened at the UL Arena on June 8. Nor is visiting permitted to patients attending the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick or at the Injury Units in Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s. “We regret the distress or inconvenience our visiting ban causes for patients and their loved …

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Airport reopens for EU travel, but Ryanair threat raised

SOME good news for Clare arrived on Wednesday with the reopening of Shannon Airport to scheduled passenger flights. The first flight back was one from Vienna, while flights also caem from Manchester and Lanzarote. There were also return flights scheduled to the same destinations. Shannon had to introduce a range of anti Covid-19 measures to deal with the reopening, with more than 4,000 pieces of signage installed, along with multiple sanitiser dispensers, hand sanitation stations and disinfectant wipes throughout the airport. Ryanair has started 16 routes to and from Shannon, and while that is obviously welcome, it is also an illustration of how dependent the airport is on the low fares airline. This week there were reports that Ryanair has issued a memorandum to pilots, warning them that it could actually close its Shannon and Cork bases, if they don’t comply with a range of cost saving measures. Last year, it was forecast that around 775,000 Ryanair passengers would travel …

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