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Clare library services reopen to the public

Several libraries across the county reopened this morning in accordance with Phase 3 of the revised Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. They include De Valera Library in, Ennis and those in Kilrush, Kilkee, Miltown Malbay, Ennistymon and Shannon. Other libraries will be opening shortly once the necessary preparatory work has been completed with update on the Clare County Library website and social media pages. Libraries will provide limited services initially, including limits on the numbers accessing the facility at any one time. Libraries will operate in compliance with current physical distancing guidelines and the public are encouraged to use hand sanitisers upon entry to library buildings. Library visits will be of a maximum 15 minutes’ duration and services will include borrow and return of books, printing facilities, delivery service for those cocooning, online services and children’s services including the 2020 Summer Stars programme. The contact and collect service will continue in the other branches and will commence in a …

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Call for Council to Take Over Craggaunowen Vistor Centre

ONE of the pioneers of tourism in Clare would be “turning in his grave” at the decision to curtail access to Shannon Heritage facilities, a local authority member has said. Councillor Pat Hayes has slammed the decision to keep Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen closed until further notice, in response to the pandemic, and to limit the season for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. He said the situation flew in the face of the legacy of Dr Brendan O’Regan, who was instrumental in developing the amenities. “Given how important domestic tourism will be this year, and the fact that people are looking for facilities close to home, the decision is very disappointing,” he said. “As well as their importance to tourism in the midwest, these are vital facilities in terms of Irish history and heritage. Dr Brendan O’Regan would be turning in his grave over this.” The Fianna Fáil member there is now a strong case for a local authority take-over …

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Deputy McNamara seeks expanded role for Ennis Hospital

SERVICES need to be expanded in Ennis Hospital to reduce the possibility of a “car crash” scenario of massive overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) next winter. That was the warning issued by Deputy Michael McNamara, who has asked Health Minister Simon Harris what measures is he putting in place to ensure acute patients who need to go to UHL attend the ED and those who can be treated in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals are accommodated there. Deputy McNamara called for an expansion of services in Ennis Hospital to prevent chronic overcrowding in UHL next winter. “A huge escalation in the capability of Ennis to deal with the local injuries unit and the medical assessment unit as well as outpatient facilities is needed so that we do not have the overcrowding that looks almost inevitable now. It is like looking at a car crash from six months away. “University Hospital Limerick has been consistently the most overcrowded hospital in the …

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Former Clare GAA Chairman And Donor Of Clare SFC Trophy Jack Daly Passes Away

Tributes are being paid to the late John A Daly, better known as Jack, following his passing this weekend. A former Ennis businessman and Fianna Fail councillor, Mr Daly also served as chairman of Shannon Development and University of Limerick. His legacy in the GAA in Clare lives on through the Jack Daly Cup which is presented to the winners of the Clare SFC, a trophy he donated. He also spent some time as chairman of Clare GAA. Mr Daly is survived by his wife Margaret Forde, sons Stuart & Alexis, daughters Sarah Ellen & Rhoda and extended family. He will be laid to rest in Corcomroe Abbey following funeral mass on Tuesday at 12pm in St. Patrick’s Church, New Quay. Due to government advice regarding public gatherings, a private family funeral will take place. A memorial service for Jack will take place at a later date.

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No Tickets Needed as Religious Services Resume in Clare

TICKETS are unlikely to be required for masses in Clare, when religious services resume from next Monday, but the option of participating from your car is being considered by some parishes. Diocesan Communications Officer, Fr Brendan Quinlivan said that while bespoke booking services – some of which come with a hefty monthly fee – are being offered to the clergy, there are no plans, as of yet, to go down the ticketing route. “Advance booking really flies in the face of the principle that all are welcome,” he said. Fr Quinlivan, who is also Parish Priest of Tulla. “We would really be asking people to reflect on how comfortable they are attending at mass,” he said. “The obligation to attend Sunday mass was dispensed with and that continues to be the case for now.” With ‘drive-in’ masses being offered in a number of parishes from County Kerry to County Antrim, some parishes in Clare are looking at facilitating outdoor attendance. …

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Late Jean Kennedy Smith officially opened Killaloe festival

THE DEATH of the last surviving member of the Kennedy family has evoked memories of the time she opened a well known cultural festival in Killaloe. Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy and a former United States of America ambassador to Ireland, who died last week, officially launched Féile Brian Ború in the mid nineties. Ms Smith was the eighth of nine children born to Joseph P and Rose Kennedy, and she tragically outlived several of them by decades. Her siblings included older brother Joseph Kennedy Junior, killed in action during the Second World War; Kathleen “Kick’ Kennedy, who died in a 1948 plane crash; the president, assassinated in 1963 and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, murdered in 1968. Senator Edward Kennedy, the youngest of the Kennedy siblings, died of brain cancer in August 2009, the same month their sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver died. Michael Durack, who was involved with the Killaloe Writers, presented the …

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Ennis-based psychiatric nurse issues neo-natal unit appeal

A psychiatric nurse, who works in Ennis Hospital, has issued an appeal to support a regional neo-natal unit that provided vital care to his baby daughter whose chances of survival after birth were rated at just 50%. Mark Blennerhassett has worked as a psychiatric nurse in the Acute Psychiatric Unit at Ennis Hospital for the last six years. Now living in Lisnagry, the South Kerry native has set up a GoFundMe page with his wife, Lisa, which has already raised almost €8,000 for the neo-natal unit at University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL). Weighing in at a tiny 506grams or 1lb2oz at 26 weeks gestation on May 28 last, Ella Blennerhassett was the smallest baby born at UHML last year. She showed great courage to make it to her first birthday as her parents nearly lost Ella when she was 16 days old. The couple got a phone call at 5:30am from the neo natal team urging them to come in …

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Three Clare TD’s Give Their Backing To Election Of Micheál Martin As Taoiseach

Micheál Martin has been elected Taoiseach in a historic moment for Irish politics. In a move seen by many as the end of Civil War politics, the Fianna Fail leader had the backing of the Fine Gael party along with the Green Party and a number of Independent deputies. Clare’s Fine Gael TD Joe Carey along with Fianna Fail’s Cathal Crowe and Independent Michael McNamara all voted in favour of the Cork native to lead the Dail and establish a new Government. Sinn Fein Deputy Violet Anne Wynne voted along party lines in opposition. Micheál Martin will serve in the role until December 2022 when Leo Varadkar will take over once more. The make up of the new cabinet is expected to be revealed later this evening.  

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