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HPV campaigner Clare Woman of the Year

HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan has been named as the Clare Woman of the Year for 2018. The 26 year old has been working with the HSE to advocate for the vaccine since being diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer in 2017. The Ennis native has been honoured by the Soroptimists Ennis and District. The award was presented to Laura to acknowledge her advocacy work and the promotion of a vaccine aimed to benefit women’s health. According to the local group, “Soroptimists aim to transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities so women and girls will achieve their individual and collective potential. Laura has met these aims particularly in the advancement of education about the HPV vaccine.” Laura is the fourth recipient of this award and joins a special group of past recipients; Mary Heuson, Susan Hogan and Donnah Vuma. All recipients have made outstanding contributions to their respective communities. Laura has spoken …

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Back to drawing board for Turnpike parking ban

CLARE County Council are to go back to the drawing board after controversial draft proposals to ban roadside parking in the Turnpike area of Ennis were roundly rejected by residents, businesses, and members of the Ennis Municipal District. . The local authority have assured residents that the draft discussion document circulated had never been a “fait accompli” and they are trying to “find a solution to meet everybody’s needs”. A petition signed by hundreds of locals voicing their opposition was presented to the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, with many people from the area in the public gallery. The initial proposal included the installation of 46 bollards outside businesses and premises as well as the construction of a new car park on an existing green. The council have agreed to hold a further meeting between officials, elected members and the business community to further discuss and agree a proposed solution. Speaking at this week’s meeting of the municipal …

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The Champion Report -Episode 3

THE latest news and views from Clare Champion journalists Carol Byrne and Owen Ryan. This week they discuss the inquest into last May’s double drowning in Ennis, the plight of Shannon Airport, the Kilkee murder trial, LIT opening a Clare campus and the impact of smartphone use on young minds.

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New LIT campus for Ennis

LIT has confirmed its plans to open a new campus in Ennis on foot of a proposed capital investment of €0.75 million by Clare County Council. Located on Bindon Street in the town’s historic core, the new facility will enable a substantial increase in higher education activity in the town. Reflecting LIT’s regional development remit, the LIT Ennis campus will join LIT’s existing campuses at Clonmel and Thurles in County Tipperary; Moylish and Clare Street in Limerick City; and a new engineering-focused campus currently under development at Coonagh in Limerick. A total of six degree programmes in Social Care, Early Childhood Care and Education, and Marketing and Management are now available through the CAO at LIT in Ennis for September commencement. Possibilities for evening and professional learning will also be opened up. Commenting on the news, LIT President, Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “We are delighted to be able to progress our plans in Ennis. We intend to provide an expanded …

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Murder accused was in ‘life or death situation’, defence say

A murder accused was in a “life or death situation” and acting in self-defence on the night he stabbed a man who later died, a jury at the Central Criminal Court has been told. Robbie Walsh, (23), from Island View, Kilrush has pleaded not guilty to murdering Karl ‘Gobble’ Haugh,(25), in the Marian Estate in Kilkee on August 6, 2017. Patrick Gageby, SC, prosecuting, and Brendan Grehan, SC, defending, made their closing arguments in the case before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury on Monday. The court has previously heard Robbie Walsh and his cousins, Mitchell Walsh and Clinton Walsh, also from Kilrush, went to the Marian Estate on the Saturday night of the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2017 to smash up Mr Haugh’s car. It also heard Mitchell Walsh carried a knife, while Robbie Walsh and Clinton Walsh, or all three, carried metal bars. The decision to vandalise Mr Haugh’s car followed an alleged separate physical altercation …

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Swapping Spanish Shores For Spanish Point

Chris and Eimear King are adapting to life back in west Clare after spending 10 years in sunnier climes. June 2018 saw the couple and their two daughters swap the bright lights of Lanzarote for the rugged coastline of Spanish Point and the comfort of having family close-by. Having ran their own restaurant in the popular holiday resort, the lure of having Isabel and Sofía being brought up in the Irish education system was too great, particularly for Eimear who is a secondary school teacher by trade. They made the move home last summer to Eimear’s home parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane, and September saw Isabel enrolled in the nearby Annagh National School. Before that though, the couple took over the Red Cliff Lodge in Spanish Point, and immediately hatched their plans to get it open on time for the 2019 tourist season. Chris was always involved in the catering industry, and when the Clifden native found himself working in the …

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New facilities for Lees Road in Ennis

THE Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road is certainly fit for purpose when it comes to accessibility. Three new fitness circuits for walkers and athletes of all abilities have been introduced to the 130-acre woodland at Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road. The Fartlek Interval Training System features colour-coded posts located throughout the woodland, with each one dictating relevant programmes and exertion level guides. The new system has been delivered with funding of €10,000 received under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme with an additional €10,000 being funded by Clare County Council. Fartlek, a Swedish term meaning “speed play”, is a form of continuous interval or speed training that allows the athlete to run at varying intensity levels over varying distances. Meanwhile, funding has been provided through the Healthy Ireland Fund towards the provision of three all-terrain wheelchairs, two of which are based in Active Ennis John O Sullivan Park, Lees Road and one in Active Kilrush Sports Complex. …

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The power of water runs the Falls

  HOW do you run a 145 bedroom without any electricity costs? It’s quite easy, in fact, when you can harness the power of water from an iconic cascade in the heart of Ennistymon. A recently commissioned 220 kilowatt water turbine is providing the Falls Hotel with 100% of its power, and even generates surplus to requirements, during periods of heavy rain. The cascades, which begin just below the bridge crossing the Cullenagh River, in the oldest part of the town, roar like thunder in full flow and are a great tourist attraction. In July, the historic Falls Hotel will have an opportunity to gain big publicity as 80 rooms have been booked by international media covering the Irish Open, something that assistant manager, John McCarthy is looking forward to. “Apart from the media, we are full for the Open and that is good news for us and the town and the general area. People won’t spend all day in …

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