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Minister finally delivers for Clare, but concerns continue

NINE and a half months after a visit to Clare to see the damage caused by pyrite, Minister Darragh O’Brien announced this county’s inclusion in an updated grant scheme.  To secure inclusion, exhaustive technical detail was provided by the Clare Pyrite Action Group (CPAG) and Clare County Council. In addition to an original report submitted last July, further testing was required as well as scientific proof that was likened by experts to ‘finding a needle in a haystack’. While the breakthrough has been welcomed, CPAG and many of Clare’s Oireachtas members are adamant that there is a way to go to secure a grant that is fit for purpose. Specific concerns relate to eligibility criteria as well as the costs that the scheme will not cover. Members of the CPAG protested outside the Dáil over the terms of the General Scheme of the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks Bill, 2022. Minister O’Brien outlined the …

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Stage set for 400th anniversary Spancilhill Fair celebrations

FINAL preparations are underway ahead of the return of the legendary Spancilhill Fair to the festival calendar on Thursday, June 23.  The event, which had to be cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic, was almost mothballed permanently, due to insurance issues. In April, an eleventh hour intervention by Clare County Council secured its future and paved the way for celebrations this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the world renowned horse fair.  “It’s the 400th anniversary and we really hope that people will come along and enjoy the event,” said PRO and local vet Paddy Hassett. “People tend to arrive the night before and, on the day of the fair, we’ll have the car parks open from around 6.30am. We have significant visitor parking in place, as well as a large parking facility for those transporting horses. We’re finalising the traffic management plan and would ask people to respect the stewards and the Gardaí.” With …

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INMO claims overcrowded UHL flouting fire regulations

FIRE safety reports are not being adhered to in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to chronic overcrowding, a nursing union has claimed. In a statement issued to The Clare Champion, the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) called on the Health and Safety Authority to act on the “unsafe conditions” affecting nurses and patients. It has also emerged that the union is considering consulting its members on the possibility of balloting for industrial action. “The dignity of patients is often diminished because of the conditions they are being treated in,” the INMO states. “Emergency Departments are pressure cooker environments leading to the physical and verbal assault of our members in some instances. “The HSE has a duty to provide a safe environment for employees and patients and this just is not being adhered to in the vast majority of hospitals. “Our nurses are at the end of our tether, and they cannot provide the clinical care that is required. They …

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Tulla gives thanks for the life of Fr Brendan Lawlor

FOND tributes have been paid on the passing, at the age of 92, of Fr Brendan Lawlor, Assistant Priest of Tulla.  At his funeral mass Bishop Fintan Monahan gave thanks for Fr Brendan’s long, happy and fruitful life and his “remarkable breath of pastoral experience”. The bishop paid tribute to Fr Brendan’s decades-long ministry. This was mainly in the priesthood, but Fr Brendan also ministered as a lay person and counsellor after being dispensed from his vows in his mid 40s to marry. After the untimely passing of his wife, Paula Jean Anthony, he returned to the priesthood and spend the last 22 years of his life in Tulla.  Michael Patrick Brendan Lawlor was born in O’Brien’s Bridge on March 4, 1930. He began studies for the priesthood in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on the June 19, 1955 for the diocese of St. Augustine Florida. His first appointment was to St. Rose of Lima Parish …

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Clare gardai issue warning over bogus tradespeople

GARDAI have urged caution when engaging people to do work on their properties. Clare crime prevention officer Sergeant Triona Brooks reported a recent cautionary incident. “A few months ago a lady began communicating with a person purporting to be a tradesman on a Facebook community page. “She asked him would he do a job that she needed done in her house – he subsequently called to her, a price was agreed and the lady paid three separate instalments of a large sum of money into this person’s account. He has since deleted his page from Facebook and has never carried out the work paid for. “We would urge people to only use recommended genuine tradespeople. “If anxious or you think that there are bogus callers/trades people in your area contact your local Garda Station. If you think you have been scammed contact your bank as soon as you can to report the matter.”

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Public consultation on Ennis community nursing unit proposal

THE HSE will present 3-D drawings and a model for a proposed €25 million 100 bed community nursing unit for Ennis at a public consultation meeting this week. The meeting on Wednesday, June 22, at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis from 1pm to 3pm will set out plans for the construction of the 100-bed unit on a 5.09 acre greenfield site near St Flannan’s College. Details of the public consultation have come ahead of the anticipated lodging of a planning application with Clare County Council for the development at the end of this month. The proposed new unit if given the green light for planning by the local authority will replace long stay and short stay beds at St Joseph’s Hospital. A design team has completed an outline design phase of the project. The proposed unit will include 88 single and four twin rooms, and four palliative care facilities. The project has been included for funding in the HSE …

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Family Carers Ireland opens new Clare Support Centre

FAMILY Carers Ireland’s new Clare Support Centre on the Gort Road in Ennis has been officially opened offering a boost to carers in the county. The centre, located within Block B of the Clare Technology Park, will offer services to fam­ily carers across Clare including information and advocacy regarding their rights and entitlements; training and workshops; support in accessing respite; group meetings and social events to help combat isolation; advice on care planning and crisis support. The centre was officially launched on Monday by Clare Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe. Through its national network of carer support centres and National Freephone Careline 1800 24 07 24, Family Carers Ireland supports the 500,000+ people in Ireland who provide care for loved ones such as children or adults with additional needs, physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental ill-health, or addiction. David O’Connor, Family Carers Ireland Carer Supports Manager in Clare …

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Bludgeoned salmon ‘stone dead’ when I found it claims Clare man

A 50-year-old north Clare man convicted of the possession of an unlawfully captured high-value 12lb wild salmon has told a court “I don’t eat salmon”. At Kilrush District Court, James Mullane also admitted to Judge Mary Larkin that having the bludgeoned-to-death salmon in the boot of his car beside the Inagh River on the evening of May 20 2021 “does look bad, I know”. The father of two denied killing or injuring the 80cm long female salmon and said when taking the salmon from the river it was already “stone dead”. Mr Mullane of Monanagh, Ennistymon, said that he wanted to take the dead salmon home in order to take photos of it to highlight the impact a hydro turbine was having on the local salmon population. He said: “I was kind of angry with what happened to the fish.” Mr Mullane said that with fish on that stretch of the Inagh River at Ennistymon “if pollution doesn’t get them, …

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