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East Clare

Death of Quin parish priest

The death has occurred today (Thursday) of Fr Michael Collins, parish priest of Quin/Clooney/Maghera. Born on November 26, 1945 Fr Collins was a native of Ennis and was a priest of the Diocese of Killaloe for 32 years. A past pupil of Ennis Christian Brothers School, he studied philosophy in Dalgan Park, County Meath with the Missionary Society of St Columban. He then qualified as a primary school teacher and taught at the Ennis Boys National School until 1979. Fr Michel studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and he was ordained in Ennis Cathedral on June 10, 1983. He was appointed curate in Roscrea, Co Tipperary in July of that year and was appointed parish priest in 1998. He became parish of priest of Quin in July 2005. Fr Michael’s  remains will repose in St Mary’s Church, Quin on this Saturday, from 5pm to 8pm, followed by funeral prayers. Funeral mass on Sunday at 3pm will be followed by …

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Fr Des appointed Killaloe diocese administrator

Fr Des Hillery, a native of Miltown Malbay, has been elected as Administrator of the Diocese of Killaloe. This follows the installation of Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly as Archbishop of Cashel and Emly on Sunday last, when the Diocese of Killaloe officially became vacant. At a meeting of the College of Consultors of the Diocese Fr Hillery, who is parish priest in Nenagh, was elected to his new post. A diocesan administrator has responsibility for administering the day-to-day affairs of the diocese while a new bishop is awaited. On Wednesday evening, Fr Hillery, a member of a well-known West Clare family, said, “I am privileged to accept this new role and hope to continue the good work of Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly and Bishop Willie Walsh in encouraging us to respond to the challenges of the Gospel. I hope to do all that I can to facilitate the continued implementation of the Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of Killaloe, which recognises our …

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Families call for extended maternity review

Pressure is growing on Health Minister, Leo Varadkar to extend the timescale and scope of a review of maternity services in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, after claims that the number of babies who died or have been deprived of oxygen is more than double the official figures. Many women from the East Clare area avail of maternity services at Portiuncula. The Saolta Group, which runs Portiuncula Hospital, has sanctioned a review into maternity services at the hospital, after the deaths of two babies and oxygen deprivation for five more. This review covers the nine-month period from February to November of last year. However, Warren and Lorraine Reilly, Loughrea, who lost two babies in Portiuncula Hospital within two years, have requested Minister Varadkar to extend the terms of the proposed inquiry from 2008 to 2014. The couple lost babies Asha and Amber, in 2008 and 2010 respectively, in the hospital. Asha was stillborn, while Amber had to be rushed to Holles Street …

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Hen harrier concerns for hill farmers

Following a series of public rallies in the West of Ireland, a new national farming organisation, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has been officially established. Since the draft Rural Development Programme was sent to the European Commission on July 3, 2014 by the Departments of Agriculture and broadly endorsed by the farming organisations, a passionate group of hill farmers and those farming designated lands, including farmers with hen harrier sites, have sustained a campaign to make changes to the RDP. The reasons for this was that commonage farmers could access the GLAS scheme as individuals and where Natura lands have been devalued  by designation, that measures would be added to help keep those farms viable. Massive rallies were held in Westport (1,700 farmers), Letterkenny ( 900 farmers), Maam Cross (1,000 farmers) to highlight the unfairness of the proposals in the draft and culminating in a march for fairness by 2,500 farmers in Castlebar.  

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Success for Kate Purcell on The Voice of Ireland

East Clare’s Kate Purcell has made it through to the battle stages on the popular television series The Voice of Ireland. The talented folk singer appeared on Sunday’s episode of the programme where she sang her own version of Rihanna’s hit song We Found Love for the blind audition. She won over two of the four judges on the contest as Kian Egan and Rachael Stevens both turned around to offer the Tulla resident a place on their team. Complemented for stripping the song back by judge Kian Egan, Kate chose to go with the former Westlife singer and will now progress on his team to the battle stages. Kate is the second East Clare contestant to make it through to these stages of the competition, as Scariff resident Sarah McTernan will compete on Rachael Stevens team. By Carol Byrne  

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Gardaí investigate Tulla shooting

A man who had been arrested following a shooting incident in Tulla on Wednesday morning has been released and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. A 39-year-old man remains in hospital, as gardaí are investigate the circumstances in which a legally held double-barrel shotgun was discharged into his  leg in a private house in Tulla. It is understood that the incident took place at approximately 2am, when gardaí and emergency services were called to the house. An injured man was removed from the house by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Gardaí confirmed that the two men were in the house at the time and had been socialising when the legally held firearm was discharged, wounding the 39-year-old.

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Thinking Outside the Box in East Clare

Signs of economic green shoots may be showing in the big cities and larger urban towns but in East Clare, the recovery is not yet being felt and locals here are doing their best to make ends meet by thinking outside of the box. One such family-run business, which was set up during the recession, is expanding nicely. Based on the Mountshannon Road in Scariff, Padraig and Anne Giblin set up Derg Isle Team Building Centre in January 2013 with two part-time staff. Now, however, it has between five to 10 part-time staff on its books and has created spin-off employment in construction, as well as business for local eateries and hostels. With over 50 groups already through its doors since opening, Derg Isle has been attracting visitors from across the island of Ireland but it is now looking towards the global market. Padraig Giblin outlined to The Clare Champion how the idea came about and his hopes for the …

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The Voice debut for Kate

THERE will be East Clare interest in RTÉ’s The Voice of Ireland, as Tulla singer Kate Purcell puts herself before the judges, Bressie, Kian Egan, Una Foden and Rachel Stevens in an upcoming episode. Speaking about her appearance, she said she felt The Voice was the best of the various talent shows that have proved so popular over the last 10 years. “I’d watched it and I thought it was a far more real show than the likes of the X Factor, which is sort of there to ridicule people. Anyone who goes on this show can sing at least.” She is quite experienced and many people around Clare would have heard her sing. “I’ve been a professional singer for the last 25 years or so, recorded four or five albums and I’ve been the resident singer in Dromoland for years as well. Basically, I’m a folk singer and I sing at all kinds of things, from weddings to funerals, …

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