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No water wasted at the Coláiste

WHILE the torrent of complaints about Irish Water and water charges is on the rise, students in Ennis have just completed a conservation programme that cut their school’s use of water by 75%. Coláiste Muire girls have saved 2,635,000 litres of water since the two-year programme began and this week collected the prestigious Green Flag for water conservation. The 2.635 million litre water conservation was measured through regular readings by the school caretaker and verified by the environmental section of Clare County Council. The College Road school had already won Green Flags for energy conservation and litter reduction when the water project began in 2011, and are the first secondary school in the town to make it a hat-trick of the An Taisce flags. “The programme, dubbed by the students Operation Water Conservation, was led by the Green School committee, with representatives from all the classes and years. The committee undertook an audit of the school, checking dripping taps and …

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If I lied, I’d still be a priest

Following the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, which voted 118 to 62 against expressing ‘welcome’ to gay people in the Catholic Church, Ennis-born Fr Bernárd Lynch has said lying about one’s sexuality within the Church is more acceptable than telling the truth. “If I did lie, if I did pretend, I’d have a job. I could even have a lover on the side,” said Fr Lynch, who publicly came out as a gay man in 1986, when he was ministering in New York. The London-based psychotherapist, who is chair of the Camden Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Forum, said, “Straight or gay, truth and honesty in the Catholic Church, as far as sexuality and relationships are concerned, is punished by dismissal. Whereas lies and hypocrisy are rewarded, as much in Ireland as the UK or the US. Again, you wonder are these people really serious about the Gospel.” Fr Lynch claims the Church’s attitude to homosexuality is intrinsically linked …

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Council concern for sexual exploitation

Serious concern about the exploitation of women relating to the sex industry was expressed by a local councillor this week. In a motion presented to Clare County Council, Councillor Mary Howard asked that “this council recognises that the trafficking, exploitation and abuse of women and girls is taking place in County Clare and throughout the country within and as a direct result of prostitution. This council understands prostitution to be a form of men’s violence against women that affects individuals, communities, and society as a whole and that human trafficking for sexual exploitation is a modern form of slavery and an abuse of human rights”. In the motion, which was strongly endorsed, she said, “This council calls on the Minister for Justice and Equality to implement the Justice Committees unanimous recommendations to introduce laws, which make it an offence to pay for sex and is seeking such laws. This legislation must criminalise the demand for paid sex, decriminalise the seller …

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Funding boost for local groups

Community groups and environmental organisations across County Clare are to enjoy a share of €22,000 under the 2014 Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund. The fund, which is administered by Clare County Council in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, will benefit 15 local projects and schemes that are seeking to increase local levels of environmental awareness and help communities become more sustainable. Senator Tony Mulchay said, “This fund has supported a wide variety of local projects and schemes down through the years, including community gardens, allotments and compost schemes, rainwater harvesting systems, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions. Each of these projects has helped to further improve the sustainability and physical appearance of the respective communities.” The projects include: – Lorraine Power: Implementing best practice environmental projects for Tidy Towns groups (€2,500) – Laghtagoona Residents Assoc.: Estate Enhancement Project (€2,450) – East Clare Co Operative: Future of Food – 1010 for 2010 Documentary (€2,450) – …

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Reducing parking charges not feasible

REDUCING the rate of €1.30 per hour that applies in most of the main car parks in Ennis would have serious financial consequences for Clare County Council. That was the message from Director of Services Ger Dollard at Tuesday’s meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. Mr Dollard claimed that research showed that a drop of ten cents would result in a loss of income of in the region of €80,000 to €90,000. He was responding to Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy who put forward a motion asking that for a trial period a universal parking fee of €1 per hour be introduced throughout the town to enable a comparison with the same period one year previously. A written reply to her motion from the Council’s Barry Keating stated, “Parking income is an integral part of Clare County Council’s budget and is necessary in order to balance the resources available and the demands that are being place on the Council. Any potential …

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Motherly tension in Éire Óg ahead of county final

TENSION: Sunday’s county final will feature plenty of it. Much of it will emanate from players and management but amongst those feeling the heat most will be the parents. Some sit and watch quietly. Others sit but struggle to keep a lid on it. Step forward Trisha Ryan, mother of Éire Óg defender, Dean and one of five Éire Óg mothers The Clare Champion battled to get a word in edgeways with last weekend. Such is her fervour, she sometimes gets into rows she doesn’t even recall being involved in. An opposition handbag bounced off her after Éire Óg’s semi-final win over Kilmurry-Ibrickane. “People told me afterwards that someone hit me with a handbag on the way out but I was so happy that Éire Óg won, I never felt anything,” she recalled. A former footballer and camogie player herself, Trisha is not slow in offering advice from the stand. “From playing myself, I’d be saying ‘get back and mark …

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Ennis and Langenfeld on the ball

A trip to Cusack Park to watch Cratloe beat Crusheen in the Clare county senior hurling final was among the highlights of a three-day visit to Ennis by a group from Langenfeld in Germany. The group, comprising four students and their leader, Matthias Beck, were hosted by Clare County Council’s Twinning Committee as part of the Ennis-Langenfeld Twinning Programme for 2014. Ennis and Langenfeld were officially twinned earlier this year on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Mayors of both locations signed a Twinning Charter. Since and before this, numerous sporting, educational, political and cultural exchanges have taken place. During their trip to Ennis and Clare at the weekend, the German group also visited the Cliffs of Moher, the Clare Family Resource Centre and Áras Contae an Chláir, where they met with a number of staff from Clare County Council. The group also enjoyed a private walking tour of Ennis. Chairperson of the Twinning Committee, Councillor Michael Begley acknowledged that twinning …

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