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Ennis

Anti-water protests in downpour

Ironically, the weekend’s anti-water charge protests in Ennis, Shannon and Limerick, and indeed many other places around the country, took place in torrential downpours. However, this didn’t dampen the spirits of the estimated 1500,000 protesters, who sent a clear message to the Government that Irish Water is not the way to go. The Ennis protest began at O’Connell Square where speakers addressed  the protesters before the marched up the street and turned into Carmody Street and wormed their way back to the Square. Residents from a number of housing estates marched to the town centre area of Shannon, where the protest included the burning of notices from Irish Water. Several communities from South East Clare were well represented at the largest protest in the Mid West in Limerick city.

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Ennis man found guilty of murder

A 40-year-old man has been convicted of murdering a Polish man in Ennis last year. Michael Maughan (40) of Stone Court, Ennis had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Piotr Nowakowski (31) at Sandfield Mews, Ennis on July 23, 2013. The Central Criminal Court was told the manslaughter plea was not acceptable to the prosecution and a jury was sworn in for the one-week trial. Maughan had also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Declan O’Dea at the same address on the same date. On this Friday afternoon, the jury of seven men and five women found him guilty on both counts by unanimous decision after two hours and 23 minutes. Mr Justice Paul Carney handed down the mandatory life sentence for the murder to run concurrently, with four years for the assault on Mr O’Dea. He backdated both sentences to July 24, 2013 for time spent in custody. Mr Nowakowski was stabbed twice and died …

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Fire Service responds to Ennis odour

Clare Fire Service responded to an emergency call out this Friday morning reports of  odours being  detected in O’Connell Street, Ennis. The street was sealed off  to traffic while the fire crew flushed out drains. There have been a number of similar incidents in the Ennis town centre area in recent years. A Clare County Council spokesman said heavy rainfall had resulted in a sewerage drain becoming blocked and the smell was as a result of gases that had built up. The hosing out of the drains would resolve the matter, he added.

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Jury to deliberate in Ennis murder trial

A judge has told the jury in the trial of an Ennis man accused of murder, that alcohol is not a defence to criminal responsibility. The jury is expected to begin its deliberations on this Friday in the case of Michael Maughan (40) of Stone Court, Ennis, who has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Piotr Nowakowski (31) at Sandfield Mews, Ennis on July 23, 2013. Last week, the Central Criminal Court was told the manslaughter plea was not acceptable to the prosecution and a jury was sworn in for the week-long murder trial. Mr Nowakowski was stabbed twice and died in an ambulance on the way to Shannon Airport where he was to be airlifted to hospital in Cork. The court heard that the accused and his brother had been drinking with the deceased and two other men in an apartment in the Sandfield complex earlier that day and returned there later that night. …

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Emergency services respond to Ennis fire

GARDAI, fire fighters and paramedics have all responded to a fire affecting three apartments in Ennis this evening. They were called to the scene shortly after 5pm  with thick smoke billowing from three apartments close to the junction of O’Connell Street and Barrack Street. A Garda at the scene said that no one had been injured and no one had been in any of the apartments. Vehicles are being diverted away from the end of O’Connell Street closest to the Cathedral and there is currently no vehicular access to  Barrack Street.  

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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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