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Four-year jail term for Ennis knife attack

A 23-year-old Ennis woman has been sentenced to five years in prison, with the final year suspended, for what was described as a “vicious” and “frenzied” attack on a young woman in Ennis this year. Charlene Sherlock, 23, of 41 Dromard, Lahinch Road, pleaded guilty to causing serious harm to Nicole Keane on April 13, 2013 at the Holy Family School, Station Road in Ennis and with production of a steak knife capable of inflicting serious harm on the same date at the same location. At a sitting of Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on Friday, Judge Carroll Moran said this was “a vicious and protracted attack with a knife””.  He said the CCTV footage of the assault gave the impression that this was “a frenzied attack”. The injured party was stabbed 22 times but survived the attack. Judge Moran imposed a five-year prison term and he suspended the last year on the condition that the accused enter a bond to …

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Christmas tree throwing for charity

THE Mayors of Ennis and Clare this week joined the Clare Cystic Fibrosis Association in ‘lumbering up’ to launch the third annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship. The event, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, will see members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree. Organisers, Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council are hoping to make the January 5 event at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park a record breaker. Last year’s winner, John O’Dea from Limerick launched a Christmas tree 10.2 metres, just less than 2 metres short of the World Record held by Klaus Pubnaz who hurled a tree a distance of 12m at an event in Germany three years ago.

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Shoppers urged to Back The Banner this Christmas

THE Mayor of Ennis is calling on the people of Clare to repeat the support they showed for the hurlers this year by supporting local businesses this Christmas. Councillor Mary Coote-Ryan issued her “Back The Banner” rallying call this week as the town gets set for the start of a parking incentive scheme aimed at promoting Christmas and New Year shopping in the county capital. Free parking will be available in the town’s 759 off-street and 783 on-street public car parking spaces up to 12noon daily from this Saturday to January, 6 2014 inclusive. Mayor Coote-Ryan said the message being promoted by Ennis Town Council, supported by the business community, is that the people of Clare can help sustain employment within the county by supporting local businesses. She continued, “By supporting street entertainment, like Ennis Street Radio, in tandem with the introduction of free car parking, pedestrianisation and an impressive Christmas lighting display, Ennis Town Council is once again playing …

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A serious breach of loyalty

THE company at the centre of a “very serious” data protection breach, relating to more than 1.1 million people, has declined to comment on the future of 50 jobs in Clare. Loyaltybuild, an international firm based on Station Road in Ennis, was the subject of what it described as “a sophisticated criminal attack”, which resulted in the full payment card details of more than 376,000 customers being taken. It also involved the details of an additional 150,000 clients being potentially compromised and the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of 1.12 million clients throughout Europe also being taken. Management at Loyaltybuild were unavailable on Wednesday to discuss the breach and a spokesperson for the firm declined to address questions in relation to the company’s future at this time. Gardaí have confirmed that the breach has been reported to the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation. Separately, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner has launched an investigation into the breach, …

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The scene at Lynch's Centra on the Gort road in Ennis after a van went crashing through the shopfront on Wednesday evening. Photograph by John Kelly.;

Vehicles crash into shops in two separate incidents

GARDAÍ, the coast guard, fire services and ambulances were called to three separate emergencies in Clare last night. Two vehicles crashed through the front windows of busy filling stations in separate incidents in Ennis. In a third emergency two units of the coast guard as well as the coast guard helicopter were called to assist Clare fire and rescue services and gardaí in a search for a person reported to have entered the River Fergus. Events began to unfold at about 8.45pm. A full-scale emergency call-out was sparked after a van was reversed into a busy supermarket, causing injuries to shoppers and staff on the Gort Road. Gardaí, ambulances and fire brigades rushed to the scene at Lynch’s Centra immediately after the incident occurred. An eyewitness described how the small van was reversed almost up to the check-out. A number of people, including the van driver, were attended to by emergency personnel and some were brought by ambulance to hospital. …

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Second award for Clare garda

CLARE garda Joe Hayes is to receive his second national award this month for saving a drowning woman’s life last year. The Irish Water Safety’s SEIKO Just In Time Award is presented to those who come to the assistance of a person in difficulties in water. Garda Hayes, from Ennis, is being honoured for jumping into the River Shannon last June and rescuing a woman from the water. The presentation will be made by Minister Fergus O’Dowd at Irish Water Safety’s National Awards Ceremony in Dublin Castle later this month. Thirty-seven rescuers from 22 dramatic near-death incidents will receive recognition at Irish Water Safety’s National Awards Ceremony. Thirty-six lives were saved from drowning through the brave actions of Garda Hayes and other rescuers. Fergus O’Dowd, TD Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Government will present the SEIKO Just in Time Rescue Award to these rescuers in appreciation for saving …

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Parking initiatives for Christmas shopping

A NUMBER of parking initiatives are set to be put in place in the town in the run-up to Christmas in a bid to encourage shopping in the county capital. However, Ennis Town Council will put in place a scaled-back pedestrianisation policy on what had previously been proposed, following discussions with local businesses. At this week’s meeting of the local authority, town clerk, Leonard Cleary stated that in preparing the town’s pedestrianisation plan for Christmas, the council sought opinions from business people, ratepayers and property owners. It had originally been proposed to pedestrianise O’Connell Street on a number of Saturdays leading up to the festive period, as well as the days immediately before Christmas Day. The council received a number of submissions in relation to the plan, with Ennis Chamber suggesting pedestrianisation on two Saturdays, as well as the days leading up to Christmas. Mr Cleary revealed at this week’s meeting that “a larger December pedestrianisation policy does not seem …

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Watery Road residents ‘dealing with a nuisance’

SCREECHING birds, chainsaws roaring, horses running loose and excessive noise are just some of the difficulties that residents in the Watery Road area of Ennis are dealing with, according to one local councillor, who has called on Clare County Council to take action. Councillor Tommy Brennan voiced his concerns at this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council about a number of vacant properties in the area. He outlined that locals have complained about the excessive noise of chainsaws being used, as well as wild fowl and guinea fowl “screeching all day and all night”. He added that loose horses are being kept across the road. Councillor Brennan described the situation as a “downright disgrace”, urging that Clare County Council, as the housing authority, deal with the matter. He was supported by Councillor Brian Meaney, who commented that local residents are “dealing with a nuisance”. “The situation on the Watery Road simply can’t continue. It’s an eyesore, it’s a fester. It …

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