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Keane to oversee UHL emergency department

A former Ennis Hospital manager has been appointed to a new role that will see him oversee the management of some medical facilities. Frank Keane has become the new general manager of unscheduled care, which includes managing the emergency department in University Hospital Limerick (UHL), which experiences almost daily overcrowding. It also involves overseeing improvements in the delivery of services in the Local Injuries Units in Ennis and Nenagh and the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in Ennis, Nenagh and UHL. It is a case of the wheel coming full circle for the Ennis resident, who started his career as a emergency medical technician in 1992 and will now be in charge of the ED in UHL, where paramedics bring patients from the Mid-West for life-saving treatment. Working as an EMT in the region until 1998, he then became an ambulance officer and worked in this role until 2003, when he became a business development manager at UHL. In 2006, he …

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Fleadh briefing for business sector

MEMBERS of the business community, particularly those in the hospitality sector, are being invited to attend a briefing on Monday night to hear about the latest event management plans for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The non-statutory information session, which is being coordinated by Clare County Council in its role as co-ordinator of the statutory agencies for major events, takes place in the Temple Gate Hotel at 6pm. The event will be addressed by Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh, chairman of the Fleadh executive Committee, as well as by representatives of Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, Clare Fire and Rescue Service, and the HSE. Having narrowly missed out on winning the right to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in the past four years, Ennis was named ahead of Sligo and Drogheda as the host venue for the prestigious annual event earlier this year. Speaking ahead of the briefing, Ger Dollard, director of services, Clare County Council, said, “The hosting …

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Scout’s honour, it’s Mick’s rope

THE rope ladder used by TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly to gain access to an unauthorised area of Shannon Airport is set for a new life with the scouts in Clare. On Wednesday evening, the infamous ladder was presented to the 1st and 4th Clare Scout Group, following an order by Judge Patrick Durcan made in Ennis District Court. Both Deputies Wallace and Daly were convicted of entering a restricted area of the airport on July 22 last year and during the trial, Deputy Wallace had asked for the rope ladder to be returned to him. This week, Ennis District Court heard an application for the rope ladder, which had been in Shannon Garda Station since the trial, to be forfeited permanently. Karen Kelleher, county programming co-ordinator with Clare Scouts, said they are delighted to receive the rope ladder. “We didn’t know that this was going to happen. All donations to Clare Scouts are always gratefully accepted.” While the …

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Tulla Road closed to facilitate water works

Motorists are bracing themselves for traffic disruption on one of Ennis’ busiest routes from this Saturday with the start of a week-long 24-hour road closure. Senior engineer with Clare County Council Tom Tiernan has described the upcoming closure on the Tulla Road to facilitate works by Irish Water as “probably one of the most punishing elements” of the county capital’s watermain rehabilitation project. However, he has insisted that the full closure of the road was the best possible option for both residents and those behind the project, which involves the replacement of leaking pipes. Contractor Ward & Burke Construction Ltd are carrying out the works, which will see the road closed from the roundabout on the Lifford Road to the east side of the Tulla Road Bridge on the Tulla Road. The road closure will be in place from this Saturday until Sunday, November 1 inclusive and diversions are in place. Speaking ahead of the closure, he acknowledged that residents …

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The Fleadh down in Ennis

FLEADH Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 is set for a ‘glór-ious’ launch on this Friday night. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ard-Stiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will launch the Fleadh, which will be held in Ennis from August 14 to 21, before an invited audience in Glór. There has been much excitement and anticipation around the town and county following the decision of an Ardchomhairle last March to entrust the local Abbey Branch with the honour of hosting the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2016, after a gap of almost 40 years. Since then, chairman Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh and the Fleadh Executive Committee, in partnership with Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, the health and emergency services, have enthusiastically set about the task of organising the event. And what a mammoth task it is, with an estimated 400,000 visitors, 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians due to descend on Ennis and its environs over the course of nine days next summer. The official opening will …

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Good News for Parnell Street

THE revitalisation of Parnell Street has moved a step closer. Funding for a proposed heritage and cultural quarter in Ennis and a feasibility study into the covering of Parnell Street has been allocated under the Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ) initiative. The €94,000 funding for the proposed project in Ennis is part of a wider allocation totalling €184,000 for the county with projects in Scariff and Shannon also getting funds. According to a spokesperson for Clare County Council, the initiatives proposed for Ennis, for which part funding was received, include looking into the feasibility of covering Parnell Street and the development of the wider area a a heritage/cultural quarter. “In addition, an initiative to create a digital hub to provide space, high speed connectivity and telecom facilities to start up enterprises in the area also formed part of the submission.” Director of Services Ger Dollard has described the funding allocation for the county as “exceptionally good news” adding that the …

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Watt an idea for Ennis mill wheel

AN HISTORIC Ennis project, which certainly isn’t run of the mill, is set to get its wheel in motion in the coming weeks. Restoration work on the 19th century mill wheel at the Maid of Éireann roundabout, with the potential for producing renewable energy, is expected to be completed shortly. However, don’t expect any reduction in electricity bills with an estimated cost of more than €60,000 to make the commercial production of electricity worth €2,203 a year viable. That has not stopped calls for the private sector to get involved in making the potential for renewable energy generation by harnessing the power of the River Fergus at the site a reality. The Ennis mill wheel has been restored in a project undertaken by the Ennis Civic Trust with Ger Dollard, director of services at Clare County Council, confirming that the restoration is expected to be finished next month. Ennis Councillor Johnny Flynn believes the project has the potential for creating …

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Retired Paddy ups the sweepskakes

IT’S hard to break the habit of a lifetime. Patrick Daffy has had 35 years of getting up at the crack of dawn, ensuring that Ennis’ streets looks pristine. And even though he has recently retired from the outdoor staff of Clare County Council, he confesses that the early starts are continuing. “Our week would start on a Friday and we would work seven days a week, starting at 7.30am and 5.30am on the weekends. I was always a good time-keeper, I was hardly ever late. I’d say you could count on one hand the amount of times I was late in all the years,” he said. However, when asked if he is enjoying the chance of a long lie-in now he has retired, he laughed. “I was still up this morning early! You get into the habit but it’s grand – I went for a walk.” Patrick started working with Clare County Council on March 31, 1980. Over the …

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