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Meelick graduate scoops inaugural O’Higgins Medal

A MEELICK doctor has scooped a major honour awarded by the University of Limerick (UL) Graduate Entry Medical School. Dr Dermot Murphy, a native of Old Cratloe Road, Meelick and a recent graduate of the UL Graduate Entry Medical School, has been presented with the inaugural O’Higgins Medal at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Dr Murphy has just commenced his intern year at UHL and is looking forward to working with the medical and surgical teams there. He will commence his work in the areas of general and vascular surgery. The award is supported by Professor Niall O’Higgins, chairman of the Board of UL Hospitals. It was approved and supported by the UL Hospitals’ chief academic officer and foundation head of the Graduate Entry Medical School, Professor Paul Finucane and the UL authorities at the Graduate Entry Medical School. Dr Murphy said it is an honour to receive the award. “I was genuinely surprised and delighted to be recognised by the …

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Council employees have no time for lunch

SUCH is the workload of the significantly reduced number of people working out of the Clare County Council office in Ennistymon, it has been claimed that the three people employed there don’t have time to take a lunch break. Councillor Richard Nagle told the meeting of the West Clare Municipal District in Kilrush that it is virtually impossible for the staff there to provide a complete service to the people of North Clare, despite their best efforts. He predicted a “calamity” if this issue is not addressed. Councillor Nagle forwarded a motion at the meeting requesting that Clare County Council review staffing levels at the Ennistymon Municipal District offices. “I am not suggesting that officers in Ennistymon are not working efficiently. They certainly are. They are being put under intolerable pressure. If I wish to speak to somebody, I won’t ring. I’ll drive in because they are so busy in there that they simply haven’t time to be dealing with …

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Councillor ‘aghast’ at Doolin facilities

CLARE County Council are to upgrade or provide toilet and changing facilities at Kilkee, Lahinch and Spanish Point beaches, following criticism of the current “disgraceful” facilities. However, Councillor Ann Norton, who called for a survey of the toilet and changing facilities at council-owned or council-run amenity sites, said she was in Doolin to see the new pier recently and was “aghast” at the state of the facilities on offer to the public there. The Ennis councillor was also concerned over accessibility for impaired mobility users and asked where access to such facilities is deemed inadequate, that a programme be put in place for their upgrade. “Tourism in Clare is a huge part of generating revenue and to be able to bring tourism into Clare, we have to have good facilities. We have a beautiful scenic coastline and have so much to offer people but, I have to say, unfortunately the amenities and the changing facilities really need a lot of …

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Weedy roundabout a Shannon eyesore

THE appearance of the roundabout at Shannon Town Centre, which is currently beset by weeds, was the target of criticism at this week’s municipal district meeting. Councillor Gerry Flynn put forward a motion asking that the council “remove all the shrubbery off the main roundabout at Shannon Town Centre. This roundabout is an eyesore due to the amount of weeds and unsuitable planting being done at this location over the years, and that a more suitable plan be put in place to enhance this central location in Shannon.” A written reply from senior executive engineer Eugene O’Shea acknowledged the issues raised by the independent councillor. “The appearance of this roundabout is unsatisfactory at present, mainly due to the heavy weed growth that has been exacerbated by recent wet weather conditions. Arrangements will be made with the council’s gardening section to tackle this weed issue at the earliest opportunity. Consultation will also be made with the council’s architects with a view …

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Lahinch celebrations for Row-A-Round Ireland

A crew of 20 rowers who have been circumnavigating the island of Ireland in a self-built 15ft skiff – a round trip of almost 1000 nautical miles – will arrive in Lahinch on Saturday, marking the half way point of their challenge. To celebrate this significant stage in their gruelling challenge in raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, the rowers will be greeted by a party atmosphere at the promenade from 2pm. Lyons tea, who are sponsors, will erect a large marquee and will serve refreshments including their renowned tea to guests while there will also be a large kids play area for children to enjoy. The Row-A-Round Ireland crew hope to raise some additional funds at the half way celebrations as they strive to meet their ambitious fundraising target. All money raised will go towards fighting Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 1600 births in Ireland – the country with the highest incidence of …

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Aldi decision to be appealed

DESPITE numerous local objections, Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd have been granted planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings at Ennistymon mart and the construction of a new discount foodstore, including off-licence, with a gross floor area of 1,590m2. Clare County Council granted their application subject to 21 conditions. These include a requirement that the development only operates between 9am and 8pm between Monday and Saturday and only between 10am and 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. There is also a requirement that there be no deliveries between 11am and 7am. The decision will be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, Pat O’Donoghue, chairman of the Save Ennistymon Mart Committee, confirmed on Wednesday. “We have decided to appeal and we have applied for an open forum because it’s much bigger than a farmers’ mart issue, there’s a lot of local residents quite unhappy with the location. There’s a lot of people who are employed in the town who are concerned about …

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Barking mad over county pound contract

CLARE County Council is barking up the wrong tree if they take the operation of the county’s dog pound away from the ISPCA, animal welfare groups have warned. The county pound, located at the Gort Road Industrial Estate in Ennis, is currently being run by the ISPCA, with Frankie Coote as dog warden. However Clare County Council has put the operation of the pound out to tender. In just 24 hours, an online petition organised by the group Protecting Pound Dogs in Ennis County Clare has gained 1,000 signatures, with that figure continuing to grow. The petition is calling for the pound to remain in the hands of the ISPCA. Cork-based company Four Seasons Promotions Ltd, trading as ACS, is understood to be in the running for the tender to operate the county pound. However, Clare County Council insists that no decision has been made on the contract. A spokesperson for the council stated, “The tendering process has not yet …

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D-Day for €120m distributor road

OPPONENTS of the adoption of a controversial €120 million distributor road into the Clare County Development Plan are becoming increasingly concerned that it could get the green light this Friday afternoon. Judging by the vociferous objections from councillors at a recent council meeting, concerned residents in Parteen were confident that it would not get the required numbers for its adoption into the Clare County Development Plan. However, councillors who are against this proposal are now fearful that some of their colleagues may change their minds, following a briefing last Thursday conducted by consultants appointed by the council who endorsed the emerging preferred route without any change. Last week, Clare county councillors decided to defer making a decision on adopting the road into the County Development Plan, following trenchant opposition from a local lobby group. Councillors were given a deadline of July 31 at the council meeting to make a decision on the proposed Northern Distributor Road. No councillor spoke in …

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