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Homeless family sleeps in car

AN Ennis father has told of how his family spent Tuesday night sleeping in their car, after being made homeless. John Sweeney and his family have refused an offer by Clare County Council of a house in Kilrush, resulting in a refusal of welfare assistance for emergency accommodation. However, Mr Sweeney claims that the accommodation offer was refused out of fear, alleging he was threatened in Kilrush. He said the family, including seven children ranging in age from 12 years to five weeks, would “be walking into danger” if they moved back to Kilrush and he is appealing for the council to house them in Ennis. When contacted by The Clare Champion with Mr Sweeney’s claims, a spokesperson for Clare County Council stated the local authority does not comment on individual cases. The Department of Social Protection also responded that they do not comment on individual cases. “We didn’t take the house on the grounds of protecting me and my …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Injured woman removed to hospital

A woman is recovering in hospital after she sustained a head injury when she slipped on rocks at Clahanes, near Liscannor, yesterday evening. The woman in her 50’s had been walking along the shoreline when the accident happened. The alarm was raised by a passerby who called the ambulance service. The Irish Coast Guard was requested to assist and the Doolin unit of the volunteer service assisted paramedics recover the patient and take her across the rocks to a waiting ambulance before being removed to University Hospital Limerick.

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On the right trail at Loop Head

Loop Head Heritage Trail has received a major boost as a sustainable tourism attraction. The trail has been named a finalist in one of the world’s foremost tourism and travel award schemes. The trail has been shortlisted in the ‘Culture and Heritage’ category of this year’s 12th annual World Responsible Tourism Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by World Travel Market, at the ExCeL London Exhibition and Convention Centre in November.

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Double inquest hears of domestic tragedy

“DOMESTIC dispute – she stabbed me, I stabbed her”, were among the last words spoken by a man who died on the same evening as his wife in Kildysart, shortly before last Christmas. This was outlined at an inquest in Ennis into the deaths of South African couple, Cornelius and Angelique Billing. The inquest also heard that the couple’s two small children were hysterical in the aftermath of the stabbings and one of them was on Kildysart’s Main Street calling for help, as her mother was mortally wounded nearby. The jury heard evidence from gardaí, ambulance and fire service personnel, as well as Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis. Garda John Cahill said that on December 17 of last year he began work at noon and at around 6.25pm, he got a call to go to a fire at a hardware store in Kildysart. While on the Main Street, he saw a woman staggering in the direction of AIB. She …

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Hawk untrasound to deter birds at hospital

A HOSPITAL that serves patients in East Clare and Galway plans to install a hawk ultrasound, among other measures, to deter birds from excreting on window panes and sills on one of its wards, it emerged this week. Details of the pest-control efforts were revealed in a Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report, following unannounced inspections at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. HIQA carried out an unannounced inspection in the hospital in March and a re-inspection in April this year, examining the progress made in resolving issues outlined in the hospital’s Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) prepared after a previous unannounced inspection carried out by the authority in May 2014. It also examined improvements in environmental hygiene and the facilities in the oncology day unit. According to the HIQA report, on visiting St Joseph’s Ward during the March inspection, “an open window on the main corridor alerted inspectors to a large amount of bird excreta present on the exterior of several …

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ISPCA street protest over dog pound

SUPPORTERS of the ISPCA retaining control of the Clare County Pound will hold a peaceful protest on Saturday in O’Connell Square, Ennis, at 11am. This follows last Saturday’s event, in which organisers say between 100 and 200 people came out to back their campaign. Protesters marched carrying placards and chanting slogans supporting the ISPCA and dog warden, Frankie Coote. An online petition calling for the pound to remain in the hands of the ISPCA has received 1,500 signatures so far, with further signatures being gathered on paper at the protests. The protests have been organised by the group Protecting Pound Dogs in Ennis County Clare. The county pound has been run by the ISPCA, with Frankie Coote as dog warden, for decades. The running of the pound has now been put out to tender, with protesters fearing that it will be removed from the ISPCA. Clare County Council insist that no decision has been made on the contract. A spokesperson …

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Killuran Cemetery extension dead and buried

EAST Clare councillor Joe Cooney is pressing the National Monuments Service to change its guidelines on buffer zones around archaeological finds. Kiluran Cemetery Committee has just been refused permission to extend Kiluran Cemetery in O’Callaghan’s Mills due to a discovery of “significant archaeological features” at the site. The National Monuments Service is willing to allow the extension but only if there is a 75m buffer zone and that would bring the extension out of the committee’s land and into another landowner’s property. Councillor Cooney said it looks to be the end of plans to extend the cemetery but will press for a change in guidelines nationally. This week, Clare County Council refused the application for the extension to the more than 100-year-old cemetery on the grounds that, “it is considered that to permit the proposed development would injure or interfere with the historic remains and setting of the adjoining archaeological monuments”. “It’s very, very disappointing,” said Councillor Cooney. “We’re not …

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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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