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Concern over dog thefts, burglaries in South Clare

LOCAL communities around South-East Clare are said to be on high alert currently, over concerns about a spate of dog thefts, as well as the presence of roving burglars. It follows the seizure last week of a number of pedigree breeds by Gardaí in Limerick, following a search in Rathkeale. “People are concerned and extra vigilant at the moment,” said PJ Mason of the Broadford Action Group. “Not just about the dog thefts but about robberies and burglaries more generally.” Mr Mason said that older people are particularly concerned. “I was speaking recently to a senior gentleman,” he outlined, “who is fearful for his dog and I would be saddened to think that people are now living with this fear factor.” The matter has been raised by South-East Clare-based TD, Deputy Cathal Crowe who said drones are believed to be in use by gangs targeting properties. The Fianna Fáil member has called for tougher penalties for offenders and the creation …

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Death of retired Clonlara cleric

The death has taken place in Carrigoran Nursing Home, Newmarket on Fergus of former Clonlara parish priest, Fr Brendan Cleary. Born on October 18, 1931, Fr Brendan was a native of Milltown Malbay and was a priest of the Diocese of Killaloe for 65 years. A past pupil of St Flannan’s College, he studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Carlow where he was ordained on June 5, 1955. His first appointment was on temporary Mission to the Diocese of Brentwood, UK and on his return in 1960 he was appointed curate in Killanena. He moved to Clonlara as curate in 1963. Fr Brendan was appointed curate in Killaloe Parish in 1980, living in Bridgetown from 1982 onwards. He was appointed adminstrator of the parish of Bridgetown/O’Briensbridge in 1987 and two years later he was appointed Parish Priest of Clonlara where he served until his retirement as PP in 2007. He then served as A.P in Clonlara until 2016 …

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Woman arrested as Gardai seize €72k in cash

Gardaí have arrested a woman and seized €72,000 in cash following the search of a house in Westbury in South East Clare. Shortly after 7pm last Sunday evening, Gardaí from the Limerick Divisional Drugs Unit, assisted by the Armed Response Unit, executed a search warrant at a house in the Westbury area. The search operation took place as part of an ongoing operation targeting the sale and supply of drugs. During the course of the search Gardaí seized approximately €72,000 in cash. A woman, aged in her 20s, was arrested at the scene and brought to Henry Street Garda Station. She was detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996 and has since been released.   A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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Last stone of Drummin Castle preserved for the future

THE last remaining stone from a 16th century castle in South-East Clare has been cleaned and mounted on stone to display unusual carvings. A carving, initials and a date of 1579 was discovered on a late-medieval carved window-head at the site of Drummin Castle, near Ardnacrusha. The carving was located in the wall of a shed, but was previously covered with several layers of whitewash. The owners of the site, Gerard and Rose Reid decided that the site and stone was so important it should be remembered in some fitting way and they placed the carving on a stone mounting as a display. Martin Breen and Risteárd Ua Cróinín visited the site last December, having previously surveyed the castle remains back in December 2002 as part of the OPW survey of towerhouses and castles in Clare. During the survey in 2002, Mr Breen recalled the then owner, a Miss Long, the aunt of the present owner Gerard Reid, allowed them …

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Young Killaloe fisherman lands first big catch

A young Killaloe fisherman landed his first big catch using a pig shad bait in Lough Derg recently. Rhys Mowat (10), Newtown, Killaloe caught his first big pike measuring about 84 cms in length, which is regarded as a large fish for a child to land. It is estimated the fish weighed nine or ten pounds as it wasn’t weighed in line with catch and release policy. The Killaloe Ballina Fishing club member has been fishing since he was eight years old. His father Johnny told the Clare Champion they fish together very regularly on a fishing boat. “Rhys has really got interested in fishing in recent years. This was the first big fish that he reeled in by himself,” he said. Johnny has been fishing for about more than twenty years since he was about ten after joining a local fishing club. Normally the club would run competitions but these have been deferred due to restrictions imposed by Covid-19. …

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Advance Works Set to Start on Killaloe Bridge and Bypass Project

THE time-line for awarding the contract to build the new multimillion Euro Killaloe Bridge and Bypass has slipped slightly from its original target, The Champion has learned, with the likelihood that the three-part project may not now be completed until 2024. Works to progress the project, which also includes improvements to the R494, have continued despite Covid-19 restrictions, with the Project Steering Group, lead by Clare County Council, meeting remotely in April and May. In response to a query from The Champion, the local authority has outlined a time-frame indicating it expects the contract for the main works to be awarded at the end of March next year, with construction taking a further three years to complete. The most recent update available previously was as briefing to members of the Killaloe Municipal District which indicated that contracts would be awarded before the end of 2020, with a target completion date of late 2022. “The Project Team … are close to …

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Further Delay With Flood Defences for Springfield, Clonlara

DISAPPOINTMENT has been expressed in Springfield, Clonlara, after a further delay with relief works designed to save residents from a repeat of devastating flooding that has forced them out of their homes multiple times over the last 15 years. Planning for flood protection works began in early 2016, after more than 10 families had to evacuate their properties and a further five had their access roads completely cut off. Since then, the proposed €1.2 million works have hit a number of hurdles, and it has now been confirmed that rather than going through an internal local authority adjudication process, the plans will now go to An Bord Pleanála. Senior Engineer with Clare County Council, Seán Lenihan told authority members this month that the nature of the works could not be contained, as had been anticipated, within a Part Eight application. “They require an EIAR (Environmental Impact Assessment Report) and an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement),” he explained, adding that the application …

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World tennis ace backs Killaloe man’s fund-raising campaign

RAFAEL Nadal is among the international sports stars supporting a Killaloe man to raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece. Tennis coach Wesley O’Brien is a regular volunteer at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, north of Athens. Two years ago, he started up a programme for residents, thanks to donations of rackets, balls and nets from clubs around the region, including his own in Killaloe-Ballina. As part of a bid to raise funds for a defibrillator for the camp, which is now home to 4000 people, Wesley has secured jerseys signed by some high profile individuals and teams. To-date, these include Nadal, the Munster Rugby Team, Usain Bolt, Rory McIlroy and Franz Beckenbaur. Wesley, who volunteers with Lighthouse Relief, now hopes to be able to sell these rare items in order to generate vital funding support for refugees. “I had raised funds for a defibrillator for the Killaloe-Ballina Tennis Club, so I decided to do the same again for Ritsona …

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