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South Clare

Clonlara shocked over tragic death

A tightly-knit community in South-East Clare is united in grief following the tragic death of a very popular young local man on Christmas Eve. Residents in Clonlara and  surrounding areas were shocked to learn about the death of Brian Morrissey (24), Mount Catherine, Clonlara on Wednesday night. The former St Munchin’s College student was a versatile sportsman excelling as a midfielder with Corbally United, where he is fondly remembered by numerous people involved in the club, and secondary school rugby. He also played soccer with Ringsend when he moved to Dublin to work in the Irish Times a few years ago. The annual Ciaran Twomey Charity memorial game, which was due to be held by Corbally United on St Stephen’s Day, was cancelled as a mark of respect. While Mr Morrissey was in St Munchin’s, he featured on the school’s junior cup team in 2005 and senior cup team in 2008. Described as a “very talented, larger than life character” …

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Guilty of indecently assaulting child

A 68-YEAR-OLD man, with an address in the South East Clare area, has pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a child in Galway city over a two-year period in the late 1980s. The man pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court last week to 13 sample charges of indecent assault, which took place at a Galway city address on various dates between January 1, 1988, and March 24, 1989. Prosecuting barrister, Conor Fahy said a further 12 charges of indecent assault, involving the same victim, should remain before the court for the time being. Defence barrister, John Hogan said he needed time to obtain a psychological report on his client prior to sentence. Judge Rory McCabe remanded the convicted man on continuing bail to March 18 next year for sentence and directed a victim impact statement be obtained for the court for that date. Ann Healy

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Major extension for Shannon school

PLANNING permission has been granted to St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, Shannon for a major extension. The extension is to be two storeys in size, with a gross floor area of 2,616m2. It is to accommodate a special needs unit, general purpose area, engineering room, lecture room, art room, science laboratory, music room, home economics room, multimedia room and business/computers room, while there will other site works, including a new site entrance, car parking and set-down areas, as well as a hard court and hurling wall area. Clare County Council had sought additional information regarding a number of aspects of the development, including the drop-off areas, road safety, flood risk and the removal of trees. The applicants submitted the additional information sought and the planning authorities expressed satisfaction with the replies. With regard to the removal of the trees, the planning report states, “The existing tree line is to be removed as part of the improved traffic management arrangements to accommodate …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Inquiry call after Cratloe man’s death

THE tragic death of a Cratloe man, who was not seen by a doctor within the recommended 10 minute timeframe, has sparked calls for the establishment of an independent inquiry into why he died on a trolley at University Hospital, Limerick (UHL), three hours after admission. Darragh Curley, aged 33, Ballybroughan, Cratloe, died at UHL in the early hours of July 8, 2013. Following evidence outlined at his inquest last week, Councillor PJ Ryan, a family friend and neighbour, said Health Minister Leo Varadkar should initiate an inquiry. A HSE West Forum member, Councillor Ryan said his death was a devastating blow to his family who are “the salt of the earth”. Even though Mr Curley was categorised as an emergency patient, Councillor Ryan said he did not get emergency treatment. “I knew Darragh, who went to Cratloe National School with my sons. He was a lovely young lad, who had a passion for cars. Serious action needs to be …

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Getting US tourists to ‘jump into Ireland’

Tourism Ireland, together with a delegation of 20 tourism enterprises, including Killaloe-based Secret Ireland Escapes, is undertaking a three-city trade and media blitz in the United States this week. The last of the 2014 Jump into Ireland (JITI) events is taking in the key cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. The Jump into Ireland schedule includes a B2B event in each city, showcasing the island of Ireland via a special travel TV show format to the influential American travel professionals in attendance. The events also include an opportunity for networking with influential travel and lifestyle media. Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said, “The United States is one of the most important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has undertaken a busy programme of promotions throughout 2014, to grow American visitor numbers. Our Jump into Ireland sales blitz to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle this week provides an excellent platform …

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Works to extend Killaloe walkway

Clare County Council has commenced work on developing a walkway along the shore of Lough Derg from Killaloe to Ballycuggeran and Two Mile Gate. The existing 0.5km walkway runs from the centre of Killaloe to Brian Ború’s Fort (Beal Ború). Work on the 1.8km extension to the walkway is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The €100,000 project is funded under a €2 million stimulus package recently announced by the Government for the development of tourism in the Lakelands Lough Derg Region. Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, has welcomed the project, adding that it is part of a “coordinated approach to enhancing the overall tourism infrastructure around Lough Derg.” He continued: “The new walkway, in conjunction with the development of new walking routes and the erection of new signage around the lake, is aimed at creating a greater sense of arrival and enhance the visitor experience in exploring the area. This work is being …

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Clare Museum acquires 1916 journal

A journal and autograph book that provides a unique insight into life and conditions at Frongoch prisoner of war camp, where an estimated 1,800 Irish participants of The Easter Rising were interned between June and December 1916, has been acquired at auction by Clare Museum. Belonging to IRA Volunteer and future Clare T.D. Patrick Brennan, from Meelick, the album features accounts of life in the North Wales camp, poetry in Irish and English, and coloured illustrations of the camp and its inhabitants. The journal is also autographed by many of the camp’s prisoners including Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, who would later become instrumental figures in the ensuing Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the Irish Free State. “Outside of the author’s historic connections with County Clare, this journal and autograph book is hugely important considering the upcoming centenary of the 1916 Rising and the significant influence of the Frongoch camp experience on the future leaders of the …

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The Killaloe swim instruction who ‘couldn’t swim’

A KILLALOE resident has helped a local author to solve the mystery about the swimming instructor and one time town mayor “who couldn’t swim”. Henry Murdoch, who grew up in Ballina and Killaloe in the 1950s and ’60s, described the impact of great characters, such as Peter Lacy, in his recently published book Remembering Killaloe. Peter Lacy taught a huge number of children to swim, including Henry, at the Pier Head in Killaloe in the 1950s. Working as the local painter and decorator, Peter lived in Canal Bank Cottage, near the author’s dwelling in Aillebaun House. The extraordinary thing was that Peter was not able to swim himself. At least, that is what he told everyone and everyone believed him. But that did not prevent him “going for a swim”, which he did by diving in at the step at the Pier Head, twisting around while under water, to emerge back at the step without a stroke. Peter taught Henry …

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