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South Clare

Elderly man rescued on Lough Derg

An elderly man has to be rescued by an RNLI lifeboat after his boat suffered engine failure and drifted into shallow waters on Lough Derg. The alarm was raised at around 11.20am when members of the public spotted a 30ft motor cruiser stranded in reeds close to Terryglass Harbour. A man, in his 70’s, was on board the vessel and wearing his lifejacket. The agitated pensioner confirmed to his rescuers that he was the only person on board. The lifeboat managed to pull the cruise boat clear and towed it into Terryglass harbour where an off-duty RNLI volunteer and members of the public helped tied the boat alongside. It’s understood that the cruiser had been on its way south from Portumna when it suffered engine failure. The man had been stranded for almost an hour before the alarm was raised.

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Tributes to murdered bus inspector

Clare bus drivers were “shocked” by the indiscriminate murder of Athlone-based bus inspector, Laurence Hayes and his wife, Martina, according to a local councillor. Laurence and Martina, who were in their 50s, were on holiday in the resort of Sousse in Tusinia last week, when they were among the 38 victims killed by terrorist, Seifeddine Rezgui. Meath woman, Lorna Carty was also killed in the attack. Martina came from a large, well-respected farming family in Kiltoom, County Roscommon, not far from Athlone. The couple, who are survived by daughter, Sinead,  lived in West Lodge, an estate on the western side of the Shannon in Athlone. A Bus Éireann employee, Councillor Tony O’Brien, who knew Mr Hayes personally, said it was “incomprehensible” what had happened to the couple. He said the couple had packed their bags and were waiting for a bus to go home, when they were brutally murdered. Describing Mr Hayes as a “very witty, chatty and friendly” colleague, who loved life, Councillor …

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Family home ‘wrongfully demolished’

THE High Court has found that consultant engineers and Limerick County Council were responsible for the wrongful demolition of a family home during the construction of a new dual carriageway between Limerick and Nenagh. Brian and Mary O’Shaughnessy described the destruction of their single storey two bedroom old Irish farmhouse, The Hollows at Annaholty, Birdhill, County Tipperary on September 6, 2006 was a nightmare. The site was never used for the new road. Giving judgment, Mr Justice Donald Binchy, who said it was “abundantly clear” what happened “was not down to any single act”, found the consultant engineers, which was a joint venture called RPS Scetauroute, was 70% responsible while the local authority was 30% responsible. A third party which carried out the actual demolition was found not to be negligent in the matter. The O’Shaughnessys sought damages for alleged negligence from several parties, including Limerick CC/The National Roads Authority, who it was claimed were both responsible for the operation, …

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Clare IFA chairman recalls farm injury

THE impact of an accident, even a minor one, can have long-term repercussions for a farmer. One Clare man recalls how he had an accident with livestock that left him needing surgery but he couldn’t have the necessary operation until later in the year when work on the farm eased off. Andrew Dundas is a mixed farmer from Ardnacrusha. He is also Clare’s IFA chairman and looking back on an accident he had two years ago, even now he is not sure he could have prevented it. “With the best care in the world, something can happen. Whatever about taking chances, you can often get caught when you are using the best care in the world,” he says. Andrew understands better than most that, on farms, the dangers are everywhere. Figures show that from 2004 to 2013, tractors accounted for more than one fifth of all farm accidents, with 14% of accidents down to machinery. Drowning, or slurry gas, accounted …

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When a farm fatality changes all

Unremarkable as it was in many ways, the U-21 Leinster hurling match between Offaly and Westmeath recently was unforgettable for one family. Offaly made it through to the provincial semi-final on a score of 2-15 to 1.10. Earlier that evening, Eugene Hogan set off from his home in O’Briensbridge, met his brother Kevin and his parents, Kieran and Margaret, in Tipperary and the family made their way to O’Connor Park in Tullamore. It was their first car journey together since last July. “It was a fantastic night. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a match that will be remembered for the rest of the year in hurling but, for us, it was a huge one. Offaly got a victory and my father at the end of the match was in with the players in a huddle and it was a lovely, emotional moment for our family to see him there getting a big lift,” Eugene says. “From the …

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Nursing home ‘non-compliant’ on some issues

A NURSING home in South-East Clare was found to be non-compliant with some regulations in an unannounced inspection at the facility recently. In a report published on Tuesday, inspectors from the Health, Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) detailed “issues of significant concern” at the Athlunkard House Nursing Home in Westbury. HIQA carried out the inspection on April 21 as a follow-up to an inspection that took place in January, when 19 issues were identified that needed to be addressed. Inspectors found that seven of these had been fully dealt with, seven others were partially addressed and the remaining five, relating to governance and management, restraint management and medication management were not satisfactorily dealt with. While the inspectors noted that many of the issues relating to medication management identified during the January inspection had been addressed, there were “further issues of significant concern during this inspection with regard to the documentation of medicines administered in the centre”. According to the report, …

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Yeats auction raises €10,000 for tower

A LETTER from Maud Gonne donated to the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society made €5,200 at a special auction held at Yeats’ tower on Sunday last. A Salthill couple secured the letter, beating bids from Dublin and Washington. In total, €10,000 was raised for the reopening of Thoor Ballylee, the former summer home of WB Yeats in South Galway. The auction took place from the rooftop of the tower by local auctioneer, Colm Farrell MIPAV, acting as Yeats himself. Enid McAleenan donated Maud Gonne’s autobiography; Servant of the Queen, originally owned by her aunt, Eileen McAleenan. The book contains a letter from Gonne to McAleenan, where she tells her about the importance of living a full, adventurous life and to stand up for a free Ireland. Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, chair of the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, was beaming at the end of a very successful auction. “The power and generosity of the local community is remarkable. Like Maud Gonne’s advice in her letter, they …

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Killaloe Coastguard rescue four men

Killaloe Coastguard rescued four men following two emergency calls on Lough Derg on Friday evening. The thirty second callout this year was to two men on board a small lake boat near Two Mile Gate on the Clare shore. The duo had been on board a cruiser, which was anchored at Two Mile Gate, but due to the strong wind and rough water they got into difficulty. A friend raised the alarm and rang emergency services. Killaloe Coast Guard launched their rib while a land crew went to Two Mile Gate by road. Within 15 minutes of being paged, the Killaloe Coast Guard crew had taken the two men on board their rescue boat and brought them safely back to the cruiser. After returning to base and standing down, the crew heard a call for help on their VHF radio on CH16. The crew were then tasked by Valentia Coast Guard to relaunch and make their way to Mountshannon where …

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