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West Clare

Oceanographer investigates alleged animal dumping

CLARE gardaí have enlisted the services of an oceanographer as part of a complex investigation into the alleged dumping of 17 carcasses at the base of the Baltard Cliffs near Doonbeg. Chief Superintendent John Kerin confirmed the oceanographer was hired in an effort to establish whether or not the animals, which were discovered in April 2014 were washed in from the Atlantic Ocean. Superintendent Kerin confirmed a substantial two-volume file on one of the most complex cases in West Clare in recent times had been lodged with the DPP since December. It is understood that a decision considering a direction in this case will be made in the near future. An investigation is continuing involving the gardaí, the Department of Agriculture, Clare County Council and the ISPCA. The expertise of the Department of Agriculture, concerning DNA examination of the dead animals, has been called on to establish if they matched any herd number in the department’s official records. Up to …

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Astro Turf facility opened in Kilrush

A state-of-the-art €320,000 AstroTurf facility in Kilrush has been described as an “important and significant addition” to West Clare’s recreational infrastructure by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council. Councillor John Crowe was speaking at the launch of the new facility, on the Cooraclare Road, which coincided with the official opening of the Active Kilrush Sports Complex. The opening of the complex was also attended by local community and sports organisations, officials from Clare County Council and Clare Local Sports Partnership, and Aitricity League Chairman and FAI Board member Eamon Naughton. Funded by Clare County Council and through a €59,000 Sportnation grant from IPB and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, the 75x38m AstroTurf pitch features an FAI-level 3G artificial playing surface. Constructed by Sportslawn Ireland Ltd., the multipurpose pitch is complemented by security fencing, floodlights and CCTV, and is already being used by a variety of local sports clubs and schools. Active Kilrush Sports Complex also features a soccer …

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Official opening of Kilrush complex

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe will officially open the Active Kilrush Sports Complex Astro Turf Pitch at Cooraclare Road this Thursday afternoon at 4pm. Among the guests for the formal cutting of the ribbon ceremony will be Airtricity League chairman and FAI board member, Eamon Naughton. A reception to mark the event will follow at the Vandeleur Walled Gardens.

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Concerns raised over Kilrush warfarin clinic

THE University of Limerick Hospitals Group chief executive officer has pledged to take into account concerns expressed about the impact of the phased closure of the Warfarin clinic in Kilrush. Professor Colette Cowan made the pledge after a meeting with Deputy Pat Breen this week, amid growing unease about the proposed ending of this service. “CEO Colette Cowan assured me that she would take my concerns on board. She advised me that the HSE is currently in discussions with GPs regarding a number of issues and that the warfarin services in Kilrush will feature in these discussions. “She is very aware of the concerns, the logistical problems which it could cause for patients who would require ongoing treatment and is hoping that a successful resolution and agreement can be reached with the GPs to accommodate those patients locally. “Following our meeting, she is to revert back to me at the earliest opportunity,” he said. Deputy Breen had sought a meeting …

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Lighting up Loop Head

The historic Loop Head Lighthouse is to reopen to the public on Good Friday. The 19th century West Clare landmark will be looking to capitalise on its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way by exceeding the 20,368 visitors it recorded during its six-month opening period during 2014. Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse, in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until October 4. “2014, which was the lighthouse’s fourth year of operation as a visitor attraction, saw visitor figures buoyed by the development of new services at Shannon Airport, favourable weather conditions and the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way,” said Gerard Dollard, director of services, Tourism & Community, Clare County Council. “We are confident that its status as one of Clare’s most popular visitor attractions as well as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way will garner further interest from domestic …

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Superintendent on guard for a new challenge

THE newly appointed Kilrush Division Garda Superintendent, Martin McGonnell is still coming to terms with the geographical size of his new beat. Yet the Monaghan man, who served for 13 years in Donnybrook before moving on to promotion to West Clare, feels that similar policing principles apply in rural and urban settings. “I think I was in Clare once previously, which a lot of people find surprising considering that it’s such a scenic area. Compared to Dublin, where you might have a lot more incidents but in a much more confined space, it’s a big change. “To go from Kilrush to Ennistymon is a round trip of around 120km and 140km up to Lisdoonvarna. The distances are huge. It’s a stretch from Loop Head right up to Ballyvaughan. It’s going to take a bit of time and patience to get used to it,” Superintendent McGonnell told The Clare Champion. “In the Donnybrook area you have 34 embassies, including the British, …

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Colum Callinan laid to rest

A SLOW-moving and ever-lengthening queue filled Kilmihil village on Sunday evening, as people travelled from all over Clare to pay their respects to the late Colum Callinan. The 23-year-old passed away at Cork University Hospital last Thursday, following a single vehicle accident on Sunday, March 15. The silence of those queuing outside O’Halloran’s Funeral Home was indicative of how shocked mourners were and this was reflected in the days before and since throughout Kilmihil. A very talented footballer and free taker, Colum represented Kilmihil with pride and gusto. He was also part of the Clare U-21 panel in 2013 and played football for LIT during his days there as a student. Kilmihil GAA field is no more than a free kick removed from the funeral home where Colum was laid out and as the March breeze cut through the village, the sight of the field in such proximity added to the poignancy of the evening. “Colum made an immense contribution …

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Learning more about Tidy Towns

Clare County Council has organised a Tidy Towns information and networking evening on Monday next at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis. This third annual event will feature expert advice and a questions and answers session for Tidy Towns groups from across County Clare seeking to improve their score in the 2015 competition. Speakers at the event, starting at 6pm, will include Tom Coughlan, chief executive of Clare County Council; Lorraine Power, environmental consultant and Tidy Towns adjudicator; and Paul Edson, Tidy Towns chairperson in Kilrush, which was named Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town in 2014. “This event provides me, in my role as cathaoirleach of Clare, with a real opportunity to acknowledge the positive work that is taking place by these groups in all our towns and villages across the county,” commented Councillor John Crowe. Chief executive, Tom Coughlan explained that the purpose of the information evening is to provide Tidy Towns groups with “a valuable networking opportunity and to …

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