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West Clare

Michael looks to a positive future

ON the morning of May 17, 2012, the course of Michael Lorigan’s life changed forever. He remembers nothing about the single-vehicle accident near Cranny Cross on the Kilrush-Ennis road but, these days, he is reconciled with accepting and dealing with the consequences. The now 25-year-old from Kilmurry McMahon, who was hospitalised for three and a half months, has been left partially-sighted, along with an acquired brain injury. Ironically, if you didn’t know about his injuries, you wouldn’t guess that Michael had been badly injured. “I was told in the hospital that it’s a hidden disability. I’ve met a lot of people and, to look at me, they would never think I have a sight problem. There are certain things that I see and some things I wouldn’t,” he explained. One source of relief is the fact that he was on his own in the car. He doesn’t know how he would have coped if he had a passenger. “Thank God. …

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Pub incident did not contribute to man’s death

A KILMALEY man was found to have died from a heart attack and no evidence was found in the post mortem that an incident in a pub contributed to his death, an inquest heard this week. Anthony McElroy of Knockatunna, Kilmaley was pronounced dead in Ballynacally on January 25, 2014. At a sitting of Clare’s Coroner’s Court, County Coroner Isobel O’Dea outlined there was a difficulty with identification of the deceased man, who was known as Anthony McElroy for the past 40 years, and as a result the inquest would need to be adjourned. However, it was decided to hear the medical evidence in the case and Assistant State pathologist, Dr Margaret Anne Bolster told the court that the deceased man was “at risk of sudden death at any time”. Dr Bolster noted that there was a linear laceration to the deceased man’s face but considering where the man was found, lying face down on an area where there were …

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One tender for asbestos disposal project

CLARE County Council’s efforts to progress with learning how to treat and dispose of asbestos at various sites in West Clare have been hit by the receipt of only one tender, following a public procurement process. Based on information provided by consultancy firm RPS, in August the council sought tenders from companies who would help to establish the extent of the asbestos issue. Clare County Council confirmed on Wednesday that it has terminated the tender process without appointing a consultant. The council is now reviewing its options, in consultation with RPS. Last March, Clare County Council commissioned an external, independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the depositing of asbestos and cement materials at a number of sites throughout West Clare. At the time, the council said it informed the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) of its intention to remove the hazardous waste material from nine separate locations in the vicinity of Kilrush and Kilkee. A specialist asbestos consultant was engaged …

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Clare community endeavour rewarded

Connaught Road in Scariff has been named Best Kept Local Authority Estate and Ballynacally Tidy Towns the overall winner of the Clare In Bloom competition, in 2014 Clare County Council’s Community Awards. The Mayor’s Environmental Award went to Mountshannon Community Council, Clare’s four Pride of Place participants were also honoured for their involvement in the all-island competition. Clarecastle Community Development Ltd., Clarisford Ltd., Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Ltd., and Tuamgraney Community Woodland will be hoping to emulate the success of other local community groups in previous years at the Pride of Place ceremony in Ennis on November 15. Speaking at Áras Contae an Chláir, cathaoirleach, John Crowe acknowledged the work being undertaken within Clare communities to enhance the living environment. “There is a great level of volunteerism and community spirit in this county as is evidenced by the interest in these awards. I also want to thank the adjudicators and the two sponsors of the Clare in Bloom Competition; ESB Moneypoint and …

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Percy French comes to a halt in Spanish Point

The Percy French Troubadours from Dublin will perform a charity concert in the Armada Hotel on Sunday,  at 8pm, with proceeds going towards Sláinte an Chláir and Oidhreacht an Chláir. The group consist of six musicians who play keyboard, guitar, accordion, violin, bass guitar and drums, plus 12 singers. Not only will they perform most of Percy French’s favourite songs but they also enact dramatic scenes of some of his work using some clever miming. The event will have everything from of songs to drama, and from poetry to comedy. What lends special resonance to the event is Percy French’s association with the West Clare Railway, chronicled in his satirical and amusing song, “Are you right there Michael, Are you right”. Percy had a memorable trip to a performance at a concert in Kilkee but failed to arrive in time for the event having been stymied by the old steam train breaking down. This subsequently lead to a lawsuit and …

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Loop Head Lighthouse illuminates local tourism

Visitors to Loop Head Lighthouse increased by 7.5% during the West Clare landmark’s six-month opening period up to Sunday, October 5. Figures released by Clare County Council, which manages the facility in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), reveal that a record 20,368 people visited the historic lighthouse. Just over 60% of visitors were Irish visitors, with North America, the United Kingdom and Germany each accounting for 8% of the overall figure. Italian and French visitors represented just over 5% of the total figure. Gerard Dollard, director of services, tourism and Community, Clare County Council, said visitor numbers at the lighthouse were buoyed by the development of new services at Shannon Airport, favourable weather conditions during September, and the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way. “Loop Head Lighthouse is now finishing its fourth year of operation as a visitor attraction. During this time, it has become firmly established as one of Clare’s most popular visitor attractions,” he said. Mr …

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‘Devastation’ at palliative care room closure

Devastation has been expressed by the main figure behind the West Clare Mini- Marathon, following news that a palliative care room in Regina House, Kilrush, has been closed by the HSE. Regina House nursing home has been operational for 42 years on the Cooraclare Road. Two palliative care rooms were opened in February 2004 and have benefited from in excess of €180,000 in funding from mini-marathon proceeds. The event is held every January, always finishing in Kilkee. In total, the mini-marathon has raised €1.8m towards the provision of cancer care in West Clare, since the first run was held in 1998. Committee chairman Willie McGrath told The Clare Champion that he learned of the palliative care room closure when he enquired, on behalf of a cancer patient, if it was available. “I made contact with Regina House director of nursing, Anne McNamara, a couple of weeks ago, to see if we could get a particular person in there. I was …

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Jenny devotes a lifetime to search and rescue

JENNY Carway has served as a marine rescue volunteer in Kilkee for 18 years. Living on the Carrigaholt side of Kilkee, she is the longest-serving member of the Irish Coastguard Unit but that’s not all what that distinguishes Jenny from her colleagues. Her accent is somewhat Irish but not completely. A simple question resulted in an intriguing response. “I’m a blow-in. I’m originally from Somalia,” Jenny replied. Her background is fascinating. “My grandparents were Irish. We lived in Uganda through Idi Amin’s time and we had to leave. My brothers were in boarding school in Ireland and my parents decided to give Ireland a go so we came here. We lived in Limerick and I’d come to Kilkee as a kid for summer holidays. So I just came down here and stayed here since. I came here diving. I enjoy it. It’s a great place to live,” she surmised. Jenny left Africa when she was 11. She has yet to …

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