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West Clare

Bank manager stole money from friends

A former bank manager who was jailed for four years after he stole nearly €450,000 from customers to pay off debts arising from unsuccessful investments in the property market has had half his sentence suspended on appeal. In April last year, Kevin Jarlath Mitchell (55) was jailed for four years by Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to 10 sample counts of charges relating to stealing money from clients while he was a senior official at ACC Bank in Kilrush. Mr Mitchell, with a last address at Drimnagh Road, Drimnagh, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, obtaining cash and a cheque under false pretenses and falsifying a DIRT compliance certificate on dates between January 1993 and February 2012. The court heard evidence that father-of-five Mitchell stole €197,000 from a pensioner after leading the man to believe that he had been depositing his cash in a high-interest account. Mitchell also stole €250,000 from a couple who …

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Heavenly conditions for Hell of the West

The Hell of the West may be the title of the testing triathlon in Kilkee but the the 30th annual event over the weekend was staged in heavenly conditions Organised by Limerick Triathlon Club, The Hell of the West is the longest running triathlon race in the country and this year was part of the Triathlon Ireland National Championship race. More than 1, 100 competitions took part and there was also a very large crowd of spectators at the beach, as well as other strategic vantage point along the route. The overall winner was Aaaron O’Brien, from Charles Maltha and Mark Horan, while the first lady home was Carolyn Hayes, ahead of Katie Cooke and Joyce Wolfe. The event brought welcome boost for Kilkee business over the weekend.      

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Querrin Children talk about China

Querrin National School children highlighted various aspect of  Chinese everyday life to visitors, as an end of year project, in the past week. According to school principal, Geraldine Keating the choice of China as a country to research came as a result of a couple of observations from the children. First their wonder at the thousands of products with the ‘made in China’ label and second their interest in technology. With that in mind they decided to begin the journey of learning about the country. Each child in the senior room (3rd to 6th class) selected their own topic from industry, agriculture, technology, space, customs, traditions, religion, food, music, transport, clothing and sport. The junior room (junior and senior infants, first and second class) were involved in group work that included researching animals, types of cars, dress and food. The classroom was transformed into a sea of red, colour, music and Chinese aromas. Children and staff dressed in Chinese red and/or …

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Brendan on target for Austria

KILRUSH youngster Brendan Casey had a rather exciting trip to keep his mind off the pressure of sitting the Junior Cert at Kilrush Community School. The 14-year-old’s dart playing exploits have earned him a place on the Irish team selected to compete at an international tournament in Austria on July 16. Ironically, that’s the day before his 16th birthday. Although particularly serious about his darts since he was 11, Brendan has been throwing darts since he was a child. “I got my first set of darts when I was about four. I got them for Christmas,” he explained, adding that he practices for about two hours each evening. “Two hours a day is enough. It’s very hard to do three hours,” he said, noting that concentration and practice are the key components. There are other quality dart playing youngsters in Kilrush, including Eric Copley. While looking forward to the trip to Austria and to Hull in October, Brendan has been …

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The infants of Aylroe cillín remembred

History was made in West Clare last weekend last when mass was celebrated for the first time in Aylroe cillín, the infants burial place on the hill overlooking the Shannon Estuary. The mass was celebrated by retired Mill Hill Missionary, Fr Tom McGrath, a native Labasheeda, who is attached to the Kilmurry McMcMahon-Labasheeda parish. There was a large attendance of locals and people from surrounding areas at the mass, which was at the request of the landowner, Professor Michael Hayes, who organised it with Pat Clancy. All were welcomed to the mass by Fr McGrath, who spent 40 years with the Mill Hill Missionary Fathers in western Kenya. The cillín, or chidren’s burial ground on the Hill of Aylroe, contains in excess of 100 children’s graves, all unidentified, going back centuries. The ground is overgrown with gorse and furze and is overlooking the River Shannon. Fr McGrath thanked the attendance and had special prayers for the unbaptised children, the forgotten …

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INTO president lauds Mullagh’s Active School efforts

Mullagh National School pupils are winning the obesity battle, thanks to the use of state-of-the-art facilities, as part of its commitment to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. That’s according to INTO president, Seán McMahon, who returned to his own school to raise the Active Schools’ Flag in his first official function since becoming president. Mr McMahon described this national education programme as one of the most important initiatives currently available to schools, particularly in the context of statistics indicating that over 100,000 Irish pupils are considered to be obese. Speaking at a recent Early Childhood Ireland Conference, Dr Catherine Woods revealed that research indicates only 19% of children are meeting their recommended daily level of exercise. Even more frightening is the trend towards obesity within the overall Irish population, with forecasts of 50% being obese by 2020. While the INTO regularly call on the government to provide additional physical education funding, Mr McMahon said Mullagh National School is way ahead …

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Tractor-less tourists skip Loop

A ‘tractors only’ sign is still greeting tourists and local residents who want to use an important link road on the Loop Head Peninsula. Frustration is growing among householders living on the Ross Road, which connects the Loop Head Lighthouse with the Bridges of Ross, over the delay in making this route passable for cars. Despite numerous pledges from local politicians that this road would be repaired before the Local Elections on May 24 last, Clare County Council will not be in a position to start work until July 7. The roads at Ross Bay and Rinevella were extensively damaged during the January and February storms, when coastal protection gabions were washed up during extreme weather conditions. While the works at Rinevella will not start until September or October, the council has pledged to carry out temporary repairs to this road in the meantime. A sign stating ‘Suitable only for tractors’ was erected by Clare County Council in February, to …

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MS sufferer loses free drugs

THE HSE has been accused of “pulling the carpet from under the feet” of a Doonbeg Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferer, following the withdrawal of a free drug. Angela Fitzpatrick has also questioned why the HSE didn’t make the necessary arrangements to pay for an alternative drug before it decided to withdraw the reimbursement of Fampridine from her husband, Nick, under the GMS and other schemes from July 1 next. Nick, who was  diagnosed with MS 12 years ago, at the age of 48, has been taking Fampridine, otherwise known as Famprya, for the last 18 months. “It was a huge shock to us when our pharmacist informed us the drug would be withdrawn and, if we wanted it, we would have to pay between €300 and €500 a month, which isn’t viable for us and other MS sufferers who are on a limited income. “It is scary because his body has got used to this drug now. It would have …

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