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Tag Archives: christmas

Happy Howly Christmas everyone.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well, I hope you all enjoyed the Christmas break. I know it was a bit different from other years but that didn’t make it any worse. Before the real lockdown happened, I got the chance to pay a flying visit to two of my favourite places – Brooklodge in Wicklow and The Twelve in Barna. We hardly stirred from either hotel, with lazy days spent snoozing in the room or in the lounge. A change is as good as a rest and snoozing in different surroundings is very refreshing I always find. I had some sad news in BrookLodge though. My friend Oscar went to Doggie Heaven a few weeks before our arrival. I’ll miss him as he was always good for a laugh and a gossip. He had a lovely, long, happy life though and that’s all a dog ever wants. On the way to Galway from BrookLodge, we stopped in Dublin to meet my Aunty Aileen and we …

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Covid-19 increases at “alarming” rate in Mid-West

The Department of Public Health Mid-West is strongly urging Clare people to review their Christmas plans, as Covid-19 infections continue to increase at an “alarming” rate. Over the past eight days, there have been more than 300 Covid-19 cases in the region. The vast majority of these cases have been recorded in Limerick, which has seen one of its largest spikes in infections since the start of the pandemic. Unlike any other period in the pandemic due to the nature of the festive season, the Department of Public Health pointed out there have been approximately three weeks of large social gatherings that have continuously intensified to date. Preliminary evidence indicates that gatherings among families, in private households, organised events, and in the hospitality sector, are now associated with outbreaks. The Public Health Mid-West team is managing outbreaks and new cases in extended families, private households, residential care settings, workplaces, the hospitality sector and in the community. Dr Rose Fitzgerald, Specialist …

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Clare gardaí issue safety advice this Christmas

GARDAÍ in Clare have issued a number of safety tips for this Christmas. In relation to Covid-19 gardaí advise that every contact counts. “If you must meet up this Christmas keep your contacts to a minimum, wear a mask if you can’t stay two metres apart and follow the HSE guidelines for your safety and others,” says Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks. However, the advice is not confined to Covid safety. “Drink alcohol responsibly and if you are going out plan your night, tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back. Don’t walk home alone but if you have to walk in well-lit areas,” she urges. People are being reminded to take care when carrying your handbag and phone, keep handbags zipped and don’t put a wallet in your back pocket. “Only take out as much money as you need at ATMs and cover your pin,” she says. Other advice includes not leaving shopping on view …

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PUP numbers drop as trade steps up

THE amount of Clare people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment dipped significantly between December 8 and 15. Clare’s economy has apparently benefited from the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions and increased spending close to Christmas, with the number of people receiving the payment dropping by more than 800 in a week from 7,398 to 6,539. The weeks before Christmas are the busiest time of the year for retailers, and in Ennis Liam Meaney, the manager of men’s clothes shop Club Dangan on O’Connell Street, said that business has been quite brisk of late. “Thankfully trade has been very good since we came back, we can’t complain at all, we’re delighted with it. “This year we’ve spent almost as much time closed as we’ve been open, but here between the two lockdowns we got our website going, so that helped us in the second lockdown. “We were behind closed doors posting out orders and doing click and collect, so that was a …

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Deputy McNamara requests Government to consider Covid-19 Antigen tests

AS the 14-day incidence of Covid-19 in Clare slumps to the lowest in the country, a local Dáil deputy has asked the government to consider using antigen testing to help curtail the spread of the virus during Christmas. A few months ago, the 14-day incidence rate of the virus in Clare was the fourth highest in the country. However, now the incidence has dropped from 32 per 100,000 on November 30 to 23.6%, which is the lowest in the country. This is in sharp contrast to Limerick, which now has the sixth highest incidence rate of 128% while the rate in Tipperary is now far greater than Clare at 70%, just below the national average of 84.7%. According to figures produced by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, there were 28 new cases of Covid-19 in Clare, 251 in Limerick and 112 in Tipperary from December 1 to December 14. On December 13, Limerick’s total number of cases stood at 3,021 …

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McNamara seeks more transparency on Covid-19 deaths

Deputy Michael McNamara has asked Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to provide a greater level of transparency concerning the number of Irish people who died from and with Covid-19. His call coincided with the publication of figures on Tuesday of 18 additional deaths related to Covid-19, one death occurred in October, 15 deaths in November and two are under investigation. Deputy McNamara has asked Minister Donnelly for a breakdown of patients who died primarily from Covid-19, those who died with Covid-19 but primarily from other causes and those who died from the virus, having acquired it in hospital. The Independent Deputy was told this is a matter for the HSE and was assured he will receive a reply in due course. He expects to receive a typical vague response from the HSE. The 14-day incidence rate of the virus continues to fall and remain relatively low in Clare. This rate, which had rocketed about 70% from September 17 to September 30, …

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Ennis NS students craft some Christmas fun

IT isn’t pine needles that make up a very special Christmas tree which has gone on display in Ennis recently. Ennis National School’s knitting and crafting club ‘The Crafty Crew’ have been busy using their knitting needles to create a community Christmas tree over the past few months. The tree and accompanying festive display is made of hundreds of squares of knitting created by the young students along with members of their families. It is now standing proudly in the window of Insomnia in the Ennis Shopping Centre on Francis Street for all to see. Teacher Ciara Harding explains that the club for third to sixth class pupils had been meeting during their lunch-time breaks for the past two years. “Due to Covid restrictions our club cannot go ahead as normal so we have tried to encourage the children to continue in a new way. This year from lock-down in March up to last week children, parents and grandparents have …

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Shoeboxes send much needed message of hope

WEST Clare mother Josipa Akinradewo knows only too well the joy that the Team Hope annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal can bring. As a young girl living in Croatia while her father fought in its War of Independence she was one of those to receive a precious gift from a stranger overseas. That experience stayed with her, and now preparing a shoebox for others has become an annual tradition she shares with her own children. This year because of Covid-19 the experience will be very different, with people being asked to build a ‘virtual box’ online to be given to children in need in Africa and Eastern Europe. However, this has not taken away the spirit of the initiative which has brightened the lives of so many, and Josipa is encouraging others to get involved. Josipa, her husband and two children have been living in Ireland for five years. A year after their arrival her son brought home a leaflet about …

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