Home » Tag Archives: Councillor Ann Norton

Tag Archives: Councillor Ann Norton

Bid to axe ‘Mayor of Clare’ title divides council members

ACCUSATIONS of an ambush on Clare’s first citizen, as she chaired the monthly meeting of Clare County Council, were robustly denied by three members who tabled a motion calling for a ban on the use of the title ‘Mayor of Clare’. Councillors Ann Norton, Mark Nestor and Paul Murphy refused a number of requests from fellow councillors to withdrawn their motion. They noted that, under the Local Government legislation, the only mayoral title is that of ‘Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District,’ owing to the population of the area, and that the title for the county council chair is ‘Cathaoirleach’. Their motion asked “that the executive use the correct titles of Cathaoirleach of County Clare and Mayor of Ennis in all correspondence and media releases”. Responding, Councillor Howard, who is the current council chair, said she found it hard not to take the motion personally. She agreed with the assertion of Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy that it represented an ambush. …

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No change to status of Ennis General despite upgrades

DESPITE a number of upgrades, Ennis General Hospital won’t see its former status return, and will remain a Model 2 facility, the Chief Clinical Director of the UL Hospitals Group (ULHG) has said. Professor Brian Lenehan told a briefing for local authority members that while new operating theatres are planned for the site in the county town, they won’t change the status of the facility within the hospitals group. He noted progress in a number of areas at Ennis General, including a new outpatient department which is now equipped and set to open in the first quarter of next year. “We will increase the range of services available in Ennis over the course of the year,” Professor Lenehan said. “The Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and the Local Injuries Unit (LIU) will see upgrades. The MAU is now open seven days a week and sees 32 patients a day. University Hospital Limerick (UHL) would struggle without it.” Professor Lenehan described the …

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Concerns grow over second wave of Covid at region’s nursing homes

THE number of nursing homes with Covid-19 outbreaks in the Midwest stands at 20, according to the most recent update from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC). As high rates of community transmission spill over into enclosed settings, the number of outbreaks in this region has risen steadily since July. However, clusters of infection in private houses, of which there are 155 in the Midwest, account for the largest number of clusters. Last week, a major outbreak at the nursing home in East Galway sparked concern about the capacity of the sector to cope with a second wave of the virus. The Nightingale Nursing Home in Ahascragh had 25 cases among 27 residents, with only one nurse and one carer available to cover at 72 hour period because of positive cases among other staff. Councillor Ann Norton, director of the Clare Crusaders in Barefield, was sharply critical of the response of the Health Service Executive (HSE), saying that they had …

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Ennis councillors tell students they have their backs

THE Ennis Municipal District are being urged to put its back into supporting local students. Councillor Ann Norton has proposed that the local authority meet with students to hear first-hand about their experiences of heavy school bags and the effect it has had on their backs. Speaking at the monthly meeting of the council she stated, “There has been an enormous amount of students already suffer injuries and pains due to this issue and it is exactly this situation that will cause long term damage to our children’s backs. There is a body of international medical and academic research that supports the correlation between weight of school bags and lower back pain in adolescents. Can Ennis Municipal District look at supporting students to highlight this issue to the Department of Education and the Minister of Education? We should invite students in to tell us there experiences and look at the best way forward to look at reducing the weight of …

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Speaking up for communication supports at county’s amenity sites

FUNDING to pilot a trial introduction of communication boards at amenity sites in the county is to be sought in response to calls from an Ennis councillor. Councillor Ann Norton, at the monthly meeting of Clare County Council urged that the local authority put up the boards in locations such as John O’Sullivan Park (Lee’s Road). She explained that the boards use photographs or symbols and support those who may find it difficult to express themselves including people with disabilities, limited language skills and elderly people. Siobhán McNulty, acting director of social development responded, “The installation of communication boards would be a welcome addition to Clare County Councils amenity sites and in this regard we will seek a funding stream to pilot a site and trial this initiative. That said the premise of these boards is that they are interactive and given current Covid-19 restrictions we would not be in a position to commence a pilot at this time. We …

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Clare Crusaders receives no grant for €5,000 Covid-19 clinic upgrade

  UPGRADING works costing an estimated €5,000 were completed in Clare Crusaders’ Barefield clinic to ensure it has a high standard of compliance with Covid-19 infection control procedures. Walls and floors were cleaned and repainted during extension renovations following the closure of the clinic last March due to Covid-19 restrictions. Clinic manager, Councillor Ann Norton confirmed a lot of improvement works have been completed to ensure the place is clean, tidy and health, and to ensure safety measures are up to a high standard for the return of parents and children. While the clinic has applied for a number of re-start grants to help defray the cost of complying with Covid-19 regulations, Councillor Norton admitted the absence of any official sanction is extremely “frustrating”. “Irrespective of whether we are a charity, we still operate as a business and our staff pay PAYE, PRSI, USC and yet we getting nothing back for providing what is a free service. “There is very …

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Warning over cancer ‘pandemic’ if vital services are curtailed

THE government is being warned that more people will die from delayed and missed cancer diagnoses, than from Covid-19, unless funding for oncology treatment and screening is properly supported over the course of the pandemic. Medical card campaigner John Wall, who himself has Stage IV cancer, was reacting to a briefing from The Department of Health outlining reduced services, as well as major increase in waiting lists. “Obviously, the pandemic is absolutely catastrophic,” he said. “But, the fact is that more people are dying every day of the week from cancer than from Covid-19. Covid cases must be dealt with in conjunction with oncology services. There is no doubt but that those delivering health services are doing their very best, but the reality is that people are already going undiagnosed and cancers are being missed, and that before you factor in the impact of Covid-19. I see, every day, the issues that people are having when they don’t get a …

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Clean-up appeal amid Covid fears from illegal Ennis encampment

RESIDENTS of an Ennis housing estate are appealing for help from the council in clearing a significant amount of human waste and litter left behind after an encampment that sprang up on a vacant site beside their homes, earlier this month. While a number of caravans left the site beside Castle Rock on the Tulla Road last Tuesday evening, there are still concerns about the hazard posed by the waste, in terms of Covid-19. The area is also expected to be visited in the coming days by judges from the Tidy Towns, prompting further frustration among local residents. Councillor Johnny Flynn who raised the residents’ concerns at a meeting of Clare County Council welcomed the decision of those involved in the encampment to move, and the intervention of Gardaí, said a significant public health issue remains. “Often, we find ourselves incurring a major costs after an illegal encampment,” he said. “In this case, there is a major public health concern …

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