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Tag Archives: fire

Former councillor narrowly escapes blaze at family home

A FORMER member of Clare County Council says he is lucky to have escaped with his life, after a fire destroyed his family home in Clarecastle. Bernard Hanrahan, an active member of the community and former Fianna Fáil representative on the local authority, awoke in the early hours of last Sunday morning to find his home in flames. He told The Champion that if it wasn’t for the fact his dog alerted him to the danger, he might not have escaped the blaze. Bernard, who lives alone in the home where he was born and raised, credits his faithful bison frise with saving him. “It was around 5am when I heard Daisy barking,” he said. “She wouldn’t normally be looking to get out until around 7.30am. I knew something was wrong. I got up and then heard a bang. I thought straight away that someone was trying to break in. When I got close to the kitchen, I was hit with …

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“The response of our fire guys was top class”

SHANNON Airport was closed to aircraft for four and a half hours this morning, but it could have been much worse but for the fact a fire on board a plane was quickly spotted and extinguished. Director of Operations at Shannon Airport Niall Maloney said that the response began at 6.15am. “We were alerted by air traffic control to an issue with an aircraft that we responded to. We were responding to smoke in the undercarriage but it developed into a fire.” The aircraft in question was an Omni Boeing 767-300 which had travelled from America to Shannon and was due to go onwards to the Middle East. While Omni typically use Shannon to transport troops, there has not been confirmation as to whether or not troops were on board the plane on this occasion. There were 145 passengers and 14 crew on board the aircraft at the time and Mr Maloney said they were all uninjured. “One passenger may …

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Fire at Inis Cathaigh hotel in Kilrush

THE fire service and Kilrush Gardaí attended the scene of a fire at the dilapidated Inis Cathaigh hotel in Kilrush on Tuesday night. It is understood that the fire started in the second floor and spread to the third. Three units of the fire service from Kilrush and Kilkee used breathing apparatus at the scene. It is believed that extensive damage has been caused to the disused building. Frances Street in the town was closed to traffic, while the fire service attended the scene. The hotel, which incorporated a nightclub, has been closed for many years and has fallen into a state of disrepair. It is located at the bottom of Frances Street with idyllic views of Kilrush Marina.

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Clare Fire Service Responds to Halloween incidents

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service responded to two bonfire incidents on Halloween night. Both incidents occurred in the Cloughleigh area of Ennis. The overall cost associated with the call out of the Fire Service to these incidents was approximately €2,000. The cost associated with the clean-up of the bonfire sites has not yet been determined. Denis O’Connell, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “There was a significant reduction in the number of callouts this Halloween compared to previous years which is partly down to a combination of wet weather and increasing fire safety and environmental awareness amongst the general public.” “As well as being illegal, uncontrolled backyard burning and bonfires pose a significant risk to property and public safety and therefore, we would like to acknowledge the public for their cooperation and for heeding our safety advice issued during recent weeks.” Meanwhile, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service took part in a river rescue in Ennis on Halloween night. …

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Clare man killed in Greece wildfires

BRIAN O’Callaghan-Westropp, who was originally from the Shannon/Newmarket area, has died as a result of the wildfires in Greece this week. Brian and his new wife Zoe Holohan had travelled to Greece following their wedding on July 19. At the time of writing Zoe is receiving treatment in hospital for burns. On Wednesday the death toll from the fires already exceeded 80 and was expected to rise further. In a statement the Holohan and O’Callaghan-Westropp families said they “would respectfully appreciate privacy at this time as we grieve and as Zoe makes her recovery.” Brian worked for a Dublin company called Ready Chef Ltd while he was secretary of Blood Bikes East, a charity that provides an emergency medical transport service between the hospitals in Dublin and the Greater Leinster area. Franco De Bonis of Blood Bikes East described Brian as “a big presence, a man of action, who wasn’t afraid to get things done and help out.” Brian became …

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Person Detained Over Mountshannon Arson

Gardaí in Killaloe have arrested a person in connection with the arson attack on the Holy Island Tours trailer which occurred at Mountshannon Harbour in the early hours of Tuesday morning [June 26] and are currently investigating a second arson in the same location. Inspector David Finnerty of Killaloe Garda Station said they have arrested a “person of interest” in relation to the arson attack at the harbour on Tuesday and are detaining this individual under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. Under this provision the suspect can be detained for up to a maximum period of 24 hours. The arrest has come as a result of enquiries carried out by garda on Tuesday and due to the cooperation of members of the public. Gardaí received a report this morning, Thursday, of a fire on a boat in the vicinity of Holy Island Tours, however they confirmed that the boat was unconnected to this business. Although it is …

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Fire victim identified by DNA

A DNA sample taken from a razor blade belonged to elderly fire victim, was crucial in positively identifying the man’s remains. On April 4 this year, 86-year-old Patrick Behan died after “a very serious inferno” at his home at Tonavoher near Knockerra, Kilrush. An inquest in Ennis heard how high flames and the roof caving in at the home rendered neighbours helpless in any effort to save Mr Behan, who required a walking aid to get around. Neighbour, Tommy Donnellan told the inquest that he was able to see an outline of Mr Behan’s body face down on the floor of the kitchen as the fire raged. His remains were not formally identified until April 12 when DNA analysis came back. Garda Robert Wilson said that gardaí were able to retrieve a razor blade from Mr Behan’s car and in a DNA comparison with tissue from the remains, the authorities positively identified Mr Behan’s remains. A friend of Mr Behan and local farmer, Pat O’Malley gave …

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