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Tag Archives: lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna people restore Sayed’s faith in humanity

REPRISALS against his brave work in opposing an authoritarian regime saw 30-year-old Sayed Ahmed flee Bahrain and begin a journey that saw him end up in Lisdoonvarna. Home for Sayed, his wife, son and brother has been the direct provision centre at the King Thomond Hotel since April of last year but with refugee status now secured, they are moving to Dublin, where Sayed has a college place and where he expects to get work. He was first arrested in 2006 for being part of a group arranging a protest at his school and from then on, he was in the crosshairs of the authorities in his home country. “From then to 2015, I kept being sent to jail for a few months at a time. I don’t know how often. I might have been arrested 13 or 14 times; it happened at least once every year. But I was lucky. I wasn’t like other people, who have been sentenced …

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Boxing clever in juvenile championships

THE Clare County Juvenile Championships were held in Lisdoonvarna last weekend, in conjunction with the Doolin Boxing Club tournament, before a capacity crowd in the Pavilion Theatre. Fynn Randall took the 48kg title in style, beating Ennis Boxing Club favourite Joseph O’Brien, while Sadhbh Blood took the 63kg title to advance to the Munster Girls Championships in April. Kilfenora’s Stephen Murphy upset the odds with a pristine performance against Doolin’s Eoin Kelly in the final of the 35kg boys class. There were outstanding displays from James Manning and Colin Fitzpatrick from the Ennis Club, against Kilfenora’s Dean Downes and Josh Moloney. Heavyweights Woytech Koper and Bernie McDonagh from St Anne’s in Westport brought the crowd to their feet in the final contest of the night, as they battled each other to a standstill, before the Westport protégé took a split decision in an absorbing fight. Ennis boxer Jamie Connors confirmed the pre-fight favourites tag in the 60kg final, with a …

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Their first Noel in Lisdoonvarna

WHILE Christmas means something different in every country, the people of Lisdoonvarna are determined to make sure their newest international residents’ first festive season in Ireland is a special one. Since last March, the King Thomond Hotel has become home to more than 100 people seeking asylum from a large number of countries, including Somalia, Palestine, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Iran, Cameroon, Pakistan and Egypt. Over the last few weeks, several local groups and individuals from as far afield as the University of Limerick, have come forward offering their support in different ways, such as the use of kitchen facilities, lifts to and from Ennis and Limerick, Christmas gift cards, toys and clothes, and even an invitation to the Glór Christmas pantomime. The residents in the King Thomond have also been getting involved with several events in the community. A group of the ladies spent weeks practicing for the Clare Crusaders’ Christmas-dance fundraiser in aid of children with special …

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Lisdoonvarna Direct Provision Centre exceeding capacity

MORE people are now living at the Direct Provision Centre in Lisdoonvarna than its contracted capacity. While this does not necessarily mean that the centre at the King Thomond Hotel is overcrowded, it does mean that the numbers coming to the North Clare village are greater than what locals were told would be arriving. According to figures provided by the Department of Justice, there are 117 people living there, while the contracted capacity is 115. In a statement accompanying the figures, the department said, “The contracted capacity is not the maximum capacity. It is what we would ordinarily pay as per the contract. It is not at all unusual for the actual number of persons present in an accommodation centre to be in excess of the contract. This does not indicate that there is overcrowding at the centre. The overcapacity may be due to family configuration reasons, eg where a baby is born to a family etc.” Paddy Dunne of …

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Woman attacked with brush handle in Lisdoonvarna

A CLARE man who is accused of attacking his former partner with a brush handle is to be assessed by a forensic psychiatrist as a matter of urgency. The 33-year-old, who has an address at The Mews, Lifford, in Ennis appeared before Limerick District Court this Friday [September 14] after he was charged with assault causing harm in relation to an incident near Lisdoonvarna on Tuesday. Detective Garda TJ Molloy said it will be alleged that a 30-year-old woman was struck with a brush handle and that a knife was held to her throat during the incident on Tuesday evening. He said gardaí were alerted by neighbours who were alerted to a commotion inside the caravan where the woman lives on the grounds of Ballinalacken Castle Hotel. “It was a loud verbal and physical altercation,” he said adding that witnesses described seeing the caravan “shaking viciously”. He said they feared it could overturn. Being questioned by defence solicitor Tara Godfrey, the …

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Lisdoonvarna asylum seekers plight shows how fortunate we are-Comment

THERE are many things we complain about in Ireland, sometimes with validity. Our health service is creaking, our property prices are exploding, our weather is appalling, our capital is swallowing the rest of the country, our streets are filled with homeless men and women. All of these are daily complaints that fill our newspapers and chat shows but, for all Ireland’s failings, when we hear the stories of those housed in Direct Provision in Lisdoonvarna, we see that this is not such a dysfunctional society. One man who spoke to The Clare Champion fled the Congo because he feared he would be killed by state forces if he didn’t poison others. Who here will ever be put in such a position? It might seem unbelievable that anyone here over the age of 25 was born into an Ireland where homosexuality was illegal, but things have clearly progressed dramatically. Contrast that with the experience of Sihre Mkandla, who moved in the …

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“I’m here but my heart is not here” -Lisdoonvarna asylum seekers agony

ON a misty Friday morning, the lobby of the King Thomond Hotel is thronged with people from different countries, snippets of various languages filling the air. All of the residents are getting used to the changeable weather of North Clare, while many are learning a new language. A reality of working in local papers is that you frequently meet people who are happy to tell you what they think, but not to be quoted or have their names used. While generally this is because of a type of shyness, when it comes to the asylum-seekers in Lisdoonvarna – who know very few Clare Champion readers – it is in some cases rooted in a genuine fear of reprisal from those who opposed them on another continent. One Kuwaiti woman said she didn’t want to reveal her identity, and had left her home country, because her husband, who is from Bahrain, could be at risk there. “I just want to be …

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Thirty more asylum seekers arrive in Lisdoonvarna

AN additional 30 asylum seekers relocated to the Direct Provision centre in Lisdoonvarna this week. This brings the number of asylum seekers in the North Clare town to approximately 60, although it is understood that some of the first group of asylum seekers have since sought alternative accommodation. The first batch of asylum seekers arrived in Lisdoonvarna on March 12 and are located in the King Thomond Hotel, just outside the town. Up to 115 asylum seekers can be catered for in Lisdoonvarna. At a public meeting in the Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, on February 23, King Thomond Hotel proprietor Marcus White said that he would listen to the views of local people, if they were opposed to Direct Provision or the arrival of asylum seekers. On February 28, a secret ballot of parish residents was held in the Pavilion. A total of 93% voted 197 to 15, to reject the arrival of Direct Provision in the town. However, the Direct Provision …

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