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Tag Archives: lockdown

Sixmilebridge academic explores female terror during lockdown

SIXMILEBRIDGE based author and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) lecturer Tracy Fahey has overcome the limitations of lockdown to produce a new collection of stories entitled, I Spit Myself Out. Tracy, who is Head of Department of Fine Art and Education, at the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD), had to face and overcome the challenges of Covid-19 in order to produce the collection. She penned I Spit Myself Out during the anxious days of the first lockdown of 2020. Her previous book, The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, nominated in 2017 for a British Fantasy Award, explored the psychological terrors of the enclosed female domestic sphere. Tracy said that, given this preoccupation with confined spaces, writing during the pandemic wasn’t easy. “I found it difficult to write this book,” she said. “There was the cognitive dissonance of trying to stay cheerful and mentally healthy, and then the imperative of going to these dark places to write. Now that I re-read this book, the inflections of …

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‘Significant increase’ in breaches of domestic abuse court orders, JPC hears

ALCOHOL and drug use in the home have been blamed, in part, for what Clare’s Garda Chief Superintendent has described as “a very significant increase” in breaches of court orders in cases of domestic abuse. Outlining crime figures for January to March at the meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran noted a 43% rise in the breaches of barring orders, safety orders and protection orders issued by the courts to protect victims and families. The rise, from 21 breaches in the first quarter of last year to 30 to date in 2021, is in sharp contrast to a general drop across most crime categories during the pandemic. The chief superintendent also outlined an increase of 10% in the number of domestic disputes where no offence was disclosed. These rose from 92 incidents between January and March of last year to 101 in the same period in 2021. Concerns about domestic abuse during the pandemic were …

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Ennis street brawl heightens concern over anti-social behaviour

A BRAWL that took place in broad daylight on the streets of Ennis was widely condemned at a meeting, this week, of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC). Several members voiced fears over activities in the centre of the county town since the onset of the pandemic, which has seen the introduction of pedestrianisation on O’Connell Street and reduced footfall as people work from home. Clare’s Garda chief also conceded that the pressure to staff roadside checkpoints had reduced the presence of the force in the town. However, he pledged to boost the visibility of gardaí on the streets as restrictions ease. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Mary Howard referred to footage circulating on social media that appears to show two young men brawling on Darcy’s Corner, a busy junction in the heart of the town. Despite the presence of onlookers, the men can be seen to leave the footpath and exchange blows in the middle of the road, before leaving …

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Retail group dismayed over delay with return of Click and Collect

ENNIS-based Retail Excellence has issued an angry response to the time-frame for the return of non-essential retail services. Duncan Graham described his organisations 2,000 members as being “deeply shocked and disappointed” at the government’s decision to defer the return of non-essential retail and Click and Collect services, which enable shoppers to order online and to pick up their goods in-store. Earlier this week, Retail Excellence had launched a campaign advocating strongly for the return of click and collect services from next week. The group argued that, given the change in the seasons and the urgent need for families of small children to be able to buy clothing and shoes, that limited services should be allowed to return immediately. There was huge alarm in the retail sector at Tuesday night’s announcement on the phased easing of lockdown. Taoiseach Micheál Martin, made it clear that that Click and Collect services will not resume until early May, with most ‘non-essential’ in-person retailing likely …

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Cleric calls for action on nation’s unresolved grief

A SENIOR cleric has said that the nation’s mental and emotional wellbeing must receive the same level of investment and effort as the campaign to eradicate Covid-19. Parish Priest of Tulla, Fr Brendan Quinlivan, said that once the pandemic is under control, the government and public health officials must turn their attention to tackling the psychological fall-out being experienced by all generations. Fr Quinlivan, who is also the Killaloe diocesan communications officer, said that one of the biggest challenges will be dealing with unresolved grief for those who have been bereaved during the pandemic. “There are huge concerns about what the legacy of Covid-19 will be in terms of mental health and wellbeing,” he said. “We are increasingly hopeful about the roll-out of vaccines and the return to normal life, but we need to make sure that as much time, effort and investment is poured into addressing the impact of the lockdowns on so many people. Our children and young …

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Bishop issues appeal over large funeral gatherings

BISHOP of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan is appealing to the public to avoid congregating around funeral ceremonies, outside churches and at cemeteries. Bishop Monahan said that following conversations with priests and people around the Diocese in recent weeks, he had learned of serious health and safety concerns about the number of people gathering after funeral ceremonies in church and also at burial ceremonies. “Whilst it is such a positive and deeply ingrained aspect of our culture in Ireland to gather and offer condolences to the bereaved family, unfortunately due to the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus it is still not safe to do so,” he said. “While being sensitive to the needs of mourners for care and compassion at such a difficult time, many priests have expressed deep concern for the wellbeing of parishioners gathering in such a manner and I share that concern.” The Catholic bishop said that at the start of the pandemic, mourners and families have been …

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Doolin dancer Tess is ‘Immersed in Blue’

AN INSPIRING video essay has been released by a Doolin dancer, urging people to use creativity and the natural world to support them in these challenging times. In the piece, filmed by Clem McInerney, Tess McGovern, an Irish dancer and teacher, relates how her world came to a stop last March and how she found solace in her native Doolin. The script, which Tess spent several months perfecting, describes the onset of the pandemic and how “waves of worry rose and the darkness set in, like a wild Atlantic storm the challenges grew, under siege by the westerly winds”. “Last March, I was working with the Milwaukee Irish Dance Company who, like all Irish dancers in America would be really busy around St Patrick’s Day,” Tess told The Champion. “It’s a time I would normally be teaching, gigging and lecturing. Then stuff started getting cancelled. The States were slower to go into lockdown but I got back on March 19 …

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‘Shocking’ rise in domestic abuse in second lockdown last year

NEW figures reveal that three Clare children were forced to spend Christmas Day in a refuge because of domestic abuse in their home. The data, which highlights the added pressure on the refuge operated by Clare Haven during the second lockdown last year, have been described by the service manager as “shocking”. Figures contained in the national report ‘Tracking the Shadow Pandemic – Lockdown 2,’ show that ten women and 17 children were given refuge, safety and security at Clare Haven in the month of November. A further 72 helpline calls were received to the service in that month alone, where we gave emotional support and information to women living with domestic abuse. A total of four women and 13 children were given refuge in December. Over the course of 2020, 88 women were in refuge in Clare up from the 79 in 2019 and 81 in 2018. “Even in an extraordinary time of crisis, these numbers are shocking,” said …

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