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Tag Archives: Owen Ryan

HSE failures continue 10 years on

TEN years ago this month, 24- hour emergency department services in Ennis closed and services in the region were reconfigured, despite dire warnings that the HSE’s new plan would not work and could, in fact, prove disastrous. When one looks back at the reports from that time, it is very striking how prescient the people who made the objections were but even they surely could not have believed that things would be so bad so long later. On Monday, Clare County Council passed a motion of no confidence in Minister Simon Harris, after 81 people were left on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) last Wednesday. In The Clare Champion of April 3, 2009, Clare TD Pat Breen opposed the new acute model and, at the time, he felt far more moderate figures were also terrible. “Patients have been left on trolleys for extended periods. There were 17 people on trolleys in Limerick on Tuesday and 28 people on Monday,” …

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The Champion Report -Episode 3

THE latest news and views from Clare Champion journalists Carol Byrne and Owen Ryan. This week they discuss the inquest into last May’s double drowning in Ennis, the plight of Shannon Airport, the Kilkee murder trial, LIT opening a Clare campus and the impact of smartphone use on young minds.

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Shannon jobs at risk

JOBS are at risk at Shannon IT company Avocent today. The company is a subsidiary of Vertiv, and in a statement it said, “Vertiv has notified the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection that we are considering staffing changes at our Shannon site. We are keeping our employees and customers informed. This is part of our efforts to deliver our products and services to our customers in the most effective and affordable way possible.” According to its accounts, Avocent International Designated Activity Company employed 84 people in the year to September 30, 2017. It had an after tax profit of US$6.4 million. Owen Ryan      

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Huge prices sought for Irish Open houses

NORTH Clare homeowners are looking for more than €8,000 to rent out their properties for the Irish Open and this week has seen calls for more moderate pricing. On Monday, on airbnb.ie, a house described in its blurb as a “Lahinch Irish Open house in Miltown Malbay”, could be booked for €8,169. On the same site, €7,879 could secure a golf fan a three-bedroom house, which was described as being an eight minute walk from Lahinch’s main street. Another property in the village was available for the princely sum of €7,022 for the week. Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner, Offaly’s Shane Lowry and world number 13, Tommy Fleetwood, were confirmed this week for the tournament, which is taking place from July 4 to 7. Local hotelier Michael Vaughan is a past president of the Irish Hotels Federation and he said some of the prices being sought are very high. “As far as we’re concerned in Lahinch and North Clare, the …

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Major investment to revitalise Kildysart

THERE was a sense of hope and excitement in Kildysart this week, with news that €1.8 million has been allocated for the development of maritime and cruise liner-related training facilities at the disused school and convent in Cahercon. It is expected that a facility will be developed offering training in all sorts of activities related to marine industries, from piloting cruise liners to catering to mechanics for ships. Ultimately, it’s expected that private sector interests will develop the facility in the next couple of years, while a statement from Clare Deputy Pat Breen this week said that the National Maritime College of Ireland, which is based in Cork, will be central to providing the training. When it finally does open, it will bring a certain amount of new jobs and, presumably, a significant number of trainees and students to the nearby village. Such a development will be a major boost for Kildysart, the likes of which  it has not enjoyed …

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50% rent increase demanded of pensioners

THE unpredictability faced by people in private rented accommodation has been illustrated by the case of an Ennis couple who were told the rent for their apartment would be increasing by an incredible 50%. Pensioners Hilari Hinnant and Greg Miller rent a one-bedroom apartment at Parnell Street and on July 11 they received a letter from a representative of their landlord, informing them the rent would be going up from €400 to €600 a month. In certain parts of the country, designated rent pressure zones, prices may only rise by a maximum of 4% per annum, but no part of Clare is included, meaning tenants here can see prices rise by any amount. The letter to the couple informing them of the rent increase stated “the new rent is not greater than the market rent, having regard to the other terms of the tenancy, and letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character to the dwelling that …

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Google: “We’re working to stop misinformation”

FIONNUALA Meehan, head of Google in Ireland, has defended the company’s record on privacy, its use of people’s information and the company’s impact on politics. Ms Meehan attended a business event in Limerick on Tuesday on the same day that US president Donald Trump tweeted that “Google & others are suppressing voices and Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good.” Most people take Trump’s social media utterances with a pinch of salt, but there is no doubt that Google, and a handful of other technology companies, have a previously unseen level of global influence, which is potentially very malevolent if not used responsibly. Ms Meehan claimed the company are taking its obligations in this area very seriously. “We are a platform and the platform can be used in different ways. We have a whole team who look at developing and enforcing policies around how bad actors could potentially use that platform in a way that spreads misinformation. “On …

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Valentine’s Special: How Sixmilebridge Couple Found Love Online

A LITTLE over three years ago, Aileen O’Connor and Ronan Shiels began messaging each other on Plenty of Fish and now they are married, living in Sixmilebridge with their two children. Unsurprisingly, both of them are advocates of online dating and Ronan says he knows several others who have found love on the web. “It’s definitely a good avenue. Three of my friends are married through online dating.” The couple had actually met each other socially long before they got together, says 33-year-old Aileen. “I actually had met him through mutual friends years ago and then I had lost touch with that friend. To my knowledge, he was in a long-term relationship or married, then he appeared on this Plenty of Fish thing. I kind of knew he was a decent and good guy. He messaged me to say ‘hey, fancy meeting you here’ kind of thing and we chatted fairly fluidly because we had been in each other’s company …

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