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Attack on house of Clare Dog Warden

THE Ennis home of Clare County Dog Warden Frankie Coote came under attack on Wednesday night. Windows of his house were smashed by men wielding hatchets, while his van and his wife’s car were also attacked. Speaking on Thursday Mr Coote said, “It was exactly nine o’clock, I was just going watching the news, and the window of the house came in. I thought it was shotguns, I heard bang, bang, bang, but it was two people attacking the van and the wife’s car with hatchets. There was awful damage done.” He said that confrontation has been a frequent reality of his job, but it is very upsetting having it come to his home. “It was worse for my wife than myself. I’ve been assaulted, different things have happened me to do with my job, but nothing at the house.” Mr Coote said that thousands of euros worth of damage had been done. He said he spoke to one of …

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‘If I had sex with them they’d reduce the debt’

UNBEARABLE pressure is being inflicted on young people once they fall into the debt of Ennis drug dealers, a local mother has warned. She once worked in two jobs to clear her own son’s debt and was subjected to numerous threats, with warnings that her young daughter could be a target. “They threatened me, they threatened my son, they threatened my [other, younger] child. They told me that if I had sexual relations with them they would take money off the debt. I’d say I have been threatened at least 40 times. At least. It’s been on my doorstep, up the town, if your son doesn’t pay up, this is what’s going to happen.” At its worst stage her son’s debts reached €2,000, with cannabis very much his drug of choice. “It’s awful stress, oh my God, it’s awful. Even talking about it now, I’m not living through it now, but Jesus it was so hard, working two jobs paying …

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‘Intimidation used in money lending’ claims bishop

THE former Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh, has criticised Travellers who are allegedly engaging in “intimidation” to recoup money that has been given to members of their own community as part of unregulated money-lending. Bishop Emeritus Walsh, who served as Bishop of Killaloe from 1994 to 2010, has spoken out about serious problems being caused by a small number of Travellers who are engaged in feuding, the illegal distribution of drugs and money-lending. In an interview with The Clare Champion following the publication of his new memoir No Crusader, Bishop Walsh believes feuding among Travellers, often linked to the illegal sale and distribution of drugs in the county, is still a major problem. “Some Travellers have told me most of this feuding is linked with the distribution of drugs. There are other aspects as well, including a feud between two families over some slight or hurt and row in relation to a marriage. “A large percentage of the feuding is …

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