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Austin Hobbs

HSA campaign on farm safety

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) will begin a month long intensive farm inspection campaign on Tuesday next. Approximately 500 inspections are planned with the focus on tractor and machinery safety. Each year, nearly half of all farm deaths, and many more serious accidents, are linked to tractors and machinery.  To date in 2017 there have been six farm fatalities with four involving tractors or machinery. In an effort to reduce these accidents inspectors will be encouraging farmers to plan work and have systems in place that minimise risk particularly during silage harvesting. Pat Griffin, senior inspector with the HSA said that many serious and fatal accidents on farms occur when someone is crushed or struck by machinery. “The movement of machinery, whether in the yard or in a field, can be hazardous and farmers need to be aware of the risks, particularly if there are young children living on or visiting the farm. Incidents of crushing someone against a …

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Kilkee losing out on conference boost

KILKEE’S business community has lost out on an early season financial fillip, as a conference had to be moved out of the resort because there is no hotel open that could cater for the more than 100 delegates. Secretary of Kilkee Tourism, John Williams, has vented his and the community’s anger at losing the conference. He described as “outrageous” the fact that there are three hotels in the resort – The Ocean Cove, Kilkee Bay Hotel and The Marine Hotel – capable of hosting this event and all three are closed to business. Raidió Corca Baiscinn is hosting the CRAOL Féile National Community Radio Awards, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, on May 26 and 27 and had planned to host the event locally. However, the conference, a national event recognising the talents of broadcasters and producers involved in community radio stations, will now be held in The Falls Hotel in Ennistymon. Raidió Corca Baiscainn staff and tourist interests …

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Oil spillage exercise at Spanish Point

A training exercise testing the response capabilities of Shannon Foynes Port Company, local authorities and other organisations who operate in the vicinity of the Shannon Estuary took place at Spanish Point this week. The simulated event, which was hosted by Clare County Council on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT), centred on a major spillage of crude oil from an exploration platform located approximately 220km off the south west coast of Ireland with oil coming ashore at Spanish Point. Other parameters for the exercise included notification that the source of the pollution had been brought under control and that there had been no casualties on the oil exploration platform. There was a practical element on site at Spanish Point involving operation and demonstration of equipment while a technical briefing was be carried out on equipment on site for officials. The second day of the event consisted of the management of a simulated large scale event for senior management …

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It’s almost tea time, Ted

THERE will be a welcome on the mat for all this Sunday at Fr Ted’s House in the heart of the Burren. The hosts, Cheryl and Patrick McCormack, will be on hand to offer tea and scones. Visitors to the house made famous as the ‘parochial house’ for Fr Ted Crilly in the award-winning TV series Father Ted, between 6pm and 9pm on Sunday evening will be asked to part with €10, as a fundraiser for the RNLI. John and Shelly Galvin of The Clare Champion are promoting the event in recognition of the outstanding work being carried out by the RNLI lifeboat personnel all over the country. John lauded the bravery of crew members in facing into very difficult situations to deal with emergencies on sea and inland waterways

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One campside plan for Fleadh 2017

THERE will only be one campsite for Fleadh revellers this year if the plans in the event licence application are approved, local businesses have been told. While there were a number of campsites last year, this year there is only one campsite, which is in Clarecastle, in the event licence application. Details of car-parking arrangements and event control were outlined at the meeting by Clare County Council Fleadh co-ordinator Noleen Fitzgerald. The early part of the festival comprises of Scoil Eigse, a summer school of Irish traditional music, song and dance for children. It is competition time from Thursday to Monday, when competitors will flock from the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom and provincial champions from all over Ireland. Patrons can also look forward to concerts, lectures, Seachtain na Gaeilge and Fleadh TV. The Gig Rig will be located in Abbey Street again, although its orientation and layout will be slightly different this year. It will back …

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Contractor avoids jail in €2.5m fraud case

AN Ennis building contractor who was “ill prepared” to be in charge of a company employing hundreds of people, has escaped jail but been fined €10,000, having committed “significant Revenue fraud of €2.594 million”. Patrick Mahony, 49, with an address at Craglea, Woodstock was sentenced at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday, having pleaded guilty to five charges out of a total of 16 under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997. The accused was a former director of Boxform Limited, now in liquidation, a company that had a turnover in excess of €8m at its peak and employed up to 350 people nationwide. The outstanding tax liability across the 16 charges, the court outlined, came to €2,594,446. The five charges are that Mahony, as a director of Boxform Limited, “knowingly or wilfully” delivered incorrect VAT returns to the Collector General in connection with the VAT periods of January/February 2006, November/December 2006 and November/December 2007. He also admitted to failing to file …

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Corofin man elected INTO vice-president

Corofin man Joe Killeen is the new vice-president of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO). The principal of Lough Cutra National School, near Gort, was elected to the post at last weekend’s annual congress in Belfast. The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation has in excess of 43,000 members, of which 7,300 reside in Northern Ireland. Its members teach in the region of 600,000 pupils. Mr Killeen began his teaching career at Kiltrusten National School in Strokestown, County Roscommon, and became principal at Lough Cutra in 1987. In the same year, he became Gort INTO branch secretary. He went on to represent the Gort INTO branch and District 6 of the INTO (Galway/Roscommon) for over 20 years. In 2008, he was elected to the central executive committee of the union to represent INTO District 6, which has a membership of 2,500 teachers. Mr Killeen was a member of the Small Schools Task Force, set up in 2012 by the union to advise …

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Two charged with criminal damage to US navy place

A VETERAN peace activist charged with causing criminal damage to a US navy plane, has revealed that as he was being arrested he handed gardaí a list of names of children who have been killed in the Middle East. Edward Horgan was one of two men arrested at Shannon Airport on Tuesday who were subsequently charged at Ennis District Court with causing criminal damage to an aircraft. It is understood that the words ‘danger, danger, don’t fly’ were written in marker on the plane. Mr Horgan (71) has an address at Newtown, Castletroy, Limerick while his co-defendant, 35-year-old Dan Dowling, has an address at Grace Dieu in Waterford City. Speaking after appearing in court, Mr Horgan said, “I believe that the list I gave to the guards had almost a thousand [names]; there were 35 pages. The total list, unfortunately, has almost one million people since 1991”. He added, “I handed it to the gardaí at the time of the …

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Green light for children’s hospital

THE Minister for Health, Simon Harris has announced that the Government has approved the investment required to enable the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to award the construction contracts for the building of the main children’s hospital on the St James’s Hospital campus and the two paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres on the Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals campuses. This decision means that the project can proceed without delay. Construction of the new children’s hospital will commence within weeks. At the site of the new children’s hospital, Minister Harris said, “Today (Wednesday) is a huge step forward for the children’s hospital project, ending years of doubt as to whether it would ever be built.  Today, there is no more doubt.  This hospital will be built. The new state of the art children’s hospital, and the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres, will provide a fitting place where we can provide our children with the best modern clinical care. “Our children …

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Harris notes moves on hospitals agreement

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) noted the publication of the agreement between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group by the two hospitals. In a statement, the Department of Health said, “The minister also particularly welcomes the confirmation by the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group that any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of this State will be carried out at the new hospital.” The statement continued, “ The boards of both hospitals are meeting this week and will no doubt review progress to date. The minister and his officials will arrange meetings with the two hospitals shortly. The minister repeats his request that some time be allowed for the detailed work that is necessary. The project is at the very early stages with a planning decision on the hospital not expected until the autumn.” Minister Harris, the statement noted, said the location of all maternity hospitals on the sites of adult …

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