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South Clare

Thomond Community College opens

A NEW second level school to serve a catchment area of north Limerick city and into Clare, opened yesterday (Thursday). Thomond Community College is located in the state-of-the-art, former St Nessan’s Community College facility off the Old Cratloe Road.  The college is an amalgamation of Salesian Secondary School and St Nessan’s Community College that will be run under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB). Its initial intake of 96 first years walked through the doors on Thursday starting out their five year second level education. In addition to the new first year intake, fifth year and second year students from Salesian Secondary School have today (Friday) transferred to the Thomond Community College, with all set to retain the teachers for the various subjects they had in the 2015/2016 school year at the Salesians. The First Year intake at the college is up 50% from three years ago when the amalgamation was announced. Overall numbers …

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Parteen scientist leads €2m MS research

A PARTEEN scientist is leading a new €2.39 million research programme at Queen’s University Belfast to investigate reversing the damage caused by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr Denise Fitzgerald from the Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s is working with a team of international scientists on the ground-breaking MS research project to develop a new class of treatment for MS, which could restore lost functions in patients and significantly improve their quality of life. The research programme, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aims to understand how myelin, the insulating layer that surrounds nerves in the central nervous system, can be repaired. Thousands of people in Ireland are affected by MS, with Northern Ireland having the second-highest incidence of MS in the world. Dr Fitzgerald was paralysed by a condition similar to MS when she was 21 but has fully recovered. Dr Fitzgerald, who graduated from UCD, has been in the Queen’s …

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Legal challenge to Killaloe bypass fails

AN environmentalist has lost his legal challenge to a grant of permission for a 2km bypass around Killaloe. Peter Sweetman, along with an environmental protection company, The Swans and the Snails Ltd, claimed the project, which includes construction of a 170 metre long bridge over the River Shannon, will result in the direct, permanent, and irreversible destruction of a woodlands habitat. The High Court, with Mr Justice Paul McDermott presiding, heard the habitat in question, an alluvial wet willow-alder-ash woodland, is located on the western side [Clare bank] of the proposed bridge. Mr Sweetman and the company argued permission for the project should never have been granted to Clare County Council by An Bord Pleanála. It was claimed the board failed to carry out an adequate assessment under the EU Habitats Directive. Mr Sweetman, of Bunahowen Cashel, County Galway, and the company, with an address at Rossport, South Ballina, County Mayo, claimed an environmental impact assessment carried out by the board …

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Compensation sought for flood-hit Springfield

THE new Government has been urged to put in place an accessible compensation package to enable residents in South-East Clare restore their flood-hit properties. A local Sinn Féin activist has also called on the new administration to ensure that insurance companies will not be allowed to abdicate their responsibilities by compensating householders who have the necessary policy in place and should continue to give them cover in the future. In a wide-ranging address to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on Saturday, Margaret O’Connor claimed several insurance companies are now refusing to cover people in entire regions because they are what has been described as “designated flood zones”, even though they have never been flooded or are never likely to be flooded. Prior to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, the East Clare cumann member spoke to members of the Quinlivan family in Springfield, Clonlara, who are only getting back on their feet with much work on their house still to be …

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Kilbeacanty GAA spreading Be Well message

A South Galway GAA club has begun a mental health initiative which proponents hope will spread nationwide. Kilbeacanty GAA Club recently launched its Be Well programme, dedicated to maintaining and improving the mental and physical well-being of members of the club and the wider community. “Two years ago, Niall Donoghue passed away. As a follow-up, we have done a few small things but this is an initiative we came up with and it might be a way of getting information to everyone in the parish. The county board is hoping to roll it out in other areas,” explained club secretary Alan O’Grady. The death of the outstanding young hurler was a devastating blow to the club and community. “It has woken up a lot of communities. It put a lot of alarm bells ringing in clubs across the county and country. Every parish should be aware that this could happen, people are depressed and we don’t want it happening in …

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Historic first All-Ireland title for St Anne’s, Killaloe

St Anne’s Killaloe 4-6 De La Salle, Bagnalstown 0-4 Bonfires are blazing in Killaloe this Friday evening after the local secondary school, St Anne’s captured their first All-Ireland camogie title. A merited win over Peresentation De La Salle from Bagnalstown in Carlow has earned the Killaloe side the All-Ireland junior D colleges title. A tally of 3-3 from full forward Maeve Óg O’Leary earned her the player of the game award at the end of a contest n which they led from the outset. Playing with the aid if the breeze in the first half, they took the lead through team captain Aoife Power in the third minute and went on to be 1-6 to 0-2 in front at half time, O’Leary’s opening goal coming in the thirteenth minute. The player of the game struck for her second goal in the opening minute of the second half and this score really rocked their opponents and she had her third goal …

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€30m investment plan in Clare solar power

Plans have been unveiled for the development of six solar farms, which could result in €30 million renewable energy investment in the county over the coming years. County Clare could become a leading generator of solar powered energy with the announcement that the county’s first solar farm is to be located at Ballymorris in Cratloe, just off the N18 Ennis-Limerick road. The 12.4 hectare solar farm will be connected to the national grid and will generate enough electricity to power 1,200 homes over a 25-year period. Following a number of pre-planning meetings with the local authority, Terra Solar will lodge its first planning application to develop a solar farm at its Ballymorris site in the coming weeks. The company has selected six sites that all share certain common characteristics and have applied in each case for grid connection to ESB Networks. Requiring an investment of €5 million apiece, the six sites in the Shannon area will provide enough electricity to …

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Diocesan Chapter role for Fr Tommy

GORT parish priest Fr Tommy Marrinan has been appointed to the Diocesan Chapter, earning him the title Canon and meaning he will now act as adviser to the bishop and as a trustee of the diocese. Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, Martin Drennan made the appointment on Thursday last. He announced that four priests were being added to the Diocesan Chapter, which now has 12 members. These canons work as advisers to, and in very close collaboration with, the bishop. They have a particular responsibility to ensure the effective administration of the temporal affairs of the diocese. Other priests appointed on the day were Fr Ian O’Neill, parish priest of Claregalway; Fr Michael McLoughlin, PP, Moycullen; and Martin Glynn, PP, Mervue and Good Shepherd. According to Fr Tommy, the appointment is a reflection of the parish of Gort and Beagh. “It is an honour for the parish, as it is a title usually given to a priest in a …

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Pateen Weir water levels continue to drop

The flow of water through Parteen Weir will reduce further to 195 cubic metres per second toda (Friday). This level of water flow will continue to have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick. Other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick may also be vulnerable to flooding due to local issues. ESB is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant local authorities.

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Water flow at Parteen remains constant

The ESB has advised that the flow of water through Parteen Weir will remain at 230 cubic metres per second today (Wednesday) and the situation will be reviewed again tomorrow. This level of water flow will continue to have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick. ESB is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant local authorities.

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