Replica of f shing village in Doolin gets go ahead

PLANNING permission has been granted for the construction of “replica f shing village” in the centre of Doolin – despite a number of objections from local businesses and An Taisce.

Planners at Clare County Council have granted permission to Guss Fitzgerald to build the replica village on Fishers Street – which is earmarked to be a major local tourist attraction.

A host of objections were raised against the development with issues such as local infrastructure, parking and the need for a replica village all put forward.

In one objection, submitted by Joe O’Neill, it was stated that Doolin was already an authentic f shing village, so there was no need to construct a replica f shing village. “The existing village of Doolin is already an attractive small f shing village with a few authentic thatched cottage.

To built a fake replica village would be detrimental to the existing village,” he said. Objections were also raised by Petr Pandula of Fishers Street in Doolin who operated the Magnetic Music traditional music shop and cafe. In his off cial submission he high lighted issues such as parking diff culty, toilet access and waste water management.

“Even if the numbers would be very low and only a couple of hundred a day, the application is lacking an answer as to where those people would go to the toilet,” he said. “The only toilets available in Fishers Street are in O’Connor’s, in Guss Fitzgerald’s cafe, ours in the Ivy Cottage Cafe.

“After water charges have been introduced the applicant hardly can expect that O’Connor’s Pub and our cafe will cater for the needs of the replica f shing village. “The council is surely aware of the fact that Doolin is not connected to a sewage system and the existing septic tank can’t deal with a serious increase in numbers.”


Heritage project tracing Traveller history

A NEW project that looks explores the history of Traveller culture and communities is currently underway in Ennis.

The “Our Heritage” project is headed up by Ennis CDP Traveller Education Peer Support worker, David McCarthy and a group of young traveller teenagers.

Members of the public got the opportunity to learn about the work undertaken by the group at the Clare Traveler Focus event in Ennis last month.

David McCarthy – winner of the 2014 Traveller Pride Award in Sport – spoke about the project, which looked through the Traveller lens at Travellers’ lives, then and now. The young people interviewed older members of their community, visited heritage sites and built a model of an old Traveller camp as it was remembered.

The project was supported by Clare County Council, the Department of Justice and Equality, Cuímhneamh an Chláir, Ennis CDP and the Traveller community in Ennis with assistance from photographer Pat Galvin.

It recently went on display at the headquarters of Clare County Council.

Ennis man David McCarthy works on a weekly basis with a group of secondary school students. Earlier this year he helped the group devise a drugs awareness campaign that received praise from the Mid Western Regional Drugs Taskforce.

The peer support group were among those celebrated at Clare Traveler Focus which was held in Glór at the end of November.

According to Nicola Killeen, Co- ordinator of the Clare Traveller Plan “The Clare Traveller Focus Event forms part of an ongoing review by agencies involved in the Clare Traveller Plan into the implementation of the various aims and objectives, including accommodation, health, education, and work and enterprise.”

“Each year, we organise an event to showcase and celebrate some of the year’s successes but also to bring awareness to areas that still need our focus and attention. For example, this night also marked the achievements of Travellers in County Clare and the positive stories coming from the community,” stated Ms. Killeen.


Murder accused will go to trial

A 40-YEA R-old man accused of the murder of his brother has been sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Cour t.The book of evidence was ser ved on Declan O Cualáin at Ennis District Cour t on Wednesday. Mr O Cualáin ( Folan) , with an address at A n Caoran Beag, A n Cheathru Beag, Galway, is charged with the murder of brother in Clare earlier this year. It is alleged the accused did murder A drain O Cualáin at Lislorkin Nor th, Liscannor, on July 4. Garda Ruth O’Sullivan of Ennistymon Garda Station gave evidence of ser ving the book of evidence on solicitor A drian MacLynn for his client Declan O Cualáin. Inspector Tom Kennedy told the cour t the Director of Public Prosecutions ( DPP) consented to the accused being returned for trial to next sessions of the Central Criminal Cour t. Mr O Cualáin was remanded in custody. Mr MacLynn applied for legal aid, saying it was appropriate in this case. Judge Patrick Durcan granted legal aid for Mr MacLynn, junior counsel and senior counsel. Mr MacLynn told Judge Durcan his client had recently been transferred to the Central Mental Hospital. Cat hedr a l of SS Pet er & Paul Chr istma s Eve: 6.30pm Children’s Mass. Chr istma s Eve: 9pm – Vigil Mass . Midnight: Polish Community Mass. Chr istma s Da y: 9a m; 10.30am & 12noon. 10. 30a m Children’s Ma ss: National School. Chr istma s Da y: 3pm Polish Mass. St J oseph’s Chur ch Chr istma s Eve: 5.30pm – Liturgy of prayer and carols around the crib for families with very young children. Chr istma s Eve: 7pm – Vigil Mass Chr istma s Da y: 8am; 10am & 11.30am. Cloughleigh Chur ch Chr istma s Eve: 9pm – Vigil Mass. Chr istma s Da y: 9.30am; 11am Fr ia r y Chr istma s Eve: 10pm (Carols start 9.30pm). Chr istma s Da y: 9.30am; 10.30am & 12noon Poor Cla r e Mona st er y Chr istma s Eve: 9pm – Vigil Mass Chr istma s Da y: 7.45am


Poorbox to fund teen’s martial art classes in attempt at rehabilitation

AN Ennis teenager ordered by a Judge to take up a martial arts course part funded by the court poor box has been told to commit to the course or face a prison sentence.

The youth is before the court in relation to a number of offences including the unauthorised taking of a bike, thefts in Ennis and North Clare and interfering with the proper use of a vehicle.

The offences were committed when he was a minor.

At Ennis District Court last month, Judge Patrick Durcan allocated € 200 from the court poor box to fund a self defence course for the boy, who has now turned 18.

Money collected in the poor box is usually paid out to charities, voluntary groups and other community organisations at the end of the year.

Judge Durcan said he did not usually allocate money from the poor box for such purposes but said he was do- ing so in this case.

The teenager had previously told the court he had been unable to leave his home because of a dispute with another person.

Judge Durcan suggested it could be benef cial for the youth to do a self defence course.

Addressing Inspector Tom Kennedy, the Judge said, “I hope Inspector we won’t be rueing the day we did this”. “Its certainly a new departure”, replied Insp Kenendy.

The youth’s solicitor Daragh Hassett remarked, “We’re thinking outside the box here”.

Adjourning the case last month, Judge Durcan told the youth he would see him on December 17. “We might want an exhibition”, he added.

Judge Ducan told Mr Hassett he wanted a report on the next court date.

Addressing the accused, he said, “If I f nd you are not undertaking what you should be undertaking, I’ll deal with you”.

The teenager was back before Ennis District Court on Wednesday.

Mr Hassett explained his client attempted to enrol in one martial arts class in Ennis but the instructor would not take him when he heard the youth was involved in a court process. Mr Hassett said his client is conf dent of being accepted into another martial arts class.

“The thinking is to keep him physically f t and get him our of bed in the morning and not to be taking people out (in the street)”, Mr Hassett said of the court’s decision.

Judge Durcan adjourned the case to February and granted the State liberty to re-enter the cases should any issues arise in the meantime.

The Judge told the teenager there are enough charges before the court to jail him for 18 months.

He warned the youth that if he did not commit to the course the only gym he would be using would be the one in Limerick prison.


Reverend to appeal driving ban

A LOCAL cleric who verbally abused gardaí after being caught speeding intends to appeal his driving ban.

At Ennis District Court earlier this month, Rev Bob Hanna (68), the Rector of St Columba’s Church in Ennis, was banned for driving for six months after being convicted of driving in excess of the speed limit on the dual carriageway at Bunratty West on April 17, 2014.

Disqualifying Canon Hanna from driving for six months, Judge Patrick Durcan described the cleric’s abusive conduct towards the garda as “despicable”.

In her evidence, Garda Elizabeth McDonagh of Ennis Garda Station told the court she stopped Canon Hanna’s car during a speed check.

Garda McDonagh said Canon Hanna asked why he was being stopped and became verbally abusive towards her after being stopped.

The court heard Canon Hanna told gardaí he was on his way to a communion.

Garda McDonagh told the court she stated to Canon Hanna that he had been traveling at 135 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 100 km/h.

She said Canon Hanna replied by saying; “I don’t give a f***. I’m late”.

Garda McDonagh said Canon Hanna “snapped” his driver’s license back from her, got back into his car and repeatedly revved the engine.

At this point, Garda McDonagh said Canon Hanna said, “I’m leaving, chase me if you want”.

Canon Hanna, with an address at The Rectory, Bindon Street, Ennis, was not present and was not legally represented in court for the brief hearing.

“Now that I know the defendant is a Minister of Religion, I am even more appalled”, Judge Durcan said. Judge Durcan imposed a € 500 f ne and, by way of ancillary order, disqualif ed Canon Hanna from holding a driver’s license for six months.

After the case, Canon Hanna apologised for his outburst.

In a statement, the Archbishop’s Commissary of the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe, Archdeacon Wayne Carney, said;

“I have spoken to Canon Hanna, and he deeply regrets using abusive language to the garda who stopped him, and wishes to apologise to her for his behaviour”.

Canon Hanna was present at Ennis District Court on Wednesday when he successfully applied to extend time to lodge an appeal.

When the application was called, his solicitor Caoimhe Collins told Judge Durcan the conviction related to a speeding offence.

The Judge extended time to lodge the appeal to December 31, 2014 and f xed recognisance at Canon Hanna’s own bond of € 250. Canon Hanna is permitted to remain driving pending the appeal.


Families ‘trade in’ their old dog for new one

THE CLARE county pound has been inundated in recent weeks with families “trading in” their old dog, before getting a new one for Christmas.

Over the past two years, the pound has seen an massive increase in dogs being handed or illegally dumped in the two weeks before Christmas. Many of these dogs are understood to have been been dumped by houses in order to make room for a new dog at Christmas.

Clare dog warden, Frankie Coote, is appealing to anyone who is thinking of taking on a dog this Christmas to think carefully and to remember that a god is for life.

“People getting a dog without thinking about it is a big problem, but what’s a bigger problem for us right now is people who want to get rid of their dog before Christmas – which is a new thing over the past few years.

“We are inundated with people at the moment – it’s because of the bad weather, or people are going on holidays over Christmas and they are just getting rid of dog.

“They just don’t want them,” said Frankie.

“We’ve seem this happening in the lead up to Christmas, especially the week before Christmas. Sometimes it would be people getting rid of one dog to make room for another young puppy.

“If we get in an older dog, which a family is getting rid of maybe, it can be very diff cult to re-home it. “The rescue groups are helping up but we are really strapped at the moment trying to f nd places for dogs. In the last few days as well we have three incidents of puppies being dumped.

“It might sound funny, but we are appealing to people to take a dog for Christmas. But when we say Christmas we mean for life.

“It would be a massive help for people to take on a dog, but obviously not abandon it right after Christmas.

“We would really to people not to buy a dog for other people over Christmas – without their knowledge. We get several calls directly, in the days after Christmas, with people saying that a relation or someone arrived at their house with a beautiful dog, but they don’t want it.

“It’s one think buying someone a record player or a CD without asking someone, but you can’t hang up a dog on the back of the door if you don’t want it.”

Meanwhile there was a boost to animal welfare in the county when grants of up to € 34,700 were announced for six services in Clare.

The Clare groups in receipt of payments include Clare SPCA, Newmarket on Fergus (€ 15,000); Second Chance Animal Welfare Ltd., Shannon (€ 9,800); Rover Rescue, Ennis (€ 3,600); An Cat Dubh Sanctuary, Clounlaheen East, Mullagh (€ 2,400); Burren Animal Rescue, Rockforest, Tubber (€ 2,100); and Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, Kilrush (€ 1,800).

The ex-gratia payments form part of an allocation totalling € 1,867,200 which is being distributed to 142 animal welfare bodies throughout Ireland to assist in their work during the coming year.

Welcoming the news, Clare Senator Tony Mulcahy said this year’s County Clare allocation is almost € 2,000 higher than the f gure received in late 2013 from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“I am in no doubt that the money will be put to good use by the organisations in County Clare in providing the best possible service towards animals in their care,” commented Senator Mulcahy.

The senator also appealled to parents and others to think responsibly when considering giving a pet as a present this Christmas.


Belharbour residents will not be forced out for Christmas by ‘Bully Boys’

RESIDENTS of the North Clare neighbourhood of Abbey West say they have no intention of being forced from their homes by “bully boy” receivers Ernest and Young.

Five families in the Belharbour estate were given just three days to vacate their properties last Tuesday – even though they are all up to date in their rents and many of them have long-term leases.

The eleven people, including a number of children, who live in the Belharbour Estate say they will not be leaving their homes – and have organised protest activities which they hope will “shame” the receivers as well as AIB.

“We are in this for the long haul and we will not be leaving our houses – at least not on account of those bullyboys,” said resident Brian Fleming. “It’s been diff cult for all of us, es – pecially coming in the run up in to Christmas,” he said.

In a statement to The Clare People, Ernst and Young say they are taking their decision because of safety concerns. See page 3 f or f ull st or y


Councillors to boycott proposed four minute Irish Water meetings

THE MAJORITY of councillors are set to boycott a meeting with Irish Water due to take place this Wednesday – with the utility company refusing to host the meeting in public.

The one-to-one meetings were due to take place, behind closed doors, from 10am to 12 noon this Wednesday, however, it now appears that only a handful of councillors plan to attend.

The original format for the meeting would have seen each councillor given just four minutes and 18 seconds to discuss issues with the Irish Wa- ter representatives – and the media banned from attending.

The council last week passed a resolution asking Irish Water to abandon the private meeting and instead come before Clare County Council in a full meeting that could be attended by the public and the media.

This request was declined by Irish Water – and a number of councillors have now decided to boycott the meeting.

“The upshot of all of this is that they [Irish Water] are refusing to meets us in the council chambers and because of that I will be boycotting that meeting,” said Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF).

“It [one-to-one meetings] is a point- less exercise and is completely non democratic. There are a lot of macro issues involving Irish Water that concern Clare County Council, staff ng


Former barracks to be demolished

Although Slough Hall began life as a mess hall for the army, it was better known locally as a dancehall during the Irish show band era of the 1950’s and ‘60’s. The barracks was also the home of Irish League basketball in Clare during the 1980’s and early 1990. In more recent years the hall has hosted a number of productions by the local Ennistymon Choral Society as well as other community organisations. Slaugh Hall and the Army Barracks, which lie on a prime stretch of land between the Old (Championship) Course and Castle Course in Lahinch, was purchased from the Irish Defense Forces by Lahinch Golf Course for € 560,000 earlier this year. At the time a last ditch attempt was made by members of local community to raise enough money to purchase the property on behalf of the local community, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Local campaigners had hoped that the land, which borders the Lahinch Community Field, could be retained in community ownership and developed as a community centre and amenity park.


Stole wine from Ennis of licence

A MAN who pleaded guilty to a break-in at an Ennis business and the theft of four bottles of wine escaped a prison sentence at Ennis District Court last Wednesday, December 10.

Gary Simms (43) with an address at Laurel Lodge in Ennis, pleaded guilty to the burglary which took place in Ennis on the early hours of December 3, 2014.

The court heard that a window was broken and the alarm set off at the Wine Buff off licence in Ennis at 3am on the morning of December 3 – with four bottles of wine being taken. Gardaí stopped Mr Simms on O’Connell’s Street in Ennis at 4.30am on the same morning and recovered the four bottles of wine which had a combined value of between € 80 and € 100.

Judge Patrick Durcan said that Mr Simms had a “dreadful record” with 77 previous convictions – although none of the previous conviction were for burglary. Council for the defence said that Mr Simms was a recovering alcoholic who was on the track to recovery, except for his slip on December 3.

The court heard that on the day of the incident Mr Simms had contacted his former partner with a view to organising a visit with his children before Christmas – but she had refused to allow him to visit.

Address the court, Mr Simms said that it was this incident which had led to his ‘set back’.

“Give me a chance, please,” he said to Judge Durcan. “Twice I have seen my kids this year. I’ve never exposed my kids to my alcoholism. I miss my children.”

The court also heard that Mr Simms is due to move from supported accommodation to his own home in January, if his recovery continues.

Judge Durcan placed Mr Simms on a probation bond for 12 months but warned him not to break the law during that period.

“Don’t come back before me again. I remember some of the names that come through here and I will remember yours,” he said.