Mothers fury at State payments policies

“Rather than getting more support as a Single parent and carer I feel like

I am being punished or penalised. They [the Government] put too much red tape up without looking at the needs of the people

Deborah’s daughter, Marie, is a beautiful eight-year-old girl with a

heart-warming smile and infectious laugh. She is very close to her two- year-old brother Ben and loves hors- es. Despite the challenges facing her on a daily basis, the brave young girl favours activities such as go-karting

and cycling her bike.

The determined little girl and her equally resolute mother fight on, de- spite the uphill battle.

Marie suffers from hypotonia, sen- sory integration disorder and global

developmental delay but, despite nu- merous tests in Ireland and France, no name has been found for her con- dition. “In terms of services or sup- port, you have to fit into a slot,” said Deborah.

While acknowledging that the ther- apists within the HSE are doing their best, Deborah believes that, even with new therapists coming from Australia, there will continue to be a shortage in certain therapies on a regular basis.

Marie is now availing of the serv- ices of the Clare Crusaders, much to the delight of her mother.

“Now you realise that if all of these services were available to children so much earlier, how different their lives would have been. I am really seeing the benefit of the different therapies provided by the Crusaders.”

Deborah is the founding member of Connectabilities, a support group for parents with children with spe- cial needs and disabilities. Through the organisation, parents meet and exchange information and provide a newsletter.

The next meeting of Connectabili- ties is on November 7 at 8.30pm in the Old Lodge in Shannon.


Clare County Board to act if players are singled out over Cusack Cup final fracas.

, Mr McDonagh, outlined a zero tolerance policy against dirty play, if the match

official in charge names and shames those guilty of bringing any game into disrepute.

“We’re never slow to act,’ said Mr McDonagh. “If something is reported to us there are disciplinary measures in the board to deal with them.”

The board chairman attended the final act of the Clare senior football year in Quilty, but arrived at Pairc Naomh Mhuire after the fracas in the first minute of the game that resulted in the sending off of Lissycasey’s

Michael O’Rourke and Doonbeg’s David Downes and Frank O’Dea.

“I was late going to the game,” he revealed, “because I was delayed with work commitments and when I arrived at half-time all the alleged incidents were over with. I didn’t see any row.

“The board will examine Rory Hickey’s report when it comes in — that will determine what action is taken. It’s a matter of waiting and seeing what’s in the report.”

Rory Hickey’s version of events is expected to be with the county board later this week. This will give the disciplinary arm of the executive time to study it before the November meeting of the county board.


Gully praises drive and determination

WHEN Jim Gully took charge of Clonlara two years ago, they had just been relegated from senior and there wasn’t a large queue of candidates willing to take over the side. Their focus since then has been firmly on getting the club back to senior and even though they went out of last year’s championship at the semi-fi- nal stage at the hands of Killanena, Gully knew that his young side were heading in the right direction.

More than anything else, it was that drive and focus which brought them victory last weekend. Their deter- mination on route to this final was a major factor in their success but they brought that tenacity to a whole new level on Sunday with a huge second half display which epitomised their strength of character and never-say- die attitude.

This all stems from the manage- ment’s commitment and belief in their team which manifested itself on Sunday in Jim Gully’s post-match celebrations. As the final whistle sounded, Gully’s elation was obvi- ous for all to see as he lept and ran around Cusack Park, even dropping to his knees at one stage, to thank the man above.

Still out of breath, he still had time between handshakes and hugs to pay tribute to his side who won their first intermediate title in eight years.

“It’s a great day for the club. This is the culmination of two years work. Relegated the year before last, we took it on last year with a very young team and we were a bit unlucky to

lose the semi-final by a point to Killanena. But today just makes it all worthwhile. It was a long, long slog.”

Fifteen points in the second half was a reflection on how much this

final meant to Clonlara but Gully admitted it took a while for them to really get on top after half-time.

“TI thought at the start of the second half, things were going slow and we didn’t seem to be able to get the lead

down. We went down and scored two points and then they went and got two back and I thought ‘Christ it is going to be another one of those days’. But then we scored five points without re- ply and | think that really gave us the

impetus to go on. Our lads have great belief because even in the semi-final, we lost the lead with four minutes to go and we still came back and won it by four. So that belief probably car- ried through today as well.”

Six points down at half-time after leading by five midway through the half, Clonlara’s challenge looked to be petering out. Half-time could not come soon enough and as Killanena remained on the field for the inter- val, Clonlara retired to the dressing rooms to reflect on what had gone wrong. But Gully confesses there were no tea-cups thrown around, just a reaffirmation by the management of the team’s abilty and belief.

“Those guys are all well able to hurl so we just said “believe in your- selves’. | mean we were only five or six points down with a big wind so we said ‘don’t panic and the scores will come’. Probably five minutes into the second half, if I had a chance I would have withdrawn those words but anyway, they didn’t panic and kept it going and they got there in the end.”

They certainly did and they will have to do it all again next weekend as they enter into their first Munster intermediate campaign. Jim Gully reckons they won’t think about that until maybe Wednesday. Ampel time to digest this win first.


RATA etiwrrrn remains upbeat

DESPITE a disappointing perform- ance, Clare League chairman Jim Madden remained upbeat after Sun- day’s four nil defeat to East Cork / West Waterford.

The concession of two first half goals and the failure to exert sus- tained pressure on their opponents saw Clare suffer a costly defeat.

This was Clare’s only home game in the group stages and they now face tough away assignments against the Munster Senior League and the Lim- erick League.

There were a number of new faces on the Clare side and Madden was pleased with the performance and attitude of the younger players, most of whom were making their debut in the competition.

He said, “It was disappointing, we conceded a few soft goals in the first half. But a good feature of the game was that we were able to introduce so many new young players. There were a number of players missing through injury and others were unavailable because of prior commitments. We brought 22 players to a meeting in Newmarket and of that 22, six were missing on Sunday. It was disap- pointing but I was pleased with the attitude, they worked hard”.

Clare suffered an early blow with the loss of promising left back Eoin O’Brien through injury and believes this had an unsettling effect on Clare’s performance.

“We gave a lot of new players a run out. Guys like Derek Fahy, Eoin O’Brien and Evan Glynn. The injury to young O’Brien, I thought made

it hard for us. We had to make an early substitution and move our back line around. Because we were miss- ing a few players, we had to draft in a few new lads. Three of the back four were making their debuts in the Oscar Traynor and there were a few others who were making their first appearances as well. We couldn’t re- ally start David Russell because he is only on the way back from injury”

Though he admits preparations for Sunday’s game could have been bet- ter, Madden said it was important for new players to gain experience.

“We had a bit of experience in midfield with Mike O’Malley there. Gary Browne did well; he was an- other lad new to the scene. A lot of the squad that was there last year had been playing since 2003 and have given tremendous service to Clare. This year we needed to bring in a few new lads and we have been able to do that.

In advance of their meeting with the Munster Senior League, the Clare League will play two friendlies, one against Limerick side Hill Celtic on November 6 and another against the Desmond League on November 13.


Clare school’s film win

focused on how schooling

was very different many years ago. Over 800 children attended the third annual FIS festival, which cel- ebrates outstanding achievements by primary school children involved in the FIS (Film In Schools) project. The FIS project is an initiative de- sisned to introduce the medium

of film as a support to the Primary School Curriculum.

Commenting on the awards, Minis- ter for Education and Science Mary Hanafin TD said “Children from Dun Chaoin, Kerry, to Sligo and from Wexford to Louth and many schools in between have made films using the FIS methodology. This year there is such a wide range of films – historical, comedy, horror and cinn as Gaeilge freisin.

“A special thanks to all the teachers involved in FIS who have risen to the challenge by providing such wonder- ful creative learning opportunities for their children.”

As part of the curriculum for pri- mary schools, children in over 100 primary schools throughout Ireland wrote, directed and produced their own five-minute films. Their ef- forts were supported by the National Centre for Technology in Education which provided training in film mak- ing techniques and digital and film editing equipment.

Anne White, National Coordinator with the National Centre for Technol- ogy in Education said, “FIS touches every nerve of the primary curricu- lum. It brings alive the immense cre- ativity of children and their ability to apply the technology in a collabo- rative way in filmmaking. It simply makes learning great fun.”


GE profits flying high at €36m

A SHANNON-BASED aviation leasing firm secured pre-tax profits of $36 million, according to accounts filed to the Companies Office.

Underlining the buoyancy of the aviation sector in the Shannon Free Zone, GE Commercial Aviation Services Ltd experienced a 24 per cent increase in turnover from $146 million to €177 million.

The company — owned by US giant, General Electric — is engaged in the leasing of aircraft and engines and the provision of management serv- ices to the aviation industry.

According to accounts filed with the Companies Office, “both the lev- el of business and the year end finan- cial position were satisfactory and

the directors expect that the present level of activity will be sustained for the foreseeable future”.

The accounts show that profits be- fore tax dropped from $46 million in 2005 to $34 million in 2006.

The profits last year by GE Com- mercial Aviation Services Ltd have resulted in the company accumulat- ing $377 million.

The company’s accounts show that itemployed 141 in 2005 with a salary bill of $24 million. This increased to OM Odom MIs TIE IA Mme tl mem ele million last year.

The company’s operating profit dropped from $47 to $15 million. However, the company’s profits were boosted through $21 million received through the sale of assets.

The accounts show that the di-

rectors’ remuneration increased to $3.562 million. This included a bo- nus of $1.891 million and salaries of OI PSB reTe Ub COee

EArlier this year, the company ord- ared 15 Boeing 777s — a mix of seven 777-300ER (Extended Range) pas- senger jetliners and eight 777 Freight- ers — and 24 Boeing 737-800s.

Deliveries of both the 777s and 737s will begin in 2008 and extend through 2010.

GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) is the commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE and part of GE Infrastructure. GECAS has a fleet of 1,450 owned aircraft it leases to more than 230 airlines in some 70 countries, and it manages nearly 300 aircraft for oth- ae


Book reveals how Clare hero saved Irish nobles

, Dr John McCavitt highlights the role of Clare nobleman Donagh O’Brien, who risked his life travelling on the boat from the continent which picked the earls up from Rathmullan and

conveyed them to safety abroad.

Having previously fled from Ireland himself following his escape from Athlone gaol, O’Brien, a trusted fol- lower of the Earl of Tyrconnell and a cousin of the Earl of Thomond, per- sonally delivered the message to the earl that his life was in danger should he remain in Ireland.

The publication features a wide range of contemporary images, pho- tographs of the surviving built herit- age and modern art.

The book contextualises the exodus

of the earls in terms of the northern peace process and reveals new in- sights into the reasons for the Flight of the Earls, not least the link with ‘Ireland’s Helen’, Mabel Bagenal, the Protestant beauty. Her elope- ment with the dashing Earl of Tyrone precipitated a family feud with the Bagenals over her unpaid dowry that unleashed a tidal wave of events that not only led to the Nine-Years War but arguably swept the earls of Ty- rone and Tyrconnell to the continent in 1607.

The book emphasises the impact of the imprisonment of Dublin aldermen following the Gunpowder Plot in Eng- land in 1605 on the way events un- folded at Rathmullan two years later.

While many who departed from the shores of Lough Swilly were Ulster- men, evidence shows that all four provinces were represented on the vessel that left Rathmullan.

Considerable attention in this 400th anniversary year has focused on who comprised the so-called ‘Noble 99’, those who departed from Rathmullan

in September 1607. A chapter tackles some of the myths that have arisen over the centuries in this regard.

The ‘fate and fortunes’ of those who took part in the exodus is also charted, with poignant details of what happened to the earls themselves and the leading nobles as well as exam- ining the adventures and misadven- tures of the women and children who took part.

Perhaps most revealingly of all, the book chronicles the fate of those who managed to make it back to Ireland.


Minister in REPS preparation plea

THE Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Cough- lan, has urged all Clare farmers who want to join REPS for the first time in 2008 to have their plans properly prepared before the 2008 closing date for the Single Payment Scheme application.

This is because a change in EU rules means that, from next year, applications for agri-environment payments like REPS must be made before the Single Payment applica- tion deadline.

Farmers starting REPS 4 contracts

this year are not affected by the new requirement. “In practice, the new rules from 2008 mean that if you are a first-time REPS applicant, you must submit a REPS 4 plan before the Sin- gle Payment application deadline if you are to receive your REPS pay- ment in the calendar year,’ Minister Coughlan said.

“If your REPS 4 plan is received after the 2008 Single Payment ap- plication deadline, we can start your REPS contract the following month but we can’t pay you until you have made a payment application in the following year.

“It will only affect you in your first

year in REPS. The first payment will be backdated to the start of your contract and your other payments will go out linked to your REPS an- niversary as they have always done in the past.”

The minister stressed that the great majority of farmers who are already in REPS will be unaffected by the change. The old system can continue to operate for farmers who remain in REPS 3.

Farmers in REPS 3 who intend to switch over to REPS 4 will need to put in a payment application for REPS before the 2008 Single Pay- ment application deadline, but their

first REPS 4 payment will issue in the normal timeframe linked to the commencement date of their new oe) ele relolm

“My officials argued at length against the commission’s proposal to change the rules as they did not best suit Ireland’s all-year REPS ap- plication open period,’ added the PODUNUR Kom

“However, I am determined to Operate the new system in as sim- ple and straightforward a way as possible, and my officials will be meeting the farming organisations shortly to discuss the practicalities for 2008.”


New initiative needs streamlining

CLARE farmer and chairperson of ICMSA’s Beef and Cattle Com- mittee Martin McMahon has called for streamlining of the Suckler Cow SYo tesa elon

Speaking following a meeting with senior officials of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food on the new Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme, he said he welcomes the introduc- tion of the scheme but pointed out that a number of small amendments to the detailed rules would make the scheme more attractive to farmers.

“ICMSA believes that some of the recording deadlines set down by the department are excessive and unnec- essary and should be amended. For example, each calf born will neces- sitate a farmer having to notify the

department on five separate occa- sions regarding certain events based on strict deadlines. It is possible and sensible to greatly streamline that level of recording and still meet the department’s objectives,” he said.

‘For example, instead of writing to the department on the date the ani- mal was disbudded, that information should be included in the calf regis- tration form, thus eliminating at least one set of unnecessary paperwork. Excessive form-filling has become the bane of many a farmer’s exist- ence and we need a conscious effort to avoid pointless replication.”

In addition, the ICMSA is propos- ing that calves born after September 1, 2007 should be eligible for this scheme while the department has confirmed that the scheme is open to all farmers irrespective of whether

they were in suckler farming in the past or not.

“The scheme is a welcome develop- ment for the suckler herd but we will require more initiatives if we are to maintain a sustainable suckler cow herd in Ireland,” said McMahon.

Meanwhile, the ICMSA has also said compensation for animals killed by diseases is out of line with current market realities.

Given the recent rise in livestock value, the levels of compensation available under the Live Valuation Scheme and associated TB/Brucel- losis Schemes are now out of line with actual losses.

“As every farmer will know, the val- ue of dairy stock has increased con- siderably this year and ICMSA be- lieves that the guideline figures used by the Department of Agriculture,

Fisheries & Food for TB/Brucellosis valuations have not kept pace,” said Dominic Cronin, chairperson of [C- MSA’s Dairy Committee.

‘For example, the guideline figures for first and second lactation cows have not increased at all for certain categories since last April, while the most a category has increased is by €200.

“That does not at all reflect the re- ality on the ground, where the prices paid by farmers have increased by substantially more and ICMSA is now calling on the department to im- mediately revise their guideline pric- es upwards to reflect the true value of dairy stock at this time.”


Locals say lack of gardai causing crime

THE absence of a garda on beat pa- trol in Crusheen is contributing to a rise in anti-social behaviour in the village, according to locals.

The local Garda station has been vacant for a number of years due to various issues concerning accessibil- ity to the building.

While most of the issues have been resolved, a problem regarding the site map is the latest reason for the building to be unoccupied.

The Garda responsible for Crush- een currently works out of Ennis

Garda station. Locals believe this is not good enough and say that, given the growth in population, a garda must be based in the village.

Local residents are concerned that levels of anti-social behaviour in the village have increased in recent weeks.

Groups of young men are congre- gating in new housing estates includ- ing Inchicronan and Brodagh View and are proving a nuisance for resi- Cla e

Several residents have complained to Ennis Garda Station. While gardai have called to the area, locals believe

that the lack of a garda stationed there is adding to their woes. One resident, who did not wish to be named, de- scribed recent behaviour:

“They knocked on doors, threw eggs at houses and hurled abuse and threats at residents, who live here with young families. This is most notable when there is activity at the local pub. It has been going on for a while. It is uncalled for. | am very concerned about it,’ said the resi- dent.

“It is frightening. Crusheen is lo- cated in a commuter area, accessible to Galway, Limerick and Gort and is

a nice residential area, with people getting on with their daily lives,’ she SrHKG

Clare Garda Representative Asso- ciation spokesman, Tom Keane, is concerned that the problem has per- sisted for so long.

“The station 1s furnished, but we can’t take possession of it until the problem of the site map is sorted. How do we expect to have policing when we don’t have a garda station?” he asked.

“You are bound to have anti-social behaviour if you don’t have a garda in situ,” said Garda Keane.