New website makes business matches

A CRATLOE businessman has launched a new online networking site which uses innovative technol- ogy to help businesses find new cus- tomers and suppliers.

The online service, known as TransActions.1ie, continuously matches companies that need each other, explains Managing Director, Des Crosbie.

‘In practice, this means that each company is notified by email of new potential customers who require their product or service. They are also no- tified about suppliers who can fulfil their specific business needs.”

Stating that the service is “purely for business networking’, as op- posed to social networking, he says that business networking, whether in

person or online, can take time and can sometimes yield poor results. solves this problem using unique matching functional- ity. Unlike other online networks, users won’t have to spend time con- necting to people they already know, but are almost instantly connected to companies that they need and can do LUKE Nee LNOE

The site, which has only been live a little over a month, is steadily in- creasing in popularity. It has member companies throughout Ireland in sec- tors as diverse as printing, construc- tion, financial services and transpor- tation which range from sole traders to multinational corporations.

A one year subscription 1s currently free of charge, but this will only be available for a limited time on www. TransActions.1e.


Bloomin anger at church flower theft

A THIEF with a fondness for flowers is being hunted in Shannon, after a church altar was robbed of its flow- ers last week.

The mystery thief walked into St John and Paul’s Church in Shannon last Thursday morning and walked away with two bunches of chrysan- themums.

The absence of the flowers was not- ed as the St Aidan’s National School Mass was about to get underway at llam. The flowers were put in place by the sacristan Sharon Murray the previous night and the church did not open until 9am on Thursday.

SW ie ICe AJ ikem NICK TON ae santhemums were taken, complete with their plastic containers, but the pedestals on which they stood re- mained in place.

It was initially thought that they were moved as no-one could imagine that a thief could lay hands on some- thing so seemingly insignificant.

Given that their value amounted to no more than €30, the sacristan was amazed at what happened.

“It is baffling. I have never heard of it in my life. To go up to the altar and take them was horrible. If it hap- pened during the school year, you would say it was a dare, but the chil- dren are back at school now,” said Ms Murray.

“My parents were sacristans before me and in 28 years, no-one has eve- ry swiped flowers. Money has been taken before, but not flowers,’ she added.

The matter was not reported to gardai and given that the flowers are probably well withered at this stage, there is little hope of their recovery!


Council calls time on flexible hours

PART time council workers – all women – who have been told they can no longer have the advantage of working flexi-time have taken a case against the local authority.

The 21 members of IMPACT work- ing for Clare County Council have initiated legal proceedings, through the Rights Commissioner service, on the grounds of discrimination against part-time staff as full-time staff are still allowed to avail of flexi-time.

IMPACT has initiated proceedings on behalf of the affected workers, under legislation introduced to en- sure that part-time and full-time em- ployees are treated equally.

The county council maintains that managers are finding it impossible

to roster to ensure coverage with the large numbers of part-time staff em- ployed.

IMPACT assistant general secre- tary Andy Pike said that, “all our affected members are women who need the ability to work flexibly in order to take their children to school, care for elderly relatives, or meet other family commitments”.

He added that by removing flex1- time entitlements for part-time workers, “the council could prevent the public from accessing services during key periods of the day. Many services, accessible to the public from 9am and later in the day, had been provided by part-time employ- ees who were able to come to work early and stay later under the terms of the scheme.”


Barefield’s battle hymn

HURLING 1s alive and well and be- ing played in the sprawling parish that takes in Barefield, Roslevan and Doora.

That was the defiant message deliv- ered by St Joseph’s manager Kevin Kennedy after his side rolled back the years to when they were the most feared club in Ireland and brought an abrupt halt to Inagh/Kilnamona’s fairytale debut season.

St Joseph’s, who won the last of their five county titles in 2001, served notice to all remaining contenders to Tulla’s throne that they really mean business in 2008.

“Lately the club has done well in another code,” said Kennedy in a nod to the historic success of the footballers in bringing a first ever Under 21 ‘A’ title to the club. “We’ll support the other code. People were saying that hurling was finished in the parish. Hurling will never die in Barefield.”

Not on this display as they gave Inagh/Kilnamona a five-point start before dismantling them with their best knockout display since beating Sixmulebridge in the 2001 final.

“They were favourites coming in and are a good side. We’ve made fair progress over the past two years – it’s been a two year job. We won the Clare Cup last year and are in the semi-final of the champion- ship so that’s progress again,” said Kennedy.

Progress seems too soft a word to explain away Clonlara progress in

2008 – fresh from the intermediate ranks they are now on the cusp of a first county final appearance since 1919 thanks to their 1-13 to 2-9 win over a Colin Lynch-less Kilmaley.

“It’s huge for us,” said manager Jim Gully. “There’ll be only four teams in the semi-final and we’re one of them. We don’t have a wish or pref- erence for any team. We only wish the match was next week. We have a good team and winning the Under 21 A title after the intermediate last year has been a huge impetus for us. It’s great to be where we are.”

Newmarket-on-Fergus are also there after their nail-biting late late show against Cratloe. They came from four points adrift early in the second half to win by the minimum margin.

‘“Workrate and a good panel of players – that’s what did it for us in the end,’ said manager Diarmuid O’Leary. “The goal in the first half gave us areal lift. Cratloe are a good team and nobody gives them the credit that they deserve. They a good side and it took us everything to get over them.”

The final quarter-final will be played this coming weekend between Clarecastle and Crusheen. The Mag- pies ended Clooney-Quin’s hopes for 2008 when winning their play-off game in Shannon on Sunday evening by 1-17 to 1-14.


Swimmers asked to be aware

THE dangers associated with swim- ming at unguarded beaches have been highlighted, in the wake of two dramatic rescues at Spanish Point over the past week.

Warnings have been issued this week after two young girls were res- cued from the waters last Thursday evening, while a 15-year-old boy was rescued after he got into difficulty while swimming, at the same spot on SLUeE NE

A passer-by grabbed a lifebelt and swam out to the boy who was strug- gling in the water. He was taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. His condition was ini- tially described as serious, but later SPO) DBI oreR

Clare’s Water Safety Officer Liam Griffin said this week that people need to be mindful that the seas are OPT To ROLE

‘When people go to the beach they have to be conscious of where they are. Spanish Point is a surf beach and there are dangerous currents and it

can be difficult to get out of them,” he said.

“If you are not sure of where you are, the advice is not to enter the water. Spanish Point is a dangerous beach. You have to be careful,’ he EHR

He also said that particular notice

should be taken by beach goers, as the beaches are not frequented by lifeguards during the winter. Lifeguards were on duty throughout the summer, but their season came to an end at the end of August. The busier beaches of Lahinch, Spanish Point, Fanore and Kilkee had a life-

guard facility available during the first weekend of September, but the service has now come to a halt for the rest of the year.

“The availability of suitable life- guards is an issue. We apply the high- est standards here in Clare in relation to lifeguards. Nobody has drowned at a guarded beach in Clare in living memory. Lifeguards are for the most part students and are gone back to college in September. At the moment we are planning for the 2009 season. When you are planning, you assume the busy times will be July and Au- gust,” said Mr Griffin.

He said that lifesaving equipment was essential in Sunday’s rescue and appealed to people to respect these. “I would appeal to people to respect that equipment and not vandalise it. There has been vandalism in the En- nis area quite a bit. A ring buoy and rope was used to good effect on Sun- day. Had it not been available, God knows what would have happened,’ added Mr Griffin.


Rescue helps avert tragic situation

, their mother paid tribute to the men who

were involved in the dramatic life- saving rescue. The drama occurred shortly before 8pm last Thursday, when the girls were caught in rip currents while they splashed around in the water. The girls’ mother, who lives locally but did not wish to be named, said she looked on in horror as the girls were dragged out to sea.

A man in his 20s who had been surfing paddled out to rescue the girls, while two others also helped out, as they were brought safely to shore.

“The waves took the little one’s legs away. My 10-year-old then went to help her. I dived in to get them but

I couldn’t get them. I ran back and screamed for help. People came run- ning from everywhere to help,” said Meloy Dam peLOlNetorm

“My youngest daughter shouted, ‘Mammy, I’m drowning. My 10- year-old went to help her,’ she re- called. “It all happened in about 10 minutes. It was that quick. It was just one of life’s freaks. It happened so quickly it was terrifying,” she added.

“My little one said, ‘Mummy, I thought I was going to die’,” recalled iW elom palelaales

The two girls were not injured but suffered shock from the ordeal and were seen by a doctor at Shannon-

doc, aS a precautionary measure. Their mother said those involved in the rescue were fantastic.

‘They were heroes. They were calm and collected; completely profession- al. I fell to pieces. The two lads took charge and the other guy was great as well. I will be eternally grateful to them. What mother wouldn’t?” she added.

The two girls are strong swimmers and were wearing wetsuits, which stood to them in the face of the dif- ficult conditions at sea.

“It was a lovely evening. they want- ed to go to the beach. They have done it a million times,” she added.


Depression stigma Koveet-Ueelw-mp)Ke)p) (ven

A SOCIAL stigma continues to pre- vent people seeking help for depres- sion, according to a consultant psy- chiatrist based in Ennis.

Dr Moosajee Bhamjee said that while many people are more will- ing to seek help for mental illnesses, several others are hiding it from the public and are not getting the medi- cal assistance they require.

He said that from a genetic stand- point, if one person in a family suf- fers from depression there is a pro- pensity for at least one other person to also suffer, as genetics play a sig- nificant role.

‘There is a proneness to increased psychiatric illness. The risk is in- creased if the person is close to you, especially in schizophrenic and bi- polar conditions.

“Close families are at higher risk. That is why we do a family history with each individual and we ask these questions,’ he added.

“If a family member suffered from depression, we would ask what tablet

worked for that person and we may recommend it for the individual,’ he added.

He said it was up to the individual to tell medial personnel if a family member suffered from depression, but said there were stigmas affecting Webi

“This has decreased a little bit in that we talk about it now. Newspaper articles and magazines all talk about depression. However the stigma is contributing to people taking their own lives,” he said.

He said that while people generally seek help for depression more and more, a stigma prevents many others from doing so.

“People do not want to admit it. They feel they are letting themselves down,” he added.

However, many people are very much opposed to the idea of going into a psychiatric hospital, “even though they are depressed and sul- cidal.”


Father recalls son and daughter suicide

THE heartbreaking circumstances surrounding the deaths of a brother and sister within ten weeks of each other earlier this year have been re- called at inquests into their deaths.

Philip Madden (18) died on Janu- ary 13 last, while his sister Rachel (17) died on March 22, at the family home in Clonlara.

The Coroner’s Court in Ennis last week heard that their father Michael discovered both bodies at the back of the home. In his deposition, Michael

Madden said that his son Philip had been drinking and arrived home at around 9.30pm on January 13 last.

After a short while, his son went out the back of the house. When he didn’t return, the father went out to see where he was and found him hanging. He tried mouth to mouth resuscitation, but his son did not respond and was pronounced dead some time later that night.

The inquest heard that Philip’s sister Rachel went into Limerick city with a friend on March 22 last. She arrived home at 12.45pm. The inquest heard

that she seemed to be very happy in herself. At around 2.40pm, her father went out to feed rabbits in the back yard and saw Rachel hanging.

The inquest was told that Rachel’s sister found a note in her bedroom, dated March 22.

An autopsy carried out on Philip’s body showed elevated levels of alco- hol.

Pathologist Dr Vouneen Healy, who carried out an autopsy on Rachel’s body, said no alcohol or drugs were ClaKererere

Coroner Isobel O’Dea said she

would record open verdicts in both cases, 1n accordance with the medi- cal evidence.

She noted that the level of alco- hol in Philip’s system was elevated “which may or may not have affected his decision”.

She said she was conscious of the fact that Rachel had undergone coun- seling and had gone through a stress- ful time.

‘As a parent, I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose two children in such sad circumstances in such a short space of time,” she said.


Creating a cure at the West County

A BID to promote awareness of breast cancer lies behind the Create A Cure event in the West County Hotel on Friday, October 10.

A cheese and wine reception will be followed by a pottery and paint- ing session where participants will craft their own ceramic design.

The ladies-only event continues with music courtesy of the band Happy Days. Vouchers and goodie bags will also be handed out on the pubrea al

But the main reason for putting on

the event, as outlined by organiser Siobhan Tierney, is to raise money for breast cancer charities in Ireland and promote awareness of the dis- ease.

“IT have not been directly affected by cancer, but everyone knows some- body that has,” said Siobhan. She continues, “Awareness was the main reason for doing it, more so than rais- ing the money. The more women that are aware, the better. Early detection is hugely important.”

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in Ireland after non- melanomatous skin cancer. Accord-

ing to Breast Cancer Ireland, Irish statistics note that breast cancer ac- counts for 28 per cent of all cancers in women in Ireland, with an average of 1726 new diagnosis each year.

Organisations like the Irish Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Ireland are among those working to high- light the issue.

“TI think the kind of work they do is amazing and after the event last year we wanted to support them again”, said Siobhan

Last year’s Create A Cure event attracted 160 people and Siobhan is hoping 250 people will be attendance

in the West County next Friday.

“It was very popular we got great sponsorship from local businesses last year, everyone supported us. I think there was almost €30 worth of vouchers given to each attendee.

“It was good fun last year. There were over 100 women in the room. I think there were only two men, the band.

“Tt was a bit like a Joe Dolan con- cert. It’s a really great, different night out for women”.

Tickets for the event cost €30 and are available from the Craft Box, Quin Road, Business Park.


Party bonanza for Share A Dream

EXPECT plenty of fun and games at the Share A Dream Foundation’s annual party bonanza, which takes place in the West County Hotel on Sunday October 26.

The foundation’s ‘Dream Hallow- een Party’ for all special children in mid-west region was launched yes- terday in Ennis.

Each year the Share a Dream Foun- dation organise a concert/party for sick, disabled and children with chronic illnesses and their siblings in different parts of the country.

Silom oy-Vuava sU me corclneuuom olorule)meer-veer es by boybands, pop singers, enter-

tainers and hip hop dancers. The fun doesn’t end there with face painters, characters and lots more including a goody bag filled with treats for all the family.

A spokesperson for the Share A Dream Foundation said the annual party has always been enthusiastical- ly supported and this year promises to be no different.

“Share a Dream rely totally on con- tributions from the public and it is only your very kind support that we can continue making dreams come ture and creating smiles for very spe- oF el abe lehno eee

In the 17 years that the charity has been in existence it has made dreams

come true for over 17,000 children. At present 127 children’s charities from around Ireland benefit from the wonderful work and fun activi- ties organised by the Share a Dream Foundation.

Share a Dream organise parties, concerts, outings, holidays, special events. One child may wish to meet their favourite character, another wants to be a fireman for the day.

The Share A Dream Foundation was established in Limerick by Shay Kinsella in 1989 with the purpose of making dreams a reality for sick children all over Ireland and to date it has managed to create a smile for thousands of children in Ireland.

Share A Dream makes individual dreams come true for sick children no matter what their illness or dis- ability. The spokesperson added, “If you have a special child or work with sick or disabled children, you can contact us for a special family pass.”

For further information on how to obtain passes for the ‘Dream Hal- loween Party’ phone 061 343434 or email dreams today”.