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ST FLANNAN’S stayed alive in the Harty Cup by the skin of their teeth on Wednesday as their never-say- die attitude saw them dig out a draw against Ard Scoil Ris at the refixed venue of the LIT grounds. In truth, in what was a nervy final quarter, the Ennis school’s survival instincts and character alone to keep their heads up despite having to repeatedly fight for parity earned them their second bite at the tie. However, they were extremely fortunate as Niall Arthur’s free in the 63rd minute to level it up for the fifth time in 20 minutes could have gone the other way as the Inagh/Kilnamona player appeared to pick the ball off the ground and then in a last gasp attack to steal vic- tory, Ard Scoil Ris subtitute Brendan O’Connor made a great catch from Kevin Downes’ pass and looked to be wrestled to the ground as he turned for goal only for referee Wil- lie Barrett to allow play to continue and a relieved Flannan’s cleared the ball to the welcoming sound of the nUOT-U MAYA euKialoe

On the flip side, it was a disappoint- ing result for the Limerick school, who were never behind once St Flan- nan’s conceded an extremely soft goal in the 11th minute, scored by Cratloe’s Conor Ryan. Captain Ryan and fellow clubmate Cathal MclIner- ney were instrumental in building up Ard Scoil Ris’ first half lead along with Meelick’s Eanna Mulvihill and the stylish 16 year old Declan Han- non at centre-back. For Flannan’s, Niall Arthur’s unerring freetaking

was a major factor in their survival along with a solid defensive unit and midfield.

Indeed, St Flannan’s had made a positive start hitting three succes- sive wides before opening up a O-3 to Q-1 lead by the 9th minute, all from the stick of Arthur, who was equally impressive from frees as he was as a P-NEXoL BOUT TIS URC MN YCO)IM LOMO) mr DUMN Slo DE endevour were finding it difficult to penetrate the Flannan’s defence, only scoring from a Declan Hannon free from half-way in that period.

The goal though changed the pat- tern of the game, coming from a hopeful punt from halfway by cap- tain Ryan, whose effort caught goal- keeper Niall Woods wrongtooted and the ball slipped from his grasp into the net.

Bouyed by this, the Limerick side took up the ascendancy, although they didn’t score for twelve minutes due to some dogged defending by the Ennis side. First, a superb hook by wing-back Stephen O’Halloran denied a goalscoring opportunity for Kevin Downes who was baring down on goal and then an outstanding re- deeming save from Woods from a Pat McCarthy bullet kept Ard Scoil Ris from building up an command- ing lead.

However, a much more physically strong Ard Scoil Ris side did receive a further boost before half-time, af- ter Downes and Arthur had swapped points, when a Niall Kennedy ball in- side was broke and flicked to the net by centre-forward James O’Brien. Niall Arthur, St Flannan’s only first half scorer, did add another free in

injury time to leave the half-time OKs KO One

A retvitalised St Flannan’s side emerged for the second period and in fact, opened the scoring through mid- fielder Alan Leamy after only 35 sec- onds, only to see that score rebuffed by points from substitute Kevin Keane and Robert Henehan to open up a four point advantage. However, not content to lie down, St Flannan’s regrouped and found some success when driving at the Ard Scoil Ris’ defence with successive scores from Arthur, Leamy and Conor O’ Donnell by the 39th minute. James O’Brien did reply only a minute later but by now, the Ennis side could smell blood and two Arthur frees cancelled out the lead by the 43rd minute.

Still, they couldn’t seem to grab a leading score and on four more occa- sions, Ard Scoil Ris pushed slightly ahead only to be dragged back on each occasion. That the Limerick side didn’t cement victory was par- tially due to the amount of wides hit in the second half, a obvious sign of nerves in what was an exceedingly tense finish. Arthur, again was the rock for St Flannan’s hitting three of those equalising scores along with one from Clarecastle’s Aaron Consi- dine. There were some controversial moments towards the finish also with David O’Halloran seemingly taken down in front of goal for St Flan- nan’s while the Limerick side will feel aggrieved to have conceded the last free to Arthur as well as ‘the foul that never was’ on substitute Brendan O’Connor at the death.

All-in-all, a draw was probably the

fairest way to end it as neither side really deserved to lose such a capti- vating tie. In saying that, improving their firepower up front has to be a priority for St Flannan’s manager Jamesie O’Connor while Ard Scoil Ris’ inability to kill off the game certainly cost them a second semi-fi- nal place. Plenty of food for thought ahead of Wednesday’s crunch re-



Killaloe to Perth to take on the world

THREE UL Limerick students make up half of Team Ireland that flew to Perth, Australia on Monday to compete in the World Team Sailing Championships.

Darragh O’Connor (21, 4th year Engineering Education student, UL) and Katie Tingle (18, Ist year Pri- mary Teacher, Mary I) and Conor

Byrne, (25, UL alumni) qualified for the team through a process of trials last summer. They have since been training and competing all winter, in all weathers, around Ireland and the UK. O’Connor and Byrne are both former captains of the UL Sailing Club, which train in Killaloe. O’Connor spent the summer in the USA, to learn from the American teams, current World Champions.

He also represented Ireland at the previous World Championships, as Captain of the youth team in Spain, 2007, where they finished ninth. Katie Tingle is fresh to the team- sailing scene, having achieved great Irish and International success in the Optimist, Laser and 420 classes be- fore being chosen to join the team. Her experience of different boats will be valuable when the team step

aboard in Perth.

Temperatures in Perth are expected to be 35 degrees Celsius, and winds 25 knots. The team raised all fund- ing from private donations, after many companies pulled sponsorship deals. The total cost to get there is €14,000.

The 12 foot ‘Pacer’ dinghies loaned at the venue are unusual outside Aus- tralia, but the Irish found a few old

training boats very cheap on Ebay UK, and travelled across the water to collect. This forethought gives them the edge over the rest of the World.

Other team members are Marty O’Leary (22, Dublin), Brian Fenlon (28, Wexford) and Emer McNally (20, Dublin). All-Ireland Champion Nicholas O’ Leary (22, Cork) 1s trav- elling with them as coach.


Mentor Cores Ked Bl

SHANNON-BASED Mentor Graph- ics (Ireland) Ltd reported a sharp in- crease in operating profits last year to €3.4 million.

Accounts lodged with the compa- nies office, show that the company increased operating profits from €33,000 in 2007 to €3.4 million.

The software manufacturer that deals in electronic design automa- tion (EDA) for electrical engineering and electronics had a 2% increase in turnover from €381 million in 2007 to €390 million in 2008.

The company and its subsidiaries based in Poland, Hungary, the Unit- ed Kingdom, Sweden and Pakistan are engaged in the research, develop- ment and manufacture of software and the distribution of its software in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific area.

The company is headquartered in Oregon in the US and employs 4,000 worldwide. Mentor Graphic’s Shan- non site is the International Services and Distribution centre for Informa- tion Technology, order fulfillment, finance, purchasing, facilities, con- sulting, customer support, legal and human resources for the European, Middle Eastern and Asian business.

The company enjoyed a 32% in- crease in gross profit, increasing from €67 million to €89 million.

A directors’ report attached to the accounts, state that it is their inten- tion to continue to develop the cur- rent activities of the company.

However, the 2008 figures show a pre-tax loss of €4 million after an exceptional item costed at €13 mil- lion were charged to the accounts.

A note attached to the accounts in- dicates that the €13 million impair- ment charge arose on the permanent diminuation in the value of part of the company’s investment in a sub- sidiary undertaking, Volcano Com- munications Technology AB.

At the end of January 2008, the company employed 352 people with 193 engaged in R&D, 77 in Admin- istration, Sales and Marketing in 55 and 27 in Management.

Staff costs increased in 2008 from €32.7 million to €35.9 million while the company had shareholder funds of €9.3 million at the end of Janu- ary 2008.

Directors’ salaries were €329,000; pension contributions of €80,000 and other emoluments of €33,000.


‘Most dangerous juction worries locals

IT IS only a matter of time before someone is killed at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon, which was described yesterday as “the most dangerous junction in Clare” by a local coun- cillor.

At yesterday’s local area meet- ing of Clare Council Council it was confirmed that the local authority had purchased the Blake property at the notorious junction and are in the process of purchasing the Linnane property.

Both properties, which are listed buildings, will be knocked and built a distance away from the current

junction, allowing the road to be widened in the area.

“T propose that we contact the NRA as a matter of urgency to in- sure that when the second property become savailable that we have the neccessary funding to be ready to go as soon as possible,” said Cllr Rich- ~Nue NE: Ted oe

It was proposed last year that the listed buildings be painted with bright yellow luminous stripes to prevent road accidents taking place at the site.

“We are only counting down the weeks until someone is killed at the place,’ said Cllr Martin Conway Cs6))

“It is probably the most dangerous junction in County Clare at the mo- ment. Old people are terrified when they are going to mass and I would urge urgency when dealing with Webel

Meanwhile, councillors have called for a clarification of the different heritage projects currently proposed in the Burren. At the moment the Burren is being put forward as a World Heritage Site while there is also a campaign underway to gain Geopark status for the area.

“There is a multiplicity of bodies in the Burren, people are wondering what is going on and will the Bur- ren be sterilised? I’d like to be able

to say to the people that their money is being well spent and will bring in more than is being spent on it,” said Cllr Michael Kelly (FF).

“I am happy that these projects are going ahead but I believe that it is my duty to keep my constituents informed of the cost of these public services. But the costing is not there. This year has seen severe pressures on our budget so we will have to take a good look at what can and cannot be done.

‘IT am in favour of projects like this and see the benefits of tourism but I need to be able to update the people of north Clare as to where their mon- ey 1S going.”


D-Day for water plants

FIVE Clare villages are celebrat- ing the commencement of work on a wastewater treatment project that has been in the pipeline for more than 40 years.

Clare County Council has signed a €4.3 million contract with Treat- ment System Services Ltd (TSSL) to construct treatment facilities for the villages of Scariff, Tuamgraney and Feakle in east Clare, as well as Quilty and Mullagh in the west of the county.

The contract complements the ex- isting €7 million network contract, which is now nearing completion. Under the contract TSSL will design and build three new treatment, trans- fer and outfall facilities, including a sea outfall at Quilty, on the west coast of Clare. The contractor will then enter a 20-year operation and maintenance period bringing the ultimate value of the contract to €9 million. The scheme will be opera- tional by the end of 2009, and fully commissioned in early 2010. Welcoming the contract signing at Aras Contae An Chlair, Mayor of Clare Cllr Madeleine Taylor-Quinn (FG) expressed her delight that a project that had been on the politi- cal agenda of Clare County Council for over 40 years had finally been brought to fruition.

“I would like to pay tribute to the many current, former and deceased county councillors who have worked

tirelessly to ensure that the depart- ment would sanction this long over- due project.

“IT also wish to compliment the engineering staff of Clare County Council who have always done their utmost to advance the project despite repeated alterations by the Department to the criteria for such schemes,” added the Mayor.

Councillor Taylor Quinn noted that for many years the lack of adequate infrastructure had led to pressure being placed on the rural areas con- cerned in relation to development.

The Mayor explained, “Due to the lack of such vital infrastructure in- creasing numbers of people have ap- plied to the county council for per- mission to build and to provide their own septic tank and water supply. I believe that the completion of work on the schemes will relieve much of this pressure and provide for the

rural regeneration and sustained eco- nomic development of the respective regions.”

Clare County Council has a sig- nificant water services programme underway at present. Water Supply Schemes are nearing completion in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Kilkee, En- nis, and Ballyvaughan. In addition sewerage schemes are underway or nearing completion in Tulla, New- market-on-Fergus and Corofin, with further improvement schemes to start in Quin and Killimer this year.


Clare houses continue to lose value

Charity hopes Kenya survives


Colourful mix of music and madness

FOLLOWING the success of their New Year’s Eve knees up, the Bou- doir Sessions crew bring their col- ourful mix of music and madness back to Ennis.

This time the session’s crew turn their attention to a themed single’s event on Valentine’s night.

So if you want to experience and be a part of an authentic pre-60s party, get down to the upstairs of Brogans, O’Connell Street on Saturday Feb- ruary 14. Cost of entry is 10 euros, doors open at 10 and the show begins SBE gare eke

Ennis based organisers and host- esses on the night, Lesley Ann Hull and Celeste Barnard are thrilled to be offering singles an alternative meeting place to the usual club and pub scene with an opportunity for more socialising from 10pm.

The Boudoir Suite singles dinner party can accommodate twenty sin- gle women and twenty single men from 30 – 45 years of age.

Places are strictly limited and tick- ets are €60pp available in advance only from the vintage shop, Olive (Barrack Street). Early booking is advised. Dress code for the night is vintage/boudoir.

Music kicks off at 10pm courtesy of DJ duo the Boudoir Boys (Elec- tric Picnic 06-08). Oliver Moore and Paul Ryan will be playing upbeat tunes from the 1920s-1950s featur- ing everything from be-bop to bo- ogie-woogie.

According to photographer and stylist Celeste Barnard, an evening of superb entertainment is on the or Neh

‘Joining us in the Boudoir Suite are a host of performers. Comedi- enne Angie Holland Victoria Wood and BBC comedy sketch writer, will loosen us up with her quirky stand- up. Miss Guided and Little Miss

Match will serenade us with their sultry sounds. Also performing is DJ Miss Takeable (Gramophone Disco hostess) playing “songs l’amour,’ she Crate

Film will form another element of the night’s entertainment. The pro- jectionist from the Magic Lantern Film club will flash quirky film and home movie moments from the far- flung corners of the early 20th cen- eats

For further information check: com Tel. – 087 2030898 or E-mail – boudoirsuite@


Council cutbacks AVIOLQes

IRISH soccer chief John Delaney has confirmed that Dennis Hynes will continue as FAI county develop- ment officer in Clare.

News that Clare County Council cutbacks had forced the local author- ity to opt out of a co-funding agree- ment with the FAI had threatened to jeporadise Hynes’ position.

However, speaking in Ennis on Saturday, FAI CEO John Delaney confirmed to


Clare County Board issued with stark warning from GAA hierarchy over crowd control in Cusack Park

THE crowd disturbance that marred the end of last July’s Munster Under 21 hurling final between Clare and Tipperary has roared to public atten- tion again this week — all because the GAA authorities have issued a stark warning to the Clare County Board to get its house in order or run the risk of facing heavy fines and losing out on big-time fixtures at Cusack Park.

On Thursday, county board secre- tary Pat Fitzgerald admitted to club delegates from around the county that the GAA authorities have rapped Clare on the knuckles over the stew- arding arrangements in place for the provincial decider that ended in a

welter of controversy when Limer- ick referee Jason O’ Mahony awarded Tipperary a match-winning 65-metre free.

‘There was a lot of discussion here about the Under 21 final, but the next time we have a big game we have to have ourselves organised. We will not get away with what we did be- fore,” said Fitzgerald.

“T can tell you that that’s coming from way higher than us and we have to comply. I hope and I know that Clare was never found wanting in the past and we won’t be this time.

“We have given a commitment that there will be a team of stewards put in place and trained and ready for 1

Fitzgerald’s words of warning about

the county board’s responsibility for dealing with potential crowd trouble at Cusack Park were echoed by the chairman of the Clare GAA’s Facili- ties Committee, John Fawl.

“It is coming from other higher au- thorities. We are not going to be let away with what we did with Tipper- ary and Clare in the Under 21. We have to be able to control these situa- tions,” he said.

To this end, the county board have appealed for clubs to come for- ward with names to boost steward- ing numbers at Cusack Park for big games. “We would be asking clubs to go back and look at potential people to help to manage fixtures in Cusack Park,” said Pat Fitzgerald.

“We have some games come up in

the near future. We now have to have stewards who are trained and who know what they are doing. The next two weeks we will be hoping to put together a group of 20 or 30.

‘We would ask that the people are nominated are suitable for the job — not just a name.

“We all realise what happened in the past and it is important that when it does come down to it that we put people forward who are going to be are capable of doing the job when the time is right,” Fitzgerald added.


Fundraising drive for Cusack Park

A major new fundraising drive among the Clare GAA public will be necessary to pay for redevelopment works at Cusack Park, delegates to last Thursday night’s special meeting of the county board heard.

As the county board continues to consider its options after the En- nis Town Council decision to turn down a re-zoning application for the Cusack Park site, county board sec- retary Pat Fitzgerald revealed that “fundraising” was the only way to pay for remedial works at the county grounds in the short-term.

“We are doing the drainage again — it only lasts for a certain amount of time. It is going to be an expensive one,” warned Fitzgerald. “I think we will be putting another fundraising drive in place — that’s the only way it can be done. The money isn’t there, end of story. Once you do anything in a structural situation the money has to be found,” he added.

This plea for financial help harks back to the County Grounds fund- raising drive of 30 years ago when a £200,000 investment in Cusack Park was made possible thanks to a Debenture Loan Scheme among the public that had a target of raising £50,000.

Meanwhile, county board chairman Michael O’Neill revealed work on Cusack Park is an ongoing project, but stressed that the board was still keen to explore the possibility of finding a new site within the Ennis catchment area to develop a new Cu- sack Park.

“We have done some remedial work

on the pitch itself,’ he revealed. “We will have to carry out a lot of work there in the next month to six weeks. We don’t even have that length of time to have the park ready for some big matches in the National League. We have to spend a few pounds, that’s the way it Is.

“We haven’t moved too far yet on looking for other grounds within the environs of Ennis, but we are look-

ing at other potential sites as we were asked to do so by the Ennis Town Sonia

“We are pursuing that, but it is fair to say that we are living in differ- ent times that we were this time last year, but we’re not going to give up on anything. You can take it that Cu- sack Park will be quite good before the year is out and will be well wor- thy of playing matches on it. That’s

all I have to say on the park,’ O’ Neill added.