Shannon incident akin to the ‘wild west’

ALCOHOL-FUELLED incidents after a birthday party at a pub in Shannon were reminiscent of scenes from the Wild West, according to a judge, who imposed fines totalling more than €2,500 and jailed one of those involved.

Arising out of the early morning incident, six people, originally from Limerick — including two women and a teenage boy — faced several charges. Between them, they pleaded guilty to 14 charges, on September 21, 2008. Several other charges were withdrawn by the State.

In handing down the sentences, Judge Leo Malone said, “It’s lucky the incident ended as it did without serious harm or injury to those peo- ple or the gardai. It could have had very serious consequences.”

Noel O’Callaghan (48), of Fergus

Road, Shannon, admitted a charge of criminal damage and public order; Stephen Kelly (27), of Slaney Park, Shannon, admitted obstructing a garda and public order; and

Martin O’Callaghan (20), of Fergus Road, Shannon, admitted producing a shovel in a threatening manner and public order.

Lesley O’Callaghan (21), of Fergus Road, Shannon, admitted obstruct- ing a garda and public order;

Melita Galvin (18), of Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty, Limerick, admit- ted obstructing a garda and public order; while a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named because of his age, admitted obstructing a garda and public order.

Sergeant Kevin O’Hagan told En- nis District Court that there was unruly behaviour outside the Cross- roads pub in Drumgeely. One of the accused, Stephen Kelly, was verbally

abusive to gardai at the scene and resisted arrest. A short time later, as he walked out the front door of his house, Kelly again shouted at gardai. He was arrested and while he did not resist arrest on this occasion, a number of others interfered. The ju- venile jumped on top of the gardai and swung out of them. The juvenile was then arrested and he became aggressive to gardai. Melita Galvin also swung out of a garda, while he was trying to put Stephen Kelly into a patrol car. Several gardai arrived on the scene and the incident eventu- ally calmed down.

A short time later, Noel O’Callaghan began to shout and showed gardai blood on his hands, having smashed six glasses in the pub earlier. As he was being arrested, a number of others pulled at gardai. One of the accused, Martin O’Callaghan, ap- peared from his house with a long-

handed shovel in his hand. “He was swinging the shovel over his head, shouting to gardai “Come and get me’. He was stripped to the waist,’ said the garda. He said that Lesley O’Callaghan managed to calm him down.

While the incident was diffused within 20 minutes, “gardai main- tained a presence in the area all the night, in case there was a recurrence. It was totally alcohol-fuelled. Some incident happened in the premises. When people were arrested it seemed to escalate more,’ said Sgt O’ Hagan.

Judge Leo Malone said it sounded like “The Wild West.’

The judge said that Noel O’Callaghan was “old enough to have sense.” Defending solicitor John Herbert accepted this, but said he had remained away from the greater part of the fray. He was fined €300. Re- ferring to Martin O’Callaghan, Mr

Herbert said that while he produced a Shovel, he did not make contact with gardai. “There wasn’t any great intent other than bravado,” he said. However, Judge Malone remarked, ‘A shovel could kill you.” Mr Her- bert said, ““While his ire was directed at gardai, he did not leave the gen- eral curtilage of the house.” A three- month jail term and fine of €250 was imposed. “The reason for the sen- tence is I look very seriously on fire- arms offences,” said the judge. Melita Galvin was fined €600. Fines total- ling €800 were imposed on Stephen Kelly, while Lesley O’Callaghan was fined €500.

Mr Herbert said that the juvenile “has been targeted by criminals to do certain things for them because he does not have the wherewithal to make proper decisions.” He was fined €200. The total amount of the fines imposed was €2,650.


Costcutters help local GAA club

CARRIG’S Costcutters, one of west Clare’s busiest stores is showing its support for the local community by sponsoring the Clondegad GAA club.

The club received a new kit bag and a number of Gaelic Gear footballs to help local children become the stars of the future.

Jim Barry, Managing Director of Costcutter said that he was delighted to support local initiatives like this.

“Costcutter has always been in- volved in local communities and this initiative is designed to help local clubs across the country to develop some of the stars of the future.”

Sean Carrig, of Carrig’s Costcutters said supporting the local community was something they had to do.

“This store and everyone who works here are part of this community. We

want to work with local clubs and groups to make our community bet- ter. Through our support of Carrig’s Costcutters we’re showing that we’re committed to Clondegad GAA and that we want support local children as they work hard on the pitch.”

The combined investment in 2008 by Costcutters and its retailers was over €25 million which included the revamp of 25 stores and the devel- opment of a number of Greenfield sites.

A total of 32 new stores joined the group by the end of 2008, bringing the total number of Costcutter stores in Ireland to over 135.

The target for 2009 is the opening of 22 new stores, leading to the crea- tion of 300 jobs.

The Barry Group of Mallow oper- ates the Costcutter Symbol Group in the Republic of Ireland.


Hen harrier holds up shooting range

CLARE County Council has raised public safety concerns over a pro- posed clay pigeon shooting range and has asked the operator if fire- arms will be stored at the site.

Last month, Liam Hogan lodged plans for a clay pigeon shooting range at Kilduff, Tulla. The proposal encounted local opposition — and some support – while the Department of the Environment claimed the site was inappropriate as it was located within a special protection area for the Hen Harrier.

Deferring a decision for at least nine months, the council has now asked Mr Hogan if guns and ammu- nition will stored at the site and if so, what storage and security measures will be put in place.

Mr Hogan has also been asked to provide details as who will operate and run the proposed facility; wheth- er people using the facility will be using their own firearms or be rent- ing them from the firing range. They have also asked for details of the shot range of the firearms.

The proposed site lies within the Slieve Aughty Special Protection Area (SPA) and, according to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), “is a stronghold for Hen Harriers and supports the second

largest concentration in the coun- try”.

The NWPS report states that in 2005, a survey found 24 confirmed and three possible breeding pairs on the site and this represented over 17 per cent of the national total.

The proposed development site lies in an area known to have Hen Harrier usage throughout the summer. Four breeding sites are located within a Skm radius of the proposed develop- ment, two of these were confirmed as breeding sites in a 2008 summer eJUSLeLONNETSMESLUUAoAYA

Habitats located within the de- velopment site such as clear fell ar- eas and failed forestry may provide nesting opportunities for the Hen Harrier while also providing hunt- ing opportunities, the NWPS survey concluded.

As a result, the council states that the site should be resurveyed for hen harrier breeding and hunting over an increased number of days in the summer period and a winter survey of the site is also required.

Although it is in a largely remote area, there are a number of dwellings and farm buildings near the site and Mr Hogan has been asked to submit “an appropriately scaled site loca- tion map that illustrates all existing houses and farm sheds within a 500 metre radius of the site”.


Scropul keeps green with spring clean

IT’S been busy these past few months at Scropul National School.

Having secured their first Green Flag in June 2007, on the theme of litter and waste, the 14-pupil school in west Clare has set its sights on a second flag, this time on the theme ONE As

This past week the pupils and teachers were out in force on Seafield Beach for their third Spring Clean. The now annual event goes to show how applicable the Green Schools programme is, not only in the school

environment, but also in the commu- nity in general.

“It was a great achievement for us to get the first flag,” explains teacher Dolores Montgomerie. “We had a number of initiatives, such as a con- centrated waste management plan. We now have a three-bin system in place in every classroom with dry waste, wet waste and a bin for recy- cling.

“We also make sure that no paper is wasted. We photocopy on both sides of each page and use leftover paper for rough work. We came up with the motto ‘Don’t drop it, pop it in’.

And on top of that, we formulated a school rap, which is sung at every green school assembly. It gives a great sense of pride in the school.” The energy flag is something that they are working hard to achieve. Not only has the benefits of the ini- tiative been seen in the school — with an electricity bill reduced by 10 per cent – but also in local businesses. “The pupils devised a question- naire which we gave to the bank and the library in Miltown, with their consent. We looked at where they could make savings in terms of en- ergy, then typed out some aims and

guidelines for each, which will help in their overall reduction of energy consumption.”

According to Dolores, the benefits form the programme are far reach- ing.

“The kids have become incred- ibly environmentally aware since we started out. We’re a small school so every pupil is fully engaged in the programme and they’re totally pro- AYOUB Aes

“Each day, every pupil is involved. For example they monitor the tem- perature in each classroom, or they ensure that lights or appliances are

not switched on when they’re not in use.

“Tt goes to show how simple actions can have a big impact and the hope is that the pupils will carry these habits with them into adulthood.


Bringing hope to Monbassa

DAIRY farmer Michael O’Leary from Knockmore, Kilmihil is one of 200 volunteers travelling with The Building of Hope Project to Mom- basa, Kenya to build a feeding and training centre to benefit one of the most impoverished urban communi- ties in east Africa.

Michael is no stranger to the task ahead as he was also a volunteer when the Building of Hope Project

build in Post Elizabeth, South Africa early last year.

Michael, who is married with five children said “It’s an experience he will never forget. When you see the conditions out there, there is no re- cession in Ireland.”

An only child, Michael was edu- cated at the local St Michael’s Sec- ondary School and took over the family farm at a young age when his father fell ill. A teacher in the school encouraged him to further his educa-

tion and become a school teacher but Michael decided to stay farming and realised the benefits of that when, as he put it himself, “A lot of my mates had to emigrate in the early 70s as work was scarce here. I was glad I didn’t have to do that as I had my job at home on our own farm.”

The Building of Hope Project is planning to provide a 10,000 sq ft centre for feeding, education and training in Migombani, Likoni on the south suburb of Mombasa which is the second largest town in Kenya with a population of approximately three million. Migomban1 itself has a fast growing population of up to 600,000.

Fr Martin Keane, who hails from the nearby parish of Cranny, is a priest with the Holy Ghost mis- sionary order. He manages projects which helps to educate young teen- agers who come from deeply impov- erished families and saves those who are little more than children from a life of prostitution and desperation Chea oie mnaten

If you would like to join Michael and the other volunteers, you too can become part of this life changing project by contacting Olive Halpin, Clarecastle, who is co-ordinator of the Building of Hope Project on 087 6994599.

Donations to the project can be made to the AIB branch in Bank Place, Ennis.


Miltown market

THE Miltown Market is back this May bank holiday weekend. The lo- cation of the market will be in the lo- cal Community Hall in Miltown. There’s freshly baked breads and cakes and also gluten, dairy and sug- ar-free baking for those on special diets. There will also be some local jams, fresh eggs, chutneys and local cheeses. Stock up on fresh seasonal vegetables, salads, herbs and seed- lings, flowers and plants, or sample some olives, sun dried tomatoes, de- licious vegetarian food or try freshly made sweet or savoury pancakes. The market also has some beauti- ful gift ideas from locally produced crafts. Many new and seasonal foods will appear every week so there is al- ways something different to try.

Many of the producers also supply the Kilrush Farmers’ Market which is held every Thursday from 9am to 2pm at the Square.

Also the Kilkee Farmers’ Mar- ket starts this summer on the Whit weekend, May 31, on Sunday morn- ings on O’Curry St, Kilkee.

‘Farmers markets are going through an exciting time. Many people are be- coming more aware of growing their own food or buying food locally, helping the local economy, enjoying the chat and eating tasty, seasonal, fresh food,’ said Hilary Gleeson, Rural Development Officer.

If anyone is interested in joining one of the west Clare markets or would like more information please contact Hilary Gleeson 086 8235598 or Cora O’Grady 087 1354192 (Mil- Ket


Shannon Airport €70m in the red

Dail vote on US pre-clearance


Walkers banking on a fine day for 12K

THE bank holiday weekend will see people in east Clare getting on their feet and their bikes.

The very first running of the East Clare 12K takes place in Kilkishen on bank holiday Monday next, May as

It’s open to runners, walkers and cyclists over a very picturesque course on the shores of Cullaun Lake and with shade from the – hopefully – hot sun through two kilometres of the walk which wends through Cul- laun Wood.

The walkers will have a water or snack stop at Cullaun House which isina beautiful setting on the shores

of the lake. One steep hill towards Craggaunowen Ring Fort will be a challenge for the cyclists to rise to.

“The running competition will be very competitive as there are valua- ble sponsored prizes for the first four men and the first four ladies home. There will also be spot prizes for the walkers and cyclists,’ sais Pat Nev- ille, one of the organisers.

‘There is a raffle for seven days ac- commodation in a holiday apartment in Sunny Beach Bulgaria for anyone who collects €150 or more by way of sponsorship for the Irish Cancer Association. Of course you can also take part on the day with the appro- priate entry fee or with a donation to the association,” the spokesman

Sr nLGe

Registration takes place in the GAA Clubhouse on the day between llam and 12 noon. The individual entry fee 1s €10, a family can participate for €20. The walkers and cyclists will get on the road at 12 noon and the runners have a scheduled start at 12.30pm

Entries from all over the county and beyond are expected with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Association.

Pat said the organisers want to thank everyone who has supported the event “and particularly our main sponsors Lenmac Services”.

Sponsorship cards are still availa- ble and will be posted to anyone who

calls 087 9691415

All sponsorship cards and receipts must be handed in at registration on the day, to qualify for any raffles or other items such as tee-shirts. “This is very important as all moneys to the Irish Cancer Association must be forwarded within 20 days of the event and nobody likes chasing peo- ple for money after an event,’ said le


Cutbacks to curb Ennis road works

POTHOLES and bad roads are set to dominate local authority meetings in Ennis for years to come, a meeting has heard.

Senior executive engineer with En- nis Town Council, Eamon O’Dea told last week’s meeting of council- lors in the Ennis electoral area that the council has been forced to re- evaluate its roadworks programme for 2009 in the face of dwindling resources.

Mr O’Dea said funding cutbacks would lead to a major drop in the level of re-surfacing and repair work

on roads in Ennis.

Last week’s announcement of a €5.7 million cut in Clare’s local roads allocation was strongly criti- cized.

Mr O’Dea told councillors that the council was in the process of identi- fying the roads in most need of re- ene

Resources, said Mr O’Dea, would be very limited in 2009 but that the council will take a ‘structured’ approach to the roadwork’s pro- eramme.

“We don’t know what allocation we are going to get. Essentially we can’t escape the fact that the resources

aren’t available,’ said Mr O’Dea.

Cllr Peter Considine (FF) said the council could maximise resources by allocating work crews to tar “short stretches of road”’.

Mr O’Dea said road tarring would form the main element of the coun- cil’s repair programme. However he warned that the council would have to carefully balance day to day re- pairs with larger, one-off projects.

“We will do that (tarring) but we also have to put resources in place to deal with bigger repair jobs. For in- stance, where do we get resources for roads that get into trouble because of sever weather conditions? It’s a bit of

catch 22 situation,” he said.

Cllr Tommy Brennan (Ind) said the issue of bad roads couldn’t be Tea LO) Keree

“We have to deal with this. Other- wise we’ll have motions coming in here for the next three years on pot- holes,” he said.

Cllr Brennan admitted that budget cuts meant it was unlikely that all road problems could be addressed.

Cllr Brian Meaney (GP) asked if funding from the CLAR programme was available for roads in Ennis.

Mr O’Dea said the CLAR pro- gramme was not applicable to En- ah


Quarrelling squirrels ready for new Cork home

last April in a desperate bid to find a home for the two squirrels when the developer who commis- sioned the work pulled out. If the Ennis man was unable to find an alternative patron, he would have been forced to destroy the unfinished sculpture.

However, after subsequent national publicity, a Cork-based couple made an offer for Mr Wrafter to complete the work.

Yesterday, Mr Wrafter revealed that he received an offer double the amount from another developer.

“His locations lacked what the sculptures needed plus I didn’t think he knew that much about art, this was just a trophy for him. So I de- cided to stick by my guns and go with my principles and with people who know about art and appreciate what it is.”

“To be honest I took the work way further than they needed to go because I wanted this be finished immaculately. Financially it killed me, but I felt it was more important to get it done and get it out there and then come what may after that.”

The completed sculpture includes the eight foot tall grey squirrel weighing nine tonnes and the smaller red squirrel weighing three quarters of a ton.

He admitted to having mixed emo- tions with the removal planned this week for the transfer of the squirrels to the Cork collectors.

“I will be delighted in some way. It has been a big part of my life over the past two years, but I want my work to go in different directions now. I will be sad as well though. It is my most ambitious piece ever. It

is very unusual and I have grown at- tached to it.”

Mr Wrafter said that the public will no longer be able to see his work af- ter itis handed over to its new owners as it will be placed in front of a castle but away from public view. One of the other sculptures on the collec- tors’ estate is by a former winner of the prestigious UK-based Turner uv ier

Mr Wrafter said he was angry that in the past number of weeks, he asked three officials from Clare County Council to come to view the sculpture, but they turned his offer Kenan

“I was very disappointed with the council’s attitude,” he said.