Inquest hears of Shannon man’s death

Gardai concerned over drug use


Ghouls set for hellish hoedown

GHOSTS, ghouls and witches will be out in Kilfenora this Halloween night in support of the work of Clare Crusaders.

The Burren Community and Social Group have organised a Spooky Barn Dance for Vaughan’s Barn on Octo- ber 31, with all the money raised go- ing towards providing much needed help for special need children around ETc

The Clare Crusaders currently help more than 100 children get access to critical therapies and unfortunately their waiting list of applicants is erowing. At present the group re-

ceives no Government funding with more than €200,000 being required annually to continue to fund its serv- ose

“We provide physio, speech and language therapy, reflexology and we also have a Montessori teacher. We are at the stage now with the cut- backs in the health service that a lot of people are not getting the help that they need on a weekly basis. We are doing our best to provide as much of this as we can,’ said Ann Norton of the Clare Crusaders.

“All of the therapy that we provide is free to the children and their fami- lies. All of the money that we get from events like the barn dance goes

straight into the fund for the children as our overheads are very low. So the children get the benefits of these types of fundraisers.

“In the last weeks and months, we are getting more and more photo- graphs from people who are looking for therapy for their children. We are finding it quite demanding at the HepUOLUL Kon

“We don’t get any Government funding at the minute so the only way that we can survive is from fun- draising events such as this one and donations from relatives or compa- Woe

‘“That’s why is it so amazing when a group from the Burren Community

and Social Group comes to you with an event already organised. It’s won- derful that people see what the clinic is doing for the children and want to help. We are very grateful for that.”

Music for the Spooky Barn Dance will be provided by Country Fever NOLO MreKebesUIS OO KIN LEK ME toe

The Burren Community and Social Group is a new organisation which aims to organise and promote social, charity and community events in the whole Burren region.

Anyone interested in getting in- volved with the Burren Community and Social Group or the Spooky Barn Dance should ring on 087 1346443.


Miultown school unveluls facelift

WHEN parents, friends and past pupils visited St Joseph’s National School, Miltown Malbay on Thurs- day evening last they would have been forgiven for thinking they were in a new school.

Thanks to work carried out in the school during the summer holidays the west Clare national school got a complete make over.

The 122 children who now attend the school have comfortable class-

rooms, a larger play area and a more environmentally-friendly school.

Under the Department of Educa- tion’s Summer Works Scheme a to- tal new heating system with hot and cold running water was installed.

SU ieme OL MNeKRCO oh MinsrKeen and all new toilets installed.

New wheelchair accessible toilets and a wheelchair ramp were also installed, and there was a total re- furbishment of the learning support classroom.

There are now new floors through-

out the corridors and toilets, a com- plete repainting of the inside of the school has taken place, and a new concrete area added to the front of the school.

As well as the refurbishment of the office and the two resource teaching rooms, new and extra internet points were added to all the rooms.

The roof was also repaired and new solar panels added, making the school environmentally friendly.

The Milltown Malbay National School has five mainstream teachers,

one learning support, a SNA, one RTT, and one resource teacher.

On Thursday evening last, the Board of Management at the school held an open evening. During the evening the school was blessed by V Rev Séamus Mullin. Those attend- ing enjoyed music and refreshments AVEO MW DKOKS


Traveller families left in limbo after road ban

THE whereabouts of three Clare Traveller families ordered to leave the roads of the county last Friday are unknown today, following unsuc- cessful attempts to contact them.

The families, Connie and Mary O’Donoghue and their two sons, John and Tilda Mongans and their three children and Michael and Anne O’Donoghue and their seven children, have been unsuccessful in trying to gain rented accommodation in Clare for the last six months.

During that time, two of the fami- lies have had their homes impound- ed, while they have also been denied access to Clare County Council’s temporary halting site in Ennis.

The difficulty seems to have arisen between Clare County Council and authorities in Northern Ireland over a temporary site, which one of the family’s attempted to get access to in Northern Ireland.

“Connie and Mary O’Donoghue tried to gain access to a temporary site in the north of Ireland to visit re- lations of their’s who were sick. They

were never able to stay in the bay for even one night and their name has been completely withdrawn from that but it is still causing problems for them,’ said Clare Traveller cam- paigner, Heather Rosen, on behalf of WeCom EROODEWTA

“Their home is in Clare, all of their family is from Clare and they have all lived in Clare for the vast major- ity of their life but still they cannot manage to get even a temporary place to stay.

‘In their present situation, the order banning them from the roadsides of

County Clare is effectively banning them from the county altogether. They don’t have anywhere else to Xone Contact has also been made with the Northern Irish Human Rights Commission in an attempt to bring a resolution to the current impasse.

Meanwhile, Clare County Council has spoken out about a number of re- ported incidents of antisocial behav- ior at the local authority’s halting site in Deerpark in Ennistymon.

“In recent weeks, a number of inci- dents have been reported in the vicin-

ity of the Deerpark Group Housing at St John’s estate. These incidents are a matter of concern to the council. These and any other reports will be investigated and followed up by the council, in line with our policies and procedures on estate management,’ said a spokesperson from Housing Social and Cultural Services at Clare County Council.

‘The council has had a number of contacts with the Deerpark Residents Association in recent weeks and the council has affirmed this commit- ment directly to the association.”


A foodie’s heaven in east Clare

KILLALOE has been a ‘foodie’ destination for many years, but this week will see the opening of what may well become another jewel in the crown of gourmet delights in the town.

Nine years as a chef with the famed Cherry Tree restaurant and many awards later, Mark Anderson is due to open his own business in Killaloe in partnership with his fiancee, Go- sia Bublewicz.

When Gravitas, Purveyors of Fine Foods, opens this week it will be the latest in a number of gourmet and ar- tisan shops to open in Killaloe with one aim in common, to bring excel- lent produce to customers without

fleecing them.

“IT want to have the kind of shop we knew when we were young, somewhere you could go in and buy fresh fish, poultry and other produce. That kind of place, where quality mattered, has been lost to us and it needs to be brought back. But organ- ic doesn’t have to mean expensive, we re very aware of that. ”

The shop will stock carefully sourced fresh fish, organic and free range poultry, ready meals which will be cooked in the kitchen behind the shop and home-produced sauces and chowder.

Mark and Gosia will still keep up the fish stall they have been running in the farmers’ market on Sundays. “It’s a more relaxed way to talk to

our customers and it’s well support- ed, so why stop?” Mark said.

Gravitas will open in Bridge Street and not far away, on Royal Parade, Andrew Lofthouse is seeing custom grow for his wine store and Italian deli, Ponte Vecchio.

He agrees with Mark that people “want good food at reasonable pric- es. Andrew, who grew up in Italy, supplies specially-sourced Italian gourmet delights and customers who drop in to buy their hams and cheese usually can’t resist the temptation to sit and sip a great coffee or a glass of Nero d’Avola.

Keeping it in the family, Laura Kilkenny, who trained under Mark in The Cherry Tree, is feeding east Clare with her artisan breads, cakes,

quiches and other tempting morsels from The Wooden Spoon on Con- vent Hill.

“We try to supply food that is tasty, healthy and a bit different. People are becoming more concerned with what they eat. I have customers who come from as far away as Nenagh. One comes to buy for herself and brings a list of orders from her friends and neighbours. People are coming to Killaloe now to shop for good food and good ingredients.”


Ennis gym takes fitness further

A SPECIAL open day takes place on Sunday, November at the River Lodge Health and Fitness Club at the Auburn Lodge on the Gort Road.

The event takes place to celebrate the third anniversary of the centre and as part of the occasion, members and non-members alike will have an opportunity to take part in free class- es, meet the instructors and talk to an on-site nutritionist. Food will also be available and anybody who joins on the day will be able to avail of a spe- cial discounted membership rate.

“Tt’s sure to be a great day,” says Riv- er Lodge Manager Gerry O’ Halloran. ‘‘Aside from the fun factor though we want to get across that when it comes to planning your health and fitness this is one priority that should be on top of your list of things to do. We’ve taken these points, and many more into consideration, when it comes to offering our members the best facil1- ties and personal attention any where in the mid west.”

He pointed out that the facilities at the centre cater for all levels and body types.

‘Whether you’re a fitness virgin, or a seasoned athletic type, you’ll find everything to help you achieve your health and fitness goals at the River Lodge and we have one of the finest gyms in the area.”

He added that the River Lodge have gone to great lengths to ensure their members see results.

“All our instructors are fully quali- fied, and are there to give help, sup-

port and advice to all our members. We have even taken this one step further and offer a free monthly fit- ness review and programme update sO you continue to improve and get the most out of your workout. It’s just

like having your very own personal trainer.

“On top of this we also have a fully- heated pool, regular classes, sauna, Steam room and Jacuzzi as well as beauty treatment rooms.”

The open day continues throughout Sunday.


Ennis to get a taste of sonic madness

HALLOWEEN is coming late to En- nis this year with the largest extreme and experimental electronic music event ever to take place in County ETc

Never Stop The Madness is being organised by Lisdoonvarna based two piece Drugzilla and will feature some of the best of European under- ground and alternative music. The event, which will take place in The

Lifford on November 7, is one of the largest events of it’s type organised in Ireland this year and should attract a large following to Clare from sur- rounding counties and even further afield.

Never Stop The Madness has been raising a large amount of interest across the water with the UK inva- sion being led by DJ Pinhead, Hare- wire and Captain Chaos. Spanish band Black Starr Finale will also be making an appearance as will Irish

hard drum and bass gabber Rowan Lee Brains alongside Drugzilla.

The night is being organised by Drugzilla front-man, The Human Jigsaw, who is hopeful that Never Stop The Madness could become an annual or even more regular event. Plans are also in place to bring some even bigger names to Ennis in the coming months and weeks.

Drugzilla formed in Lisdoonvarna in 2007 and quickly build up the largest fanbase of any extreme elec-

tronic act on the Internet. Bringing a strange mix of Buckfast fueled extreme beats and foul mouth mer- riment they played a storming set at I Hate Trance in the UK alongside some of the best acts in the European Speedcore scene.

Last year Drugzilla were named as


Ennis tenor to launch debut album

SINGER Vincent Di Placido fulfills a lifelong ambition this week with the release of his self-titled debut album.

The album launch takes place at the West County Hotel, Ennis tomorrow night (October 28) at 8pm. A lyric tenor, Vincent’s album sees him per- form songs that draw heavily on his Italian and Irish background.

Vincent’s mother, Nora, is origi- nally from Ennis while his father Vincenzo Snr hails from the Italian town of Cassino.

Cre abercam eno mBbemm erenDelelesncdemMAUye lots his family lived for a while, Vincent was surrounded my music.

“There was always music in the house. I remember listening to peo- ple like Frank Sinatra, Mario Lanza, really great singers,’ he says.

Vincent moved to Ennis in 1992. A keen singer from an early age, he started to perform with local singing groups like the Ennis Musical Soci- ety and the Cathedral Choir.

One of his most memorable mo- ments on stage occurred in 1994 when he performed solo at the ordi- nation of Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Wil- lie Walsh.

“IT was very lucky. I kept getting these really good parts with the musical society and the choir. I got to sing at the ordination of Willie Walsh. I was very lucky to get these opportunities,” he says.

Vincent continues, “I sang at peo- ple’s weddings as well. People were always very nice, saying that I should record that album. It’s very flattering to hear people say that, naturally I’d be a very shy kind of person. I had always wanted to record an album. It had been ongoing thing but it was

something I was always putting on the long finger. Last year I decided to bite the bullet, get some money to- gether and just do it.”

Vincent says that he also received great support for the project from his fiancé Aoife. The album was recorded in September 2008 at St Columba’s Church, Ennis and fea- tures contributions from local musi- cians including Nigel Bridge (piano), Maeve de Buitlér (harp). Vincent says the combination of the location and quality of the musicians really

enhanced the quality of the record- ing.

“The natural acoustics there were amazing. We recorded last Septem- ber. We got it done quite quickly. Initially we were just going in to test the recording but once we started we decided “why not do the whole thing’. The musicians were so good. They really cared about the process. It really shows what you can achieve with good musicians,” he says.

Vincent is also well known to peo- ple in Ennis from his job as manager

of the local branch of Xtra-Vision, Where he has worked since 1997. And though he says he’s not quite ready to give up the day job for a full time singing career, Vincent says he is proud to have finally finished the album.

“Tm proud of it. Organising the music, overseeing the production. It’s great to have done it,” says Vincent.


Diesel model just as good as the original

THE Ford Focus continues to lead the way in new car sales in what is a declining Irish car market. Yet it’s the Managing Director of Ford Ire- land who is always first in to bat for a new scrappage scheme.

While other car bosses may com- plain in private, Ford’s Irish MD Eddie Murphy is regularly issuing press releases urging the Govern- ment to save the car industry from melt down.

Apart from helping the struggling car industry Eddie always points out that a new scrappage scheme would bring millions of euro in much need- ed VAT to the exchequer, provided you can get a loan from your bank.

Earlier this year to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their best-selling Focus, Ford introduced a special edi- tion Style 1.6 diesel. This new model emits only 118g¢/km of CO2 and that equates to only £104 per year road tax. Already Ford has sold over 400 diesel models and the feedback from Ford dealers is that the 1.6 diesel is definitely the car of choice for new ey Kelsay

Back in 1999 a Focus with what are now standard features such as ESP and ABS, would have cost you over €24,000. Now the price has now been reduced to €20,715 which is definitely good value in these reces- sionary times.

It was only when I sat behind the wheel of this sturdy, comfortable mo- tor that I realised just how good a car it is. I owned two different Focus but sadly traded in my last model prema- turely when my daughter wanted a smaller car so that she could pass her driving test.

Thankfully she passed first time, but I think by now we are all sorry to have switched from a Focus to a Nissan Micra. But then the things fa- thers do for their daughters knows no boundaries.

I love the smell of new cars and this one was no different when I picked it up the Focus from Rialto Motors on Herberton Road, Dublin.

The seats are so comfortable and

you will find your back fit snugly into the driver or passenger seat. There are white and grey lines on all the seats which brightens up the inte- rior décor. In the back there is ample room for three adults and the boot is a decent size.

Ford has excellent controls for radio and air conditioning. In most family cars you can store approximately six

radio stations, but in the Focus you can pre-select eight stations on each wavelength. And with two FM chan- nels you get to pre-select 16 different FM stations. You also get Am and Tete eer

I really liked the slave controls to the left of the steering wheel; they are so discreet. The front end got an upgrade in recent years and the new

headlamps are very attractive. The front end has been described as a ‘scaled down’ Mondeo look.

On the road the drive is very impres- sive and you really feel safe and in control. If you haven’t tried a Focus, it’s really worth having a test drive, especially in this diesel model.

I used to work with a man who wasn’t a big Ford fan; he preferred

Japanese cars instead. It’s hard to convince the non-believers, but in my case Ford are preaching to the converted.

Ford has sold over 90,000 units of their Focus in Ireland over the past ten years. They would have been heading for the magic 100k mark long before now but for the current slow down.


Defence concern over murder pics

THE solicitor representing a man ac- cused of murder in Kilrush in July has expressed concern that photo- graphs taken by the state patholo- gist at the scene have not been made available to the defence.

Father-of-two Brendan O’Sullivan (25), of 10 O’Gorman Street, Kil- rush, is accused of murdering Leslie Kenny at O’Gorman Street, Kilrush, on July 29 last.

Mr Kenny was shot dead at around 10.30am on Wednesday, July 29, in

the front garden of 10 O’Gorman Sistem

Mr O’Sullivan appeared before Kilrush District Court last Wednes- day, where the book of evidence was due to be served.

Superintendent Michael Comyns told the court that the book of evi- dence was not ready and applied to the court for the accused to be remanded on continuing bail for a month.

Defence solicitor Eugene O’Kelly said he was objecting to that applica- tion. He said that the permitted time

for preparing a book of evidence is 42 days and this was being treated by the state as “aspirational” more than “obligatory.”

He said he was not objecting for the sake of being awkward, but there were practical difficulties.

He pointed out that the deputy state pathologist in Northern Ireland, Dr Alistair Bentley, carried out an inde- pendent autopsy.

Mr O’Kelly said Dr Bentley re- quired sight of photographs taken by the state pathologist, when the body was in situ.

“The state, for whatever reason, won’t accede to Dr Bentley’s request. He is most surprised to hear that gardai refused to release the photo- graphs,” said the solicitor.

He said he did not see how releas- ing the photographs would hamper the garda investigation and said the PSNI is very helpful in investigations it carries out.

However, Judge Joseph Mangan said, ““That’s a matter for the trial.”

Mr O’Kelly then said, “The book of evidence is not ready and we are not being told why.”