Ennis pub gutted in fire

FOUR people including a one and a half year old boy escaped unharmed when fire ripped through an award- winning pub and adjoining residence in Ennis on St Stephen’s Day.

It took ten fire brigade units al- most 14 hours to bring the blaze at the Aylmer’s Rest pub and restaurant under control.

Fire services were first alerted to the fire, which is believed to have started accidentally, at 8.30am. Four units attended the scene and it was thought that the fire had been brought under control by Ipm.

However flames were again seen shooting from the building soon af- ter and six units returned to the scene at the Turnpike area of Ennis.

The pub, which is located just yards from a sculpture specially commis- sioned in honour of Muhammad Al1’s visit to the town in September, was extensively damaged by the blaze.

A commemorative plaque erected to mark the visit of the former world boxing champion was one of the few items not damaged in the blaze.

The adjoining residence and guest- house also suffered damage in the incident. Four people – owners Frank and Carmel Daniels, their daugh- ter and their one-year old grandson, were in the residence at the time and were all safely evacuated.

Speaking yesterday, the owner’s son Francis Daniels said the pub had been completely destroyed.

“The fire brigades were up around 9.30am and they left around lpm but they had to come back again about a half an hour later. [’d say it was al- most 11.30 that night before they got it under control. Its totally destroyed, I was up there again today for a look and it’s wrecked”.

He added, “We’re going to re-build. We’ll have a big cleanup and hope- fully in three to four weeks they can Start re-building it”.

Formerly called the Gallows, the Aylmer’s Rest has been run by the

Daniels family since 1997.

It underwent an extensive refur- bishment four years ago and has previously been named as ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ by the Dining Pub Ireland guide.

The owners erected a plaque and number of pictures to commemorate the visit of Muhammad Ali to Ennis in September.


Stroll the Burren for Alzheimers

MORE than 500 people are expected to turn out for the annual sponsored walk organised by the Clare Branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, which takes place next Sunday, Janu- Tear

Now in its eighth year, the walk has become a charity institution in the north Clare area each January.

Sponsorship cards are still available locally or from the Alzheimer Socie- ty office in Ennis, but people are also encouraged to come along on the day and donate what they can.

“We have had great support from people in Clare, Galway and Lim- erick and all over getting behind the

walk for the last eight years and it’s been a pleasure to do it.

“It’s a very nice walk. It goes from main road to the green road and then it goes to the grassy green road up in Fanore. There is a lovely view out over the sea and over all the Burren,” said walk organiser, Gerry Howard.

“We let people off individually or in small groups – we don’t have one big group moving off at the one time. We say 12 or half past for the walk but some people come a little bit ear- ly and some people come a little bit later. We had more than 500 people last year which was brilliant.

“It’s a nice relaxed walk. We have a great celebration on the day with tra-

ditional music, dancing and singing in O’Donoghue’s Pub after the walk. We have a great evening.”

As in previous years, all proceeds will go to improve and extend both daycare, homecare, and _ respite services for the Clare Branch of the Alzheimer Society.

‘There are very few families who haven’t have some sort of brush with it, either Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“When you are organising some- thing like this, you are very much pushing an open door with people. Anyone who has had experience of it is always great when it comes to OIRO AU AMD MM CONDOR Gums

“Every bob we make goes into the services in County Clare. There isn’t

anything at all spent on administra- tion or anything like that.”

The 1OK Walk will start from O’Donoghue’s Pub in Fanore at 12.30pm on January 3.

For sponsorship cards or more in- formation, contact the Alzheimer Society Office at Unit 17, Clonroad Business Park in Ennis on 065 686 8621 or call Gerry Howard on 087 2346750.


Council to go back to school

MEMBERS of Kilrush Town Coun- cil plan to go back to school in 2010.

The Kilrush councillors agreed that it was essential to get secondary school students more involved in lo- cal politics and to encourage them to get involved in the democratic proc- Se

Cllr Liam O’Looney (FF) even sug- gested that a meeting of the council could be held during school hours and the students invited to attend.

‘They could see then what they are about,’ he said.

The Fianna Fail councillor was re- sponding to a call by Cllr Ian Lynch (FG) who said involving young peo- ple in the council would be a great opportunity for the council to inter- act more with the community.

“Why not introduce more to the schools of what we do?” he asked.

He said it was time for the coun- cillors to ask the young people about their needs and what the council can do for them.

“We could ask them for suggestions So it is not just a meeting for old fo- gies,” said the councillor.

Cllr Mairead O’Brien (Ind) sug- gested that the students in the school be given access to council members numbers so that they could suggest motions for the meetings.

“T think it is an excellent idea,” said ste ov elem Oouas

He said that the agenda is currently circulated to the secondary school in the town.

Town Manager Nora Kaye said she was totally in support of interaction with the school.

She suggested drawing up a list of issues the council and the school could work on together.

“Maybe we could draw up a host of issues we could do for 2010 with the school,” she said.

The town council therefore plan to look to the students of the town to learn more about the needs of the area for 2010.


Shoppers bring cheer to the poor

IT WAS truly Christmas on Wednes- day in Killaloe when the special market day brought together Christ- mas goodies, good cheer and a very special cause.

As it 1s a market run largely by producers of beautiful food, the stall holders’ thoughts turned to growers in other parts of the world where food is much scarcer.

To support families in the develop- ing world to become self-sufficient by keeping farm animals, the market held the special day with the aim of buying ten cows for the Oxfam Un- wrapped campaign.

Trader, Anthony Vincent, said the aim was to buy ten cows with cash raised on the day.

“We wanted to have a day when people could really get into the Christmas spirit, pick up some gour- met foods and enjoy the atmosphere as well as support a good cause,” he said.

The extra market day is organised delivery year but this was the first time it has been done for charity.

The local children’s choir sang car- ols, and there were face painters on hand and a live cow to remind people of what it was all about. There was a raffle for a super hamper of market produce, donated by all of the trad- ers with a specially designed piece of silver, a one-off from Anthony and his partner, Marianne. Traders also donated a portion of their takings from the day.

The special market day featured stalls selling gifts, speciality meats specially picked for the festive sea- son, plants, yummy artisan choco- late and much more.

The market in Killaloe will be back to its usual slot next week on Sunday morning, between the waters. The event has become one of the most popular fixtures in the market cal- endar week, with fresh fish, organic veg and delicious artisan chocolate on sale to name but a few items.


The man in red favours the east

THERE were no shortage of visits from the jolly man in red in east Clare this year as he popped in to see his little friends at lots of venues in the run up to Christmas.

Children were delighted to see him arrive last Sunday by horse and cart to the Wuthering Heights pub. Santa met his littlest friends and checked his list before heading off again to meet and greet more children

He visited the Smith O’Brien club- house last Thursday and in Kilk-

ishen, large numbers of children brought their parent to meet their favourite man.

The Santa clan are so fond of Kil- kishen that Mrs Claus came along as well to the clubhouse to meet the pees Co ae

More than 70 families turned out for the fun day and parents enjoyed a cup of tea or a glass of mulled wine while children enjoyed the bouncy castle, face painting and games. Do- nated items for the cake sale helped to fund the party.

Santa made a dramatic entrance by

chopper in Ballina when he arrived at the Ballina/Boher GAA clubhouse.

Among the other venues which Santa visited was Feakle. The hugely popular visitor was listening to lists at the Feakle community centre, where his visit coincided with the annual Christmas fair to raise funds for the upkeep and improvement of Neem ee Kee

The hall committee will be organ- ising a number of events over the coming weeks to raise cash for the up-keep of the facility.

The next will be tonight, December

29, in Bohans. Teams of four are in- vited to take part in the fund table quiz.

Santa also visited a number of other venues around east Clare before tak- ing off for Lapland and his biggest work day of the year and many of the events he attended raised money for good causes.


Ennis author infiltrates Joe’s top ten

recalls Brian O’Connell’s own troubled relationship with al- cohol as well as looking at Ireland’s

attitude towards alcohol. From hang- ing out with daytime drinkers in a bar in Tipperary, to spending time with the ‘Forgotten Irish’ in London, talking to governments across Eu- rope, and meeting A&E workers and teenagers, Brian casts a sober eye on Ireland’s love affair with alcohol and the damaging consequences that can result from it.

Also, some well-known personali- ties recount their own struggles with alcohol throughout the book, from Des Bishop to Mary Coughlan to Ni- all Toibin and singer Francis Black.

Brian, who recently signed copies of his book at Ennis Book Shop, was

delighted to have been included in the listener’s poll.

He said, “I was amazed to get so far in the Liveline Listeners Irish Book of the Year poll. It was a thrill just to be included in the list with so many distinguished authors.

‘To come fifth in the top 10 books of the year is a testament to all the hard work my publishers have put in and also to everyone who contributed to my book and made it the success that it has become.

‘The response so far has taken eve- ryone by surprise and I’m grateful to everyone who has bought the book since its release.”

The top 10 books of the year as voted by Liveline listeners is as fol- Oy


Mental Health Commission slams Cappahard

THE operation of Cappahard Nurs- ing Home in Ennis has been over- hauled after the Mental Health Com- mission identified “serious concerns and significant levels of non-compli- ance” at the centre.

Cappahard provides care to 35 eld- erly patients suffering from various forms of dementia and mental ill- nesses.

However, the Commission in its June inspection uncovered a number of “dysfunctional systems” at the home when 20 breaches were identi- fied. The Commission sent its report ‘as a matter of priority” to its Acting

Chief Executive Officer and as a re- sult, the Commission decided that an unannounced inspection would take place within three months.

The report followed the discovery of 17 separate breaches in June 2008, which found that the centre breached mechanical restraint policy.

In its damning verdict on the cen- tre, the Commission stated, “There was a lack of managerial and clinical leadership.

“This resulted in policies not being signed, residents not receiving active and timely reviews and a complete lack of clarity on who was to perform physical examinations.

“Local systems for management

and review of risks were absent. In a single small centre, two separate and complex medication systems were in ej oroe leone

‘A number of residents had no ca- pacity to make informed choices and were dependent on profession- als to provide safe and effective care. Scepticism towards the unit being an approved centre was partially responsible for the current level of compliance.

‘Staff must use the protections af- forded to residents under the act to bring about change and improve or ones

The report concluded that a recent audit found that nurses were spend-

ing up to 90 person hours a week completing non-nursing duties and that the agreed staff complement had not been reached due to staff short- eae

The Commission carried out an un- announced inspection of the unit on September 22 when seven breaches were recorded — a decrease of 13 in the space of three months.

The Commission reported that at the time of re-inspection, a signifi- cant improvement in the practices and procedures in Cappahard Lodge had been implemented since the last inspection.

A report on the care provided to the late Gerard Finn (69) at Cappahard 1s

due to be published next year.

Last night, his daughter Lourda said: “It is an absolute disgrace that serious clinical and managerial prob- lems were found at Cappahard last June three years after the fact that this was pointed out to them.”

She said that the Commission un- covered more breaches in June 2009 Wor DeMLMmOnlOMDOMLONNoMPAGLOlon

Mr Finn had Alzheimer’s Disease and angina, and was admitted to Cappahard Lodge in late December 2005.

During his time there, he was ad- mitted to Ennis General on a number of occasions and he died at the home on June 6, 2006.


HSE raises concern about head shops

Addicts opt for community help


Over 4,000 Clare calves die under six months old

MORE than 4,000 calves born on farms in Clare die before they reach six weeks of age each year, accord- ing to official figures from the De- or Danese lmelmvatauUUIRUI Ros

The department’s Animal Identifi- cation and Movement (AIM) system report for 2008 reveals that, nation- ally, 70,000 calves died between birth and six weeks. Based on these national figures, a total of 4,100 calves died on the 5,200 suckler and dairy farms in Clare – while a further 2,00 calves were stillborn.

According to veterinary special- ist, Maureen Prendergast, scour ac- counts for well over half of all calf deaths in Clare. Extreme cases of the disease can result in the death of up to 30 per cent of calves in a herd.

“However, on the majority of farms, calf deaths represent only a small proportion of the costs of a scour outbreak. The biggest costs are treat- ment, additional labour and reduced animal performance,’ she said.

Prendergast, who is veterinary ad- viser with Intervet Schering-Plough, explained that scour is the symptom of a disease caused by bacteria and WAUMEN oe

“Bacterial infection can hit the calf within a couple of hours after birth. The high risk period for viral infec- tion is five to 1O days after birth,” she Sr nLGe

“Vaccinating the cow anytime between three and 12 weeks prior to calving is proven to provide the antibodies in the cow’s colostrum, which will protect the new-born calf. Farmers should consult their vet to discuss the best vaccination strategy for their herds.”

Meanwhile, the ICSA Connaught Ulster vice president John Barron has expressed alarm at proposed changes to the TB regime arising from the need to facilitate the slaughter of cattle that are over 12 months since

their last TB test.

“The new proposals to permit the slaughter of animals that are be- tween 12-18 months since their last TB test is something we have been

looking for.

“However, at a meeting with de- partment officials, it has emerged that the proposed change is to be accompanied by a whole raft of new

bureaucracy,’ he said.

“This includes complex assess- ments which categorise herds into those with less than 20 per cent ani- mals out of test and more than 20 per

cent animals out of test.

“There are severe penalties for any animal inadvertently sent for slaughter over 18 months since its last test.”


Enterprise not flying

IN ITS end of year statement, Enter- prise Ireland reported that 2009 was a year of unprecedented challenge for Ireland’s exporters as a result of the significant drop in global de- mand and the sustained pressure of sterling/dollar exchange rates.

While Enterprise Ireland client companies achieved an estimated €500m in new export sales, total exports fell by approximately 10 per cent to €13bn.

In four of the past five months cli- ent companies recorded growth in export orders. While that growth is small, the companies have risen to LM eCoMmeLaY-0U (oJ OToXoMm-D OX MNO OU ISMED Ro) 010 MB Kio Ite couraging when compared with the situation at the start of the year.

Entrepreneurship and investment in R&D were both ahead of target in 2009 indicating improved confidence amongst client companies as they position to address opportunities in early 2010. 73 new innovative high potential start-ups were supported over the course of the year (10 per cent ahead of target) and 115 client companies were approved funding support for significant R&D.

Although 7,400 new jobs were created by Enterprise Ireland client companies over the course of the year, there was an overall net decline of 19,000 jobs.

Noting the outturn for the year, Tanaiste Mary Coughlan T.D. said that the Government made strategic interventions to protect jobs. Around 7,213 jobs were sustained in the 148 companies supported under the En- terprise Stabilisation Fund which was launched in April to support vulnerable but viable manufacturing and internationally traded services companies, with a particular focus on SMEs.

“Over 450 companies, which were approved for funding under the Government’s Employment Subsidy Scheme, committed to maintain- ing approximately 36,000 full-time jobs.”

Over the past 12 months, Enter- prise Ireland prioritised providing access to finance for client compa- nies through new and existing fund- ing vehicles and through enhanced co-operation with the main banks.

Enterprise Ireland provided fi- nancial assistance to approximately 1,600 companies over 2009. €59m was approved under the Enterprise Stabilisation Fund while a further €93.6m was paid to client compa- nies in 2009 through Enterprise Ire- land’s existing supports such as the R&D and Growth funds.

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Frank Ryan said that during 2009, the agency pursued a sustaining en- terprise agenda that prioritised help- ing client companies through the economic crisis and companies dis- played great dedication and determ1- nation in sustaining their businesses over the past year.

“The answer to Ireland’s chal- lenge remains a return to export-led erowth. That is what drove the econ- omy in the foundation stages of the boom and in Ireland, exports equals jobs,” he said.