JPC meeting adjourned out of respect

A MINUTE’S silence was observed in the headquarters of Clare County Council yesterday in memory of murdered Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. Members of the Clare Joint Policing Committee agreed to adjourn their planned meeting as a mark of respect to the Dundalk based garda who was shot dead in a raid on a Credit Union in Louth on Friday night.

Members expressed sympathy with the family of Mr Donohoe, whose wife, Caroline Deloughrey, is from Kilkee. Senior officers from the Clare Garda Division yesterday spoke of the shock that is being felt throughout the force. Superintendent Derek Smart, who served in Limerick when Det Gda Jerry McCabe was shot dead outside Adare Post Office in 1996, said it is a very “trying and sad time for the Garda organisation”.

He added, “We are confident that with the help and support of the community, on which we thrive, we will bring this matter to a conclusion.”

Inspector John Galvin of Ennis Garda Station said it had been heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from communities across the country. He added, “It is extremely well appreciated. We’re all grieving and we’re hurt. We’re all one big family in the Garda Suíochana and we know the person behind the uniform.”

JPC Chairman, Councillor Joe Arkins (FG) said the killing of Adrian Donohoe was a sad day for gardaí and society in general.

Extending his sympathy to the Donohoe family, Labour TD Deputy Michael McNamara said every effort would be made to bring those responsible for this “savage act” to justice.

Fianna Fáíl TD, Deputy Timmy Dooley, said the communities of Louth and West Clare had lost a brave member of the force. He added, “This brings into sharp focus the kind of threats that gardaí face.”

Fine Gael TD, Deputy Joe Carey said the murder had “shocked the nation”. Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway described it as a “horrific tragedy”.

Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) said, “This is an attack on basic democracy. This was a man protecting the savings of ordinary people.” Cllr Oliver Garry (FG) said, “This is a cowardly and despicable act and I hope the people responsible are brought to justice.”

Cllr Bill Chambers (FF) said, “This was a despicable act committed against a man out doing a duty for the State.” Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) said Det Gda Donohoe’s “cold-blooded killing has shaken the nation and it shows the dangers gardaí encounter.”


Sewage issue causes a stink

RESIDENTS of a Spanish Point housing estate have been “left in limbo” with a dysfunctional sewage system which has contributed to Spanish Point beach losing its blue flag.

That is according to councillors at yesterday’s Ennistymon Area Meeting of Clare County Council, with local Cllr Michael Hillery (FF) requesting that Clare County Council take the WestPart development in charge.

“The council have paid a private contractor to remove sewerage from this estate on at least four occasions over the last 18 months. This treatment plant is not working properly and is a health hazard in the area,” said Cllr Hillery.

“It is also very close to Spanish Point beach which, unfortunately, does not have a Blue Flag at the moment.

“Unfortunately, the bond which was put in place for this estate has elapsed. So there is no longer a bond in place to pay for this situation to be resolved.

“It states that Clare County Council cannot use funding or the lack of funding as an excuse not to take an estate in charge.

“The cost to Clare County Council of de-sludging this treatment plant is going to be more and more as this goes on.

“We would ask that Clare County Council take on this estate and al- low the residents to live a life that is reasonable and acceptable in this day and age.”

Responding to the motion, a council spokesperson confirmed that an application to take the estate in charge is currently being considered.

The spokesperson also confirmed that legal action under the Water Pollution Act is listed for hearing in the District Court on February 22.

“This is also an estate where the people living there do have to pay the household charge. That is a very big issue for the people in this estate,” said Cllr Hillery.

“A number of estates around the country have been exempted – but this one hasn’t. That is an issue for the residents.


Minister ‘kicking the can down the road’

THE five North Clare members of Clare County Council are to seek a meeting with Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan (FG) to get him to officially nail his colours to the mast concerning the funding impasse with sewage treatment facility at Doolin.

Councillors at yesterday’s Ennistymon Area Meeting of Clare County Council accused Minister Hogan of muddying the waters concerning the scheme. Under the Department of the Environment’s new criteria for sew- erage funding, smaller projects such as Doolin are excluded.

However, following a meeting between Minister Hogan and a deputation from Doolin, the indication was given that Clare County Council had not made an application for funding.

Cllr Richard Nagle (FF) requested a copy of all correspondence between Clare County Council and the Department of the Environment concerning the Doolin scheme.

In a letter from Minister Hogan’s private secretary, dated November 19 last, the minister invited Clare County Council to make an allocation but failed to answer specific questions about the department’s own criteria, which effectively excluded Doolin from receiving funding.

“Ultimately what this comes down to, under the present waste water programme, [is that] small towns like Doolin cannot be included. The delay in the sewerage scheme in Doolin has delayed the provision of basic infrastructure like footpaths, lighting and pedestrian crossings,” said Cllr Nagle.

“They are not included in the investment programme and if you are not there, how can you get the funding? You have to wonder why Hogan gave false hope to people.

“It is extremely regrettable that we are getting this game of ducks and drakes being played where civil servants are saying one thing in one paragraph or a letter and another thing in another paragraph.

“People have being given the impression that funding is being provided – but nothing is happening. It is totally unacceptable and people are being left in limbo.”

Cllr Joe Arkins (FG) read details of a correspondence between himself and Fine Gael officials into the minutes of the meeting. The emails, which were dated December 8, 2012, outlined the contraction of Minister Hogan’s comments to the Doolin deputation and the current criteria for sewerage projects.

Lahinch councillor Billy Slattery (FG) suggested that the councillors request a meeting with the minister and get him to clarify the situation once and for all.

“A deputation did go and met Phil Hogan and he did give a positive indication to that deputation. If this goes into 2014, the new water body will be responsible for this; Clare County Council will not have any role to play. Is that why Minister Hogan is kicking this can down the road?” he said


Judge advises ‘upset’ woman to ‘grow up’

A WOMAN who sent threatening text messages to her ex-boyfriend has been advised by a judge to “grow up”.

Marcella Considine (38), with an address at 2 Delacey Park, Shannon, appeared at Ennis District Court on Wednesday, charged with offences contrary to the Postal and Telecommunications Act.

She pleaded guilty to sending, by means of telecommunications, a message that was grossly offensive, obscene or of menacing character, to a man living at an Ennis address.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court that the accused sent two messages to her former boyfriend on February 12 (2012) and May 23 (2012).

He explained that, in the first message, Ms Considine said she would tell everyone the man was scum.

He told the court that the accused also wrote, “I’ll fucking stab you.”

Insp Kennedy said that in the sec- ond text message, Ms Considine stated, “I’ll kill you with a knife. If you send this message to the guards, I know a lot of people in Ennis.”

He said Ms Considine has no previous convictions. Solicitor for the accused, John Casey, told the court that there was “absolutely no truth to the threats.”

He said the couple’s long-term relationship had ended. He said his client had been “very upset” with the man at the time she sent the texts.

He said Ms Considine had never acted on what she said in the text messages. Mr Casey said his client was “very apologetic”.

“This appearance in court is a lesson to her,” he added.

Judge Patrick Durcan said he was not impressed by Ms Considine’s actions.

He adjourned the case until January 2014, granting the State liberty to re-enter the case.

Addressing Ms Considine, Judge Durcan said, “You’d want to grow up.”


New Shannon CEO could earn over €200k per annum

THE position of Chief Executive Officer of the new entity that will run Shannon Airport has been advertised nationally.

The appointment process will be handled by Merc Partners, a renowned executive search recruitment company based in Dublin.

The job description offered in the national newspapers highlighted the fact that the CEO of Shannon will be just that, having a wider remit beyond the operation of the airport.

The new role of CEO will include managing a broad property portfolio, much of which will be inherited from Shanon Development Company as well as being responsible for the establishment of a global aviation cluster.

This is in reference to the stated aims of the plan for Shannon encompassing the rejuvenation of the aviation industry reputation and base, which was once a mainstay for the airport and the Free Zone.

The position did not specify a salary but the successful candidate can expect annual renumeration in the six figure range.

The advertisement for the job states “remuneration will be within the guidelines set for Irish public enterprises”.

That stipulation can be widely interpreted, with some Irish Public Enterprise CEOs like those in the ESB, DAA, Bord Gais, Bord na Móna and An Post, to name but five, all commanding salaries and perks worth above € 250k per annum. A ceiling of € 250k was put on CEO salaries with State owned commercial entities in 2011.

This new post of Chief Executive could be considered to be at the higher end of the public enterprise scale, the CEO’s responsibilities being publicly seen as wide ranging and vital to the economy of the region. The new person at the helm will also have a fairly visible public profile.

The job spec highlighted the need for experience, stating that the role ‘requires an experienced and inspirational leader of exceptional calibre with aviation experience’.

The new CEO will report to the board charged with running the new Shannon entity, chaired by Clare native Rose Hynes. The position was advertised in The Sunda y Times last week as well as online.

Rose Hynes appeared before an Oireachtas Committee on Trans- port last Wednesday and outlined ambitious plans to increase passenger traffic at the airport as well as creating up to 3, 500 new jobs over the coming years through expansion and development of Shannon as an international centre of excellence in the aviation industry.

The new CEO will be expected to play a leading role in driving that aviation expansion.

While it is to be assumed there will be candidates applying for the position who already have a connection to the airport and Shannon Development Company, potential applicants currently based outside of Ireland are also expected to be in the frame.

“The role of CEO in such a new venture is seen as a very attractive one within the industry and there will definitely be foreign interest in it,” an insider told The Cla r e People .

The appointment process will not be concluded for a number of weeks and it could be as late as April or May before the successful candidate is officially named.

The New Co as Shannon Airport is currently described as, does not officially become fully automonous until July of this year.


Clare roads some of the safest in Ireland

CLARE is one of the top five best performing counties in Ireland in terms of reducing roads deaths, with fatalities on our county’s roads down by 80 per cent in the last five years.

A publication by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) shows a 79 per cent reduction in road deaths in Clare during the Government Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012, when compared to the period of the previous strategy from 2004 to 2006.

The national average is just 57 per cent, suggesting that Clare has some of the safest driving conditions in the country.

Road deaths in Clare fell from 12 in 2007 to two in 2012.

The report, ‘2007 to 2012 Road Traffic Deaths By User Type And County’, shows that, since 2007, 22 drivers, five motorcyclists and cyclists and seven pedestrians have been killed on roads in the county.

Last year, two people died on roads in Clare.

Noel Brett, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said, “The reduction in road deaths in Clare shows just what can be achieved when communities come together and say enough is enough, we don’t want any more people dying on our roads. All it takes to make a difference is for one person to say, I’m going to change my behaviour on the roads so that I can keep myself and others safe when we’re out on the roads.

“So, on behalf of the RSA, I would like to thank each and every person in Clare for the contribution you have made to keeping roads in your county safe. It is the efforts made by each and every one of you that has helped make Clare one of the top five best performing counties in Ireland in terms of reducing roads deaths.”

He also paid tribute to An Garda Síochána, emergency services personnel and the local authorities for their work in reducing the death toll on Clare’s roads.

“If we all redouble our efforts in 2013, there is no reason why we can’t make Ireland’s roads the safest in the world,” said Mr Brett.

As many as 162 people died on Irish roads in 2012, 24 fewer fatalities than the previous year when 186 people died and 51 fewer than 2010 when 212 people died on the nation’s roads.


Blake’s Corner solution years away

A RESOLUTION to the ongoing dispute over Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon could be more than five years away, following a decision from the National Roads Authority (NRA) not to fund an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed development in its 2013 allocation of funding last week.

Early last year, Clare County Council requested that the NRA allocate money for the completion of an EIS. This followed threats from a local heritage group who said they would appeal the project to An mBord Pleanála if an EIS was not completed.

Following the decision by the NRA not to include the EIS, the funding allocation last week now looks likely that it will be 2014, at the earliest, before funding for the EIS is made available.

Once funding is made available, it will take up to a year for consultants to be selected and a statement to be prepared. This statement will then be referred back to the NRA for approval. Only then can funding be sought to create a new junction in Ennistymon.

The issue came to light at yesterday’s Ennistymon area meeting of Clare County Council when a proposal to construct a pedestrian crossing on the Ennistymon bridge was turned down.

“We are now back in limbo about a pedestrian crossing on the bridge in Ennistymon. It is totally unacceptable that we are going to have to wait for a decision on Blake’s Corner before getting this situation resolved,” said Cllr Richard Nagle (FF).

“We all know, if we are all realistic and tell the the truth, we are not going to get a resolution to Blake’s Corner until 2015 at the very earliest.”

Council engineer, Stephen Lahiffe confirmed that funding for the EIS was not made available by the NRA last week. He also confirmed that senior county engineer Tom Tiernan is to make fresh enquiries to the NRA about securing funding for the EIS. This further delay is likely to add at least another year to progressing work on Blake’s Corner, which could now be more than five years away.

It was also revealed at yesterday’s meeting that local company Data Display, who employ more than 100 people in Ennistymon, have to bring all deliveries to the factory at 4am – because of the junction at Blake’s Corner.

“A woman was hurt at the spot last year and was injured. We are hearing this, day in and day out, from people. The truck drivers going to Data Display have to come at 4am in the morning with their deliveries,” said Cllr Bill Slattery. “Can the brains at Clare County Council not come together and come up with some temporary resolution for this, until the Blake’s Corner issue is resolved?” See page 62 for more from the Ennistymon Area Meeting.


Four in ten Clare babies born to unmarried parents

ALMOST four in every 10 children born in Clare are born to unmarried parents.

Figures released for the first quarter of 2012 show that there were 430 children born to Clare mothers in the first three months of last year. Of these parents 292 were born to married women with 138 born to unmarried women.

It is likely however, that many of the Clare children born to unmarried mothers are still raised in two-parent families. According to Central Statistic Office figures, a total of 77 babies born to unmarried Clare mothers over this period register an unmarried father living at the same address.

According to lone parent organisation One Family, a variety of different family structures has now become normal and accepted in Clare. New research carried out by the organisation also shows that the biggest issue arising from lone parenting is financial, and not the development and socialisation of the child.

“One in eight children in Ireland are now in a one-parent family so it is becoming much more normal. I think the real pressure on one parent families is very much an economic pressure,” said Stuart Duffin from One Family.

“From a child development point of view, it doesn’t really have an impact. A single parent can give as much attention to a family as a two-parent family and often times the parent in a one-parent family can even be more focussed on their children than a two-parent family.

“We are also seeing other types of families appearing in Clare. We see a lot more shared parenting relationships where people have split up in a friendly way and they can have a different type of relationship with their children than what we might have seen in the past.”

One Family works to provide information to one-parent families in Clare and also has a lot of information for lone parents, shared parents and lone parents who wish to introduce a new parent into a family situation. For more information visit


Court poorbox pays out over €31k

OVER € 31,000 was donated through the Court Services in Clare last year to local groups in the community, healthcare and volountary sector. The funds were handed out to 28 groups as part of the 2012 court poorbox payout.

Instead of imposing a conviction, a district court judge can order that the defendant donate a sum to a charity nominated by the judge.

The St Vincent de Paul and Bushypark treatment centre were among the main beneficiaries of poorbox orders made by Judge Patrick Du- rcan last year. The SVP in Ennis and Kilrush received payments of € 5,000 and € 3,000 respectively.

The St Vincent de Paul operates 14 teams throughout the county, providing support and assistance to harpressed individuals and families. SVP’s ‘Carefully Chosen Fashions’ shop is located at 84, Parnell St. Ennis. The Clare SVP administrative office is located overhead the shop.

The shop is staffed by volunteers and provides training for FÁS and Community Employment (CE) scheme participants.

BushyPark Treatment Centre for people addicted to alcohol, drugs and gambling received € 2,000

The Ennis office of Rape Crisis Midwest and TLC 4 Cystic Fibrosis each received € 1000.

The full list of recipients and the amounts received are listed below: Glebe House Kilrush (€ 500); Kilkee Marine Rescue (€ 500); Regina House Kilrush (€ 500); Rape Crisis Midwest, Ennis office (€ 1000); Breakthrough Cancer Research, Cork (€ 1000); Tipperary Limerick Clare for Cystic Fibrosis (TLC4CF) (€ 1000); Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (€ 1000); Foroige Youth Scariff (€ 1000); AMEN (€ 500); Aisling Group International (€ 500); Killaloe / Ballina Community and Family Resource Centre (€ 500); Clare Crusaders (€ 500); Clarecare (€ 1000); Bushy Park Treatment Centre (€ 2000); Cahercalla Hospice (€ 2000); The Samaritans (€ 1000); St Vincent de Paul, Ennis (€ 5000); St Vincent de Paul, Kilrush (€ 3000); Poor Clare Sisters, Ennis (€ 1000), Garda Suíochana Benevolent Trust Fund (€ 2000); Solicitors Benevolent Trust Fund (€ 2000); Clare Haven (€ 500); Alzeimher’s Society, Clare Branch (€ 500); Doolin Search and Rescue (€ 500); Killaloe/Ballina Search and Rescue (€ 500); St Joseph’s Training Centre (€ 500); Home Share Clare (€ 500); St Caimins Search and Rescue, Mountshannon (€ 500)


Former psychiatric nurse raises concern at lack of availability of crisis nurse

FORMER Clare psychiatric nurse and chairman of the HSE West Forum Committee Tom McNamara has raised concerns that the psychiatric nurse specialising in assessing patients out of hours is often redeployed due to staffing issues in other areas of the mid west region’s hospitals.

The liaison mental health nurse is appointed in the area’s three hospitals, including Ennis, to assess people presenting with mental health issues between 4pm and 3am and at weekends.

Cllr McNamara said that these ex- perienced nurses are also familiar with the case of many patients of the mental health service who may call out of hours, and this experience plays a vital role.

“The crisis nurse [liaison nurse] would know some patents straight away and would be able to access them there and then. If the nurse is not available an ambulance may have to be sent out unnecessarily to bring the patient in,” he said.

“The system works well when the nurse is there. He or she then puts the information into the system, and the day hospital the patient attends knows the following morning that there had been an issue the night before,” he said.

“At a time when suicide is so prevalent it is disappointing that the HSE is taking out crisis nurses to fill in vacancies within the system.”

The former nurse said that while he was disappointed that the “crisis nurse” was often moved on to the hospital floor leaving the position vacant, he encouraged anyone concerned about their mental health to ring the hospitals or Shannondoc if it is out of hours, as there is still help available through the psychiatric services.

“I would encourage people to call and that there is help out there and there is a way out of it [feeling of depression],” he added.