Charlie is internet sensation

AN Ennis dog has become an internet star after his owner posted videos of his exploits on social media sites.

Charlie the beagle has attracted thousands of viewers to his own YouTube Channel and Facebook page. The sites were created by Charlie’s owner Daniel Drzewiecki, a Lithuanian man who works at a shop in Ennis.

Daniel and his partner Julia bought Charlie three years ago and started teaching him tricks and tasks.

Charlie formed a special bond with the couple’s daughter, Laura Olivia, who also features in the popular videos.

They began filming their canine companion as he helped them care for her – rocking her cradle back and forth, and even assisting Julia with diaper changing.

A video that shows Charlie bringing toys and household items to the five-month-old baby after accidentally making her cry has attracted hundreds of thousands of views on the video sharing website, YouTube.

Daniel set up a YouTube channel for Charlie last January.

When the couple’s daughter was born, it became a way of sharing videos with family in Lithuania and to collecting footage for Laura Olivia to have when she’s older.

Charlie’s YouTube channel currently has over 20,000 subscribers, and his Facebook page is nearing 13,000 likes. Daniel said he has been blown away by the response to the video.

“I just put it up on YouTube and nothing was happening for a long time but then it started to go up bit by bit,” he explained,

“The number of people looking at it started to grow and all of sudden, it exploded.

“It was shared by a couple of websites and that brought more people to it. It’s been amazing, the number of people that have looked at the videos.”

Last year, the animal loving cou- ple were plagued by pranksters after launching a poster appeal to find their missing pet ferret.


Tobertascáin death ruled accidental by inquest jury

A VERDICT of accidental death has been returned at the inquest into the death of a Polish man in Ennis last year. The body of 38-year-old Thomas Nowakowski was found near a speed bump in Tobertascáin on May 15, 2013. The fast food worker had lived in Ireland with his wife for six years. The inquest into his death was opened at Clare County Coroner’s Court in Ennis in May.

A report from State Pathologist, Marie Cassidy found the cause of death was crush injuries to chest and pelvis consistent with a crush under the weight of a car. Acute alcohol intoxication was given as a contributory factor. The inquest resumed yesterday and heard from Henryk Orzeih, a friend of Mr Nowakowski and his wife, Patrycja.

Mr Orzeih said he knew the couple from when they worked in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. In his deposition, he said he drove Patrycja to Dublin Airport on the day of the accident as she was flying home to Poland for a holiday.

He said Mr Nowakowski called to his house later that night in a drunken state. The inquest heard the friends sat for three hours drinking coffee before Mr Orzeih drove his friend back to his house at Tober Beag, Toberteascáin, Ennis. He said the last time he saw Mr Nowakowski alive was when he exited from the rear of the car in an agitated state. The inquest heard that Ennis man Kevin Brennan was driving from Toberteascáin towards St Michael’s when he saw Mr Nowakowski lying just off the side of a speed bump.

Mr Brennan said he stopped the car and performed chest compressions on the man who was unresponsive. He said he flagged down a passing car for assistance. The emergency services were called and were soon on the scene.

Sgt Sandra Heelan told the inquest she attended the scene and carried out an investigation into the incident.

A mother of 10, Shirley Doherty, with an address at Tara Lawns, Belcamp, Coolock, Dublin, subsequently came forward admitted she was the driver of a grey Vauxhall Zafira that struck Mr Nowakowski on the night.

The 37 year old was prosecuted in the District Court where she pleaded guilty to being the driver a vehicle that was involved in the occurrence of an injury to one Tomas Nowakowski and failing to give on demand the appropriate information as required. She further admitted failing to stop her car on the night in questions. She received fines totalling € 1,000.

Sgt Heelan was cross examined on her evidence by counsel for the deceased’s wife, Lorcan Connolly BL.

Counsel questioned Sgt Heelan on the position of the body relative to the location of his nearby home. He said Mr Nowakowski was found lying on the side of the opposite to where he lived.

Mr Connolly said there is “internal conflict” in the movements of the deceased between the time he was dropped off by Mr Orzeih and Mr Brennan’s arrival on the scene.

Brendan Condon, Garda PSV Inspector, carried out an inspection of the car. He said the brakes, lights and tyres were not in good overall condition. There was also a defect with the front wipers while signs of other collisions were also visible.

However he said the condition of the brakes was not a significant factor in this incident.

Clare County Coroner Isobel O’Dea suggested to the jury that they return a verdict of accidental death or death by misadventure. After deliberating for three minutes, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Ms O’Dea, the forewoman of the jury and Inspector John O’Sullivan all extended their sympathies to the deceased’s wife, Patrycja, who was present in court.


Farming by remote

A WEST Clare farmer has won rave reviews for developing a tractor that can be operated by remote control, allowing him to farm the land from the comfort of his own home.

Miltown Malbay man Michael Shannon has combined his passion for farming and machinery to develop his remote controlled tractor in what has been a labour of love over many years.

In what has been hailed as an unbelievable feat of engineering, Mr Shannon has taken a tractor that’s over 30 years old, remodelled and modified it so it can operate at the flick of a switch.

Now the 1983 registered Massey Ferguson MF250 is fully operational using a remote control device and can be let loose to work away on his family farm in Miltown Malbay.

It was Michael’s ambition when he gave up being a tractor dealer ten years ago to develop a fully working, reliable remotely operated tractor.

The farmer, along with son Tony, totally overhauled the engine and hydraulic systems as well as painstakingly redoing the wiring to make his dream possible. Not only can it be used remotely and with a human physically sitting on it, it can also run with the use of a Garmin GPS unit.

If a field is digitally mapped, you can let this tractor off by itself and it’ll spread fertilizer using GPS coordinates. “Once it’s set up to go the machine will spread to the required width and then return to the gate and stop in order to be driven home by a human on the road,” Mr Shannon revealed.


Ennis man spent €700 a week feeding drug habit

AN unemployed electrician whom a court heard spent € 700 a week on drugs has been sentenced to 11 months in prison.

Shane Kerin (26) became involved in drug dealing in order to fund his own habits, Ennis District Court heard on Tuesday.

Mr Kerin, with addresses at Connolly Villas, Ennis, and Stonecourt, Ennis, pleaded guilty to multiple drugs offences committed between April and October, 2013.

He pleaded guilty to being in possession of cocaine at Ennis Garda Station on April 9; possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Connolly Villas on April 25 and possession of cannabis and possession of cocaine also at Connolly Villas on April 25;

He further admitted charges of possession of cannabis and possession of cannabis for sale or supply at Gort Road, Ennis on October 13.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of driving without due care or attention

Detective Garda Dominic Regan of Ennis Garda Station explained Mr Kerin drove away from gardaí at speed when they attempted to stop him on the night in question.

The court heard he was eventually halted near the Aughanteeroe hous- ing estate. Mr Kerin pleaded guilty to using a forged prescription at Flynn’s Pharmacy, Gort Road, Ennis, on October 15. The court heard he altered the prescription to include the addition of 90 xanax tablets.

He further admitted a charge of having cocaine for sale or supply at Sandfield Hall, Ennis on October 24.

Defence solicitor John Casey said his client’s father died in tragic circumstances when he was young. He said Mr Kerin left school at 16 but qualified as an electrician. He said Mr Kerin, normally a nice, quite young man, started smoking cannabis before moving onto prescription drugs, cocaine and then heroin.

Mr Casey said his client’s condition deteriorated in recent months.

“He has gone down. And the only way I can describe it is like speaking to someone under water,” Mr Casey explained.

He said a report furnished to the court disclosed that Mr Kerin was spending € 100 a day on drugs.

Judge Patrick Durcan said there was no evidence Mr Kerin had won the Lotto. He said the € 700 had to come from somewhere. Mr Casey said Mr Kerin sold drugs in order to support his habit.

He urged the court to follow the recommendation of the Probation Services and adjourn the matter for three months to allow his client to re-engage with addiction treatment services.

Judge Durcan said he was not impressed that the accused had not engaged fully with the services to take the steps required to deal with his addiction.

Asked for his view on the accused’s situation, Det Gda Regan said Mr Kerin has a “serious heroin addiction”. He said he could not see Mr Kerin’s life improving until he beats the addiction.

Judge Durcan said this was a young man who committed “very serious offences”.

The Judge said that he was not satisfied on the basis of the evidence that Mr Kerin has engaged in any meaningful way with the services.

He said he was not prepared to accept the recommendations of the Probation Services, neither was he compelled by the arguments of the defence.

In sentencing, Jude Durcan also noted the accused was spending € 700 a week on drugs.

He said he was drawn to the conclusion that that burden was in some way borne by society.

He imposed sentences totalling 11 months and fixed recognizance’s in the event Mr Kerin decides to appeal.


‘Tragic accident claimed life of grandmother’

THE heartbroken family of a grandmother who died in a tragic accident outside a shopping centre in Ennis have thanked members of the public who attempted to save her life.

Josephine Lucas (74) died after she was rolled over by her reversing silver Mazda car in the car park of Aldi Shopping Centre on Francis Street on February 23.

Members of the public, including an off duty nurse, off duty fireman and off duty paramedic, were on the scene and attempted to resuscitate.

Ms Lucas, who had been shopping with her two young grandchildren at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene. An inquest into her death yesterday found she died from acute cardio respiratory failure secondary to multiple traumatic chest injuries. A jury of four men and two women at Clare Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of accidental death.

At the end of the hearing, the Lucas family’s solicitor William Cahir said the family were extremely grateful for the efforts of those that tried to help Josephine.

He said the family wanted to extend thanks to all the first responders who helped on the afternoon.

In her deposition to the inquest, Mairead Doohan, an off duty nurse, said she was coming out of Aldi at around 13.33 when she noticed a car reverse and hit a footpath.

She said she saw a body lying on the ground. She said the woman had a cut on her head, had no pulse and was unresponsive.

“She was lifeless,” Ms Doohan explained. Ms Doohan said she performed CPR and tried to create an airway for Ms Lucas to breathe.

Gearoid Blake, an off duty station officer at Ennis Fire Station, was also in the area on the day.

He said he phoned an ambulance and performed chest compressions on Ms Lucas as he awaited the arrival of the emergency services.

Andrew Long, an off duty paramedic, said Ms Lucas was initially unresponsive but started to breathe again following CPR.

Mr Long said he went to get basic resuscitation equipment but when he returned, Ms Lucas had stopped breathing. Garda Niall Cosgrave of Ennis Garda Station said he studied CCTV footage of the area to retrace Ms Lucas’ final moments.

A report by pathologist Dr Elizabeth Mulcahy found that the cause of death was acute cardio respiratory failure secondary to multiple traumatic chest injuries consistent with a road traffic accident.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. County Coroner Isobel O’Dea said that a Garda report referred to the incident as a “freak accident”. She extended her sympathies to the Lucas family. She said the difficulties experienced by the family went “beyond description”.

Inspector John O’Sullivan extended sympathies on behalf of the gardaí on this “tragic accident”. The forewoman of the jury also extended the jury’s sympathies.


Heroin bags discovered in child’s bag

A CZECH national has been found guilty of having heroin for sale or supply in Ennis almost two years ago.

At Ennis District Court on Tuesday, Zoltan Parci (20) pleaded guilty to possession of heroin at his home at Dun Na hInse, Lahinch Road, Ennis, in August 2012. However he denied a separate charge of having heroin for sale or supply.

Detective Garda Dominic Regan of Ennis Garda Station told the court that eight wraps, or deals, of heroin were found in a small children’s bag during a search of the accused’s home.

A small amount of cannabis and plastic cut offs were also discovered. He said Mr Parci denied having heroin for sale or supply but admitted smoking the drug.

Det Gda Regan said he has worked with the Clare Divisional Drugs Unit for eight years and that in his opinion; the heroin was bagged for sale.

He said the gram of heroin recovered was worth € 142.

“My opinion would be the quantity is not consistent with personal use,” added Det Regan.

The detective told the court he did not find evidence of heroin use in the house and that the accused did not strike him as a heroin user.

Defence solicitor Tara Godfrey said she was not going into evidence and her client would not be giving evidence.

She said an interpreter may have been required but Mr Parci had instructed her not to seek an adjournment.

She applied to have the charge dismissed, saying none of the paraphernalia normally associated with drug dealing such as weighing scales and tick list were found.

Judge Patrick Durcan said he was satisfied the State has established a prima fascia case against the accused.

“I accordingly proceed to convict your client,” he said.

Mr Parci has no previous convictions except for some road traffic offences, the court heard.

Ms Godfrey said her client, a father of two, started smoking cannabis before moving onto heroin.

She said Mr Parci recently finished a course in computers.

Ms Godfrey asked the court to consider the involvement of the Probation Services or the imposition of a community services order.

Judge Durcan ordered the accused to pay € 150 to the court poor box in respect of the possession charge.

He said he would strike out the charge if the money is paid by September 3. He convicted and fined Mr Parci € 500 for having heroin for sale or supply.

Bridie O’ROURKE (née Callinan)
, Knockagonnell, Inagh. Funeral mass today (Tuesday) at 11amat Inagh Chucrch, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. May she rest in peace.

Mary KELLY (née Meade)
, 65 College Green, Ennis. Formerly of Crahera, Kildysart and London. Funeral mass onTuesday at 11amat Ennis Cathedral, followed by interment in Kilchreest Cementery. Family flowers only, donations if desired to Cahercalla Community Hospital. May she rest in peace.

, 10 Girroga Heights, Gort Road, Ennis, (Ex Irish Avation Authority). Laid to rest inTemplemaley Cemetery. May he rest in peace.

Eileen O’BOYLE
, QuiltyWest, Quilty. Suddenly. Laid to rest in Quilty. May she rest in peace.

, 91 Cluain Airne, Shannon. Laid to rest in Illaumanagh Cemetery, Shannon. May he rest in peace.

, Drimanure, Kilmaley. Peacefully, at St Joseph’s Hospital, Ennis. Laid to rest in Kilmaley Cemetery. May he rest in peace.

Michael HEHIR
, Church Street, Kilmihil. Laid to rest in Kilmihil. Donations in lieu to the Dialysis Unit, Regional Hospital, Limerick. May he rest in peace.

Mary LERNIHAN (née Reidy)
, Ballinagun, Cree. Peacefully. Laid to rest in LeitrimCemetery. May she rest in peace.

Michael O’BRIEN
, Church Street, Ennistymon, Laid to rest in the Old Cemetery, Ennistymon. Donations, if desired, to the Friends of Ennistymon Hospital. May he rest in peace.

, Boston,Tubber. Peacefully at the Galway Clinic. Laid to rest in Mungret Cemetery. Donations, if desired, to the Galway Hospice Foundation. May he rest in peace.

Kathleen LENIHAN (née O Dea)
, Coolnahilla O’Callaghan’s Mills and Rathbeg Sixmilebridge, Better known as Cathy, in her 93rd year.Laid to rest in Killuran Cemetery. May she rest in peace.

, Carowbane, Knock andWoodroad, Cratloe. Peacefully at Cahercalla Hospice Ennis. Laid to rest in Bunratty Cemetery. Donations if desired to Cahercalla Hospice. May he rest in peace.

Trudy RODGERS (née Mullan)
, Bristol, England and Scariff. Laid to rest in the NewCemetery, Moynoe. Donations, if desired, to the Irish Cancer Society. May she rest in peace.

Yvonne O’GORMAN (née Browne)
,Ardnacrusha. Formerly of Truagh Castle,ArdnaCrusha. Peacefully at Cork University Hospital. Laid to rest at Kilbehenny in Cork. May she rest in peace.


Musician warned

A MUSICIAN who carried a claw hammer through a busy street in Ennis to ‘frighten people’ has received a suspended prison sentence.

David Cronin (36) was in possession of weapon when he was stopped by gardaí on Abbey Street on May 25, 2013. Mr Cronin appeared before Ennis District Court on Wednesday for sentence.

In January, Mr Cronin, with an address at Apartment 73, Parnell Street, Ennis, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon contrary to the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.

The matter was adjourned to allow for the issue of a suspended sentence imposed by the Circuit Court to be resolved. A Circuit Court Judge did not activate that sentence, the District Court heard on Wednesday.

Inspector Tom Kennedy outlined the facts of the case to Judge Patrick Durcan. He told the court gardaí met Mr Cronin carrying a claw hammer on Abbey Street at around 2.30am on the night in question. He said there were a lot of people in the area because the nightclub was just finishing up.

Insp Kennedy said Mr Cronin did not intend to use the hammer. “He said he had the hammer to cause fright in people,” explained Insp Kennedy. Insp Kennedy said Mr Cronin also told gardaí he had a dream three years ago about putting a hammer through someone’s head. “He was clearly not rational,” added Insp Kennedy.

The court heard the accused has a previous conviction for cannabis cultivation. He has no previous convictions for weapons offences.

Defence solicitor Fiona Hehir said her client was a heavy user of cannabis as a teenager. She said Mr Cronin gave up the drug in the weeks prior to the offence and was suffering “withdrawal symptoms” at the time.

Ms Hehir said that in a Garda interview, her client said he was carrying the hammer to get attention. He said he had the weapon in the same manner a person might wear an offensive tee shirt.

The court heard Mr Cronin is a guitarist who is currently receiving help from a psychologist. He is also seeking to secure a place at the Bushypark addiction treatment centre near Ennis.

“He is seeking help at the moment for his issues,” Ms Hehir said. Judge Durcan said he did not like people who wander around the town of Ennis with claw hammers in their hands trying to frighten people.

He imposed a three-month prison sentence, but suspended it on condition Mr Cronin enter into a bond to be of good behaviour.

Judge Durcan told Mr Cronin it was “totally unacceptable” for him walk around Ennis with an offensive weapon with the intent he did.


Ryanair’s winter schedule to extend the tourism season

THE latest enhancement of Ryanair services out of Shannon represents a huge boost to tourism and the ongoing efforts by airport executives at building route development out of Clare’s international airport.

That’s the message delivered by Tourism Ireland and airport CEO Neil Pakey this week on the back of last Thursday’s announcement by the low-cost airline that it is to strengthen its winter schedule with the addition of further capacity from the end of October.

The airline announced that it is to add a daily Manchester service, replacing a three times weekly Liverpool service, and a weekly Kaunas in Lithuania flight, as well as extra flights to Stansted, to its winter schedule that will begin at the end of October.

This will bring the total number of Ryanair services from Shannon to 11 this winter – six more than the 2013/2014 winter season.

The new routes operated by Ryanair from Shannon this winter are Paris, Berlin, Fuerteventura, Warsaw, Krakow, Manchester and Kaunas. These are in addition to their existing services to be Gatwick, Lanzarote, Stansted and Wroclaw.

“We welcome this further commitment by Ryanair to our upcoming winter schedule, which includes an excellent mix of inbound and outbound opportunities for passengers,” said Neil Pakey.

“We are currently in the middle of a very busy summer season, which has led to a 15 per cent overall increase in passenger numbers in the first six months of the year. Having extra capacity this winter very much strengthens our hand for the off-peak season,” he added.

Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons said the new flight from Manchester to Shannon Airport this winter, which will help boost tourism to Clare and the West of Ireland from the all-important British makret.

“We already work very closely with Ryanair and we look forward to co operating with them to maximise the promotion of this new flight to Shannon,” he said. “As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in visitor numbers,” he added.

“Tourism Ireland is undertaking an extensive programme of promotions in Britain throughout 2014, which includes a major focus on the Wild Atlantic Way. Co-operative campaigns, with key partners like Ryanair and Shannon Airport, are an important element of our programme to boost travel to Ireland.”


Snooker players in world record attempt

TWO Ennismen are to bid for the for their place in The Guinness Book of Record this August by playing 80 hours of non-stop snooker to raise money for local cancer charity Sláinte an Chláir.

Student Gordon O’Loughlin and truck driver Kieran Ferns will attempt to break the world record in their marathon which will begin on August 15, after they were selected to take part in the challenge by Ennis Snooker Club proprietor Gerry O’Loughlin.

“The two guys I picked, they seem to get on, they play well together — you really have to like a guy to be looking at him for 80 hours. So I think they’re the best team we have right now,” says Gerry O’Loughlin.

Former world snooker champion Ken Doherty has pledged to support the record attempt.

The guidelines for the challenges are strict, with only five-minute breaks permitted every hour, though the option is there to play on and eventually accumulate up to four consecutive breaks, thereby enabling 20 rather than just five minutes of rest. They also require two witnesses switching on and off table duty every four hours, with at least one of them having to be an expert in the field.

The snooker club was reopened last February by Gerry O’Loughlin, whose brainwave it is to try and bring a world record to Ennis after a target of 76 consecutive hours of snooker was set recently in England.

Now, with final preparations being for the snooker challenge, the proprietor has revealed that he has enlisted the services of former world champion Ken Doherty to support the event.

“Ken is coming down,” he revealed. “Sunday night, the guys will still be going strong, so hopefully we’ll have an exhibition, and there’ll be people going in and out. He’s aware of what’s going on and thinks it’s great. He’ll be there on the Monday too, so hopefully he’ll be there to promote it when they break the record.

“It’s a very good charity that we’re raising money for, and the idea would be to try to promote it and get people in [to watch the event] at the nighttime and they might donate to the charity then as well. They might be coming in at night-time, coming off shifts and stuff like that, and they’d hopefully give a hand to them,” he added.


No answer fromOPW four months after submission for stormdefences

OVER four months after Clare County Council applied to the Office of Public Works for funding for remedial works in respect of the extensive storm damage suffered in the county at the turn of the year, the Clare authority are still awaiting a definite answer from the OPW.

Included in the submission was a request for funding of € 12.1m in respect of strengthening coastal protection works, including at Cloughaninchy where property and land were damaged by unprecedented storm surges.

Over the past days residents of Cloughaninchy in West Clare, an area the Council listed as a priority in their submission to the OPW, have made their feelings known to local TDs and councillors about the delay and uncertainty.

However it is still not clear as to when the OPW will issue a response.

According to Fianna Fail TD Timmy Dooley, the residents of Cloughaninchy are just the latest victims of some electoral politics:

“In the immediate aftermath of the storms we had a succession of Government ministers coming down to Clare being photographed with those that had suffered hardship, dangling the promise of funds to repair and strengthen the coastal defences,” Dooley told The Clare People on Monday after meeting with the Cloughaninchy locals.

“Once the local elections were over however the funding has not been forthcoming.

“This was soft talk with no followup delivery.

“Clare County Council can’t print the money needed, they have already carried out the repair work, the Government now needs to make good on the commitments they made to the people of West Clare,” Dooley added.