Illegal dump discovered in the Burren

A MAJOR illegal rubbish dump has been discover in one of the Burren most scenic beauty spots – with a large amount of commercial food waste understood to be part of the waste.

Clare County Council is currently investigating the large f nd at Glen Hill, between the villages of Carron and Boston, to determine the source of the waste and investigate if a prosecution could be possible.

According to locals, the dump contains a large amount of restaurant waste including f sh waste and other produce. It is as yet unclear if the waste was produced by a single restaurant or food outlet, of has come from a number of different outlets and dumped by a third party. The site of the dump is located close to a scenic viewing point, a freshwater spring and a holy well and attracts a large number of walkers and other tourists every year. The dump has also attracted a large number of rats and crows to the scenic site. Clare County Council is currently investigation the incident while the dump has also been reported to the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“Clare County Council has received a number of complaints in relation to this dumping incident. The Council’s Environment Section is presently investigating the scale, nature and source of the dumped material,” said a council spokesperson.

Since 2007 all waste collectors much have a valid Waste Collection Permit.

It is currently an offense both to collect waste illegally and to give waste to illegal waste collectors.


Cousins went ‘out for a spin looking for diesel’

TWO cousins have pleaded guilty to having a fuel siphon pump for the purposes of theft in Ennis.

Shane McCarthy (19) and Patrick McCarthy (18) were passengers in a car stopped by gardaí in the Shanaway Road area of Ennis at 12. 50pm on October 16.

Detective Garda Stephen Hession told the court a siphoning pump and two plastic drums containing traces of diesel were found in the car.

Det Hession said the pair told gardaí they “had been out for a spin around looking for diesel”.

The court heard Patrick McCarthy told gardaí that they would have sto- len diesel from a truck parked at the side of the road.

Det Hession said it was accepted the pair did not intend to steal home heating oil.

He told the court there was full cooperation with gardaí.

Shane McCarthy, with an address at Shalee Drive, Ennis, Patrick McCarthy, with an address at Westbourne, Watery Road, both admitted a charge of having possession of a siphoning pump and two plastic drums for the purposes of theft at Shanaway Road, Ennis, on October 16. Both teenagers elected to have their cases heard in the district court.

The court heard Shane McCarthy committed the offence while on bail. Judge Patrick Durcan adjourned sentencing of Shane McCarthy as the 19 year-old is currently the subject of a suspended sentence.

That earlier sentence must be considered before Mr McCarthy can be sentenced for this current offence.

Judge Durcan refused a bail application for Shane McCarthy and adjourned sentencing to November 5.

The court heard Patrick McCarthy has no previous convictions.

His solicitor John Casey told the court his client accepted responsibility for the offence at an early stage and maturely dealt with the case by entering an early guilty plea.

Mr Casey said his client engaged in the offence in order to repay a debt. He said Mr McCarthy would not have made any money from the offence.

He said Patrick McCarthy would benef t from an involvement with the Probation Services.

Judge Patrick Durcan noted the accused’s good record and his cooperation with gardaí.

But of the crime he said, “This is a despicable type of activity.”

Inspector Tom Kennedy said the theft of diesel is a “scourge” and an increasing challenge for gardaí. Judge Durcan ordered Patrick McCarthy to carry out 120 hours of community service in lieu of four months in prison.

The Probation Services later approved Mr McCarthy for community service.


‘Fergus Monster’ becoming a tourist attraction

A MYSTERY water er uption at Clarecastle Quay has turned into a local tourist at traction, with people now t raveling to quay to take in the bizar re geyser.

The water er uption, which has been christened t he “Fergus Monster” by locals, takes place a number of times each day and can see water shot up to seven feet into t he ai r. They can last anywhere between t hree and ten minutes, began in mid-July, and no one is quite sure what they are or why they star ted.

The length and the i ntensity of the er uptions does not seem to follow a specif c pattern with er uptions tak ing place in wet and dr y weat her, and all all stages of t he tide.

Clare Count y Council say they will investigate the er uptions, but is unsure of the origins of t he Fergus Monster. “We will be investigating t he sit uation when weat her and river conditions are suitable for such an under water investigation. The situation is most li kely the result of a par tial blockage of the pipe outlet,” said a council spokesperson. The er uptions were f rst spotted in mid-July of t his year with local woman, Fiona Walsh, one of the f rst people to witness it. “I wal k my job here [at the quay] ever y day. I had absolutely no idea what it was when I saw it. That day it went up to about three feet but people have seen it go much higher than that,” she said.

“We were wor ried initially because a lot of local dogs swim in the water here and one of them could get injured if they got t rapped in the blast. We get canoeists down here now and again as well. We thought there should be a warning sign at least.

“No one has been hur t and we’ve even had people coming here just to see it.”

The Fergus Monster begins with water bubbling at the sur face of the lake before geysers shoot out from the cent re of the bubbling. According to some local, t he er uptions are the result of new pumps being inst alled to deal with local f ooding.


‘Fund will be in place to protect Quilty homes’

A GROUP of home owners in West Clare say they have received a Government guarantee that permanent coastal protections will be put in place to prevent the damage done to their homes during last winter’s storms from happening again.

Residents of Cloughnainchy, Quilty, met with Minister of State at the Departments of Finance with Special Responsibility for the OPW, Simon Harris on Wednesday who said the € 200,000 coastal erosion protection feasibility study being carried out along the coast would not be put on a shelf to gather dust.

Spokesperson for the group Michael Neenan said the people were satisf ed with the meeting and very positive that the issue would be addressed.

Last month, after much pressure from local people, € 200,000 was approved for a feasibility study that is to consider the work required at Tromore West, an area along the coastline, which includes Cloughnainchy where the sea invaded 14 homes and swept away an acre of land out to the sea in January.

“We got a fantastic reception from the minister and his staff,” said Mr Neenan.

“I asked the minister if he would give the committee a guarantee that the study would not be shelved. It is pointless wasting € 200,000 on a feasibility study if they do not go through with the work,” he added.

The group from Quilty were assured that the report would be f n ished at the beginning of the year.

“The minister said he would then put a steering committee in place to take it a step further,” explained Mr Neenan. “We are conf dent funding will be received for permanent protection works. This is about protecting homes and families at Cloughnahincy.”

Meanwhile Clare County Council has carried out temporary works at the site in a bid to see the area through another winter.

As last January’s storm and high tides were the worst in living memory, Mr Neenan is now hopeful that permanent coastal protection will be in place before it happens again.

The Mayor of Clare, John Crowe (FG), led the delegation to Leinster House on Wednesday.

“It was all very positive as there was no party politics involved in this issue. All four Clare TDs were very supportive and present as was Senator Conway,” added Mr Neenan.


Prison the ‘best thing’ for addict

A YOUNG woman with a serious drug addiction has told a court that prison is the “best thing” that could have happened to her.

The 20-year-old told Ennis District Court that since going into prison she has returned to education and undergone methadone treatment for heroin addiction.

The mother of one said she wanted to get out of prison in order to try and be reunited with her child, who is in care.

Referring to her time in custody, she said, “I think it’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me.”

The woman was before the court on Wednesday facing the activation of a suspended sentence handed down in March. She received a three-month sentence for the theft of a handbag from a house in Ennis. The sentence was suspended for 18 months.

She has also pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen chequebook arising from a separate set of circumstances.

The court heard the woman suffered from a serious heroin addiction.

Reading from a report from the Probation and Welfare Services, Judge Durcan said that despite undergoing two courses of detox, the woman at no stage committed to the therapeutic stage of the recovery process.

He said the report described the woman’s attitude as “intolerant” and said she continued to gravitate back towards the drug scene in Ennis. The report said the woman is at a “high risk of re-offending”.

Defence solicitor Tara Godfrey urged the court to order another probation report while her client is in custody.

Judge Patrick Durcan said he is considering a 15-16 month sentence.

“If she wants genuinely to rehabilitate this court will give her this opportunity but it will be on the basis of 100 per cent cooperation with the Probation Services,” he added.

Inspector Tom Kennedy said he was familiar with the accused and her interaction and attitude to the services available to her. He urged the court to f nalise sen tencing of the woman.

“It sounds like an awful thing to say but the best help that can be given to [her] is in the conf nes of the prison,” he added. Judge Durcan ordered a f nal probation report and adjourned sentencing to November 5.


Ennis €198k under budget as Limerick goes €20m over

AS ITS A&E bursts at the seams, its waiting lists begin to grow and its f nances point to a def cit of almost € 20 million, the regions main hospital is in need of emergency inter vention. According to the HSE West Forum member Cllr Tom McNamara (FF) the obvious solution to the crisis in the University of Limerick Hospi tal Group is to upgrade Ennis Hos pital to a model three hospital and return its 24 hour A&E. The councillor believes that the Au


Golf Club to demolish Sluagh Hall

ONE OF Lahinch’s oldest buildings, Sluagh Hall, is set to be demolished later this year according to plans lodged with Clare County Council.

According to documents lodged with the local authority by the Lahinch Golf Club, the 80-year-old hall will be completely demolished with all inert materials from the building set to be crushed and then used to raise the group level of part of the old army barracks.

Sluagh Hall, which was built in 1939, was originally the main dining hall for the Irish Army when they came to train in Lahinch but has been used for a number of activities by the local community over the years.

It was transformed into a dancehall during the Irish show band era of the 1950’s and ‘60’s and was the home of Irish League basketball in Clare during the 1980’s and early 1990. In more recent years the hall has hosted a number of productions by the Ennistymon Choral Society and other community organisations.

Sluagh and the Army Barracks, which lie on a prime stretch of land between the Old Course and Championship Course in Lahinch, was purchased from the Irish Defense Forces by Lahinch Golf Course for € 560,000 earlier this year.

At the time a last ditch attempt was made by members of local community to raise enough money to purchase the property on behalf of the local community, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

Local campaigners had hoped that the land, which borders the Lahinch Community Field, could be retained in community ownership and developed as a community centre and amenity park.

The Lahinch Army Barracks was f rst earmarked for sale by the Mc Carthy Report in 2009, but was not one of the 10 military properties put forward for immediate sale. At the time it was described as a “multi-million euro” property.

Plans to demolish the hall were lodged with Clare County Council last week and a planning decision is not expected to be made until early December.

The application does not give any indication of future plans for the barracks.



THE anti-water charge campaign in Clare will get “nasty” if the government doesn’t back down on the issue, according to Clare Says No To Water Charges. Ahead of a second protest march in Ennis this Saturday, the group have also hinted that a new political party could form in Clare, with an anti-austerity platform which goes beyond the opposition to Irish Water.

“This is just the start of it,” said Niamh O’Brien of Clare Says No To Water Charges.

The protest will take place in Ennis this Saturday, November 1, from 2pm.


Handbag stolen from Ennis shop

AN Ennis man who grabbed a handbag during an “opportunistic” burglary at a health shop in Ennis has been sentenced to four months in detention.

Thomas McCarthy (20) reached through a door of Open Sesame and grabbed a ladies handbag before f ee ing the scene, Ennis District Court heard on Wednesday. A 52-year-old woman who was working in the shop at the time gave chase but was unable to catch the accused, the court heard.

Mr McCarthy, with an address at 12 Pearse Avenue, Cloughleigh, Ennis, pleaded guilty to entering Open Sesame, Parnell Street, Ennis as a trespasser on August 8 and committing theft therein.

Inspector Tom Kennedy told the court the woman left her bag in a storeroom at the rear of the store.He said a door leading onto a lane was left open. The court heard the woman saw a hand reach through the door and grab the bag.

Insp Kennedy said the accused made his escape through car-parks and over a footbridge in the Abbey Street car-park. Mr McCarthy was identif ed through a follow up inves tigation. The bag was recovered with all the items inside.

Mr McCarthy has 21 previous convictions for public order, criminal damage and robbery.

Defence solicitor Tara Godfrey said, “My client is a single man with no child who comes to court knowing he is going to prison”.

Ms Godfrey said her client was asking the court to extend whatever leniency it can in sentencing.

She said Mr McCarthy returned all items and his plea of guilty is substantial in the case. She said her client instructed her to apologise to the victim.

Ms Godfrey said her client was pre- viously a substance abuser but is now clean and intends to work with addiction treatment services in prison.

Judge Durcan adjourned the case for a period to consider sentencing.

When the case resumed, Judge Durcan said burglary is a serious offence but this incident does not fall into the upper category.

The Judge said he took into account the accused’s guilty plea and the fact the property was recovered.

However Judge Durcan said he had to balance all that against the effect this crime had on the victim, “a 52 year old woman who took f ight after the defendant unsuccessfully”.


Bogus Ennis charity collector jailed

A MAN convicted of carrying out an unauthorised charity collection in Ennis has received two-month prison sentence. Judge Patrick Durcan imposed the sentence on father of three, Michael Ward (42), for an offence he called “thievery and roguery at its worst”. “It f ies completely in the face of the generosity of people in this county. It is a complete abuse,” the Judge said.

At Ennis District Court on Friday, Mr Ward, with an address at 12 Gilmartin Road, Tuam, Galway, pleaded guilty to holding an unauthorised collection contrary to Section 3 of the Street to House Collections Act, 1962.

Garda Brian Jackman of Ennis Garda Station told the court he observed Mr Ward at a stand set up on Parnell Street on September 14, 2013. He was selling scratch cards for the Hanly Centre – a Dun Laoghaire based alcohol addiction charity.

The court heard the permit for the collection had expired on September 6.Garda Jackman said the name on the permit was covered with brown sticky tape.

Garda Jackman said when he removed the tape, the name was of a John Ward. Garda Jackman conf scated all property including the collection bucket, which contained € 4.34.

Garda Jackman said he attempted to make contact with a representative of the Hanly Centre in Dun Laoghaire but was unable to do so.

He said from having spoken to the other gardaí in connection with similar incidents, the person was described as “evasive” and hard to contact.

Judge Patrick Durcan noted the permit had been issued by a Judge in the Dublin District Court.

Inspector Tom Kennedy said it is possible for charities to obtain permits in Dublin and use them around the country.

Mr Ward, an unemployed man, has eight previous convictions, mainly for public order offences.

He told the court he was asked by a friend named John Ward to carry out the collection.

“When I found out I was dealt with underhanded, I said I wanted out”, Mr Ward said.

“He was a friend. He’s no longer a friend,” he said of John Ward.

Under cross-examination from Garda Jackman, Michael Ward said he came to Ennis with John Ward.

Garda Jackman told the court he encountered John Ward on the same day a few feet away on Market Street selling lottery tickets for the Animal Ark charity.

Addressing Michael Ward’s solici- tor Tara Godfrey, Judge Patrick Durcan said, “I’m not at all impressed…. Ms Godfrey, I don’t like this case.”

Ms Godfrey told the court her client had instructed her to enter and early plea.

Urging the court to be lenient, Ms Godfrey said Mr Ward had come under the inf uence of another person. Judge Durcan said people in Ireland are very generous when it comes to supporting local, national and international causes and charities.

“I do not like this type of offence. It has to be stamped out”, he added.

Imposing a two month prison sentence, Judge Durcan said;“

This type of behaviour is something that is bubbling beneath the surface and is much more serious than appears”. Recognizance’s were f xed at Mr Ward’s own bond of € 500 and independent surety of € 1000 to be lodged in court, in the event of an appeal.