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Reverend to appeal driving ban

A LOCAL cleric who verbally abused gardaí after being caught speeding intends to appeal his driving ban.

At Ennis District Court earlier this month, Rev Bob Hanna (68), the Rector of St Columba’s Church in Ennis, was banned for driving for six months after being convicted of driving in excess of the speed limit on the dual carriageway at Bunratty West on April 17, 2014.

Disqualifying Canon Hanna from driving for six months, Judge Patrick Durcan described the cleric’s abusive conduct towards the garda as “despicable”.

In her evidence, Garda Elizabeth McDonagh of Ennis Garda Station told the court she stopped Canon Hanna’s car during a speed check.

Garda McDonagh said Canon Hanna asked why he was being stopped and became verbally abusive towards her after being stopped.

The court heard Canon Hanna told gardaí he was on his way to a communion.

Garda McDonagh told the court she stated to Canon Hanna that he had been traveling at 135 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 100 km/h.

She said Canon Hanna replied by saying; “I don’t give a f***. I’m late”.

Garda McDonagh said Canon Hanna “snapped” his driver’s license back from her, got back into his car and repeatedly revved the engine.

At this point, Garda McDonagh said Canon Hanna said, “I’m leaving, chase me if you want”.

Canon Hanna, with an address at The Rectory, Bindon Street, Ennis, was not present and was not legally represented in court for the brief hearing.

“Now that I know the defendant is a Minister of Religion, I am even more appalled”, Judge Durcan said. Judge Durcan imposed a € 500 f ne and, by way of ancillary order, disqualif ed Canon Hanna from holding a driver’s license for six months.

After the case, Canon Hanna apologised for his outburst.

In a statement, the Archbishop’s Commissary of the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe, Archdeacon Wayne Carney, said;

“I have spoken to Canon Hanna, and he deeply regrets using abusive language to the garda who stopped him, and wishes to apologise to her for his behaviour”.

Canon Hanna was present at Ennis District Court on Wednesday when he successfully applied to extend time to lodge an appeal.

When the application was called, his solicitor Caoimhe Collins told Judge Durcan the conviction related to a speeding offence.

The Judge extended time to lodge the appeal to December 31, 2014 and f xed recognisance at Canon Hanna’s own bond of € 250. Canon Hanna is permitted to remain driving pending the appeal.

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Poorbox to fund teen’s martial art classes in attempt at rehabilitation

AN Ennis teenager ordered by a Judge to take up a martial arts course part funded by the court poor box has been told to commit to the course or face a prison sentence.

The youth is before the court in relation to a number of offences including the unauthorised taking of a bike, thefts in Ennis and North Clare and interfering with the proper use of a vehicle.

The offences were committed when he was a minor.

At Ennis District Court last month, Judge Patrick Durcan allocated € 200 from the court poor box to fund a self defence course for the boy, who has now turned 18.

Money collected in the poor box is usually paid out to charities, voluntary groups and other community organisations at the end of the year.

Judge Durcan said he did not usually allocate money from the poor box for such purposes but said he was do- ing so in this case.

The teenager had previously told the court he had been unable to leave his home because of a dispute with another person.

Judge Durcan suggested it could be benef cial for the youth to do a self defence course.

Addressing Inspector Tom Kennedy, the Judge said, “I hope Inspector we won’t be rueing the day we did this”. “Its certainly a new departure”, replied Insp Kenendy.

The youth’s solicitor Daragh Hassett remarked, “We’re thinking outside the box here”.

Adjourning the case last month, Judge Durcan told the youth he would see him on December 17. “We might want an exhibition”, he added.

Judge Ducan told Mr Hassett he wanted a report on the next court date.

Addressing the accused, he said, “If I f nd you are not undertaking what you should be undertaking, I’ll deal with you”.

The teenager was back before Ennis District Court on Wednesday.

Mr Hassett explained his client attempted to enrol in one martial arts class in Ennis but the instructor would not take him when he heard the youth was involved in a court process. Mr Hassett said his client is conf dent of being accepted into another martial arts class.

“The thinking is to keep him physically f t and get him our of bed in the morning and not to be taking people out (in the street)”, Mr Hassett said of the court’s decision.

Judge Durcan adjourned the case to February and granted the State liberty to re-enter the cases should any issues arise in the meantime.

The Judge told the teenager there are enough charges before the court to jail him for 18 months.

He warned the youth that if he did not commit to the course the only gym he would be using would be the one in Limerick prison.

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Murder accused will go to trial

A 40-YEA R-old man accused of the murder of his brother has been sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Cour t.The book of evidence was ser ved on Declan O Cualáin at Ennis District Cour t on Wednesday. Mr O Cualáin ( Folan) , with an address at A n Caoran Beag, A n Cheathru Beag, Galway, is charged with the murder of brother in Clare earlier this year. It is alleged the accused did murder A drain O Cualáin at Lislorkin Nor th, Liscannor, on July 4. Garda Ruth O’Sullivan of Ennistymon Garda Station gave evidence of ser ving the book of evidence on solicitor A drian MacLynn for his client Declan O Cualáin. Inspector Tom Kennedy told the cour t the Director of Public Prosecutions ( DPP) consented to the accused being returned for trial to next sessions of the Central Criminal Cour t. Mr O Cualáin was remanded in custody. Mr MacLynn applied for legal aid, saying it was appropriate in this case. Judge Patrick Durcan granted legal aid for Mr MacLynn, junior counsel and senior counsel. Mr MacLynn told Judge Durcan his client had recently been transferred to the Central Mental Hospital. Cat hedr a l of SS Pet er & Paul Chr istma s Eve: 6.30pm Children’s Mass. Chr istma s Eve: 9pm – Vigil Mass . Midnight: Polish Community Mass. Chr istma s Da y: 9a m; 10.30am & 12noon. 10. 30a m Children’s Ma ss: National School. Chr istma s Da y: 3pm Polish Mass. St J oseph’s Chur ch Chr istma s Eve: 5.30pm – Liturgy of prayer and carols around the crib for families with very young children. Chr istma s Eve: 7pm – Vigil Mass Chr istma s Da y: 8am; 10am & 11.30am. Cloughleigh Chur ch Chr istma s Eve: 9pm – Vigil Mass. Chr istma s Da y: 9.30am; 11am Fr ia r y Chr istma s Eve: 10pm (Carols start 9.30pm). Chr istma s Da y: 9.30am; 10.30am & 12noon Poor Cla r e Mona st er y Chr istma s Eve: 9pm – Vigil Mass Chr istma s Da y: 7.45am

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Heritage project tracing Traveller history

A NEW project that looks explores the history of Traveller culture and communities is currently underway in Ennis.

The “Our Heritage” project is headed up by Ennis CDP Traveller Education Peer Support worker, David McCarthy and a group of young traveller teenagers.

Members of the public got the opportunity to learn about the work undertaken by the group at the Clare Traveler Focus event in Ennis last month.

David McCarthy – winner of the 2014 Traveller Pride Award in Sport – spoke about the project, which looked through the Traveller lens at Travellers’ lives, then and now. The young people interviewed older members of their community, visited heritage sites and built a model of an old Traveller camp as it was remembered.

The project was supported by Clare County Council, the Department of Justice and Equality, Cuímhneamh an Chláir, Ennis CDP and the Traveller community in Ennis with assistance from photographer Pat Galvin.

It recently went on display at the headquarters of Clare County Council.

Ennis man David McCarthy works on a weekly basis with a group of secondary school students. Earlier this year he helped the group devise a drugs awareness campaign that received praise from the Mid Western Regional Drugs Taskforce.

The peer support group were among those celebrated at Clare Traveler Focus which was held in Glór at the end of November.

According to Nicola Killeen, Co- ordinator of the Clare Traveller Plan “The Clare Traveller Focus Event forms part of an ongoing review by agencies involved in the Clare Traveller Plan into the implementation of the various aims and objectives, including accommodation, health, education, and work and enterprise.”

“Each year, we organise an event to showcase and celebrate some of the year’s successes but also to bring awareness to areas that still need our focus and attention. For example, this night also marked the achievements of Travellers in County Clare and the positive stories coming from the community,” stated Ms. Killeen.

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Replica of f shing village in Doolin gets go ahead

PLANNING permission has been granted for the construction of “replica f shing village” in the centre of Doolin – despite a number of objections from local businesses and An Taisce.

Planners at Clare County Council have granted permission to Guss Fitzgerald to build the replica village on Fishers Street – which is earmarked to be a major local tourist attraction.

A host of objections were raised against the development with issues such as local infrastructure, parking and the need for a replica village all put forward.

In one objection, submitted by Joe O’Neill, it was stated that Doolin was already an authentic f shing village, so there was no need to construct a replica f shing village. “The existing village of Doolin is already an attractive small f shing village with a few authentic thatched cottage.

To built a fake replica village would be detrimental to the existing village,” he said. Objections were also raised by Petr Pandula of Fishers Street in Doolin who operated the Magnetic Music traditional music shop and cafe. In his off cial submission he high lighted issues such as parking diff culty, toilet access and waste water management.

“Even if the numbers would be very low and only a couple of hundred a day, the application is lacking an answer as to where those people would go to the toilet,” he said. “The only toilets available in Fishers Street are in O’Connor’s, in Guss Fitzgerald’s cafe, ours in the Ivy Cottage Cafe.

“After water charges have been introduced the applicant hardly can expect that O’Connor’s Pub and our cafe will cater for the needs of the replica f shing village. “The council is surely aware of the fact that Doolin is not connected to a sewage system and the existing septic tank can’t deal with a serious increase in numbers.”

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Belharbour residents will not be forced out for Christmas by ‘Bully Boys’

RESIDENTS of the North Clare neighbourhood of Abbey West say they have no intention of being forced from their homes by “bully boy” receivers Ernest and Young.

Five families in the Belharbour estate were given just three days to vacate their properties last Tuesday – even though they are all up to date in their rents and many of them have long-term leases.

The eleven people, including a number of children, who live in the Belharbour Estate say they will not be leaving their homes – and have organised protest activities which they hope will “shame” the receivers as well as AIB.

“We are in this for the long haul and we will not be leaving our houses – at least not on account of those bullyboys,” said resident Brian Fleming. “It’s been diff cult for all of us, es – pecially coming in the run up in to Christmas,” he said.

In a statement to The Clare People, Ernst and Young say they are taking their decision because of safety concerns. See page 3 f or f ull st or y

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Families ‘trade in’ their old dog for new one

THE CLARE county pound has been inundated in recent weeks with families “trading in” their old dog, before getting a new one for Christmas.

Over the past two years, the pound has seen an massive increase in dogs being handed or illegally dumped in the two weeks before Christmas. Many of these dogs are understood to have been been dumped by houses in order to make room for a new dog at Christmas.

Clare dog warden, Frankie Coote, is appealing to anyone who is thinking of taking on a dog this Christmas to think carefully and to remember that a god is for life.

“People getting a dog without thinking about it is a big problem, but what’s a bigger problem for us right now is people who want to get rid of their dog before Christmas – which is a new thing over the past few years.

“We are inundated with people at the moment – it’s because of the bad weather, or people are going on holidays over Christmas and they are just getting rid of dog.

“They just don’t want them,” said Frankie.

“We’ve seem this happening in the lead up to Christmas, especially the week before Christmas. Sometimes it would be people getting rid of one dog to make room for another young puppy.

“If we get in an older dog, which a family is getting rid of maybe, it can be very diff cult to re-home it. “The rescue groups are helping up but we are really strapped at the moment trying to f nd places for dogs. In the last few days as well we have three incidents of puppies being dumped.

“It might sound funny, but we are appealing to people to take a dog for Christmas. But when we say Christmas we mean for life.

“It would be a massive help for people to take on a dog, but obviously not abandon it right after Christmas.

“We would really to people not to buy a dog for other people over Christmas – without their knowledge. We get several calls directly, in the days after Christmas, with people saying that a relation or someone arrived at their house with a beautiful dog, but they don’t want it.

“It’s one think buying someone a record player or a CD without asking someone, but you can’t hang up a dog on the back of the door if you don’t want it.”

Meanwhile there was a boost to animal welfare in the county when grants of up to € 34,700 were announced for six services in Clare.

The Clare groups in receipt of payments include Clare SPCA, Newmarket on Fergus (€ 15,000); Second Chance Animal Welfare Ltd., Shannon (€ 9,800); Rover Rescue, Ennis (€ 3,600); An Cat Dubh Sanctuary, Clounlaheen East, Mullagh (€ 2,400); Burren Animal Rescue, Rockforest, Tubber (€ 2,100); and Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, Kilrush (€ 1,800).

The ex-gratia payments form part of an allocation totalling € 1,867,200 which is being distributed to 142 animal welfare bodies throughout Ireland to assist in their work during the coming year.

Welcoming the news, Clare Senator Tony Mulcahy said this year’s County Clare allocation is almost € 2,000 higher than the f gure received in late 2013 from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“I am in no doubt that the money will be put to good use by the organisations in County Clare in providing the best possible service towards animals in their care,” commented Senator Mulcahy.

The senator also appealled to parents and others to think responsibly when considering giving a pet as a present this Christmas.

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Stay out of Clare says judge to ‘drunken tandem’

TWO men who drunkenly wandered onto a Shannon road in the early hours of October 19 last were described as an intoxicated “human tandem bicycle” by Judge Patrick Durcan at Ennis District Court on Wednesday.

Thomas Faulkner (30), with an address at Shannonbanks in Corbally and Martin Faulkner (21), with an address at Bay 6, Long Pavement, Watch House Cross in Limerick, both pleaded guilty to being intoxicated to such an extent as to be a danger to themselves or to others at Tullyvarraga in Shannon in the early hours of October 19, 2014.

The court heard that both men were very intoxicated at the time and wandered onto the main road.

Gardaí were alerted to the incident by a number of motorist who narrowly missed the two men as they staggered on the road.

Judge Patrick Durcan described the mens behaviour as extremely dangerous and said that they would have been like a “human tandem bicycle” for the motorists to avoid.

Thomas Faulkner also pleaded guilty to damaging a cell at Shannon Garda station later that morning.

The court heard that Thomas Faulkner, who has 26 previous convictions, ripped a mattress when incarcerated in Shannon Garda Station, rendering the bedding unusable. Both men were f ned for their be haviour with Judge Durcan warning them to stay out of Clare.

“This is not a day that the Faulkner family will be writing about in the history of their family,” he said. “Stick down in Limerick.

“Do you follow me? Stick down in Limerick.” ENNIS man Liam Griff n has been presented with The Award of Life Governor by Irish Water Safety to honour his particular dedication towards the humanitarian goal of saving life from drowning. Liam Griff n has been Water Safe ty Development Off cer (WSDO) in Clare from 1996 up until his recent retirement. He followed in the large footsteps of the late Noel Carmody, who died before his time and was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best WSDO’s ever. Liam has maintained and then improved standards in the performance of his duties as WSDO and as a member of IWS. Clare is one of the most challenging counties in which to hold this brief, being surrounded by water on three sides. To the West is the Atlantic Ocean, and the renowned West Coast of Clare is famous for its many wonderful swimming and surf ng beach es, from Bishop’s Quarter in North Clare, to Fanore, Lahinch, Milltown Malbay, Spanish Point and Kilkee in

the South. Inland, Clare is bounded by the Shannon and Lough Derg in the East, where thousands of people enjoy these waters each year angling, sailing and cruising. We then have the Fergus and Shannon estuaries to the south which are also busy waterways with strong tidal currents enjoyed by the public.

There are many small lakes in Clare, and several other substantial rivers.

Every conceivable use is made of those waters, including angling, bathing, surf ng, diving, dolphin-watch ing, sailing, kayaking and commercial f shing. Managing public safety in these contexts is therefore a signif cant and onerous responsibility, which Liam has discharged very well over fourteen years.

Liam is held in the highest regard by his colleague WSDOs in all other local authorities, and his contributions to debates at their conference and meetings have always been renowned for his wisdom gained through experience and his endless common sense, which has carved a sensible drowning prevention strategy carefully executed by Clare County Council during that time.

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Court poorbox raises almost €30,000 for local charities

of almost € 30,000 from the annual court poor box payout.

A total of € 28, 500 will be distributed to 23 groups and organisations, after details of this year’s recipients were released by the Court Services.

In some cases, instead of imposing a conviction, a district court judge can order that a defendant donate a sum to the court poor box, which in turn will be given to a charity.

The St Vincent De Paul is this year’s largest recipient.

The society’s branches in Ennis and Kilrush will each received a donation of € 5,000.

John Cullinane, Clare Area President SVP, welcomed the donation, saying the poor box has become an “essential” source of funding for the SVP.

“There is a big demand each year on our services. In the past three years, requests for our assistance have doubled, its gone up 100%. Our income is down about 25% in the past year. We are very grateful for funds from any source.

“We’re very grateful to Judge Patrick Durcan (District Court Judge for Clare and Gort, Co Galway). Over the years he has given us considera- ble funding each year and it’s something we are grateful for”, he said.

Mr Cullinane continued, “We give out a lot more food and toys at this time of year, additional to what we would normally give.

“People donate a lot of food to us and we will be giving that out over the next few weeks. It’s a busy season”.

Mr Cullinane said the society is also receiving more requests for assistance from people in employment.

“About 70% of our requests are repeats. Over the years, there would be a lot of the same people.

“In the past years, with the austerity measures, some people that are employed, because their salaries and wages have gone down, they are coming to us for assistance as well. That would have increased the demand on our service as well. But we’re in a position to cope with all requests”, he said.

The full list of court poor box recipients is as follows.

Clare Immigrant Support Centre (€ 500); St Senan’s Kilrush Conference of SVDP (€ 5000); St Vincent de Paul Ennis (€ 5000); District Day Care Centre, Clarecastle (€ 500); Hand in Hand (Childrens Cancer Charity) (€ 1000); Diabetes Ireland Clare Branch (€ 1000); Ennis CDP (€ 1500); Dream Believe Achieve (€ 1000); Lions Club of Ennis (€ 1500); Rape Crisis Midwest Clare Centre (€ 1000) ; Seeking Vision (€ 500); Clare Crusaders (€ 1000); Cahercalla Hospice (€ 1000); Poor Clares, Ennis (€ 1000); The Samaritans, Ennis (€ 1000); Clarecare (€ 1000); Clare Haven Services (€ 1000); Pieta House (€ 1000); Childline (€ 1000); Doolin Search & Rescue (€ 500); Kilkee Marine Rescue (€ 500); Killaloe/Ballina Search and Rescue (€ 500); St. Caimins Search & Rescue, Mountshannon (€ 500).

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‘Right to die at home in Clare’

ONLY ONE quarter of Clare people have the opportunity to pass away in their own home – despite research showing that the vast majority of people in the county would prefer to die at home, as apposed to a hospital or nursing home.

According to a new survey compile by the Irish Hospice Foundation, only 26 per cent of Clare people have the opportunity of passing away in their own home – a fraction of the 74 per cent who would prefer to pass away at home. The report also found that that areas with no local hospice that delivers Specialist Palliative Care (SPC) Services through home care teams, have a higher proportion of deaths in their own homes compared to areas with a hospice.

The Irish Hospice Foundation be- lieve that more detailed research is needed to determine why more Clare people are not offered the chance to be at home when they pass away.

“It may be that those areas without hospices have better developed homecare teams.

“Other reasons may be at play, such as urban rural differences in allocation of community supports. But we need to f nd out,” Irish Hospice Foundation CEO, Sharon Foley.

“The IHF believes that enabling people to fulf ll their wish to die at home is not just a matter of effective health services and f exible, respon sive, people-centred systems.

“It is fundamental to the very basis of humanity in an evolved society.

“Allowing choice and dignity in end of life care, and in the experi ence of dying, is a strong indication of how we care for Irish society as a whole. ” A BUMPER Christmas, with an anticipated 15% increase in passenger numbers from 12 months ago, kicked off at Shannon Airport this weekend as close on 2,000 children, including from Clare and parents got to meet Santa in the skies. In an initiative to thank the public for its support over what has been a year of strong growth, as well as raise some much needed funds for two local charities, Shannon Airport, in partnership with Ryanair, made Christmas come early for the excited children as 12 f ights took the skies over Saturday and Sunday. Among those getting to savour this special moment were special needs children from the Clare Crusaders clinic, St Gabriel’s school in Limerick and Mirmear Autism Unit in Tipperary. Demand for the f ights’ was so high that they booked out in all of 12 minutes when they went up for grabs ten days ago. The fun weekend at the airport, which also saw the children get to enjoy a wide range of entertainment from costumed cartoon characters to puppet shows, heightened the Christmas cheer at the airport. Said Airport CEO Neil Pakey; “It was great to see children enjoying the treat. The excitement was unbelievable and we’re delighted to have partnered with Ryanair on what was a really special occasion. Special thanks too to all our staff who volunteered over the weekend.