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Trump, Doonbeg and the Bald Eagle

IN a wide ranging interview with The Clare Champion on February 28, 2014, the then business man, Donald Trump, said that wind-farms were “destructive, destroy tourism, depreciate property values and kills birds.” He made his comments during a telephone interview from his office in New York following his purchase of Trump International Doonbeg earlier that month. Up to that point, he had been unaware that Clare Coastal Wind Power had submitted revised plans to Clare County Council for the construction of nine wind turbines, two kilometres south of Doonbeg village. The now President Trump outlined his deep concerns for bird life, focusing specifically on the Bald Eagle. “They wipe out the birds,” he said of wind-farms. “You might as well be standing at the shore with a shotgun. They just wipe them out. In Arizona we have the Bald Eagle. If you kill a Bald Eagle, they put you in jail and yet the windmills have killed all of them. …

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Clare Association on parade in Ennis

Members of the Clare Association in Dublin will break new ground this weekend, when, for the first time in the long history of the association, they will be participating in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Ennis on Saturday. They will carry their own banner and will  travel in a  vintage Mercedes car, placed at their disposal by Pat Foudy Tyre Sales, Ennis. The grand marshal for the parade, which will start at New Road at 11am, will be Spanish Point hotelier John Burke, who has been selected by the Clare Association as their Clare Person of the Year for 2018. They recognised his achievement of being the first Clare man to climb Mount Everest and his efforts to provide and promote mental health wellness programmes for young people through his charity, Elevate. He will be presented with his award at the association’s annual dinner dance on April 28 in Dublin. This weekend will be busy for the Clare Association in Dublin. On this …

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Loop Head Lighthouse beams for 2018

The landmark Loop Head Lighthous will open to the public for the first time this year on  Friday. Located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary on the Loop Head Peninsula, it is one of two “Signature Discovery Points” in County Clare along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way It also is a landmark location on the Loop Head Heritage Trail and is one of 12 Great Lighthouses of Ireland. Loop Head Lighthouse is steeped in history and is rich in maritime heritage, with its origins dating back to the 1670s. The existing tower style lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and was operated and maintained by a keeper who lived within the lighthouse compound. In January 1991, the lighthouse was converted to automatic operation, and today is monitored by the CIL.

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Mixed ‘health report’ for Ennis

THE pulse of the county capital has been taken and the results are in. Ennis was chosen as one of 10 Irish towns to take part in a Town Centre Health Check (TCHC), assessing people’s impressions of the town and what they would like to see in the future. The survey found 59% of businesses expect trading to improve in the next two years, 27% expect no change and 15% expect a downturn, while 90% of firms plan to continue trading in the town centre. Both shoppers and businesses rated highly the quality and choice of cafes and restaurants, service and safety and the town’s attractiveness. Parking availability was rated poor by 43% of shoppers, compared to 71% of businesses. Brian McCarthy, acting director of service for Ennis Municipal District, said, “The key aim of the pilot TCHC is to assess the vitality, vibrancy and viability of the town centre and to highlight the critical role town centres play.” The …

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TB screening at St Flannan’s?

SCREENING is understood to be underway at St Flannan’s College in Ennis, after a case of tuberculosis (TB) was identified at the school. While the HSE would not comment on individual cases, it stated that in incidences where there is a diagnosis of TB, an investigation is carried out to find out if there are any other cases. “The Department of Public Health does not comment on the management or investigation of individual cases of tuberculosis. All cases are managed and investigated as per national guidance. Although tuberculosis is contagious (ie, can spread from one person to another), it’s not easy to catch,” a HSE spokesperson stated. TB usually affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body and is usually spread in the air. According to the HSE, if a person is diagnosed with TB, the person is offered treatment as soon as possible. When a case of TB is notified to the Department of Public Health, …

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Possible walk-out at Zimmer Biomet in Shannon

ANGRY workers at Zimmer Biomet may walk off the job next Tuesday, in protest at the level of bonuses they have received. Workers have made numerous complaints about conditions at the Shannon plant in recent years and it is understood there is a high turnover of staff there. “There is so much concern there that lads are actually talking about a walk-out. They’re taking it into their own hands next Tuesday, if something isn’t done,” a reliable source working at the plant said on Wednesday. Workers were disappointed with the bonus they received this time last year, the worker claimed, but what has been received recently is said to be far worse. “On average, there would be about €1,000 of a payout; sometimes it can go a bit above or below that. Most people are looking at €500 or less for this year. People use that for their car insurance, the mortgage, for kids going to school. It’s really bad, …

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Arts grants for Clare projects

People in Clare will experience the arts in new and exciting ways this year, according to the Arts Council. Outlining its plan to invest €68.4 million nationwide over the course of the year, the agency for developing the arts said the focus of this year’s investment would be on creating opportunities for the public to experience large-scale work, as well as work of real artistic ambition, by supporting organisations through its two new funding programmes. “2018 is going to be an excellent year for people in Clare who enjoy the arts, said Arts Council Director, Orlaith McBride. “whether you love visual arts, traditional arts, or festivals and events, whether you are young or old, you will experience wonderful work that will lift your spirit.” In addition, there will be increased funding for particular work by artists,emerging companies and organisations through the new Arts Grants Funding programme Individual artists will be supported through a range of schemes such as bursaries and …

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Guilty of placing two female first aid students in ‘choke hold’

A HSE paramedic faces a prison term up to five years after pleading guilty to assaulting two female first aid students when he placed them in a choke hold five years ago. Andrew Long, aged 35, changed his plea at Ennis Circuit Court last Friday just before the State and defence were about to make their closing speeches before a jury at the end of the three day trial. Mr Long, who knocked mother of one, Mary Nihill out and rendered her unconscious with his choke hold, said ‘guilty’ when re-arraigned on the charges. Mr Long changed his plea after discussions between his legal team and the State prior to the court where the State agreed to a less serious charge against Mr Long’s second victim and mother of three, Elise McMahon. However, Mr Long of Carraig Dubh, Tobertaosceain, Ennis now faces a jail term up to five years after his plea of guilty to the more serious assault causing …

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