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Breaking News

Banner County ‘wunderbar’in Berlin

Thirty Irish tourism companies, including the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Doolin2Aran Ferries, Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage, joined Tourism Ireland recently at the largest travel trade fair in the world, ITB in Berlin. Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland and in 2017 we welcomed around 660,000 German visitors. Tourism Ireland recently launched a new strategy to boost tourism from Germany, setting out challenging and ambitious targets, which will see the island of Ireland welcome 800,000 German visitors per year by 2021, representing growth of +20%; and will see revenue generated by holiday visitors increase by +27%, to €375 million per year. ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) is the biggest travel promotion of the year, attracting over 160,000 visitors from 180 countries across the world. Of these, about 109,000 are trade visitors – including leading tour operators, travel agents, airlines, travel media and bloggers – not just from Germany but from all over the world. The …

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Review of publicly funded health and personal social services

The Department of Health has launched a public consultation on behalf of the Independent Review Group, established to examine the role of voluntary organisations in publicly funded health and personal social services. Responses to the consultation will help the Independent Review Group to examine how the relationship between the State and voluntary organisations in the area of health and social care should evolve in the future. Dr Catherine Day, chair of the Independent Review Group, said, “The consultation launched today seeks views on the value of the voluntary sector and how to preserve this added value in the future, against a background of changes in Irish society and evolving expectations of how health and personal social care are delivered. It invites comments on a wide range of specific issues which have been raised with us since we began our work last August. I hope many of those interested in these questions will take the time to respond to the consultation …

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Dooley deplores ‘Twitterbots’ phenomenon

Social media companies have been called upon by a local TD to take a more proactive role in guarding against the misuse of their platforms. Deputy Timmy Dooley’s call comes in the wake of further revelations regarding the role of social media in political discourse and elections. Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment has highlighted the scourge of so-called “Twitterbots”, which are essentially computer programmes used to generate tens or hundreds of fake Twitter accounts, which are then used to promote certain content on the platform. “Twitterbots have become an extremely disturbing phenomenon – a recent study from the University of Southern California and Indiana University suggesting that there may be up to 48 million of these accounts active on Twitter. That’s about 15% of the overall number of Twitter users worldwide, so there is no way that Twitter is unaware of this issue”, said Deputy Dooley. “A person or group can quite easily run a computer …

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Limited housing stock for sale in Clare

There is a limited stock of properties to offer for sale in County Clare, a survey has confirmed. The price of the average three-bed semi in Clare rose by 1.1% to €180,000 in the first three months of the year, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance. Clare prices increased by 9.1% in the year to March 2018. The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide to the close of last week. “While there has been an increase in the number of mortgage approved home-buyers, there is a lack of supply in Clare,” said Liam Browne of REA Paddy Browne, Ennis. The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €229,111, the Q1 REA Average House Price Survey has found – a rise of 1.5% on the Q4 2017 figure of €225,806. Overall, …

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15 children suffered mouth ulcers after dental incident

Fifteen Clare children suffered from blistering and mouth ulcers following the contamination of water containers with diluted drain cleaner at the Ennis Dental Clinic, a new report has revealed. In total, 43 children and four Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) medical card patients were exposed to the water supply on October 4 and 5, according to an inconclusive HSE investigation. This contamination resulted in fifteen children suffering adverse localised symptoms ranging from mild burning sensation to blistering and ulceration of the mouth. The report acknowledges that the treatment experience for the children was “devastating” and that it may have a psychological effect on them and their families, and in their confidence in the dental service going forward. On the afternoon of October 5, it was established that the water supplying the dental equipment in the Ennis Dental Clinic was contaminated. A bottle of red streak, a liquid pipe opener/cleaner containing Potassium Hydroxide 5% was found in a cupboard in the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD) room and considered to be the …

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O”Donnell nets Harvard scholarship

    Clare hurler Shane O’Donnell has scored a major coup by securing a scholarship to the prestigious Harvard University in the United States of America. Having spent four years studying Genetics in University College Cork (UCC), he is due to take up the Fulbright scholarship in Harvard next September. The Éire Óg hurler became a household name when he helped the Banner to win the 2013 All-Ireland senior hurling final with an impressive tally of 3-3. He is a regular starter on the Clare full forward line and featured from the start in the Banner’s recent Allianz League Division 1 quarter-final defeat to Limerick, which was notable as the first competitive game of hurling decided by a free-taking competition. “I have loved my four years studying Genetics here in UCC,” Shane told the college’s website. “In fact, I enjoyed my degree so much that I am starting a PhD here in UCC next month!” The Fulbright scholarship scheme facilitates students …

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Prospect of five-way race for FF ticket

POLITICAL manoeuvring among Clare Fianna Fáil delegates stepped up a gear after five candidates were nominated to contest a coveted place on the party ticket for the next Dáil race. The Clare Fianna Fáil Dáil Selection Convention looks set to attract a very large attendance as hundreds of local delegates consider the selection of at least two Dáil candidates. Outgoing Deputy Timmy Dooley, former 2011 General Election candidate Dr John Hillery, Councillor Cathal Crowe, former Ennis Chamber chief executive officer Rita McInerney and former Clare County Board chairman, Michael “Malty” McDonagh have all been nominated to contest the selection convention. However, Mr McDonagh, who secured 4,726 first preferences votes in the 2016 General Election, has told The Clare Champion he will not be a candidate at convention. He may come under pressure to change his mind before the convention, which still has not been fixed. It is expected the party’s drive to win two seats at the next General Election …

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Ennis woman loses claim against Dunnes Stores

A 23-year-old Ennis woman is counting the cost of taking on retail giant Dunnes Stores over a “nasty” finger injury caused by a broken Dolmio pasta sauce jar – and losing. This follows Judge Gerald Keys at Ennis Circuit Civil Court dismissing Maria McDonagh’s personal injury action against Dunnes Stores and ordering her to pay the retailer’s legal costs from her unsuccessful action. Judge Keys made his ruling, after finding Ms McDonagh’s injury was probably caused when picking up the glass debris of the Dolmio pasta sauce jar she let fall at the retailer’s Ennis store on February 4, 2014, and not, as Ms McDonagh claimed, sustained when picking up a broken or defective jar of Dolmio from the shelf. Judge Keys said, “It is more probable that the injury was inflicted when she handled the debris of the glass when it hit the floor. The plaintiff has not discharged the onus of proof and can’t succeed. It was a nasty …

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