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HPV campaigner Laura Brennan dies

HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan has lost her battle with terminal cancer on Wednesday. The Ennis woman who had become one of Ireland’s leading patient advocates and campaigners for the HPV vaccine passed away on Wednesday at University Hospital Limerick. In a statement the Brennan family said, “Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her. “We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today. Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer. She wanted to make a difference, and use the time that she had to right what she felt was a great wrong.” The family have appealed for privacy. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised. …

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Shannon Group CEO announces departure

LESS than three years after he arrived, Matthew Thomas is leaving his role as CEO of Shannon Group. He is set to take up a new position as CEO of the Ports of Jersey. Shannon Group Deputy CEO Mary Considine will take on the role of Acting CEO of Shannon Group after his departure in June. Since his arrival in mid 2016 Shannon Airport’s passenger numbers have increased, but the level of growth has been very moderate, reaching just 1.86 million last year. While this was an increase of 6.5% on 2017, it is not much more than half the numbers which used Shannon during the Celtic Tiger years, and the Clare airport’s growth was eclipsed by the increasing dominance of Dublin. Shannon is now way off the targets that were set for it as it separated from the Dublin Airport Authority at the start of 2013. On the industrial side, during Mr Thomas’ tenure there was significant investment in …

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Clare unemployment falls again

PEOPLE may be on tenterhooks over Brexit but there are indications that the local economy is still performing well, with unemployment falling again in February. There were 4,876 signing on the Live Register in February, down from 5,045 in January. Year on year, the number signing on is down by 939, or 16% of the February 2018 total. West Clare County Councillor Ian Lynch works in construction and he said there has been an improvement. “It’s more positive than it has been. In the construction sector, on a national scale, there has definitely been a pick-up but in the Mid-West Region, there is no major activity. What I’m finding is that the smaller contractors, who are doing houses and extensions and stuff, are actually gone a little bit quieter. But while there is no huge demand for work, they’re still tipping away; there aren’t long spells of three or four weeks out of work. “You’d find a lot of them …

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Shannon airport

Arrests at Shannon Airport

GARDAI made two arrests at Shannon Airport this morning as two people are believed to have breached security fencing. They were questioned at Shannon Garda Station and it is understood that they are part of an organisation, US Veterans for Peace. One flight was delayed due to the incident.   In a statement Shannon Airport said it could confirm “that two intruders were apprehended on the Shannon Airport airfield at approximately 10.25am this morning. They were intercepted and detained within five minutes and then taken into Garda custody.” At 6.30pm this evening the men were still being questioned at Shannon Garda Station.  

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Site rezoned for Data Centre despite local concerns

THE objections of local residents to a new 1,000,000ft² data centre counted for little on Monday, as a proposal to vary the County Development Plan to facilitate the project at Toureen, on the outskirts of Ennis, was unanimously passed by Clare County Council. The council claims that the project could deliver 200 permanent data centre jobs, another 150 ancillary jobs and 50 maintenance jobs. Some 1,100 construction jobs would be supported over five years of construction. At the council meeting, director of service Liam Conneally reiterated his view that if the project goes ahead, it will be “a game changer” for Clare and Ennis. However, the data centre would not be one of the three largest employers in the county even if what is projected comes to pass. Prior to the meeting, members of the council got a report from chief executive Pat Dowling, which summarised a number of submissions that had come in from the public, including one from …

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Cillian Murphy to stand for Fianna Fáil in West Clare

THE Clare Champion has learned that Kilkee businessman and tourism consultant, Cillian Murphy, will stand for Fianna Fáil in West Clare in the local elections on May 24. The tourism consultant will join sitting councillors, PJ Kelly (Lissycasey) and Bill Chambers (Cooraclare) on the Fianna Fáil ticket. Twenty eight elected members sit on Clare County Council, representing four electoral areas across the county.

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Trump coming back to Doonbeg?

PRESIDENT Trump could be on his way back to Clare, later this year. Mr Trump met with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today in Washington. Subsequently the Irish Times reported that he had said he is likely to make his way to Clare before the end of 2019. President Trump is reported to have said:“I will be coming (to Ireland) at some point this year. I missed it last year, and I would have loved to have been there. It’s a special place and I have a very warm spot for Doonbeg, I will tell you that. It is just a great place.”

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Contracts signed for Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme

Clare County Council has signed a contract with Ward & Burke Construction Ltd for the long awaited construction of the River Fergus (Ennis South) Flood Relief Scheme. The €9.7m scheme represents the final phase of flood defence works throughout the town and includes the townlands of Clonroadmore, Ballybeg and Clareabbey. The works to be undertaken include the upgrade of the existing flood defence embankment between the Quin Road and the N85 Clareabbey Bridge at Clareabbey and separate Flood Overflow Culverts from St Flannan’s Stream and Ballybeg Stream to the Clareabbey flood plain Construction work is expected to begin in late April and will last approximately 27 months (until late 2021). Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, Clare County Council, said that works completed under the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme will “significantly reduce the risk of flooding” in the St Flannan’s College, Ballybeg and Tobertaoscain areas of Ennis, which experienced serious flooding following heavy rains in November 2009.

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