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Samaritans seeking volunteers

ENNIS and Clare Samaritans are appealing to members of the local community to sign up to support people in distress who might not have anywhere else to turn. Samaritans offer round-the-clock emotional support and a safe space for people to talk, in their own way, about whatever is getting to them. The confidential service is offered by phone, email, text, letter and face-to-face. Based on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, the branch is looking to recruit more people to ensure it can continue to offer its service to the local community. Last year, Samaritans Ennis answered 40,955 calls and they need additional help to continue to provide the service. Claire Cremin, director of the Ennis and Clare branch said, “Everyone has it in them to be a Samaritan volunteer. Samaritans are just ordinary people who give up their time to listen to others. “To be able to touch another person’s life when it really matters, either by giving them the space …

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New principal for St Joseph’s Tulla

ST Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla opened its doors to students for a new school term last week and, in doing so, it also welcomed a new school principal, following the retirement of Margaret O’Brien. A proud Portumna woman, Juliet Coman, has taken on the new role and comes to the school from St Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh, where she had been a deputy principal for the last number of years. Juliet went to university in Limerick and began her teaching career in Presentation Secondary School in Mitchelstown, where she worked for 14 years, teaching science and maths. “Throughout my time there, I was heavily involved in sports and I spent some time as programme coordinator and year head and for my last year there I was acting deputy principal for one year. I was an athlete myself and I brought that with me to the various places. I’d have a great interest in sport and involving students in all sports,” …

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4,000 job target through rural development

CLARE is the first county to launch a rural development strategy, which has a 4,000-jobs target, following the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development. Today (Thursday), Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring officially launches the Clare Rural Development Strategy 2026, which targets the creation of the 4,000 jobs over its lifetime.The launch takes place at an event organised by the Clare Rural Development Forum in Kilmaley Community Daycare Centre. The action plan aims to create the 4,000 jobs through the development of community-led social enterprises, supported by Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office Clare, the Office of the Action Plan for Jobs (APJ), the LEADER Programme and the rural and community support unit of Clare County Council. Digital hubs will be established at numerous locations throughout the county to support rural enterprise by facilitating e-working, small-scale training and conferencing. The strategy also targets the development of community-run, multi-service centres, which will aim to provide a range of public services, …

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27 jobs to go at Shannon Heritage

TWENTY-SEVEN employees of Shannon Heritage are reported to have accepted a voluntary severance package offer. The redundancies, according to a source based at Bunratty Folk Park, come after two years of financial losses. In response, a spokesperson for the company said, “Shannon Heritage employs over 360 staff across all its visitor sites in the peak tourist season and is central to the prosperity of the regional economy, delivering significant spin-off benefits to a range of businesses each year. Like all businesses, Shannon Heritage needs to continuously look at ways to improve its operating efficiency. “As part of this, we introduced a voluntary severance scheme across all our sites, which enables us to restructure how we deliver our services. We continue to invest in our people and facilities to ensure we offer a first-class customer experience.” The spokesperson added, “Through this voluntary process, we are pleased to have been able to accommodate the majority of staff who applied to avail of this opportunity. …

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Churchill Arms landlord seeks tourism role

A FORMER landlord of a landmark London pub is hoping to get the chance to become a new tourism representative for the county. Gerry O’Brien, who recently retired from running The Churchill Arms in Kensington after 32 years, has built up a huge wealth of contacts who now want to visit him. Currently residing in Ennis, the 66-year-old Ogonnelloe man said he would love to link up with groups such as Clare Tourism or East Clare Tourism and become their part-time tourism representative to take people from all over the world around visitor attractions in Clare. “I would love the opportunity to be able to showcase the county. I am hoping I will get the opportunity to do this. “I’d love to do something in tourism, promoting Clare to visitors from the UK and abroad. That would be an absolute dream come true for me,” he said. A Clare GAA hurling fanatic, Gerry said he would relish the opportunity to …

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Pickets to be placed on TDs offices

FRUSTRATION has continued to build amongst people with disabilities due to the lack of action on firm commitments made by Government across all parties, according to Clare Leader Forum chairman Dermot Hayes. As a result, M Hayes said, “Due to the level of apathy shown by TDs, the Clare Leader Forum has taken the difficult decision to picket the offices of all Clare- based TDs from this Thursday afterenoon.” Continuing, Mr Hayes said, “The reality is that thousands of people with disabilities are living in poverty. Research has continually laid bare this fact including the ERSI report, Nevin Economic Institute, and research by the Government’s own National Disability Authority, of which one of the Clare Leader Forum participants is a sub-committee member.” Mr Hayes said the decision to commence this action has not been taken lightly. However the Clare Leader Forum believe that people with disabilities have been left with little option, given the decision by Government to continue to …

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€146K for three-bed semi-d in Clare

In the first six months of this year the average price of a three-bed semi-detached house in Clare was €146,334, according to a new Residential Property Price Barometer published by IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers. This compares with a price for a similar property of €358,000 in North County Dublin and €511,667 in South County Dublin, the study finds. It covers prices achieved for homes sold and will be published every six months. Pat Davitt, IPAV’s chief executive, said while the homeless numbers grow and second hand properties can be bought in several areas of the country for less that the cost of building them, some parts of the Dublin market are on the way to reaching or even topping the high levels last seen in 2007. “This is what happens when stock is so scarce with just a small number of the larger builders developing. Up to 50% of purchasers are still buying properties without a …

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Repair works on Cloontra bridge

Emergency remediation works at Cloontra East Bridge on the R471 Clonlara to Sixmilebridge Road will commence tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9am. The bridge was closed last Monday as a result of structural damage and the requirement to undertake urgent remediation works in accordance with Section 75 of the Roads Act 1993. In the interests of public safety, the bridge will remain closed to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians for the duration of the works, which commence tomorrow. Local access is expected to be restored by Monday, September 11. In order to finalise all the necessary works on Cloontra East Bridge and before the R471 is reopened to all through traffic, pre-planned structural repairs will be undertaken on Callaghans Bridge (located 1 kilometre west of Cloontra East) commencing on Monday 11 September. The current prohibition on vehicular and pedestrian access will be relocated from Cloontra East Bridge to Callaghan’s Bridge during these works. Suitable alternative routes available are by: 1) Broadford and Tulla …

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