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Ireland and UK cooperation on driving bans

Transport Minister Shane Ross has announced a new provision to facilitate the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Ireland and the UK, which comes into operation today, Tuesday August 1. “The mutual recognition of driving disqualifications is an important road safety measure because it aims to target dangerous drivers on our roads. The disqualifications relate to drivers disqualified for reckless or dangerous driving, hit and run driving, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. “Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications is an important road safety measure for both Ireland and the UK, and is one of a series of measures I am introducing which will reduce road injuries and ultimately save lives,” he said. The Minister added: “Maintaining the common travel area and our economic links with the UK are important priorities for Ireland, and this agreement will make a contribution towards that objective, as well as making an important contribution to road safety. The new measures are …

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Six Ennis retailers on top 100 list

SIX Ennis businesses have been named among the Retail Excellence (RE) Awards in Ireland by Retail Excellence, the largest retail industry representative organization in the country. B Molloy Master Butchers, Bambino’s, Patrick Bourke Menswear, Seoidin, The Kilkenny Shop and Willow are the only stores in Clare to make the prestigious list. The Top 100 stores are part of the Retail Excellence (RE) Awards, which were established in 1997 to promote best practice and encourage high standards in the Irish retail industry and are now the largest and most prestigious of its kind in Ireland. As part of the selection process, all store entrants were visited by a mystery shopper, with those exceeding service and standards criteria making it to the Top100 stores. The Top 100 will now be invited to a private briefing with Echochamber, a creative retail agency who tracks global retail trends, on Tuesday 22 August. The Top 30 stores will be announced on September 22.The top 3 finalists and …

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Still no bathing at Kilkee

Clare County Council, on the advice of the Health Service Executive (HSE), has announced that due to the possibility of elevated levels of bacteria in the bathing water arising from heavy rainfall over the weekend, swimming is still prohibited at Kilkee beach. Public bathing notices and red flags indicating that swimming is prohibited at Kilkee were originally put in place on Wednesday last due to the malfunction of a pumping station which has since been rectified by Irish Water. Staff from the Environment section of Clare County Council conducted water quality tests today (Monday), the results of which will be known on Wednesday. Resumption of swimming will be recommended when results are deemed by the HSE to be within bathing water quality limits.

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Kilkee hit by another swim ban

AS Kilkee approaches its busiest time of the year, a swimming ban has yet again been imposed on the An Taisce Blue Flag beach. This closure is due to sewage entering the water on Wednesday, which followed an electrical fault at the pumping station. Swimming was prohibited for five months from mid-December 2016 to mid-May, following the failure of an operational safety device at the pumping station during a period of heavy rainfall shortly before Christmas, which resulted in sewage entering the water. On Wednesday afternoon, Irish Water issued an apology for the latest fault with the pumping station and said that the swimming ban would be in place for a number of days. “Due to operational electrical issues at Kilkee pump station earlier this morning, this caused the pumps to be out of service for a number of hours. This has led to a discharge of wastewater to the Victoria stream in Kilkee for a period of time. “The …

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Michael Flatley to open Fleadh

Fleadh organisers are celebrating a major coup after securing global dance superstar Michael Flately to perform the official opening of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis next month. The man who revolutionised Irish dancing will take to the Fly Shannon stage in Abbey Street car park on Sunday, August 13. The 59-year-old dancer, choreographer and musician will briefly address the gathering, before taking up the flute with uilleann piper and composer, Gerard Fahy, from Ballinakill in County Galway. “It is a great honour to be asked to open this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis. It is such a great home of traditional music and a place I have very fond memories of, including winning the All-Ireland there many years ago. “It is vitally important for all of us to nurture young talent and to encourage young people today to play Irish music. I’m really looking forward to it and am sure it will be a huge success,” said …

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Farms not playgrounds

As this week marks the fifth Farm Safety Week, Minister Ciaran Cannon has asked people to remember that farms are workplaces and not playgrounds. Last year, 21 people lost their lives in farm-related accidents which was an increase of 3 fatalities on 2015. Minister Cannon said, “Farm Safety Week is a valuable opportunity for farmers to review the safety of their daily farming practices. Sadly, farming has one of the lowest safety records of any occupation in the country. This week is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of hidden dangers in the farming environment and assess potential risks as any farm accident can lead to a fatality or life-altering injuries. I would encourage farmers to participate in the many farm safety events being held this week and to consider availing themselves of the discounts being offered on safety equipment from retailers across the country.”

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Take greater care with tractors on the roads

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) have urged road users to take extra care, as the number of tractors, trailers and other farm machinery on the roads increases over the summer months. The appeal comes as many farmers around the country are in the middle of the silage cutting season. Ms Moyagh Murdock, chief rxecutive, RSA said, “This is a very busy time of year for farmers, with silage cutting already underway. The number of tractors and trailers out using the roads will increase dramatically. As a result the risk of a collision involving a road user and farm machinery has increased. As such I am asking all drivers to be on the look out for tractors, trailers and other farm machinery exiting from fields and farm yards. If you are travelling behind farm machinery, please be patient and only over take when it’s safe to do so. We should all expect the unexpected, as …

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Síle recalls the fun side of Dev

SUNDAY will be an emotional afternoon for Síle de Valera, as the woman who represented Clare in the Dáil for 20 years returns for the commemoration of her grandfather’s East Clare by-election win of 1917. Fianna Fáil has organised a range of events to mark the centenary in Ennis. One of the central figures in 20th century Ireland, Eamon de Valera played a major part in his granddaughter’s decision to enter politics, while she has warm memories of him as a caring grandfather. Indeed, she feels Dev might have lavished more affection on his grandchildren because the circumstances of his life meant he had often been separated from his own children when they were young. “At a personal level, I was 20 when he died, so I had the opportunity to know him very well as a grandfather. I have lovely memories of that and it’s interesting to juxtaposition the personal from the political. Very often, people saw him as …

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