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Leaving and Junior Cert exams start

Almost 121,500 Leaving and Junior Certificate students began their written exams across the country this morning (Wednesday). In Clare, in the region of 2,800 students are sitting exams. Education Minister Richard Bruton extended good wishes to students, reminding them that while these exams are important, “they were just one pathway in education”. “A range of opportunities now exists which will help students to fulfil their ambitions,” he said. Nearly 57,000 Leaving Cert students kicked off the exam with English Paper 1 this morning. Around 62,000 Junior Cert students faced the English and CSPE exam. It is the first exam under the new junior cycle English programme, where the paper accounts for 90% of the grade.

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Taoiseach visits WW1 site in Belgium

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Duke of Cambridge, and Princess Astrid of Belgium will jointly attend commemorations for the Battle of Messines Ridge in Belgium today (Wednesday). The visit marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the historic battle, which was hugely symbolic as it was the first time that the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions fought alongside each other during the First World War. The Taoiseach will first visit the grave of Major William Redmond, who was MP for East Clare, in Locre. Following this, Mr Kenny will then join the Duke of Cambridge and Princess Astrid at the Island of Ireland Peace Park for a commemorative ceremony, jointly organised by the Irish and UK Governments, in partnership with the Mayor of Messines. The Park is a memorial to the 50,000 Irish war dead. This commemorative event will include a wreath laying ceremony, readings by members of the Irish Defence Forces and British Army representatives as well …

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Brexit forum at Thomond Park

As part of a nationwide Brexit roadshow, Enterprise Ireland will host a ‘Prepare for Brexit’ forum at Thomond Park in Limerick on Thursday. Launching the event, Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen said, “The majority of companies, large and small, will be affected by Brexit. The message is simple – prepare now and be fully equipped to meet both the challenges and the opportunities arising from Brexit. The UK continues to be Ireland’s main trading partner and the aim is to uphold these strong trade relations while also preparing Irish companies to look at new opportunities and expand their reach in international markets. “Time is of the essence for Irish companies in the Mid-West to prepare for Brexit. The Brexit SME Scorecard aims to highlight to individual companies and businesses some of the key operational areas that may be exposed and help them to begin preparing a strategy to deal with these challenges.” Part of Enterprise Ireland’s …

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Kilkee Coast Guard back in sea

IRISH Coast Guard operations manager Declan Geoghegan has confirmed to The Clare Champion that the Kilkee Coast Guard Unit is likely to be fully operational in the coming week. However, the town will be without the service for the June Bank Holiday weekend, which is traditionally one of the busiest of the summer season in Kilkee. Following the tragic death of coast guard volunteer, Catríona Lucas, on September 12, 2016, the Kilkee unit ceased to provide a full water-based search and rescue service. The unit has not been fully operational in the town for nine months, which is the longest inactive period since the Kilkee Marine Rescue and Recovery Service was established in 1981. Mr Geoghegan confirmed that training has taken place for current Kilkee Coast Guard members and that they will be subject to an inspection in the coming days. “We will be putting in an ORA [Operational Readiness Assessment] team. Subject to that, the unit will be on …

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‘Opportune time’ for Harty to consider position

DEPUTY Michael Harty has said he is looking at his position in relation to supporting the current Government, arising from a lack of delivery on assurances he received under the Programme for a Partnership Government. He said 15 months after he voted for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach and with a new Taoiseach about to be selected, many people, including him, will be re-evaluating their positions. “It’s up to Fine Gael to elect their leader. I haven’t a preference of one over the other. It’s 15 months since I voted for Enda Kenny. I did that on the basis that there was a possibility that there would be a general election if there wasn’t a nomination for Taoiseach on that morning. I felt it was the responsibility of all TDs in the Dáil to provide a Government. “That Government has been in place for the past 15 months. There is to be a change of leader and I think everyone is …

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BurrenLIFE receives ‘Best Ever’ award

THE BurrenLIFE project has just received a special “Best-Ever” award from the European Commission, recognising it as the best ever LIFE project in the 25-year history of the programme. The prize was awarded in the Nature and Biodiversity Category. The awards are being presented in Green Week to exceptional LIFE projects over the past 25 years, at the Green Awards ceremony in Brussels. A special edition of the annual LIFE awards, the Green Awards singled out projects that have had remarkable effects on the EU’s natural environment and in creating green jobs and boosting green growth over the past quarter century. The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said at the ceremony, “A quarter century is a long time, and over that time LIFE has funded more than 4,000 projects to the tune of over €3 billion.” He told attendees that the awards symbolise the Commission’s “appreciation for the efforts of thousands, the hard work and …

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Limerick council’s yes to distributor road route

Limerick City and County councillors’ decision to include the Northern Distributor Road corridor in the County Development Plan had been acknowledged as “a vote for the city, county and region”. This was the reaction of Limerick Chamber CEO, Dr James Ring to the overwhelming support by councillors for the project, at Monday’s monthly meeting of the council Dr Ring said it was further evidence of the spirit of collaboration that pervades in Limerick today. He said that in voting strongly in favour of the road, the local authority had clearly taken into account the concerns of residents and that these will be fully addressed in the project. “This is another significant moment in the modern success story that is Limerick.  After a torrid last decade, the past five years, in particular, have seen a real awakening in Limerick and this has largely been achieved as a result of key stakeholders working together for the greater good of the city, county …

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Garda ‘bank holiday enforcement campaign’

An Garda Síochána has issued an appeal to all road users to take extra care when using the roads over the June Bank Holiday period. “There will be an increase in traffic, as many will be travelling to different parts of the country. The school holidays will also be commencing for secondary school children, so we appeal to all motorists / motorcyclists to slow down, always wear their seatbelts, wear the appropriate safety clothing at all times, be well rested and never ever drink and drive,” said a Garda spokesperson. The spokesperson added, “We are anxious to ensure anyone using a vehicle is aware of our Bank Holiday Enforcement Campaign. Garda resources will be deployed with the aim of increasing compliance amongst road users and improving overall road safety. Motorists are advised that inappropriate speed, Drink driving, seatbelts and faulty tyres are the greatest contributory factors to road deaths and serious injuries. “Over the June Bank holiday period, many people will set out to …

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