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Breaking News

VAT creates a grave situation

Payment of VAT on graves in newly developed graveyards is an unfair imposition on hard pressed communities, Clare Independent TD Dr Michael Harty maintains. The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has told Deputy Harty that while the provision of services by an undertaker is exempt from VAT, the exemption does not extend to the supply of graves. However, the minister, in a written reply to a parliamentary question, said the supply of a grave in a graveyard that is more than five years old is also exempt from VAT but the supply of a grave in a newly developed graveyard is liable to a VAT rate of 13.5%. Minister Noonan added that the operator of a newly developed graveyard is entitled to VAT deductibility on their development costs as well as ongoing maintenance costs during the period where VAT is applied to the supply of graves. “I don’t understand,” said Dr. Harty, “ why graveyards over five years old are …

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Inagh-Kilnamona and Feakle-Killanena meet again

The under 21 A hurling final will be a repeat of last year with Inagh-Kilnamona (holders) taking on Feakle-Killanena on a date to be confirmed. Feakle-Killanena were first to qualify when they scored a 2-18 to 0-17 win over Clonlara at Gurteen earlier this evening.. A contribution of 1-12, 1-9 from frees from Fiachra Donnellan, played a key part in Feakle-Killanena’s victory. Clonlara led by two points at half time when the score was 0-11 to 1-6, the winner’s first half goal having come from Darren Keehan and this was still the position five minutes into he second half after the sides had exchanged points. Donnellan’s goal, seven minutes into the second half, proved to be a crucial score and gave his side back a lead they held to the finish. Evan McMahon, Con Smyth, Cathal Noonan and Tobias O’Meara gave most support to Donnellan on the evening. Ian Galvin who contributed a dozen points, Cian and Sean Moriarty and …

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Tom Coughlan to chair HSA

Former chief executive of Clare County Council Tom Coughlan has been announced as the chairman designate of the board of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). Mr Coughlan who was council CEO from 2009 to 2016, is a board member of the Shannon Group PLC. In accordance with the Programme for a Partnership Government, Mr Coughlan is scheduled to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation prior to the confirmation of his appointment. This appearance will take place on Tuesday, April 11. The announcement was made today (Friday) by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen. Three of the ordinary members, who were recruited to the board of the HSA via the Public Appointments Service (PAS) in 2014, have been re-appointed for a second three-year term. They have been joined by a new appointee, Ms Deirdre Cullivan.  Ms Cullivan was recruited through PAS and is a science graduate with senior level …

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Bus strike hits Clare

Bus Éireann passengers in County Clare have been making alternative travel plans today as an-all out strike is underway. Among those discommoded are people who normally use bus services to get to work and those who travel from rural areas to Ennis for shopping and business. One regular Bus Éireann passenger from West Clare told The Clare Champion he was unable to make it to work today, which had serious implications for him and his employer. Bus Éireann services across the country stopped at midnight after drivers refused to work under the threat of pay cuts. Management at the transport firm are warning they need to plug a multi-million euro hole in their finances, but their claim that there’s ‘no basis’ for talks led to unions escalating their action. Unions representing drivers say members will engage in all-out indefinite strike until their greviences are addressed. Unions are in dispute with the company over cuts to pay, the casualisation of work and the …

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Clare companies at UK travel show

Fourteen Irish tourism companies, including O’Brien Line Ferries and Shannon Ferries, have joined Tourism Ireland at the British Tourism and Travel Show this week. The show at the NEC in Birmingham is an annual event for the travel trade in Britain,attracting nearly 3,000 coach tour operators and group travel organisers, including leading travel companies like British Airways Holidays, Coachholidays.com and JacTravel. The two-day event provides a valuable opportunity for the participating companies from Ireland to meet, and do business with, key players in the British travel trade. Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s deputy head of Great Britain, said, “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to Ireland and we were pleased to see visitor numbers increase by +11% in 2016, an extra 377,200 British visitors compared with 2015. Our presence at this year’s show is just one element of Tourism Ireland’s programme of activity with the travel trade. Our aim is to enthuse the British travel trade, including online and …

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Aoibhín reaches for highest star

Aoibhín Garrihy and her dancer partner, Vitali Kozmin, will be aiming to shine as the brightest stars of all on this Sunday night. They are among the three couples who have made it through to the final of Dancing with the Stars, which will be screened live on RTE 1 from 6.30pm. The three finalists have spent the last few months learning to master the most intricate of footwork from award winning pro dancers. They can foxtrot, jive and cha cha cha. They can tango, salsa and rumba in their sleep. They all agree that Dancing with the Stars has been an amazing experience. But this is a competition and there can only be one winner. Expect two hours of high octane dancing, tension and drama and of course this week the winner will be chosen by public vote. Each of our couples will dance a staggering four times, a group opening number, judge’s choice, couple’s choice and a brand …

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Employers pinpoint value of distributor road

Failure to develop Limerick’s planned Northern Distributor Road would impact negatively on future investment potential and jobs at the National Technology Park, leading multi-national employers and the IDA have said. Three of the largest FDI employers, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Cook Medical and Northern Trust, with a combined work force of over 3,300 people and the IDA have come together to state their concerns that rejection of the proposed road by councillors would be a significant regressive step for the city, county and region and send the wrong signal to inward investors. A spur from the Limerick Northern Distributor Road (LNDR) is seen as the panacea to existing capacity constraints on the main road through the National Technology Park (NTP) and UL, which has up to 40 minute delays that will deny further expansion and investment into the area. The closing date for submissions from stakeholders and the wider public on the LNDR is Monday next, Limerick City and County …

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LEO delivers jobs in Clare

A net total of 173 new jobs were delivered in 2016 by small businesses in Clare that have been supported by Local Enterprise Office Clare. The figure is the fourth highest of the country’s 31-strong Local Enterprise Office network, according to the results of the latest LEO annual jobs survey published by Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen The results, compiled by Enterprise Ireland, show the total number of people employed in small businesses supported by Local Enterprise Office Clare stood at 1,110 (full-time and part-time) at the end of last year. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council,Bill Chambers commented, “The strong jobs performance by Local Enterprise Office Clare clients during 2016 is extremely welcome and testament to the strong entrepreneurial activity ongoing throughout the county. The figures also underline the considerable role now played by Local Enterprise Office Clare in providing financial, information and training supports to entrepreneurs and micro enterprises.”

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