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€30m Trump investment dependent on planning

SHOULD Trump International in Doonbeg be successful in obtaining planning permission from Clare County Council to build revised coastal projection works on Doughmore beach, next to the resort, the owners will implement a €30 million investment programme. Eric Trump, who runs the Trump organisation with his brother Donald Junior, spoke at length about his plans to The Clare Champion on Tuesday evening. He was on a two-day visit to West Clare. While he offered views on issues ranging from US President Donald Trump’s decision to bomb an air base in Syria to a possible hard post-Brexit border, the 33-year-old was keen to stress his personal commitment to the Doonbeg resort. “It’s tens of millions. Easily €30m, when everything is said and done,” he confirmed when asked about potential investment plans, pending the planning application. “We have a massive plan for an unbelievable ballroom here, which will create hundreds of construction jobs, as well as full-time jobs. We have plans to …

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Garda focus on ‘drug driving’

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross has today (Wednesday) announced the commencement of the drug driving provisions in the Road Traffic Act 2016. One of the key measures in the legislation provides for preliminary drug testing, which will enable gardaí to test motorists whom they suspect of driving under the influence of drugs at the roadside. The new garda powers mean gardaí can now establish roadside checkpoints, mandatory impairment checkpoints (MIT), to test drivers for the presence of both alcohol and drugs. The new drug testing devices (Dräger DrugTest 5000) involve testing a sample of a driver’s saliva for the presence of cannabis, cocaine, opiates (e.g. heroin, morphine) and benzodiazepines (e.g. valium). The new devices will also be available in Garda stations. The MBRS has found that of the 3,020 specimens of blood and urine that it received in 2016, 24% confirmed positive for drugs other than alcohol. Of these, 91% were specimens from male drivers, most …

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Bunratty businessman heads Clare Tourism

Bunratty-based businessman Maurice Walsh has been appointed Chair of Clare Tourism, the group responsible for the tourism marketing and promotion of County Clare. Mr. Walsh, who is General Manager of Durty Nelly’s, assumes the role held by Ennis hotelier Paul Madden since 2015. In his opening address to the Clare Tourism Steering Group, comprising tourism representatives from each of the five geographical areas of County Clare, Mr. Walsh said he is committed to exploring “new and innovative ways or promoting Clare as one of Ireland’s top visitor destinations.” “Through www.clare.ie, the hosting of networking events and our presence at trade shows in Ireland and overseas, Clare Tourism members are committed to promoting and marketing the county through different avenues to continue to keep Clare at the top of the destinations list in the country. We are also committed to increasing the overall number of bed nights and the average spend of day-trippers to our many visitor attractions,” he said. Mr. …

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Aldi set to open Ennistymon store

Aldi has announced that a new store will open on Thursday, April 20 in Ennistymon. With a shop floor spanning 1,140 m² and 80 free car parking spaces, the new store will be Aldi’s third in County Clare, the others located at Francis Street in Ennis and Ennis Road, Kilrush. In the last five years Aldi has recruited over 70 new Irish suppliers, meaning Aldi now partners with more than 175 Irish producers. Over 50% of Aldi’s supplier spend is now with Irish suppliers, producers and manufacturers.

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Mountshannon cattle rustler gets suspended prison sentence

A Mountshannon farmer has received a suspended three year jail term and ordered to pay a €3,000 fine after it was uncovered using DNA tracing that he was responsible for three separate thefts of a total of 15 cattle from his neighbour. Ahead of delivering his sentence at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Gerald Keys told Padraig O’Brien, (42), of Magherigh “what you have done to your neighbour is unforgivable”. O’Brien had pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft of the cattle worth €17,000. The offences involved the theft of five in-calf heifers from Bohatch, Mountshannon between January 17 and 18, 2015; the theft of six heifers from Kilrateera, Mountshannon between May 23 and 24, 2013, and the theft of four cows from Bohatch between December 8 and 9, 2013, a total of 15 charges. The court heard that gardaí were led to O’Brien after they found “sporadic hoof marks on the ditches” in frost, leading to his farmyard in …

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Garda warning on road safety

An Garda Síochána wants everyone to enjoy the Easter Bank Holiday festivities in safety, with the message being that anybody driving vehicle is aware of the holiday enforcement campaign. For the upcoming Easter weekend, Garda resources will be deployed with the objective of increasing compliance amongst road users and improving road safety. Motorists are advised that inappropriate speed is the single greatest contributory factor to road deaths and serious injuries. Over the Easter holiday period many people will set out to visit family and friends, some undertaking long journeys. Drivers are urged to be vigilant and to take all necessary steps to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users. Drivers should allow ample time for journeys and not to drive if they are tired. Drivers should pay attention to the speed limit signs posted on all roads but especially on entering built up areas. Garda enforcement activity will be conducted on sections of the road network that …

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Doughmore group wants jobs protected

THE newly-formed Doughmore Coastal Protection Group will host a public meeting in Doonbeg hall next Monday night as members seek public support for coastal protection work on the beach, which bounds on Trump International golf resort. Golf course management has reapplied to Clare County Council for scaled-down coastal protection works and Doughmore Coastal Protection Group chairman Liam Ryan is adamant that jobs at the golf resort must be protected. “There are 300 people employed there from places like Doonbeg, Cree, Cooraclare, Mullagh and Quilty. We have to protect these jobs. You hear very few announcements about jobs around the country. In the last two weeks, we’ve had ministers and councillors travelling all over the world, seeking investment in Ireland on the back of St Patrick’s Day. What we’ve got to do is protect what we’ve got. “The greatest gift you can have is a job and that you can live in the area that you want to live in. That’s …

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Council backs US army use of Shannon

THE US army’s continuing use of Shannon Airport should be encouraged, according to Clare County Council. In the past, thousands of people have protested against the US transiting through the airport but, last Friday, members of the local authority passed a motion, proposed by Councillor Pat McMahon, that “In view of the substantial threats posed by Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding immigration and the pre-clearance facility at Shannon Airport, that this council reaffirms its support for American military transiting the airport”. Introducing the motion, the veteran Newmarket councillor said, “Since I was seven or eight-years-old, military aircraft have been going through Shannon and I don’t think anything has changed”. He described the US as “a friendly nation” and while he was in disagreement with those who have protested against the US military use of Shannon, he said he fully recognises their right to do so and that protests have been carried out in the right manner. Councillor McMahon’s motion mentioned …

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