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Clare communities time to shine

Clare will be represented by five communities in the 2015 IPB Pride of Place Competition, with the awards being presented in Ennis in November. The five projects will be hoping to emulate Clare’s success in last year’s competition when Killaloe and Tuamgraney received runner-up prizes in their respective categories. Clare County Council also won a special award for its contribution to the competition since it was first established in 2003. Clare will be represented in the all-island initiative by Bunratty Local Development Association  in Category 1 for population centres of up to 300 people; Doonbeg Community Development Company Ltd. in Category 2 for population centres of between 300 and 1,000 people; Kilrush Tidy Towns in Category 4 for population centres over 2,000; the Ennis based Cuan an Chláir in Category 5 (Age Friendly Initiative) and Kilmaley Voluntary Housing Association Ltd. in Category 7 (Community Health Initiative).

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Government’s seven airport ideas

The Government has made seven submissions for funding under the new EU Juncker investment plan for Shannon Airport. The European Commission under the auspice of Commission president, Jean Claude Juncker announced a €315 billion investment plan last November to get Europe growing again. Member states have been asked by the European Commission to submit an initial list of projects, which they felt could be suitable for the programme. Commenting on the inclusion of projects from Shannon Airport, Ireland South MEP, Deirdre Clune described it as “a vote of confidence.” “The seven projects include the construction of three c.6,751 square metre wide body hangers, full renewal of the Shannon airport runway, development of a corporate aviation and cargo terminal infrastructure, fourth generation office blocks in the Shannon Free Zone and refurbishment of the main Shannon airport terminal building,” observed Ms Clune. “One of my main concerns is that we would submit a fair balance of projects from outside the sprawling Dublin …

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Keeping the Burren tidy

The North Clare business community is getting involved in keeping the roads and laneways of the Burren tidy through a scheme rolled out by the Burren Ecotourism Network (BEN), and supported by Clare County Council and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Over 30 businesses have already signed up to the Adopt a Hedgerow Scheme, which sees participants clearing, monitoring and reporting on litter in the protected landscape of the Burren. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is providing training and materials to BEN under the GeoparkLIFE project to ensure that adopt a hedgerow becomes a long term scheme that will inspire other business communities in other parts of the county. BEN says the scheme will be extended in June to include the reporting of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Dogwood, which can negatively impact on native species that have been part of the Burren ecosystem for millennia. “Each of the participating businesses, which are all members of our network, is taking …

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Lisa ahead of the rest in fundraising

WHEN Lisa Aherne leaves her house, she’s bound to draw a few puzzled glances. While she had shoulder-length hair last week , she shaved it at Shannon Knights as a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society. Speaking afterwards at her home in Carrig Hill, she said, “I was sick a couple of years ago and a lot of people fundraised for me and I always thought since then that I’d like to give something back. About five weeks ago, I decided to do it. I put it up on Facebook, got my first donation and I couldn’t go back then.” On her own illness she says, “I had a tumour in my neck. It wasn’t cancerous but it was potentially deadly because it was wrapped around my carotid artery. “They couldn’t deal with it in Ireland so I had to go to London to get it sorted. There were two operations in Guy’s Hospital. One of the operations was in May and …

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Willie O’Dea sees life on the dole

Limerick Fianna Fáil TD, Willie O’Dea, whose constituency extends into South East Clare is one of four public representatives featuring in a new TV3 series, Dáil on the Dole. In a first for Irish television, elected representatives will spend time with their constituents, who are dependent on social wlefare, in order to get a better understanding of what the real issues affecting their day-to-day lives are. Produced by Mind the Gap Films for TV3, the four part documentary series, airing on Monday night at 9pm, will show the TDs exactly how the other half lives. As well as Willie O’Dea, the other TDs in the four-part documentary are Catherine Byrne (Fine Gael – Dublin South Central), Joanna Tuffy (Labour – Dublin Mid West) and John Halligan (Independent – Waterford). Dáil on the Dole takes TD’s out of the current affairs realm and into the real world. Viewers will get an insight into the reality of living on social welfare and …

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Women should avail of BreastCheck

Ennis Councillor Mary Howard is encouraging all women aged between 50 and 64 to attend their regular mammogram, when invited. “All women in this age group should ensure they are on the BreastCheck register, so they can be informed about their free check-up appointments,” Councillor Howard stated. “It’s simple, just log onto www.breastcheck.ie, to register, or Freephone 1800 45 45 55. “There has been a drop of 6% in women attending appointments over the past four years, which is worrying as a minimum of 70% attendance must be maintained to deliver the most benefit to the women screened,” she pointed out. “The vast majority of screenings are found to be perfectly healthy. Where problems are detected, early treatment greatly increases the likelihood of full recovery. Over 450,000 people have attended regular BreastCheck mammograms since the programme began. “Under this Government, there has been a major expansion of screening including Bowelscreen, screening for diabetic retinopathy and newborn deafness and cystic fibrosis. …

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Clare emigrant makes immigration his business

It is all coming full circle for Doolin-man Lorcan Shannon. The young North Clare emigrant has recently opened his own immigration law firm in midtown Manhattan. Lorcan deals mainly with new visa applications but since opening his Broadway offices he has also worked with undocumented Irish eager to legalise their situation. It is in this area he has encountered a recurring anomaly. “One thing that comes up that is kind of curious is that often people might not realise that their parents are U.S. citizens from way back. They don’t realise that citizenship is quite often something that is acquired at birth if certain conditions are met. There are people who have come to our office who were citizens but who thought they were living here illegally. That is not uncommon so you have to explore every option and get as much information from the person as you can because often they think something is nothing but it is a …

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Sarah set for Voice semi-final

A young Scariff singer has described securing a place in the last eight of The Voice competition as “surreal” and a “dream come true”. Sarah McTernan from Fossabeg never expected to reach the semi-final when she first entered the competition but is now hoping that huge support from the Banner and elsewhere in the country will help her win a place in the last four. Regardless of how she fares in the remainder of the competition, she believes the huge experience and training she has obtained in recent weeks will prove invaluable in her bid to make a singing career out of her favourite past-time. Only two members of Rachel Stevens’ team were in a position to qualify from the quarter-final on Sunday night. Kieran McKillop was selected from the public vote, leaving Sarah sweating it out with her team mate, Paddy Kennedy for the second spot in the last four. The Scariff singer has been working on her confidence …

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