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Urgent call for blood donations

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is concerned that it may not be able to maintain supplies to hospitals over the coming two weeks. While hospital requirements have been down in recent months (-4%), donations levels have dropped significantly (10-12%). “Donors have been attending in their usual numbers over the last six weeks. However, blood donations have remained low due to the fallout from the haemoglobin measurement technology issue identified at the beginning of November,” said operations director, Paddy Bowler. “Up to October 2015, one in seven donors attending clinics were unable to donate for various reasons, since November 2015 this has worsened to one in four attending donors being unable to donate. The increase is caused entirely by donors presenting with haemoglobin levels below permitted EU donation limits.In recent weeks the IBTS has requested hospitals to conserve the use of blood groups O negative and B negative. “This morning (Monday) blood supply levels of the main blood groups stand …

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Newmarket bid to maintain winning streak

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Local backing for Doonbeg coastal works

FOLLOWING an information meeting between Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland and Doonbeg Community Development, the chairman of the community group has said the vast majority of people in West Clare favour the proposed coastal protection works at the golf club. Consultants on behalf of the resort, which employs 230 people during the summer months, have submitted plans to Clare County Council, which would involve the use of 200,000 tonnes of limestone during the eight-month project. The consultants also claim that the West Clare economy would benefit to the tune of €38 million, between 2017 and 2024, if permission is granted. The plans lodged with the local authority will cost €10m if they are given the go-ahead, while the “beach augmentation” will be a 2.8km long coastal protection infrastructure, which golf club management say is “not a wall”. “From what we have heard, 99.9% of local people are in favour of these coastal protection works,” Doonbeg Community Development chairman …

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Prince Charles takes a stroll through the famous Burren landscape this afternoon, with Dr Brendan Dunford, Burrenbeo project manager and Dr Sharon Parr, also of Burrenbeo. Photograph by John Kelly.

Showcasing the island of Ireland

Liverpool was the location for a major tourism business networking event this week, where there was a great opportunity to showcase Ireland. The visit of Prince Charles to the Burren last week gave North Clare an edge in noting it as a destination. More than 300 top international buyers from 40 different countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Brazil and Russia, were provided with a wealth of information about the island Ireland at ExploreGB 2016. As part of its ongoing partnership with VisitBritain, Tourism Ireland – together with 18 Irish tourism companies, including Doolin2Aran Ferries – took part in ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s flagship international event which took place in Liverpool. The two-day workshop involved a series of pre-scheduled, one-to-one appointments – showcasing Britain and the island of Ireland to an influential audience of international buyers and helping to deliver additional itineraries and brochure pages featuring both destinations. ExploreGB was also an ideal opportunity for Tourism Ireland to highlight the British-Irish Visa …

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Shannon Airport crash exercise

Shannon Airport has today (Tuesday) conducted a crash-exercise to validate the combined response of the airport together with the support of the primary emergency agencies and other key stakeholders that would react to any aviation incident at the airport. Participating agencies include Shannon airport, Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, Health Service Executive, National Ambulance Service and Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Students from NUIG’s College of Hotel Management took on the varied roles of passengers, relatives and press. Commenting on the crash-exercise, Niall Maloney, airport operations director, said: “Crash-exercises are conducted every two years at Shannon Airport as a condition of its aerodrome licence and we use the opportunity then in conjunction with the other emergency services to test the regional major emergency plan and site specific arrangements for the airport. “The safety of our customer airlines, passengers and staff is paramount to us and today’s exercise allows us to test our readiness for a real life situation should it …

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Information evening on Tidy Towns

A Tidy Towns Information evening will take place this evening (Tuesday) from 5.30pm in the council chamber at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis . The event is hosted by Clare County Council and will acknowledge the positive work that Tidy Towns groups are doing across the County, in a voluntary capacity, to enhance the County’s towns and villages. Speakers will include cathaoirleach James Breen; chief executive Tom Coughlan, Tidy Towns adjudicator Lorraine Power, Doonbeg Tidy Towns Chairperson Tommy Comerford, Clarecastle Tidy Towns Chairperson Christy Leyden, and Billy Flynn, ecologist and biodiversity expert. The evening will conclude with a questions and answers session which will enable groups to raise issues in relation to Tidy Towns generally with particular emphasis on the Tidy Towns competition.

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€350,000 physio investment in Ennis hospital

A €350,000 investment in a new physiotherapy department at Ennis Hospital is delivering for Clare patients in a variety of ways, according to hospital management. The department opened its doors in March 2015, following the redevelopment of a vacated area of the main hospital building. Patient response to the new department, now approaching its first full year of operation, has been very positive, says Niamh O’Shea, physiotherapy manager, Ennis Hospital. “We had been delivering a service in temporary accommodation, which was separate from the main hospital and which had a lot of limitations around space, access, comfort and privacy for our patients. While our patient satisfaction surveys for the services themselves were always high, we did receive negative feedback from patients about the environment. So the new modern department has replaced a building that was really not fit-for-purpose and represents a significant improvement in that respect,” said Ms O’Shea. As the old physiotherapy department was in temporary accommodation, not connected …

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Pearse and Plunkett material online

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has  made personal papers and photographs related to Joseph Plunkett and Patrick Pearse available online. This material forms part of the 1916 Digital Collections – unique documents related to the seven signatories of the Proclamation that tell the story of the momentous events of 1916. The Plunkett and Pearse papers are now publicly available, free of charge, at catalogue.nli.ie. They join the Éamonn Ceannt collection, published in December to coincide with the launch of the National Library’s 2016 Programme, and the papers of Tom Clarke, James Connolly, Seán MacDiarmada and Thomas MacDonagh, which were published in January and February. The 1916 Digital Collections are a culmination of years of intensive work by the NLI team, with more than 20,000 items now available online. The digitised papers include diaries, postcards and photographs that tell the stories of the family and working lives of each signatory, alongside dramatic records of their activities during Easter Week 1916. …

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