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Economic imbalance ‘driver of deprivation’ in Clare

IN light of the Pobal Deprivation Index findings, Sixmilebridge parish priest, sociologist and rural Ireland campaigner Fr Harry Bohan has highlighted the economic imbalance in Clare, with peripheral regions left out of the development and job creation loop. The index, which was based on the 2016 Census, found that parts of Ennis, Kilrush, Kilkee and Ennistymon were areas of particular deprivation, while areas considered ‘disadvantaged’ included Sixmilebridge and Shannon. Lack of employment is an issue in all of these areas, with Kilrush Independent councillor Ian Lynch claiming that Clare Minister of State Pat Breen has failed to bring any jobs to West Clare, in his role as minister for jobs. “Ennis is to Clare what Dublin is to Ireland. I talked to a man from West Clare last week and he told me that, between three parishes in West Clare, there will be 12 children combined in infant class. The populations of West, East and North Clare have been stripped. …

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Shannon CEO hits out at government aviation policy

The chief executive of the Shannon Group has hit out at the Government’s aviation policy, which is facilitating the dominance of Dublin Airport. Addressing members of Clare County Council at their November meeting, Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said that aviation policy in Ireland is leading towards the country having only a single airport, in Dublin. Mr Thomas provided figures that showed Dublin Airport had increased its market share from 72% in 2005 to 87% this year and was increasing its dominance at an incredibly fast pace. He said that, despite the growing market across the island, Shannon Airport’s share had fallen from 5.4% to 5.1% since it achieved independence from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA). Nonetheless, the airport had managed to increase passenger numbers by 25%. The Shannon Group was seeking to change the “very immature” Government policy with regards to airports, he said. “The Irish aviation policy was only written a few years ago and this makes it …

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Minister Pat Breen

Breen on final day of trade visit to Germany

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen completes an Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Germany today. Central to the itinerary are two world-renowned trade fairs; Medica, the leading global event for manufacturers of medical technologies, and Agritechnica the world’s largest exhibition for agricultural innovations. The initiative is part of Enterprise Ireland’s Irish Advantage export promotion campaign, which aims to promote the advantages of sourcing suppliers from Ireland directly to buyers in key export markets. As part of the trade mission to Germany, Minister Breen also officiated at the opening of Irish medtech company Aerogen’s new German commercial headquarters. A world leader in aerosol drug delivery, the opening of Aerogen’s office in Germany, underpins Aerogen’s strengthening position in the German market, as it expands its international presence. The Galway headquartered company now has offices in the UK, France, Germany, China, the United States, and The Middle East. Germany is a key export …

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Blood Bike Mid West seals new deal with UL Hospitals Group

UL Hospitals Group has signed a three-year service level agreement with Blood Bike Mid West for emergency transport services. Blood Bike Mid West has been transporting laboratory samples, breastmilk, drugs and much more to, from and between acute hospitals in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary since 2013 and currently has a team of over 40 volunteer riders, both male and female, operating in the region. Based in Limerick City, Blood Bike Mid West offers a 24-7 emergency callout service to UL Hospitals Group. They have a dedicated weekend service transporting samples from the Maternity Hospital to the Laboratories in UHL and in addition they have scheduled collections in Ennis, Nenagh & Croom Hospitals every weekend. “We did in the region of 1,000 urgent callouts last year: bloods, urine, placentas, breastmilk, burn dressings, whatever is needed,” said Larry Hunt, Operations, Blood Bike Mid West. Blood Bike Mid West rely entirely on donations and are always on the lookout for new volunteers. These …

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Santa set to jet in to Shannon

Short of Christmas Eve itself, Santa’s busiest day in the run up to December 25 is set again for Shannon Airport as the big man jets in for his fifth successive annual Santa Flights on December 2 and 3. Over 2,000 children and their parents or guardians will be carried into the skies to meet Santa 15,000ft above sea level in what has now become the most anticipated event for children across the region aside from the big day itself. The excitement will be palpable and noise deafening as the delight fills the Shannon terminal and skies above for a very special two day treat for children from across the country. To raise even more funds for the Shannon Group charities this year, the airport is putting a new lottery system in place, to replace the €9.99 charge per seat last year. A €1 per seat application fee will apply to enter this year’s lottery and if you win the …

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Future of Shannon PO unclear

CLARIFICATION is this week being sought about changes to the operation of Shannon Post Office. It is not thought that there is any danger of the post office closing, rather of it no longer being run by An Post, with possible future implications for staff and services. “It came to my attention that there are changes planned for the post office in Shannon and, given the importance of this essential service to Shannon Town and the Shannon area, I sought further clarification from An Post about any such changes,” said Minister of State Pat Breen. “Officials from An Post informed me that it intends to convert Shannon Post Office from being a company-run office to one run by a contractor in the coming weeks.” Mr Breen said he was assured the changes will not mean a reduction in services there. “I have been assured by An Post that the change in business model for the Shannon office will not in …

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Kilrush Marina a cool place

Kilrush Marina is one of six new locations included in the marketing programme for the Cool Route project, which aims to grow numbers of private craft, super yachts and passenger liners visiting the coastlines of Ireland. Discussions led by the Harbour Master at the Port of Galway, Captain Brian Sheridan, led to the inclusion of an additional 150 nautical miles of Irish coastline, incorporating counties Clare, Galway and Mayo, into the bi-directional yacht cruising route. Cathaoirleach of Clare Councillor, Tom McNamara, said Clare will now be promoted to a growing marine visitor clientele as part of a wider Cool Route marketing programme. “This new sea route is being marketed internationally and will have a common branding, booking and information system. Clare’s coastal locations already have well-developed landside tourism infrastructure and, therefore, have plenty to offer marine visitors in terms of scenery and attractions,” he added. Brian McCarthy, acting director of economic development at Clare County Council, said the inclusion of …

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Public lighting repairs at town estate

CLARE County Council is “putting safety first” by repairing public lighting at an Ennis housing estate. Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen has supported the local authority’s decision to repair the public lighting in the Mayard Estate on the Lahinch Road. “The lighting has been an ongoing issue for the residents in the estate, complicated somewhat by the ongoing process to have the estate taken in charge by Clare County Council,” said Deputy Breen. “Having worked with the residents of Mayard, which is part of the Shanballa Housing Development, I am only too aware of their concerns regarding the lack of public lighting, particularly with the onset of darker evenings as winter approaches. “I am delighted to receive notification that the local authority is putting safety first in this matter and have repaired the lights. It is now writing to the bondholders to advise that in the interest of public …

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