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First of the beast’s snowfalls hits Clare

The first of the pending snowfalls has begun in Clare this Tuesday evening with shoppers scurrying for cover from the hail and sleet which began falling. As people buy up milk, bread and other emergency supplies ahead of the Beast from the East’s arrival Clare County Council has advised the public that it currently has 1,300 tonnes of rock salt are currently in storage at the local authority’s Depot/Maintenance facility at Beechpark which will facilitate 24 separate treatments of the entire road network.  An additional 500 tonnes of rock salt may be drawn down by the Local Authority if it is required. A Status Yellow Weather Alert is in place for Clare with Met Éireann forecasting that air and ground temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees below normal, with significant wind chill and penetrating severe frosts. Snow showers, mainly affecting eastern areas on Tuesday, will progressively become more widespread and heavier through midweek. A spell of persistent and heavy snow …

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Council ready for cold snap

Clare County Council says it has ample supplies of rock salt to treat the county’s road network during this week’s cold spell. 1,300 tonnes of rock salt are currently in storage at the local authority’s depot/maintenance facility at Beechpark, which will facilitate 24 separate treatments of the entire road network. An additional 500 tonnes of rock salt may be drawn down by the local authority if required. Clare County Council’s fleet of salt spreader trucks will facilitate treatment of strategic National (excluding the Motorway Network) and Non-National Routes around the county. Clare’s motorway and dual carriageways will be treated directly by contractors on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which assumed responsibility for the National Motorway Network in 2013. A Status Yellow Weather alert is in place for Clare with Met Éireann forecasting that air and ground temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees below normal, with significant wind chill and penetrating severe frosts. Snow showers, mainly affecting eastern areas on …

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Nobody injured in accident

Traffic is slow on the Ennis to Limerick motorway near Newmarket-on-Fergus, following a single vehicle accident earlier this morning.  Nobody was injured in the accident, which was attended by units of the the emergencies and the gardaí from Shannon. Motorists are being urged to be patient as traffic is expected to be slow in the area for the next half hour as the vehicle is being removed.

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Commemoration for Volunteer John Ryan

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the death of IRA volunteer John Ryan of Crossagh, Newmarket-on-Fergus, who was the first fatality of the War of Independence in Clare. Ryan, a member of the IRA’s East Clare Brigade, was killed by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary during a cattle drive on the Blood-Smyth estate in Castlefergus, near Quin, on Sunday, March 24, 1918. To mark this centenary, a group of local historians and republicans has formed the Volunteer John Ryan Centenary Committee and, next Sunday, a series of commemorative events is planned. The committee has already had Ryan’s headstone professionally cleaned and his grave refurbished at Clonlohan Cemetery. On Sunday, a piper will lead a procession from Castlefergus to Liddy’s house in Doora, where Ryan died from his injuries, for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at 2pm. There will be a laying of wreaths at the spot where Ryan was killed, a reading of the 1916 Proclamation and …

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Breen visits Limerick’s Digital District

The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen is keeping abreast of pioneering work in cutting edge technology. On Friday, he visited the University of Limerick’s Digital District at the Park Point Facility in the city for a briefing with Dr Mary Shire, vice president of research and enterprise and Dr Ann Ledwith, Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. The Digital District will host a newly established Digital Skills Academy, the Nexus Digital Accelerator and the confirm centre for smart manufacturing. Ireland’s first Masters in Artificial Intelligence (AI) was launched on January 25 by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys. The programme will run in UL’s Digital District from September, in association with the Irish Centre for High End Computing. After his meeting, Minister Breen said, ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaping a new reality for Irish businesses, creating exciting new opportunities for innovation across all industries. To keep …

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Donnah crowned Woman of the Year

A MOTHER of three, living in a Direct Provision Centre on the border of Clare and Limerick, has been awarded the 2017 Clare Woman of the Year award by the Soroptimist International Ennis and District Club. Donnah Vuma, who is from Zimbabwe, has lived in Knockalisheen with her young family for more than three years, while she waits for her asylum application to be processed. In the centre, there are over 200 people, including families and single men. In 2009, a report by the University of Limerick’s Centre for Peace and Development Studies deemed the centre only suitable as a short-term solution. However, nearly 10 years later, 226 people continue to reside there. Donnah had hoped for a better future when she arrived in Ireland but, instead, found that she was unable to work. Rather than succumb to the very difficult economic and institutional life in the centre, with no freedom or choice over food choices or meal times, Donnah has …

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CIF welcomes €115b boost for infrastructure

The Construction Industry Federation has welcomed the €115 billion investment in infrastructure announced by Government today (Friday) as a “potential gamechanger” for the southern region. The announcement was made as part of the government’s 10-year public capital programme and National Planning Framework. Regional CIF director, Conor O’Connell stated, “Today’s announcement could represent a game-changer for the southern region and for the Irish economy. Cities like Cork, Limerick and Waterford and our regional towns can be developed into a dynamic regional economy in the south that can counter-balance the irish economy’s overdependence on the greater Dublin area.The construction industry in the region has significant capacity to deliver the essential housing, infrastructure and specialist buildings underpinning the ambition outlined in the National Planning Framework.” Mr O’Connell said the €115 billion outlined will give construction companies in the region the confidence to invest in their businesses again and we expect to see significant increases in activity across all our sectors including civil engineering, …

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Ennis course for tour guides a national first

ENNIS is pulling out all the stops when it comes to reaping the benefits of coach tourism, including job creation and increased visitor numbers. The county capital will shortly be the first in the country to offer an accredited course for tour guides. It is expected that the Certificate in Arts in Local Heritage Tour Guiding, run through Limerick Institute of Technology, will be up and running in the coming months. Details of the initiative were unveiled at this week’s meeting of members of the Ennis Municipal District. Councillor Johnny Flynn, a member of the Ennis Coach-Friendly Committee, called for financial support to be given for its delivery. The course will be run as a joint tourism initiative between the local authority, local businesses, Ennis Chamber and LIT. The venture is the result of efforts being made to capitalise on Ennis’ achievement of Coach-Friendly Destination accreditation last year. Brian McCarthy, acting director of services, explained, “A working group/committee was formed …

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