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New body for children’s hospitals

Minister for Health, Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) announced the publication of the General Scheme of the Children’s Health Bill 2017. This will create a single statutory entity to run the new national Children’s Hospital. The new body will take over the services of the existing three Dublin children’s hospitals, (Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital), and run the new children’s hospital, which is being built on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital, as well as the paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals. Minister Harris said, “This is a very important step on the road towards the new children’s hospital and follows the Government decision in April to approve the construction investment for the hospital and associated outpatient and urgent care centres. This new hospital is an extraordinary opportunity to transform paediatric services for children in Ireland by bringing together patients and …

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Inagh man missing

Gardaí are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of James Shannon, aged 50, who is missing from his home in Inagh. James was last seen at approximately 1am on Saturday, August 26  in the Inagh area. He was wearing dark trousers and a dark top and walks with a distinctive limp. Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí at Kilrush on 065 7077002.

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New tourism branding sought for Lough Derg

COUNCILLORS in Clare and Tipperary County Councils have united to support a call for the provision of a new tourism brand for Lough Derg. Clare County Councillor Michael Begley proposed at the last joint meeting of the Killaloe and Nenagh Municipal Districts that new tourism branding should be introduced for Lough Derg. Councillor Begley suggested the “Ring of Lough Derg” or “Slí Lough Derg” should be provided to give more reasons for tourists to stay longer in the locality. “When you come off the motorway, we are little more than a place to pass through to go to Ennis or Limerick. “In order to correct this, we need a product with a recognisable name that has built into it all the attributes of Killaloe and all the other areas up to Portumna. “If you had a product that was the circle of that route that would take a few days to complete, you would get more bed nights and food sold,” …

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Clare projects prepare for Pride of Place judging

The Clare Garda Division and the communities of Cooraclare and Cree are busily preparing for the adjudication stage of 2017 IPB Pride of Place competition, which takes place next Wednesday, August 30. Two separate projects have been nominated by the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council to participate in annual all-island competition, which is run by Co-operation Ireland and aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society. An Garda Síochána’s “Clare Teenage Disco” initiative was nominated for this year’s Pride of Place by Clare Chief Superintendent, John Kerin. The project has resulted in a reduction in assaults, incidents of drunkenness and complaints from members of the public. The project, which has been entered in the Community-based Youth Initiative category of the competition, has involved multi-agency co-operation as well as the involvement of the young people, parents and the business community. On Wednesday afternoon next, judges will take a tour of the Queens nightclub and …

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Decision delayed on Trump’s rock barrier

PLANS for a 28,000 tonne rock barrier to protect parts of the Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg have been hit by a fresh three-month delay. As a result, it is likely that a decision by Clare County Council on the planning application will not now be made until early next year. This follows the Trump family-owned firm, TIGL Ireland Enterprises Ltd seeking, and securing, a three-month extension from Clare County Council in which to respond to a raft of further information requests for the contentious plan to install a 28,000 tonne rock barrier to protect “as a matter of urgency” holes 1, 9 and 18 at the links course. The council requested the information across five pages in February and the golf resort’s deadline for replying is due to expire next Tuesday. However, ahead of the deadline, the resort has secured the extension to November 22 and the council will then have eight weeks in which to make a …

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Rory Casey, Fleadh Cheoil, runaí with Lábhrás Ó Murchú and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald at the Legacy day colloquim at the Fleadh in Ennis at the weekend.

Tánaiste optimistic on Clare job creation

MORE jobs will be coming to the Banner County before too long, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald has said. On a visit to Ennis, the Dublin TD said that areas away from the capital are not being forgotten, despite the uneven economic recovery. “The reality is that capital cities tend to attract foreign direct investment but what this Government is saying is we want to see our regions develop. There is a huge commitment to regional development. We spent a lot of time at our Cabinet meetings discussing regional development. In Dublin, you see the problems when you have over-development in terms of transport issues and housing issues.” Roche Ireland was a stellar employer in Clarecastle for many years but is on a path towards closure but Minister Fitzgerald said the Government is doing what it can to avoid that outcome. “Everything possible is being done; the IDA are actively engaging on that issue. I’ve met …

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Flatley did Fleadh opening for free

MICHAEL Flatley was not paid for his role in the opening ceremony of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis. Rumours had circulated that thousands of euro changed hands but Frank Whelan, chairman of the Fleadh Cheoil Committee, said this was not the case. “We were graced by Michael Flatley, who agreed to do it for us. I think there were rumours going around but he did this on a voluntary basis for us. There was no question of payment.” While a figure of 450,000 people attending the Fleadh has been reported, he said it was likely to have been slightly higher. “The event controller said it was 455,000 or 456,000 or something like that, but they rounded it off at 450,000. I’d say the actual figure would have been a little in excess,” he claimed. As the Fleadh reached its zenith on Saturday, there were around 100,000 people in attendance. This was the largest crowd seen on one day in …

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Clare ‘poorly served’ by tourism industry

Clare is being “poorly served” by the tourism industry, according to Kilkee-based business man and tourism consultant Cillian Murphy, while he believes the county should strive to attract fewer tourists but more bed nights. Mr Murphy has also suggested that the county is not benefiting sufficiently from the more than one million annual visitors to the Cliffs of Moher, with thousands of tourists arriving on a tour bus and then leaving after their visit without spending a bob. The former chairman of Loop Head Tourism believes Clare should not try to increase visitor numbers but should seek to provide more accommodation options across the county. “We do not necessarily need to attract more visitors. The marketing of Clare has been exceptional and has delivered ever-increasing numbers of visitors over the past 20 years. Our problem is we are not reaping the rewards in terms of the local economic benefits in our rural and coastal economies, such as local job opportunities. …

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