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Doonbeg makes Washington Post headlines

ONE of the world’s leading newspapers has cited US President Donald Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to build a coastal defence barrier at his Doonbeg golf resort as a major influence in forming his approach towards the European Union. Washington Post writer Griff Witte has written, “For a man who loves to win, the defeat, just a month after his election as president, has left a bitter taste. And despite the motley nature of the resistance, Trump seems to have singled out a lone culprit: the European Union, whose rules and regulations underpinned many of the objections.” The article was headlined Trump tried and failed to build a wall in Ireland. That could mean big trouble for Europe. Last December, in a joint interview with The Times of London and German newspaper Bild, President Trump said that Doonbeg was a “magnificent property” but added, “Now, I couldn’t care less about it.” He made his comment in the context of his frustrations with …

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Clare to gain from PRSI reforms

The PRSI reforms announced by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar, will benefit small business in Clare, is has been stated. “Small businesses and the self employed sector are the back bone of our economy and are particularly essential in the future economic stability of rural Ireland, accordinig to Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen. “These tax equalisation measures will ensure that if a self-employed person’s business experiences a bad year or a few bad years and they don’t pay PRSI in those years, they can now protect or improve their right to a contributory State pension, and a pension for their spouse or child’s guardian should they die prematurely,” added the Care deputy. “This Government continues to support growing small businesses and promoting job creation, at a time when we see a 12.7 per cent decline in the live register figures here in Clare since this time last year. “The Fine Gael TD said the new PRSI …

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Making strides on energy efficiency

€100 million for energy efficiency projects, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten said today (Wednesday) as he announced his endorsement of the Energy Action Conference, to be held in Croke Park on March 6. Minister Naughten said he is “determined to implement policies that can help people in fuel poverty make their homes more energy efficient and switch to cleaner fuels and noted that the additional funding will support critical fuel poverty programmes like the Warmer Homes scheme and the new Warmth and Wellbeing pilot which will demonstrate that improving energy efficiency can lead to wider benefits including less reliance on medication and health services”. “Fuel poverty, energy efficiency and the air we breathe are closely related issues”, he added. This made the theme of the conference in Croke Park ‘Fuel Poverty and Climate Change’, all the more timely. “Empowering people means giving them the means to reduce their bills, to cut the fuel they consume, …

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Bill for supervised drugs injecting

The Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017, which was approved by Cabinet this morning, will allow the Minister for Health to issue a licence, with conditions, to operate a supervised injecting facility. This is a controlled environment where drug users may self-administer, by injection, drugs they have brought with them. Such facilities will provide access to clean, sterile injecting equipment and have trained staff on hand to provide emergency care in the event of an overdose, as well as advice on treatment and rehabilitation. They will also help alleviate the problems associated with injecting on the street, including drug-related litter. The Bill does not establish a location for a supervised injecting facility, but a pilot facility is planned for Dublin city centre. The HSE have established a working group to gather data, consider possible options and to undertake consultation before any decision is made. Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Communities and the National …

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Free wi-fi for Ennis

ENNIS will soon be switching on to free public wi-fi. Clare County Council has commenced the rollout of free public wi-fi to Ennis town centre as part of a wider plan to introduce open internet access to several other Clare towns. Open wi-fi access was recently introduced to the Upper Market area of Ennis with plans to extend the free service to Parnell Street and Carpark, Abbey Street and carpark, O’Connell Street and O’Connell Square during the coming weeks. Clare County Council, which is funding the initiative, is working with local businesses to install the wi-fi hotspots in an effort to draw shoppers and business people to the town.

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Award for Lough Derg promotion

The role played by three local authorities, including Clare County Council, in developing and promoting tourism in the Lough Derg region has received official recognition at the 2017 Irish Tourism Industry Awards. The Lough Derg Marketing Group (LDMG) was named Best Local Authority Tourism Initiative at an event in Dublin on Friday night attended by Minister for Tourism Shane Ross. The Lough Derg Marketing Group was set up to develop Lough Derg as a key visitor destination. Its membership includes Clare County Council, Tipperary County Council, Galway County Council, Waterways Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland, community development organisations, and business and trade representatives. The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), the umbrella group for the tourism industry in Ireland, organises the Irish Tourism Industry Awards in conjunction with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland. Designed with the intention of rewarding innovation and excellence in tourism, 14 winners were selected from approximately 250 entries.

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A faster trip from Doolin to Inis Oírr

Tourists visiting the Aran Islands will have their journey time cut by more than half from April, as Doolin Ferry Company has announced that it is to launch a new boat, reducing the journey time from Doolin to Inis Oírr from 35 minutes to 15 minutes. The €2 million investment comes on the back of the redevelopment of Doolin Pier and is expected to generate up to 10 seasonal jobs at the ferry company. Liam O’Brien, who is the son of Bill O’Brien, the director of Doolin Ferry Company, said the new 200-passenger ferry, which will be called the Doolin Express, will be in place from April, offering the fastest crossing time to the Aran Islands. “It’s a new boat and we soft-launched it at the Holiday World Show this week. It will take 200 passengers and you will get to Inis Oírr in 15 minutes. It has an electronic stabilising system to counteract the waves and it is the …

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Seedsavers say – ‘love your garden’

IRISH Seeds Savers Association will hold its annual Love Your Garden Week from next Tuesday to February 12 and is encouraging budding gardeners to come along to the Scariff gardens for some inspiration and tips. Barry Foley of Irish Seed Savers said, “Now is the perfect time of year to start planning your garden for the coming year”. He said there are many things to consider when planning for the new seasons, such as where to plant flowers, how many raised beds to have and what was planted last year? He stressed that all of the work, care, harvesting and eating that lies ahead begins with a seed. “With the daylight hours increasing, February is a great month to get back to the garden. Cleaning out the polytunnel or greenhouse, tidying up the raised beds, doing some soil preparation and garden planning should all be on February’s to do list. “To help beat the winter blues, you could even start …

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