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Baby boom for sea eagles

THE Mountshannon White Tailed Sea Eagles have welcomed two chicks this past week and visitors are expected to flock to catch a glimpse of the new arrivals. The new chicks bring the number hatched there to six. Four of these survived to fledge but, sadly, one was shot in Tipperary in its first year. Last year, the birds were unsuccessful in breeding but Dr Allan Mee of the White Tailed Sea Eagle reintroduction project says the hatching of two birds this year is very promising. “It’s pretty much always two eggs and then not always two chicks hatch, or one or both might die at critical times of hatching. Fingers crossed both will make it – certainly one will, but two only make it in a good year. But then, Lough Derg has been very productive – there’s plenty of fish – so I’d be pretty hopeful” Dr Mee said. He said, so far, the reintroduction scheme has had six …

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Dragonboats help women with cancer

A NEW group in Castleconnell, just over the Limerick border, is looking to help women who are recovering from breast cancer by dragonboat racing. An ancient Chinese sport, dragonboat racing dates back over 2,000 years and has been in Ireland since the 1990s. Chairperson of Shannon Dragons, Bríd O’Connell, says it is very helpful for women in recovery. “It’s the upper body movement. It aids recovery and it helps to minimise lymphedema, which is a complication you can have if you’ve had the lymph nodes removed.” Originally from Birdhill, Bríd has close ties to Clare, having gone to school in Killaloe and having a role with Sixmilebridge Scouts Group. She says some women from Clare are already involved with Shannon Dragons but she wants to spread the word a bit. “We have women coming from Shannon and Ennis but we want to reach into the community in Clare; we want women around the county to know about this. We have …

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Keeping tides at bay in Shannon

THE idea of Shannon Airport being washed away by floods sounds like an Irish take on the disaster movie genre but, according to the Office of Public Works (OPW), if the cards fell in an unfortunate manner this year, more than €103 million worth of damage could be done. While the scenario is unlikely, the OPW has found that, in the event of a once-in-a-thousand-year flood, 21 buildings at the airport would be at risk, with overall potential damages of €103,237,626. It also says in the event of a mid-range event, damage could be in the region of €174m, rising to €289m in a high-end future scenario. In a statement this week, Shannon Airport said it is not overly worried about flooding but it is taking steps to protect what is a hugely important piece of regional infrastructure. “In its 70 years of operation, Shannon Airport has never closed for flood-related issues. We are liasing with the OPW and Clare …

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Funds available for village renewal

The Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council is inviting expressions of interest from new and established business and community groups across the county in relation to the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017. An initiative under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development ‘Realising our Rural Potential’, funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, the primary aim of the €20 million scheme is to enhance and develop towns and villages socially, economically and culturally. Up to 300 towns and villages across Ireland will benefit from funding under the scheme, which will be made available locally through Clare County Council to support rural regeneration.  The scheme is specifically targeted at rural towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000. Applications from towns can range from €20,000 to a maximum of €100,000. Chief executive of Clare County Council Pat Dowling said, “The scheme will allow local business and community groups to fund projects that can …

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End of an era for Broderick

BRODERICK Furniture in Killanena has been selling furniture and providing local employment in East Clare for more than 75 years but it is to relocate to Ennis. Its flagship shop has been a feature of the East Clare village and drawing people from across the country to its scenic location overlooking Lough Graney. The business, which remains family-run, will begin the process of relocating as it prepares to centralise its operations in Ennis and close its doors in Killanena. The Broderick story began over 75 years ago, when Michael Broderick Senior opened a small grocery shop on a hillside in Killanena. Soon afterwards, he followed with the establishment of a petrol station and a general hardware store. After the war, Michael travelled by lorry to auctions in Liverpool to buy furniture, which he then sold in Killanena. This proved extremely popular and by the mid-’60s, his son Michael (Mickie) took over the business and started selling new furniture and developing …

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Kilkee losing out on conference boost

KILKEE’S business community has lost out on an early season financial fillip, as a conference had to be moved out of the resort because there is no hotel open that could cater for the more than 100 delegates. Secretary of Kilkee Tourism, John Williams, has vented his and the community’s anger at losing the conference. He described as “outrageous” the fact that there are three hotels in the resort – The Ocean Cove, Kilkee Bay Hotel and The Marine Hotel – capable of hosting this event and all three are closed to business. Raidió Corca Baiscinn is hosting the CRAOL Féile National Community Radio Awards, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, on May 26 and 27 and had planned to host the event locally. However, the conference, a national event recognising the talents of broadcasters and producers involved in community radio stations, will now be held in The Falls Hotel in Ennistymon. Raidió Corca Baiscainn staff and tourist interests …

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Oil spillage exercise at Spanish Point

A training exercise testing the response capabilities of Shannon Foynes Port Company, local authorities and other organisations who operate in the vicinity of the Shannon Estuary took place at Spanish Point this week. The simulated event, which was hosted by Clare County Council on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team (SEA-PT), centred on a major spillage of crude oil from an exploration platform located approximately 220km off the south west coast of Ireland with oil coming ashore at Spanish Point. Other parameters for the exercise included notification that the source of the pollution had been brought under control and that there had been no casualties on the oil exploration platform. There was a practical element on site at Spanish Point involving operation and demonstration of equipment while a technical briefing was be carried out on equipment on site for officials. The second day of the event consisted of the management of a simulated large scale event for senior management …

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One campside plan for Fleadh 2017

THERE will only be one campsite for Fleadh revellers this year if the plans in the event licence application are approved, local businesses have been told. While there were a number of campsites last year, this year there is only one campsite, which is in Clarecastle, in the event licence application. Details of car-parking arrangements and event control were outlined at the meeting by Clare County Council Fleadh co-ordinator Noleen Fitzgerald. The early part of the festival comprises of Scoil Eigse, a summer school of Irish traditional music, song and dance for children. It is competition time from Thursday to Monday, when competitors will flock from the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom and provincial champions from all over Ireland. Patrons can also look forward to concerts, lectures, Seachtain na Gaeilge and Fleadh TV. The Gig Rig will be located in Abbey Street again, although its orientation and layout will be slightly different this year. It will back …

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