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12 flights cancelled at Shannon due to strike

DUE to industrial action by Aer Lingus cabin crew, 12 flights to and from Shannon today (Friday)  have been cancelled. These were to New York, Boston, Heathrow and Faro and all customers were offered the option of rescheduling their flights or obtaining a refund. While an invitation to talks was issued to Impact (the union representing the cabin crew) this week, spokesman Niall Shanahan said, on Wednesday, it had come too late to prevent disruption. “For certain, the strike will go ahead on Friday. The situation we’re in is that we don’t know when the talks are going to take place, we don’t know what’s on the agenda, other than the company has indicated they want to talk about the rosters issue. We don’t know how fast they can process this and we don’t know to what degree there’s going to be good faith shown in developing a solution to this. With 48 hours to go, it would be unrealistic to expect …

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Liam Minogue.

6,000 people attend Peer Emotions centre over two years

Over 6,000 people experiencing mental health or psychological difficulties have visited an Ennis drop-in support centre over a two-year period. According to official figures produced by Emotions Peer Support Centre, the number of attendees went up from 2,800 in the period from May 2012 to May 2013 to 3,200 from May 2013 to May 2014. The centre, which celebrates its two-year anniversary with an open day from 11am to 3pm this Friday, has attracted almost 8,000 hours from volunteers. Liam Minogue of Emotions Peer Support said the centre has been a huge success, since it opened its doors two years ago. Mr Minogue said eight Health Service Executive (HSE) staff participated in a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Peer Support Group workshop at the centre, which can now be provided for clients in day facilities run by the HSE in Ennis, Shannon, Lisdoonvarna, Ennistymon and Kilrush. Operating on a budget of €18,500, the drop-in centre operates from Monday to Friday …

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Ogonnelloe publican on BBC2

A LONDON pub, run by an Ogonnelloe publican, will bloom in front of millions of viewers in the United Kingdom this Friday. Gerry O’Brien, who was inspired by the picturesque surroundings on the banks of Lough Derg to adorn his London pub with hundreds of flowers, appears on Gardeners’ World this Friday at 8.30pm. His parents, Helen and Rita O’Brien, were very proud of their orchard and the surroundings of their house, which seemed to have rubbed off on Gerry, judging by the extraordinary efforts he has gone to to set his Kensington pub apart from others in London. Gerry will provide a brief history of his upbringing in South-East Clare, as part of the background about how he brought his love of flowers and horticulture to his award-winning pub. BBC2 cameramen spent a day filming in Gerry’s pub last year and it is expected that most of Friday night’s show will centre on The Churchill Arms. Gardeners’ World is …

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Wheels in motion for Bike Week launch

RENOWNED Irish singer, Luka Bloom and world champion surfer, Fergal Smith, both avid cyclists, will be in Ennistymon this Friday afternoon to launch National Bike Week 2014. Funded and co-ordinated by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Bike Week has some 400 cycling events nationwide and runs from June 14 through to June 22. Supported locally by Clare local authorities, Clare Local Sports Partnership and the An Taisce Green-Schools Travel Programme, the annual initiative features a range of events for all ages including family fun cycles, cycle to work and school events and bike fixing workshops. The launch event will take place at 1.30pm when over 100 children, parents and staff of Mol An Óige in Ennistymon will gather on their bicycles alongside Luka Bloom and Fergal Smith. The cyclists will meet at Ennistymon church car park at 1.30pm where they will cycle to and from Lahinch along the 4 kilometre Ennistymon–Lahinch Cycleway. Jane Hackett, National Coordinator of Green-Schools …

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Corofin man pedals forward Shaun’s cancer-care cause

A Corofin native is among 30 friends and work colleagues of a County Donegal man, who is currently battling cancer, who will this week embark on a 350km charity cycle along Ireland’s western seaboard. They are on a mission to raise funds for Friend’s of St Luke’s and Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust. Tour for Shaun 2014 is inspired by 26-year-old Shaun Doherty, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011. The charity cycle will see the group, which includes Declan Keane from Corofin, travel through counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal, during the June Bank Holiday Weekend. Many of the cyclists participating in the fundraiser are based in London, where civil engineer, Shaun relocated to from his home village of Clonmany five years ago, having graduated with a BSc Hons in Construction Management from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. During a trip home to Donegal in August 2011, Shaun was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, at …

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Poll topper in Killaloe area Joe Cooney is lifted on high by supporters as he is deemed elected during the election count at The West county Hotel, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

Mistakes were made in local elections

THE parties behind the big winners in the Local Elections have all admitted they made mistakes and each believes it cost them seats. When the newly-elected Clare County Council sits for its June 6 AGM, there will be 12 Fianna Fáil, eight Fine Gael, seven Independent and one Sinn Féin members. In percentage terms, 57.5% of the electorate voted, with 52,114 people casting their ballot. Despite picking up nearly 36% of the valid poll, Fianna Fáil’s director of elections, Gerry Reidy, said he believes they could have managed two further councillors in West Clare and in Shannon. Fine Gael, while securing 31.5% of the valid vote, took some heavy blows, with Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins losing his seat after opting to run in the Killaloe area. Independents secured over one fifth of the available vote and with it, a quarter of all representatives in the new council. Sinn Féin, with 4.2% of the total valid poll, had a candidate …

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‘Strategy didn’t work’ for Fine Gael in Killaloe

FINE Gael got 40% of the vote in Killaloe but ended up with just two councillors in the six-seat electoral area, despite one of its candidates topping the poll. So successful was Joe Cooney in the area that he almost doubled the quota on the first count. Indeed, his surplus was larger than the first preference votes of each of his party colleagues in the area, outgoing Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins and sitting councillor Pat Burke. The distribution of that surplus, however, did not go where party officials might have liked. Half went across to the four Fianna Fáil candidates and just over a quarter (390) went to his party colleagues. According to Jim McMahon, Munster organiser for Fine Gael, the party had a strategy in the electoral area but it didn’t work. “Joe Cooney is someone who, in the last number of elections, has got a very big vote, Joe Cooney’s vote, if you look where his vote …

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Cahercon estate for sale at €1.25m

THE former Salesian Convent in Cahercon, which operated as a secondary school until 2002, is available for sale at a price of €1.25m. The main house has been unoccupied for ten years. Joint Agents CBRE, Dublin and Costelloe Estate Agents, Ennis have brought the 302 acre property to the market on behalf of Receiver Paul McCann, Grant Thornton. The estate, situated two kilometres from Kildysart, features planning permission for the manufacturing, storage and distribution of explosive materials. The proposed development included six single storey buildings on an overall site area of 17.4 hectares. The Cahercon estate includes a five bay, three storey Georgian residence constructed in 1790. Caheracon House was the seat of The Scott family until the 1850s. In 1920 it was purchased by the Maynooth Mission to China, who in turn sold it to the Salesians Sisters of St John Bosco in 1962. From 1962 the sisters ran a second level boarding and day school for the next …

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