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EU research funding for Shannon SME

A SHANNON company is set to receive a share of €10 million in funding from the EU’s scientific research fund. AltraTech has been named among five small Irish companies with big ideas awarded with the funding to help get their ideas to market. The company has developed a portable battery-operated kit for the quick detection of the HIV virus. It is expected that the inexpensive, disposable kit could dramatically improve HIV management worldwide. The five Irish SMEs will receive EU grants of up to €2.5 million each from the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 funding. The grant is for innovative small firms to get ideas from the lab to the market and help generate growth and jobs in Europe. Through the funding, the SMEs can finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product. The companies involved in the projects will also benefit from 12 …

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Man in custody after drugs find in Ennis

Gardaí targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs in Ennis have seized cocaine and cannabis following a planned operation today (Thursday). Shortly after midday, members of Clare Drugs Divisional Unit discovered a significant quantity of cocaine, with an estimated value in excess of €60,000, and cannabis, with an estimated value in excess of €20,000, pending analysis, in an open area near Clonmore Road. Follow up searches and investigation are currently taking place and a man in his 30s has been arrested and is currently in custody at Ennis Garda Station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking ) Act 1996.

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Bishop Eamonn Casey laid to rest

The funeral mass for Bishop Eamonn Casey took place in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Haven and St Nicholas this afternoon (Thursday). The attendance included President Michael D Higgins, members of Galway City and County Councils, representatives of Trocáire and other organisations he lead, as well as people from all walks of society. The principal celebrant was the Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby, former chairman of Trocáire, while the preacher was Bishop of Achonry Brendan Kelly, a former priest of the Diocese of Galway. Also at the altar were bishops and priests from dioceses across the country and the UK, where he ministered. In his homily, Bishop Kirby said, “Eamonn Casey, whose mortal remains are with us today in this cathedral, had a long life as priest and bishop. He did much good. As a young priest with the Emigrant Mission in London, he enabled many young couples to acquire their first home, to rise out of tenements …

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Fleadh Cheoil on film

Tourism Ireland has unveiled a new film about the annual Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which was hosted in Ennis in 2016 and returns there in 2017. The film shows some of the highlights of the Fleadh Cheoil in 2016, including Irish dancers and traditional pub sessions in Ennis. The film captures the atmosphere of this great music festival – encouraging potential visitors around the world to come and find out more about Ireland’s incredible culture and sample the Fleadh Cheoil for themselves. The film is being promoted through Tourism Ireland’s social platforms, including Facebook (3.8 million fans worldwide), Twitter (379,000 followers) and YouTube.

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University Hospital Limerick.

Uncertainty over emergency department opening date

CONCERN is growing over the lack of a definitive date for the opening of the new Emergency Department (ED) at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). UL Hospitals’ Group chief executive officer Colette Cowan told a recent HSE West Forum meeting that she hoped the new ED would open at the end of May, subject to funding and the recruitment of new nurses. Ms Cowan stated that about 20 of the 30 nurses required for the new ED have already been hired and the group confirmed this week that a few more have been employed since that meeting. However, Councillor Tom McNamara has expressed concern about the lack of a definite date for the opening of the new department. Councillor McNamara has called for an initiative to incentivise the retention of nurses in acute hospitals, such as providing free training to those studying nursing provided they stay for five years in the public system after they graduate. The Fianna Fáil councillor said …

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Quin student helps to make history

A Quin student has entered the history books after helping a University of Limerick team to top honours at an international engineering and commerce competition in Montreal. David Monaghan and his three University of Limerick (UL) team members – Limerick duo David, Patrick Lu and Eoin Hann and Darren Feehily from Tipperary – became the first team outside of Canada to claim the top award at the International Engineering and Commerce Case Competition (ECCC). David and his team were flying the flag for Europe, with the other 11 teams hailing from North America and the Middle East. As well as winning the overall title, the UL team won Best Engineering Solution and Best Sustainable Solution honours. The team had to create innovative solutions in three different tasks. These included creating a data centre design and strategy, designing a solution for a tunnel based on hyperloop technology and developing a strategy for the autonomous vehicle market. Hosted by the renowned Université Concordia, …

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Council in shock over sudden death of senior engineer

A CLOUD of gloom hung heavily over Clare County Council this week following the sudden death of senior engineer Sean Ward. The 63-year-old Abbeyfeale native, who moved to live in Sixmilebridge after joining the council in 2001, fell ill on Saturday and died unexpectedly last Monday morning. At his funeral mass, Bishop Emeritus Willie Walsh paid tribute to the major contribution that Mr Ward made to public service and to the local community, through his musical talents with the Sixmilebridge Folk Club. Musicians from throughout the county played various pieces in his memory during a moving and emotional ceremony attended by a large number of officials from Clare County Council and other local authorities where he previously worked. An accomplished accordion and concertina player, he could play a variety of instruments, including the fiddle, tin whistle and piano. Funeral goers were told that the deceased had expressed a wish to donate all of his instruments to his beloved folk club. …

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Breen on trade visit to Texas

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Clare deputy Pat Breen departs for Texas today to begin a four-day Enterprise Ireland trade visit to the USA. The highlight of the trade visit is the Enterprise Ireland exhibition stand at South by Southwest (SXSW), a world-famous digital technology conference, trade show and festival combination where emerging technologies, original music and independent films converge. Minister Breen said; “This Enterprise Ireland trade visit to SXSW is opening doors in the competitive USA technology market for the 11 participating Irish companies. I am delighted to support the work of Enterprise Ireland who are playing an instrumental role in assisting Irish entrepreneurs to build cutting edge, valuable technology companies, opening offices in the US, securing significant partnerships, and closing larger-than-ever funding rounds from US investors and international syndicates. The 2017 SXSW delegation is further evidence of Ireland’s thriving and growing indigenous start-up ecosystem”. Minister Breen will meet Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Austin Chamber, visit Texas …

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