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Element Six pension trustees acted ‘in good faith’

By Tim Healy MORE than 100 members of the  pension scheme of industrial diamond manufacturers, Element Six have lost a Commercial Court action against their trustees over the winding up of the fund. Mr Justice Peter Charleton this week  ruled the trustees of the pension scheme of the Shannon comnpany had acted reasonably and in the interests of the scheme members as a whole when they agreed in November 20011 to accept an offer to wind up the fund on the basis of a contribution of €37.1m from the company. The members sued the six trustees claiming breach of trust and conflict of interest in accepting the offer and said they should instead have demanded the company make a €129.2m contribution to make up the deficit in the scheme.   The claims were denied. The trustees, comprising three management nominees and three worker nominees,  accepted the €37m offer in a 3-3 vote in which the management nominee exercised his casting vote. …

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Ennis flood “danger has not passed”

ENNIS has so far escaped the brunt of Storm Brigid, however town manager Ger Dollard has warned, “the danger has not passed.” He outlined that river levels are in the “red zone”, with a high risk of flooding still in place. And he urged members of the public to remain vigilant as stormy weather conditions are expected to continue. The town manager was speaking at a meeting of Ennis Town Council this week where he pointed out that the town’s flood defences have been working well. “Despite the very heavy rain and high tide Ennis has performed exceptionally well over the last number of weeks,” he said. He outlined that there have been major improvements to flood defences in recent years with a number of works carried out at various locations including the Gort Road Flood Relief Scheme. While work on phase 2 of the Ennis Flood Relief Scheme continues. And he stated that since the flooding of 2009 the …

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EU flood fund still open

SENATOR  Martin Conway, on this Wednesday, welcomed comments from the office of the EU’s Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, that Ireland can still apply for assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund. “I am greatly encouraged that the Regional Policy Commissioner has advised that Ireland can apply for funding within the deadline provided if it informs the Commission that additional information will be submitted at a later point. “The EU Solidarity Fund was created in response to severe flooding in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and France during the summer of 2002. “It is possible to access this funding if the majority of a population of a region are hit by serious and lasting effects in living conditions and stability, a definition which could certainly be applied to the destruction which has been wrought on coastal communities and low lying areas around the country,” the Fine Gael senator stated. He urged the Government to push ahead with an application to this …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Limerick hospital trolleys at a high

CLARE TD, Timmy Dooley, has expressed outrage at the lack of progress being made on A&E waiting times at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, which currently has the highest number of patients waiting on trolleys in the country. “I am listening to harrowing stories week in week out from Clare patients who have been deeply traumatised by prolonged waiting times in cramped and overcrowded conditions at the acute hospital with no end in sight. We are now told that it will be 2016 before the new A&E facility will be opened to the public. “The facilities are poor but it should be possible with appropriate funding to increase the throughput of A&E, without this increase in funding the new facility to be opened in 2016 will not resolve the crisis. “The CEO and staff are doing an outstanding job given the resources available to them and if it wasn’t for their dedication and hard work, the situation would be …

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Shannon to Boston all year

THE  launch this Wednesday of the Aer Lingus daily year-round service from Shannon to Boston is a major boost for the West of Ireland. The service is one of the key aspects of Aer Lingus’ renewed commitment to the independent Shannon Airport this year, with the airline also set to operate a six-times weekly, year-round JFK New York service from March 30th. In addition, Aer Lingus will also commence a new Malaga service at the end of April and, through its partner Aer Arann, under the Aer Lingus Regional service will also operate a new Bristol route this summer as well as almost double capacity on Manchester and Birmingham services. The increased transatlantic services will build on the strong momentum achieved last year when passenger numbers on US services at Shannon, in the airport’s first year as an independent entity, grew steadily, with the latter half of the year showing a 22% rise on the same period in 2012. The …

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Red Cross Appeal for flood victims

THE Irish Red Cross – Dublin has launched the Ireland Floods Appeal in aid of families affected by the flooding across much of the country, including Clare. As with previous national flood appeals, The Irish Red Cross will work closely with the Community Welfare Services of the Department of Social Protection to identify those most in need of assistance. As well as Clare, other areas badly hit include Cork, Limerick, Louth, Waterford and Wexford. Anyone in the County of Clare in the affected areas that wish to apply for assistance from the Irish Red Cross should first contact The Irish Red Cross – Clare Area, James Lafferty (086-3659708) or email laffertyjames19582013@gmail.com; and in turn should contact their local Community Welfare Office The Irish Red Cross – Clare Area will be appealing for funds over the next few weeks through a series of events.  

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Council reiterate flood risk warning

CLARE County Council has this Tuesday afternoon reiterated its appeal to land, home and business owners in flood prone locations to remain vigilant during the coming days with further heavy rainfall expected to cause localised flooding. Council engineers are continuing to monitor water levels on the River Fergus and Lower River Shannon and say the risk of flooding will increase as a result of rainfall from this evening’s frontal system and further rainfall up to and including the weekend. The council, in conjunction with the emergency services, is progressing contingency arrangements in terms of additional pumping capacity and other flood alleviation measures at flood prone locations along the River Shannon and River Fergus. Meanwhile, Clare County Council is continuing to assess the scale of the damage caused by Storm Brigid to local authority managed public infrastructure over the weekend.   It says it is focusing on the cleanup of storm affected areas and to undertake remedial works to local authority managed …

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Still waiting for Kilkee sewage plant

THE wait for a sewage treatment plant in Kilkee looks like it’s going to enter its ninth year at the very least. At Monday’s meeting of Kilkee Town Council, Councillor Lily Marrinan Sullivan asked for a “complete update regarding the status of the new sewage treatment plant, promised since 2005.” In reply Anthony McNamara, senior executive engineer with Clare County Council, said that responsibility for the progression of the scheme now rests with Irish Water and not with the local authority. “The Kilkee and Kilrush Sewerage Schemes were included in the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government Invest Programme 2010-2013. At the time of the transfer of the local water services function to Irish Water, this scheme was at a stage where the preliminary report had received approval of the Department of the Environment. The next step was to procure a site investigation contract, phase one of the wastewater treatment plant and phase two of collection systems,” Anthony …

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