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Clare battered by storm

COUNTY Clare is once again counting the cost of storm and flood damage after the spring tides brought their expected fall-out in many coastal areas on St Bridget’s Day. A  Met Éireann weather warning remains in place for this Saturday night. Many road were impassable this morning, while thousands of homes, mainly in  North and Mid-Clare, were left without power. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre remains closed all day due to hazardous conditions there. Things came to a head about 6 o’clock this morning, when the sea surged in at Lahinch Promenade and Quilty, while the Strandline wall in Kilkee  was  also damaged. This time round, Killimer and Moyasta were badly affected along the estuary. Flooding also occurred at Clarecastle bridge, as well as on the road at Bunratty. The river at the Black Weir Bridge, near the Clare Inn, burst its banks, while the main Ennis to Kildysart Road, at Ballicorrick also flooded. Further flooding has been reported in …

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Clare volunteers urged to apply for Travel Awards

EIL Intercultural Learning has launched its ‘Travel Awards’ scheme for 2014, and the organisation is encouraging people across Clare to apply. Numerous Clare people have volunteered internationally with EIL in recent years including The Clare Champion’s Nicola Corless, Ballyea primary school teacher Emily Price and Killaloe’s Niamh Foley. EIL is Ireland’s oldest intercultural learning organisation, and is part of the worldwide non-profit Experiment in International Living (EIL) network. Since it was established in Ireland in 1964,  38,000 people have participated in EIL programmes, including study abroad, volunteering, language training and cultural immersion activities, as well as the annual Travel Awards. The Travel Awards scheme offers fully and partially funded opportunities to explore other cultures in different parts of the world. The 2014 Awards are now open for entries, and the closing date for applications is March 5. Clare people are encouraged to apply across a range of different categories, including special categories for 16-18 year-olds; access students; mature students (age 23+); …

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Coast Guard warns away from ‘exposed coasts’

THE Irish Coast Guard has warned people to stay away from exposed coasts as Met Éireann forecasts a coastal flood risk, due to the combination of very high spring tides, extremely high waves (greater than 10 m). The Coast Guard strongly advises the public not to go out on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas during the inclement weather. “Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline,” said  manager of the Irish Coast Guard, Declan Geoghegan. “Extreme care should be taken in exposed areas especially cliffs, promenades, slipways and all beach areas also photography in these weather conditions has become popular and people should not put themselves at risk for such activities or indeed any water related leisure activities.” Anyone travelling should monitor weather broadcasts  and heed the advice of the RSA on road use during severe weather and high winds. If …

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Earls impressed by student gathering

MUNSTER and Ireland rugby star Keith Earls was among the interested parties at  Shannon Airport terminal this week,  as more than 700 young people from around the country gathered to look at solutions for how people will live, work, play, learn, shop and travel in 2064. With support and mentoring from Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) investors, the Irish dragons Barry O’Sullivan, Peter Casey, Gavin Duffy and Sean O’Sullivan as well as Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence Ingrid Vanderveldt, the students competed for an array of prizes with the overall honours going to Limerick school Castletroy College. A number of Clare schools took part, including St Flannan’s. Luke Lawlor was one of the  students present from the Ennis school and he said his group were looking at new possibilities for accommodation. “We have an idea for automated housing, where you have a central AI in your house that does all your cooking and cleaning, if you’re away on holidays it’d look …

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Clare students changing drink culture

TWO Clare students have been shortlisted in a prestigious national student competition. Eric McNamara, from Ennis and Kevin O’Sullivan from Cratloe, are in the running to win prizes in the DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie competition, organised by the alcohol social responsibility organisation drinkaware.ie. DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie challenges third-level students to develop creative campaigns that highlight responsible drinking. The shortlisted teams receive up to €2,000 each to implement their proposed campaigns, and each team has been assigned a high-profile champion to mentor and support them over the coming months. Eight teams have been shortlisted for the 2014 competition, including Eric McNamara and Kevin O’Sullivan’s team, whose project is titled Don’t Ape it – Escape it. Editor of her.ie, Michelle McMahon from Clare, was assigned as their champion. Eric and Kevin, along with fellow team-members, attended a special media event at the Digital Exchange in Dublin last week when the shortlist was officially announced. Their project is a multifaceted campaign with an interactive mobile application based product …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Group delivers new hospitals’ plan

AN ambitious three-year plan to place acute public hospitals in the Mid-West among the top  three Irish hospitals by 2018 was officially launched on Thursday. The chairman of the UL Hospitals’ Board, Professor Niall O’Higgins explained the strategy set targets and indicated what must be done to achieve them in six hospitals. “Judgement on whether or not we have realised our vision by 2018 will be made by those we serve. “Having a map, a destination and a plan is just the first step in our journey. While the strategic plan identifies specific actions that we will take to achieve our strategic priorities, our success will depend on the extent to which each and every employee at UL Hospitals embraces the plan and becomes part of its implementation,” he said. The new interim UL Hospitals’ Board will focus on the delivery of four key strategic priorities over the next three years. These relate to developing a functioning single hospital across multiple sites; providing a quality, …

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Storm and flood warning for Clare

STORM and flooding expected this weekend could be “as extreme” as earlier this month, a senior Clare County Council engineer warned on Friday. Clare  County Council issued a flood and storm warning on Thursday for the entire county in advance of severe weather conditions that are expected over the next few days. On Friday afternoon Tom Tiernan, senior engineer, transportation, with Clare County Counil released a statement reminding people that an Orange Met Eireann weather alert pertains at present in respect of the county until Saturday night, February 1 and warning against unnecessary travel. “Storm and flooding activity is likely to be most severe in coastal areas including the Shannon Estuary where the high Spring tide of early Saturday morning will coincide with a substantial tidal surge and severe on-shore Westerly and South Westerly winds – conditions then will potentially be as extreme as they were during the coastal storms of early January,” Mr Tiernan stated. “In addition, this mornings …

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Rosie named San Francisco Rose

Rosie Keehan, daughter of Beagh musician Vincent Keehan, has been selected as the San Francisco Rose to compete in this year’s Rose of Tralee. The 22-year-old graduated from University of San Francisco last year and recently started a new job in the city. Although born and raised in San Francisco, Rosie and her brother, Michael, have strong connections with Ireland and their father, Vincent, returns regularly. As her party piece at the San Francisco Rose selection last week, Rosie sang Working the Streets, a song written by her father and recorded by Ann Kirrane. Rosie, and her family, will travel to Ireland in May where she will compete in the Rose of Tralee regional finals in Portlaoise.

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