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IDA job slide in Clare

THE number of net jobs gained and lost in IDA’s client companies in Clare was the fourth worst in the country last year, according to the release of “worrying” new figures about the agency’s local job creation record. While the IDA created only 15 new jobs in its seven Clare client companies in 2013, these were outweighed by 76 job losses, resulting in a net loss of 61 jobs. These job losses has prompted a call from Clare Fianna Fáil TD, Timmy Dooley for the establishment of a new regional development agency or a beefed up Shannon Airport Authority. Despite the location of the internationally recognised industrial development Shannon Free Zone and the benefits of having Shannon International Airport in the county, the IDA’s job creation record in Clare was the fourth worst in the country last year. The Banner County found itself of having the dubious distinction of being in the company of six other counties where the number …

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Quay to unlock Clarecastle’s tourism potential

By Jessica Quin WITH the 200th anniversary of the quay in Clarecastle approaching next year, its potential for attracting tourism to the region has been recognised. The Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary has highlighted that Clarecastle has “plentiful opportunity” to raise its tourism profile. Preparation of the SIFP was commissioned by Clare County Council, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Councils, Shannon Development and Shannon Foynes Port Company. Responding to a motion at a recent meeting of Ennis East electoral area councillors, senior planner, Gordon Daly stated, “The SIFP for the Shannon Estuary published in November 2013 recognises that the village of Clarecastle with “its rich heritage and historical importance as a military base, commercial port and fishing village, provide plentiful opportunity to raise its tourism profile.” “The SIFP is a high level plan that it is intended will be incorporated into the Clare County Development Plan 2011 – 2017 by variation in 2014. Clarecastle …

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Divesting Shannon schools from church ruled out

By Owen Ryan IT now seems almost certain that no school in Shannon will be divested from the Catholic Church, as the  Bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O’Reilly has ruled out making any change. In April of last year, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn published the results of primary school patronage surveys from 38 towns across the country, Shannon being the only place in Clare that was included. The report, which followed that survey, recommended that the Bishop of Killaloe be asked to consider options that would provide accommodation for an Educate Together school locally. It claimed that its survey had established sufficient demand for such a school. However, Shannon parish priest Fr Tom Ryan told The Clare Champion that the bishop feels that any change is unnecessary, after consultation with the community. “The bishop, as patron, was asked to report to the minister by the end of October and he reported that after extensive consultation with the schools in Newmarket and …

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ESB worker’s death prompts safety revision

By Carol Byrne AN inquest into the death of a tree surgeon, who was electrocuted by power lines, hear this week that the practice of using pole pruners has been changed by the ESB. Christopher Lysaght from Finniterstown, County Limerick died after the pole pruners he was using came in contact with power lines, while he was working at Hurlers Cross, near Shannon, in May 2010. In addition to confirmation that pole pruners are no longer used in this kind of work, the jury at the inquest made a recommendation that electricity should be turned off when such works are taking place, in the interest of safety. Evidence of cause of death and identity had been heard at a previous sitting of the coroner’s count. In a deposition, Mr Lysaght’s colleague, Jean Pierre Auvert said he and his crew were maintaining hedges at the Hurler’s Cross. He said the crew got permission from the landowner to carry out works. They …

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Mart sale could spark boycott

FARMERS in North and West Clare may boycott the majority of marts in the county if Ennistymon Mart is sold, a local representative has said. The possible sale of the town-centre site to a discount retailer has provoked anger among the farming community in the mart’s catchment area of Ennistymon, Kilshanny, Doolin, Liscannor, Miltown Malbay, Mullagh, and Inagh. Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association will meet on Wednesday next to discuss what action to take in relation to the possible sale. “I expect that members will look at a peaceful protest outside Clare Marts in Ennis and maybe we will contact Aldi too because they should know that local people aren’t very happy about this,” said Tom Clair, vice chairman of the Ennistymon branch of the IFA. “There is outrage in the area. We want the mart here to stay open. If this goes ahead now, there won’t be a place for a farmer to park his bicycle in his …

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Spirits are high despite the cold weather just before tickets for Garth Brooks go on sale.

Norah first for Garth tickets

HAVING spent 28 hours at the head of a very orderly queue, Norah Murphy from Kilkishen finally got her just rewards at nine o’clock on Thursday. First into The Irish Shop, Ennis, Nora purchased six tickets for the Saturday night Garth Brooks’s concert in July. The valuable as gold tickets are for the sixth tier of the Hogan Stand; she had no great choice in the matter as all the standing tickets had already been whipped up. Well, who’s going to enjoy the tickets along with Norah? “My boyfriend, Martin Owen Walsh; my sister and her fiance and my parents, Eamon and Mary. I’m really looking forward to the event, she said. “It was well worth wait”, she added. David and Eileen Woodford, of The Irish Shop had Ticketmaster personnel on hand to ensure that the computer sales went like clockwork. They were very impressed at how the queue had worked and the fact that everybody was in great humour. All three dates for …

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Ballynacally death inquiry ongoing

GARDA investigations are ongoing in respect of the discovery of the  body of Mr Tony McIlroy in Ballynacally on Saturday morning last. The body of 61 year-old, Mr McIlroy, from Kilmaley, was found  close to the community centre. A post mortem examination was carried out on Saturday and determined Mr McElroy died from natural causes. While gardaí have ruled out foul play and are treating the matter as a sudden death,  they continue to investigate the wider movements of Mr McElroy leading up to his death in order to prepare a file for the county coroner. Mr McIlroy’s funeral mass took place on Tuesday morning in Kilmaley Church, with burial afterwards at Mount Temple Cemetery, Kilmaley.

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Welcome for HSE salary disclosures

 CONFIRMATION from the HSE  that Section 39 organisations will be bound to disclose the salaries of their senior management staff from now on, has been welcomed by Clare senator Tony Mulcahy. “Over €812m  was provided to Section 39 organisations in 2012 and nearly 25% of the health budget is allocated to Section 38 and 39 organisations. There is increased scrutiny on how this money is spent. It is important that there is full transparency over how taxpayers’ money is being spent,” the Fine Gael senator said. “I am happy to learn that in accordance with the terms of the Service Level Agreement (SLA), which must be signed by all section 39 agencies receiving State funding, the salaries of all senior management must be disclosed,” he added.  

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