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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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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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