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Consumer confidence on the up

  CONSUMER confidence in County Clare is up this year according to businesses organisations in the county. Jack Kelly of Kilrush Chamber of Commerce said that from his experience people are “a bit more upbeat this year.” “I would call it optimistic, in the sense that people are a bit more upbeat this year. I think it is because this year wasn’t as bad or as recessionary as other years even though things are still fairly tough. There are little buds of light there and people are in a slightly better form,” he said. Mr Kelly said that West Clare businesses have had a strong year because of the good weather during the summer. “We had a reasonable year in West Clare in the sense that the weather has looked after us. In terms of tourists coming to the area we had the National Famine Commemoration and the Loop Head lighthouse. People are slightly more upbeat than they have been …

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Dream come true for Home and Away fans

A GROUP of North Clare cousins received their ‘dream ticket’ recently meeting an internationally renowned actor and their story will feature on RTE television over Christmas. Twins Amy and Claire Costello from Ballyvaughan with their cousins Ciara Costello also from Ballyvaughan and Aoife O’Loughlin from Corofin, saw their dream come true when they got to meet Dan Ewing who plays Heath Braxton in the Australian soap Home and Away as part of Una’s Dream Ticket which will be broadcast on Christmas Day. “We remember coming back from playschool and watching Home and Away while eating our lunch and we have been watching it ever since,” Aoife told The Clare Champion. Una’s Dream Ticket is a wish-fulfillment show which will be broadcast on RTE TWO during the Christmas period presented by Una Healy from girlband The Saturdays. This 11-part series kicks off on Christmas Day and continues daily until Saturday January 4. “It used to be Jedwards Dream Factory and we watched …

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Warning over cold callers

Gardaí have issued a warning in relation to cold callers claiming to be water inspectors or trades people after receiving a report this week of a theft under these circumstances. Superintendent Derek Smart of Ennis Garda District said the incident occurred between 2pm and 3pm on Monday, December 2 when a man gained entry to a house in Connolly Villas, Ennis on the pretence of checking the water connections. While there, he stole a sum of money. Superintendent Smart said, “This person just turned up to the door. The advice is not to let anybody into your house. Legitimate people who are carrying out water metering checks do not need to go into your property, so you don’t need to let them into your house. If you are at all in doubt, just say you are closing the door and you are phoning the gardaí to establish their bona fides. Anybody doing this door to door stuff should have identification”. …

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Kilrush Town Council meeting abandoned

THE December meeting of Kilrush Town Council was abandoned in chaos on Thursday night following a heated row between town manager Anne Haugh and Councillor Tom Prendeville, who claimed he was more qualified than the town manager. During the row, it emerged that the town council executive had wanted Councillor Prendeville to apologise for a comment made to a council official earlier this year at a meeting discussing the placement of double yellow lines on both sides of the Back Road, outside St Senan’s National School. At this week’s meeting, Councillor Liam O’Looney asked the manager to report on any progress on the proposed layby on the road. The motion, inadvertently, led to the row igniting between Councillor Prendeville and Ms Haugh. “I have studied. I’ve a lot more qualifications than you have,” Councillor Prendeville told MsHaugh. “Could you withdraw that? Withdraw that comment. What qualifications have I got? How dare you,” the town manager replied. “I won’t be attending …

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Huge response to Shoebox appeal

THE annual Team Hope Shoebox Appeal has, as usual, received phenomenal support in Clare, particularly from children, who are embracing the concept of sharing with those who have very little. Schools, families, communities and businesses across the county have helped bring great hope at Christmas to more than 4,000 needy children in disadvantaged areas overseas. By taking part in the 2013  appeal, they have turned just another day in a child’s life into something special in Africa, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In total, 163,513 shoeboxes were collected throughout Ireland. According to Niall Barry, Team Hope executive director, receiving the shoeboxes from Ireland is the highlight of the children’s year. In the receiving country the Team Hope network of partners are currently delivering the shoebox gifts right into a child’s hands ­ in hospitals, schools, shelters, churches, orphanages, community centres or family homes.

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100% microbiological compliance for public water supplies

MICROBIOLOGICAL compliance in Clare County Council’s public water supplies was 100% for the third successive year in 2012, according to a new report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, entitled “The Provision and Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland: A Report for the Year 2012”, also shows Clare’s chemical compliance levels to be amongst the highest in the country at 99.2%. The EPA also featured a summary of boil water notices and water restriction notices active or issued to consumers by Clare County Council during 2012. One water restriction notice, affecting approximately 80 customers of the Ennis Public Water Supply, remained active at the end of 2012 while no new boil water notices were issued during the year. Clare County Council is responsible for the operation of 21 Public Water Supplies serving a population of 79,913. The EPA is the supervisory authority over public drinking water supplies and provides powers of enforcement to ensure actions are taken where …

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Another name for Shannon Free Zone

IF the Shannon Free Zone project was starting today, what would it be called? That’s the question Shannon Chamber president, Kevin Thompstone posed when addressing attendees at the chamber’s annual president’s lunch on Thursday. While the Free Zone has strong global brand recognition, Mr Thompstone suggested that in today’s environment, a descriptor such as Shannon Economic City or Shannon Economic Zone might better reinforce the concept that Shannon is not just a business park but a Special Economic Zone in Ireland offering a mix of airport, industrial, residential, commercial and green areas to facilitate economic activity. Almost 300 business people attended the lunch at Dromoland Castle to hear keynote speaker Barry O’Leary, IDA Ireland’s chief executive, comment on Shannon’s potential as an international investment location. “IDA is looking forward to working on behalf of Shannon and the wider region under a new structure. Our aim will be to support companies in the region, helping them transform their operations and also …

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Festival of Cribs in Liscannor

THE annual Festival of Christmas Cribs will be held at Liscannor Church from Saturday to Monday next. More than 550 cribs, representing the traditions of over 50 countries around the world, will be on display. According to parish priest, Fr Denis Crosby, this is a great opportunity to see the variation of interpretations of the Christmas story in different cultures. The display should be of particular interest to young children, so families are being encouraged to visit the church over the weekend. The festival will be open each day from 10am to 6pm.

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