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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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Prendeville ‘shafted’ by FF party strategists

FOLLOWING his “rejection” by Fianna Fáil at the party’s West Clare Electoral Area convention on Monday, Councillor Tom Prendeville has claimed that he was approached immediately after the meeting and asked if he wanted to be added to the list of candidates. The sitting Kilrush Town Councillor refused to completely rule out running as an independent candidate, labelled Fianna Fáil a rural organisation, said the late Nelson Mandela wouldn’t have been successful at the convention and maintained that he was “shafted” by Fianna Fáil party strategists. Outgoing county councillors PJ Kelly (51 votes), Pat Keane (50) and Bill Chambers (32) were selected to run for the party in next year’s expanded West Clare constituency, which will elect eight councillors. This means that, as of now, Fianna Fáil will have no Kilrush town candidate in the field for the 2014 election. It has also emerged that there is no registered Fianna Fáil member within Kilrush town. Michael O’Neill (15), Tom Prendeville …

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Shannon’s explosive blast risk

HAZARDOUS chemicals removed by the army bomb disposal unit from a Shannon waste treatment plant could, if they had exploded, have caused major damage within a 1,000 metre radius, it has been claimed. Industrial buildings and offices at Smithstown Industrial Estate, part of the town centre and a section of the N18 motorway would have been in the line of fire. Clare County Council made the claim in a letter sent to the gardaí a few weeks prior to the December 1 joint army, garda and fire service exercise to dispose of materials from the Enva plant in Smithstown Industrial Estate. The council claims that “hazardous materials”, which had been stored at Enva, were classified as “high risk” with a “potential blast and fragmentation radius of 1,000 metres”. They included 36kg of Dinitrophenyl Hydrazine (DNPH) and 628kg of Cellulose Nitrate (CN), both of which are potentially explosive materials. The council letter noted the gardaí had “previously requested that this matter …

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Christmas magic in the Shannon skies

The magic of Christmas will come alive in the skies over Shannon for 3,000 lucky children. Ryanair, with the support of Shannon Airport, have decided to spread the Christmas cheer in an initiative to celebrate the recent agreement between the parties by offering free flights to meet Santa over the next two weekends. The initiative also celebrates Shannon’s first year as an independent entity, a year which has seen it make significant advances across a number of fronts, including stabilising passenger numbers and moving to growth mode for 2014. The free flights will operate on Saturdays and Sundays over this and the following weekend from Shannon Airport six times daily for 40 minutes each – enough time for the flights to get sufficiently airborne for Santa to jump on board from his sleigh and spread the festive cheer among the excited young passengers. The magical one-off opportunity will enable many children not alone to meet Santa some 15,000ft above sea …

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No Fianna Fáil members in Kilrush

KILRUSH town councillor Tom Prendeville has revealed that Fianna Fáil has no registered members in the West Clare capital. “Within Kilrush there is no registered member within five or six miles. We haven’t got the members. People are not coming forward. So don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and say everything is ok. We effectively tonight sent out a message that we are a rural organisation. It’s inconceivable that where we have the municipal capital of the new electoral area, we won’t have a Fianna Fáil candidate. That’s not good for Fianna Fáil. We are in trouble, big, big trouble in the urban areas,” Councillor Prendeville told Monday night’s selection convention in Spanish Point, where he failed to win a place on the ticket for the 2014 county council elections. Responding to news that Fianna Fáil membership is non-existent in Kilrush town, Deputy Niall Collins asked why that was the case. “I’d ask the question why isn’t …

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Mandela at Shannon

NELSON Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel transited Shannon Airport on April 7, 2000. He hadn’t sought re-election as President of South Africa the previous year but undertook a number of foreign engagements. This historic moment was captured by Mary O’Reilly,  Shannon Images

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Christmas tree throwing for charity

THE Mayors of Ennis and Clare this week joined the Clare Cystic Fibrosis Association in ‘lumbering up’ to launch the third annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship. The event, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, will see members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree. Organisers, Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council are hoping to make the January 5 event at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park a record breaker. Last year’s winner, John O’Dea from Limerick launched a Christmas tree 10.2 metres, just less than 2 metres short of the World Record held by Klaus Pubnaz who hurled a tree a distance of 12m at an event in Germany three years ago.

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East Clare objection to water abstraction plan

STRONG opposition to controversial plans for the abstraction of over 350 million litres of  water daily from Lough Derg to address waster shortages in the Dublin region by 2020 was expressed at a recent public meeting in Scariff. This comes hot on the heels of criticism of the Government’s failure to guarantee  water levels on Lough Derg will remain at a specified level at all times in the event this proposal, which has to be approved by An Bord Pleanála goes ahead. East Clare Tourism organised the public meeting in Scariff to support the campaign led by the River Shannon Protection Alliance (RSPA) against this plan. It was decided East Clare Tourism in conjunction with RSPA and local fishing clubs will continue their campaign against this proposal. RSPA has already dismissed reassurances from Minister of State, Deputy Fergus O’Dowd that the proposed water “abstraction” from Lough Derg “can only be done properly in environmental terms” as “empty promises”.

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