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Jobs secured after yes vote

EIGHTY-seven jobs, which were going from Shannon, were secured on Wednesday, after IMPACT members of Aer Lingus’ cabin crew accepted proposals that emerged from talks at the Labour Relations Commission. Aer Lingus had written to employees telling them the Shannon base would be closed and work outsourced, following a dispute over how new aircraft to be used on transatlantic flights would be crewed. The company had been insistent that only four cabin crew would be on each flight, while Impact had wanted either five or six. Under proposals, which were hammered out at talks at the LRC, the transatlantic operation will start with five crew where possible, but this will change to four at the end of March. A joint review will take place in July of next year to consider patterns of traffic and whether crewing arrangements should respond to seasonal factors. IMPACT spokesman, Michael Landers said there will be some rewards for staff working on flights with four-cabin …

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Loyalty manager regrets distress caused

THE general manager of an Ennis-based company at the centre of a major data protection breach, has said he regrets “any distress caused by the criminal attack by an unknown third-party.” He has not, however, commented on the length of time the company stored customer data. Loyaltybuild, an international firm based on Station Road in Ennis, was the subject of what it described as “a sophisticated criminal attack”, which resulted in the full payment card details of more than 370,000 customers being accessed illegally, the details of an additional 150,000 clients being potentially compromised and the contact details of 1.12 million clients throughout Europe also being taken. The breach has affected people who availed of SuperValu Getaway Breaks and AXA Leisure Breaks between January 2011 and February 2012. Customers of ESB Customer Supply (now Electric Ireland), who availed of a similar discounted hotel break scheme between 2007 and 2008, were also affected. A number of other companies have also notified …

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Grave desecrated at Drumcliffe

AN Ennis couple were left devastated after the grave of their stillborn son was damaged by vandals last week. Christina Quinn and her husband Eamon buried baby Patrick almost three years ago. They regularly visit the grave and were stunned when they arrived there last Thursday evening to find it had been interfered with. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Christina said, “We were devastated, still are devastated. It’s a baby’s grave, why would they do that to a baby’s grave? That’s all I want to say, to get that put in the paper to let people know what’s happening out in Drumcliffe and I think there should be CCTV cameras installed there.” Christina said that they go to the cemetery two or three times a week and the damage was done at some point between 7pm on Wednesday evening of last week and 5pm the next day. The two were stunned at the scene that greeted them last Thursday. “I …

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Ennis omitted from primary care developments

ENNIS has been excluded in the latest list of 16 primary health care centres, which are being progressed nationwide by the HSE, Health Minister James Reilly has confirmed. Ennis was included as one of the 35 potential locations for primary care centres to be developed by means of a public-private partnership when the Government announced details of its multi-million euro stimulus package in July 2012. However, Minster Reilly has admitted that the public private partnership approach to developing a primary health care centre in Ennis will now not proceed, as local GPs are not in favour of the process. While Ennis remains on the HSE’s schedule of primary care centres to be developed, it looks as if a successful completion of this project is years away. Minister Reilly stated that an operational lease is being considered as the best option and the preferred choice of local GPs. “The HSE continues to engage with potential developers who have expressed an interest …

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Future of water supply under the spotlight

NUMEROUS questions and concerns about the future of water supply in the country were raised at last week’s meeting of Clare County Council, which was addressed by Ray O’Dwyer of Irish Water. Councillors expressed concerns that the new authority will eventually be privatised, while there were also claims that taking it out of the hands of local authorities will lead to an increasingly centralised approach, with rural areas being neglected. A number of other concerns were raised, with the members clearly concerned about the future regime. While Mr O’Dwyer did his best to deal with what was coming at him, he wasn’t in a position to answer everything to the satisfaction of the councillors. Lissycasey-based Fianna Fáil Councillor PJ Kelly asked about the future of Irish Water. “Will Irish Water, because of its relationship with Bord Gais, possibly be sold on in the future and if so, what protection is there for water users?” He said privatisation had produced “disasters” …

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L-R Piper Liam O'Flynn with Judith and Barry Merrill at the unveiling of a statue of Willie Clancy in Miltown Malbay on Saturday.Pic Arthur Ellis.

Miltown Malbay bursting with pride

MILTOWN Malbay Tidy Towns Committee took top prize in the annual IPB All-Island Pride of Place Awards announced at a ceremony in The Venue, Derry on Saturday night. They received their award in Category 3, which is for population size of between 500 and 1,000 people. County Clare also received a Livcom nomination. Speaking about the committee, the judges said, “Social supports and linkages, formal and informal, are important for coping with stressors and improving the quality of life. This community has this down to a fine art and has developed strong linkages and co-operation between diverse agencies. The town has maximised the full potential of an annual festival, which has gone from strength to strength. “A disused school premises has been transformed into a vibrant community resource. The private sector has shown courage and vision in developing a sizable supermarket together with other community facilities. This is a town very much on the move.” Minister for the Environment, Community …

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Seed Savers hit by funding cuts

IRISH Seed Savers Association has had to implement three redundancies and cut staff hours by almost half, as a result of funding cuts it has sustained this year from a number of sources that used to fund the national charity. The organisation’s project manager Lisa Duncan confirmed to The Clare Champion that in recent weeks the charity had to cut staff and staff hours due to financial constraints. She explained the charity relies on grant aid to survive and as it had sustained cuts to grant aid this year from a number of different organisations, it had to implement the cuts. On the back of this, it has launched an appeal to ensure the survival of the organisation and to enable it to continue its conservation work. According to the organisation, it received grant aid from the Department of Agriculture for the past number of years to help support it in saving Ireland’s agricultural heritage. Projects such as the creation …

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December date for Cooley Collins festival

THE rescheduled Cooley Collins Traditional Music Festival will take place on December 7 and 8, it was decided this week. The festival is normally held on the October bank holiday weekend but was postponed this year. “This year’s festival was postponed out of respect to the Donoghue and Woods families following a bereavement,” explained Lisa Nolan of the Cooley Collins festival. “We are holding the festival now on December 7 and 8. As it is normally on a bank holiday weekend, this year’s festival will be a smaller version, with the Saturday being the main day of the festival,” she added. Workshops, which have been a staple of the festival, will not be held this year with the focus shifting to performance. “We had four or five workshops organised for young people but they all had to be cancelled. We are not having them this time. We are just having the music and sessions,” Lisa outlined. The festival is held …

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