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Shannon passenger numbers continue to grow

SHANNON Airport’s recovery continued in October, with the month showing a growth in passenger numbers of almost 5% on the same period last year. After years of decline, the airport has been moving in the right direction since the summer, with consistent monthly improvements. In October there were 116,901 passengers at Shannon, compared to 111,699 in October 2012. The biggest increase in October came in European traffic, although US traffic was also up by 4%. Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said the October figures rounded off a great week for the region, in which Limerick’s programme for its year as the National City of Culture was unveiled. “This week is a special one for the region, with the very exciting programme launch for Limerick National City of Culture 2014. The Shannon Group will play a pivotal role in the project by bringing in visitors for the many flagship events in the programme next year. We are equally pleased that Shannon …

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LRC invites mediation talks

THE Labour Relations Commission has invited both Aer Lingus and the IMPACT Trade Union to talks in Dublin on Friday. It follows an overwhelming vote for industrial action by IMPACT members, who work as cabin crew. The decision to close the cabin crew base at Shannon is just one of the issues that form the background to the dispute as IMPACT spokesman Niall Shanahan explained; “By the time we were putting a ballot paper together it had become a live issue, but up until that it had been issues about rosters, breaches of previous agreements made with management and what had been identified as a sort of withdrawal by management from industrial relations processes over the previous couple of years. “The mechanisms we had to solve problems in the past, it seemed the company were unwilling or unable to engage with them. This led to a back up of an awful lot of problems, deep feelings of resentment among cabin …

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Car with garda’s cloned number plates sought

AN ENNIS-based garda’s own car registration number has been cloned and is being used on a Volkswagen Golf, wanted in connection with a spate of burglaries in the county. The revelation came at a public meeting of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee and senior gardaí also confirmed that a speed van also had its plates cloned. The issue of cloned plates was raised by Councillor Tony Mulqueen. He said he was aware of members of the public who had received speeding fines in the post in respect of times and locations where they could not have been. He said it is “so easy to clone” registration plates and is “very upsetting” for people affected by this practice. Chief Superintendent John Kerin said they are aware of the practice and that gardaí are not immune, as he outlined details of a car wanted by the gardaí. “There were 11 or 12 burglaries committed in the last month in the county, in which …

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Clare hotels’ green record goes platinum

TWO Clare hotels have received the highest accreditation available under the Green Hospitality Awards (GHA) programme after they successfully reduced their energy consumption by almost a third and reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by over 60%. The Armada in Spanish Point and Hotel Doolin join an elite group of just seven Irish hotels who possess Platinum accreditation under the hospitality sector’s only environmental accreditation programme, which is supported by the EPA through the National Waste Prevention programme. In awarding the Clare hotels, both operated under hotelier John Burke, the programme inspectors noted their combined efforts to reduce water consumption by 38% per guest, cut the amount of waste going to landfill by 62%, and reduce electricity per guest by 28% since joining the programme two years ago. “The green programme has led to a consequential reduction in operating costs at both hotels and in doing so has enabled us to offer the best possible value to locals …

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World Championship wins for Clare ladies

THE biennial ITF Taekwon-Do World championships was held in Benidorm, Spain last week, when 1054 black belts from 58 countries, competed for the title of World Champion across the four disciplines, writes Seamus Hayes. Kilkishen-based Louise McCagh from Shannon Taekwon-Do Club become the fourth individual senior champion from this country and the first ever female winner of a senior title. This marvellous achievement followed wins over Ornella Bustos (Argentina), Andrea Engdahl (Norway), Petra Mucsy (Hungary), Joanna Paprocka (Three time world champion and 8 time European champion from Poland) and Ilona Omiecinska (Poland). Joanne Potter and Nicole Moriarty of Quin Taekwon-Do Club along with Skye Slattery from Shannon TKD were both part of the junior ladies team who were crowned the best ladies team at the world championships. The trio took gold in the team pattern event, where they beat opposition from Italy, USA, Spain and Norway. Joanne was part of the Junior team which won gold in the team sparring …

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National awards for Hayes and Durack

‘Clare Champion Sports Editor Seamus Hayes and former Clare hurling goalkeeper Seamus Durack were among the GAA giants receiving awards at a special ceremony in Dublin on Friday evening. Dublin’s Barney Rock, Clare’s Seamus Durack and Down’s Greg Blaney were inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2013 Cadbury Gaelic Writers’ Association Awards at Dublin’s Louis Fitzgerald Hotel. This year’s awards see Rock, Durack and Blaney become the latest GAA legends to be recognised by the Gaelic Writers’ Association. Durack was the star between the posts for the Clare hurlers during the ’70s when he won two National Hurling League medals. He was also recognized for his goalkeeping performances by winning All-Star awards in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Rock was a key figure on the Dublin side that won the 1983 All-Ireland senior football title. He also won four Leinster senior medals for Dublin and three All-Star awards between 1983 and 1985. His son, Dean, was part of this …

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Abbey Street

Photographs focus on Abbey Street doctor

A SERIES of photographs has been rediscovered, providing an invaluable link to life in Abbey Street, Ennis from the late 19th Century. Leonard Costello, who uncovered the photographs in his Dublin home recently, outlined his family background and details of the photographs, some of which feature his father, Robert, as well as Carmody’s Hotel, where a number of people were killed when a floor collapsed during an auction. Leonard is trying jog people’s memories about stories or anecdotes in relation to Abbey Street and would also welcome old photographs. He is yet to confirm the names of some people in the photographs, while the photographer is also a mystery. Leonard has a very special reason for piecing together all the details. “The 100th anniversary of my father’s birth is coming up in two years time and I want to create a family book to commemorate his life. He contributed a great deal as a doctor, especially during his years working …

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Stay a little bit longer

AN innovative marketing strategy has been unveiled by the independent Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) to dramatically increase the stay time of thousands of visitors to Clare. SAA chairman Rose Hynes said the new Shannon Group will market the airport and the former Shannon Heritage visitor attractions, such as Bunratty Castle, King John’s Castle in Limerick and the shop in the Cliffs of Moher, in a far more coherent way. She said the group is also focused on increasing the length of stay for visitors travelling to Clare; trying to move away from the reliance on day trips to the big attractions. Boosted by the Ryanair announcement of the delivery of 300,000 extra passengers by the end of next year, with eight new routes starting next April, Ms Hynes said airport managers would try to sell tickets for their visitor attractions when they are marketing the airport abroad. “We are going to do a variety of things here at the airport. …

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