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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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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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