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Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins

Pride Of Place ceremony in Derry

THREE Clare voluntary groups will be hoping to emulate the success of organisations like The Clare Crusaders, Kilnaboy Youth Club, Tuamgraney and other Clare communities in previous years by being named a category winner at the IPB Pride of Place awards ceremony in Derry on Saturday. Clare County Council has this year selected An Sean Dún Housing Estate in Roslevan, Mountshannon Community Council and Miltown Malbay Tidy Towns to participate in the annual All-Ireland competition, which aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that community groups make to society. In July, representatives of the three groups made presentations to the competition judges, Blaise Tracey and Declan Nelson. Speaking ahead of Saturday’s awards ceremony, Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins said, “The council’s decision to nominate each of the three participating groups is recognition of the hard work they have undertaken for the good of their communities. The communities of An Sean Dún, Mountshannon and Miltown Malbay can be justifiably …

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3,000 tonnes of rock salt on standby for winter

CLARE County Council has access to more than 3,000 tonnes of rock salt to treat the county’s roads during the coming winter. A third of the available salt stock is currently in storage and has been held over from last winter, which was one of the mildest in recent years. An additional 2,000 tonnes of salt is available to the council to draw down when required from the National Roads Authority (NRA) and the Department of Transport (DTTAS). Council staff have already participated in their first road treatment operation of the winter.  The surface temperature dropped low enough last weekend for a number of trucks to be dispatched from the local authority’s maintenance facility at Beechpark, near Ennis. Senior engineer, Tom Tiernan confirmed that the availability of more than 3,000 tonnes of salt was the same as what was made available to the council during last winter. These stocks will be used to treat strategic national, excluding the motorway network  …

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Quin footbridge most preferred option

A PETITION yielding 596 signatures lobbying for the construction of a footbridge in Quin has led a local councillor to call on the council to abandon plans to provide pedestrian access on the existing bridge in favour of developing a footbridge. Councillor Sonny Scanlan, who last week announced his intention to retire from local politics, said the last item he would like to secure for his community before he hangs up his boots is a footbridge. He explained that over the last two months, a petition calling for a footbridge to be constructed has been issued to locals and has secured 596 signatures. Although a part eight planning application has already been granted for works on the existing bridge, Councillor Scanlan is calling for this to be scrapped. “What I want them to do is to forget about that and to put in a part eight for a footbridge, instead of the footpath on top of the bridge. There would …

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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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