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Clare farmers to gain from ‘Cashflow’ scheme

There is good news for Clare farmers today (Tuesday) as Agriculture Minister Michael Creed unveiled the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme. The Scheme was developed in co-operation with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), which has confirmed that AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank will distribute the loans, making €150 million available to farmers throughout Ireland at low-cost interest rate of 2.95%. This is supported by €25 million being provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including €11 million in EU exceptional adjustment aid. “One of my priorities is to address the impact of the change in the sterling exchange rate and lower commodity prices in some sectors which have caused cash flow difficulties for farmers. “This innovative loan scheme will provide farmers with a low cost, flexible source of working capital. This will allow them to pay down more expensive forms of short-term debt, such as merchant credit or overdrafts, contributing to the ongoing …

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Shannon Chamber to host IAA chief

With the Government hosting a series of All-Ireland sectoral dialogues to assess how the UK’s decision to exit from the EU may impact on this country, Shannon Chamber is taking a similar approach to the aerospace sector. The business group has invited the CEO of the Irish Aviation Authority to address members at a breakfast briefing in the Inn at Dromoland on Thursday, February 9. Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said, “As highlighted in the National Aviation Policy for Ireland, published in 2015, aviation plays a crucial role in Ireland’s economy and, as an island nation,we are more dependent on aviation than our trading partners. “This 2015 report pointed to the overall value of the sector to Ireland’s economy – €4.1bn to our GDP: €1.9bin directly from aviation, €1.3bn through the supply chain and €0.9bn from associated spending by people employed in aviation. “It supports 26,000 jobs directly and a further 16,000 in the supply chain.Ireland’s tourism, which is …

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Minister Breen in Dubai

Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen is leading an Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Arab Health in Dubai, the largest healthcare exhibition and conference in the MENA region today (Monday). The trade visit focuses on maximising business opportunities for the 20 Enterprise Ireland Irish client companies attending the healthcare exhibition and conference which is expected to surpass the 2016 attendance levels of 4,000 exhibitors and over 130,000 visitors from 163 countries. Minister Breen will participate in a number of engagements to build on the strong relationship Enterprise Ireland has with healthcare institutions and government bodies in the UAE including; Neuro Spinal Hospital, the Dubai Health Authority, Abu Dhabi Health Services, and VPS Healthcare Group – a healthcare provider with a network of hospitals, medical centres, pharmaceutical manufacturing and pharmacy retailers globally. Minister Breen said,“The United Arab Emirates presents growth opportunities for Irish companies and is already a significant consumer of Irish goods. In 2015 Enterprise Ireland client company …

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Bishop extends invitation to Pope

BISHOP of Killaloe Fintan Monahan extended a warm welcome to visit Clare to his Holiness Pope Francis during his Ad Limina visit to the Vatican. On Friday, Bishop Monahan, along with the 26 other diocesan bishops, met with Pope Francis, where they got to raise a number of issues with him directly. Each of the bishops got to individually speak with the Pope and Bishop Monahan said he used that time to invite him to the Diocese of Killaloe and, hopefully, to Holy Island, when he visits Ireland in 2018. He also spoke about the previous visit to County Clare by Pope John Paul II in 1979, highlighting his stop-off in Shannon. Bishop Monahan said he knows the decision is ultimately out of his hands as to where the Pope will visit when he comes here for the Meeting of Families, but he said he can do no more, having extended the invitation. Children of Mountshannon National School were also …

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Online petition to upgrade Ennis hospital

AFTER taking to the streets in protest a few weeks ago, members of the Friends of Ennis Hospital Action Group have now launched an online petition to have Ennis upgraded to a model three hospital, which includes a 24-hour emergency department with relevent consultants. Members of the group expect to not only generate public support for the petition but that public representatives of all political persuasions will row in behind their campaign. The action group is adamant that the time has arrived for a change in the status of Ennis Hospital. “It is well established that there is not the political will in some quarters to re-establish the A&E in Ennis as a standalone project. Phrases such as ‘centre of excellence’ and ‘best medical practice’ are used to justify the downgrading and eventual closure of the emergency department in Ennis. “The public, in general, have become disillusioned with the political system. Having marched on numerous occasions in the ’80s and …

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North Clare boil notice lifted

A boil water notice affecting over 300 premises in Turlough, in North Clare has been lifted, making the local water safe to consume. The lifting of the notice, on the advice of the Health Service Executive, follows completion of work at the treatment plant and the subsequent recording of satisfactory monitoring results that indicated that the water is now safe to drink. This notice was put in place by Irish Water and Clare County Council in July 2016 due to the detection of low levels of Cryptosporidium in the Turlough water supply. The works carried out at the treatment plant involved the installation of an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system on the supply. Customers can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth. Katherine Walshe, regional manager with Irish Water, commented, “Irish Water and Clare County Council acknowledge the patience, co-operation and assistance of the general public during the period of the Boil Water …

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98 wind turbines in 10k area

CLARE County Council’s decision last Friday to grant planning permission to Brookfield Renewable Ireland Ltd for 11 wind turbines, will mean that a total of 98 turbines will be located within a 10km radius in Connolly, Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Lissycasey and Kilmihil. Up to 131m in height, permission was given subject to 27 conditions. Fifty six separate submissions were received by the council, with 53 of them listed as objections from local residents and community groups. In a detailed submission, the Conserve Kilmaley Group outlined its concerns with the latest windfarm, noting that almost 100 wind turbines would be located in the area, if granted permission. “This combined development is a very substantial windfarm in terms of site area, scale and height of turbines, capacity of output, noise emissions and enormous local disturbance to the environment – peat disposal, tree felling, loss of moorland and bog habitat, impact on all species and impacts on residents and their dwellings,” were amongst some of …

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100 new jobs at Element Six

Element Six, a world leader in synthetic diamond super-materials and member of The De Beers Group of Companies, has today (Friday) announced the creation of a further 100 jobs at its Shannon facility as part of a €7 million investment at the plant this year. The investment – officially announced today at a briefing at the plant hosted by Element Six Executive Director of Operations Ken Sullivan and attended by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen and the company’s global CEO Mr. Walter Hühn – will bring to €40 million the overall spend by Element Six at Shannon over a four year period. The positions are in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing, with recruitment already underway and all posts set to be filled in the first half of this year. It is the latest round of recruitment at the company and will bring overall employment at Element Six in Shannon to …

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