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Seedsavers say – ‘love your garden’

IRISH Seeds Savers Association will hold its annual Love Your Garden Week from next Tuesday to February 12 and is encouraging budding gardeners to come along to the Scariff gardens for some inspiration and tips. Barry Foley of Irish Seed Savers said, “Now is the perfect time of year to start planning your garden for the coming year”. He said there are many things to consider when planning for the new seasons, such as where to plant flowers, how many raised beds to have and what was planted last year? He stressed that all of the work, care, harvesting and eating that lies ahead begins with a seed. “With the daylight hours increasing, February is a great month to get back to the garden. Cleaning out the polytunnel or greenhouse, tidying up the raised beds, doing some soil preparation and garden planning should all be on February’s to do list. “To help beat the winter blues, you could even start …

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Springfield residents to seek solutions

RESIDENTS in a flood-prone community in South-East Clare have pledged to focus on proposed concrete solutions when a Government minister of state visits the area next week. Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief Sean Canney will visit Springfield, Clonlara on Monday. While Springfield resident Geraldine Quinlivan welcomed official confirmation of a visit from Minister Canney, she stressed that householders who have suffered so much flooding in recent decades need to hear details of when long-awaited solutions will be delivered on the ground. Following numerous meetings with politicians from all parties, including former Environment Minister Simon Coveney, who visited the flood-stricken area in January 2015, Ms Quinlivan told The Clare Champion that the minister is well aware of the devastation caused by flooding events in 2009 and 2015. “As one resident said to me ‘the time for talking is over, we need action’. I agreed with him totally. Engineers involved in drafting the …

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Fáilte Ireland reveals grand plan

Fáilte Ireland has revealed plans to win €157 million in business tourism for Ireland in 2017. To do so, businesses in the sector will be supported to convert a significant amount of international corporate, incentive and association conference business leads from a €330 million pool of good possibilities identified by the tourism authority. The Fáilte Ireland plans were delivered at a top level industry briefing for people in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) sector, in Dublin. Attendees, including representatives from the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau, heard that the tourism authority will this year identify 550 leads for industry partners – a 10% increase on 2016. Paul Keeley, director of business development, emphasised the importance and strength of the business tourism and events sector in Ireland. “The generation of leads with the potential to secure conference business that delivers a higher number of delegates per conference, and therefore greater economic value, is the central focus for Fáilte …

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Kilrush school’s rise in third level attedance

KILRUSH Community School principal, Rock Kirwan, attributes the fact that 100% of last year’s Leaving Cert students went on to study at third level, to a collective ambition to get the best from each student. This figure is a huge increase from 2009, when 51% of students went on to study at third level. Almost 50 students sat the State exam in 2016, while the school currently has a student population of 460. “We just do our best with the students. We try to get the best out of them and, if something like this happens as a result, that’s a bonus. It reinforces our sense of what we’re doing as a school. “Education is changing constantly in difficult times. We’re well aware that an individual child has a personal best. If there’s something hindering them from achieving that personal best, we do what we can to resolve that. Children, whom we feel aren’t achieving their personal best, we will …

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Mental health petition deliver to Dáil

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee has confirmed work is underway on a roadmap for improved out-of-hours access to mental health services. On Wednesday, the minister received a petition of almost 12,000 signatures from Shari McDaid, on behalf of the Mental Health Reform, A Lust for Life, Uplift and Future Voices at Leinster House. The campaign is calling for the delivery of Holistic, 24/7 community based crisis mental health services across Ireland. Minister McEntee said,”Improving access to mental health services is a key priority for me as minister and work is underway in this area. Anyone who needs help should be able to get it. We need to ensure that seven-day access is in place, across the country, before we move towards the provision of 24/7 access. We must walk before we can run. “I am glad to say that specific actions are in place around many of the issues raised in the petition. For …

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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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