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County Council shortlisted for planning awards

FOUR Clare County Council planning projects have been shortlisted for awards in the 2013-2014 National Planning Awards. The Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, a major strategic plan for the future development and management of marine-related industry and tourism along Ireland’s largest estuary, is one of the nominated projects. The land and marine-based plan, the first of its type to be developed in the country, was commissioned by a multi-agency steering group comprising Clare County Council as lead authority, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Councils, Shannon Development and Shannon Foynes Port Company. The plan has been shortlisted in the Economic Planning Award category. The Shannon Town and Environs Local Area Plan 2012-18 – the first stand alone town plan that has been produced for Shannon – has also been shortlisted for the Urban Design & Place Making Award. The Plan, which was the subject of a public consultation process during 2012, provides a framework for …

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Wallet stolen while on honeymoon

A woman who came to Ennis on her honeymoon at the weekend is appealing to people in Clare for the return of her wallet, which was taken from her handbag here on Saturday. Irish American Lora Murphy and her Danish husband, Lars Moeslund, arrived in Ennis on Saturday to begin their honeymoon. However, after an hour, the couple’s plans had changed. “We had visited Ennis last year briefly and Lars just fell in love with the place. So after our recent marriage, we decided to spend our honeymoon there. We arrived on Saturday at about 1pm and within the hour, my wallet had been stolen and that was the end of the honeymoon,” Ms Murphy said. Ms Murphy was in a busy shop at the time of the incident and gardaí in Ennis are examining CCTV as part of their investigation. “I didn’t notice anything and then the woman who works there pointed out that there were glasses on the …

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Pupils’ fabulous creations on display

ART students from Scoil Mhuire in Ennistymon will exhibit craftwork at the National Conference of Principals and Deputy Principals in Galway this week. Fifth-year art students of Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon exhibited their Fabulous Felt Creations at National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin earlier this month. Now the group has been invited to showcase their work at the national conference on Thursday and Friday. The project, which consisted of hand-made and hand-dyed felted scarves, cushions and flowers, was warmly commended by Minister for the Arts, Jimmy Deenihan at the opening reception in the national museum. This prestigious exhibition was a culmination of the work of more than 70 secondary schools nationwide, who were awarded a bursary for projects of artistic merit from the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals ‘Creative Engagement’ fund. Twenty-five schools were represented at the event. Scoil Mhuire art teacher Mary Fahy invited textile artist Kate Ramsay to speak to the pupils about her work and …

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Recognising work in the community

NEXT Wednesday is the closing date for nominations for this year’s Galway County Mayor’s Awards and one local representative is calling on people in South Galway to acknowledge the work of people and groups within their community. The awards recognise and celebrate the work that individuals, groups, organisations and schools in the county contribute to their communities. Nominations are being accepted in 11 categories, including the Business Contribution to Community Award; Community Economic Initiative Award; Environmental Award; Sports Award; Arts and Culture Award; Heritage Publication Award; Schools Contribution to Heritage Award; Best Contribution to Heritage Award; Age-Friendly Award; Social Inclusion Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award. Galway County Councillor Bridie Willers is urging people to get their nominations in before it is too late. “I think it is very important to acknowledge people and groups, who are working hard in their community. There are so many people making positive contributions across South Galway and it is well worth …

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Fitzy to lead Walk of Life

CLARE hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald will be on home ground on Saturday when he strides out with participants in the inaugural ‘Walk of Life’ fundraiser for Milford Hospice. Both the Liam McCarthy Cup and the U-21 All-Ireland trophy will be on display and Fitzgerald will be joined by some members of both squads for the walk which sets off from St. Finnachta’s National School in Sixmilebridge at 12 noon. The aim of this fundraiser, according to local co-ordinator John Lynch is to raise as much money as possible to support Milford Hospice which opened in 1928 and since then has provided holistic care for terminally ill people from the region. “Since the very beginning Milford Hospice has provided the highest quality of care for these people and their families. Milford Hospice is a voluntary organisation so our support is needed to maintain this fantastic establishment,” he said. Organiser of the Walk of Life concept, RTE radio sports reporter Martin Kiely, …

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€40m hospital for elderly?

STAFF and residents at St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital, Ennis may be transferred to a €40 million state-of-the-art elderly care hospital, if a new development proposal is delivered by the Government within the next two years. The Clare Champion understands that one of the options being seriously assessed by the Health Service Executive is the construction of a multi-million euro community hospital on a greenfield site in the Ennis area, to ensure full compliance with HIQA’s premises and physical environment regulations. It is understood the HSE has been given over two years to implement a plan that would necessitate a complete refurbishment of St Joseph’s, with its associated logistical problems, revamping an old building or building a purpose-built facility on a new site. The HSE Mid-West was given an opportunity to comment on the information furnished to The Clare Champion but there was no response at the time of going to press. While nursing home providers have been requested to comply …

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Ryanair deal to boost Shannon

THERE is strong speculation this week that a new deal between Shannon Airport and Ryanair is about to be announced, which could deliver a number of new routes and an extra 350,000 passengers next year. Ryanair has scaled back business at Shannon dramatically since 2008 and, on several occasions, placed the blame on the controversial air travel tax. In Tuesday’s Budget it was announced that the tax will be scrapped from the start of next April. On Wednesday, the low cost airline said it would increase its Irish business by at least one million passengers next year. After the Budget announcement, Ryanair outlined its plans. “Ryanair highlighted that since the travel tax was introduced in January 2009, traffic at the main Irish airports had declined from 30.5m passengers in 2008 to 23.5m in 2012. Ryanair believes that much of this traffic can now be recovered thanks to the abolition of the travel tax, which makes Ireland a more competitive and …

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Shoulder to shoulder in Sixmilebridge Men’s Shed

A DECOMMISSIONED prefab in St Finnachta’s National School in Sixmilebridge has become a centre of learning once more but for a more mature body of students. The single-room structure is now the base for a Men’s Shed where each Tuesday night a group of men gather to work on projects or simply enjoy the craic and camaraderie. One of the founding members, Tom 0’Dea from Kilmurry explains, “The Men’s Shed, to borrow that overused tagline, ‘does exactly what is says on the tin’. It is a communal shed, a place where men can work together or individually on projects such as mechanics or woodwork, a place where men can enjoy the craic and a joke in a spirit of comradeship. “It’s a shed where you can ask for help if you need to, and it’s a place where you might have sound advice or a skill to teach others.” The Sixmilebridge Shed is a community-based organisation which is open to …

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