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Champion making headlines on mental health

THE Clare Champion has been selected as the winner of the Headline Regional Newspaper of the Year Award 2013 for journalism relating to mental health or suicide prevention. Headline, the national media monitoring programme for mental health and suicide, created the award in recognition of the vital role regional newspapers play in promoting positive mental health and stigma reduction in their local communities. “From Headline’s media analysis, The Clare Champion’s coverage was notable for its dedicated focus throughout the year on locally available programmes and support services and endeavouring to discuss the important issue of suicide, while consistently providing further sources of help and information to readers,” media project co-ordinator Jane Arigho said. She continued, “With particular reference to the work of Dan Danaher, the newspaper provided an invaluable channel for real life experiences of mental health problems, which will, no doubt, not only contribute to greater public understanding but also encourage those experiencing difficulties to reach out and seek …

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Zurich fixed in Sean’s Sights

AFTER coming a cropper to a cyclist, four miles from home, Clare athlete Sean Hehir was still first to cross the winning line in Monday’s Dublin City Marathon. The first Irish man to win the race since John Treacy 23 years ago, Sean now has his sights firmly fixed on the European Marathon next year. “This is the stuff of dreams,” Sean, a member of Rathfarnham AC told The Clare Champion on Tuesday, as he reflected on the biggest win of his career to date. He paid tribute to Marian Athletic Club in Ennis, where he received his early coaching. “When I started at 12 or 13, Arthur Ford was my coach. Back then, I never dreamt of a day like this. It was three or four years before I got a sniff of winning. I was fortunate to be with a great group in Marian and also to have very supportive parents,” he said. Sean is the son of …

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Plans Lodged for new Tulla school

ST Joseph’s Secondary School in Tulla is one step closer to moving to a new site. A planning application for their proposed 650-pupil school was lodged with Clare County Council last week. The secondary school, which has been educating young people from the heart of Tulla village since 1985, is set to move to a new green-field 10 acre site on Chapel Street, 700m south-west of the existing site. The project, which is part of a public-private partnership and is part of the school bundle four programme facilitated by the National Development Finance Agency, is expected to start in the last quarter of 2014. Construction is expected to take up to 18 months, with an outer completion date of March 2016. The capital value of the school bundle four programme, which covers the development of six schools, is €65 million excluding VAT. School principal Margaret O’Brien said the reality of what is to come is starting to sink in among …

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Union condemns decision to close Shannon cabin crew base

IMPACT, which represents cabin crew staff at Aer Lingus, has condemned the decision by management at the airline to close the cabin crew base at Shannon from the end of March 2014, putting 87 jobs under threat. The announcement was made by Aer Lingus on Thursday last, the same day that Ryanair announced eight new routes from the airport. On Thursday, Aer Lingus confirmed it had informed its staff of planned changes to Shannon’s cabin crew base, explaining the operation there is no longer viable following failure to secure co-operation from IMPACT to allow its members to operate the smaller 757 aircraft on new transatlantic services. Responding to the announcement, IMPACT said the measure is “an act of wanton destruction upon the livelihoods of workers who are loyal to the company, and a potentially vicious blow to the economy of the Shannon region”. IMPACT said its members in Aer Lingus across the country will fight the closure. The union said …

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New deal may generate €1.5 million in Shannon Airport revenue

By Dan Danaher The delivery of 300,000 extra passengers from eight new routes announced by Ryanair could generate up to €1.5 million in income for Shannon Airport. Michael Cawley, deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of Ryanair, told The Clare Champion that a typical airport like Shannon can earn between €9 and €10 on car parking and retail goods for each additional passenger departing the airport, with a net profit of about €5. Mr Cawley claimed that larger airports in London made far more than the net profit of €5 per passenger, while Pisa airport earns €9 net profit per passenger. “Shannon is where duty free started. Neil Pakey did a great job when he was in Liverpool Airport. He will get the last cent out of every passenger going through Shannon Airport by optimising this with good service, good product availability such as good coffee in the shops and efficient pricing to maximise the overall yield. “The airport …

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Ryanair tight-lipped on terms of Shannon deal

By Dan Danaher Ryanair are remaining tight-lipped on the terms and conditions attached to its latest deal with Shannon Airport Asked about the terms and exact duration of the latest deal, Ryanair’s deputy chief executive and chief operating officer Michael Cawley declined to comment but joked “plenty of time, well past my retirement”. He said it would be “rude” to talk about confidential discussions with airport management. “Shannon has been competitive on this issue. Shannon would not be doing this if it wasn’t good for them. We wouldn’t have been doing it, if it wasn’t good for us and, happily, we have met in the middle. The abolition of the travel tax has been the critical ingredient in making it happen,” he said. The last deal between the low fares’ airline and Shannon ran from May 2005 until April 2010. Ryanair paid €3.5 million in January 2011 to the Dublin Airport Authority to settle a legal action relating to the …

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Gardai seize €20,000 of cocaine in Shannon

Gardaí seized cocaine with an estimated street value of €20,000 from a house in Shannon on Tuesday evening. Following the seizure, which was made at a house in Finian Park, a 40-year-old man was arrested. The seizure was made as part of a planned operation targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the Shannon area. The planned search of the house was carried out at approximately 8.30pm on Tuesday and during the course of the search, cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to €20,000 pending analysis, was discovered. A 40-year-old male was arrested at the scene and detained at Shannon Garda Station under the provisions of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996. Meanwhile, a small amount of cannabis herb, worth €700, was also seized by gardaí in a separate follow-up search. At the time of going to print, the man was still being detained at Shannon Garda Station.

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Cabin crew jobs under threat in Shannon

Nearly 90 jobs at Aer Lingus in Shannon are under threat after the company announced today that it plans to close its cabin crew base there from next March. Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley TD, has expressed his disappointment that 87 Aer Lingus cabin crew jobs could go at Shannon airport. “I am deeply disappointed at the decision taken today by Aer Lingus to close its cabin crew operations at Shannon Airport,” he said. “I would appeal to the unions and management to sit down and try to find a resolution to the dispute. I believe it is very important that Shannon retains a cabin crew base in Shannon, which would give a great impetus for development and growth of Aer Lingus in the region. The news comes on the same day that Ryanair announced eight new routes from Shannon Airport beginning in April. “The potential of Shannon Airport as an economic driver for the …

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