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Conlon reflects on a dream come true

ONE of five Clonara men to play a part in Clare’s epic 2013 All-Ireland final win, John Conlon has long dreamed of this day. The 24 year old Clonara man, who hurled with ferocity and poise in what was a momentous 70 minutes of hurling, set his sights on hurling in Croke Park, long before he wore a county jersey. “I remember when I was younger sitting in the Nally Stand and looking out. I was wondering ‘will I be here one day?’ You train, train and train. You have the bad days and these are the amazing days,” Conlon said afterwards. He watched the 1997 All-Ireland final from the Nally Stand and speaking on Saturday evening, he found it hard to comprehend that he was now an All-Ireland winner himself. “This is the stuff of dreams. I remember being out in the back garden when Limerick played Wexford. (1996) I was looking at the TV inside the window saying …

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bill slattery

‘Astronomical’ cost for housing land

By Dan  Danaher The payment of over €3.6 million for 13.8 acres of land for social housing in Ennistymon has been condemned as “astronomical” by a local councillor. Councillor Bill Slattery has expressed grave concern about the amount of money paid for less than 14 acres of land for social housing in 2007, most of which was never used for the purposes of which it was intended. Councillors agreed to support the transfer of two parcels of land at Glen North, Ennistymon to the Housing and Sustainable Communities Limited under the Land Aggregation Scheme (LAS). It is expected that this decision will be rubber stamped by members at a full Clare County Council meeting on Monday. Clare County Council paid Matt O’Dea €2,634,596 for 9.12 acres at Glen North, which included the purchase price, legal and auctioneering fees. Interest on the loan of €494,822 has been charged to the end of last June. The council is obliged to start making …

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Seaplane firm may take flight from Mountshannon

By Carol Byrne THE chief executive officer of Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd, which runs a seaplane operation in Mountshannon, may be forced to ground future flights because of the commercial unviability of the base. According to CEO Emelyn Heaps, the decision as to whether Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd pulls out of Mountshannon is to be made at an extraordinary board meeting. He said the four directors and five shareholders will meet this weekend when “one of the main questions to be raised will be the high costs of maintaining the seaplane base in Mountshannon and the viability of maintaining the high overheads in Mountshannon”. Mr Heaps said ultimately the board will make a commercial decision as to the viability of maintaining the base there and he said there is a real possibility that the operation will be pulled from Mountshannon. However he stressed that if the operation base was to relocate outside of the county he would resign as CEO. …

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INTO requests Clare Oireachtas members to oppose education cuts

By Dan Danaher Well-known Clare INTO activist Seán McMahon has thrown down the gauntlet to Clare’s six Oireachtas members by requesting their unequivocal opposition to estimated Budget cuts of €100 million in education. Addressing a public meeting organised by the INTO in The West County Hotel, Ennis on Thursday night, the INTO vice-president cautioned that investment in education should not be sacrificed to pay for the greed of Celtic Tiger bankers and speculators who walked away with obscene pensions, lump sums and bonuses. The meeting, which was attended by over 350 primary school teachers and parents, heard calls from numerous speakers for the Government to abandon plans for further cuts to the education system. In fact, Mr McMahon proposed that tax loopholes and tax breaks for the higher earners would generate enough income to avoid the planned education cuts of up to €100 million. “I call on the Government to stop injecting worry and anxiety into communities throughout County Clare …

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Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations

TO commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day next Tuesday, the Association of Nigerian Community in Clare (ANCC) has planned a series of activities in Ennis that include football, a party with dancing, singing, fashion and Nigerian food. It is 53 years since the first Independence Day. The activities start on Sunday with a football match against the Moroccan football team in Clare. The grand finale of the celebration will be a party organised by the Association of Nigerian Community in Clare. The association has invited mayors of Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council, Bishop of Killaloe Kieran O’Reilly and garda representatives to join the occasion. One of the prime objectives of the Association of Nigerian Community in Clare is to foster closer working relationships within all communities and also with the Nigerian embassy in Dublin. It exists as an advocate and to support the welfare needs of Nigerians as well as to progress integration and to be valued residents of Clare. …

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Clare fans are expected to turnout in large numbers to welcome the Clare hurlers home watch Clare V Galway in the Under 21 Semi Final.Pic Arthur Ellis.

Homecoming for Clare hurlers

WIN, lose or draw, Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council will host a joint homecoming event for the Clare senior hurlers and their management in recognition of their hurling exploits this season. The homecoming will also celebrate the success of the Clare U-21 hurlers in winning back-to-back All-Ireland titles and the squad, along with their management, will also be introduced to the crowd at Tim Smythe Park, formerly known as The Fairgreen, on Sunday night. Entertainment will commence at 6pm and both teams are expected to arrive at 7.30pm. The homecoming event will be broadcast to worldwide audiences on the Ennis App and on www.ennisapp.ie. Public parking arrangements and traffic restrictions will be in place. Road closures will be in place from 4.30pm to 12 midnight  at  Steele’s Terrace/Newbridge Road from College Road to Kelly’s Korner Roundabout, at New Road from its junction with Tulla Road and Newbridge Road, at Dr Daly Road from its junction with New Road …

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EPA to sniff out Shannon smell

A TEAM of inspectors from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) visited Shannon on Wednesday to carry out an investigation into an “appalling and overpowering” odour that has been present in the town for almost a week. The inspectors will try to establish the likely cause and origins of these odours and determine the appropriate corrective and preventative actions necessary to address the problem. Their visit coincides with a call for a full independent audit of all Integrated Pollution and Prevention Control (IPPC) licences held by the EPA on industries in the town amid fears, expressed by Senator Tony Mulcahy, that there is a “serious accident waiting to happen”. The Clare Champion has learned that a Clare County Council employee, who was delivering goods in Shannon, was forced to leave the site after experiencing difficulty breathing. He contacted senior officials in the environment department, who commenced their own investigation. However, the council is not authorised to enter a number of sites …

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€20m Seanad savings ‘a lie’ – Mulcahy

A CLARE senator has accused his party, and the Government, of lying to the electorate ahead of next Friday’s referendum. Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy said he will not be towing the party line in the referendum and will vote against the abolition of the Seanad. The Shannon man slated his party’s claim that the cost of the Seanad is €20 million per annum. Fine Gael states the figure is made up of Seanad members’ salary costs of €4.2m, members’ expenses of €2.5m, staff costs of €2.1m, indirect costs of €9.3m, including ICT at €1.9m, superintendent at €1.6m, procedural sections of €2.8m and other supports of €3m. There is a further cost of €2m in Seanad pensions. “The savings of €20m are a lie. My party aren’t telling the truth to the public. The savings are actually €8.6m and you have to divide that in half because you have to take out the USC (Universal Social Charge), the PRSI and …

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