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88% increase in 2014 Shannon-Chicago capacity

UNITED Airlines have announced they will run services between Shannon and Chicago again next year but there will be 88% more capacity on the route in 2014. They started a Shannon-Chicago service this summer, after a number of years without any link to the Windy City, and this week a spokesman said things had gone very well, leading to the decision to increase the amount of capacity next year. The majority of those using the service are Americans and the decision to renew and extend the route will provide a boost to Clare tourism interests. On Wednesday, United managing director sales for Britain and Ireland, Bob Schumacher lauded the 2013 performance. “We are not only returning but returning with a lot more seats on the market and we’re extending the season from mid-May to mid-September. That’s all systems go. We’re very pleased with how it’s performed this year and looking forward to something similar next year.” While declining to give …

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No copy of beach bylaws for gardaí

KILKEE town mayor Paddy Collins has claimed that Kilrush gardaí didn’t have a copy of the Kilkee beach bylaws to consult when they were called by him to the strand races on the local beach on Sunday, September 22. He made the claim at last week’s meeting of Kilkee Town Council, where he also claimed Kilrush gardaí “ignored” the presence of traders on the beach. “We had an issue with traders and parking again this year. I phoned the organisers, who said they had no authority to prevent people coming in or to ask them to leave. So I phoned Kilrush Garda Station on the Sunday at about 12.30pm,” Councillor Collins said at this week’s monthly meeting. “The garda said he’d send out a car. Half an hour later, the car was in town. It didn’t stop, ignored it and just drove past. [Councillor] Elaine Haugh also phoned at 2.30pm. There was a bouncy castle present, which had been removed …

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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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