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Literary gathering to celebrate women writers

UP to 150 people are expected in Coole Park and Gort this weekend for the 19th annual Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering. This year, the gathering centres on women writers and includes readings and workshops by a number of well-known writers and academics. “By inviting famous women writers of Irish descent from around the world to follow in the footsteps of this remarkable woman, we are honouring Lady Gregory’s contribution to Irish arts and culture in this unique gathering. We seem to be attracting a wider international audience, both male and female, with this enhanced Gathering. “Spread over five days instead of three, from Thursday to Monday, more overseas visitors will be attracted to South Galway and to Ireland, in support of the Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative,” explained honorary secretary of the event, Marion Cox. Last year’s events as part of the Gathering were booked out and Marion is expecting a large crowd again this year. “The feedback has been absolutely …

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Alert tone on smartphones

Gardaí in Ennis are warning people to take care when buying smartphones in cash from sellers they find online. According to Superintendent Derek Smart, there have been up to five incidents in as many weeks of people in the wider Ennis area arranging to meet sellers in public places, giving them money in exchange for the smartphone, only to later discover it doesn’t work. “We have had a number of incidents where people are buying iPhones on DoneDeal.ie and other websites, going to meet the sellers, looking at the phone which appears as it should, paying their money and only finding out when they go home that it is a dud phone,” he said. “We are concerned that other people may have been victims of this scam but may not have come forward to gardaí for various reasons. We are asking people who have been victims of this sort of crime to come forward and report it to gardaí,” he …

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Motorway would be a ‘game changer’

THE opening of the Gort to Tuam motorway would be a “game changer” for Galway and would bring with it a “much-needed economic boost”, according to one local representative. Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins has written to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to ask that every effort is made to ensure early delivery of the new Gort to Tuam dual-carriageway. “I have written to Minister Brendan Howlin and informed him that this road is a very necessary piece of infrastructure for the people of East Galway and beyond. I have urged him to ensure all financing matters are finalised so it can proceed to construction as soon as possible” she said. “Having proper road facilities in the county will open up all sorts of opportunities in terms of foreign direct investment, given improved accessibility. The motorway will deliver a much-needed economic boost to Galway East and to all the towns and villages along the route and trigger a revitalisation …

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Burren to host international tourism conference

A MAJOR international conference focusing on sustainable destination development through partnership, balancing conservation and tourism will be held in the county later this month. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark LIFE programme will host the conference at The Falls Hotel and Spa, Ennistymon on October 17 and 18. The event will feature contributions from leading local, national and international experts on sustainable tourism, including representatives of Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (France), Solimar International (USA), Cultural Site Research and Management (USA), Tourism Ireland, the Office of Public Works and Fáilte Ireland (Ireland). The conference announcement comes just days after the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark was shortlisted in the Best Destination for Responsible Tourism category of the 10th annual 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards. Commenting on the background to the conference, Carol Gleeson, manager of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark LIFE programme said, “LIFE is designed to explore how best to develop and manage sustainable tourism …

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30,000 gather in Ennis for Banner homecoming

“THEY’RE my family and I love these guys to bits” said Davy Fitzgerald of his charges at the Fair Green in Ennis this evening, at a homecoming event for the Clare senior and U-21 sides. An estimated 30,000 people turned out and shortly after nine o’clock there were fantastic scenes of jubilation as the two All Ireland winning panels arrived. Addressing the supporters, Fitzgerald said the county has given his charges great support throughout the Championship. “I’d like to start by saying that we know we have passionate players for sure, but by Jesus, we have passionate supporters as well.” Fitzgerald remarked on the amount of saffron and blue displayed around Clare in recent weeks and praised all those who have got behind the team. He also said that the All Ireland win shows life in Clare isn’t all doom and gloom now. “Let that recession go to hell,” he commented. He referred to an incident in which a woman …

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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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