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motorists paid €104m in tax

MOTOR tax paid by Clare motorists exceeds the Local Government Fund allocation to the county council by €24.7m, new figures have revealed. Clare motorists have contributed €104.8m in motor taxation and driving licences from 2008 to last September, which compares to a total of about €80.1 million from the Local Government Fund and special water services allocation over the same period. It excludes €4.091m paid by Clare householders under the Household Charge in 2012 and 2013 and €4.3 million this year from the Local Property Tax. In 2008, Clare motorists paid €20.9 million on motor tax and driving licences. While this figure has fallen steadily in recent years it still provided €15.98 million for the national exchequer in 2012 and €12.455 million from January to September 2013. The huge disparity between the two figures have prompted Councillor Christy Curtin to request the Government to substantially increase the Local Government Fund allocation to the council, which has fallen by 40% from …

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Shannon’s recovery continued in September

SHANNON Airport’s recovery continued in September, with passenger numbers up for the fourth month in a row, this time by 7% on the same month in 2012. Total passenger numbers at Shannon last month were 224,492, up from 210,389 in September 2012. Transatlantic services showed an increase of 21% in passenger numbers over September last year, while European services were up by 4%. After several very bad years, and some very poor months in the early part of this year, passenger numbers started growing again in June. That month, saw an eight per cent increase in passengers, going from 148,531 in June 2012 to 160,573 in June of this year. In July, there was a 9.4% increase, going from 158,603 to 173,558. August saw a jump of 3%, going to 170,000 from around 165,000.

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Shannon Chamber CEO promoted to Chambers Ireland board

HELEN Downes, CEO of Shannon Chamber, has been appointed to the board of Chambers Ireland. Her appointment was ratified at the Chambers Ireland AGM, which was held in Dublin last week. Congratulating her on her appointment, Kevin Thompstone, president of Shannon Chamber, said, “It’s a great honour for Shannon Chamber via Helen Downes to have input at board level in a national organisation. Helen’s nomination by the Chambers Ireland CEO Forum for a position on the board and her existing representation as a member of Chambers Ireland Human Resources Policy Council, is both indicative of the high esteem in which she is held by the organisation, and her ability to make a valuable contribution to strategic considerations. “Membership of the Chambers Ireland board gives Shannon Chamber a forum to make representation on behalf of members and to input their views and commentary on national policy issues being considered by Chambers Ireland for presentation to government and key stakeholders. It will …

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Call for Ennistymon Famine memorial refurbishment

MAYOR of Clare, Councillor Joe Arkins was requested to facilitate the refurbishment of a Famine memorial in Ennistymon during a recent visit to Chicago. Concerned about the tarnished state of the memorial, a number of Clare exiles in Chicago approached Councillor Arkins during his recent trip to Wisconsin in the US to represent the county at the Milwaukee Festival. Representations were also made to the mayor when he visited a similar structure in Gaelic Park, New York. An Gorta Mór Memorial was erected in memory of the victims of the Great Hunger and was dedicated in Ennistymon on August 20, 1995 – the 150th anniversary of the tragedy. It is located across from a deserted workhouse, where an estimated 20,000 Irish people died and a mass graveyard for children, who perished and were buried without coffins on the Lahinch Road between Ennistymon and Lahinch. The memorial was erected by a combined effort of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) and …

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Decision day dawns for Kilrush Plan

THE  public consultation stage for proposed amendments to the Draft Kilrush Town and Environs Development Plan 2014-2020 will end on Tuesday, October 29 next after which the elected members of Kilrush Town Council will meet to adopt the blueprint. Once adopted at the end of 2013, the Plan will determine the future land-use needs of the town and surrounding area in terms of economic development, recreational and community requirements, as well as residential, transport and infrastructural needs. “The coming fortnight represents the final opportunity for the people of Kilrush and Cappagh to have their say in the preparation of the Development Plan,” commented Mayor of Kilrush Paul Moroney. “Obtaining input from the local community during the public consultation stage of the plan-making process is important to the final outcome of the Kilrush Development Plan.  This is the only Plan that deals directly with the future development of Kilrush Town and therefore, it is important that the people of the town …

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Shannon traffic figures released

THERE was some more good news for Shannon on Wednesday, when it emerged that the number of flight movements there in September were up be 5.5% compared to the same month last year. The two other State airports, Cork and Dublin, also saw increases, of 5.2% and 6.6% respectively. Interestingly, the average number of daily movements at Shannon was just behind the average at Cork, with the numbers being 60 and 62. Both are way behind Dublin, where the average daily figure was 498. September was the seventh month in a row that traffic at Dublin increased and Irish Aviation Authority CEO Eamonn Brennan said; “This sustained growth is very encouraging news for Dublin Airport and the wider economy. September was also a good month for Shannon, up 5.5% year on year. There is some way to go to catch up with previous levels during the peak years but 2013 is a step in the right direction.” Total flights in …

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Global award for Shannon

SHANNON Airport lost huge amounts of business for half a decade until 2013 when it started to reverse the trend and the successes it has recorded this year were acknowledged this week when it was highly commended at the World Routes Awards for airport marketing, held in Las Vegas. This was global recognition for the Clare airport and Shannon was highly commended in the Airport Under 4 Million Passengers Category, in recognition of the success of its marketing programme since splitting from the DAA. Shannon beat off stern competition from airports around the world to make the shortlist of five, with Darwin Internaional Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport and Kyiv International Airport also included. Darwin was named the overall winner, but Shannon was highly commended and received the second highest amount of preferences in the voting. Kilimanjaro was also highly commended. No other airport in Ireland or Britain made the shortlist for any of the four awards, which …

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Clare Association NYC Celebrates 125th Anniversary

FORMER Clare hurling manager and RTE analyst, Ger Loughnane is to head state side again this year to act of Master of Ceremonies at the Clare Association’s 125th anniversary dinner. Since the County Clare P.B. & S. Association of New York City, Inc. was founded in 1888, the officers, members and friends have joined together each year to celebrate their Clare heritage and remind themselves of the purpose and goals of the association. This year’s ball, in celebration of the milestone in their history, will be held on Saturday, November 9 at Riverside Church in NYC. There will be a cocktail hour at 7pm followed by dinner and dancing to the music of the popular Cunningham Brothers Band. The function will also honour the 2013 ‘Claremen of the Year’, Kevin Grady and Tony Nolan. A native of Sixmilebridge, Kevin is a resident manager in Manhattan while Tony, a native of Kilkee, is president of Allcom Electric Inc. Association president Catherine …

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