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700 beds available in private nursing homes

Nursing Homes Ireland has released details of a survey showing over 700 beds are available within almost 200 member nursing homes across the country. The information was derived from a snapshot survey undertaken by the organisation on Wednesday. The number of beds available may be much higher as there are more than 370 NHI Member nursing homes and under 180 responded within the short timeframe. In Clare, there are 11 NHI facilities. The two that responded to the survey had a total of 17 beds available, giving an average availability of 8.5. Concern has also been expressed by the organisation regarding comments by the Heralth Minister earlier this week advising older people from nursing homes with flu symptoms to refrain from attending A & E. Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO said,”While recognising the complexity of the situation, the nursing home sector has a key role to play in alleviating the current overcrowding and crisis within our acute hospitals. The snapshot survey …

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Crash survivors say ‘thank you’

TWO Galway women who were lucky to escape a car accident with their lives this time last year have issued a public thank you to all those involved in rescuing them. The women had to be cut from the wreckage of their car following a collision on the M18 motorway at Dromoland on January 4, 2016. Exactly a year to the date, the women are only returning to work for the first time after a long recovery and one woman continues to receive follow-up treatment. In the letter, the women, who do not wish to be named, state, “It was a miracle we survived. We are fortunate and able to express our gratitude and feel that the wonderful men and women who spend their lives saving others, often go unnoticed. Thanks to you all, we can write this letter.” They said this expression of gratitude and appreciation for the emergency services and the bystanders who remained with them and kept …

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Cliffs numbers climbing

Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience attracted a record 1,427,166 people during 2016, representing a 14% increase on the previous year. Fully Independent Travellers (FIT) visitors, including walkers, cyclists and those travelling by car or public transport, grew at a rate of 13.5% while group visitors grew by 15%. The greatest growth recorded at the world-famous visitor attraction came in the shoulder and low season with visitor numbers for December up 52% on the same month in 2015. The Clare County Council owned Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience has undergone substantial investment in product and facilities in recent years while the launch of the 12km Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk and the visitor attractions’ status as a Signature Point along the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way has contributed to its growing popularity.

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FDI companies employ almost 19,900

IDA IRELAND has announced the highest level of employment in its client companies in its history. Total employment in overseas companies, according to the Government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), now stands at 199,877 people.   IDA client companies created just under 19,000 (18,627) jobs on the ground during the year across a range of sectors, with every region of Ireland posting net gains in jobs. THE IDA has completed two years of its five year strategy, Winning: Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019 – with the latest results indicating a strong performance by the organisation towards delivering its 2019 target of 80,000 new jobs and 900 investments. The performance was produced against a background of unprecedented geopolitical changes, an underperforming European economy and intense competition from other jurisdictions for foreign direct investment. A record number of investments secured during the year rose to 244 from 213 in the previous year. The number of new name investments went to …

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Vague ‘local rural person’ status

CLARE county councillors have agreed to remove a controversial seven-year residency clause to qualify as a “local rural person” for planning permission in the new 2017-2023 Clare County Development Plan. However, councillors may have inadvertently created another problem for planners after the insertion of a new clause in the classification of the local rural person category. Previously, a person who was not born in an area could not get planning permission for a one-off dwelling unless they had lived permanently in the local rural area for a minimum of seven years. This category has now been redefined as follows: “A local rural person is a person who was born within the local rural area, or who is living in the local rural area for substantial periods of their lives at any stage(s) prior to making the planning application”. Under the new plan, planners will have to decide what is “substantial periods of their lives” for any planning applicant. This category …

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Optimistic outlook for Clare tourism

THE latest Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) quarterly barometer showed that hotel and guesthouse owners in Clare and across the country are very optimistic about 2017, after significant growth this year. Nine in 10 IHF members say they saw increased business in 2016, while 57% grew their workforce and some 89% have plans to reinvest in their properties in 2017. Also, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of overseas visitors grew by 10% to 8.8 million – the highest number on record. There was an increase of 10% in holiday visitors, while business visitors and those coming to visit friends and relatives were up 12%. Elaine Fitzgerald Kane, chair of the Shannon branch of the IHF, said there has been a lot to be positive about. “Irish tourism has seen a record-breaking year in 2016 and there is a lot to celebrate. This is an outstanding achievement and a result of the hard work being carried out by …

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Garda warning on telephone scam

GARDAÍ have issued a warning of a recent telephone scam where a male or female caller states they are from Revenue and seeks immediate payment of a tax bill over the phone. The public are advised that the scammers may also give a telephone number to call back, in order for you to give your credit card details. Gardaí have warned that callers making these demands are not calling from Revenue. “An Garda Síochána would like to remind the public to be wary of any contact from an unsolicited source, whether it is by telephone or email. Do not give out your credit/debit card, bank account or PPS number to anyone who makes contact with you over the phone. An Garda Síochána, Revenue, nor any financial institution will ever call you and ask for your PPS number or bank account details,” a garda spokesperson said. If a member of the public receives a call from anyone requesting any personal or …

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Preparing for Christmas tree throwing

Members of the public are being invited to attempt to break a Guinness World Record as well as drop off their Christmas tree for recycling on Sunday, January 8 from 1pm, when the 6th annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship takes place at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park. Organised by Clare County Council, in conjunction with Active Ennis Sports and Leisure Facilities, the event is a novel way to turn Christmas tree recycling into a sport, while at the same time raise funds for a needy cause with this year’s proceeds going to Rape Crisis Midwest. The championship, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions, sees competitors tryinig to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree. There will be trophies for the longest throw in various age categories with a trophy for the overall champion. Every participant will also be entered into a draw to win one year family membership at Active Ennis Leisure Complex. Limerick …

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