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Fitzgerald’s contract with Croke Park ended

IT has emerged that county secretary Pat Fitzgerald’s “contract with Croke Park expired on July 1”, according to board treasurer Bernard Keane. He was replying to a query from O’Callaghan’s Mills delegate Noel O’Driscoll. Mr Fitzgerald said, “It was put to the delegates at a board meeting two years ago if you wanted me to report here or to Croke Park and you opted that I report here. In 2015, I was asked to supervise the development at Cusack Park and I agreed. There is no longer a stipend from Dublin. I took a significant cut in my pay”. Earlier in the meeting, Tulla GAA Club’s Brian Torpey had disapproved of comments made by Mr Fitzgerald in his report. Referring to the decision of team manager Davy Fitzgerald to step down, the secretary had said, “The two goals leaked to Galway were horrendous defensive blunders and for those, the players have to ship the blame”. Mr Torpey commented, “No one …

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€1b more for HSE in 2017 service plan

Extra funding secured in the 2017 HSE National Service Plan for disabilities will be put to good use, according to Minister with responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath. The Minister was speaking after the publication of the HSE National Service Plan for 2017, which will see an increased budget of almost €1 billion since last year, bringing the total health budget to over €14 billion. “I am very pleased that in 2017 the HSE will provide services in line with or in some cases, in excess of the target for services set out for 2016,” Minister McGrath said.“In addition, I welcome that extra funding secured for disability services will be put to good use in important areas.” Additional funding of €10 million is being allocated to meet the cost of providing day supports and services for approximately 1,500 young adults with disabilities who will complete their education or life-skills training in 2017. “I am also particularly pleased with the specific provision …

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Broadening the Wild Atlantic Way

Two new touring routes, branching off the Wild Atlantic Way, have been launched by Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan, as part of a new pilot scheme from Fáilte Ireland to encourage visitors to discover the variety of inland visitor experiences as they travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. The Shannon Estuary Drive and the Burren Drive are the first in a series of drives to be developed adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way with additional routes planned for later next year. Welcoming the initiative to broaden visitor activity in the west, Minister O’Donovan said, “As the Wild Atlantic Way continues to grow three years since its launch, we can now start to develop additional experiences for visitors to enjoy and, vitally, through initiatives like this we can start to plan for a more even spread of visitors across the West of Ireland.” These new touring routes will incorporate existing sites in the wider geography adjacent to the Wild …

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Put Irish food on the Christmas table

AGRI Aware, the independent Irish agri-food educational body, is asking shoppers to think local and support Irish farmers and food producers when purchasing food for the festive season. By filling your shopping basket with quality and seasonal Irish produce, consumers are making the smart choice. “Irish food is of the highest quality, it is sustainably produced and traceable and it is affordable for consumers,” explained Agri Aware’s chairman and organic farmer, Richard Moeran. Agri Aware is asking consumers to be mindful of the damage which below cost selling can have on farmers and food producers. Below cost selling and heavy discounting of fresh produces diminishes the value of food to consumers and removes the link between the costs of production for the farmer and the price charged for the product. “Simply put, continuous below cost selling results in consumers expecting heavily discounted food year-round. Unfortunately, these discounts mean that over time, lower prices become the norm in shops across the country, …

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Garda alert on phone scam

Gardaí have issued an alert about a telephone scam where a male/female caller states they are from Revenue and seeks immediate payment of a tax bill over the phone. They may also give you a telephone number to call back to give your credit card details. This caller is not calling from Revenue. This is a scam and 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. If a member of the public receives a call from anyone requesting any personal or financial information, they should end the call and report the matter to their local Garda Station, to …

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Heroes on the west coast

Clare Water Safety in conjunction with Freagh Castle Clean Coast group in West Clare have beaten off competition from all over Ireland to win the Ocean Hero Beach Clean of the Year Award in recognition of their coastal clean-up near Miltown Malbay in earlier this year. Operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, the Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards honour the contribution Ireland’s coastal communities towards conserving the country’s spectacular coastline. Prizes were awarded in 6 other categories this year, namely Individual of the Year, Business of the Year, School of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Event of the Year and Think before you Flush Hero of the Year. Claire McGrath of Clare Water Safety said, “Winning this award and undertaking cleanups along the coast highlights the strength of a community working together, with over 70 children and adults participating, including locals, members of Clare Water Safety, the 15th Miltown Scouts, Clare County Council, representatives from An …

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Loop Head Tourism gets involved

LOOP HEAD tourism is to be the Clare representative in the Get Involved sustainable communities initiative, developed by 51 local newspapers, including The Clare Champion, throughout Ireland. Get Involved is a way for communities to work together to improve their own lives, create local jobs and protect the environment. Local newspapers, with the support of the SEAI, help to drive voluntary sustainability projects, where citizens will collectively play a more pro-active, inclusive and coherent role in shaping the future of their local environs. The initiative brings clear benefits to the local economy and the In 2015, Clare was represented by Moy Hill Community Farm near Lahinch. This year, Loop Head Tourism, which was established in late 2009, will represent the county. The group has 45 members, all of whom are tourism operators on the peninsula. “There is a great Irish saying: Ní neart le cur le céile. We can go and market the place in a way that any one …

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Council at the ready for Christmas

IT has been a busy start to the winter period at Clare County Council’s maintenance facilities, with 673.5 tonnes of rock salt and 147,000 litres of brine used to date in road treatment operations. The local authority’s fleet of seven salt and brine spreader trucks treated 673 kilometres of road on 14 separate days in recent weeks. Clare County Council says it has ample supplies of rock salt to treat the county’s regional and national roads during the remainder of winter.  Two thousand tonnes of rock salt are currently in storage at the local authority’s depot facility at Beechpark, while an additional 1,000 tonnes are due to be delivered during the next week. Meanwhile, the council is reminding members of the public of the importance of being prepared during the winter season, which brings with it an increased threat of severe weather, including snow, ice, damaging winds and flooding. The call follows the launch this week by Government of the …

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