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High radon gas levels in Clare

RADON gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and Clare has one of the highest rates of radon in the country, with 18% of monitored houses in the county recording high levels of the gas. On foot of an awareness campaign, the EPA is encouraging householders to check the levels of radon in their homes and take measures to reduce their exposure to the silent killer. Senior scientist with the EPA and manager of the radon and radiation measurements services, David Fenton, said acceptable levels of radon within the home are anything up to 200 units but, in the last 12 months, a recording 10 times that was found in Ennis. “In County Clare, the highest level we found was 3,500 units near Lisdoonvarna in a private house in 2010. The radiation dose that people in that house were receiving would be the equivalent of 12 chest x-rays a day. The more we measure, the more …

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Shop local on Small Business Saturday

The Small Firms Association has called for December 3 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’, with shoppers across the country asked to support small businesses in their communities. SFA assistant director, Linda Barry, stated, “Retail sales are expected to exceed €4 billion in December, but much of this will be spent in large stores or online. The latest figures show that the value of online purchases increased by 20% in the last quarter to €1.2 billion. If each adult spent just €20 extra in small businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €70 million for small Irish firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres.” “The first Saturday of December is traditionally a busy shopping day and consumers should use this weekend as an opportunity to focus on buying Irish and supporting their local businesses, as the Christmas celebrations can add a major economic impetus to …

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Child vaccines from GPs

Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Thursday) welcomed the commencement of the Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccination programme. Parents can now avail of Meningococcal B and Rotavirus vaccinations from their family doctor. The rollout follows consultation under the Framework Agreement between the Irish Medical Organisation, the Department of Health and the HSE. The Minister stated, “I am pleased that today Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccines have been added to the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme. I again want to thank the IMO and GPs for helping us deliver this Programme.I look forward to continuing dialogue with the IMO and GPs, in particular in relation to the development of a new and modernised GP contract. ” All babies born on, or after October 1, 2016 will receive vaccines for Meningococcal B (Men B) and Rotavirus disease in addition to the other childhood vaccines currently given. The first doses of these vaccines are given at two months of age, which means that …

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Clare Champion focus on Christmas shopping

The Clare Champion Christmas Shopping Guide will be published this Thursday as part ofyour favourite weekly newspaper. Running to 72 page, the guide highlights the huge range of retail and service providers in local towns and villages, which offer all kinds of Christmas presents, both for children and the young at heart. With so much to on our own doorstep, there is little need to stray beyond County Clare to fill your festive season shopping list. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Bill Chambers has encouraged people to be supportive of each other – to reach out to each other this Christmas. “I want to extend a warm welcome home to those who have travelled to Clare from abroad this Christmas. To those who are unable to come home this year, I want to say that you are in our thoughts. “Christmas is a time of great celebration and it is also a time for reflection. It is a time for …

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Major project at Shannon Free Zone

A €3.5 million development of 100,000 sq ft of industrial space in the Shannon Free Zone has been announced by Shannon Commercial Properties. A Shannon Group plc company, Shannon Commercial Properties is on track to complete the €21 million first phase development of the Shannon Free Zone by the end of next year. The company has embarked on the development of a block of industrial buildings (Bay 37), formerly known as the Boart building, adjoining airport lands. The site will be developed for office space, storage, distribution and warehousing. The project will be completed by May of next year and will support 70 jobs during construction. This latest development adds to the ambitious programme that is delivering significant new advanced manufacturing, warehousing and office space solutions at the Shannon Free Zone to support the drive for inward investment into the region. Ray O’Driscoll, CEO of Shannon Commercial Properties said, “This latest development is another project in what has been a very …

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AA spotlight on fog lights

Improper use of fog lights by other road users is a key concern of motorists during the winter period, with over 80% of the opinion that fog lights are under used by other drivers, research by AA Ireland has found. In an AA Motor Insurance Survey of over 9,000 people, 46.75% of those surveyed agreed completely with the claim that the under-use of fog lights would be a major issue during their daily winter commute, while a further 35.86% of motorists surveyed stated that they were somewhat in agreement with this claim. “Remarkably, we get more complaints in to AA Roadwatch about fog lights than almost anything else.” said director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan.“It really is something that other drivers find annoying. You may be unaware of it while you drive but your rear fog light can be dazzling and distracting for the car behind when foggy conditions improve.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, 34.78% of motorists …

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University Hospital Limerick.

UL Hospitals’ major emergency plan

UL Hospitals has become the first group in the country to produce a Major Emergency Plan. A major emergency is defined as any incident, usually with little or no warning, which overwhelms the ability of an organisation to respond. Major emergency planning is built into key public services in Ireland and inter-agency plans – involving collaboration between health authorities, local authorities and An Garda Siochana at a regional and national level – have long been in existence. Major emergency plans provide staff with roles and responsibilities in the event of the declaration of a major emergency. Individual hospitals have long had them in place but following the formation of hospital groups, it is now a requirement to deliver a plan at group level. “This document provides staff across UL Hospitals with a plan of action in the event of a major emergency being declared and is also a guide on how to implement that plan in a structured, coordinated and …

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Old Ground on US trade blitz

A delegation of 19 tourism enterprises, including the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, undertook a three-city trade and media blitz to the west coast of the United States last week. Thirteen Irish tourism companies and six American tour operators met influential travel agents and tour operators in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2017 promotions. California is now the second largest and fast-growing market within the United States for tourism to the island of Ireland. The sales blitz coincided with the announcement by Aer Lingus that its Los Angeles-Dublin flight will become a daily service for summer 2017. This is in addition to the Aer Lingus San Francisco-Dublin flight and Ethiopian Airlines’ service from Los Angeles. The ‘Jump into Ireland’ events were also an ideal opportunity to remind the American travel professionals that it’s now easier than ever before to get to the island of Ireland from the west coast of the US. Alison Metcalfe, …

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