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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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Mid-West hits the West End

Over 40 British leading meetings and events professionals enjoyed a flavour of the Mid-West, at the annual ‘Ireland Meets the West End’ gathering in London this week. The B2B event saw the buyers meet, and do business with, some 33 tourism businesses from Ireland, including the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau. ‘Ireland Meets the West End’ is organised by Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, to grow business tourism from Britain to the island of Ireland. It proved to be a valuable opportunity for the Irish companies to showcase and sell their product for 2017 and to communicate what is unique about Ireland as a world-class destination for doing business. David Boyce, Tourism Ireland’s deputy head of Great Britain, said, “Business tourism is an important, high yield sector and Tourism Ireland has undertaken a busy programme of activity throughout 2016, to grow this type of tourism. Our promotions have been highlighting our world-class venues …

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Focus on West Clare DNA path

A lecture in Kilrush on Tuesday will examine how it has recently become possible to use DNA to identify where in West Clare ancestors of people who live in different parts of the world are from. The Kilrush and District Historical Society’s November lecture is entitled Reconstructing West Clare Family Histories Using DNA. It will be delivered by the society’s PRO, Paddy Waldron, in Teach Ceoil. “In recent years, it has become possible and affordable to use DNA comparisons to break down brick walls in ancestral research,” Paddy Waldron explained. “This talk will begin by briefly outlining the different inheritance paths of different components of DNA. “Y-DNA, for example, can shed light on the origins of Clare surnames, while comparing autosomal DNA has helped members of the Irish diaspora, from Sandy Hook to California to New Zealand, to identify the precise townlands in West Clare from which their mystery ancestors emigrated,” he added. Paddy Waldron has long been an avid …

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Breen on trade mission in Poland

Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Bren is leading an Enterprise Ireland trade visit to Warsaw, Poland today (Friday). The aim of the trade visit is to enable Irish suppliers to make new high-level business contacts in Poland’s ICT, services, retail and engineering solutions sectors. In 2015, Enterprise Ireland clients generated €247 million of exports to Poland, up from €243 million in 2014, representing a 2% growth. Minister Breen is to address a trade dinner attended by 65 companies, many of whom are Polish business partners and potential customers for Enterprise Ireland clients Mr Breen is to visit the Polish manufacturing facility of JFC, a company based in Tuam, County Galway, which designs and manufactures plastic products for the agriculture, construction/civils, aquaculture and marine and material handling. Also on the agenda was a meeting with members of the Global Irish Network in Poland at a breakfast hosted by Gerard Keown, the Irish Ambassador to Poland.

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Wild Atlantic Way delivers ‘added value’

The Wild Atlantic Way, developed by Fáilte Ireland, has been awarded a commendation at the prestigious Landscape Institute’s Awards 2016. Competing with 43 projects from both the UK and around the world, the Wild Atlantic Way received the “Highly Commended” Award for the Adding Value Through Landscape category for its branding and Interpretation scheme, at a ceremony in London today (Thursday). The rationale behind the branding and interpretation scheme is to engage the visitor along the coastal touring route, provide a memento of their visit to each Discovery Point (where they can capture photos and digital content at Photo Points) and through interpretation panels introduce visitors to the local stories and customs of the area to encourage increased dwell time in these often remote coastal locations and encourage spend in the local community. The Landscape Institute’s Awards are presented to landscape professionals in recognition of their outstanding work, and to encourage excellence. Every year, the Institute acknowledges those working on …

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Garda alert for missing person

Gardaí in Ennistymon are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of Maria Hennigar, missing from Doolin since early November. Aged 35, Maria is described as 5’7″, brown hair, blue/green eyes and of medium build. She was last seen at Doonmacphelim, Doolin. She was reported missing on November 22 by a concerned neighbour. Anyone who may have seen Maria or may know of her whereabouts is asked to contact Ennistymon Garda station on 065 7072180, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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A vintage Christmas in Ennis

It’s that time of the year again, when The Clare Champion urges Ennis businesses to go all out with some festive flair and decorate their windows for Christmas. This year’s Christmas window display competition is expected to be bigger and better than ever before, with increasing numbers of businesses getting involved year on year. The theme for this year’s competition, open to all shops and businesses in Ennis, is A Vintage Christmas. While the theme has been inspired by this year’s centenary anniversary of 1916, retailers can chose from any time period of the past when it comes to decorating their windows. Shelly Galvin of The Clare Champion explained, “When choosing this year’s theme, we decided on A Vintage Christmas as our nod to the 1916 celebrations. But we’ve opened it up so people can pick from any time, so long as its vintage. The theme can be showcased across as many windows as you wish. This is about harking …

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Cliff queues to spend a penny

CLARE County Council director of service Ger Dollard has identified the concurrent arrival of buses at the Cliffs of Moher as a key contributor to subsequent long queues outside toilets. More than one million people visit the cliffs annually but many appear to arrive in urgent need of locating an empty toilet. At a West Clare Municipal District meeting, Councillor Gabriel Keating said that interminable toilet queues are “causing inconvenience” for visitors. In reply, Mr Dollard said that queues can sometimes reach 100 deep and suggested that all buses should have on-board facilities in an effort to offset the need to immediately rush to the toilet, upon disembarking at the Cliffs of Moher. “The arrival of two buses simultaneously could result in over 100 people wishing to use the toilet facility,” he calculated. “In such a scenario, it is not possible to provide a level of toilet facilities that would eliminate entirely queues for the use of these facilities. It …

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