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Clare schools benefit from grants

A total of 114 primary schools in County Clare are to benefit from the Minor Works Grant for the 2016/2017 school year. Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen, commenting on the announcement, said, “This grant is worth €5,500 per school plus €18.50 per mainstream pupil and €74 per special needs pupil to 114 schools in Clare. This means €6,425 for a 50 pupil school and over €11,000 for a 300 pupil school. The schools will receive the funds over the coming weeks.” The works that can be undertaken under the Minor Works Grant include improvements to school buildings and grounds, improvement or replacement of mechanical and electrical services, the purchase of standard furniture and physical education equipment, the purchase of floor coverings and window blinds and the purchase of IT related equipment. Minister Breen said, “This grant allows schools to maintain and improve their environment and facilities is a timely manner without needing to deal directly with the …

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Rural Clare’s future jeopardised by ‘dire broadband’

HUGE tracts of Clare are on the wrong side of the so-called ‘digital divide’ according to local politicians and business people, with concerns this is hampering economic development and will continue to do so for years to come. Research published this week by switcher.ie shows that there is an average download speed in Clare of 17.4 Megabits per second (Mbps). This is the 12th quickest of the 26 counties and while this is dramatically quicker than last-placed Longford (just 7.25Mbps), it is also way behind first-placed Dublin (44.85Mbps) and also some distance behind Waterford (27.9Mbps) and Kildare (27.36Mbps). The research also shows that Shannon, home to companies such as IT giant Intel, has an average download speed of 51.64 Mbps, the eighth quickest city or town in Ireland. While the figure in Shannon is almost three times quicker than the average for the county, there is no doubt that many rural areas are experiencing much slower speeds. Fianna Fáil TD …

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Works underway on Ennis Active Travel Town Scheme

Ward and Burke Construction Ltd. have commenced work at Maid of Erin Roundabout in Ennis today as part of the Ennis Active Travel Town Scheme, which will deliver improved cyclist and pedestrian facilities throughout the town. The work will involve alteration to two splitter islands and the reduction from two short filter lanes to one approach lane for traffic and one advance lane for cyclists on all four arms. A circulating lane for cyclists will also be constructed. Red high friction surfacing will be applied to the cyclelanes. Ramped sections will also be constructed to connect to the West Clare Railway Greenway at Mill Road. Traffic Management Plans will be in place. Works are also commencing at Club Bridge Junction at the existing parking area near the Colaiste Muire boundary wall where an extended paved area, cycle parking and traffic calming will be provided. Works are continuing at Hawthorns / Westfields Roundabout on the Limerick Road and are due to …

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New Lufthansa Frankfurt-Shannon service

Shannon Airport is set to get its first ever scheduled Lufthansa air service next summer when the airline introduces a new Shannon to Frankfurt route. The service will operate weekly on Saturday’s from April 29 to October 28 using an A319 aircraft. Welcoming the announcement Matthew Thomas, Chief Executive, Shannon Group said, “We are delighted to welcome Lufthansa to Shannon with their first scheduled service. This is a significant milestone for our airport and region by one of the world’s major airlines. “Germany is Ireland’s third-largest source of visitors and the addition of this new Frankfurt Main service is great news for the Irish tourism industry along the west coast and beyond as Shannon Airport will provide German holidaymakers with a gateway to the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way and Irish holidaymakers with an opportunity to explore a wonderful part of Germany. We look forward to working with the team at Lufthansa and our Irish Tourism industry partners to …

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Body recovered at Cliffs of Moher

A post mortem is due to be carried out today on the body of a woman taken from the sea near the Cliffs of Moher yesterday evening. Emergency services were alerted at around 5pm when walkers on the cliff trail spotted the body in the water near O’Brien’s Tower. The Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard launched their rescue boat and made their way to the scene and made a successful recovery at around 6.15pm. The woman’s remains were brought back to their boathouse in Doolin and later removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Limerick where a post mortem examination is expected to be carried out later today.

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Drive to entice British tourists to Clare

Shannon Ferries in Killimer joined Tourism Ireland at the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham over the weekend in a drive to entice British tourists to the county by highlighting car touring holidays in Clare. The Classic Motor Show is an annual event which takes place over three days at the NEC in Birmingham. It attracts around 65,000 people, offering an excellent platform to spread the world about car touring holidays around Ireland among car enthusiasts – and prospective holidaymakers for Ireland – in Britain. Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “The Classic Motor Show was another excellent opportunity to highlight our superb driving routes, including the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way. Tourism Ireland is actively promoting longer-stay holidays and encouraging British travellers to come and discover Ireland by car. Visitors who use a car on holidays tend to stay longer, spend more and are more likely to visit more than one region. “Since the UK referendum on Brexit, …

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Lough Derg Canoe Trail to be completed early 2017

Canoe facilities and services blocks are being provided at various locations around Lough Derg as part of an initiative aimed at promoting water-based activities on Ireland’s third largest lake. Clare County Council has confirmed that the proposed Lough Derg Canoe Trail, which is scheduled for completion by January 2017, will see facilities installed in Killaloe, Ballycuggeran, and Scarriff, Mountshannon and Dromaan harbours. The Trail project is an initiative of the Lough Derg Marketing Group and is being funded under the Lough Derg Stimulus Fund. Waterways Ireland is leading the design and development of the project in partnership with the Clare County Council, Galway County Council and Tipperary County Council. Trail information signage is being provided at Canal Bank, Killaloe, where upgrade works to the existing slipway are also being undertaken. Works underway at the Mill Yard, Killaloe include the provision of trail information signage, a canoe storage rack and planting/screening of same. The works to Scarriff harbour include trail information …

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Tourism boost for Scattery Island

Clare County Council has submitted an application for funding under the Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ) initiative to develop the tourism potential of Scattery Island. Uninhabited since 1979, Scattery Island – also known as Inish Cathaigh – is located approximately one mile from Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary and is home to a monastery founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan. The island features the ruins of six churches and one of the highest Round Towers in Ireland at 120 ft. high. The funding application by the Economic Development and Rural Development sections of Clare County Council coincides with the OPW’s appointment of Conservation Architects, to undertake a Conservation and Management Plan relating to the island. It is anticipated that a new ferry provider will also be formally appointed shortly to provide a service from Kilrush Marina during the summer months. Meanwhile, the OPW’s new exhibition of Scattery Island is approaching completion and a “fresh” exhibition will be …

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