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New governance structure to secure future of Bridge Complex

Plans are being made to set up a new governance structure to help secure the future of Sixmilebridge and District Community Complex, following a public meeting in the village earlier this week. A recent Clare Champion investigation revealed that the Registry of Friendly Societies (RFS) cancelled the centre’s registration on April 17, 2015 over its failure to submit annual audited accounts to the registrar. It also found that November 21, 2007 was the last time that annual audited accounts were lodged with the RFS for the year ending December 31, 2006. It has been decided that local resident Pat Hayes will operate as an independent facilitator to seek legal and accountancy professional advice, and to put this information to a group of special members, shareholders and members of the Bridge Kids interim management. Mr Hayes, who is a parent of children attending the crèche, said he would be prepared to link-in with the present interim board of management to form …

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Criticism of proposed Ballycasey centre sale

THE proposed sale of Ballycasey Craft and Design Centre by Shannon Group was criticised at this week’s Shannon Municipal District meeting. Shannon Group were criticised for short-term thinking by looking to sell property, while it was claimed that selling the premises is very worrying for many of the business people based there. Councillor Gerry Flynn put a motion before the meeting asking that the Shannon Municipal District “call on Shannon Group to provide information concerning the sale of property from the property portfolio provided by the Government to maintain and support Shannon International Airport. That information also be provided concerning the recent proposal to offload Ballycasey workshops and also advise the council of any property in their ownership in the vicinity of SkyCourt Shopping Centre.” The independent councillor said that the closure of the old Shannon Development offices close to the town centre had a negative impact on the nearby businesses, while he said the council could do with knowing …

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Heroes were just in time

THE lifesaving actions of three heroes in Clare have been recognised at the annual Irish Water Safety Awards this week. John McDonnell, Sergeant John Casey and Sergeant Marie Crowley were presented with the Irish Water Safety Just in Time Award for their part in the rescue of a man from a car that had entered the water at Ballyvaughan Pier last August. Near tragedy was averted when Sergeant Casey, who at the time had just transferred to Ennistymon Garda Station from Ennis, jumped into the water along with local John McDonnell to save the man. They both managed to pull him from the sinking car and carried him safety ashore, while Sergeant Crowley managed gathering onlookers. At the time, Superintendent Martin McGonnell praised the garda members and Mr McDonnell for their quick thinking in dealing with the emergency. The award was presented to the trio by Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney at the annual national awards …

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New video-link GP service for Kilrush

Plans have been unveiled for the provision of a video-based remote doctor service in Kilrush, as efforts intensify to halt cutbacks in the out-of-hours Shannondoc service in West and East Clare. It remains to be seen if this will satisfy campaigners seeking a full restoration of GP out-of-hours services throughout the county. Under a new rationalisation plan, which was supported by doctors at a recent annual general meeting, Shannondoc’s Kilrush and Ennistymon services will relocate to Miltown Malbay during weekdays, with the same operating hours applying. Kilrush and Ennistymon will only now open at weekends until 7pm. Shannondoc is to introduce a video-based remote doctor service at its Kilrush centre, allowing it to remain open nightly for two hours. The new service provides for a remote doctor to connect with the Kilrush clinic via a secure, high-definition video link. Patients will contact Shannondoc as they normally would and a triage nurse will first determine if the patient requires a GP …

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Frost to stand for GAA presidency

Former county board and Munster Council chairman, Robert Frost is to put his hat in the ring and stand for election for the post of GAA president. In running for top post in the association, Frost, a native of O’Callaghan’s Mills, is seeking to become the first man from the Banner County to hold that office in 128 years, since Edward Bennet became the second President of the association in 1887. Frost’s nomination was proposed by PJ McGuane (Coraclare) and seconded by Christy Murray (Sixmilebridge) to contest the presidential election at this week’s board meeting. In a statement, Clare GAA public relations officer, Sean O’Halloran said Mr Frost brings to the table a wealth of administrative experience, having been chairman of the Munster GAA Council (2013 to 2015) .while he has been a member of Munster Council for the past 12 years. Frost was also chairman of the Clare hurling board for nine years while he also served two five …

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90,000 apply for Santa’s Shannon flights

Santa remains top of the popularity polls with the very young as the great man’s annual Christmas flights at Shannon Airport have attracted 90,000 applications. Shannon Airport has received 45 times the number of requests for the 2,000 seats on the very special services to meet Santa in the sky on December 3 and 4 next, which is an increase of over 55% on the corresponding stage 12 months ago. Applications have been received from each one of the 32 counties and, indeed, from as far afield as the UK. The top ten counties in terms of applications include Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Tipperary, accounting for over 60% of the applications. Said Matthew Thomas, CEO of Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Airport: “We are delighted at the incredible demand for these flights but can’t say we’re entirely surprised. Is there really a better draw than Santa! “Airports are a magical place at Christmas as they are where homecomings …

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Positive views on Trump victory in Doonbeg

WHILE Trump’s victory isn’t being warmly received throughout Europe, in Doonbeg the victory of the village’s biggest investor is being lauded. Local businessman Tommy Tubridy said it is the right result for Doonbeg and Clare. “I think its going to be very good for business, I think it’s going to be very good for the people of West Clare and the whole county in general. “I definitely think it will bring more Americans into West Clare, through Shannon, so it will be a boost for Shannon as well. A lot of his supporters have been coming through there  over the last 12 months. We find that a lot of Trump supporters come to Doonbeg,” he commented on Wednesday morning. He had stayed up all night watching coverage of the election and said numerous journalists had been in touch about the Doonbeg reaction once the result was known. Parish priest Father Joe Haugh was also pleased with the outcome. “He’s already …

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Nicky goes that extra mile

Clare Youth Service volunteer, Nicky Brennan has been presented with the Extra Mile Award, the prestigious annual accolade of Youth Work Ireland. Nicky has been involved with Clare Youth Service for over 43 years and is the longest serving volunteer involved with young people in the county. Over the years, he has been involved in several youth clubs in Ennis and since the early 1980’s, he has devoted countless hours to supporting hundreds of young people through the medium of music primarily. Many young musicians and bands, even some now in their late forties, can testify to Nicky’s guidance and how he facilitates them to discover their skills and talents CEO of Clare Youth Service, Margaret Slattery, says “Quite simply, he has made an amazing contribution to young people, to adults, to entire community and especially to the Youth Service.” “Underpinning all of his work has been a commitment to supporting young people to take a leading role in developing …

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