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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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University Hospital Limerick.

Chronic overcrowding at UHL

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has condemned the gross overcrowding and the compromised ability of nurses to provide acceptable and safe care to all patients within University Hospital Limerick. “There is no doubt that the level of overcrowding today with 66 patients on trolleys and on extra beds on wards is unprecedented and is a serious crisis,” remarked INMO Industrial Relations Officer, Mary Fogarty . “INMO members do not accept that management at the hospital are robustly managing all of the available bed capacity to meet the demands of emergency patients who are deemed to need admission. It is incumbent on the management team as an employer and in governing the hospital to ensure that the hospital is safe for staff and patients and this is not the case. This is increasingly worrying for our members as clinical care of patients is compromised and there are high levels of stress being experienced by nurses daily. In recent weeks …

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Rents rise 10.8% in Clare

While rents rose nationwide by an average of 11.7% in the year to September 2016, in Clare rents increased by 10.8%, according to the latest quarterly Rental Report by Ireland’s No.1 Property Website Daft.ie. This is the largest annual increase in rents ever recorded in the Daft.ie Report, which extends back to 2002. In Clare, rents were on average 10.8% higher in the third quarter of 2016 than a year previously. The average advertised rent is now €655, up 24% from their lowest point. In Dublin, the annual rate of inflation in rents, in the year to September 2016, was 12.1%, its highest late since late 2014. Rents in the capital are now 9.3% higher than their previous peak in early 2008. In Cork, rents rose by 14.4% in the year to September, a slight easing of inflation compared to earlier in the year. Rents in Galway are 10.9% higher than a year previously, while rents in Limerick have risen …

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LIT President calls for action on HEA review

President of LIT, Professor Vincent Cunnane has welcomed the publication of the Financial Review of the Institutes of Technology and has called for the immediate implementation of actions to support the technological education sector. Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “LIT welcomes the publication of this HEA Review. The diagnosis is done, it is now time to implement the remedy.” “It must be said that there is a stark reality at the heart of this review.  It clearly demonstrates serious under-funding of Higher Education in Ireland, and points to a set of actions which must be undertaken to address the situation. “Despite the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by the sector in recent years, the inescapable conclusion is that the prompt implementation of these actions is absolutely critical if the Higher Education sector is to deliver the skilled graduates necessary to sustain the growth in jobs that we have recently seen. “For our part, we in LIT will work with government, the HEA …

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Shannon may face US pre clearance competition

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has warned of possible competition from other airports in the EU who may be granted customs and immigration Pre clearance by the US authorities in direct competition with Shannon and Dublin airports. Up until now, Ireland is the only EU country where passengers can pre clear US customs in both Shannon and Dublin airports. That means that passengers travelling from Shannon and Dublin Airports to America can save up to two hours of queuing at immigration in the United States by pre-clearing in Ireland. Passengers simply collect their bags once they land in the US and are free to go. The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) said pre clearance in Dublin attracted passengers from the UK and other European countries, many of whom use Ireland as a transit stop for pre clearance. Clune was speaking after the US department of Homeland Security named 11 airports this weekend as potential locations for preclearance operations. “Over the …

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Four Clare villages to benefit from renewal scheme

Some €380,000 has been earmarked for local improvement schemes in Clarecastle, Kilkee, Scariff and Shannon from the €10 million national kitty. Each of the four Clare projects will receive €95,000 to finance a wide range improvements that have been put forward by local community groups to make their towns and villages more attractive places in which to live and work. In Clarecastle, the funding will be used to put electric and phone cables underground, replace lighting columns, provide lighting for public spaces, redesign traffic dominated spaces, upgrade footpaths and crossings, as well as planting and painting throughout the village. The €95,000 allocated to Kilkee will be used for landscaping and to provide public art at Percy French Green and the Carrigaholt roundabout. Scariff will benefit from work on safety and access to the access to public areas while the allocation to Shannon will go towards delivering the Shannon Town Green Infrastructure Plan. “We are determined to get this funding delivered …

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