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Tributes to a soldier and UN peacekeeper

MANY tributes were paid during the week to Kilrush-born Michael D Shannon, retired colonel, UN peacekeeper and former president of the Irish Peace Institute (IPI). He had a distinguished army career and, between the army and the UN, he worked abroad in over 20 countries. As a young man, he was with the UN in the Congo in 1961. His military career also took him to Cyprus and the Lebanon. He recalled that the late General Bill O’Callaghan, who was a native of Buttevant and was well known in Clare after serving as OC of the Clare FCA 22nd Battalion, was first commander of the 7,000-man-strong UNIFIL force in South Lebanon. Michael also served in Central America during the political upheaval there in the early 1990s. Their headquarters were in Honduras and he was deputy UN chief there. They had 300 military officer observers working in five countries, including Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. He was also in South Africa …

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Swallows return to Labasheeda

The first swalllows to arrive in County Clare were spotted in Labasheeda yesterday (Thursday) evening.   The return of the birds from warmer climes usually signal that good weather is not far behind. A Labasheeda resident reported that the swallows were flying around his house in the vicinity of where they normally nested each year.

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Scattery’s Eden award presented in Brussels

SCATTERY Island in Kilrush was amongst 18 European destinations to be officially presented with their EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) award at a ceremony in Brussels. The prestigious EDEN competition, which is staged every two years in each EU country along a specific shared theme, is managed here by Fáilte Ireland and is designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development. Scattery Island was the outright winner under the theme of Tangible Cultural Destination. The two runner-up destinations were Ceide Coast in Mayo and The Norman Way in Wexford. The theme focused on small, emerging, non-traditional destinations in off-the-beaten-track locations that offer an authentic cultural tourism experience. “We have always recognised Scattery Island as the jewel in the crown for local tourism and it’s a fantastic product with a wealth of culture and history. “This award is recognition of the amazing experience a trip to Scattery Island is but also an acknowledgement of what can be …

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McMahon name synonymous with Ennis Chamber

THE newly-elected president of Ennis Chamber is carrying on a family tradition, having taken on the role previously held by his father more than 40 years ago. At its recent AGM, Ennis Chamber elected Diarmuid McMahon, managing director, Sherry FitzGerald McMahon, as president and Gwen Culligan, co-owner of County Boutique, as vice-president. They will both serve a one-year term in their respective role. Diarmuid will be no stranger to the position, following in the footsteps of his father, Dermot, who served as president of the Chamber for three years, from 1975. The newly-elected president succeeds William Cahir, of Cahir & Co Solicitors, who he congratulated for energising the Chamber during his term. This, in turn, he said, has instilled a positive perception of the work and role of Ennis Chamber among businesses in the town. A qualified chartered accountant, Diarmuid is the fourth generation of McMahons to manage his family business, which has been trading in Ennis since 1900. The …

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All you need to know about apprenticeships

In a break from its norm, Shannon Chamber went back to school recently to host its first apprenticeships evening at St Patrick’s Comprehensive in Shannon. The purpose of the evening was to encourage students and their parents to embrace apprenticeships as a career route and to show that there is a way into work that suits students of all aptitudes. Judging by the turnout of over 160, this was an event that touched the hearts and minds of all. The buzz in the auditorium, after the presentations by the five participating companies, pointed to a keen interest by attendees to find out more about the apprenticeship schemes run by Molex, Modular Automation, Element Six, Lufthansa Technik Shannon and Atlantic Aviation Group. The fact that most presentations were given by employees, who had practical experience of being an apprentice, added greatly to the value of the event. Process engineering manager with Molex, Michael Collins saw his career progress from toolmaker to …

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Dog seen on CCTV during break-in

A 41-year-old Scotsman who brought his dog to a burglary appeared in court this week, after he broke into The Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna and stole a credit card machine. Sean O’Neill, who is originally from Glasgow but has an address at Rooska, Lisdoonvarna, pleaded guilty to burglary at The Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna on August 2, 2017, and also to possession of cannabis at his address on August 5, 2017. At Wednesday’s sitting of Ennis District Court, Inspector Tom Kennedy outlined that O’Neill broke into the business premises by breaking a glass panel in the door. “He took a wireless machine for credit cards. That is how he was detected, because he tried to use his card in the machine later that day,” he said. Inspector Kennedy told the court that, in total, between the damage and the loss of the machine, the smokehouse was out of pocket to the tune of €700. Inspector Kennedy said when gardaí went …

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Ten years of shining light in Clare

THE Clare launch of Darkness Into Light 2018 took place in Shannon this week, with walks set to take place in Doolin, Sixmilebridge, Killaloe-Ballina, Ennis and Shannon on May 12. This is Pieta House’s flagship annual fundraising and awareness event and, last year, 180,000 people took part. Nora Conway is clinical manager of the Pieta House Centre in Mungret and she says the event has grown dramatically, showing how people feel about removing any remaining stigma around mental health. “It’s the 10th anniversary of Darkness into Light and, I suppose, from the days when 100 or 150 people would come out, compared to 120,000 nationally, it’s phenomenal. I think it’s a statement, really, that the people of Ireland are making. A statement by coming together, walking shoulder to shoulder and doing what they can to lift the stigma around suicide and self-harm. The more we promote the service, the more we encourage people to ask for help, and the more …

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There’s zinc in the hills

THERE’S zinc in them thar hills of Clare, with plans for a major drilling programme by a base metals exploration company unveiled this week., Hannan Metals have announced plans for 20,000 metres of drilling to test geological, seismic and soil targets on its Kilbricken zinc-lead-silver prospect and on other prospects in the county. In its first year of drilling, the Kilbricken site has already been ranked as one of the top 10 base metal deposits in Ireland, with an estimated 4.4 million tonnes of zinc equivalent established. Hannan Metals Limited has 100% ownership of the County Clare Zn-Pb-Ag-Cu (zinc, lead, silver and copper) Project in Ireland, which consists of nine prospecting licences for 35,444 hectares. According to Hannan Metals chairman and CEO, Michael Hudson, “We are delighted with the progress we have made over the last year”. Hannan Metals acquired the project from Lundin Mining Ltd, making all cash payments totalling US$1 million. “After completing our purchase from Lundin Mining, …

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