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Ennis travel agent wins prestigious award

County Clare travel specialist Gearóid Mannion has won the prestigious award for ‘Best Corporate’ at the annual conference for leading independent travel company, Travel Counsellors. The awards, which recognise the exceptional work of Travel Counsellors’ network of franchisees, were presented at a black-tie ceremony in Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow. The gala event featured as part of Travel Counsellors’ renowned two-day annual conference, which saw over 160 travel professionals in attendance. Speaking about his win, Ennis-based Gearóid, who specialises in corporate travel and holidays for discerning clients, said: “It is an honour to be awarded ‘Best Corporate’. I’ve been in travel all my life, and with Travel Counsellors for the past few years, and it is a job I am extremely passionate about. For both my business and leisure clients, I focus on offering what sets Travel Counsellors apart… bespoke experiences, expert advice, and unrivalled customer service.” Commending Gearóid on his award, General Manager of Travel Counsellors Ireland, Cathy Burke stated: “Every …

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Drug dealer left cocaine in lunch boxes

A Garda surveillance on a telephone pole paid off, when a 43-year-old drug dealer was spotted leaving two plastic lunch boxes, containing 12 bags of cocaine, at the pole. At Ennis District Court this week, Simon McDonagh of Aonach An Chláir, Clarecastle, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supplying cocaine, contrary to Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on March 14, 2017. He also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine, contrary to Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act. Judge Patrick Durcan described the circumstances of the find as “fascinating” and said that he regarded the offence as very much at the upper end of Section 15 offences. Giving an outline of the facts in the case, Inspector Tom Kennedy said that Detective Garda Gary Stack was conducting a surveillance operation in a rural area at Lissane West, outside Clarecastle. He saw Simon McDonagh arrive and stoop down beside the telephone pole and place the two …

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Crowe flies from FF Convention after “political bombshell”

  Councillor Cathal Crowe has confirmed his shock withdrawal from the Clare Fianna Fáil Dáil Selection Convention, after claiming party headquarters scuppered his chances of election with a “political bombshell”. The Clare Champion can reveal the experienced Meelick Councillor will officially withdraw from the covention next Thursday, after an unprecedented geographical directive from Fianna Fáil headquarters. While Councillor Crowe will not contest the convention, he is hoping to convince senior party officials to subsequently add him to the party’s Dáil ticket in the Banner county. In fact, he is seeking an urgent meeting with general secretary Sean Dorgan and Fianna Fáil leader, Micheal Martin to present what he believes is a strong case to be added to the line-up. Hundreds of delegates, who are eligible to vote in the convention in Woodstock Hotel next Thursday night, have been issued with a controversial party directive requesting them to select one candidate from East and West Clare. Five candidates were initially nominated …

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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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