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Councillors support rates increase in Ennis and Kilrush

BUSINESSES in Ennis and Kilrush will be hit by a hike in the commercial rate for the third consecutive year, after a majority of Clare county councillors supported the council’s controversial policy of rates harmonisation. Despite opposition from Ennis councillors and Kilrush Councillor Ian Lynch, rates harmonisation was supported by 17 votes to eight. Councillors also voted to approve the 2018 Budget Estimates by 17 votes to eight, after a two and a half hour meeting. Councillor Pat Hayes proposed the adoption of the estimates and this was seconded by Councillor Joe Cooney. According to the council, the latest increase amounts to 2.66% in Ennis in the annual rateable value and 3.94% in Kilrush. Chief executive officer Pat Dowling outlined that the Local Government Reform Act 2014 set out a process whereby the differences in rates multipliers between the former towns and the former county area have to be eliminated over time. This process commenced in 2016. At the same …

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Minister Breen launches Shannon innovation hub

A new innovation hub has been launched in Shannon by the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen. It is hoped that the Gateway Hub at Shannon Airport House will become a major start-up centre for business in the Mid-West region. The launch event was the first official opening of a facility at the newly branded Gateway West section of the Shannon Free Zone, which is undergoing a €25 million phase one redevelopment. The Shannon Free Zone is currently home to over 150 companies, employing over 7,500 people. The Gateway Hub will transform the ground floor of Airport House – recently renovated at a cost of €1 million – into an incubation space for start-up businesses from different sectors, aiming to drive the development of Irish and international start-up companies in the aviation sector. Speaking at the launch, Minister Breen said: “The work that Shannon Group and its property company Shannon Commercial Properties …

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At risk groups urged to get flu vaccine

THE HSE is urging people in at-risk groups in Clare to get vaccinated against influenza as the flu season starts. According to Dr Anna Clarke, consultant in public health medicine at the HSE National Immunisation Office, the flu vaccine prevents hospitalisations and deaths. Dr Clarke said the best protection against flu is the vaccine. “All people in risk groups should get the vaccine if they have not gotten it already. As the vaccine takes two weeks to work, the HSE is urging people to get the vaccine now. “The flu vaccine is a lifesaver because flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease, with potentially  in Ireland during a severe flu season. “National uptake figures show that 54% of people aged 65 and over, who hold a medical card or GP visit card, received the flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 flu season. “This uptake rate is on a par with the 2015-2016 flu season,” she said. However, it …

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Biodiversity workshop for Tidy Towns groups

TIDY Towns groups from across the county will gather in Ennis next month. Clare County Council will host a Tidy Towns workshop on Saturday, November 4 from 10.30am to 1pm in the council chamber at Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis. The community training and awareness-raising workshop will feature a slideshow presentation, talk and local walk focusing on biodiversity and birdlife and how Clare’s Tidy Towns groups can achieve higher marks in the annual competition, as well help to protect birdlife in their local communities. Instruction will be given by experienced BirdWatch Ireland staff and local volunteers. Where there is local interest to erect nest boxes, guidance will be given on physical projects, involving the erection of Swift boxes and caller systems. BirdWatch Ireland will be outlining details of the Swift Conservation Project, which is aimed at reversing the decline in population numbers throughout Ireland. The recent Bird Atlas 2007-11 shows there has been a substantial loss in range …

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Moloney faces seventh final as player and manager

AS Kilmurry-Ibrickane prepare for a tilt at winning their 15th senior championship and eighth since 2002, they do so under the tutelage of a manager preparing for his seventh county final. Aidan ‘Horse’ Moloney won four championship medals as a player, retiring from senior football in 2005, the year Kilmurry lost their only final of the last 15 seasons. Moloney was at the helm last year when they beat Cratloe in a replay and is aiming for two in-a-row on Sunday. He likes coaching and management but would still prefer to tog and play. “You’d love to be able to think you could still play. When you’re on the line, you see things but once they go out on the field, there isn’t a whole lot more you can do. It’s stressful on the sideline and it’s not always enjoyable. There is no doubt football has changed since my time playing. It wasn’t as tactical 20 years ago. It was …

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Local schools give gum the boot

A NATIONWIDE schools’ campaign to raise student awareness of littering is being supported by St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil and Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna. The Gum Litter Taskforce team visited both schools recently to deliver the Bin It! message. It features an actor-led workshop visiting secondary schools across the participating local authority areas. The workshop is geared towards first year students and explores littering and social responsibility. This is the 11th year the ‘Bin it!’ campaign has toured Ireland and to date over 45,242 students have taken part, with 6,024 attending one of the 63 workshops that ran in 2016 alone. Chairman of the GLT, Paul Kelly said, “The overall aim of the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign has always been to exact a behaviour change amongst the proportion of the public that dispose of chewing gum incorrectly. The Bin It! tour has proven to be an extremely effective, fun and interactive means of getting the important GLT gum disposal message to younger audiences. …

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Double booking led to Minister Breens’ flight

MINISTER OF STATE Pat Breen has explained that the reasoning behind  Enterprise Ireland’s decision to pay for a €4,398 flight from the US was in an effort to help him attend a family wedding in Malaga, Spain. Deputy Breen was asked by Enterprise Ireland to participate in its inaugural life sciences trade mission to the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul in Minnesota in September 2016. “Previous to this request, I had booked personal flights to attend a family wedding in Spain. The end of the trade mission clashed with the weekend wedding, which I had already committed to attend, so I had to turn down the Enterprise Ireland invitation initially. “However, as the trade mission was deemed to be of significant importance to Ireland’s indigenous life sciences sector and would benefit from the support of a ministerial presence, Enterprise Ireland requested that I attend and remain in the US to complete the final engagements of the visit and …

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Clare must travel for opening championship games

Clare will face neighbours Limerick in the first round of the 2018 Munster senior football championship. This will be the third year in a row that the Shannonside neighbours will meet in the first round and, as was the case in 2017. The winners will face defending champions Kerry in the provincial semi-final. Clare must travel to the Gaelic grounds to face Limerick and if victorious here they will travel to play Kerry Colm Collins has recently committed to the manager’s role for a fourth year and he will be hoping to oversee continued improvement. Under his guidance, the team has made huge progress and all involved will be hoping to continue that work. A new hurling format is in place for next season with a round robin series in place to determine who will win the Munster and Leinster championships. There will be four games in five weeks and the top two in each province will then go on …

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