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New lease of life for Our Lady’s site?

PLANS for a development on the site of Our Lady’s Hospital, expected to generate hundreds of jobs, have been given a new lease of life. JJ Enterprises Limited is applying to Clare County Council to extend previously granted planning permission for the development of a healthcare facility at the historic site on the Gort Road. Permission had been granted to Duesbury Limited back in 2013 for the development, subject to 23 conditions. The application to extend that permission has been lodged with Clare County Council and was at the pre-validation stage at the time of going to press. The initial plans include the construction of a four-storey healthcare facility over the basement building, linked to the existing protected structure. It is proposed to provide a full range of medical and related services, including 97 in-patient beds, 30 recovery cubicles, consultants’ suites, administration, office accommodation, pharmacy shop, catering facilities, crèche, energy centre, plant rooms and all ancillary accommodation. The development will …

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NUJ honours local media stalwarts

TWO local media stalwarts have been honoured for a lifetime of service to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) at a ceremony organised by the union’s Irish South West branch. Clare Champion Sports Editor Seamus Hayes and public relations professional, Colman Garrihy were honoured for their service to the NUJ over more than 40 years. Lissycasey native Seamus Hayes is well known throughout the county and the region in his role with The Champion, having joined the newsroom directly from St Flannan’s College in Ennis, where he excelled both as a student and sportsman on various teams. Seamus joined the union when The Clare Champion chapel was set up in 1971. In the early days, he was a member of a very trim newsroom staff, which included another long-time NUJ member, Tony Mulvey. He covered Shannon Town when it was in its infancy but sport was always his passion and he brought his personal experience to bear in his writing …

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Construction jobs on the increase

More than 50,000 jobs have been created in the construction industry since the lowest point of the recession in 2013. CSO figures, released this week,indicate that industry has hired approximately 1,000 people per month in this period. It is expected that one in 16 people in the economy will be employed in construction by 2019 as the industry enters a sustained growth phase. The construction sector has an important role to play in the continued recovery of the economy, according to Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys. “I welcome the news that over 50,000 jobs have been created in the construction industry since 2013, and that it is entering a sustained growth phase. It also builds on the positive announcement from the CSO that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2018 was 6.1%, down from 6.2% in December 2017, and a peak of 15.1% in February 2012,” she said. Tom Parlon, CIF director general, said, “The growth …

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Met Éireann hailstones warning

Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for hailstones for this afternoon (Wednesday) up to 3pm. Hailstones are a year round occurrence in Ireland and can create very dangerous driving conditions due to their unpredictable and localised nature. The RSA has produced a short information video offering simple but effective advice on what to do if you encounter a sudden shower of hailstones on the road. In addition, cruise control should be switched off when driving in hazardous weather conditions. If you find yourself caught in a sudden downpour of hailstones, here are some tips to be aware of from the RSA: Reduce your speed without breaking Warn other drivers with your hazard warning lights Avoid sudden steering movements or breaking suddenly Don’t forget to keep an eye on forecast and travel bulletins. For more information, check out this informative video from the RSA:

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Council support for local groups

Community and voluntary groups are being invited to submit applications to the Municipal District of Ennis Community and Arts Grant Scheme 2018. The objective of the grant scheme is to encourage and support local organisations and groups active in the cultural, artistic and community development needs of Ennis and its environs. Applications from organisations must be based within the Municipal District of Ennis area and the projects submitted for grant assistance under the €25,000 scheme must have a Municipal District of Ennis focus. Application forms and guidelines for the Community and Arts Grant Scheme 2018 are now available on ennismunicipaldistrict@clarecoco.ie. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday, February 16.

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Russian gangsters may have teamed up with Trump on Doonbeg, US intel committee hears

RUSSIAN mafia figures may have become involved with Donald Trump in Doonbeg, it has been claimed at a sitting of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In an interview with the committee in November, a transcript of which was published this week, researcher Glenn Simpson detailed links between US President Trump and Russian organised crime figures. Mr Simpson also said that in the course of carrying out research on the US President at the time he was a candidate, it had been found that the development of Doonbeg was one of several unusual deals. A former journalist, Mr Simpson works at Washington commercial research firm, Fusion GPS. In the autumn of 2015, it was hired to take an open-ended detailed look at Trump’s business career, litigation history and his relationships with what were described as “questionable people”. Asked about deals of interest involving the now US President, Mr Simpson said, “Some of the things that we have…looked …

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UCC designated university of sanctuary

Seven asylum seekers and refugees will receive full scholarships enabling them to study at University College Cork, today (Thursday) designated University of Sanctuary status. Set to be provided from September 2018, the scholarships will cover full fees and tuition, in addition to a number of annual bursaries covering travel and expenses. UCC’s Sanctuary Status is a marker not just of what has been achieved in UCC, but an indicator of the need for sustained and creative work to support asylum seekers and refugees locally and internationally, according to UCC’s Senior Vice President, Professor Caroline Fennell. “Universities provide a key space in which to challenge societal assumptions and to support and highlight work aimed at fostering a culture of welcome for asylum seekers and refugees. “Through the range of initiatives cultivated over many years in UCC, we are dedicated to providing spaces to learn about what sanctuary means, to develop a sustainable culture of welcome and to share our practices and …

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