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Burren Lowlands gets funding boost

BURREN Lowlands CLG was, has been approved funding of €182,786 for an enterprise development initiative which will create a focal point for activities to develop and attract additional jobs to the area of South Galway and North Clare. The allocation comes under the Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Development Funds and will allow for a number of priority projects to advance in 2019. The Burren Lowlands vision is to make the region a better place to live, work and visit by focussing on three key pillars, community, enterprise and tourism. “This is the enterprise element of our strategy which we will be building on over the next three years with the expertise of a full time manager based in Gort, working with entrepreneurs and companies around the region” said Teresa Butler, voluntary project manager. Burren Lowlands CLG and the new manager will be focussing on a number of key areas; the development of a co-working space in Gort, an associate centre …

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Their first Noel in Lisdoonvarna

WHILE Christmas means something different in every country, the people of Lisdoonvarna are determined to make sure their newest international residents’ first festive season in Ireland is a special one. Since last March, the King Thomond Hotel has become home to more than 100 people seeking asylum from a large number of countries, including Somalia, Palestine, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Iran, Cameroon, Pakistan and Egypt. Over the last few weeks, several local groups and individuals from as far afield as the University of Limerick, have come forward offering their support in different ways, such as the use of kitchen facilities, lifts to and from Ennis and Limerick, Christmas gift cards, toys and clothes, and even an invitation to the Glór Christmas pantomime. The residents in the King Thomond have also been getting involved with several events in the community. A group of the ladies spent weeks practicing for the Clare Crusaders’ Christmas-dance fundraiser in aid of children with special …

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“The whole town has changed”

A BUSINESS that combines a pub and shop is nearly a thing of the past but a few of them still survive, including Kenny’s in Ennis. Located at the corner of Carmody Street and Drumbiggle Road, it is a type of premises that is now almost unique in Ennis, where one can get a newspaper and a couple of groceries at the front and a pint of Guinness or a whiskey in the back. When The Clare Champion visited on Thursday night of last week, Tony Coote was one of those seated comfortably at the bar. “I’m a regular here; it’s a very unique pub. There aren’t many places you’d come in and see tennis balls for sale,” he laughs, pointing at a bag of them hanging up in the shop. If you were looking for an authentic Irish bar, it would be hard to beat Kenny’s and some visitors to the town do make their way there, Tony said. …

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Estlin’s light shines on this Christmas

EVEN in the darkest days a gesture of kindness can bring some light. An Ennistymon family who tragically lost their daughter last year, are helping to make this Christmas a little bit brighter for others in an amazing act of generosity. Amy Dutil-Wall and her partner Vincent Wall from Ennistymon have endured the deepest of tragedies with the loss of Estlin Luna just before her fourth birthday in a car crash last year that also left Vincent fighting for his life. In honour of Estlin, the family have decided to donate some Christmas gifts to two worthy young girls around her age. Amy explains that she got the idea after seeing a number of offers of help to those in need on the Clare Free to a Good Home site. “It was something I was thinking of doing for a while, to give a gift in honour of Estlin and I thought why not this year. The holidays can be …

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UL Students Create Post Exam Christmas Video

Two long weeks of winter exams have just finished up at University of Limerick (UL), with over 13,000 students heading home for the holiday period after a semester of hard work and study. To mark this special time of year, UL has released this festive, feel-good video telling a homecoming story to which all students can relate. The video was shot and edited by two of UL’s Digital Media Design students, Patrick Hayes and Darragh Lynch, who are in 2nd and 4th year respectively, and stars 4th year Journalism and New Media student Rebecca Laffan, who lives in Clare. “A the big brands like John Lewis start releasing their Christmas videos in mid-November trying to get people in the festive mood, our students are really knuckling down studying for their winter exams.  We wanted to be able to give a view into student life how we see it every day, the hard work and dedication of our students is evident all …

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Zimmer Biomet Celebrating 10 Years Of Irish Operations

One of Clare’s leading employers is celebrating a decade of its operations in Ireland. Zimmer Biomet have bases in Shannon and Oranmore, with the company’s footprint in Ireland now featuring two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities plus a professional education centre that attracts healthcare professionals from around the world. General Manager of its Irish manufacturing facilities Claude Costelloe said: “Our team is at the heart of our success. We are proud that our Ireland operations deliver products that treat a broad range of musculoskeletal health conditions and help alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for people around the world. Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, congratulated Zimmer Biomet on reaching the milestone. “Exports of medical devices and diagnostic products represent eight percent of Ireland’s total merchandise exports,” said Mr Shanahan. “As a global leader, Zimmer Biomet is a significant contributor to that number and a great example of successful investment in Ireland. In terms of economic impact, the company’s two …

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Breen Welcomes Funding Boost For North Clare Schools

A North Clare primary school has been granted funding to expand its facilities. The Department of Education gave the green light for the development of a mainstream classroom, en-suite and WC for assisted users. The news comes in the same week that Doolin National School received the go-ahead to develop similar facilities with work to get underway on two mainstream classrooms along with en-suite toilets and WC for assisted users. Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen has described the developments as a huge vote of confidence in smaller schools and their importance to rural Ireland. Minister Breen said, “It is hugely encouraging that smaller rural schools like Boston National School are increasing in population, but with this increase in pupil numbers comes more demands for space. This two-teacher north Clare school has enjoyed an increase in enrolment figures year on year for the past five years, and as such the current school …

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Work to start on Ennistymon Innovation Centre

Construction work on a new Multi-Service Innovation Centre located in the heart of Ennistymon will commence on Monday. Clare County Council has signed a contract with Jada Projects Ltd for the development which involves the conversion of an existing building, located on Parliament Street. The Multi-Service Innovation Centre comprises hotdesks with business broadband, incubation units for small businesses, meeting rooms, training rooms and full audio visual facilities. The first floor of the shared services building will be occupied by North-West Clare Family Resource Centre. Mol an Óige Steiner National School is also an existing tenant within the building complex. The local authority facility is scheduled to open in September 2019.

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