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€5million Gathering boost for the county

The Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative has attracted approximately 10,000 international visitors to Clare, injecting up to €5 million into the local economy during the first six months of the year.

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COMMENT: Head over heart on bog cutting

MY heart is with the turf-cutters in their bid to cut turf where their fathers and grandfathers cut it and in spite of a Government and an EU ban on the activity. My head, however, is with the Government on this one. It has no choice but to enforce the ban; if they fail to do it, we, the ordinary taxpayer, will be forced to pay out up to €9m a year in fines to Europe.

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COMMENT: Information the most valuable commodity

  “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” – Thomas Pynchon. (1937 – ) THERE was a piece of reassuring news this week. It was the first in what has felt like a long time. The Irish High Court rejected the application of the United States for an arrest warrant for the fugitive Edward Snowden. The former intelligence contractor has been identified as the main source of leaked classified information and has been, we are told, holed up in a Moscow transit lounge for the last few weeks. The rejection was not an act of rebellion but a straightforward adherence to a point of law. The judge stated that because the US had failed to indicate where the alleged offences took place, he was compelled to reject the application. This incident was a timely reminder that, in fact, there is still a place for the rule of law in contemporary geopolitics. …

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EDITORIAL: New era for Ennis Hospital

A NEW era for health services in Clare dawned earlier in the week after the old emergency department in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Ennis, now known as Ennis Hospital, was split into a Local Injury Unit (LIU) and Medical Assessment Unit (MAU).

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Shannon’s US routes expand

AER Lingus has announced it will be significantly increasing the frequency of its Boston and New York services from Shannon next year, which, a spokesman for the airline said, would see the creation of around 100 new jobs.   The expansion, announced on Wednesday, would require additional cabin crew, pilots and ground-handling workers, the company said. It’s also likely to create jobs in Clare’s tourism industry, particularly as American visitors are far higher spenders than Europeans. The extra flights would also benefit US companies that have bases in the West of Ireland. The additional services should result in around 50,000 more people flying between Shannon and the US next year, most of whom will be Americans visiting this country. Overall, there should be around 177,000 on the two routes in 2014, while this could rise to over 210,000 in 2015. Aer Lingus had no transatlantic services from Shannon for the first 10 weeks of 2013 and for the rest of …

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Scariff priest built friendship with Mandela

AS Nelson Mandela remains in a stable but critical condition in hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, a Scariff woman this week recalled a family connection to the anti-apartheid icon – a man described as having a “very, very warm handshake”.

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€20 Spancilhill pony abused by children

A PONY sold for just €20 at Spancilhill was subsequently ridden and beaten by a group of children in an estate in Ennis.

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