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Satefy petition over Kilkishen NS

IMPROVEMENT works and safety measures are to be considered and put in place to slow down traffic at Kilkishen National School, after a petition was submitted to members of the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Alan O’Callaghan called on Clare County Council to carry out works at the school to slow traffic, in the interest of the health and safety of children. At last week’s meeting of the municipal district, a petition with approximately 80 signatures was handed in on behalf of locals who were confirming these concerns. Responding, Hugh McGrath, senior executive engineer, said, “It is accepted that there are safety concerns at this location relating to traffic in the vicinity of the school. We are to carry out improvement works to the road surface at this location in the coming months.” In advance of the works, Mr McGrath said the local authority will give consideration to any measures that may improve road safety at this location in consultation with …

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Housing and jobs key to survival of shops in East Clare

THE lack of housing and employment have emerged as key issues to safeguard the future viability of rural shops in East Clare. O’Meara’s grocery and agri-business supplier is the only retail outlet in Flagmont village, operating out of the same premises since 1897. It was all started by John O’Meara. His great grandson, Thomas O’Meara, has been managing the shop since 2010, with valuable assistance from his mother, Annette. It provides a valuable service to people in East Clare from 9am to 8pm, six days a week and 9am to 1pm on Sunday. The key to its success is it provides, in the words of Thomas, a “bit of everything”, grocery, fuel, convenience goods and a large variety of agricultural supplies. The long hours in a rural shop mean it is very much a “vocation” for this family-run business. Asked if there is a magic wand solution to keep rural shops alive, Thomas says there is no quick-fix solution, but …

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Contractor withdraws from Ennis flood relief scheme

AN €8.6 million flood relief scheme that will protect more than 120 homes, along with businesses and St Flannan’s College, in Ennis is being delayed as a result of a “contractural issue”. Clare County Council has confirmed that the preferred contractor for the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme has formally withdrawn their tender and works are now not expected to begin until next year at the earliest. It had been anticipated that the project would get underway this summer. The scheme now has to be re-tendered “at the earliest juncture” and “works on the ground will most likely not commence until the spring of 2019,” the local authority stated. Councillor Johnny Flynn expressed disappointment at the delay in “this crucial piece of infrastructure”. The scheme represents the final phase of flood defence works in the town and includes the townlands of Clonroadmore, Ballybeg and Clareabbey, which suffered badly during the floods of 2009. Minister of State Pat Breen assured that …

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hannon gets the country’s first Starbucks drive-thru

The Shannon Free Zone has become home of the country’s first drive-thru Starbucks as the US coffee house chain opened the doors of its latest outlet to the public. The 204sq metre unit developed by Shannon Group subsidiary, Shannon Commercial Properties, will employ 15 people as it becomes the latest page to turn in the evolving story of the Shannon Free Zone. The US based giant, which is among the world’s largest coffee companies and coffee house chains, operates over 20,000 outlets globally but this is the very first drive-thru in the Republic of Ireland. Starbucks opened its first Irish store in 2005. Located in Shannon Free Zone ‘West’, the single storey unit will include outdoor – as well as indoor – seating, ideal for the heatwave currently gripping the nation. Given its location in one of the country’s largest industrial parks, the unit also, appropriately, comprise a coffee dock/meeting hub that will service the entire industrial estate and prove …

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At the School Cycle at Ennis Fire Station on Wednesday were, from left, Clare Champion managing director John Galvin; Clare hurler and advertising sales representative of The Clare Champion, David Reidy, CBS pupil Mark Glynn and his dad, Darragh and organiser, Róisín Garvey.

Biggest gathering ever of young cyclists in Ennis

Last Wednesday, to celebrate National Bike Week, almost 700 children from Ennis and surrounds, along with 100 adults, took part in a 3km cycle around Ennis to promote the benefits of cycling to school. Starting from behind the Fire Station on new road, the peleton took a tour around the town, taking over the streets for almost an hour. At the finish at The Fair Green, the children were organised into groups to make up a giant   ‘1.5’ on the playing field to remind motorists to leave at least 1.5m space around cyclists on the road.                    

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Film on Burren offers a European dimension

IN celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Galway Film Centre, in partnership with Clare and Galway county councils, with support from the Heritage Council of Ireland, have announced the commissioning of a documentary series with filmmaker Paul Murphy. Entitled Stories from the Landscape: The European Dimension, the project will involve the production of two short documentaries on the theme of landscape and will record aspects of our built and natural heritage across Europe, in both Ireland and Austria. The first film will look at the tradition of dry stone wall building and will visit two festivals that celebrate this; Féile na gCloch on Inis Oírr on the Aran Islands and Stein Und Wein, which takes place in Langenlois in the north-east of Austria. Though many miles apart, both Inis Oírr and Langenlois celebrate the tradition of dry stone walling with festivals that are both regional and local development strategies towards sustainable tourism. The second film will focus on …

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Australian Ambassador visits Spanish Point

THE Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Andrews, visited St Joseph’s Secondary School in Spanish Point last week, at part of his day-long visit to the county. Originally from Canberra, which is the administrative capital of Australia, Mr Andrews has visited the county a few times prior to this trip, in a private capacity. “I’ve been here a couple of times on holidays and I came down for the Fleadh Cheoil last year. I have an interest in music generally and, as a whim, I decided it would be a good idea to learn how to play the uileann pipes when I came to Ireland. I’m not sure that I’ll inflict my skills on you at this stage,” he laughed. The ambassador has worked for 30 years in the Australian public service and has served for just under two years in his current role. He visited Spanish Point due to the area’s connection with a local man, who made the Clare …

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Kilkee coast guard unit further down-graded

ACROSS the May Bank Holiday weekend, Kilkee had no coast guard service available in the event of an emergency. A source has told The Clare Champion that the limited service the Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard had been providing was further down-graded, following a recent training incident. It has also been claimed that the current coast guard crew have not recently passed an Operational Readiness Assessment (ORA) in more than two years. The Clare Champion contacted the Department of Transport on Wednesday for a comment on the claims, but it had not responded at the time of going to press. “The coast guard will say that they have a boat. We all know they have a boat but they don’t have a crew. Every time they need to go in the water, they need to bring an instructor down from Maritime SAR to even get on the water to do the training. There are about six people who …

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