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Three turn up to headshop protest

DESPITE an ongoing media focus on the ever-increasing number of headshops opening throughout the country, only three people turned up at a protest organised by Sinn Féin at the Harmonisation Headshop on Woodquay this week.All three protesters were involved in organising the protest and voiced their disappointment at the apparent complacency of the general public towards headshops.Seán Hayes of Ógra Sinn Féin said that they expected more people to join their protest. “We are disappointed that more people did not turn up. There is still a level of complacency and a lack of understanding about headshops and the products on sale in them and we want the risks highlighted so that people, including parents of teenagers and young adults, will be aware of what is available legally in shops nowadays,” Mr Hayes said.He believes that the matter is a “tragedy waiting to happen”. “It is only a matter of time before someone sustains a long-term effect or even dies from …

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Jobs blow with Halifax closure

EIGHT jobs will be lost in Ennis following the announcement that Halifax is to close its retail banking business in the Republic of Ireland.A spokesman for the company said that the job losses in Ennis included full and part-time workers and that it is likely that the branch would close in June.Joe Higgins, chief executive officer of Bank of Scotland (Ireland), said that their decision hadn’t been taken lightly. “It is with deep regret that we announce our intention to close our Halifax retail business and our Bank of Scotland (Ireland) intermediary business in the Republic of Ireland, both for the colleagues who contributed strongly to building these businesses and for the customers who joined us. We have arrived at this difficult position only after an extensive and exhaustive review of all options to secure a viable future for the bank overall and for these businesses. We will be engaging in consultation with our union partners, Unite, and we will …

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Endoscopy unit funding concerns

Concern has been expressed about the absence of a written commitment from the Health Service Executive (HSE) to fund the new endoscopy unit at Ennis hospital this year. Clare Fine Gael Deputy Pat Breen expressed his disappointment that the 2010 HSE Service Plan contains no commitment to fund this vital diagnostic facility.“Last month, I was advised by the HSE that the new endoscopy unit at Ennis general hospital was at design stage and that following a decision being finalised on the fire certificate application that they would then be moving ahead to tender stage.  “Following the publication of the HSE Service Plan for 2010, I am very disappointed to note that there is no commitment to fund this unit this year at Ennis hospital.  “However, at the same time an additional €1.5m is earmarked for the provision of a similar unit at Nenagh hospital.  It appears that one Independent deputy in Tipperary North has far more influence than two Government …

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Hostel voted country’s best

A NEWLY opened Ennis institution was this week named Ireland’s top hostel by a leading international website. The eighth annual Hoscars (Hostelworld Customer Annual Ratings) named three Clare establishments in the top four hostels in the country.Hostelworld customers selected Ennis’s Rowan Tree Hostel as Ireland’s best hostel. While there has been a hostel on the Harmony Row site for a number of years, The Rowan Tree Hostel only opened last year after an extensive renovation and refurbishment of the existing building.Marianne Maurer and her husband Brian O’Neil run the hostel and attended Tuesday night’s award ceremony in Dublin. “We received a certificate and will be sent on a plaque recognising our achievement. We think this will be a huge benefit to us. We are only just open a year and hopefully, it will be good for the summer and bring more people to Ennis and the mid-west,” Marianne told The Clare Champion.  The Ennis establishment knocked last year’s number one …

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