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Cliffs of Moher go underground

Millions of French commuters are seeing ads for Ireland, featuring the Cliffs of Moher, on large billboard posters as they pass through the busy metro stations of Paris. Tourism Ireland in France has teamed up with a leading online travel agent – Go Voyages – once again this year for a joint promotional campaign. Some 660 billboard ads are prominently displayed in metro stations across the French capital, grabbing the attention of commuters with beautiful images of the Cliffs of Moher and the Causeway Coastal Route and featuring attractive offers for a weekend break – reminding them why they should put the island of Ireland on their holiday wish-list for 2016. The campaign also includes advertising in Direct Matin (free daily newspaper), radio ads on the Chante France radio station, online advertising and a dedicated Ireland page on the Go Voyages website. Elmagh Killeen, Tourism Ireland’s manager for southern Europe, said: “2015 was the third consecutive record-breaking year for French …

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Coillte insecticide licence decision deplored

AN East Clare man has described the granting of a five-year licence to Coillte to spray cypermethrin as “extremely disappointing” and “hugely disrespectful”. In February, Coillte held a meeting with a number of concerned residents from the Derryoran-Ballyhinch area, who delivered a petition to the Coillte office in Scariff, clarifying their stance against the spraying of the cypermethrin insecticide in the forests surrounding their homes. Mountshannon resident, Brian Ragbourn initiated the Derryoran-Ballyhinch petition, which was signed and supported by nine other locals, who are concerned by the spraying of the insecticide, which was banned in France, Germany, Sweden and Italy 10 years ago. Cypermethrin is sprayed on forestry by Coillte to prevent and control the harmful pine weevil pest decimating non-native spruce and pine trees. Mr Ragbourn said his research had yielded dozens of reports “detailing independent scientific research that revealed harmful biological effects of cypermethrin on frogs, fish, lizards, chickens, rats and earthworms”. He said the locality provides a …

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Heading for ‘roads up in the clouds’

Care County Council could end up with “roads up in the clouds”, if it continues to raise roads affected by flooding, instead of looking at drainage alternatives, a local councillor has claimed. Flood remedial works on the outskirts of Newmarket-on-Fergus have created problems in other areas in the locality, according to Councillor Alan O’Callaghan. Councillor O’Callaghan told  a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting that in the region of €300,000 was spent on raising a road in Ballycar to facilitate access for a number of houses, which the householders really appreciated. However, he pointed out that this road was still blocked with water 100 yards further on, which resulted in another portion being raised on two successive occasions. “While works needed to be done on these roads, the bigger picture here is drainage. Or are we going to end up with roads up in the clouds? “Eighty percent of the water could be alleviated, if drains and culverts were being opened. …

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Mini roundabout proposal for traffic problems

TRAFFIC levels are leaving residents of Corrovorrin and St Senan’s Road in Ennis “frustrated”, a meeting of local councillors has heard. Among the solutions suggested was a mini-roundabout in the area. Councillor Ann Norton, at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, asked that a traffic survey be carried out at the exit of Corrovorrin and St Senan’s Road to investigate the viability of the traffic-calming measure. She commented, “Residents in the area are quite concerned and frustrated; there is quite a lot of traffic.” Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer, told the meeting that a proposal funded by a Low Cost Safety Scheme went through a public consultation process for traffic-calming and was withdrawn at approval stage at Ennis Town Council, as approval was not forthcoming from the councillors. He explained, “The key issue in the withdrawal of the previous proposal was the position of the local shop to the junction and the requirements under road design guidelines that eliminated …

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Shannon man threats chain protest

ONE Shannnon man has vowed he will chain himself to gates at the site of the proposed crematorium at Illaunnamanagh to stop machinery getting in to start work. Pat Madden says he is utterly determined to prevent the crematorium going ahead at the current location, which he says is very inappropriate. “I’m only speaking for myself here now, my colleagues and I have to debate it, but I am prepared to chain myself to the gate. Should it proceed a bit farther, there is another option open to me,” he said. While he didn’t go into detail on what other options he might be considering, he added, “I’m prepared to take very, very extensive measures, but that’s not a threat of violence or anything like that.” However, he indicated that his own personal safety might be at risk. Even if the crematorium were built, he said he would be moved to protest when funerals began. “If it is finished, the …

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Falls Hotel loses discrimination case

A North Clare man was discriminated against on the grounds of gender by a well-known hotel, when it allowed “a female member of staff enter the gents’ changing room while it was occupied”, it has been found, in what may be the first case of its kind in Ireland. In the extremely unusual case, The Falls Hotel was ordered to pay Lahinch man, Thomas Flanagan compensation, after it was determined that the Ennistymon hotel had discriminated against him by treating him less favourably than a woman would have been if the circumstances were reversed. Mr Flanagan contacted the director of the Equality Tribunal on May 13, 2014, claiming The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, had discriminated against him by subjecting him to regular occurrences of a female member of staff entering the gents’ changing room of The Falls Hotel, “which resulted in his discrimination, harassment and victimisation between October 2012 and January 2014”, contrary to the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2012. …

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Kayaker pulled from water in Kilkee

A KAYAKER in his mid 30s, who is believed to have been visiting the area, was pulled from the water in the West End, Kilkee late on Wednesday afternoon. Members of the public had tried to help him by throwing life buoys into the water. The man got into difficulty at Majella’s Cove just before 5pm and was rescued shortly afterwards, after Kilkee Coastguard were alerted by the public. “It kicked off at 4.55pm, following reports from numerous members of the public that there was a person in difficulty in the bay in Kilkee. He was clinging to a kayak that had got overturned. The weather had got extremely bad here fairly fast,” Martony Vaughan, officer in charge of Irish Coastguard Unit in Kilkee said. “We were alerted and we got him over on the rocks. We took him to safety, recovered his kayak and several other bits. Members of the public had been throwing life rings into him from …

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Fleadh to return to Ennis in 2017

The decision of the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to stage Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017 in Ennis has been warmly welcomed in County Clare. Hosting the world famous traditional music event for two years in a row is a mammoth challenge but one that we embrace with open arms, according to Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh, Cathaoirleach of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Inis 2016. “On a Sunday morning during Fleadh Nua in 2010, Frank Whelan, Rory Casey, Pat Liddy and I first discussed the idea of bringing the Fleadh back to Ennis. Little did we realise then, the time and effort it would take to have it back in Clare for the first time in nearly 40 years. To have the Fleadh back twice in consecutive years is beyond our wildest dreams,’ he continued. “Right now, it’s full steam ahead in Ennis to make this year’s All Ireland the greatest ever. We are learning a great deal in a very short …

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