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Silicon Valley trip for Shannon’s young innovators

Everything from microchips inserted at birth to predict health problems to self-drive cars with workstations were imagined for a world 50 years from now as 700 students competed at the second Young Innovators competition at Shannon Airport. The students representing schools nationwide were set the tasks of imagining the world 50 years from now and coming up with new business ideas for then across six categories – how we Live, Work, Play, Shop, Learn and Travel. Top honours were claimed by St. Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon. The Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG) event, in association with LIT, saw the students mentored by representatives from some of the world’s leading companies including Dell, Intel, Analog, Johnson and Johnson, Cook Medical, Zagg and Logitech ahead of submitting their project. A short list of six schools – eventual winners St. Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon (Work category); Mary Immaculate, Lisdoonvarna (Play category, 2nd place); Patrician Academy, Mallow (Shop category, 3rd place); Salesian College, Limerick (Travel category); Castletroy …

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Young Innovators touch down at Shannon

Some 700 students will touch down in Shannon Airport on Wednesday morning to compete for the The Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG) Young Innovators title. The event starts at 10am in the terminal building and will see the students from 15 counties imagine the world 50 years from now in a competition to become Ireland’s ‘Young Innovators’ for 2016. Teams will be tasked with exploring how society will live, work, play, shop, learn and travel half a century away. The winning team will be announced at 4pm following a pitch by a shortlist of finalists and will walk away with not alone the ‘Young Innovators’ title but a dream trip to Silicon Valley, California courtesy of Aer Lingus. Students will have the opportunity over the course of the day to meet with and hear from experts from these companies as well as experts in future technologies from the third level sector. Mentors from industry will work with students on the day …

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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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