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Shannon novelist on the scene of the crime

CERTAIN unsolved crimes echo in Ireland’s consciousness over decades, with names like Philip Cairns, Raonaid Murray and Trevor Deely still recognisable long after their deaths or disappearances. What happens when a crime goes unsolved for far too long is the theme of Rachael English’s new novel, The Night of the Party, set in Clare during the heavy snow of 1982. In her fictional village of Kilmitten, parish priest Fr Galvin is killed, and the crime remains still unsolved a generation later. “Even though it starts with a crime, I wouldn’t really call it a crime novel. You could probably call it a mystery in the old-fashioned way. It’s not a modern thriller, with fingerprints and DNA and serial killers,” says the author and RTÉ presenter, who hails from Shannon. The story shows how being close to a terrible event, but not talking about it, can reverberate through a life, with one of the main characters carrying a dark secret from …

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Ennis travel agent wins prestigious award

County Clare travel specialist Gearóid Mannion has won the prestigious award for ‘Best Corporate’ at the annual conference for leading independent travel company, Travel Counsellors. The awards, which recognise the exceptional work of Travel Counsellors’ network of franchisees, were presented at a black-tie ceremony in Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow. The gala event featured as part of Travel Counsellors’ renowned two-day annual conference, which saw over 160 travel professionals in attendance. Speaking about his win, Ennis-based Gearóid, who specialises in corporate travel and holidays for discerning clients, said: “It is an honour to be awarded ‘Best Corporate’. I’ve been in travel all my life, and with Travel Counsellors for the past few years, and it is a job I am extremely passionate about. For both my business and leisure clients, I focus on offering what sets Travel Counsellors apart… bespoke experiences, expert advice, and unrivalled customer service.” Commending Gearóid on his award, General Manager of Travel Counsellors Ireland, Cathy Burke stated: “Every …

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Aer Lingus changes to Shannon-US winter services

AER LINGUS has opted to reverse a pattern of recent years at Shannon, opting to continue with its New York service in the opening months of 2019, while suspending its Boston service. A spokesperson for Shannon said that in the final analysis Aer Lingus will now be able to accommodate more passengers travelling between Shannon and the US due to this move. “On balance we are pleased with the extra transatlantic capacity that this service switch creates. This change strengthens Aer Lingus’s commitment to Shannon by adding an extra 2,500 (seats) and restores a year-round service from New York to Shannon, but we are disappointed that the Boston market can only be accessed via New York for this two month winter period.” While the statement said that Shannon would continue to work with Aer Lingus on the Boston service, there are extra benefits to maintaining a link with a major global hub like JFK. “The benefits of the restoration and …

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Shannon Airport to aid farmers with silage cut

Shannon Airport has pledged its support to farmers battling the current fodder crisis by offering to repeat its intervention of 2013 when it harvested silage from its 400 acre site. The Airport’s operations team will meet with farm representatives over the coming days to explore the need to fast-track cutting of grass on the airport grounds in light of the severe difficulties faced by many farmers due to the prolonged inclement winter and spring weather. The airport’s grass husbandry programme is not due to see any grass inside the airport perimeter cut until later in the summer, but in light of the shortages, the airport is offering to bring it forward to support local farmers. Five years ago, in late April, farmers received 1,600 bales of silage from the airport in what was then the most severe fodder crisis in living memory. Airport operations director Niall Maloney said,“Farmers were in difficulty back then and, having seen just how important our …

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Remembering Winnie Mandela’s Shannon stopover

FOLLOWING the death of Winnie Mandela on Easter Monday, former airport police officer John O’Halloran recalled a stopover she made at Shannon Airport in 1990. It was shortly after her husband’s release from 27 years of imprisonment, and the visit was quite unexpected. “At the time this photo was taken she was due to come to Ireland about a month later on an official visit,” says John. He ended up with the first photos of Mrs Mandela taken here with her husband. “He [Nelson Mandela] was on a tour of a handful of nations around the world. He had gone from Johannesburg, arrived in Rome, stayed there for a while and he was going to Ottowa in Canada. “On the way they were running low on fuel and they diverted into Shannon unexpectedly. On the day I was in charge of Airport Police and I didn’t call anyone in, we looked after them while they were there.” John added, “She …

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Killanena Tractor Run to Support Clare Crusaders

TRACTORS are expected to line the roads of East Clare this Sunday as the annual Killanena tractor run takes place. Departing from Canny’s Bar, Killanena at 12.30pm with registration from 11.30am modern and vintage tractors are welcome. The tractor run was initially the brainchild of a very small group of people in the parish, as a way of raising funds for a worthwhile cause. Organiser Martin Canny said, “This is our third run with the last two raising very substantial amounts for the relevant causes. What began as an idea to try and give a little back has developed into a huge event”. This year the run is in aid of the Clare Crusaders Children’s Clinic. The Clare Crusaders Children’s Clinic provides free therapy and specialist treatment to over 500 children with special needs in County Clare. They are a self financing service located in Barefield, Ennis. The Clinic receives no state funding what so ever and depend on the generosity of the people in the communities to raise over €250,000 per annum to provide the current level of therapy for children. The Clinic was opened in 2007 thanks to the dedication and hard work of a group of parents to overcome the lack of publicly available treatment for children with  with mixed disabilities including Down Syndrome Autism, and Cerebral Palsy. It was a community response to the lack of access to services that children with disabilities need in order to meet their potential. “Please come and support this charity. Everyone is welcome to what promises to be a fantastic day with refreshments and entertainment afterwards. Your support is greatly appreciated,” Martin concluded. More information is available by contacting Canny’s Bar.

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Anti-Terror Exercise Staged at Shannon Airport

Members of the Emergency Response Unit, Regional Armed Support Unit and Garda Air Support Unit as well as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit were involved in a simulated anti-terrorism training exercise at Shannon Airport this Tuesday morning. The staged event saw the airport being stormed by an armed group, calling themselves the Doomsday Cult. During the simulated attack, the terrorist group fired blank rounds of ammunition at trainee gardaí who were acting as passengers in the departures lounge of Shannon Airport. As the exercise progressed it triggered a coordinated armed response from members of the Garda Air Support Unit, the Defence Forces, the naval service, the air corps, the EOD, and Shannon Airport personnel . The situation then moved to a hostage negotiation scenario where a tactical team was deployed to reason with the terrorist group and recover the hostages. The exercise was staged at Shannon Airport between 2.30pm and 4pm on Tuesday and involved upwards of 130 individuals. The …

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Teenager questioned over Shannon stabbing released from custody

A 19 year-old arrested by gardaí in their investigation into a fatal stabbing at a Shannon night club at the weekend has been released without charge. Gardaí say a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions for his consideration. Employees at the Shannon Knights night club have been interviewed by gardaí while CCTV footage has also been examined to determine the sequence of events which led to the 23 year-old man being fatally stabbed. The dead man has been named as Jamie Higgins from Mungret in Limerick city. He is a past pupil of Crescent Comprehensive School in Dooradoyle and was a noted rugby and soccer player. He celebrated his 23rd birthday only last month. Another man injured during this incident is still being treated at University Hospital Limerick. However his injuries are not life threatening. An altercation took place between a number of males at the night club and two males were injured and taken …

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