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Martin Hayes first recipient of UL award

The musical genius of Clare fiddler Martin Hayes has been acknowledged in his selection as the first recipient of a prestigious new award at the University of Limerick. UL has announced a new three-year arts patronage award through the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. The Irish World Academy Artist, will facilitate the creative process of selected artists across a three-year period through a budget of €60,000. Martin Hayes, the first recipient, has been internationally acclaimed for bringing his local East Clare traditional fiddle style to a global audience through his many performances and recording. The Irish World Academy Artist at the University of Limerick will undertake a series of creative projects across the three-year span. Students of the academy will have access to open workshops in the building on the banks of the river Shannon on the University Campus. Professor Don Barry, president of UL, said, “It is fitting that an artist of the stature of Martin Hayes should …

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Increased flow through Parteen Weir

Levels in Lough Derg have increased overnight and the flow of water through Parteen Weir will increase to 195 cubic metres per second today (Wednesday). Since last weekend, the level of flow has been at 160 cumecs. The situation will be reviewed again tomorrow. This level of water flow will continue to have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir. The ESB is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant county councils.

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TTM creating jobs worldwide

The CEO of healthcare recruitment company TTM, which has announced 500 new jobs over the next five years, has committed to continue pushing for job creation in the region. Brian Crowley has confirmed that all of the new jobs announced will be Irish based, with 75 of those set to be created in Clare. The company currently employ 80 staff at its headquarters in Ballymaley and there are plans to expand the workforce at the site. There will also be jobs created in the resilience care sector of the company, providing outreach, respite and residential services for children and adults with disabilities and home-based services for people with complex medical needs. There are currently 20 people working in this sector in the county. Following this week’s jobs announcement, Mr Crowley told The Clare Champion, “I am extremely proud to be a Clare man. When we are sitting at the boardroom table and looking at where our expansion is directed, I …

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Motorway flooding claims refuted

TRANSPORT Infrastructure Ireland has refuted claims that the risk of flooding in the area was not taken into account when the Gort to Tuam motorway was being designed. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has stated that motorways are designed and built to maintain the existing flood levels in the area in which they are constructed, with the principle aim being not to compound the existing conditions. “Therefore, the M17/M18 motorway design has to cater for the existing conditions. Under OPW’s design guidance, the M17/M18 motorway has an additional 20% design capacity above and beyond the existing conditions to take into account current climate change events. “It should also be noted that the national motorway network remained open during the most recent extreme weather events. Will motorway/road design always be climate-change proof? The answer is in the question; climate change will drive the design criteria into the future,” said Sean O’Neill, spokesperson. TII was responding to claims by hydrologist Professor Paul Johnson that …

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Springfield roads now passable

Clare County Council has confirmed that a number of roads have reopened in flood-affected parts of North and Southeast Clare as water levels continue to slowly recede. All roads in Springfield, Clonlara are now passable. The N67 at New Quay has reopened but a number of local primary routes remain flooded in the North Clare area. Meanwhile, Clare County Council has received confirmation from the ESB of its decision to reduce the discharge level at Parteen Weir from 300 cumecs to 265 cumecs.

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Action sought as ESSCO winds down

GOVERNMENT and development agencies have been urged to assist East Clare workers who will be laid off when a local company winds down its operation. The worst fears about the future of L3 Communications ESSCO Collins Limited, Enagh, Kilkishen, were realised last week when employees were informed the plant will close by June, with the loss of an estimated 30 full-time and part-time jobs. Speculation about the future of the plant, which manufactures radar systems and equipment, intensified in the run up to Christmas and workers were hit with the devastating news about its closure on Thursday last. It is understood that chief executives from the head office in the United States will visit the plant next Monday to continue negotiations with employees. Describing the closure as a “huge blow”, Councillor Alan O’Callaghan has called on State agencies involved in job creation, especially Enterprise Ireland, to assist the company to try and sell the business as a going concern, or …

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Moy Hill project growing and growing

THE bitingly cool winter air swept across Moy on Monday evening, as the Get Involved 2015 Scheme’s judges visited Moy Hill Community Garden and a 17-acre farm located nearby, which was purchased five months ago. The volunteers who run the community garden have made it to the last six in the Local Ireland-organised Get Involved awards project, which is a competition run by 51 local newspapers throughout the country. The aim is that the national competition will drive voluntary sustainable projects, where local people collectively play a more proactive, inclusive and coherent role in shaping the future of their local environs. Matt Smith, along with his partner Sophie, Fergal Smith and Mitch Corbett, are some of the people who helped establish the community garden before purchasing the 17 acres. The garden grows a huge variety of fruit and vegetables and for much of the year, people visit on Friday evenings to enjoy the social setting. It also features an underground …

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Council workshops on Tidy Towns

Clare County Council environment section has organised a series of workshops in Ennis, Scariff and Miltown Malbay to assist community groups with the Sustainable Waste & Resource Management category of the national SuperValu Tidy Towns competition. While the workshops have been developed to assist Tidy Towns groups, Clare County Council is also encouraging individuals, business, schools and community groups to attend and learn how to become involved in local environmental awareness projects or initiatives within their community. The upcoming workshops, which are supported through the Department of Environment’s Local Agenda 21 Fund, the EPA Local Authority Prevention Network and the Southern Region Waste Management Office, are free of charge. The first themed workshops – entitled ‘Tidy Towns: Promoting a more Sustainable Community’ – will take place at McNamaras Bar in Scariff from 11.00am to 12.30pm on January; Whitestrand Lifesaving Training Centre in Miltown Malbay from 11.00am to 12.30pm on January 27 and Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis from 7.00pm …

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