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Regional

New Year baby in Clonlara

Despite the terrible flooding in the area in recent weeks, the Clonlara community had cause to celebrate the arrival of a new year baby. Lynette and Padraig are the happy parents of Paddy O’Grady, who was born at 4:48am on January 1, at Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital. Paddy has two brothers, Jack (12) and Vinny (11) and sister, Holly (16).

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Ennis slips in litter league

  THE final litter survey of 2015 by Irish Business Against Litter shows Ennis has slipped to ‘moderately littered’, in 32nd spot among the 40 towns surveyed. The town was also 32nd in the 2014 rankings, but was Clean to European Norms. There was a slight fall-off in the number of litter-free towns across Ireland, but no towns were deemed ‘litter blackspots’ and only one was ‘seriously littered’. An Taisce’s report for Ennis stated, “Both the residential areas in Ennis got the top litter grade and Francis Street Bottle Bank has a novel design to prevent the accumulations of rubbish that so frequently occur at recycle facilities – clearly it is having the desired effect as it was a top ranking site. The two most heavily littered sites in Ennis were Knox’s Bridge Amenity Scheme and St Anne’s School.” Three quarters of the towns and cities surveyed by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL were found to be Clean to …

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Famous sherpas visit West Clare

THE world’s most prolific climbers are currently in Ireland speaking about their death-defying experiences in the Himalayas. Nepalese heroes Mingma Sherpa and Pasang Sherpa have travelled here to speak about their efforts to rebuild the renowned Rolwaling valley area since the devastating earthquake struck on April 25, 2015. They adressed an enthusiastic gathering at the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point on Saturday night last. The community have been working tirelessly to rebuild their village and their livelihoods and they are hoping to promote tourism in Nepal through Ascent Himalayas, Nepal Tourism Board and the Nepal Ireland Society. Tourism is the key back bone of Nepal’s economy and is a much needed source of foreign currencies, especially in the aftermath of the unprecedented natural disaster that crumbled the country’s economy and shattered the livelihoods of those living in the mountains. Climbing is currently changing dramatically in Nepal, with many sherpas setting up their own companies instead of working for western-based ones. …

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Christmas tree throwing championship

The Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship takes place on Sunday at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park, Ennis, starting at 1pm. Members of the public are invited to attempt to break a unique Guinness World Record. The championship will see competitors throwing a standard 1.5-metre tree in a bid to reach more than 12 metres, the world record set by Klaus Pubnaz in Germany five years ago. 2014 winner, Gary O’Growney from Dublin and 2013/2015 winner John O’Dea from Limerick share the Irish Record. Both competitors threw their trees a distance of 10.2 metres, This year’s winner will once again receive the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship trophy while proceeds raised by the 5th annual event will go towards the West Clare Mini-Marathon Cancer Centre. Organised by Clare County Council, in conjunction with Active Ennis Sports and Leisure Facilities, the event will also see the public’s used Christmas trees being sent forward for recycling.

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Councillor James Breen

Ennis Chamber seeks rates meeting

Ennis Chamber is seeking an independently facilitated meeting with Clare County Council to discuss the issue of the increase in commercial rates passed in the recent annual budget meeting of the local authority, and the further proposed increase for next year. This follows last week’s Day of Action by the Chamber when a large group of businesses gathered in the public gallery of Áras Contae an Chláir for the monthly meeting of Clare County Council to highlight their concerns about the rate changes. Ennis Chamber submitted a letter to the meeting and following interjections from Councillors PJ Kelly and Ann Norton as well as a number of attempts by Councillor Johnny Flynn and an adjournment, the letter was accepted by the meeting with Cathaoirleach James Breen agreeing to put it to County CEO Tom Coughlan for consideration. However according to a spokesperson for the business member organisation they are “concerned” that the local authority will “attempt to side step and …

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Mark pens Oscar entry

AN Ennis man could be set for Oscar gold after a film he penned has made the shortlist for nominations for the coveted award. Viva, a Spanish language film set in Havana written by Clare’s very own Mark O’Halloran has been named among nine movies shortlisted in the Foreign Language Film category. And in just a few short weeks, Mark the rest of the crew behind the acclaimed film will learn if they have made the final five nominees for next year’s 88th annual Academy Awards. Speaking to the Clare Champion this week Mark told us, “I’m very happy, I’m very surprised. It’s a very low budget film, made with a lot of dedication and heart. I’m pretty sure it’s the lowest budget film in the category so for it to have this impact is great. It’s been a good surprise to get on the shortlist, so fingers crossed, we’ll see how it goes.” The film, selected by the Irish …

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BIM withdraws plan for Galway Bay Salmon Farm

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has withdrawn its plans for a controversial large-scale organic salmon farm North East of Inis Óirr. BIM held a board meeting on Monday after which it announced that it will not proceed with its application for an aquaculture licence for a proposed 15,000 tonne organic salmon farm in Galway Bay. There had been widespread objections to the plans for the Galway Bay Deep Sea Salmon Farm, notably from the Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages movement, set up by freshwater angling clubs, hoteliers, guest house owners, in-shore fishermen and environmentalists. A statement from BIM said it had withdrawn the application in line with the new National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. The strategy drawn up by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine follows extensive consultation and forms the basis for the drawdown of €30 million in EU funding dedicated to Irish aquaculture development over the next five years from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund …

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Springfield residents seek flooding solutions

Residents who have been left traumatised by flooding on the outskirts of Clonlara have vowed to embark on a campaign in the New Year to secure long term solutions. Springfield resident, Geraldine Quinlivan stressed that householders deserved proper flood protection to avoid a repeat of the scenario where her husband, brothers and nephews were forced to “sleep on sandbags underneath an umbrella” in an effort to protect homes. Three possible solutions to prevent future flooding in Springfield have been identified in the draft CFRAM study, which is being conducted by the OPW, according to Ms Quinlivan. They include the completion of dredging and cleaning the old River Shannon at an area known locally as The Cut as well as changing the current course of where the Mulcair River cuts across the River Shannon to ensure it flows in the one direction. Another solution involves the completion of a new landbank about one mile behind houses in Sringfield with a sluice …

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