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Regional

Fight for climate change at Lahinch

Hundreds of people are expected to gather for a climate justice event in North Clare this Sunday. Part of a worldwide movement, people from around the county will gather in Lahinch to send a message about global warming to world leaders. “The tide will be out and hundreds of people will come together from all over the county, including children, especially those involved in An Taisce’s Green-Schools programme. We will write #EarthToParis, which is a hashtag people are using all over the world at similar gatherings on the same day, in the sand. I have a drone camera and will take an aerial photograph of the event and everyone gathered around the writing and tag it and Tweet it,” explained Róisín Ní Ghairbhith, event organiser. “World leaders are meeting on December 7 and 8 in Paris to discuss climate change and we are sending them a message that we want them to come up with good decisions and good solutions. …

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Parteen Basin abstraction favoured

WATER abstraction from the Lower Shannon at the Parteen Basin has been identified as the “emerging preferred option” to supply a new source of water for the Eastern and Midlands regions. Details of the emerging preferred option are to be be unveiled this Thursday by Irish Water. However, The Clare Champion can reveal that a report published by Irish Water has found the abstraction of water at Parteen Basin has the least environmental impact of the four options considered. It can avail of existing hydro-power infrastructure which ensures the proposed water abstraction can be implemented within existing normal operating water levels and with no impact on statutory flow requirements in the Lower Shannon, meaning there is limited impact on the lake. Abstraction from hydropower facilities is common practice worldwide and the Parteen Basin option will use a small fraction, about 2%, of hydropower water, which would otherwise have been used for power generation and then discharged to sea. Irish Water …

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The Burren through Carsten’s lens

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher is the subject of a new book by one of Ireland’s leading photographers. This Is The Burren, Carsten Krieger’s photographic ode to the world-famous region, will be launched by Rose Hynes, a native of North Clare and chair of Shannon Group plc, in Hyland’s Burren Hotel, Lisdoonvarna on  Sunday. The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher was last week designated UNESCO Global Geopark status. The 176 photographs featured in This Is The Burren capture the essence of the Burren, including its weathered karst landscape, the ever-changing light; the exotic flora; the elusive wildlife; the tombs, cairns, forts and churches, and the people who call the Burren their home. Carsten Krieger, who was born in Germany, visited the Burren after learning it was the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. More visits followed before he and his wife finally decided to move to County Clare to be close to the unique landscape. Cathaoirleach of …

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Sr Mary’s lifetime working with teens

WHEN Sister Mary O’Connell retired from teaching business studies and accounting at Kilkee Community College last year, it marked the end of a 136-year link between the Sisters of Mercy and education in the town. Sr Mary, who completed her Leaving Certificate in 1966, taught in Kilkee since 1980, having had previous stints in Nenagh and Tulla. She served as deputy principal in Kilkee since 2006. “It’s a good stretch. It has been a good life,” Sr Mary reflected recently when The Clare Champion visited. She still lives in the nuns’ house on the Miltown Malbay road in the town. She feels and hopes that she grew into her role since she first decided to enter the order as a teenager. “Who knows what it is really? It’s one thing when you’re 17 and it’s another thing by the time you’re 37. Why wouldn’t it be because we grow and we change. We have another experience and then another one. …

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Work begins on Ennis market rejuvenation

WORK on revamping Ennis’ market to include a new “iconic” covered building for traders has now begun in the town centre. It is expected that the new market will be ready in time to be showcased to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will flock to Ennis for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Construction work has started on the Ennis Market Rejuvenation Project with a finish date of July 2016 for phase one of the redevelopment of the market at Garraunakilla. The new market will have room for 25 stalls, made up of internal covered areas and also space for stalls in the courtyard outside. The actual number of stalls for each market will vary, depending on the size of the stalls to be accommodated. According to the council, the allocation of stalls will be done through an open process and following discussion with market traders and other interested parties. Speaking to The Clare Champion at the site …

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UNESCO designation for Cliffs and Burren

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been designated as a UNESCO site following a vote at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in Paris today (Tuesday). The Burren and Cliffs of Moher is now one of 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks across the world. The designation means that the Clare County Council managed Geopark, along with Ireland’s two other Geoparks, the Copper Coast Geopark and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, is now a UNESCO Global Geopark and is now at the same level as other UNESCO designated sites such as Newgrange and the Giant’s Causeway. Reflecting on the announcement, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen said, “As a Geopark, the Burren is very much part of a global community that shares knowledge and expertise on heritage management and sustainable development, leading to well-managed protected landscapes with preserved local heritage. This approach, combined with a good working relationship with communities throughout the Burren has …

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Plea for end to drink culture

A grieving father has issued an appeal for an end to the “frightening” culture of excess drinking involving some young people. Danny Mungovan, who runs Quilty Holiday Cottages, made the plea at the funeral mass for his son, Stephen (20), who was found by Irish Navy divers in the waters off Spanish Point last week. Addressing the packed congregation in the Star of the Sea Church and hundreds of mourners who stood outside on Sunday last, Danny said his family would never forget the work of all the emergency services, volunteers and neighbours who never stopped walking the shore night and day. This is the second time that tragedy has struck the family. Another son, Michael (22), was killed when he was struck by a train while he was working at Vauxhall Station, South London in October 2000. Stating that both he and his wife, Geraldine, do not drink, Danny said he offered several times to go out and purchase …

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Ennis Chamber on the trail of SME finance

A NEWLY announced €50 million loan facility for the SME sector will allow businesses to grow, an Ennis business representative group has said. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland has announced that under the terms of the deal, SMEs will be able to access more and lower-cost funding for equipment, machinery and vehicles through Finance Ireland, a Dublin-based specialist lender. It is understood the preferential interest rates will be typically 2% lower than current market rates. Ennis Chamber CEO, Rita McInerney said, “As a business representative organisation, the chamber welcomes any initiative that will ensure access to finance for SMEs, who are the backbone of the Irish economy, especially in rural Ireland. “SMEs employ approximately 70% of the people working in this country and make up over 99% of all businesses. It has been particularly challenging in recent years for SMEs to access finance, therefore this fund will make it more affordable for businesses to grow as well as increasing …

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