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Regional

Full steam ahead for Flannan’s F1 projects

TWO teams from St Flannan’s College, Ennis have qualified for the regional finals of the F1 in Schools Formula 1 Technology Challenge.This is the second year in-a-row that the St Flannan’s Science Club has participated in the competition. Last year, the school’s junior team, Fire Dragons made it to the Irish finals, which were held in Dublin in April.The regional finals, at which both of the St Flannan’s teams will compete, will be held in Limerick in March.The junior team, called Flannan’s Falcons, consists of three first-year pupils, Mike O’Dea, Oakleigh Weekes and Victor O’Loughlin, one second year, Jack O’Dea, and two third years, Hannah O’Connell and Chloe Hayes. This is the second year Jack O’Dea has been in the competition, making it to the finals in March.The senior team is called Slipstream and is made up of all fourth-year pupils. The team members are Cian O’Shea, Lorcan O’Donoghue, Christopher Ogbonna, Mataka Flynn and Mubarak Busari. Christopher was also a …

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Accepting joint strategy like ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’

ACCEPTING a new joint housing strategy for Clare and Limerick would be like “turkeys voting for Christmas”, a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council was told.Councillor Johnny Flynn was speaking as members voiced their disapproval of plans to include the strategy in the Ennis and Environs Development Plan. Concerns were also raised about the inclusion of the Mid-West Retail Strategy in the plan for 2008-2014.Senior planner Gordon Daly told the meeting the housing strategy outlines future needs for housing in Ennis and the rest of the region. According to the strategy’s projected figures for 2017, a total of 964 additional housing units will be needed in Ennis.Councillor Mary Coote Ryan asked if there was any reason why the strategy had to include Limerick, with Mr Daly outlining it is a departmental requirement and there is a need to examine the wider region.Councillor Tommy Brennan commented, “This is just another quango; they are taking local politics away from local people. It …

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Free parking suggestion quashed

ENNIS Town Council has put the brakes on a call for free car parking to be provided in the town in the run up to Christmas.The council has rejected a suggestion by Councillor Johnny Flynn, who urged that shoppers visiting Ennis should be able to avail of free car parking on streets and in council car parks on all Friday and Saturday afternoons between 2pm and 6pm until December 30.At a recent meeting of Ennis Town Council, Councillor Flynn stated, “Limerick city is offering free parking this month, Kilrush are doing the same thing and there are reduced parking rates in Galway. The last six weeks of trading have been very tough, we have had adverse weather and the budget.”He argued that free parking would increase the number of people coming to Ennis to shop. “People will be spending local. We have to try and sustain jobs in the town. According to a study by the Economics Foundation in London, …

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Will meters measure up to freezing conditions?

ODDS on a white Christmas have been slashed and after a very cold winter to date, concerns have been expressed about the quality of water meters and the possibility of further damage being caused by freezing conditions.At this week’s meeting of Shannon area councillors, Councillor Patricia McCarthy put down a motion asking “the owners of all housing developments not taken in charge be contacted to establish (a) if they have correctly installed the water metres and (B) carried out remedial works where problems have been identified”.Also at meeting a letter was presented claiming the materials that the local authority puts in place itself are in order. The communication from the council’s water services engineer stated, “The meter box/stopcock systems Clare County Council have been installing in the Shannon Electoral Area are Talbot Matrix boxes. These comply with current standards, part of which requires that the device can withstand a temperature of minus 15 degrees centigrade for 15 days. “These devices …

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Manouvering safely at roundabouts

Concerns about the safety of roundabouts in the town were expressed at this week’s meeting of Shannon area county councillors.Councillor Patricia McCarthy put down a motion asking that the roundabout at the comprehensive school be replaced by traffic lights.In a written response, area engineer Eugene O’Shea stated, “I will request the road design office to examine whether any possible improvements, including the provision of traffic lights, can be made at the junction.”Councillor McCarthy said it was time for an improvement to be made. “There have been some serious accidents and it’s time we looked at it and replaced it.”Councillor Gerry Flynn said there had been “loads of accidents” at the site in question, which he said made safety improvements necessary. He said that his sister lives by the roundabout and that a woman had died in an accident there some years back. The idea of installing traffic lights was supported by Councillor PJ Ryan, who said that at one time …

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Terri delves into Tulla’s history

WHEN East Clare resident Terri Shoosmith left school, she never thought she would pursue an academic career in history, let alone Irish history but today she finds herself in the midst of a PhD, looking at settlement and change in the barony of Tulla prior to the Famine.Terri, originally from Brighton in the UK, lives in Faha just north of Killanena. She readily admits when she left school, she did so with an F in history.“I hated the subject with a passion. This was in England, of course and they wanted to teach us colonialism, imperialism and the industrial revolution and I slept through 10 years of history and came up with an F. I had no intention of going into it. I did love history, in that I was very interested in the past how people used to live but I wanted to know things like what did they eat for their dinner, how did they tell the time, …

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Counselling service receives grant

CHRISTMAS and the new year can be a difficult time for bereaved families, the loss feeling more acute as families come together at this time. Seeking help can seem daunting and sometimes difficult to access but in East Clare help is at hand with the launch of a new counselling service.After extensive re-structuring, the counselling service run by East Clare Community Co-op will re-commence this month.The service was initially set up for families in need in the area to provide bereavement and separation counselling but following a re-examination of the service, it has now been re-structured and includes a wider panel of counsellors, who specialise in children’s issues, mental health, sexual and addiction issues.The Family Support Agency has provided East Clare Community Co-op with a grant for bereavement and separation counselling and donations from the public for books in the reception in the co-op will provide the funds for other forms of counselling.The service is confidential and will take place …

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Community spirit alive and well in the west

THE Kilrush Town Council Mayoral Endeavour Awards and the annual Cissie Roughan awards were presented in the town last Tuesday. Kilrush Town Council said, in a statement, they recognise the concept of rewarding excellence and with this in mind they introduced a Special Mayoral Award in Kilrush for 2010. “It was felt there was a wealth of talent in Kilrush, across a broad spectrum of activities and Kilrush Town Council would like to reward such excellence and to encourage people to continue to challenge their minds,” a council statement explained. The mayoral awards were presented under the following categories: innovation, academic, sporting/cultural and community/voluntary. The award winners were as follows:InnovationVincent O’Halloran, Chapel Drive, Kilrush, who was a founder member of the Inis Cathaigh Comhaltas Ceoltóirí festival in Kilrush in 2008 when the Éigse Mrs Crotty festival was discontinued.AcademicMichael Shannon of Cappa Cove, Kilrush, who received the overall award at the Scifest competition at Limerick Institute of Technology in October 2009. …

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