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A personal look at the Burren

THE unique attractions of the world famous Burren are highlighted in the first personal DVD of the area, which was launched in the Burren Centre, Kilfenora last week by Killimer native, Professor Michael O’Connell of University College, Galway. Entitled Clare’s Wonderland, The Burren the DVD is based on a book of the same name compiled by Br Sean MacNamara, Ennis. The hour-long DVD is a personal account of the Burren by Br Sean, who has been a regular visitor to the Burren for almost 50 years. It contains pen pictures of some famous men associated with the Burren, including Brian Merriman; John Philip Holland, Liscannor; Michael Cusack of Carron; Paddy Nolan, Gleninsheen, who discovered the Gold Collar in 1932; Charles Lucas, who wrote the first account of the natural history of the Burren; Micho Russell of Doolin and Frederick J Foot, a native of Dublin, who produced a botanical map of the Burren and the first worthwhile list of plants …

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Memory Man chronicles ’95 hurling success in Bridgetown

Jimmy Magee has vivid memories of Clare’s All-Ireland senior hurling success in 1995. The legendary sport and television personality was in ebullient form when he helped to launch a new website for the 25th annual South-East Clare Show in Tony Horan’s Bar, Bridegtown on Thursday night last. The legendary Memory Man can still hold an audience’s attention, judging by the response to his trip down memory lane during the launch. Italia ’90 and Clare’s thrilling All-Ireland victories in 1995 and ’97 were some of the key sporting moments he recalled on the night, to the delight of the large attendance. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Magee noted Clare enjoyed tremendous support from all parts of the country in the run up to the 1995 All-Ireland decider as, “what is seldom is wonderful”. He remembers the Clare hurling team, led by manager Ger Loughnane, flew up to Dublin from Shannon Airport by plane and back again. He recalled driving out to Dublin …

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Sea eagles cause economy to soar by €500,000

THE East Clare economy soared by an extra €500,000 last year, thanks to the lure of the first successful breeding pair of white-tailed sea eagles in the country in over a century. Clare County Council, which funds the popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing and Information Point at Mountshannon Pier, confirmed the facility generated more than €500,000 for the local economy in 2014. A visitor survey conducted last year found that 43% of people reported the attraction of the sea eagles was the primary factor influencing their decision to visit Mountshannon. More than 10,000 people flocked to the shores of Lough Derg between mid-July and September 2014 to catch a glimpse of the eagles which had nested on Bushy Island, off Mountshannon Bay. A person from Northern Ireland on a sabbatical completed a visitor survey of those attending the viewing and information point. Dr Allan Mee of the Golden Eagle Trust acknowledged that some day trippers visiting Mountshannon last year …

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Profits rise at Shannon

PROFITABILITY at Shannon Airport “improved considerably” in 2014, a year in which passenger numbers also rose by 17%. That’s one of the messages from Shannon Group’s 2014 annual report, along with a commitment from Shannon Group chief executive, Neil Pakey, to correct what he called “historic underinvestment” at the airport and other facilities under the remit of Shannon Group plc. In the annual report, Mr Pakey outlined that “profitability of the airport has also improved considerably in 2014, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €4.6 million, an increase of 34% on 2013. This increase in profit was achieved in part through passenger growth and new routes, but also by managing cost efficiencies.” Mr Pakey added that work on lowering costs will continue this year, as will capital investment at the airport. “We will continue to address the operating cost base in 2015 and identify further cost efficiencies to ensure our sustainability and enable us to compete …

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Shannon businesses to take high performance tips

Shannon Chamber has stepped into the world of sport to equip business executives with the wherewithal to operate at optimal performance levels. Renowned high-performance expert Gary Keegan, who devised a world-class talent management programme for the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), has been drafted in to give a half-day seminar to both Chamber members and non-members on Wednesday, May 20 at 8.30am. The seminar is being held in the viewing gallery at Shannon Airport. Drawing analogies between business and sport, Mr Keegan will show how leadership, strategy, culture and execution for results are dependent on cultivating a high-performance ethos within a company. Speaking ahead of the event, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said: “In his time with the IABA, and now as director of the Irish Institute of Sport, Gary Keegan has demonstrated his ability to get the best out of teams. In his five years with the IABA, Ireland won 29 medals at European, World and Olympic levels, …

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Ennis Market project goes to tender

Clare County Council has confirmed that Phase 1 of the Ennis Market Rejuvenation project is now proceeding to tender stage and construction is expected to commence in the autumn of 2015 The €1.75m loan for the Market Rejuvenation Project, which also includes the upgrading of the streets adjoining the market area, is now in place. Clare County Council says a detailed design will shortly proceed to tender stage in relation to Phase One of the redevelopment of the market which will begin at Garraunakilla, the site of the current Farmer’s Market. Speaking on behalf of the Elected Members of Ennis Municipal District Committee, Mayor of Ennis Councillor Johnny Flynn welcomed the progress being made in relation to the project in consultation with local residents and business people. “This project will have a significant role in the rejuvenation of this area of the town, which is significant, both from an economic and heritage perspective considering Ennis has always been an important …

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Killaloe gardai seek public’s assistance

Gardai in Killaloe are looking for the help of the public in trying to identify three males who were seen near a house in Clonlara which was broken into and an assortment of jewellery was stolen. The break-in occurred between 3pm and 4.55pm on Tuesday of last week at a house in Kildooras. One of males believed to be in his 20s was wearing a royal blue jacket while a second, in his 30s, was wearing a Northface jacket. The third was a young man in his teens. A second house nearby was also tried but no entry was gained. The jewellery stolen included two gold braclets, a 30” chain and pendant, a 24” gold chain, an 18” gold chain, an 18ct gold and diamond pendant, a gold woven bangle, a gold tie pin, a gold cameo pendant and chain, a gold and emerald pendant, a gold chain, gold cuff links and a gold charm bracelet. Anyone with information as …

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Social Housing for Quilty and Shannon

Nearly €5m is to be spent on developing 25 new social housing units in Clare, as part of a new nationwide investment programme. Ten homes are being built in Quilty, along with 15 more at Tullyglass in Shannon at a combined cost of €4.75 million. The money forms part of a newly-announced investment programme worth €312 million that seeks to build 1700 new homes throughout Ireland. Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly said the first major direct build social housing programme is part of the first phase of  the Government’s social housing strategy. €312 million has been approved which will see an additional 1,700 social housing units come on stream by 2017 with an estimated 3,000 additional jobs in construction created. The projects, which cut across each local authority area, range in size from small numbers of units to projects of over 50 units for some of the Dublin local authorities. Minister Kelly said local authorities …

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