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Regional

Youth groups get behind the camera

MEMBERS from The Junction Youth and Community Group in Ennis recently attended a film-making workshop in Westside Resource Centre, Galway City, ahead of their entry to the X-HALE Youth Awards 2015. X-HALE is an initiative developed by the Irish Cancer Society to encourage young people to take action on the issue of smoking in their own communities. As part of X-HALE, the Irish Cancer Society hosts the annual X-HALE Youth Awards, which sees youth groups from around the country enter community action projects and film projects around the issue of smoking. A number of youth groups attended the filming workshop in preparation of their film entries to the X-HALE Youth Awards in the summer to learn about film producing and editing. All of the youth groups involved in the film and community action workshops have received grants from the Irish Cancer Society to develop their project. In total this year, 36 groups have received funding from the Irish Cancer Society …

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Huge crowds at Shannon to see world’s biggest aircraft

THOUSANDS of people have come from different parts of the country to Shannon Airport today to see the Antonov 225, the world’s largest aircraft. The plane arrived shortly before 3am from Bangor International Airport and will leave again at around 10pm. It’s wing span is greater than the width of the pitch at Croke Park and from nose to tail it is one and a half times the length of an Olympic Swimming Pool. It stands alone as the largest and most powerful jet the world has ever seen. Shannon has one of the longest runways in Europe and it is the only Irish airport the Antonov 225 has ever landed at. Niall Moloney, Shannon Airport Operations Director said the aircraft never fails to amaze. “When you see it on the taxiway here and can put its size into perspective, it’s almost unbelievable that it can get up into the skies, let alone be as graceful when it’s up there,” …

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Lisdoon to get the Baden-Baden Treatment

LISDOONVARNA could be the Baden-Baden of Ireland, a local hotelier has claimed. The German town rose to international fame when it was used as a base by the English soccer team, as well as players’ wives and girlfriends, during the 2006 Fifa World Cup. The spa resort in the foothills of the Black Forest welcomes millions of day visitors and hundreds of thousands of over-night tourists each year. Marcus White of White’s Hotel Group, which owns the Hydro Hotel, the Imperial Hotel and the Burren Castle Hotel in Lisdoonvarna, believes the North Clare town could boom in a similar fashion, if the town’s spa wells are developed. Lisdoonvarna became a popular resort in the early 1800s because of the spa wells and its waters, containing minerals reputed to have health restorative effects. Mr White last week announced deals with German tour operators that would see 60,000 additional bed nights filled in North Clare. “I have talked to Government officials. I …

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Residents still unhappy with festival plans

LITTLE progress was made by either side at the second public meeting between residents living in the Fair Green area of Ennis and the organisers of the three-day INISFest 2015, which is due to take place at the end of June. At the meeting on Tuesday night at Tom Steele’s bar in Ennis, a number of residents continued to voice their concerns over having a three-day music festival on their doorsteps, citing noise and a marquee selling drink to 3,500 patrons – despite a ban on alcohol consumption in the public park – their fears of being blocked in their own homes, of their property being damaged and anti-social behaviour in the area before and after events. The two-hour meeting, called by event organisers Impresario Events Limited, was chaired by broadcaster Ger Sweeney, who said it was important to have new events that would put Ennis on the map and would lead to people talking about the town for all …

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No broadband hit for Kilnamona businesss

A KILNAMONA-based couple, who operate a tourism business, have to run it from a variety of cafés in Ennis, due to the lack of broadband where they live. Henry Wilkinson has told The Clare Champion that they would not have moved to Kilnamona had they been aware that broadband access was an issue. “Had we known back in December that there was no broadband in the area, we would not have taken a year’s lease. My fiancée and I recently moved to the area to be closer to her parents. We run our own tourism-based business and urgently need access to fast, reliable broadband,” Mr Wilkinson explained. The absence of broadband has resulted in the couple having to work from Ennis. “Over the past four months, we have been making daily trips to Ennis to sit in coffee shops and try and run our business, which is expensive and not ideal. Where do we go from here? Will broadband be …

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Three-year wait for orthodontic treatment

Children whose parents cannot afford to pay for private dental treatment are waiting up to three years to see an orthodontist, a Galway councillor has claimed. The “gaping” lack of orthodontic treatment available for children in the county was raised by Councillor Catherine Connolly at a recent HSE West Forum meeting. Councillor Connolly made her comments after tabling a question about orthodontic treatment for children in the county, what service is currently available, the nature and duration of all waiting lists and the criteria used for these lists. Saolta University Health Care Group chief operating officer, Tony Canavan, revealed the waiting time for treatment currently stands at three years, while the waiting time for assessment is three to four months. However, Mr Canavan noted a small number of cases are on a priority waiting list due to the severity of the case, or if the child’s treatment is dependent on growth. This list has a 20-month wait time he stated. He explained …

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Galway girl located

Fifteen-year-old, Yulissa Stoica, who had been missing from her Galway home, has been located safe and well this morning (Thursday). The gardaí have acknowledged the support of everybody who helped them with their enquiries from when Yulissa was reported missing on Good Friday.

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A sunny start of tourist season

A COMBINATION of good weather, the Wild Atlantic Way and a public holiday saw huge numbers of people flock to the Clare coast at the weekend. Tourism providers across the county are reporting one of the busiest Easter weekends in recent years. One prominent hotelier said it was “more like August than April”, which meant that seasonal staff could be hired over a month earlier than usual. Attractions across the county also recorded high visitor numbers, with the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, Bunratty Folk Park and Craggaunowen all recording increases this year compared to last. “It was a super weekend,” John Burke from the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point and Hotel Doolin stated. “We had a surge in customer numbers. People just want to flock to the coast to cool down and it was great to see it pick up so early in the season. It has allowed us to recruit earlier in the year. Normally, seasonal staff wouldn’t …

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