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Oceanographer investigates alleged animal dumping

CLARE gardaí have enlisted the services of an oceanographer as part of a complex investigation into the alleged dumping of 17 carcasses at the base of the Baltard Cliffs near Doonbeg. Chief Superintendent John Kerin confirmed the oceanographer was hired in an effort to establish whether or not the animals, which were discovered in April 2014 were washed in from the Atlantic Ocean. Superintendent Kerin confirmed a substantial two-volume file on one of the most complex cases in West Clare in recent times had been lodged with the DPP since December. It is understood that a decision considering a direction in this case will be made in the near future. An investigation is continuing involving the gardaí, the Department of Agriculture, Clare County Council and the ISPCA. The expertise of the Department of Agriculture, concerning DNA examination of the dead animals, has been called on to establish if they matched any herd number in the department’s official records. Up to …

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School leadership centre for Ennis

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, has formally announced the establishment of the Centre for School Leadership (CSL), which will be headquartered in Ennis. It is being established for an initial pilot period of three years, with an investment of almost €3m over that time. It will be operated on a partnership basis between the Department of Education and Skills, the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD). The CSL is intended to become a centre of excellence for school leaders, and the partnership will have many benefits for the profession in terms of the quality of training programmes, coordination of provision, and increased accessibility. The centre will be headed by a director ,who will be an experienced school principal. He or she will be supported by two other experienced school leaders, one each from the primary and post-primary sectors. The team will be recruited in the coming weeks. The …

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Saturday's clean up will target such indiscriminate dumping such as this near Lee's Road.

People of Ennis urged to show their civic pride

Ennis will undergo one of the largest ever community-clean-ups in the history of the town this coming Saturday when businesses, community groups, sports organisations and residents hit the streets to pick up litter. Ennis Tidy Towns Committee, supported by Ennis Chamber of Commerce and Clare County Council, is calling on the people of the town and surrounding areas to show their civic pride by turning up on the day to lend their support to the initiative which is aimed at enhancing the county capital’s chances of becoming Ireland’s Tidiest Town. The weekend clean-up forms part of ‘On The Move To Become Ireland’s Tidiest Town’, a community-wide campaign launched earlier this month to help Ennis achieve national success in the 2015 SuperValu TidyTowns Competition. The clean-up takes place from 11am to 1pm with groups, businesses and individuals interested in taking part asked to gather at 10am in the grounds of Áras Contae an Chláir on the New Road. Groups carrying out …

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Astro Turf facility opened in Kilrush

A state-of-the-art €320,000 AstroTurf facility in Kilrush has been described as an “important and significant addition” to West Clare’s recreational infrastructure by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council. Councillor John Crowe was speaking at the launch of the new facility, on the Cooraclare Road, which coincided with the official opening of the Active Kilrush Sports Complex. The opening of the complex was also attended by local community and sports organisations, officials from Clare County Council and Clare Local Sports Partnership, and Aitricity League Chairman and FAI Board member Eamon Naughton. Funded by Clare County Council and through a €59,000 Sportnation grant from IPB and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, the 75x38m AstroTurf pitch features an FAI-level 3G artificial playing surface. Constructed by Sportslawn Ireland Ltd., the multipurpose pitch is complemented by security fencing, floodlights and CCTV, and is already being used by a variety of local sports clubs and schools. Active Kilrush Sports Complex also features a soccer …

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Tim Smythe Park

June INIS Fest cancelled

THE three-day INIS Fest music festival, planned for Tim Smythe Park in Ennis at the end of June has been cancelled. The announcement was made over the weekend and follows two meetings between the festival organisers, Impresario Events Limited, and local residents. The residents had expressed their serious concerns about security, noise and traffic management issues, and their fears of possible anti-social behaviour and damage to their property, while questioning the legality of selling alcohol to as many as 3,500 patrons on the publicly-owned Fair Green in Ennis where drinking alcohol is banned. In a statement on their website, Impresario Events, say following numerous consultations with residents in the vicinity of the festival venue, they have decided that a number of ongoing concerns of residents required to be addressed before a festival of this nature can take place. “We are disappointed that such a positive event for the town of Ennis is not going ahead at this time but we …

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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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