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Regional

Ennis landmarks going green for Patrick’s Day

Áras Contae an Chláir and the O’Connell Monument in Ennis will be illuminated in green light in the days leading up to St Patrick’s Day. Clare County Council is also encouraging businesses and building owners, particularly of high profile well known buildings around the county, to support the initiative by turning their properties green for Ireland’s national holiday. Welcoming the decision to illuminate some of the town’s best-known landmarks, Mayor of Ennis, Johnny Flynn said, “Famous buildings and locations all over the world will be lit up as part of Tourism Ireland’s drive to grow overseas tourism to Ireland. I am delighted Ennis is participating in this initiative and in illuminating the O’Connell Monument and Áras Contae an Chláir. The Clare capital and the people of the county will also be able to showcase their national pride to the world.” Meanwhile, St Patrick’s Day 2015 in Ennis promises to be a major celebration, with large crowds expected on the streets. …

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IDA chief to address Shannon Chamber

IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan will visit Shannon on Thursday to address the  local chamber on the organisation’s strategy and plans for the region. Speaking in advance of the lunch  time event at Dromoland Castle, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive, Helen Downes said, “The business community in the Shannon area will be keen to hear how the IDA plans to position the region to attract investment, particularly with the new focus on regions announced recently by Minister Richard Bruton. “Regional development is about turning regional strengths into opportunity, identifying, building on and realising the potential offered by a particular place and its geography or location. It’s also about organisations pulling together to make things happen. Shannon Chamber and its members are ready to participate in this initiative. We already have a successful CEO Forum which is focussed on generating further growth in Shannon by building on strengths and resolving barriers to further investment.”

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Minister shelves National Diaspora Centre

A BID to have the proposed National Diaspora Centre based in Bunratty has come to nothing, after the Government announced  that the project will not go ahead. Clare County Council had worked in partnership with Shannon Heritage and tourism advisers Sherwood and Associates to prepare what it called “an ambitious and detailed bid” for the project, which it wanted to build in Bunratty, which it claimed was an ideal site close to Shannon Airport and the M18 with an established tourism infrastructure. After learning this week that the Government has decided not to proceed with the project, Council Director of Services for Planning, Community, Enterprise and Economic Development Ger Dollard said, “The council has been advised that the process underway for the selection of a National Diaspora Centre has now been terminated. “This is disappointing in that a very detailed proposal had been prepared by the council, supported by Shannon Heritage and the Shannon Group. We will continue to work in …

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Tulla bridge 34 year gap

By Seamus Hayes St. Josephs, Tulla 1-16 CBC, Cork 1-14 (after extra time) A thirty four year gap was bridged at Ballyagran on Saturday when St. Josephs, Tulla won the Munster colleges senior B hurling title for only the second time in their history. In difficult conditions the East Clare side put in a tremendous performance to overcome Christian Brothers College from Cork in a tie which required extra time to separate the sides. The Cork side got off to a great start and were five points clear after just eleven minutes, 1-3 to 0-1 and things didn’t look good for Tulla. However, thanks to the accuracy of freetaker Brian Fahy, they fought back and drew level by the twenty second minute at 0-6 to 1-3 before the Cork side went on to hold a two point advantage, 1-6 to 0-7, at the interval. Defences dominated in the third quarter which was scoreless. Inside the final quarter Tulla hit three …

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Funding to decide Flynn’s Dáil bid

INDEPENDENT County Councillor Gerry Flynn said his Dáil ambitions could be thwarted by the State’s method of funding politics, which prioritises established parties over new entrants. He feels he would need at least €20,000 of a war chest at the start of a campaign and while he is very keen to run, he won’t do so unless he feels he has at least a reasonable chance of winning a seat. Mr Flynn also said that Shane Ross, who is attempting to put together an alliance to contest the next general election, has sought to make contact with him but there have been no discussions between them as yet. Councillor Flynn said he is still assessing his level of support but that financial considerations are also a major issue for him, as he considers running for the Dáil. “If I run in the general election, I’m not going to put my name down just to make up the numbers. If I …

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McInerney joins race for Fianna Fáil selection

Former Ennis Chamber CEO, Rita McInerney has confirmed her intention to seek a place on the Clare Fianna Fáil ticket to contest the next general election. Ms McInerney, who took a one-year sabbatical from her Ennis Chamber post to complete a masters in politics at University of Limerick, is looking forward to seeking the support of cumman members ahead of the Fianna Fáil Dáil Convention in Clare. The Doonbeg shop owner is facing stiff opposition from a number of candidates, after a Clare Champion survey revealed eight out of the 12 local Fianna Fáil county councillors expressed a preference for running three candidates at the next election. It is expected that Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, and the party’s national constituency committee will select Clare as one of the battlegrounds for a female candidate, in an effort to meet the national 30% gender quota requirement. Fianna Fáil Deputy Timmy Dooley said he will be putting his name forward for re-election …

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Kathleen going strong at 113

FEAKLE native Kathleen Snavely (nee Hayes) became the State’s oldest ever living person when she turned 111 and 327 days last year but, having reached her 113th birthday this week, she looks set to become the island’s oldest living person. Annie Scott was the oldest living person from the island of Ireland. She was born in Northern Ireland on March 15, 1883, living to be 113 and 37 days, having died in 1996 in Scotland where she settled. Kathleen was born in Garraun, Feakle on February 16, 1902. Indications are that she is in good health, so she looks set to make history once again on March 24 of this year, which would make her the oldest person born on the island of Ireland. However, she has a long way to go to outlive the longest living person in recorded history, who was French woman Jeanne Calment, who died aged 122 years and 164 days in 1997. The current oldest …

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Losing Heathrow was Shannon’s own fault – Walsh

WHEN Aer Lingus announced it was removing Heathrow slots from Shannon in 2007 it was a hugely controversial move, strongly opposed by business and political interests in Clare. At the time there was speculation that the move was being made due to a secret agreement hammered out by the Government, as part of the peace process. There was little explanation from the airline itself, beyond saying that it was a commercial decision, something that many in Clare didn’t accept given the relatively high numbers that were using it. However, when Willie Walsh came before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications last week he indicated that Aer Lingus took the decision because a competitor, presumably Ryanair, was being offered more favourable terms. Mr Walsh referred to the matter, saying it may be the reason for the current concern about connectivity. “I can understand the concern that has been expressed, particularly the concern expressed in Shannon because of what happened with …

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