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Regional

Ennis anti water charge rally

People from towns and villages all over Clare converged on O’Connell Square in Ennis this afternoon (Saturday)  for the latest in a series of public protests against the imposition of domestic water charges. Protesters from other counties also attended in a show of solidarity with Clare Says No To Water Charges and other like-minded groups and  individuals, who are standing resolute on the issue. The message, which was impressed upon Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, when he witnessed anti-charges protesters on his visit to Ennis and Shannon earlier this week, was reaffirmed by a number of speakers this afternoon. This is the third major anti water charge rallies in Ennis and comes at the end of a week, where there were stand-offs in housing estates and individual homes around the county between householders and personnel attempting to install meters, on behalf of Irish Water. In some instances, the installers, after staying around for some time, packed up and went home; with a handful of places …

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Boston’s Breege knows good business

A North Clare woman was recognised for her business acumen and leadership at the 2014 IMAGE Business Woman of the Year Awards in Dublin this week. Primark’s board director Breege O’Donoghue, from Boston, was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. In accepting the award, Ms O’Donoghue (70) recalled her childhood on the Clare-Galway border, her “loving family” and especially her mother, Molly. “My mother had great influence on the family, independent, strong-minded and devoted to her husband and children, for whom she cooked, baked, knitted, made all our clothes and delighted in the joys of gardening and her beautiful flowers,” she said. Ms O’Donoghue described the farm where she grew up as both “idyllic and hard work”. “The trees were tall, the grass was green, the birds were chirping one to the other. There was no extravagance and money was always put aside for the rainy day. Christmas was magical, with all its preparations of making the plum puddings, plucking …

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Earlier Ennis Christmas Lights switch on

The switching on of the Ennis Christmas lights at the Christmas tree in the Market this evening (Friday) has been brought forward  to 4.15pm. Clare County Council says the move is out of respect for a funeral taking place at Kennedy’s Funeral Home from 5.00pm. The Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Johnny Flynn, will perform the official switch-on, while entertainment will be provided by the Holy Family School Choir and local theatrical group, Pantaloons. In conjunction with the switch-on of the Christmas lights, Ennis Lions Club will launch their Yellow Ribbon project in aid of Cahercalla Hospice. Meanwhile, a parking incentive scheme aimed at promoting Christmas and New Year shopping in Ennis comes into force tomorrow. Free parking will be applicable to the town’s 759 off-street and 783 on-street public car parking spaces up to 12pm daily from Saturday, November 29 to January 4 inclusive. There will also be free all-day parking at Cloughleigh car park.

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Shannon airport

Stobart Air confirms withdrawal of all Shannon services

STOBART Air has announced that it will end its Shannon based services from January 5. The airline currently operates routes to Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh. While it had been known that Stobart was closing its Shannon base there had been hopes that it would continue operating services to the Clare airport, even though aircraft or staff wouldn’t be based there. Some weeks ago the Shannon staff had been offered the option of a transfer or redundancy. Stobart Air has said that passengers with bookings for flights post January 5 will be contacted by the airline in the coming days and will be rebooked on Aer Lingus flights from other airports or given a full refund. A spokesperson for Stobart Air said, “This is a regrettable decision and not one taken lightly. Shannon does not fit with our current strategic plan, and we have to make the right long term choices for the airline. “We regret any adverse impact this may …

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Daring advancements at Magico

Ennis-based Magico, a leading Irish eCommerce technology company, is to hire 12 staff in software development, sales and support. The company is pursuing further growth, as part of a €500,000 research and development project around a technologically advanced big data analytics system it has developed. The Magico DARE initiative is supported with R&D funding from Enterprise Ireland. As well as strong success to date in Ireland, Magico is now actively targeting the UK market. Established in 2000, the company already has major Irish retailers and brands among its clients. It currently employs 12 staff in software development and analytics. Using cloud computing technologies, Magico has developed a powerful new analytics software tool called Magico DARE which helps businesses to maximise the commercial potential of their online presence. With Magico DARE, businesses trading online can continually adapt their e-commerce approach by managing, measuring and reacting to all website activities. Magico’s technology is compatible with all e-commerce systems and integrates with other …

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New Garda Commissioner has Clare relatives

THE appointment of the new Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has been greeted warmly by her relations in Clare and by the local chief superintendent who said she will “drive change” in the force. Garda Commissioner O’Sullivan’s late mother, Betty (nee Coote), was a native of the New Road area of Ennis. Among her many relatives is former mayor of Ennis Mary Coote Ryan, a first cousin of Noirín’s late mother. Commissioner O’Sullivan’s grandfather, Johnny ‘Joker’ Coote was a well-known hurler and was a member of the Clare junior team that won the All-Ireland Hurling Championship final in 1914. Speaking about the commissioner’s appointment, Mrs Coote Ryan said, “My deceased brother, Paddy, would have been very friendly with her and would have been at her wedding and spent a lot of time going up and down visiting her and I know he thought the world of her. All the family are very proud of her and she deserves it. She worked …

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Taoiseach launches Small Business Saturday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, on  Wednesday evening, was on hand to help launch Retail Excellence Ireland’s (REI) Small Business Saturday in Ireland. Retail Ireland’s CEO, Ennis-based David Fitzsimons, said “This is a campaign which profiles small business and encourages consumers to shop locally and support jobs and enterprises in their respective communities. It is a social media and marketing campaign that provides local businesses with the collateral that they need to inform consumers on the power of their local spend.” Small Business Saturday started as a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities. The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year. In 2014, that is Saturday December 6. In September 2014, REI launched a Rural Town Revival document to provide guidance and motivation to stakeholders in all of Ireland’s towns and villages to work together collaboratively to design and implement a plan …

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Journey of Hope begins

Over 4,500 Team Hope Christmas shoeboxes, filled with gifts for needy children in Ukraine, will be leaving Ennis this evening (Tuesday). Over the past three weeks schools, businesses, factories and individuals throughout the county have put together the shoeboxes which were packaged at Elevation Business Park, Clonroad, Ennis. “We have packed all these boxes into cartons to be loaded onto a lorry this evening. There will be 489 cartons to put onto the lorry, which are filled with 4,561 shoeboxes to get to needy children in Ukraine before Christmas,” said Margaret Angland, Clare coordinator for Team Hope.

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