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Regional

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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Dogs not so Coole off-lead

UNRULY dogs are “an ongoing problem” in Coole Park, a representative of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has said. Signs erected in the reserve by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht state that there has been “an increasing number of complaints from members of the public about dogs”. “The problems experienced have included fractured bones, children knocked off bicycles, toddlers, older children and adults being terrified and joggers discommoded and injured as a result of the attentions of ‘friendly’ dogs,” the sign states. Enda Mooney, regional manager with NPWS, explained that dogs allowed off the leash by owners are causing a wide range of problems and on one occasion, he said, gardaí had to be called. “There has been a series of incidents, some more serious than others. There was an elderly woman who was knocked down when quite a big dog jumped on her and she fractured her wrist. Children are being knocked off bikes. …

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Online maps to pinpoint broadband locations

Online national and county maps that identify the homes, businesses and schools where commercial providers will deliver high-speed broadband access by the end of 2016, have been published today (Monday). At the launch in Doolin, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White said that the State would invest in all the remaining areas to ensure that every home, school and business in Ireland has access to high-speed broadband, regardless of where it is located. The maps, which allow the public to identify their own premises to see whether their high-speed broadband will be provided by a commercial operator or through State intervention, can be accessed at www.broadband.gov.ie. The website also carries county-by-county statistics on planned broadband coverage. Minister White said, “The delivery of high quality broadband is about ensuring that our citizens in rural Ireland have the same life chances, and the same access to information, culture, ideas, social interaction and opportunity that people in urban areas can enjoy.” …

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