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Shannon

Rachael’s novel adventures

Shannon author and broadcaster, Rachael English’s second novel, Each and Every One, has just hit the bookshops. Rachael’s voice is among the most well-known in the country, as she presents Morning Ireland, and has more than 20 years’ experience on RTÉ Radio, after starting out on Clare FM, when Irish local radio was launched in 1989. Her first novel, Going Back, was quite well received on its release last year, but her nerves were still jangling last week, as she prepares to see how readers and critics react to the latest novel. Even presenting a radio show to hundreds of thousands of listeners isn’t adequate preparation, she said. “I’d love to be one of those people who doesn’t get nervous about these things but I do get far more nervous about book things than I have ever done about anything to do with broadcasting. It’s mad.” She said she feels like people will almost be passing judgement on a part …

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Susan scores science scholarship

SHANNON girl, Susan Williams has won the Normoyle Hillery Scholarship. Susan won the much sought-after €5,000 science scholarship from a shortlist of 16 of the highest calibre students in Clare. She attended St Caimin’s Community School and has just begun her studies in physiotherapy at the University of Limerick. “This award is way beyond my wildest dreams,” said the Ballycasey girl. “It just hasn’t sunk in. I met the other shortlisted candidates at an interview preparation session prior to our final interview and the standard of achievement was so high. I was so happy to be among them but receiving the award is just an unbelievable start to my course of studies and my career,” she added. Susan was a participant in the BT Young Scientist Competition last year, with a project based on the use of crutches during injury and the effect their use has on other body parts, particularly the hands and arms. She was also an award-winner …

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Cathaoirleach welcomes establishment of Shannon Group

CATHAOIRLEACH of Clare County Council, John Crowe says Shannon Airport and the surrounding Free Zone have “never been better placed than now to generate new business.” Councuillor John Crowe was speaking following the formal establishment by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe of Shannon Group plc, which brings together Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Enterprises Limited, Shannon Heritage and The International Aviation Services Centre (IASC). The Cathaoirleach commented: “Ever since autonomy was granted to Shannon Airport there has been a sizeable growth in passenger numbers and new services. Likewise, the fortunes of the Shannon Free Zone and businesses based there have improved considerably during the past 18 months. Furthermore, tourism figures throughout the Mid West Region are also on the rise which is no small part down to the strong leadership that has been shown by those behind the positive developments that have taken place in Shannon.” He continued: “The Minister’s formal establishment of the new entity will also …

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Time-travelling to Electric Picnic

Shannon artist Seamus Scullion will be bringing his installation The Old Octopus Medicine Show to the Electric Picnic festival which is on from August 29-31 in Stradbally, County Laois. His proposal won the Art Caravan Competition and organisers described his concept as “a quirky, eccentric time machine full of magic, mystery, fairy lights and trampoline teepee’s. It will be an area where Picnickers can chill out, listen to music and enjoy some crazy art and quirkiness. Not only can you expect a unique mind-blowing atmosphere, there will be shots of miraculous elixir distributed as a prize on our wheel of misfortune along with some torture (just to balance things out)” Seamus said he and a number of others worked on the project at his sisters house for about three months and he was quite happy with what they built. “There was an advertisement for a trailer park in Electric Picnic and I put a submission in. We won the first …

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Good news and high hopes

AFTER some difficult years, which saw significant job losses at Shannon, the pendulum has now swung the other way, with hundreds of vacancies in local companies. Speaking in the Senate recently, Shannon’s Tony Mulcahy said there are now hundreds of jobs available in the town and local business figures agree that things have definitely turned after a very severe recession. As the legislation on the independence of Shannon Airport went through the upper house, Senator Mulcahy said, “Between 600 and 800 jobs are currently being advertised on the industrial estate and I have no doubt that, in seven or eight years, there will be up to 8,000 jobs available.” When he spoke to The Clare Champion on Tuesday, he outlined numerous companies that are now looking for new employees. “Wipro are hiring, they’re the old Halifax and they’ll be hiring people in September. Pepper Finance are hiring. EI have been taking people on all the time and they’re one of …

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Shannon Aerospace on the up

SHANNON Aerospace saw a boost in profitability in 2013, according to newly-filed accounts. The profit recorded for the year was €1,119,000, which was more than nine times the 2012 figure. The company was involved in a serious dispute with workers over pensions earlier this year, with industrial action almost resulting. Regarding the pension scheme, the accounts state, “The company operates a contributory defined benefit pension scheme. At the end of 2013, the net pension deficit calculated by the scheme’s actuary had decreased to €15.69 million (2012: €17.79 million). The company has maintained its contribution rate at 13.3% of pensionable salary, up to a salary cap of €50,000. Since the year-end, the company have ceased contributions to the defined benefit pension plan and will replace it with a defined contribution benefit plan for its employees. Management are currently in negotiations with the company’s workforce regarding the structure of this new scheme.” The accounts state that the number of workers at Shannon …

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New Ryanair flight good news for Clare

Ryanair’s announcement of a new flight from Manchester to Shannon Airport this winter, which will help boost tourism to Co Clare and the West of Ireland from the all-important British market, according to Tourism Ireland. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement is more good news for tourism to the West of Ireland this year. We already work very closely with Ryanair and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of this new flight to Shannon. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in visitor numbers.” Britain is the largest single market for tourism to the island of Ireland; last year, we welcomed approximately 3.8 million British visitors, who contributed some €1.2 billion in revenue to the economy. Niall Gibbons continued: “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to Ireland and we are really pleased to see strong growth …

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Asian family claim they are ‘victims of racism’

AN Asian family living in Shannon’s Cúl na Gréine housing estate claim they are victims of racism, having been verbally abused, assaulted and having had their house egged many times over several years. They have blasted Clare County Council claiming they have failed to respond to numerous complaints and that the racism has come from the local authority, as well as those behind the direct abuse. One family member said that assurances they were given when they arrived have not been honoured and that incidents of racism were ignored by the local authority. “We are here for seven or eight years, since this estate was built. We were the first tenants here and when we signed the lease, we were given an assurance that if there was any anti-social behaviour, the people involved would be evicted. It was in the terms and conditions. We thought it sounded good, we were naïve, we didn’t know that council estates could be like …

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