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Hundreds in Shannon Airport for Tech event

HUNDREDS of young people are in the terminal of Shannon Airport today for the Irish Technology Leadership Group’s Young Innovators 2014 event. The teenagers, from secondary schools around the country, including students from St Flannan’s in Ennis, St Patrick’s Comprehensive in Shannon and St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe are sharing their vision for the world in 2064 through an innovation and technology challenge. They are being asked to outline how they think people may live, work, play, travel, learn and shop in 50 years time. Chair of Shannon Rose Hynes Rose Hynes was there and she said it’s very interesting to think about what the future may bring, given how quickly technology can change. “If you just think 20 years back, people weren’t even using faxes, they were using telex. It’s quite amazing. I was in GPA when emails became a big thing, it’s not that long ago.” Luke Lawlor, a Leaving Cert student at St Flannan’s was among …

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Anti Austerity Alliance Shannon candidates

THE new Anti Austerity Alliance is to field two candidates,  Seónaidh Ní Shíomóin and David Houlihan, for the Shannon area in the May local elections. Seónaidh, who first got involved in campaigning during the anti Household Tax movement in 2012, said, “Right across the country ordinary people, sick and tired of austerity, are coming together to build a real alternative for the upcoming elections. From Dublin to Donegal, Limerick to Laois, the Anti Austerity Alliance is organising to get fighters for ordinary people elected. So far the AAA is standing in six wards in the Mid West, including right here in Shannon.” David Houlihan, who is a trade union activist, said, “The Government would have you believe all is well. But almost half a million people are still unemployed, over 300,000 have emigrated, 100,000 mortgages are in arrears, and there has been no recovery in people’s wages. Far from austerity being over, the property tax has now doubled, and next …

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Mincon rewards Shannon employees

FIFTY-five Shannon workers are getting an unexpected financial boost after their employers, Mincon Group PLC decided to reward them with payments of €1,000 per year of service up to the end of 2013. The company came to prominence in 2010 as it was behind the drill piece used to make initial contact with the trapped Chilean miners. It recorded a pre-tax profit of over €13 million in 2012. Commenting on the move, Paddy Purcell, who founded the Mincon Group with his wife, Mary in 1977, said; “It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Mincon Group employees that it has grown from its origins in Shannon into the international business it is today, with operations in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australasia and with its securities quoted on the ESM and AIM.” Mr Purcell and Kevin Barry, Mincon Chief Executive, are providing around €1.2 million from their private funds to fund the award to employees, excluding …

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Shannon Venue project design going to tender

A TENDER document for the design of the Shannon Venue, a project which is seeking to provide a multi-functional civic and arts venue for the town, is being issued this week. Derek Barrett of Shannon Venue Ltd said that progress is being made. The tender document was issued last week and there’s around three weeks to submit a tender. “We have retained someone to score the applications and we’ll pick a design team. Then they’d have a number of months.  We’ve given an outline of the kind of things we want in it, the spaces we want and what we need,” he said. A target of €7 million has been set for fundraising, which they claim is required to give Shannon the best possible facility. By last November they had raised €700,000 from business sources and a sponsor a seat initiative was launched for the run up to Christmas, with seats available from €1,000. Nameplates carrying messages are to go …

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Clare firms keeping high standards

CLARE companies are alert to the benefit of investing in standards, according to the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). The latest figures show that 59 Clare based companies are registered to NSAI standards, as they aim to increase their competitive advantage and thrive in key industries. The NSAI approve a range of standards, including quality, environmental and occupational health and safety. “Today’s figures prove that Clare based companies see the real benefit in standards and as a result of that benefit they are investing in standards for the future of their businesses. Standards are not always noticeable in everyday life but they are there in the background from the medical devices used in hospitals to the car seat you set-up for the school run,” said Maurice Buckley, CEO, NSAI. Standards are applied to businesses of all sizes and just some of the Clare companies registered to NSAI standards include: Element Six Ltd., who are registered to Environmental Management Systems …

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Shannon councillors in commercial rates row

HARSH words and some insults were traded at Tuesday night’s meeting of the town council, as the emotive issue of high commercial rates for businesses was aired yet again. Independent Cathy McCafferty put forward a motion calling on the county council to rescind fees charged at recycling centres, significantly reduce commercial rates and calling on the Minister for either Finance or the Environment to clarify which specific local services the local property tax is supporting. However, her own voting record was queried by Councillor Patricia McCarthy, who noted that the Derry native had backed increasing the town charge for Shannon from what was originally proposed in the draft budget for 2014. Councillor McCafferty was one of a majority of councillors who last month voted to reduce the town charge from 2.11 to 2.06. However, the original proposal from the council executive had been to cut it to 1.90, before a majority of the members opted to up it, to provide …

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Almost €3.5m spent on failing Shannon treatment plant

TO put it very mildly, Shannon’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) hasn’t been working that well of late, something proved by the foul smells that have plagued the town. Given its performance, it was somewhat surprising to learn that Clare Council Council have spent close to €3.5 million on it since 2010. Following a motion from Councillor Gerry Flynn, members of Shannon Town Council received a report on the WWTP at their meeting on Tuesday, which had details of the current maintenance contract. The report, prepared by county council water services engineer Sean Ward, stated, “The current contract is for the operation and maintenance of Tradaree Point WWTP, the pumping stations contributing to it and two stormwater pumping stations. The contract was awarded in 2010, based on a competitive tender, for an initial period of two years with the option to renew for a further two years. The contract was renewed in 2012. “Yearly costs from 2010 to date are …

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Work underway to eliminate Shannon smell

By Owen Ryan WORKS which should help cut out the foul odours that are plaguing Shannon have begun, but Clare County Council have warned that things may get worse before they get better. Interim remedial works began at the Tradaree Point wastewater treatment plant at the weekend. The work will continue into the New Year and aims to reduce sewage-related odours. “Clare County Council wishes to alert residents on a precautionary basis, that odours may be generated during the desludging operation because of the nature of the operation itself,” said a Council spokesman. “Tanks will have to be drained down in sequence, and this may expose solid materials gathered on the floors of the tanks which may be a source of odour while they are being removed. However, even though the operation may cause odours in itself, the overall purpose of the operation is to alleviate odours in the longer term. “The Council has also secured aeration equipment to blow …

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