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Local councils’ abolition a ‘retrograde step’ says new mayor

Prospective new entrants to politics from the Shannon Electoral Area will be adversely affected by the abolition of Shannon Town Council, according to the new Shannon Mayor, Councillor Greg Duff.Describing the abolition of town councils as a “retrograde step”, Councillor Duff has expressed grave concern that the next local election candidates including young people and those from ethnic minorities will be denied an opportunity to cut their political teeth at town council level first before considering a step up to the county council.He believes the requirement for even a party candidate to between €7,000 or €8,000 to properly promote themselves at the local elections will also hinder new entrants.“Minister Hogan had an opportunity to take powers from city and county managers and give them to councillors. Instead he failed to do this and abolished town councils,” he said.He admitted some people in the Labour Party advocated the party should remain in government because things could be worse if they left …

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Looking forward to life after the gardaí

AFTER 35 years in the gardaí and more than a decade in Shannon, Noel McMahon retired last week. Speaking to The Clare Champion, a few days after finishing, he said he had enjoyed his career and was looking forward to relaxing over the next few months. “I’m going to enjoy the summer, play golf and I’m going on a holiday in July, then come back and think about September and where I go from there,” he said. Noel’s son, Keith, died two years ago but he says he is now looking forward to spending time with his wife, Anne, their two daughters and three grandchildren. Originally from Doonbeg, he went into Templemore in November of 1977 and was sent to Tipperary Town the following May, where he would spend the next 21 years. He was only starting out when he had to deal with the fall-out from a fatal road crash. “My first fatal accident I was only six months …

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Tech-savvy Conaire’s pupils go mobile

  PUPILS at St Conaire’s are at the top of the class when it comes to using mobile technology for learning, after being awarded the Intel e-schools prize, following a competition to describe how mobile computing technology would be used in the primary school environment. The prize allows the school to install a suite of HP Elite Pads, enhanced wireless technology and a storage device. The school will also benefit from technical support from Intel and IT company Net Communications. The devices were presented to the school by Brendan Cannon, director of corporate affairs with Intel. He praised the school’s commitment to providing all pupils with access to the latest technology. Mayor of Clare Pat Daly and Mayor of Shannon Michael Fleming presided at a function in St Conaire’s last week, where the school outlined its vision for the future in relation to learning in the digital age.School principal, Peter Walsh said the technology package will have an important impact. …

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RTÉ journalist publishes debut novel

SHANNON’S Rachael English has been on RTÉ Radio for more than 20 years and she has just published her first novel, Going Back.It tells the story of Elizabeth Kelly and her young friends, who spend the summer of 1988 in Boston and then revisits them in an Ireland once again in deep recession.Speaking about the plot to The Clare Champion this week, the Morning Ireland presenter said, “There’s a brief bit at the start in the present day but mainly the first half of the book is set in the summer of 1988. Then the second half of the book is set in the present day, between the end of 2010 and early 2012.“The first half of the book is about one particular summer and the second half, more than 20 years later, catches up with the people whose stories were told in the first part of the book. Some of the consequences or decisions they made back in ’88 …

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