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Profits rise at Shannon

PROFITABILITY at Shannon Airport “improved considerably” in 2014, a year in which passenger numbers also rose by 17%. That’s one of the messages from Shannon Group’s 2014 annual report, along with a commitment from Shannon Group chief executive, Neil Pakey, to correct what he called “historic underinvestment” at the airport and other facilities under the remit of Shannon Group plc. In the annual report, Mr Pakey outlined that “profitability of the airport has also improved considerably in 2014, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €4.6 million, an increase of 34% on 2013. This increase in profit was achieved in part through passenger growth and new routes, but also by managing cost efficiencies.” Mr Pakey added that work on lowering costs will continue this year, as will capital investment at the airport. “We will continue to address the operating cost base in 2015 and identify further cost efficiencies to ensure our sustainability and enable us to compete …

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Shannon businesses to take high performance tips

Shannon Chamber has stepped into the world of sport to equip business executives with the wherewithal to operate at optimal performance levels. Renowned high-performance expert Gary Keegan, who devised a world-class talent management programme for the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), has been drafted in to give a half-day seminar to both Chamber members and non-members on Wednesday, May 20 at 8.30am. The seminar is being held in the viewing gallery at Shannon Airport. Drawing analogies between business and sport, Mr Keegan will show how leadership, strategy, culture and execution for results are dependent on cultivating a high-performance ethos within a company. Speaking ahead of the event, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said: “In his time with the IABA, and now as director of the Irish Institute of Sport, Gary Keegan has demonstrated his ability to get the best out of teams. In his five years with the IABA, Ireland won 29 medals at European, World and Olympic levels, …

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Social Housing for Quilty and Shannon

Nearly €5m is to be spent on developing 25 new social housing units in Clare, as part of a new nationwide investment programme. Ten homes are being built in Quilty, along with 15 more at Tullyglass in Shannon at a combined cost of €4.75 million. The money forms part of a newly-announced investment programme worth €312 million that seeks to build 1700 new homes throughout Ireland. Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly said the first major direct build social housing programme is part of the first phase of  the Government’s social housing strategy. €312 million has been approved which will see an additional 1,700 social housing units come on stream by 2017 with an estimated 3,000 additional jobs in construction created. The projects, which cut across each local authority area, range in size from small numbers of units to projects of over 50 units for some of the Dublin local authorities. Minister Kelly said local authorities …

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Air cargo service to take off

EXPORTERS to the US are to benefit from the launch of Ireland’s only direct all-cargo air service to North America at Shannon.  Turkish Airlines has been granted permission to carry air cargo from Shannon to Chicago, starting immediately. In March, Turkish Airlines began making refuelling stops at Shannon for the first time. They will now operate a weekly Shannon-Chicago service on Fridays, through their cargo subsidiary Turkish Cargo, boosting options for Irish exporters of all sizes. The service will be operated with Turkish Cargo’s modern fuel-efficient Airbus A330F aircraft, which is the world’s most modern mid-size freighter and is capable of transporting cargo from high-value consumer goods to industrial equipment to thoroughbred horses. After the separation from the DAA, Shannon Group identified the development of an air freight hub as a major opportunity, as much of Irish air cargo exports now travel by truck to Britain because of a lack of suitable direct flights. Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said, …

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Shannon Crematorium remains a burning issue

WHILE the road seemed set for the development of a crematorium at Illaunmanagh, after Clare County Council voted to dispose of a site to Jim Cranwell, local residents are now seeking an emergency meeting of the council to put the brakes on. Local councillors PJ Ryan and Pat McMahon previously voted in favour of allowing the disposal of the site but have now reconsidered and said they would favour an emergency meeting of the local authority. A public meeting regarding the crematorium was held at the Oakwood Arms last Wednesday night and Michelle Hayes of Gleann an Óir said many locals had not even been aware that the development of a crematorium was back on the agenda. “Nobody in the town knew it was going ahead again or asked how they felt about it. A lot of the residents said no-one had come near them and asked were they in favour or not? People said that only for I had …

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Fined €1,000 for causing Shannon flight diversion

A 28-year-old American man has been fined €1,000 after a plane was forced to divert to Shannon Airport. The diversion coast the airline €100,000. Barman Jody Bochner of Miami, Florida appeared at Limerick District Court, charged with threatening and abusive behaviour; being intoxicated and failing to obey directions from cabin crew. The Norwegian Air flight had been in the air for 40 minutes when cabin crew were alerted to smoke in one of the lavatories. An e-cigarette was allegedly taken from Bochner and he was returned to his seat. Around 20 minutes later Bochner became abusive and attempted to hit one of the male cabin crew members before he was restrained and handcuffed with the help of some passengers. Defence solicitor Stiofan Fitzpatrick said the incident was extremely unfortunate and there was no rhyme nor reason to explaining his client’s actions. He said his client was returning to America after visiting his girlfriend in London and had taken drink to …

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Digging in at Hasting’s Cottage

Hasting’s farmhouse is perhaps the most historic site in Shannon and work has started on improving its gardens, in the hopes of making it a more attractive place to visit. Located in Illaunmanagh, Hasting’s Cottage is included on the 1840 Ordinance Survey Map of the area but may have been built long before then. The map in question shows the cottage and outbuildings at the end of Slí na Mara, which was the only routeway into Tullyvarraga at that time. During the War of Independence Brigadier General Lucas, a high ranking British officer, was taken captive and imprisoned there. He was guarded by Major General Michael Brennan, who subsequently led the East Clare Brigade of the IRA. In recent months, there have been a number of historical discoveries in the area, including weapons that may have been used in the War of Independence. Speaking about the works that have been taking place there of late, Tom Chambers of Dúchas na …

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Barman assaulted by brothers

A bar man who had worked at a Shannon hotel for well over a decade never returned to his job, after he was assaulted a number of hours after Clare’s 2013 All-Ireland win, Ennis Circuit Court has heard. In a written victim impact statement, Paul Ryan said he would never do the same type of work again, as he wouldn’t feel safe. Brothers Mark Hayes (26) and Sean Hayes (25), who both live at 106 Aidan Park, Shannon, pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing harm at the Oakwood Arms in the early hours of September 29, 2013. Mark Hayes also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a bar table. Garda Colm Moriarty told the court that when he arrived at the hotel on the night in question, he met with Mark Hayes, whom, he said, was not wearing a shirt. He claimed that the defendant had been irate and was “roaring and shouting, alleging he was assaulted”. When …

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