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Survey calls for litter to be addressed

SHANNON finished in 20th position out of 60 towns and cities surveyed in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey.   While Shannon came in 13th position last summer, the An Taisce assessors still felt the town had performed well.“Another good result. Half of the sites surveyed in Shannon were clean to European norms, with the remainder moderately littered. “Some of the top ranking sites included Ballycasey Business Park, Bóthar Mór Approach and Bóthar an Aerphort Approach. The Newmarket-on-Fergus approach road just missed getting the top litter grade. The town centre was moderately littered and care needs to be taken to ensure it doesn’t deteriorate.”Five of the 10 parts of town surveyed were said to be clean to European norms. One of these was St Aidan’s school, which was praised in the report. “This was a very good site. It was clear of all litter and very well maintained,” it stated.The report was also positive about Finian Park. “Despite …

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Councillors seek date for Tradaree Flats demolition

THE Tradaree Flats are an eyesore, are being used for antisocial behaviour and should be knocked as soon as possible, according to Shannon town councillors.At this week’s meeting of the council, Councillor Cathy McCafferty put forward a motion requesting that the council “be informed of a date for the demolition of the Tradaree Flats and that this site be kept clean and litter free until that date”.In her reply, Fiona Mooney of the council’s housing section said that the council is still working towards getting the flats demolished.“In anticipation of a positive response from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to the council’s submission for funding for the Tradaree demolition, the part 8 planning application for the demolition of the flats is being prepared currently with a view to placing the advert under the planning part 8 process next week. The public notification process takes eight weeks and a report will then be on a county council …

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Shannon unemployment swells in 2009

IT’S been a bad year for employment in Shannon, with a number of major job losses swelling the Live Register figures.In July, there was shock after Element Six, a long-time stellar Shannon employer announced plans to axe 370 jobs. While the number of jobs lost eventually turned out to be significantly lower, it was a major shock to workers.A protracted dispute over the level of redundancy ensued, with staff very angry that they were being offered less than what was available under previous arrangements. “I’m here 10 years and I was offered nearly €60,000 to leave last year and now I’m looking at €10,000 going out the door,” one employee told The Clare Champion. Following a protracted process, redundancy arrangements that were more palatable to workers were agreed.CEO Cyrus Jilla said that Ireland was no longer competitive on costs. “While we have made great strides over the years to make the site competitive, it is insufficient to ensure long-term viability. …

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Redundancies planned for Schwarz Pharma

IT has been confirmed that Schwarz Pharma are set to make a number of workers redundant in the early part of 2010.In a statement, parent company UCB confirmed that jobs will be going. “Schwarz Pharma announced a proposal to reduce its headcount by approximately 29 positions as part of a restructuring programme. The goal is to achieve the jobs reduction through a voluntary severance programme and completion is expected by Quarter 1/Quarter 2 of 2010.”The statement confirmed that new arrangements will apply at the Shannon plant. “The company is restructuring following the completion of a third-party manufacturing project, the result of which was to decommission one of its three plants on the Shannon site. The company’s other two manufacturing plants on site will continue to operate to normal capacity.”Mayor of Shannon Seán McLoughlin said that the news reflected a worrying pattern. “You don’t see major headlines when 20 or 30 jobs are going but it’s happening all the time and …

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Chamber president sees ‘payback for NAMA’ in Budget

ELEMENTS of the budget were welcomed by Shannon Chamber president Ian Barrett at a breakfast briefing for members held last Thursday morning, as the country absorbed the detail of Brian Lenihan’s figures.“The chamber welcomes steps to take control of the public finances. It sends out the message that we are serious about it internationally,” he commented.He welcomed the message that corporation tax wasn’t being increased, saying the existing low rate was the single biggest factor in bringing foreign direct investment to Ireland.Mr Barrett welcomed the rates freeze in Clare. “Shannon Chamber lobbied hard on rates and I would like to applaud Clare County Council and the councillors for passing a zero per cent increase in rates and a three per cent cut in water rates.” He also welcomed a package for flooding relief and prevention.A presentation on the budget was given by Lesley Barrett and Eamonn Murphy of Grant Thornton.The credit review system mentioned in the Budget was described as …

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Councillors pushing for more library parking

CLARE County Council is being urged to provide additional disabled parking spaces at the Seán Lemass library.At this week’s meeting of local area councillors, Mayor of Shannon, Seán McLoughlin, asked that the situation be addressed and put forward three possible responses.They were: to widen the area in front of the library and put parking spaces with bumper to kerb parking; clean out the area at the back of the library and make it suitable for parking; or to provide disabled parking spaces at the back and front of the library.In his reply on the matter, however, engineer Eugene O’Shea said there are a number of difficulties to be addressed.“The road fronting the library is a private road and not in charge of the council. Widening of the area in front of the library is therefore not an option. In any event the road layout is not suitable for reversing vehicles due to inadequate sight lines and the vehicular access on …

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New oratory means more churches than pubs in Shannon says mayor

  THE new SkyCourt Adoration Chapel opened on Tuesday afternoon and was blessed by Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh.Located in the Town Square, it replaces the old oratory in SkyCourt, which opened in 1976.The chapel was developed at a cost of €250,000 and can accommodate 60 people, although there was a larger crowd at Tuesday’s opening with the congregation spilling out the doors. Writing in the booklet that was distributed at the opening, parish priest, Fr Tom Ryan said it was a very significant moment for the parish. “On an occasion like today, there is an undoubted sense of nostalgia as we consider all those who helped build and give shape to our parish over the past 42 years and who have gone to their eternal reward. I thank all who have helped make this oratory a reality; the owners of SkyCourt, Shannon Development Company, parishioners and friends who use this place as part of their daily lives. Our ceremony …

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Interest in cricket on the rise

  TWENTY-five year old Raj Singh is one of the leading members of the Clare Cricket Club, which was formed two years ago.The Indian national, who lives in Ballycasey and works in Limerick, says that the club has a good number of members living in Shannon, where much of their summer training was done. “This was just our second year. Because we don’t have our own ground, we have to play all away games. We trained on the all-weather pitch here in Shannon and in Ennis a bit. For the winter, we are training indoors in Newmarket.”Of course, there is a very small cricket base in the county, with many of the players having recently arrived to Ireland. “We have three or four from South Africa, a few from England and Australia and three or four more from India. We have a few Irish playing as well. It’s a mixture of people from all different cultures.”While it’s not a game …

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