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Tag Archives: Minister for Transport

Ennis course for tour guides a national first

ENNIS is pulling out all the stops when it comes to reaping the benefits of coach tourism, including job creation and increased visitor numbers. The county capital will shortly be the first in the country to offer an accredited course for tour guides. It is expected that the Certificate in Arts in Local Heritage Tour Guiding, run through Limerick Institute of Technology, will be up and running in the coming months. Details of the initiative were unveiled at this week’s meeting of members of the Ennis Municipal District. Councillor Johnny Flynn, a member of the Ennis Coach-Friendly Committee, called for financial support to be given for its delivery. The course will be run as a joint tourism initiative between the local authority, local businesses, Ennis Chamber and LIT. The venture is the result of efforts being made to capitalise on Ennis’ achievement of Coach-Friendly Destination accreditation last year. Brian McCarthy, acting director of services, explained, “A working group/committee was formed …

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Drop in road deaths

Provisional road collision statistics for 2017, published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following an analysis of fatal collision reports supplied by An Garda Síochána, show that there has been a 15% drop in road deaths in 2017 compared to 2016. Up to the December 31, 2017 a total of 158 people lost their lives on Ireland’s roads as a result of 143 fatal crashes, compared to 186 lives lost in 174 fatal crashes in 2016. This represents 28 fewer fatalities or a 15% drop in deaths and 31 fewer fatal crashes or an 18% drop in fatal crashes. 2017 was also be the safest year on Ireland’s roads since road deaths were first recorded in 1959. Previously, 2015 (with 162 deaths) was the safest year on record. Mr Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism observed, “It is very encouraging to see that we have reversed the upward trend in road deaths witnessed in 2016. The combined focus on improved …

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Garda focus on ‘drug driving’

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross has today (Wednesday) announced the commencement of the drug driving provisions in the Road Traffic Act 2016. One of the key measures in the legislation provides for preliminary drug testing, which will enable gardaí to test motorists whom they suspect of driving under the influence of drugs at the roadside. The new garda powers mean gardaí can now establish roadside checkpoints, mandatory impairment checkpoints (MIT), to test drivers for the presence of both alcohol and drugs. The new drug testing devices (Dräger DrugTest 5000) involve testing a sample of a driver’s saliva for the presence of cannabis, cocaine, opiates (e.g. heroin, morphine) and benzodiazepines (e.g. valium). The new devices will also be available in Garda stations. The MBRS has found that of the 3,020 specimens of blood and urine that it received in 2016, 24% confirmed positive for drugs other than alcohol. Of these, 91% were specimens from male drivers, most …

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Santa cleared for Irish air space

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross has confirmed that permission has been granted by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) for Santa Claus to enter Irish air space this Christmas Eve. There had been worries that Storm Barbara may have interfered with the big man’s travel plans, but the IAA have assured themMinister that Mr Claus is good to go. It is believed that Mr Claus will be accompanied with a team of nine reindeer and a large flying sleigh, however it is not yet known whether he will be accompanied by Mrs Claus, who is sometimes in charge of navigation. In addition Minister Ross said that the Coast Guard had issued a special Christmas Navigation Warning for all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea. Minister Ross said, “I have been informed that a large, jolly man on a low flying sleigh, assisted by reindeer and perhaps some elves, will be entering Irish air space tomorrow evening. I …

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€100k boost for Fleadh hosts

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, has allocated €100,000 for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na h-Eireann in Ennis this August. The allocation is part of Fáilte Ireland‘s national funding of just over €1.8 million for 23 key national festivals and events. Welcoming the news, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Pat Breen said the return of the Fleadh to Clare is a major boost.  During the 10-day event over 300,000 additional visitors are expected into the county as well as 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians and it will generate €40 million in income for the local economy. “There was a 14% increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first eleven months of 2015 and the most recent figures show that revenue in the sector has increased by 16% to €4.2 billion. A significant factor in this growth is the festivals and events on offer in all parts of the …

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Lack of railway station ramp ‘unacceptable’

The lack of any plan by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Iarnrod Eireann to provide a suitable lift or ramp to platform two at Ennis Railway Station for people with disabilities has been described as unacceptable. A replacement bridge was constructed to “modern standards” after the original access bridge was deemed to be in poor condition by the NTA, however no permanent accessibility access for people with disabilities was included in the build, Clare TD Michael McNamara has noted. “I am disappointed to now learn from the Minister for Transport that despite the bridge being designed to accommodate a lift or ramp in the future, there is no immediate plans to do so. This is unacceptable, as is assurances from Iranrod Eireann that a member of staff is made available to safely deploy a wheelchair ramp at the station in Ennis once advanced notice is provided” said Deputy McNamara. “Why must people with disabilities be forced to give notice …

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Shannon’s needs “well understood”-Transport Minister

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he is very aware of the importance of connectivity to Shannon Airport and to business in Clare. There have been fears that Shannon’s Heathrow links could be lost if the mooted IAG takeover of Aer Lingus goes through, and while the Minister didn’t explicitly rule out a deal which could see the Clare airport losing connectivity, he stressed that he is very aware of how important the link is, and said connectivity would be an important consideration in making a decision on any bid for the State’s 25.1% stake. In an interview with The Clare Champion, he said, “We’re looking at all of the consequences that the proposed bid could have for connectivity. I’m very much aware of how important connectivity is for the Shannon region and how important Shannon Airport is. I have said throughout all of this that national connectivity and the particular impact on our regions will be vital if a bid …

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Minister briefs Cabinet on bid for Aer Lingus

Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe has briefed Cabinet colleagues on the approaches that have been made to the board of Aer Lingus by International Airlines Group (IAG) – each of which is in the public domain. Outlining the current situation, he said, “The Government notes the statement by the Board of Aer Lingus this morning that it has indicated to IAG that the financial terms of the latest proposal are at a level which it would be willing to recommend, subject to being satisfied with the manner in which IAG proposes to address the interests of relevant parties. “The process involving a potential sale of Aer Lingus to IAG is in the early stages. It is important to note that IAG has made a proposal to make an offer and that no formal offer has yet been made. “At this point I want to again emphasise that proposals, which involve the potential sale of the State’s Aer Lingus shares, will …

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