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‘Looming crisis’ at Shannon as passenger numbers fall and Norwegian exit

SHANNON Group has acknowledged that its already disappointing passenger numbers will dip further in 2019. In a statement on Wednesday, low-cost airline Norwegian said it won’t run any services from Shannon for the rest of this year. “Due to the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max by the European aviation authorities, our flights to and from Cork and Shannon will be re-routed via Dublin for the remainder of the summer season. Cork is a seasonal route and the reduced availability of aircraft has led to the removal of Shannon services this winter.” Later on Wednesday, Shannon Group also released a statement, which said, “The worldwide grounding of the 737 Max aircraft is having a serious impact for Shannon passengers. “Proportionally, no other Irish airport has such a high level of activity operated by the 737 Max aircraft. At peak, this aircraft type would have operated 13 weekly flights from Shannon to North America. “We now estimate that the loss …

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Touch down-Trump arrives in Clare

PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s visit to Clare began on Wednesday afternoon, as he arrived at Shannon Airport on Air Force One from the UK, held a meeting that lasted less than an hour with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, before travelling by helicopter to Doonbeg. The US President was characteristially outspoken when he addressed the media at the airport, claiming that Brexit will “work out very well” and comparing the Irish border with the one between the US and Mexico. He claimed that he had been unaware of President Michael D Higgins’ criticism of his record on environmental issues and, in fact, countered that “we have the cleanest air in the world in the United States and it’s gotten better since I’m President”. President Trump is due to fly to France on Thursday, return to Doonbeg and spend the night there, play a game of golf on Friday morning before leaving Ireland again later in the day. Security is currently very tight at …

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“We’re setting records environmentally” -Trump

IF Leo Varadkar had been hoping for a mild, diplomatic press conference with Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon, he would have been disappointed. While Brexit is almost universally seen as a historic and catastrophic mistake in Ireland, one which Mr Varadkar and his Government are vehemently opposed to, Mr Trump wasted almost no time before talking it up, as the two spoke to the press in the Shannon Airport terminal. “It’s an honour to be here, we’ll discuss various things, probably you’ll (Varadkar) ask me about Brexit, because I just left some very good people who are very much involved with Brexit as you know. I think it’ll all work out, all work out very well and also for you, with your wall, your border. We have a border situation in the United States and you have one over here. I think they’re both going to work out well. “Both the military and trade are a very big factor and …

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Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Michael Begley. Photograph by John Kelly.

‘I’m going to do what I think is right for the county’

CLARE’S first citizen, Councillor Michael Begley said that greeting President Trump is the right thing to do for the count Justa few hours before he was due to welcome Trump at Shannon Airport, he said that the visit of Trump is good for Clare. “I do think it’s good for the county. They have a very substantial project in Doonbeg, employing a couple of hundred people, probably one of the biggest employers in West Clare. I think that it’s something that is good for the county. His visit here, from a tourist view, there will be more people who want to see Doonbeg and what it’s all about. I can’t see it being anything other than good for the county.” Of course President Trump is very unpopular in this country, many are taking to the streets to protest his visit and few of those people would agree that the Donald should get a céad míle fáilte. However Councillor Begley is …

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Details of restrictions due to Trump visit

  GARDAI have said that traffic restrictions for the Presidential visit will be kept to the minimum required and at this time should not impact greatly on normal traffic in Shannon and the Doonbeg environs. Shannon Town: It is not anticipated that any significant disruption will be caused to Shannon Town which remains open for business.  Shannon Airport: Normal operations will continue at Shannon Airport and updates will be available on Shannon Airport and Shannon Group social media channels. Additional security checks and Garda presence are ongoing within the environs of Shannon Airport.  No on street parking is allowed anywhere within the Shannon Airport environs except in designated areas. Passengers travelling to the airport are advised to allow extra travel time for the duration of the President’s visit, as additional security measures will be in place on the approach road to the airport and car parks until Friday, June 7. All visitors to the airport during the period are advised …

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Climate action and anti war groups to hold joint protest

IN the early days of the Trump presidency hundreds of people came to Shannon Airport on a dark winter’s night to protest his immigration policies.  Trump was almost certainly unaware of the gathering, thousands of miles away, as he got accustomed to life in the White House. Protestors will be gathering at the entrance to the airport again next week, and this time there is at least the possibility that Trump will gaze upon them as he descends from the skies, or that his advisers will inform the president there are people outside who disagree with him. A statement this week sent to the Clare Champion on behalf of three groups, Shannonwatch, Futureproof Clare and Extinction Rebellion, said, “To coincide with US president Donald Trump’s visit to Ireland, protests will be held at Shannon Airport, starting at 3pm on June 5th. The US president is expected to land at Shannon that day, to fly out and back again on June …

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Flynn takes last Shannon seat after dead heat

THE real drama of the weekend’s election count in Clare came after 5pm on Sunday, when the final seat in the Shannon Electoral Area was being decided. In the end, Gerry Flynn was elected to the council for a fourth term but he will never be pressed harder. Both he and Garret McPhillips were exactly level after a recount of votes. In such circumstances, what happens is that the candidate with the greater number of first preferences goes through and the 1,041 Flynn number ones was greater than McPhillips’ 939. While reporting on local politics can be dreary, that certainly wasn’t the case on Sunday evening. Shannon was the last electoral area to be counted and Cathal Crowe was way ahead of everyone else, with a massive 2,575 first preferences, far in excess of the 1,406 quota. The second count saw Fine Gael’s John Crowe home, his 1,308 first preferences topped up by another 121 from his namesake’s surplus. Count …

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So near but so far for Shannon’s McPhillips

AFTER a draining evening Garret McPhillips lost out, tying with Gerry Flynn, but not taking the seat because the Independent candidate had more number one votes. While they were dead even after six counts, one recheck and one recount, the greater number of first preferences is used as a means of separating candidates in such circumstances, although it almost never happens. In the immediate aftermath, Mr  McPhillips said he had advice that he could seek a more extensive recount to the one carried out on Sunday evening, but even at that stage he was inclined not to press ahead with that course of action. “Look, I don’t want to go down the legal road. When it says I’m entitled to a full recount it means a full recount of the whole Shannon district, I don’t know, I need more clarity. But at the moment it is what it is, I congratulate Gerry 100%, I congratulate Mike (McKee), especially with his …

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