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Chief Super appeals for patience over Level 3 check points

CLARE’S Garda Chief Superintendent has acknowledged the frustration some people may experience as a result of check points set up as part of Operation Fanacht. The policing operation re-commenced on midnight October 6 when the country moved to Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions. Addressing the meeting of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) last Monday, Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran noted that complacency had begun to set in in terms of following public health guidelines and that part of Operation Fanacht involved making people more aware of the restrictions currently in place. “All of us have become somewhat complacent,” the Chief Superintendent said. “The increase in the Covid-19 figures show this. We are making people more aware of the guidelines.” Currently, three static checkpoints are in place and members of the forces are engaging with the public on the M18 on the Limerick county boundary, as well as in Killaloe and Ennis. Staggered mobile checkpoints are also in use, the Chief Superintendent explained. …

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Aer Lingus plan to restore Shannon services

OFTEN criticised around Shannon, Aer Lingus spokesman Sean Doyle last week told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications Networks that the airline is committed to Shannon, and plans to have transatlantic flights from the Clare airport next year. During the debate Clare TD Joe Carey, who chaired the meeting, put it to Mr Doyle that Shannon has had more services cut by Aer Lingus than other airports. “I would like to ask Mr Doyle about the commitment of Aer Lingus to Shannon Airport. Transatlantic services are of vital importance to FDI and tourism right along the western seaboard. Is the airline committed to restoring those American routes and, in particular, the Heathrow route? I note that Aer Lingus operates routes out of Cork, Dublin and Belfast. Mr Doyle has spoken about Ireland being an outlier (in terms of having more restrictive aviation policies). Shannon Airport is an outlier because it is not being treated the same as any …

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Wynne calls for Shannon to go back under DAA

CLARE TD Violet Anne Wynne has called for Ryanair to commit to restoring Shannon services in 2021. “In the week were the Government committed around €5m to Shannon Airport along with their pledge to sign up to the EU Traffic Light system in Tuesday’s budget it would appear this may be a case of too little too late. While I understand that this decision was made on a commercial bases it is imperative that Ryanair commit to reopening their Shannon bases after the winter lockdown,” she said. “One would have to question how their Dublin base is not at all effected. I feel again that this shows that Shannon as a standalone airport does not have the bargaining power of the DAA,” she added. However, Cork Airport is still part of the DAA group and that too has been closed, showing a certain flaw in Ms Wynne’s argument for reintegration with the other State airports.

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“This is very disappointing news”

RYANAIR’S announcement of the closure of its Shannon base is a big setback, Shannon Group’s Chief Executive Mary Considine has acknowledged today. “This is very disappointing news not only for Shannon based Ryanair employees and all our airport team, but for the whole region who rely on the services that Ryanair provide. We have done everything in our power to retain the base. “In July, Ryanair resumed services to 16 destinations from Shannon, and as a result of today’s announcement this will see their operation at Shannon reduced to 8 flights serving Stansted, Manchester and Wroclaw for the winter period. “The aviation industry is on its knees with further flight restrictions being imposed in EU countries as the virus rates increase. What we need now is a clear pathway to recovery for aviation. We had hoped that it would start with a harmonised EU traffic light system. While this was endorsed by Ireland, the measures proposed fall short of what …

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Shock as Ryanair closes Shannon base for winter season

CLARE TD Cathal Crowe has this morning said he is stunned at the Ryanair decision to close its Shannon base for the winter. “Last week Ryanair’s Eddie Wilson came before the Oireachtas Transport Committee demanding that Ireland fully adopt the EU ‘traffic light system’ for a safe return to international flying. It was understood that this would allow Ryanair to begin to more properly plan routes and schedules for the months ahead. “The ‘traffic light system’ and Ryanair’s major ask has been met; but now, within a few short hours, they are announcing this closure. They clearly intend to use the new EU protocols to fly the more lucrative routes in/out of Dublin, Stansted, but not Shannon and Cork,” concluded Deputy Crowe. Fine Gael’s Joe Carey said ““This is extremely disappointing news and yet another blow for Shannon Airport. Ryanair’s decision will result in job losses at Shannon Airport and will further reduce our connectivity as a region.”

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Ryanair to close Shannon base for the winter

THERE has been terrible news for Shannon this morning with Ryanair announcing it will close its base at the Clare airport for the winter. With transatlantic closed down already and the Shannon-Heathrow route also suspended, Shannon will now have just eight scheduled passenger flights per week. Ryanair’s Cork base will also be shut, along with other cutbacks throughout the continent. In a statement on Thursday morning, Michael O’Leary blamed Government mismanagement of the pandemic across the continent. “While we deeply regret these winter schedule cuts they have been forced upon us by Government mismanagement of EU air travel. Our focus continues to be on maintaining as large a schedule as we can sensibly operate to keep our aircraft our pilots and our cabin crew current and employed while minimising job losses. It is inevitable given the scale of these cutbacks, that we will be implementing more unpaid leave and job sharing this winter in these bases where we have agreed …

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“Thank God for modern technology, it helps you to reach out”

A DEFINING part of many Clare people’s weekend is attendance at mass, but that will not be the case for the next three weekends at least, as the county and the country are again under tighter restrictions. As was the case earlier in the year the devout will be watching the ceremonies through electronic devices as part of the national effort to limit the spread of the virus. “On one hand while we’re not surprised, we are that it happened so quickly, being locked down at pretty short notice. We’re gone to phase 3, it is what it is, it’s the reality and maybe it’s a reminder to everyone to up their game a little bit and look out for everybody,” said Shannon parish priest Father Arnold Rosney on Tuesday. He said that people can still go to their local places of worship. “Public masses are on hold for the three weeks but the churches are still open for private …

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Considine expects Shannon numbers to be down 80%

SHANNON Airport has never seen such a crisis and its passenger numbers will be down by around 80% this year, CEO Mary Considine told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport on Wednesday. “We have been through many crises in the past, but never on such a global scale; this is unprecedented. Like airports globally, Shannon has witnessed an almost total collapse in airport traffic, connectivity and revenues,” she said. Shannon Group’s revenue and passenger numbers are in freefall, she added, “The figures are stark. Our passenger numbers have been declining since scheduled services recommenced on July 1. In August they were down 86% and last month they were down 91%. If this trend continues, we expect to see a decline of 80% in passenger numbers for this year compared to the previous year. As a result of these and other losses in the Group, we expect overall Group revenue to be down almost 60% by the end of this year. …

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