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Local retailers ‘overwhelmed’ by customer support

OVERWHELMING loyalty from Christmas shoppers has given retailers a badly-needed boost, as the sector braces for further restrictions. While non-essential outlets face another period of uncertainty as Covid cases rise, shop owners have thanked people for making a concerted effort to support them in the month of December. Tina Grogan from Bambino in Ennis said it was very apparent that people made a conscious decision to back local retailers. “It has been so touching and the support coming up to Christmas was phenomenal,” she said. “It was really obvious that people were making an effort to shop local and, after the year that’s been in it, it was almost overwhelming to see.” At the County Boutique, Gwen Culligan described the support as “unbelievable”. “We were just blown away by it,” said the former President of Ennis Chamber of Commerce. “We did brilliant business. Our customers came back to us and it was clear they were determined to give their support.” …

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Half a million win for Clare lottery player

ANYONE who picked up a EuroMillions ticket at Paper Chase in Ennis is being urged to check their numbers as they could be half a million euro richer. The National Lottery has confirmed the winning location for Tuesday night’s €500,000 EuroMillions Plus top prize win. The winning Quick Pick ticket was sold on December 29 at Paper Chase in Ennis town centre. The all-important winning numbers are: 01, 02, 06, 09 and 19. Paper Chase newsagents first opened its doors in Ennis in 1992 and owner, Sharon Casey started her career as a shop assistant when the store first opened before becoming manager and finally taking over the business in 2008. Celebrating her first big National Lottery win as the store’s owner, Sharon has now called on her customers to check their tickets to see if they have won this life-changing priz. “It’s absolutely incredible, we still cannot believe it! I got the call from the National Lottery late last night and …

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Covid-19 increases at “alarming” rate in Mid-West

The Department of Public Health Mid-West is strongly urging Clare people to review their Christmas plans, as Covid-19 infections continue to increase at an “alarming” rate. Over the past eight days, there have been more than 300 Covid-19 cases in the region. The vast majority of these cases have been recorded in Limerick, which has seen one of its largest spikes in infections since the start of the pandemic. Unlike any other period in the pandemic due to the nature of the festive season, the Department of Public Health pointed out there have been approximately three weeks of large social gatherings that have continuously intensified to date. Preliminary evidence indicates that gatherings among families, in private households, organised events, and in the hospitality sector, are now associated with outbreaks. The Public Health Mid-West team is managing outbreaks and new cases in extended families, private households, residential care settings, workplaces, the hospitality sector and in the community. Dr Rose Fitzgerald, Specialist …

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HSE issues advice for people waiting for Covid-19 tests

CLARE people who are waiting for a Covid-19 test are being urged to self-isolate until they have their test in the interest of curbing the spread of the virus. In a statement released to the Clare Champion, HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare has reiterated that Clare people who wish to attend the test centre in Ballymaley, Ennis must have a referral from their doctor or GP. People are also advised to only attend the test centre at their allocated time and to attend their designated centre. HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare has also confirmed there is a high volume of people requesting a Covid-19 test as the country experiences a third wave of the virus. Any person can get a free test for Coronavirus if they have symptoms of Covid-19 and their GP thinks they need to be tested, if they are told they are a close contact by the HSE’s close contact tracing team. Anyone who is categorised as a close …

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New Quay family hit the right notes with big win on TG4

A SUPER talented New Quay family have scooped the top prize on TG4’s Réalta agus Gaolta, fighting off competition from across the country and wowing judges with their unique interpretation of The Cranberries ‘Zombie’. The Farrell family will receive a €2,000 cash prize following their win and are said to be on Cloud 9 after their success. Nineteen-year-old Shónagh, who is a student of French and Music at University College Dublin (UCD) and a singer and violinist, was described by her mum Ellie as the “musical director” of the family. “They wouldn’t take any advice at all from myself or Brian,” she laughed. “We were banned from the process! Shónagh would spend lots of time adapting different pieces to suit their style and there results have been fantastic.” Judges, including Irial Ó Ceallaigh and Sinéad Ní Uallacháin were blown away by the performance of Muintir Farrell across the course of the show, and other performances included a hugely popular version …

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Ennistymon Community Hospital receives Christmas presents from local children

RESIDENTS in Ennistymon Community Hospital have received some early Christmas presents thanks to the work of students from a local national school. Last Friday, children from Ennistymon National School delivered gifts to 17 residents in Ennistymon Community Hospital, much to their delight. Director of nursing, Orla Hickey told the Clare Champion Ennistymon National School approached us to donate presents to the residents because they couldn’t do their Shoebox Appeal. “It was lovely that so many people thought of the residents,” she said. She said residents were quite busy during the lockdowns bird watching, painting stones for the Sea Wall Art Project at Clahanes and gardening. Holly McMahon, a Fourth Class student in Ennistymon National School, said the pupils made Christmas cards, crafts and decorations to wish residents a happy Christmas. Holly said the cards contained a special message wishing all the patients a safe Christmas and New Year. Other gifts that were donated from parents included hairbands, rosary beads and books. …

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Early “Christmas present” for Shannon Airport as Ryanair re-opens base

RYANAIR has delivered an early “Christmas present” to Shannon Airport following its decision to re-open its base with one aircraft and the recommencement of 14 routes from April 1. According to Ryanair, a new five-year deal on airport charges, which was finalised between the Shannon Group and the airline in recent days, will create more than 330 direct and indirect jobs. Ryanair will reopen its Shannon base and operate 14 routes from Shannon for summer 2021 from Shannon Airport to the following destinations in 2021: Alicante, Barcelona-Reus, Faro, Krakow, Kaunas, Lanzarote, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Malaga, Manchester, Palma, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Last October, Shannon Airport was dealt a hammer blow when Ryanair announced it was closing its Shannon base for the winter months. With transatlantic closed down already and the Shannon-Heathrow route also suspended, Shannon Airport only has a very small number of scheduled passenger flights per week. In an interview with the Clare Champion, chief executive officer, Mary …

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‘This Christmas has to be different’ health chiefs warn

HSE chiefs in the Midwest have issued a warning over the impact of a possible third wave of Covid-19 on service delivery in the region. “This Christmas has to be different,” Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Midwest told members of the local authority. “The next couple of weeks are so important and will determine what happens in January, which is always tough anyway in terms of healthcare. We are appealing to people to reduce their social contacts immediately. Keep washing your hands and keeping social distance.” Dr Mannix also said there were far too many instances where people were sick and still turning up at work. “This cannot continue,” she said. Professor Brian Lenehan, Chief Clinical Director said that University Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG) could not rule out having to cancel elective procedures in January. He said the acute hospitals were preparing for a possible Covid spike in the New Year. “January is always a challenging …

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