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Scattery Island makes EDEN awards shortlist

Scattery Island, located in the Shannon Estuary off Kilrush, has been short-listed in this year’s EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) competition to find the destination in Ireland which has best used its local tangible cultural assets to grow visitor numbers. Along with Scattery Island, the other finalists are the Ceide Coast, Mayo and The Norman Way Wexford. The overall winner will be announced at the end of September. EDEN is an EU project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union and is held every two years in 29 member states. The theme of the 2017 EU-wide EDEN competition is “Tangible Cultural Tourism” and the three Irish finalists are now preparing for on-site assessments during the week of Monday, September 4 when they will be visited by a panel of expert adjudicators. The assessment of the finalists will allow each one an opportunity to provide further evidence to show how they are balancing their own tangible cultural assets with the …

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Annoyance as Ennis flood relief works still some time off

FRUSTRATION is being voiced this week as work on the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme seems unlikely to begin for some months yet. Hopes that the work on the €4.7 million project would get underway in the middle of the year have already long been dashed. In a statement, Clare County Council stated that the matter is currently with the Office of Public Works (OPW). “Clare County Council has forwarded the tender report to the OPW, who are the funding authority for the project. The tender award process will proceed once approval is received from the OPW.” It is understood that work may not start on the project for another 10 weeks. Former Sinn Féin local and general election candidate Noeleen Moran contacted The Clare Champion this week after receiving a number of documents relating to the scheme under Freedom of Information. These indicate that it had actually been hoped work on the project would get underway as far back …

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Prestigious Stone Award for UHL Nurse

A nurse working with UL Hospitals Group, has been named this year’s winner of the Stone Award, an accolade regarded as the highest achievement in dermatology nursing. Sheila Ryan, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) in dermatology was presented with the award at the annual conference of the British Dermatology Nursing Group (BDNG) in Belfast. It is the first time the award has gone to a nurse in the Republic of Ireland. The Stone Award is named after the founder of the BDNG and first recipient of the award, Lynette Stone. It is awarded annually to an individual who has made a consistently great contribution in the field of dermatology nursing. Sheila, from Ahane, has 25 years of experience in dermatology nursing in Ireland and the UK. She is a member of the board of the Irish Skin Foundation and has acted as dermatology nurse advisor to the National Clinical and National Skin Cancer Control Programmes. She has also published articles …

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Expanded Philadelphia service from Shannon

Shannon Airport has welcomed the announcement by American Airlines to expand its Shannon to Philadelphia service in 2018, as the airline continues to build on the growing demand for flights between Shannon and its Philadelphia hub. Welcoming the increased capacity, Andrew Murphy, Managing Director Shannon Airport said: “The airline’s decision is significant and shows that the service is popular with passengers both sides of the Atlantic. We are delighted with the increase which will add an additional 50 return flights and 7,000 passengers. It is a service that continues to grow, with a 60% increase in capacity already added since 2013. “The additional capacity will not only have a positive impact for inbound tourism for the West of Ireland providing a boost for the tourism industry along the Wild Atlantic Way, but will also provide increased opportunities for business connectivity as people using the service will be able to connect at the American Airlines leading hub airports. It is also …

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Ennis Fleadh breaks attendance record

The largest crowd ever thronged the streets of Ennis for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017. Over 450,000 people attended over nine days of the largest traditional Irish music festival in the world. Numbers peaked at 100,000 on Saturday when crowds exceeded anything ever experienced in the town. All operational plans including a detailed Pedestrian Management plan operated effectively throughout the entire event. Nine hundred students participated in masterclasses at Scoil Éigse. Concert audiences broke all records, Fleadh TV broadcast nine hours of exhilarating TV, while Legacy, Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann’s flagship orchestral performance, premiered to the packed 2,000 seater Shannon Aerodome. In tribute to Ennis, Fleadh goers were enthusiastic in their appreciation of the scale and professionalism of the event organisation. Businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors indicated a significant increase in footfall and the success of the Fleadh can also be attributed to the efficient and friendly welcome extended by their teams. “We hope that Ennis, Clare and the …

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McDonagh planning new motorway service area

A NEW application for a major motorway service area that could employ 100 people is just around the corner, Pat McDonagh told The Clare Champion this week. The Supermac’s founder is also involved with the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall and the Galway Plaza off the M6 between Galway and Dublin. While a previous application for a similar development adjacent to Junction 12 at Killoo, Clarecastle, off the M18 was withdrawn, Mr McDonagh said another one is coming and he is confident it will be positively received. “We’d be very positive. We’re going to be reapplying in the next few weeks. The architects, engineers and consultants are working on it now at the moment. “The application should be submitted in the next three to four weeks. Then it has to go through the due process and it takes eight to nine weeks approximately after that. Sometimes they look for further information. It’ll be about three months or so before the …

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The start of the Brompton World Championships at St James's Park, London. Picture Prudential RideLondon

Strangest bike race in the world

You might think that bikes have no place in a motoring column but bear with me. Bicycles, particularly in an urban environment, are often the ideal way to get around. A bike journey can often replace a trip by car, reducing traffic and pollution and making a positive contribution towards fitness. I’ve ended up owning a number of bikes, including the iconic Brompton folding bike, which is still hand-built in London. It gets its name because Andrew Ritchie, who invented it, could see the Brompton Oratory from his flat as he developed the first prototypes in the 70s. I use it around Ennis and when I’m picking up a test car in Dublin, it invariably gets chucked in the boot. I find it’s the easiest and fastest way around the city. I’ve even rocked up to car launches on it, which raised a few eyebrows initially. Owning a Brompton is like joining a club and our equivalent of the All-Ireland …

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Students celebrate top class exam results

BALLYEA resident Róisín Ní Fhallúin has achieved one of the highest scores in the country in the Leaving Certificate, having received seven H1 grades yielding a maximum of 625 points. The Gaelcholáiste an Chláir student is one of 63 in the country to receive the maximum grade in seven subjects and is now preparing to embark on a course in psychology and maths at Trinity College Dublin. Róisín said she wasn’t expecting to do so well and was hoping for points in the region of 570, in order to do her chosen CAO course. “My course was 570, so I was hoping I had got 577. I was hoping for two or three H1s. I can’t believe I got it in English because I just didn’t think it went well for me at all.” Róisín said she enjoyed the experience of going in to collect her results. “It was lovely going in. Everyone was nervous going there and a few …

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