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Breaking News

Protection from Brexit vital

The Government must protect jobs in the Mid-West from the worst impacts of Brexit, Ennis Councillor Johnny Flynn has stressed. “The UK withdrawal from Europe places Irish jobs at risk; we have already seen due to the fall in value of sterling that there is a significant drop in tourists from UK. With tourism responsible for one of seven jobs in Clare I am concerned of the impact that that any plans to increase the VAT rate from 9% on tourism spend might have in Ennis and Clare.” Clare and Ennis was very badly affected by the economic collapse in 2008 with huge increase in people signing on due to job losses. By 2012 there were 10,493 people unemployed in Clare, that figure is now 6075. The number of people signing on the Live Register in Ennis district alone has dropped by 2028 from 5859 to 3389 since 2012, Mr Flynn has learned.This news comes as the CSO revealed the …

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Tougher measures for repeat sex offenders

The Cabinet has today (Tuesday) agreed to bring forward proposals to target repeat sexual offenders, which would broadly reflect that proposed by Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran in his Bill – the Criminal Justice (Commission of Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2017. Cabinet also approved Justice Minister Charles Flanagan’s proposals to amend the gender anomaly with respect to incest. Both issues will be contained in a Government Bill, which Minister Flanagan will seek Cabinet approval for in the autumn. Speaking following the Government meeting, Minister Flanagan said, “The major provisions with regard to the establishment of minimum mandatory sentences for repeat sexual offenders are based on the work of Minister of State Moran and I would like to acknowledge his commitment and dedication in working with my department to develop these proposals. “There are already provisions in place under the Criminal Justice Act 2007 to allow for minimum sentences to be imposed for certain repeat offenders and these new proposals …

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SUSI application deadline looms

The national student grant awarding body, SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), is urging students who have yet to submit their applications for student grant funding for the 2017/18 academic year to do so now. The deadline for applications is this Thursday, July 13. Graham Doyle, head of communications & customer service with SUSI, said, “The processing of grant applications is once again running pretty smoothly. We are expecting to receive around 105,000 applications for the 2017/18 academic year. We have received 80,000 applications to-date and I would urge students to apply before the deadline to ensure that their applications receive priority”. The national awarding authority has already awarded grants to more than 41,000 students for 2017/18, including 10,500 new students. Mr Doyle said, “Leaving Certificate students should not wait until they receive their Leaving Certificate results and CAO offers late in August before applying to SUSI. They should put down their first choice of course on their SUSI application forms …

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Urgent need to increase housing supply

Property Industry Ireland (PII), the Ibec group for businesses working in the property sector, has said the house price statistics released today (Tuesday) by the CSO show the need to urgently increase the supply of housing. PII director, Dr David Duffy stated, “The lack of housing supply has been highlighted for a number of years. While there is some debate about which measure of housing supply to use, the supply of new homes coming onto the market remains well below the estimated annual average demand of 25,000 to 30,000 units, and this does not include any pent-up demand. “Policy makers and industry must continue to work together to identify how the supply of new homes can be increased across all regions of the country.”

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Bishop makes diocesan changes

  Bishop Fintan Monahan has announced a number of new anointments in the Diocese of Killaloe, which has a Catholic population of around 127,000. Fr Des Hillery, PP, Nenagh was appointed Vicar General of the diocese during the year. In Ballynacally/Lissycasey, Fr Joe Hourigan to retire as parish priest but continuing to lead the sacramental and pastoral work in the parish. Fr Albert McDonnell, to take on the administration of the parish and become the parish priest in addition to his existing duties. Fr Martin O’Brien to retire as PP of Tulla and to take extended leave from duty on medical advice. Fr Ignatius McCormack, Adm., Quin has recently been appointed principal of St Flannan’s College. Quin will now be covered by Ennis parish, pro-tem, supported by the Abbey cluster. Fr Tom O’Gorman as Adm., will continue to live in the presbytery, Cloughleigh, effective from September 1. Tulla will be covered by Ennis parish, pro-tem, supported by the East- Clare …

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OPW funding for flood prevention

The Office of Public Works is to provide capital funding for flood protection measures for Springfield Clonlara and has also approved the preferred measures subject to a number of conditions. “The OPW has confirmed that the proposed CFRAM measure for Springfield, Clonlara may now be progressed by Clare County Council. The funding of the project costs will not fall under the Minor Works heading, but the work will be funded instead as a capital project under the OPW capital works programme. This is very welcome news,” said Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen. “The favoured solution will now require more detailed project-level assessment and design before it can be confirmed as technically, economically and environmentally viable and suitable for progression through planning. In this regard, approval is being given in the first instance to bring the project forward with the undertaking of this necessary project-level assessment. “Once the project is confirmed to …

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Sporting weekend road safety advice

Thousands of GAA fans travelling to Saturday’s All-Ireland Football qualifier in Cusack Park and Sunday’s Munster minor and senior Hurling Finals between Clare and Cork in Semple Stadium have been given a special ‘drive safely’ message. “We want people to drive safely this weekend. There will be a huge volume of traffic on the roads for the games, and we urge people to take care and to ensure that their trip to these great sporting occasions do not end in tragedy,” said Barry Keating, road safety officer, Clare County Council. He added, “We want all road users to change their behaviours and make these changes part of their lives in the future, which will save lives and reduce serious injuries on our roads. We are advising people to keep a safe distance between them and the car in front them and asking drivers not to use of the mobile phones while driving.” Distracted driving is one of the common causes …

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Ticket mania grips the county

TICKET-mania has gripped the county ahead of what is a huge week for Clare GAA, when four teams will be trying to progress in their respective championships. The minor and senior hurlers face Cork in Thurles on Sunday, the senior footballers host Mayo in round 3A of the qualifiers on Saturday while, on Wednesday evening next, the U-21 hurlers will play Limerick in the Munster championship semi-final. The Munster Hurling Championship has always had a special appeal and on Sunday, Clare will contest both the minor and senior finals on the same day for only the fourth time ever. Clare won the minor title in 1981, when captain by John Lynch from Sixmilebridge, but suffered defeat in the senior final. Clare lost to Tipperary in the 1997 Munster minor final but won the senior crown the same day. Less than two months later, both teams were crowned All-Ireland champions. 1997 was the first year of the back-door system. Clare lost …

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