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more volunteers needed for Clare walking trails

  TWO local organisations are seeking six extra volunteer wardens to monitor long distance walking trails in the county. Clare Local Development Company and Clare Sports Partnership are expanding the “Clare Trail Volunteer Warden” programme. Clare has 420km of trails including long distance walking trails like The Burren Way and East Clare Way, looped walking trails Like Lough Avalla Farm Loop and the Ballyvaughan Wood Loop and on-road cycling trails in Loop Head and Doolin. The trails are managed by a variety of local community groups, Clare Local Development Company, Clare Trails ltd, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coillte. Eoin Hogan, rural recreation officer for Clare explained the biggest challenge with managing an off road trails such as the Lough Avalla Farm Loop, the Burren Way and the East Clare Way is finding out about the issues that might need addressing, such as broken stiles, missing directional sign. “The goal of our initiative is to expand the already successful …

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Councillors’ concern over Dublin Airport dominance

    EAST Clare councillors have expressed concern over the stranglehold Dublin Airport has on the grown of passenger numbers over the last five years. Passenger numbers at Shannon Airport are expected to be up to around 1.8 million by the end of this year representing over 30% of an increase since the airport became independent, separating from the Dublin group five years ago. Cork Airport has grown by more than 2%, which translates into 50,000 and Knock Airport by 12% in the same period Traffic at Shannon Airport has grown by over 400,000 since 2013, when the airport began managing its own business future after new legislation allowed it function independently of the Dublin Airport Authority. However, Shannon Heritage managing director, Niall O’Callaghan pointed out the “unhealthy dominance” of Dublin Airport comes sharply into focus with confirmation passengers numbers at the city terminal grew by almost ten million in the same period. Given the focus on regional developments and …

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Killaloe tourism office closure under fire

  THE closure of the tourism office in Killaloe two years ago has been criticised as a “hugely detrimental” move against the promotion of East Clare and the town. Councillor Tony O’Brien highlighted the impact of closure during a questions and answer session with Shannon Heritage managing director, Niall O’Callaghan at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting. The Fianna Fáil Councillor recalled the operation of this tourism office was very beneficial particularly for tourists who came off the Dublin to Limerick motorway a few miles from Ballina. “The closure of this tourism office was hugely detrimental and a backward step. I would ask Shannon Heritage to consider re-opening this tourism office because it is a very necessary and vital piece of infrastructure for this part of the county,” he said Mr O’Callaghan said it was very important to clarify the role of Shannon Heritage, which operates as a commercial semi-state and this is very different to the role they previously …

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“Everyone likes to see them coming home”

MANY tears of happiness have been shed in the terminal of Shannon Airport over the last week, as loved ones are welcomed home for Christmas. People whose journeys began in Australia, America, the UK and many other countries are all being welcomed back into their families, with almost 73,000 expected to come through the airport over the festive period. George Egan from Inagh was waiting expectantly outside arrivals on Wednesday morning for his London-based son, also called George. Making his way to Shannon to pick up his son had been no chore. “I’m delighted, it’ll be great to see him. The rest of the family are coming tomorrow too.” Young George works in finance in the UK and was glad to be home. “I’m back for a couple of weeks, so I’m delighted with that. It’s good to see him [his father], it’s been a few months since I’ve been back. I didn’t think he’d set this up!” he joked, …

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Christmas weather forecast

IT won’t be a white Christmas, at least from Christmas Eve until St Stephen’s Day, according to Met Éireann’s forecast. Monday ON Christmas Eve, it will be mostly cloudy with patches of mist and fog in the north, although a few bright spells are possible. It is more likely to be cloudy with patchy rain in the south. Light and variable winds. Max temp 8-11°C (46-52°F). Tuesday CHRISTMAS Day is likely to be rather cloudy and damp, perhaps with the odd spot of light rain or drizzle. Mist or fog could linger throughout the day in one or two locations. Light south to south-easterly winds. Max temp 8-11°C (46-52°F). Wednesday ST STEPHEN’S Day will be mostly cloudy once more with low cloud or mist likely at times. A few bright spells are possible around coasts during the afternoon, however. Gentle south to south-easterly winds. Max temp 9-12°C (48-54°F).

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group floats new adventure racing on Lough Derg

  A SPORTS event management company has floated a new adventure racing competition, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 competitors to the banks of Lough Derg next September. Killarney-based Elite Event Management has organised racing across various distances in three different disciplines of trail running, cycling and kayaking. This exciting, brand-new event will see participants start and finish their event in Ballina and run, cycle and kayak their way around Lough Derg taking in locations like Tonn Toinne, Garrykennedy, Ballycuggaran and Moylussa, Killaloe. There will be three routes to choose from for participants, the 22 kilometre ‘Challenge’ route, the 57 kilometre ‘Sport’ route and the 69 kilometre ‘Expert’ route. According to the organisers, there will be a route to suit all levels of ability. By way of a guide for those new to the sport, the level of fitness required to compete in the ‘challenge’ is similar to what is required to run a 10km race. Elite Event …

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Kerin Calls Time on 41 Year Career

BELLHARBOUR’S John Kerin, Clare’s Chief Superintendent, is calling time on a 41-year career with the gardaí. It has been a distinguished one, which has seen him to the forefront of some of Ireland’s most high profile investigations. In his earlier days on the force, Chief Supt Kerin was one of the first garda responders to one of the country’s worst rail disasters, the Buttevant train crash of August 1, 1980, which saw 19 people lose their lives and up to 80 seriously injured. June 7, 1996 was a day that will be forever remembered as one of the darkest days in the history of the force, as it was the day Detective Garda Jerry McCabe died and his partner, Detective Garda Ben O’Sullivan, was shot in Adare. For Chief Superintendent Kerin, it is a day he will never forget, as it was the day he first took up duty as detective inspector and it was to be his first call …

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more public transport connections sought for Shannon Airport

MORE public transport options that are connected to Shannon Airport are needed to make it more attractive for passengers, according to the first citizen. Clare County Council chairman, Councillor Michael Begley has cited his recent experience on a flight from Shannon Airport to Birmingham in England to highlight the difference between what transport opportunities are available for passengers in these two locations. Speaking at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting, Councillor Begley told his council colleagues he left Shannon Airport for Birmingham the previous Monday evening. “To my surprise the flight was almost full. Within two hours of leaving Shannon, I had used the plane, shuttle bus, light rail, monorail and a train to be in Birmingham City Centre in two hours. “That is what real access means to me. We are nowhere related to that. I am using Birmingham because it was a commuter short flight. “We have to think how we can make Shannon more attractive to the …

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