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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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new tourism strategy aims to disperse visitors

THE dispersal of tourists from the Wild Atlantic Way to other parts of Clare is one of the main aims of the new tourism strategy, according to a local tourism chief. Speaking at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting, Shannon Heritage managing director, Niall O’Callaghan said one of the objectives of the new strategy is to disperse the tourism traffic movement from the Wild Atlantic Way onto Loop Head, North Clare, Bunratty and East Clare. “No other county in Ireland has the range of attractions that Clare has. Shannon Heritage is working with the council executive to build a strategy to disrupt the flow, not take from the Wild Atlantic Way and keep these people in Clare for as long as possible. “Getting more tourists to the likes of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is also a key focus for Shannon Heritage. “It is fantastic to see the Cliffs of Moher getting 1.5 million visitors a year. But how many …

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

More staff sought to reduce waiting lists

  NEW measures are needed to attract more consultants and nurses in acute hospitals to reduce the high numbers of patients on in-patient and out-patient appointments in the Mid-West. That’s according to former HSE West Forum chairman, Councillor Tom McNamara, who described the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund for the Mid-West as “totally unacceptable”. With an estimated 30% of consultant posts in the UL Hospitals’ Group vacant, Councillor McNamara claimed there aren’t enough medical staff to open a second operating theatre at weekends. The Kilmaley Councillor called on Health Minister Simon Harris to introduce a new incentive to defray the cost of training for new nurses on the basis they commit to working for at least three years in the public health service to address the nursing shortage. According to figures released by the National Purchase Treatment Fund (NPTF),  the total number of in-patients waiting for treatment in the UL Hospitals’ Group increased from 5,533 last January …

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nurses support strike ballot

    NURSES in Clare and throughout the Mid-West have overwhelmingly supported a national ballot for industrial action. The result of the ballot coincides with the revelation there are up to 60 nursing vacancies in University Hospital Limerick (UHL), which continues to struggle with overcrowding as INMO figures recorded 56 patients on trolleys on Tuesday, December 18. According to INMO industrial relations officer, Mary Fogarty, this doesn’t include ward nursing posts that were not funded since reconfiguration removed 24-hour casualty cover from Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals in April 2009. Ms Fogarty said eight beds were closed in St Camillus Hospital, Limerick and about ten funded beds in St Joseph’s Geriatric Hospital, Ennis. The union official pointed out if there was an examination about what St Joseph’s really required, this figure would be much higher. Asked if industrial action in the new year would made chronic overcrowding even worse, she stressed nurses were left with no other option. She said the …

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Drugs worth €97,000 taken off Clare Streets for Christmas

GARDAÍ in Clare and Limerick have seized cocaine and cannabis with an estimated street value of €97,000 following a joint operation on Wednesday evening and two arrests have been made. Gardaí stopped a vehicle at Junction 11 (Dromoland) on the M18 motorway shortly after 7pm on Wednesday and a subsequent search resulted in the seizure of cocaine with a value of €56,000 (subject to analysis). A 41 year old man was arrested and is currently being detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996 at Ennis Garda Station. He was detained for an initial six hour period, which has now been extended to 18 hours. Under this legislation and with approval from the Chief Superintendent and the courts he can be detained for up to seven days. Superintendent Brendan McDonagh, of Ennis Garda Station described this seizure as “significant” as it has taken these drugs which were destined for the Clare market off the streets for …

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Darragh crash causes traffic delays

  Motorists travelling to and from West Clare were subjected to long delays following a traffic accident at Darragh just outside Lissycasey on Monday evening. According to AA Roadwatch, emergency services were called to the scene of a crash on the N68 between Darragh and Lissycasey, which resulted in long delays, particularly for traffic coming from the Ennis side. Drivers were advised to avoid this route, which is a notorious accident blackspot, if possible.    

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Kilrush Gardai investigate Cree burglary

KILRUSH Gardai are investigating a burglary in the Cree area at 9.15pm on Thursday night. Gardai are advising local people not to open their doors to callers, unless they are aware of their identity. The vehicle involved in the burglary is believed to be a blue or navy English registration BMW. Kilrush Gardai are seeking further information and anybody who saw anything of interest should contact them on 065-9080550.

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