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Clare’s Covid Free Streak Comes To An End

Clare has recorded its first case of Covid-19 in almost a month. Sunday evenings figures show that one new case of the virus has been found the county, the first in 30 days. It takes the total number of cases here to 369. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has been notified of 17 new cases of the virus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 25,628. No new deaths were recorded today. Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The virus is still out there. It is still in people. It only needs the smallest window of opportunity to become a major problem once again”.

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Closure will be ‘catastrophic for the area’

THE closure of the Shannon Heritage attractions will be a massive blow to Clare tourism, according to local businessman Emelyn Heaps. “It will be catastrophic for the area. You also have King John’s Castle, you’ve got Knappogue and you’ve got Craggaunowen, hundreds of jobs are going to go and the board (of Shannon Group) don’t care,” he commented this week. He was scathing about the board, who he feels should step down. “I’m calling for the Board of Shannon Group to fire themselves, I think it’s deplorable what they’re doing. They’ve done a deplorable job and they should do the honourable thing and fall on their own swords.” Mr Heaps added, “One of the major assets that Clare has is that, outside of Dublin, it has two of the top attractions, the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, but they’re talking about closing one of them.” Ennis hotelier Seán Lally said he is very disappointed in the …

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Hospital campaign group order new PPE worth €6,000

UP to 3,000 disposable face masks and 1,000 gowns will be distributed by a local lobby group over the coming weeks after purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) totalling €6,000. The Mid-West Hospital Campaign has placed an order for €6,000 worth of disposable PPE, which will be distributed to local nursing homes later in the coming weeks. The University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) were working together to source PPE for public hospitals and found it was quicker to purchase it from a Polish company, which was sourced by Limerick fashion buyer and student, Any Whyte. Before the order was placed, the group got samples from Ms White and showed them to medical staff in nursing homes to ensure they met the required medical specification. The group received donations from the public, the Clare Trades’ Council and Councillors Joe Garrihy, Róisín Garvey, Shane Talty, Mark Nestor and Cillian Murphy. Lisdoonvarna Fáilte helped the group by providing an account …

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Dr Harty warns Covid-19 restrictions will increase overcrowding at UHL

OVERCROWDING in University Hospital Limerick now seems inevitable due to new Covid-19 restrictions, a local doctor has warned. The number of patients on trolleys in UHL reached 54 on Thursday, July 2 and Monday, July 6 which was the highest figure for any hospital in the country, according to figures produced by the INMO trolley watch. While the number of patients without beds dropped slightly to 48 on Tuesday, July 7 this was more than double the next highest hospital University College Hospital, Cork, which had 20 and contrasted sharply with Nenagh, Ennis and University Hospital Galway, which had no patients on trolleys. Dr Michael Harty pointed out that while UHL operated at 110% capacity in previous years he could now only run at 80% due to new Covid-19 measures such as social distancing and infection control. “Trolleys will be inevitable. Unless new models of practice are used, we will be back to levels experienced last winter before this year’s …

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Time to Deliver to East Clare, says New Killaloe Cathaoirleach

THE new Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District has outlined his priorities for year ahead, saying now is the time for delivery, and that representatives must “have their hands up” for funding from national government. Councillor Pat Hayes took over from Councillor Pat Burke of Whitegate who held the role for two consecutive terms. The Caher-based representative was nominated by Fianna Fáil colleagues Councillor Alan O’Callaghan and Councillor Tony O’Brien. At the district AGM, Councillor Hayes thanked Councillor Burke for his work. “We are fairly unique in Killaloe for our positive working relationship,” he noted. “The parties are all in government together and we’re working together in Clare for the greater good.” He also outlined his priorities for the year ahead, including projects like the Killaloe Bypass and Inis Cealtra. “We have many plans in the pipeline in this district,” he noted. “What I want to see now is delivery.” Councillor Hayes noted that boundary changes had brought a number of other projects into …

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No clarity around future of construction firm

THERE is little clarity about the future of Kilmihil construction company Keating this week. While contact was made on Tuesday, the company had not come back with a comment at the time of going to press. Keating were working on the new library in Ennis, adjacent to Glór, but activity had all but ceased there on Wednesday. The few remaining workers at the site were reluctant to speak about the situation. On Tuesday Clare County Council were asked if Keating were still working on the project, or if it had stopped. However, they declined to answer directly, saying the query should go to the company. The most recent set of accounts for L&M Keating cover 2018 and were filed late last year. They show that Louis and Cathy Keating had transferred a combined total of 387,502 shares to All Waves Holdings Limited on January 11, 2018. Louis Keating resigned as a director on July 1, 2019. The accounts showed the …

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Confrontation looms at Shannon as unions brand 20% pay cuts “completely unacceptable”

WORKERS reperesentatives at Shannon Airport are demanding talks with management, after plans were revealed for a range of cuts. Speaking on behalf of the Group of Unions (SIPTU, Connect and Forsa), SIPTU Sector Organiser Neil McGowan said: “The announcement by management at Shannon Airport that it intends to cut members pay by up to 20% is completely unacceptable and any unilateral pay cuts will be strongly resisted. The lack of consultation with staff and their representatives is appalling and will not assist in reaching an agreeable solution to the difficulties of the airport company. “The terms of the voluntary redundancy scheme published by Shannon Airport yesterday were not discussed with, and are not acceptable to, the Group of Unions. The Unions will be seeking the same terms regarding voluntary redundancy that are on offer to airport workers in daa (which runs Cork and Dublin airports). “We will be demanding the withdrawal of these proposals and that meaningful negotiations commence without …

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Shannon Airport cuts premature

Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe has said that last evening’s announcement about job cuts at Shannon Airport was a premature step. A letter circulated to workers informing them of the decision, which has been attributed to the unprecedented challenges in the aviation sector. Voluntary severance packages, reduced working hours and career breaks are all being offered. “This is a huge blow to not only the airport but also the county and region as a whole,” said Deputy Crowe. “I feel the decision was taken prematurely and it would have been more prudent to wait to see is contained in the July stimulus package in terms of support for the airport. “This week, I’ve been in contact with staff at Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage and based on their stories, I’ve a list of 29 questions compiled which I will be raising directly with Mary Considine today. “I also intend to seek a meeting with Micheál Martin to discuss …

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