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Breaking News

Crowe seeks government investment to keep Shannon Heritage sites open

CLARE Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe is calling for “strong commitment” from all sides to keep the iconic Shannon Heritage sites open for the remainder of this year. He says that he will seek financial input from government, which Shannon Group say is necessary to keep the Shannon Heritage sites operational. COVID-19 has seen the rug effectively pulled from the 2020 tourism season, leaving many with an uncertain future, including Shannon Heritage. A figure of €4m is needed from government to keep the sites, which include Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle, open into the autumn and winter. “I was among a strong crowd at Shannon Airport on Monday, taking part in a rally calling for Shannon Heritage sites to remain open year-round,” said Deputy Crowe. “There are dozens of people in this county whose jobs will be lost if this is not the case, not to mention the countless B&Bs and pubs and cafés and restaurants …

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Chamber Presidents ask Clare consumers to shop local

SHANNON and Ennis Chamber presidents, Stephen Keogh and Allen Flynn, are calling on everyone in county Clare to “stop, look, shop and stay local” to support business owners who have had to courage to get up and running again, albeit while incurring extra costs to ensure that their premises are safe and that their return to work measures are in line with Government protocol. The past four months have taken their toll from the initial stages of lockdown to the gradual re-opening of the economy and now the postponing of phase four until early August, which has added another level of angst. “Feedback from all types of businesses within the county is that they are delighted to welcome their customers back. Our call therefore is that we should all think local whenever we need to buy something, be that at a retail or service level,” the Chamber presidents said in a joint statement. “Look to local suppliers first before travelling …

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Clare Pandemic Unemployment Payment figure revealed

A total of 7,000 people in Clare are claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The figure has dropped by 7,600 since May 5 when 14,600 people in the county were receiving the payment. According to the latest figures issued today from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, 313,800 people nationally will receive the payment tomorrow, at an overall cost of €97m. This represents a decrease of 31,800 on the 345,600 people paid last week and a decrease of almost 100,000 in the past two weeks. In the past seven days, 28,700 people have closed their claim for a Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Some 13,100 will be receiving their final payment tomorrow on tomorrow, July 21. The top three sectors in which employees are returning to work this week are accommodation and food services; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor behicles and motorcycles and construction. As well as those availing of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, there are now over 67,700 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for …

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UL launches €10.5m Go Green Routes project

A €10.5m European project that aims to transform both environmental and human health is to be led by University of Limerick. Details of the Go Green Routes project, which has almost 40 different stakeholders, were announced at a virtual launch hosted by UL today, Monday. The four-year project, which applies visionary and integrated solutions to improve health in cities, will commence in September, coordinated by the Health Research Institute at UL. The overall objective is to position European cities as world ambassadors of urban sustainability. It will take Covid-19 into consideration and will evaluate the impact of reduced air pollution during lockdown and its aftermath, as well as the impact on mental health of urban citizens and their views on re-greening their cities. “Evidence is emerging that people flocked to green spaces during lockdown for mental health, physical activity and connectivity with their communities,” said Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, a lecturer in psychology at UL and coordinator of the Go Green …

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Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival called off

THE Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival has been called off. It is only in the last week that organisers confirmed it would not going ahead due to Covid-19.  An important part of Clare’s social calendar, it draws crowds of 80,000 people annually and this year it would have had headline acts such as country music stars Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan, Mike Denver and Cliona Hagan.  It is perhaps the last big festival of the year to be cancelled. The announcement comes following the government’s postponement of phase four of “Reopening Ireland” which would have permitted indoor gatherings of 100 people and 500 people outdoors – this has now been deferred to August 10.  “After careful consideration and following the government’s latest recommendations we have decided to cancel the event. It is regrettable but our primary responsibility is to protect the health and safety of the local community as well as staff, artists, suppliers and visitors” said Marcus White Managing Director of the …

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Keating still due to finish library, Council told

KEATING are still expected to complete the new county library building, this week’s meeting of Clare County Council heard. There is much speculation about the future of the West Clare based construction outfit and at the meeting, Councillor Pat Daly said there is a lot of concern that work on the site of the new library, being developed at a cost of some €14 million, has stopped. Clare County Council chief executive Pat Dowling said there is “no doubt we will complete the new library building as soon as possible”. He said there had been communication with the operations director of the company, who said that Keating are currently engaging with their suppliers and subcontractors, while Mr Dowling said the council would be informed immediately if there is any change. He added that if there is a problem, the council will “deal with it as it arises” and an “alternative route” will be found if required. On being asked what …

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€36,000 drugs seizure in Clonlara

Gardaí have arrested one man and seized drugs with an estimated street value in excess of €36,000 during an intelligence led operation targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs in Clonlara late on Friday night. At approximately 11pm, Gardaí executed a search warrant at a premises in Clonlara. During the course of the search, a quantity of ketamine, MDMA, cannabis, cannabis plants, DMT and cannabis jellies were seized (subject to analysis) with an estimated street value of €36,000. Approximately €4,000 in cash, a taser and mobile phones were also seized along with drug paraphernalia. One man, in his 20s, was arrested during the course of the search and is currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996 in Henry Street Garda Station. Investigations are ongoing.

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Shannon Group and unions enter discussions

IT is understood that some negotiations between unions and Shannon Group management have taken place this week, as a range of cutbacks have been sought due to the fall out from Covid-19. On Wednesday a representative of one of the unions said that there had been some discussion with management earlier in the week, with a communication issued to their members subsequently. A very wide range of cuts were outlined in a letter sent by Shannon Group chief executive Mary Considine to employees last week. These included the introduction of a voluntary severance scheme, pay cuts of up to 20%, short time working, temporary lay offs and a review of management structures and of the Group’s internal operational structures. Unions at the airport quickly criticised a lack of consultation with them, while they claimed the terms of redundancy being offered were unacceptable and poorer than those being offered to workers at both Dublin and Cork airports. At Monday’s meeting of …

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