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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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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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