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“Minister Naughton appointment will be a boost Shannon Airport”

SENATOR Martin Conway has acknowledged the appointment of a senior minister from the Mid-West would have been beneficial for Clare but pointed there weren’t enough cabinet ministers to share amongst Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens in the new coalition. Asked about the criticism of the lack of a senior minister from Donegal all the way down to Limerick, he acknowledged this was fair commentary but believes the new role for Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton will be a major boost for Shannon Airport. He believes that the fact that Minister Naughton will have responsibility for aviation, international travel, road transport and logistics at the cabinet will be very beneficial for the Mid-West. “What is the point having a senior cabinet minister with a portfolio that may not necessarily impact on us in the Mid-West. “I think there is an awful lot more to be said to have someone sitting at the cabinet table holding a portfolio that can …

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Five healthcare workers hired in Mid-West from national recruitment

ONLY five healthcare workers were hired in the Mid-West following a national recruitment appeal during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures have revealed. According to statistics obtained by Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly, only five healthcare staff were taken on through ‘Be On Call for Ireland’ in the region. They also show that just 185 health and social care workers have been hired through this scheme across the State out of 73,000 applicants. Deputy O’Reilly described the paltry recruitment of healthcare workers as “baffling”. “It beggars belief that with tens of thousands of health staff applying to work through ‘Be On Call for Ireland’ and in the face of an international healthcare crisis, that recruitment through the initiative has been so low,” she said. Dr Michael Harty said the recruitment of highly skilled qualified nurses, doctors and allied health professionals to permanent positions has been very patchy. The Kilmihil-based GP said several medics who assumed they would …

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Howard elected new council cathaoirleach

MARY Howard has been elected Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, with her Fine Gael colleague Councillor Pat Burke elected leas cathaoirleach. Monday afternoon saw them both elected by their council colleagues to the positions, with no other nominations for either role. The positions don’t carry real power but the cathaoirleach will be expected to represent the council at a wide variety of events, while also chairing meetings of the local authority, while the leas cathaoirleach will deputise for her over the coming year. An emotional Councillor Howard said she was hugely honoured with her election. “To represent my county and its citizens is a lifelong dream and to be here now is humbling, exhilarating and a wonderful privilege,” she told Monday’s council meeting. She acknowledged her friends and family, while she was quite emotional as she praised the role that her mother and father played in guiding her. “My late parents were firm believers in hard work as well as …

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Senator Garvey seeks meeting of Clare Oireachtas members

SENATOR Róisín Garvey has pledged to arrange a meeting of the seven Oireachtas members to discuss how the key issues facing Clare can be addressed. In an interview with the Clare Champion, Senator Garvey stressed the three new senators and four Dáil deputies had to work together to revitalise Shannon Airport, tourism and small and medium enterprises that have been hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions. “It is very important that the seven Oireachtas members work together. I think there is a lot on rural development, remote working and Greenways such as the Ennis to Kilkee Greenway in the new Programme for Government. “If we would get wifi hubs in villages and towns, that would help people to work remotely. There are also plans to upgrade derelict buildings in villages, which has been difficult to do because it is very bureaucratic and expensive up to now. “It is important to bring people back to live in towns and villages,” she said. …

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Deputy Crowe emphasises importance of regional development

CLARE Deputy Cathal Crowe has emphasised the importance of the new Programme for Government delivering on regional development in the wake of stinging criticism of the lack of a senior cabinet minister from the West of Ireland. Deputy Crowe admitted he would have loved to have seen a senior minister from the Mid-West appointed to the cabinet. In an interview with the Clare Champion, he acknowledged quite a number of people had contacted him to express their concern about the lack of a senior minister from the region. However, the former Meelick Councillor pointed out he also respected it is the prerogative of the three party leaders to put forward names of deputies to become members of the cabinet. He was optimistic that the perceived geographical imbalance would be addressed by the appointment of junior ministers from the region. “It is always a good thing to have a minister in a county of from a region but we have seen …

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Anger at Fáilte Ireland response on Atlantic Way signs for Miltown

A NORTH Clare councillor has been sharply critical of the decision by Fáilte Ireland not to erect Wild Atlantic Way signage in Miltown Malbay. Councillor Róisín Garvey told the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District that sometimes local authority members knew better than Fáilte Ireland when it came to tourism development projects. In response to the Green Party member calling for Miltown, “the real gateway to West Clare” to be put on the route, using new signage, the tourism authority said it had no plans to do so. A written reply to Councillor Garvey’s motion from Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, said it was felt that Miltown was already part of the destination marketing plan. “Being on or adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way,” Ms Kennedy said, “offers destinations an opportunity to influence the visitor’s travel patterns as they navigate along the route and given Miltown Malbay’s immediate proximity to the route, it is considered …

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Three weeks Covid clear

It has been three weeks since the last positive case of Covid-19 was diagnosed in Clare. However over the last five months, 32 people have died from virus in the county while a total of 368 people have tested positive. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirmed this evening that there had been two further deaths nationwide from Covid-19 bringing to 1,740 the total number of people who have died from the virus. The HPSC has also been notified of nine confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 25,498 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.  Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Ireland’s 14 day incidence of Covid-19 is now less than three cases per 100,000. This is amongst the lowest in Europe and demonstrates that the disease remains suppressed in our communities. The key to maintaining this status is responsible individual behaviours and avoiding any complacency.” “HIQA’s report on mortality today demonstrates that …

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Shannon’s Managing Director to leave position

ANDREW Murphy, Managing Director of Shannon Airport, is to leaving to take up a position elsewhere. Mr Murphy joined Shannon Group in March 2014 as Chief Commercial Officer and took up the role of Managing Director of Shannon Airport in February 2017. His decision comes hot on the heels of Niall O’Callaghan announcing he would be stepping down as Managing Director of Shannon Heritage, the tourism arm of Shannon Group. Commenting on his decision, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “Andrew has played an instrumental role at Shannon Group since the early days of its establishment and we are very appreciative of his dedication and hard work throughout his career with us. I would like to wish him every success and happiness in his new career.” Owen Ryan

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