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Significant Leader funding allocated to Clare

THE construction and fit out of the first floor of the Miltown Malbay Community Centre to provide a dedicated space for youth activities has come a step closer with the announcement of substantial LEADER funding. Minister of State, Pat Breen said that a total of  €141,258 is to be provided through the fund for the youth facility and a functional space for youth based activities, meetings and recreation. “The young people of Miltown Malbay and surrounding area will benefit greatly from this facility. The first floor of the community centre will be fitted with a sprung floor spec on ground floor, sports equipment, multi- use electronic scoreboard and two pool tables,” he said. “A further €51,902 of LEADER funding will also be provided for the purchase of equipment for the community centre.” “On Friday (May 31) €407,329 was allocated to Clare. As well as the Miltown Malbay Community Centre, funding is to be provided for glamping pods in Lahinch. A …

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“You couldn’t buy this type of publicity” Doonbeg awaits Trump

TRICOLOURS and American flags were waving in the May breeze on Wednesday in the centre of Doonbeg, as the Trump visit approaches. Local farmer Willie Hanrahan is the chairman of the IFA in Clare and he said it is a huge opportunity for Doonbeg. “There’s a great buzz around the place and it’s mighty that the President of the United States is actually coming to this village. It’s absolutely fantastic for the area and let’s hope we can showcase it to the world media.” He said the office of US president should be respected. “We’re not going to get into the politics of it, he is the democratically elected President of the US, the most important office in the world and we’re delighted to have him here. “In Doonbeg, we look at the position rather than the person. It’s a great honour for Doonbeg to have the President in our parish, it’s absolutely a great honour. It is something that …

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€900,000 cannabis grow house discovered

AS part of an intelligence led operation Gardaí are currently carrying out a search at a premises at Tinarana, Killaloe. The Clare Divisional Drugs Unit are being supported by local uniform and plainclothes Gardaí, the Western Region Armed Support Unit and the Cork Garda Dog Unit. A significant grow house has been discovered with evidence of the production of Cannabis at all stages (nursery, mature plants, dried plants).  At this time, a large number of plants with an estimated street value of €900,000 are being examined. A female (early 20s), non-Irish national, has been arrested at the scene and is currently being detained at Ennis Garda Station under section 4 Criminal Justice Act, 1984. The search and investigations remain ongoing.    

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Flynn takes last Shannon seat after dead heat

THE real drama of the weekend’s election count in Clare came after 5pm on Sunday, when the final seat in the Shannon Electoral Area was being decided. In the end, Gerry Flynn was elected to the council for a fourth term but he will never be pressed harder. Both he and Garret McPhillips were exactly level after a recount of votes. In such circumstances, what happens is that the candidate with the greater number of first preferences goes through and the 1,041 Flynn number ones was greater than McPhillips’ 939. While reporting on local politics can be dreary, that certainly wasn’t the case on Sunday evening. Shannon was the last electoral area to be counted and Cathal Crowe was way ahead of everyone else, with a massive 2,575 first preferences, far in excess of the 1,406 quota. The second count saw Fine Gael’s John Crowe home, his 1,308 first preferences topped up by another 121 from his namesake’s surplus. Count three …

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High security in Shannon and Doonbeg for Trump

WEST Clare will see the most extensive security operation in its history next week, when President Donald Trump arrives in Doonbeg. An area close to Trump International will be completely closed off to the public, apart from people living in the area, who will have special passes. The restrictions will be in place from Monday until Trump leaves again, probably on Friday, but possibly as late as Saturday. There will be a huge security operation at Shannon also, but it is expected that it will be largely business as usual at the airport, although people arriving there at certain times may have to take a short detour. Companies in the Shannon Free Zone are expected to stay open throughout. Detective Garda Ollie Downes said there will be traffic restrictions on access to the entrances to Trump International and only those who have been granted passes (such as residents and care staff) will be granted access. Some distance further back there …

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Champion Ladies take the honours

TWO Clare Champion journalists were winners at the Local Ireland media awards last week, Jessica Quinn winning the best news story category and Carol Byrne taking the National Lottery Best Community story award. The awards ceremony took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone last Thursday night and was hosted by RTÉ personality and Clareman Marty Morrissey. The awards were open to all 43 member titles of Local Ireland and their staff and it attracted hundreds of entries across the country. Cork newspaper The Southern Star was the only other newspaper to win two awards on the night. Jessica’s award came for a story on the proposed Supermacs development close to Clarecastle, which appeared in August of last year headlined ‘Bogus letters shocking’. In the story, Anne Marie Russell told The Clare Champion that she had received a letter in the post from Clare County Council addressed to her father, with a receipt for €20 paid for a planning …

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Massive Clare security operation planned for Trump visit

THE biggest security operation seen in the Banner County for at least 15 years will begin on June 5, when US President Donald Trump touches down at Shannon Airport. At the moment, details of Mr Trump’s visit are relatively sketchy but it is understood he will meet with Taoiseach Leo  Varadkar at Shannon Airport on June 5, spend the night at Trump International in Doonbeg, fly to France for D Day Commemorations on June 6, return to Doonbeg that evening and depart from Shannon Airport on June 7. Garda sources confirmed to The Clare Champion on Wednesday that it will be the most significant undertaking in Clare since George W Bush’s visit in June of 2004. However, on that occasion, they had months of notice, whereas the Trump visit was confirmed just a fortnight before his arrival. It is understood that extra gardaí from other parts of the country will have to be brought in to assist during the visit. …

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Clare Champion live streaming from the local elections’ count

IN a first for any local authority, Clare County Council, together with The Clare Champion, will conduct a full live video broadcast of a local election count. The Clare Champion and Clare County Council are partnering up to produce this fully programmed live streaming broadcast, ensuring the public are kept up to date on events as they unfold from the count centre. Counting for the 2019 Local Elections will begin at Treacy’s West County Hotel on Saturday morning and continue into Sunday, after the county goes to the polls on Friday. Clare Champion editor Peter O’Connell said he is conscious that the way the general public consume news is changing and that, as a media organisation, it is important to adapt to meet that demand. “The print edition of The Clare Champion will always take priority for us but the way in which people consume media has altered radically and we want to ensure that we are at the forefront …

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