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Thousands of new college courses for Midwest region

MORE THAN 3,000 courses are to be made available through colleges serving the Midwest, following an investment in an initiative to upskill people in response to the economic impact of the pandemic. 271 additional post-graduate places and 2,769 additional modular places will be available at the University of Limerick (UL), Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) after an investment of €30 million. Senator Martin Conway said the new free and subsidised higher education places would “help get people back to work, upskill workers and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19”. “People are really suffering as a result of this pandemic and the government is working to provide opportunities for those who have been most affected and ensure that they have the skills that are needed by employers today,” the Fine Gael member said. “Many courses focus on future proofing the skills of …

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Gardaí confirm complaints over ‘breaches’ of retail rules

RETAILERS around the county are receiving visits from Gardaí to ensure compliance with Level 5 restrictions, amid controversy over which shops and products are deemed to be essential. Clare Gardaí have confirmed receiving a number of complaints about apparent breaches of the rules. Despite the government outlining 16 different categories of retail that can continue under the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions, confusion has arisen. Several members of the public have contacted The Champion to say that certain retail outlets appear to be open when they shouldn’t be. Similarly, many retailers who are deemed to be non-essential, have taken issue with the sale of clothing by supermarkets. Retail representative groups say members are angry and confused. “We’ve been asking the government to make all retail essential at this time of the year,” said CEO of Ennis-based Retail Excellence, Duncan Graham. “There was a palpable sense of shock when we moved to Level 5. People are very anxious, they’re very worried, …

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Multi nationals booming despite Covid-19

THE move to Level 5 restrictions has seen the domestic economy slump further, with many locally owned businesses having to close their doors again. While many people have been left out of work, at least temporarily, there is a more positive dimension to the local employment situation, with a number of multinational companies in Clare and the wider region trying to find new staff. This week saw an announcement by US company exida that it will create 25 new jobs in Shannon , while Joe Robbins of Careerwise Recruitment said the Pharma/Life Sciences/ Medical Devices sector is booming in the mid-west. “If you consider so many companies are working on a vaccine, they’ve continued to hire, and a lot of them are growing. They’re hiring from a small pool of people, and if you’re a quality engineer or a manufacturing engineer, or a chemist or a scientist, you’ve a lot of choice. I’m talking about the mid-west but in Cork …

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Return to The Twelve

The other weekend I took the chance to slip away with my hoomans for another little break. It looks like we were just in time. Although Level 3 doesn’t mention dogs, I have a feeling I’ll be staying at home for the next few weeks. Saturday morning saw us heading for Galway city with a stop in Clarinbridge for a swift dogguccino. We had a little wander around the city but it was soon time to head off again and as I suspected, we were going to The Twelve, my Galway home from home. Now I hadn’t arranged this trip, the hoomans had and they’d have to pay for it too because my bone account has gone into boverdraft. I’m not worried though as I believe the Government are making PUP payments now. It’s been a while since I was a pup but I’m so cute I’m sure I’ll get away with it and it won’t be long before my …

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Gloom at a deserted airport

A FEW hours after Ryanair announced it would be closing its Shannon base for the coming winter, a casual visitor might have assumed that it had already happened. Inside the Shannon terminal last Thursday five aside games of soccer could easily have been played without disturbing anyone, so empty was the building. There was no sign of any passengers getting ready to leave or anyone having recently arrived. Shops were closed, there was a restaurant open, but all that were eating there were a handful of airport workers. Quite understandably Shannon Group employees didn’t want to have their names attached to their opinions delivered to a newspaper, but there was an undeniable air of gloom from them as they spoke of the crisis facing Shannon. “The place is on its f**king knees, I don’t know what’s happening,” one observed, wearily. Niall Gavin runs his own company, River International, and he was at the airport dropping off packages. On the day …

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‘Shocking’ breaches of protection and barring orders in Clare

“HORRIFIC and shocking” were the words used by Clare’s Green Party senator to describe a rise of almost one-third in the number of barring orders breached in this county over the last nine months. Senator Róisín Garvey expressed grave concerns about the figure, which was revealed to members of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee by Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran. The Garda chief outlined that there had been 52 breaches relating to barring orders and safety orders between January and September of last year. Over the same period in 2020, the figure increased by 16 to 68, a rise of 31%. The number of domestic disputes increased by 7% in the first nine months of this year. Reacting to the figures, the Inagh-based senator questioned what additional supports were in place to respond to the situation. “This is an really shocking figure,” she said. “If you have a barring order, you fear for your life. Breaches like this are horrific. What I …

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Man Infects 56 People With Covid-19 After Ignoring Guidelines

A MAN from the Mid-West who failed to restrict his movements on his return from a holidays abroad infected 56 other people with Covid-19, the Mid-West HSE has revealed. This man, who inadvertently passed on this contagious virus to ten private households and a sports team, had mild symptoms including a runny nose and a mild sore throat. After discovering his temperature was normal, he socialised with a group of friends and later tested positive for Covid-19. However, by this stage, he had already infected a number of his friends. Three of these friends went on to infect their families. Another friend who he infected felt unwell and contacted her GP to arrange a Covid-19 test. She had the test in the morning but by afternoon she felt a bit better and decided to go to a friend’s party. After the party, she got her test result and it was positive. By attending the party while waiting for her test …

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Marts move online under Level 5 restrictions

MARTS will continue to operate under Level 5 restrictions, but all sales will move online and access to the premises in Ennis, Kilfenora, Scariff and Kilrush will be strictly controlled. Sellers are asked to book a time to ‘drop and go’. Similarly, buyers must pre-book a viewing time when they will be able to look at animals in the mart yard. They must then leave the mart and make their bids remotely either online or through an app. “It is going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re determined to keep the service to farmers going,” said General Manager of Clare Marts, Martin McNamara. “We’ve already being conducting a lot of business online and Level 5 means our sales will now move entirely online. Sellers need to book with us in advance so that they can drop their animals off at the mart and go. Buyers, who might be working on behalf of a number of customers, …

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