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Breaking News

Shannon on course for marketing award

Shannon Airport has been given another major vote of approval by the airline industry after it was shortlisted for the fifth consecutive year for the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. After claiming the ‘Best Marketing of Airports’ award for an airport under four million passengers last year for the second time in three years, Shannon has again been shortlisted for this year’s competition. The World Routes Marketing awards recognise new air route successes from across the globe. Voted on by the airlines, the airports are nominated on the basis of exceptional marketing supports during the launch of new routes or the strengthening of existing services. Shannon won the award in both 2016 and 2014 and was also ‘Highly Commended’ in 2015 and 2013, its inaugural year as an independent entity. In the past 12 months alone, Shannon has welcomed new services from four airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air International and Kuwait Airways. Welcoming the inclusion of Shannon in the …

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Traffic lights introduced at Blake’s Corner

Clare County Council is introducing a temporary traffic signals system on a trial basis at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon to address traffic congestion in the area. The system will be put in place this Tuesday and will require monitoring with a view to optimising its performance in terms of improving traffic flow during peak periods in particular. The signals will be located on each of the three approaches to Blake’s Corner. Clare County Council is confident the proposed improvement scheme to address traffic congestion at Blake’s Corner will advance to the planning stage by the end of the year. The statement follows extensive consultation with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) on the optimum design for the scheme which proposes an inner relief road incorporating a new bridge across the Inagh River, 80m upstream of the existing bridge. Following consultation with An Bord Pleanala, Clare County Council also has been advised that the Part 8 planning process is the appropriate route through …

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Visitors top one million mark at Cliffs

For the fourth year in succession, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience has exceeded the one million mark for visitors within a calendar year. The world-famous visitor attraction reached the figure on Friday last, August 11, exactly 11 days ahead of the date the figure was reached in 2016 and exactly 10 weeks earlier than when the milestone was first reached in 2014. The North Clare visitor attraction is now on track to exceed its record visitor total of 1,427,166 people in 2016. The Clare County Council owned attraction has undergone substantial investment in product and facilities in recent years while its position as a Signature Point along the 2,500km Wild Atlantic Way has contributed to its growing popularity. While welcoming the continuing increase in popularity of the attraction, the Director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience says measures continue to be put in place to accommodate the increase in numbers sustainably. “These significant visitor numbers are fantastic for …

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Michael Flatley opens Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this weekend

Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley will officially launch Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the largest Irish Traditional Music Festival in the world, in Ennis tomorrow, Sunday August 6 at 2.30pm in the Abbey Street Car Park in Ennis town centre. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is delighted that the man who revolutionised Irish dance, and who previously took to the stage at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis in 1977 as a competitor, will now return to the Clare county town 40 years later to declare the Fleadh open to a new generation of competitors. For many, the Fleadh is the culmination of months of hard work and practice as they compete against fellow musicians, singers and dancers to achieve the recognition of being an All-Ireland champion. For others it is a unique and welcoming festival of the best of traditional arts that offers a wide range of activities to be enjoyed by all. Shannon Airport has come on board once again as the …

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Putting seniors on the alert

Pobal is calling on community groups in County Clare to avail of supports for older persons under the Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS). Managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Seniors Alert Scheme, provides funding for personal monitored alarms for vulnerable older people. While the scheme has expanded, with 608 older people in County Clare availing of personal monitored alarms, there is still scope for the provision of further alarms. A survey of those who availed of the scheme between September 2015 and December 2016 found 68% were living alone, 67% were female, while 51% of all participants were over the age of 80. 52% cited an ‘existing health condition’ as one of the reasons for applying to the scheme, while ‘fear of crime’ (13%) and ‘peace of mind’ (27%) were other contributory factors. For those living in rural areas, isolation and crime rated highest in their motivation for applying to the Scheme. Speaking …

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Samaritans on festival alert

WHILE the Fleadh is set to bring a carnival atmosphere to Ennis, sadly and inevitably a certain amount of people will be struggling and the Samaritans Festival Branch are coming to town to offer their support. Around 23 members of the branch from all over Ireland will be in Clare, where it is expected they will offer confidential emotional support to around 200 people next weekend. Sean Higgins, director of the Samaritans Festival Branch, explained volunteers at centres around the country also volunteer to travel to festivals. “There are about 70 volunteers involved in the festival branch and about 23 of them will be in Ennis. They’re from all over the country, from Coleraine, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Dublin and, obviously, people from Ennis.” They talk to anyone in need of a listening and supportive ear. “We take our base in Ennis and we go out to the streets. We stand around, we have a little badge, we say hello to …

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New app promotes trails in Ennis

HOW can visitors, or even locals for that matter, best explore the streets of Ennis and its many amenities? A new Adventure Walks Clare app, promoted by Clare Sports Partnership, can send you in the right direction. Users of this new app can choose from four different trails in Lees Road and three in Ennis town.To complete each trail, there are a series of questions to be answered or clues to find as you work your way through the trail. It is suitable for all ages and abilities and, more importantly, it is free. The app was launched last week at Lees Road by Clare County Council cathaoirleach Tom McNamara. Also present at the launch were Tim Forde, general manager, sports and recreation, Clare County Council, and others involved in promoting a healthy lifestyle. Catherine Ryan of the sports partnership said they decided to launch the app ahead of the All-Ireland Fleadh, as it would beneficial for the thousands of visitors who would …

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Emotional farewell to Karl Haugh

A COMMUNITY in grief came together at St Senan’s Church in Kilkee to remember the late Karl Haugh, the 25-year-old father-of-one, who died in tragic circumstances at the weekend. “It is a time of great pain, deep anguish, confusion, anger and darkness,” Fr Gerry Kenny said at his funeral mass on Wednesday afternoon, as he recalled the life of this “loveable soul”, whose time was cut so short. In a letter read to the congregation by a relative, Karl’s mother, Bridget, said, “He was our boy, whom we loved so much. For our son to be taken away the way he was taken is the hardest part of all. Our Karl did not deserve this; what child does? When you took our son away from us that terrible night, you took me and his father’s souls with him. “Today was the most horrific day of my and your father’s life, to say our farewell to you, our beloved son Karl. …

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