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“They were trained to kill and they should never have been sent into Derry”

SHANNON resident and Derry man Charlie Morrison was a friend to two of the Bloody Sunday dead and this week he said he is “absolutely disgusted” that just one British soldier will be prosecuted for their role in the atrocity. Charlie has lived in Shannon since 1970 but has always maintained close ties to home and had been there just a few days before the ill-fated march, at which his two friends were killed. “I was in Derry the week before on business and I knew the march was taking place but I had no intention of joining it. I thought it would happen and that would be the end of it. Two of my very good friends were Barney McGuigan and Gerry McKinney. There is a famous photo of Barney lying on the ground with a big pool of blood around his head. I met Barney and he had just started a new job because the factory we had …

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Book of Condolence opened in memory of Laura

CLARE County Council has opened a Book of Condolence in memory of Laura Brennan, RIP, in the public foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis. The Mayor of Clare, Councillor Michael Begley, has invited members of the public to sign the book and join people from all over Ireland and beyond in marking Laura’s legacy as “an inspiring and courageous advocate and ambassador for the HPV Vaccination Programme.” “Many knew Laura for her advocacy work in favour of the HPV Vaccine after receiving a diagnosis of terminal cervical cancer.  To those who knew Laura personally however, it was her courage and her amazing positivity that defined her,” said Mayor Begley. He continued, “When Laura first approached the HSE in 2017, she made it clear that every parent in Ireland who was about to make the decision whether their daughter was to be vaccinated against HPV, would hear her story first.  Laura’s story was most certainly heard when she appeared on …

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HPV campaigner Laura Brennan dies

HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan has lost her battle with terminal cancer on Wednesday. The Ennis woman who had become one of Ireland’s leading patient advocates and campaigners for the HPV vaccine passed away on Wednesday at University Hospital Limerick. In a statement the Brennan family said, “Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her. “We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today. Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer. She wanted to make a difference, and use the time that she had to right what she felt was a great wrong.” The family have appealed for privacy. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised. …

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Shannon Group CEO announces departure

LESS than three years after he arrived, Matthew Thomas is leaving his role as CEO of Shannon Group. He is set to take up a new position as CEO of the Ports of Jersey. Shannon Group Deputy CEO Mary Considine will take on the role of Acting CEO of Shannon Group after his departure in June. Since his arrival in mid 2016 Shannon Airport’s passenger numbers have increased, but the level of growth has been very moderate, reaching just 1.86 million last year. While this was an increase of 6.5% on 2017, it is not much more than half the numbers which used Shannon during the Celtic Tiger years, and the Clare airport’s growth was eclipsed by the increasing dominance of Dublin. Shannon is now way off the targets that were set for it as it separated from the Dublin Airport Authority at the start of 2013. On the industrial side, during Mr Thomas’ tenure there was significant investment in …

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Clare unemployment falls again

PEOPLE may be on tenterhooks over Brexit but there are indications that the local economy is still performing well, with unemployment falling again in February. There were 4,876 signing on the Live Register in February, down from 5,045 in January. Year on year, the number signing on is down by 939, or 16% of the February 2018 total. West Clare County Councillor Ian Lynch works in construction and he said there has been an improvement. “It’s more positive than it has been. In the construction sector, on a national scale, there has definitely been a pick-up but in the Mid-West Region, there is no major activity. What I’m finding is that the smaller contractors, who are doing houses and extensions and stuff, are actually gone a little bit quieter. But while there is no huge demand for work, they’re still tipping away; there aren’t long spells of three or four weeks out of work. “You’d find a lot of them …

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Shannon airport

Arrests at Shannon Airport

GARDAI made two arrests at Shannon Airport this morning as two people are believed to have breached security fencing. They were questioned at Shannon Garda Station and it is understood that they are part of an organisation, US Veterans for Peace. One flight was delayed due to the incident.   In a statement Shannon Airport said it could confirm “that two intruders were apprehended on the Shannon Airport airfield at approximately 10.25am this morning. They were intercepted and detained within five minutes and then taken into Garda custody.” At 6.30pm this evening the men were still being questioned at Shannon Garda Station.  

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Site rezoned for Data Centre despite local concerns

THE objections of local residents to a new 1,000,000ft² data centre counted for little on Monday, as a proposal to vary the County Development Plan to facilitate the project at Toureen, on the outskirts of Ennis, was unanimously passed by Clare County Council. The council claims that the project could deliver 200 permanent data centre jobs, another 150 ancillary jobs and 50 maintenance jobs. Some 1,100 construction jobs would be supported over five years of construction. At the council meeting, director of service Liam Conneally reiterated his view that if the project goes ahead, it will be “a game changer” for Clare and Ennis. However, the data centre would not be one of the three largest employers in the county even if what is projected comes to pass. Prior to the meeting, members of the council got a report from chief executive Pat Dowling, which summarised a number of submissions that had come in from the public, including one from …

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Cillian Murphy to stand for Fianna Fáil in West Clare

THE Clare Champion has learned that Kilkee businessman and tourism consultant, Cillian Murphy, will stand for Fianna Fáil in West Clare in the local elections on May 24. The tourism consultant will join sitting councillors, PJ Kelly (Lissycasey) and Bill Chambers (Cooraclare) on the Fianna Fáil ticket. Twenty eight elected members sit on Clare County Council, representing four electoral areas across the county.

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