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Minister Breen in Estonia

MINISTER for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen is in Estonia today (Monday) for a series of bilateral meetings. These meetings form part of an ongoing programme of engagement by Irish government ministers with EU member states in an effort to build awareness of the unique impacts of Brexit on Ireland and to hear fellow Member state views regarding Brexit. To date there have been over 400 engagements undertaken by the Irish Government with remaining EU member states and the EU institutions regarding Brexit. Mr Breen’s schedule includes meetings with Ms Urve Palo, the Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, and Jevgeni Ossinovski, the Minister for Health and Labour.

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Minister Breen in Estonia

MINISTER for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen is in Estonia today (Monday) for a series of bilateral meetings. These meetings form part of an ongoing programme of engagement by Irish government ministers with EU member states in an effort to build awareness of the unique impacts of Brexit on Ireland and to hear fellow Member state views regarding Brexit. To date there have been over 400 engagements undertaken by the Irish Government with remaining EU member states and the EU institutions regarding Brexit. Mr Breen’s schedule includes meetings with Ms Urve Palo, the Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, and Jevgeni Ossinovski, the Minister for Health and Labour.

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€50k prize bond win in Clare

THIS week’s Prize Bond Star Prize of €50,000 goes to a lucky bond holder in County Clare. Bond number YB958133 was purchased in 2014. There were over 7,000 prizes awarded in this week’s Prize Bond draw, amounting to over €420,000. In addition to a €1 million prize awarded on the last weekly draw of each quarter (March, June, September and December), there are weekly draws where the top prize is €50,000. Other cash prizes awarded each week include 10 of €1,000, 10 of €500 and over 7,000 of €50.

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Keeping all her eggs in one basket

This quacked feathered friend has cried fowl of the usual nesting spots, to make a hanging basket dangling over the River Fergus her home. And it appears that the duck is quackers about its new residence on the Mill Road Bridge in Ennis. The hanging basket had been due to be moved by Clare County Council’s gardening section, who were surprised to see that it had a new resident nestled among the flowers. The basket will now remain in place until the female duck decides it is time to leave, the local authority has confirmed. Brendan Keogh, a gardener with the council’s gardening section, explained, “The duck had nested in one of the hanging baskets close to the mill on the Mill Road Bridge. Clare County Council’s gardening section was relocating the baskets for the summer season when the nesting bird was spotted. The bird and the basket in question will be left in situ.” While the bird has been …

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Patient survey for May

IRELAND’S first ever National Patient Experience Survey, which began on Monday and continues until the end of the month, affords adult acute hospital inpatients a chance to describe their experiences and suggest improvements. UL Hospitals Group is part of this joint initiative between the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the HSE and the Department of Health. During May, adult patients who are discharged from a public acute hospital during this month are being invited to participate in the survey. Up to 27,000 patients nationally will be eligible to take part making this the largest single survey of the healthcare system in Ireland. In excess of 2,000 of these patients will be asked to describe their experiences in University Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, St John’s Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital. Maternal health and paediatric services do not come under the ambit of the current survey. Patients will be asked 61 questions on topics such as confidence and trust …

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Clare B and Bs doing well

B&B Ireland say their bookings in Clare rose 14% last year, and overseas visitors were up 18% – beating the national increase of 10% in overseas visitors. “We have launched a campaign across the county to recruit more B&B owners to meet the demand”, said local B&B Ireland member Michael Webb. Mr Webb says booking revenue into Clare, for the first quarter between January and March, is up 10%, which further reinforces the demand for B&B properties here. “B&B Ireland alone had over 10,500 bookings in the county last year – that’s up over 1,000 bookings on the year before”, says Michael, who’s the owner of the 4 star Glocca Morra B&B, in Killaloe. Michael attributed the phenomenal success of 2016 to a combination of factors. “There is a major increase of USA visitors due to the favourable exchange rate; flying into Shannon Airport as opposed to Dublin Airport is much easier and is the gateway to the West of Ireland. There is also a …

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Chocolate company expands following appearance on Dragon’s Den

  Irish Raw Chocolate Business Magic Mayan has expanded its sales into Northern Ireland and is growing in size following owner Darren O’Connor’s appearance on RTE’s Dragon’s Den last night (Sunday, April 30). While the county Clare family business did not secure an investment from the five dragons, in the days after filming Magic Mayan signed a contract to export its chocolate and protein bombs into the UK via Northern Ireland. Employing five people and with plans to expand the workforce and production of chocolate and protein bombs even further in the coming months, the artisan raw chocolate business based in Ennis continues to grow. “We are currently selling 35,000 protein bombs a month and more than 1,000 bars of hand made chocolate each week through our Irish distributers, and online,” explained Darren, who took over Magic Mayan two years ago with his wife Sinéad. “The protein bomb market is growing at a huge rate internationally as people are becoming …

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Shannon Frankfurt flights take off

Shannon Airport was in celebratory mode at the weekend as one of the world’s best known airlines, Lufthansa, commenced scheduled flights for the first time from the airport as its new Frankfurt service took off. The service to the financial capital of continental Europe and one of Germany’s most interesting tourism cities took to the skies on Saturday afternoon and will operate weekly until the end of October. The Frankfurt service will be a significant boost for tourism in the Shannon region, outbound business and tourism options, as well as offering one-stop connectivity to around 200 destinations worldwide. Welcoming the start of the service Andreas Köster, Senior Director Sales UK, Ireland and Iceland Lufthansa Group said: “Shannon, as the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, is the entry point for one of the most spectacular tourism regions in the world and there’s a strong demand in Germany for what’s on offer here. The service is already proving to be an …

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