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Banner shines a light on job shadow

The business community in County Clare hosted one of the busiest job shadow events in the country last week. The job shadow initiative promotes inclusive workplaces and equal employment opportunities for people with a disability or illness. A week of activities allows jobseekers to experience different work environments by spending a day working with managers and staff. Helen McQuillan, team leader with EmployAbility Clare was delighted with the way local businesses embraced Job Shadow 2015. “This year, we focused on businesses and work environments that would provide participants with a really good insight into a typical working day and make them feel welcome. The people who took part this year are all active jobseekers, so the job shadow experience is matched to their particular skills and interests,” she explained. First to sign up was TTM Healthcare, an international health and social care recruitment company. Pádraic Hayes spent the day in the company’s busy head office in Ballymaley Business Park in …

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Catholic parish records online

The entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the National Library of Ireland – www.nli.ie – will be made available free online from July 8, it has been confirmed. On that date, a dedicated website will go live, with over 390,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded. The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under its most ambitious digitisation programme to date. The parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records. NLI’s Ciara Kerrigan, who is managing the digitisation of the parish registers, said, “We announced initial details of this project last December, and received a hugely enthusiastic response from people worldwide with an …

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Pile-up on M18

There were considerable tailbacks on the M18 Ennis to Limerick motorway this morning (Tuesday) following a seven-vehicle pile-up. The accident occurred  on the north-bound lane near Manus, Clarecastle during a heavy hailstone shower. Emergency services from Ennis and Shannon attended the scene. There were no fatalities but a number of people were treated for minor injuries. Ennis-bound traffic was diverted on the old road through Clarecastle.

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Insight into the dairy industry

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny will launch a fascinating new book, Irish Agriculture Nationalised, by Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh, at the headquarters of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society in Dublin on Wednesday. Irish Agriculture Nationalised tells the remarkable story of the Dairy Disposal Company (DDC), one of the first Irish State-sponsored bodies, established in 1927 to acquire private creameries and other agri-businesses and transfer them to co-operative societies. In his foreword to the book, Professor Eunan O’Halpin, of Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for Contemporary Irish History, describes the Dairy Disposal Company as ‘a kind of NAMA’ for the dairy industry in Munster, up to its final dissolution in the 1970s. The DDC evolved into an agency that developed creameries and other agri-businesses, particularly in the south, and stimulated economic growth. By the time it dissolved in 1978, it had laid foundations, for instance, for The Kerry Group and Golden Vale. At its height the DDC operated 191 creameries and 86 other agri-businesses, …

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Bringing the legal school age back to three

Clare Senator Tony Mulcahy has proposed that the legal starting age in the Irish education system for a child be reduced to three years of age in order to extend special education support services to preschool-going children. Senator Mulcahy was speaking in Seanad Éireann this week in response to an address to the upper house by Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan in which she outlined the proposed introduction of a new inclusion support service to assist schools in supporting children with special educational needs. Administered by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), the service will include the special education support service which provides training for schools in how to assist pupils with special educational needs,as well as the national behaviour support service which provides guidance and support to schools in dealing with behavioural issues. Until now these support services have been managed separately within the Department of Education. “No one in society should be denied the right to go to …

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Niamh McMahon receives her Gold cert from Weightwatcher leader, Kathleen Shannon, after maintaining her goal weight for four weeks.

Niamh achieves her Weightwatchers goal

Tuesday April 14th Breakfast 7:15 30g of porridge with skimmed milk and water with a green tea. Mid morning 10:30 An orange and a few grapes with a glass of water. Lunch 13:00 Two slices of Be Good bread toasted with lettuce, onion, tomato and a slice of ham with a glass of water. Dinner 17:30 A scoop of mash with vegetables and half a breast of chicken with a pint of water. Snack 20:00 A green tea with a yoghurt. Wednesday April 15th Breakfast 7:15 Two crumpets with a teaspoon of Weightwatchers jam and a green tea. Mid morning 12:00 A coffee and a Weightwatchers cookie. Lunch 14:00 A wrap with chicken and salad and a side salad with a diet coke. Dinner 18:00 A bowl of home made vegetable soup with two slices of porridge bread and a glass of water. Snack 20:00 A green tea and a Weightwatchers bar. Thursday April 16th Breakfast 7:15 Two poached eggs …

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Keane to continue

Open in one form or another for two centuries, Keane’s shop in Gort has survived booms, busts, the war of independence, the civil war, the world wars, the dawn of electricity, the online revolution, pay parking and everything in between. Now as owner Colman Keane looks to the future, he recalls a few tales from the past including one about WB Yeats, the shop’s best-known debtor – albeit, he says, that story may involve a “small amount of poetic license”. Of Down and Derry ancestry, the Keane family arrived in the town from Craughwell around 1812. “As Napoleon was retreating from Moscow, we were attacking Gort,” Colman laughs. “Our first establishment was on the Galway Road. We had a cinema there for the silent movies in the latter part of the 19th century. That building is still there, derelict practically, and we moved to Bridge Street a short time later to the site where we are now,” he outlines. Today …

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Record numbers in Clare Champion’s short story competition

THERE were a massive 493 entries to this year’s Clare Champion Short Stories Competition, more than twice the previous record. The winners were announced and presented with their prizes at a special celebratory event attended by their families at the De Valera Library in Ennis. Addressing all in attendance, Clare Champion managing director, John Galvin said the competition has grown in stature over the years, with this year attracting four times as many entries as the very first event. “When the Clare Champion Short Stories competition was inaugurated back in 2007, it was a step into unknown territory for us, even though we have been in the words business ourselves since 1903 and as a successor to Clare newspapers dating back into the 19th century. “We were fairly happy when about 120 stories were entered. We pressed on; word got out there that the competition was to be taken seriously and the lure of generous cash prizes provided added interest. …

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