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Youthreach in Shannon to close its doors

SOUTH Clare Youthreach in Shannon will close its doors for the last time in the coming days. The Shannon facility had the capacity to accommodate 13 learners at any one time. The service users are people who have left mainstream schools prematurely, for various reasons, and engaged with Youthreach to continue education. Young people aged from 15 to 18 were catered for in Shannon and they will now have to go to Ennis instead. The Shannon closure is an unpopular decision locally, and Councillor Mike McKee said the timing is unfortunate. “I’m very disappointed with the decision. While it had been expected I didn’t expect it’d happen during the middle of the term. It’s very unfortunate for the students that participated in the Youthreach course and I think it’ll have a detrimental effect on them, having to move to Ennis.” He added, “These are teenagers who left second level education for one reason or another. It could have been bullying …

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Major investment to revitalise Kildysart

THERE was a sense of hope and excitement in Kildysart this week, with news that €1.8 million has been allocated for the development of maritime and cruise liner-related training facilities at the disused school and convent in Cahercon. It is expected that a facility will be developed offering training in all sorts of activities related to marine industries, from piloting cruise liners to catering to mechanics for ships. Ultimately, it’s expected that private sector interests will develop the facility in the next couple of years, while a statement from Clare Deputy Pat Breen this week said that the National Maritime College of Ireland, which is based in Cork, will be central to providing the training. When it finally does open, it will bring a certain amount of new jobs and, presumably, a significant number of trainees and students to the nearby village. Such a development will be a major boost for Kildysart, the likes of which  it has not enjoyed …

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Work to start on Ennistymon Innovation Centre

Construction work on a new Multi-Service Innovation Centre located in the heart of Ennistymon will commence on Monday. Clare County Council has signed a contract with Jada Projects Ltd for the development which involves the conversion of an existing building, located on Parliament Street. The Multi-Service Innovation Centre comprises hotdesks with business broadband, incubation units for small businesses, meeting rooms, training rooms and full audio visual facilities. The first floor of the shared services building will be occupied by North-West Clare Family Resource Centre. Mol an Óige Steiner National School is also an existing tenant within the building complex. The local authority facility is scheduled to open in September 2019.

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Government urged to reveal Moneypoint plan

CLARE’S Independent TD has called on Minister Richard Bruton to clarify what exactly is planned for Moneypoint, when it comes to the end of its operating life in 2025 as a coal burning power station. Dr Michael Harty has written to the Minister for Communication, Climate Action and Environment to express his concerns about the future of the power station. Dr Harty said there is a lack of any hard information in the Department’s 2018 Annual Transition Statement other than it is Government policy that coal-fired electricity generation should cease at Moneypoint by 2025 and that any final decision to replace coal-fired electricity generation must be consistent with stated Government energy and climate policy. “Although Moneypoint is owned by semi-state ESB Power Generation, Government must set the agenda on behalf of the citizens of the country. I ask the minister to clarify what exactly is planned for Moneypoint when it comes to the end of its operating life in 2025 …

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Trolley records broken at University Hospital Limerick

FIANNA Fáil General Election candidate, Councillor Cathal Crowe has pointed out that records were broken at University Hospital Limerick’s Emergency Department last month as it emerged that 1,071 people were left lying on trolleys waiting for admission to a hospital bed. “We have had a 172% increase in the number of people on trolleys in the November ED figures since 2011 when 393 were on trolleys compared to 1071 in 2018. Looking at the national figures, well over 100,000 people have now been left languishing on trolleys in the country’s emergency departments. The people of Clare are being affected by this atrocious overcrowding. Many of the people on trolleys are older, highly vulnerable people who cannot afford to be left waiting in hospital corridors,” Councillor Crowe said. “This is the first time since records began that the number of hospital patients without beds in Ireland has exceeded 100,000. This means that patients all over Ireland are being subjected to waiting …

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McInerney calls for restrictions on out of town shopping

CLARE Fianna Fáil General Election candidate, Rita McInerney, has said that both central and local government must give serious consideration to placing restrictions on out of town shopping centres in an effort to protect our small towns and villages. Ms McInerney was commenting after a new report, Rejuvenating Ireland’s Small Town Centres: Meeting the Challenge, published by Chartered Surveyors Ireland, called for restrictions on out of town shopping centres, in addition to the full scale roll out of high speed broadband, and the establishment of Towns Partnerships to deliver a united voice on behalf of towns. “This is a very welcome and timely report, and one which I wholeheartedly support. For far too long, the retail centres of our towns have been decimated by the growth of out of town retail and shopping centres. The effect is clear for all to see – pulling shoppers away from small independent retailers in our towns’ centres to large, retailers on the outskirts …

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St Flannan’s class of 1968 meet again

THERE may have been a little more grey in the hair but when former pupils of St Flannan’s College, Ennis reunited last weekend, some for the first time in 50 years, it was like nothing had changed. Tony Gleeson, former pupil of the historic Ennis secondary school and one of the organising committee of the 50th reunion, said, “It was a bit of shock for some when they came in and looked at each other. Naturally emotions were high, as many of the students had not met in the intervening years and recognition and identification was challenging in a few instances”. However, before long, they were soon chatting away to each other. “It was like going back to 1963 when they all met first.” On Friday, the 1968 Leaving Certificate class of St Flannan’s came together to mark the 50th anniversary of their time in the school. They started their education there in 1963, the same year that a notable …

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Drinkaware clarify drink driving law changes

DRINKAWARE has today responded to concerns raised by members of the public on the lack of clarity around recent changes to drink driving laws, by reminding motorists that newly updated drink driving provisions of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018 are now in effect. These new provisions increased the penalty for drivers detected with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 50mg and 80mg from a €200 fine and three penalty points to three months disqualification from driving (plus a €200 fine). As of Friday October 26, ordinary fully licenced drivers detected by An Garda Síochána with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of between 50mg and 80mg, will receive an automatic disqualification from driving of three months and a €200 fine. The penalties for learner, novice and professional drivers have not changed. Penalties for drivers in these categories remain the same at three months disqualification from driving and a fine of €200. Why is this change in law important? Drink …

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