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Spirits are high despite the cold weather just before tickets for Garth Brooks go on sale.

Norah first for Garth tickets

HAVING spent 28 hours at the head of a very orderly queue, Norah Murphy from Kilkishen finally got her just rewards at nine o’clock on Thursday. First into The Irish Shop, Ennis, Nora purchased six tickets for the Saturday night Garth Brooks’s concert in July. The valuable as gold tickets are for the sixth tier of the Hogan Stand; she had no great choice in the matter as all the standing tickets had already been whipped up. Well, who’s going to enjoy the tickets along with Norah? “My boyfriend, Martin Owen Walsh; my sister and her fiance and my parents, Eamon and Mary. I’m really looking forward to the event, she said. “It was well worth wait”, she added. David and Eileen Woodford, of The Irish Shop had Ticketmaster personnel on hand to ensure that the computer sales went like clockwork. They were very impressed at how the queue had worked and the fact that everybody was in great humour. All three dates for …

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Ballynacally death inquiry ongoing

GARDA investigations are ongoing in respect of the discovery of the  body of Mr Tony McIlroy in Ballynacally on Saturday morning last. The body of 61 year-old, Mr McIlroy, from Kilmaley, was found  close to the community centre. A post mortem examination was carried out on Saturday and determined Mr McElroy died from natural causes. While gardaí have ruled out foul play and are treating the matter as a sudden death,  they continue to investigate the wider movements of Mr McElroy leading up to his death in order to prepare a file for the county coroner. Mr McIlroy’s funeral mass took place on Tuesday morning in Kilmaley Church, with burial afterwards at Mount Temple Cemetery, Kilmaley.

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Welcome for HSE salary disclosures

 CONFIRMATION from the HSE  that Section 39 organisations will be bound to disclose the salaries of their senior management staff from now on, has been welcomed by Clare senator Tony Mulcahy. “Over €812m  was provided to Section 39 organisations in 2012 and nearly 25% of the health budget is allocated to Section 38 and 39 organisations. There is increased scrutiny on how this money is spent. It is important that there is full transparency over how taxpayers’ money is being spent,” the Fine Gael senator said. “I am happy to learn that in accordance with the terms of the Service Level Agreement (SLA), which must be signed by all section 39 agencies receiving State funding, the salaries of all senior management must be disclosed,” he added.  

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Keeping an eye on Russia

TWELVE leading tour operators from Russia visited Clare and the West of Ireland last week. Their visit was organised by UK inbound tour operator, Camelot Tours, and supported by Tourism Ireland to help grow Ireland’s share of the rapidly-growing Russian travel market. News of efforts to develop the Russian market comes in a week when it was officially confirmed that North Americans travelled in big numbers to this country. During their time here, the Russians saw many natural attractions, including the Cliffs of Moher, while they also inspected several hotels, among them Dromoland Castle Hotel and Bunratty Castle Hotel. Jim Paul, Tourism Ireland’s head of developing markets, said, “We are delighted that these influential Russian tour operators have taken time out of their busy schedules to come and visit Co Clare and Ireland. For all of them, it was their first visit and they were extremely impressed by the spectacular scenery and rich heritage, the many things to see and …

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North Americans flock to Ireland

IRELAND had a record year for visitors from North America in 2013 and it was also the best year for overseas tourism since 2008, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar confirmed today. The CSO Overseas Tourism figures show that a total of 6.986m overseas visits were recorded last year, representing an increase of 7.2% on the 2012 figure.  The total number of visits from North America amounted to 1.158m, which exceeded the previous record set in 2008, and represented an increase of 13.9% on the 2012 figure.  All of Ireland’s main overseas markets grew in 2013 compared to 2012; the number of visits from Great Britain grew by 5.6%; visits from Mainland Europe grew by 4.9% while there was also strong growth of 15.1% from other long-haul markets. “Last year was a record year for visitors from North America and the best for overall tourism since 2008. The Gathering was enormously successful in generating additional visitor numbers. The …

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Ryanair launch new Shannon route to France

RYANAIR has announced a new route from Shannon to Poitiers in France, which will operate twice weekly from April 4. Spokesperson Maria Macken said; “Ryanair is pleased to announce a new route from Shannon to Poitiers in the Poitou-Charentes region of west-central France which will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Friday from 4 April.” Ryanair is famous for adopting an uncaring and sometimes hostile attitude to its customers, but it has said that is ending and it is introducing allocated seating, a second free carry-on bag , easier website access and reduced baggage fees. The city of Poitiers has a population of about 100,000 and it is the capital of the Poitou-Charentes region.

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Gardaí Investigating death of man in Ballynacally

GARDAÍ in Kilrush are  continuing their investigation following the discovery of a body in the West Clare village of Ballynacally on Saturday morning last. The body of Mr Tony McElroy, aged 61, from Kilmaley, was found at approximately 9am close to the community centre. Following a post mortem examination, gardaí are satisfied there was no foul play and are treating the matter as a sudden death. An investigation into the wider movements of Mr McElroy leading up to his death is still underway in order to prepare a file for the county coroner. A technical examination of the scene where his body was found in front of the community centre, behind the village playground, was carried out on Saturday. It is understood Mr McElroy was socialising in Daly’s pub on Friday night, which is close to where his body was found. His funeral took place on Tuesday in Kilmaley church, with burial afterwards at Mount Temple Cemetery, Kilmaley.

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Brian Boru and the Hakka

CLARE  County Council has joined forces with three other local authorities to commemorate the  1000th  anniversary of Brian Boru’s death with an All-Ireland initiative. Students from St  Anne’s Community College in Killaloe performed The Kincora Call, a New  Zealand style Haka. with a distinctive Irish and Brian Ború slant at the official national launch. The audience included Arts Minister for Arts, Jimmy Deenihan, Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn, Lord Inchiquin, Conor O’Brien,who is a direct descendant of Boru. Coordinated by Clare County Council, the All- Ireland initiative involves strong co-operation between Clare, Dublin, Tipperary County Council and the Armagh City & District Council. It features a series of commemorations in the four main locations with connections to the life and High Kingship of Ireland’s best known historical figure; Killaloe, which was the seat of Brian Boru’s Kingship of Ireland from 1001 to 1014 AD, Clontarf where he was killed, Cashel, the location of his crowning as high king and Armagh, …

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