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600 jobs at risk as receivers appointed to Mr Binman

AS MANY AS 600 jobs could be placed at risk after the High Court declined to appoint an examiner to Mr Binman, a family-owned chain of waste disposal companies, instead appointing receivers to the group. Mr Binman, which directly employs 331 people in Munster, says up to 270 other jobs may be indirectly dependent on their business and that those jobs could now be lost by the court’s decision.Kieran Wallace and Padraic Monaghan of KPMG were appointed as joint receivers on the application of the group’s largest creditor, Bank of Scotland, which is reportedly owed €53m.Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan refused to confirm examinership, saying the companies had not made sufficient claims that they could continue as a going concern with a reasonable prospect of continuing operations.The Mr Binman companies had been under court protection but this no longer applies. The directors of the company did not appeal the decision to appoint an examiner and did not oppose the subsequent appointment …

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Shannon stopover loss led to decline in tourist numbers

THE loss of the Shannon stopover has seen a significant decline in US visitor numbers to the Mid-West, according to a report by the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation.According to the report, which is entitled New Directions For Tourism in the West, the Mid-West “has predictably lost share of North American visitors in post-open skies era, with about one in every three North Americans now spending at least one night in the region, compared to one in every two a decade ago. The region attracts a 12% share of North American holiday nights.”It also found that the West of Ireland is finding it hard to attract visitors from Europe. “The western seaboard’s share of the expanding European markets has fallen sharply over the past decade, from a 70% share of bednights spent in the country in 1999 to an estimated 54% last year. This loss of share of the fastest growth market for Irish tourism over the past decade is especially …

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Retention granted for pond

CLARE County Council has granted retention permission for construction of a pond at Smithstown Castle, Kilshanny.The application was made by Markus and Eva Stuwe, who have an address in England. They are the owners of the site in question.In the site description section of the county council’s planning report, it outlined where the pond is. “The existing pond is situated to the front of Smithstown Castle, which is located 3km northeast of Kilshanny. Smithstown Castle is both a recorded monument and a protected structure. The pond is a large dug-out piece of ground in the area to the front of the castle and is presently bound by a post and wire fence. There is a large concrete pipe at the centre of the pond (which will form part of a pier), with a plastic pipe at the side of the pond (which would appear to be the overflow pipe). It was noted that planting of trees around the pond has …

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Growing up with Michael D

  It is well known that Ireland’s ninth president, Michael D Higgins, spent a large portion of his youth on a farm near Newmarket-on-Fergus. His brother, John Higgins, spoke about their time in Ballycar and what his success means to the family.“I have to say, Clare was a nice place to grow up but not as nice as it is now. We came when I was four and Michael was five and we lived on the farm. We’d cycle in and out to school, through the fields—it wasn’t too far. Lucy Hastings taught us from infants until second class and Willie Cloon taught us thereafter,” he remarked, speaking fondly of his time in Ballycar National School. “The school is a private house now and a new one’s been built elsewhere.” “We later went to Flannan’s in Ennis. Michael was always into books and reading, whereas I was more hands-on. I was very into the hurling, while my brother was always …

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Clare rows in behind ‘one of our own’

Michael D Higgins was elected Ireland’s ninth president last Thursday and, as votes were being counted on Friday afternoon at the Clare Inn, just a few miles from where he grew up, it was clear that the Banner County was well behind him.Higgins took almost 44% of the number ones cast in Clare, more than 6,000 ahead of his nearest rival Sean Gallagher.The new president’s nephew, Michael Higgins from Ballycar, was at the Clare Inn and was delighted with his uncle’s performance. “I think not only will Michael D win the election I think the nation are going to win the election. He’s a safe pair of hands and hopefully he’ll steer the country in the right direction. He had a good campaign, didn’t get down in the trenches and stayed presidential,” he commented.Speaking at the count centre, Seamus Ryan, who acted as Labour Party director of elections in Clare, said the county had been very well disposed to Michael …

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President’s poetry made a mark on McNamara

If first impressions last, Michael McNamara’s first contact with Michael D Higgins was extremely positive. Watching Mr Higgins deliver a poetry reading in Mike McNamara’s pub in Scariff back in the ’80s left the young Scariff teenager with a warm glow.Mr Higgins struck a chord with young people in the audience that day. The introduction of the East Clare Drama Festival fostered an interest in the arts and theatre in the young teenager.Most of Mr Higgins’ poetry was personal and provided a social commentary on some of the issues facing the poor and underprivileged.He was the first poet the young teenager heard talking about places he knew such as St Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis, where Mr Higgins reluctantly sent his father when he could no longer be looked after at home.Maybe it was the fact both of them had a similar upbringing in their formative years. Alice Higgins was forced to send her five year-old Michael and four-year-old John to …

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New group refutes windfarm developers’ tourism-enhancement claim

THE developers of a proposed €100 million windfarm in West Clare have been accused of misrepresenting the tourism and long-term employment benefits from the development.According to a feasibility study completed by Jennings O’Donovan and Partners for Clare Coastal Wind Power, the windfarm has good wind regime, good access points, good grid connection options, is not located within a Designated Area of Conservation and would enhance tourism in the Doonbeg area.The study claimed the development, which extends into Kilrush, Doonbeg and Cooraclare parishes, would not impact the vistas of the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Ballyea waterfall, the Burren and Spanish Point where North Atlantic views form the main scenic amenity.“It is evident that the Doonbeg tourism industry revolves around coastal scenery and amenity and therefore it is not anticipated the proposal will cause any negative impact,” it stated.The study also cited an independent report produced by Sustainable Energy Ireland in 2003 called Attitudes towards the development of windfarms in Ireland, which …

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