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Diaspora project’s €23m regional potential

The recent Government announcement of The Gathering Diaspora 2013 project could generate an additional €23 million in sports tourism revenue for the Shannon Region. That’s the view of Mark O’Connell of Focus Consulting, who addressed delegates at the National Sports Conference in the Clarion Hotel, Limerick on Friday last. The conference titled Positive Change Through Sport – All To Play for was organised by Shannon Development to highlight the economic and social benefits of sport, as Limerick’s reign as a European City of Sport 2011 draws to a close.“Recent analysis by Focus Consulting revealed that up to 71,800 extra bed nights could be created in the Shannon Region through specific diaspora sports projects,” Mr O’Connell said.“Currently the economic impact of sports tourism is worth an estimated €60m per annum to the region. Based on Focus Consulting’s analysis, diaspora sports projects could generate a 38% increase in sports tourism revenue.“Capitalising on the legacy of Limerick European City of Sport 2011, the …

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Accused brother was education pioneer

`A deceased Clarecastle Christian Brother, who has been accused of sexual abuse in RTÉ’ Mission to Prey documentary, pioneered the first secondary school for “coloured” children in Athlone, Cape Town, South Africa in 1960.Br Gerard Dillon educated “coloured” pupils in CBC Pretoria during the height of the Apartheid discrimination. Br Dillon, who died in December 17, 2005, after almost 60 years of missionary work, paid the price when the South African Government kicked the school out of the sports league. He made such an impression, a plaque dedicated to his memory was erected on the school grounds.One of a family of five of the late Peter and Elizabeth Dillon, he was educated locally and joined the congregation of Christian Brothers in Ireland on July 15, 1937. While training in England for missionary work, he completed a BA degree, which was awarded in 1945.The following year he went to South Africa where he joined the Brothers at St Gabriel’s in Pretoria, …

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Clare Haven campaign highlights 25% increase in violence to women

THE number of women attending Clare Haven’s outreach services this year has jumped by about 25%, according to manager, Denise Dunne.According to official figures released by the centre, 111 women and 201 children stayed in their refuge this year to date, which has remained constant over the last two years as this crisis accommodation service has been full to capacity.Counselling and one-to-one confidential non-judgemental support was provided to women attending outreach facilities, which recorded a 25% increase from 2010. Clare women suffering from domestic violence, who need help to secure legal aid are also accompanied to court hearing and other services when they are at their most vulnerable.The women’s refuge is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to accepting a pay freeze for the last few years, the staff of nine full-time and 19 part-time workers have co-operated with a cost-cutting restructuring programme to cope with annual cutbacks in funding.Ms Dunne admitted it was becoming …

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Mayor urges cancer patients to speak of experiences

CLARE cancer patients have been urged to speak publicly about their treatment to give hope and support to other sufferers in the county.This plea was made last weekend by Mayor of Clare, Councillor Pat Hayes,  at the presentation of a €8,700 cheque raised through a sponsored cycle by Clare gardaí, to a cancer daycare centre in Kilnamona.Speaking at the presentation, Councillor Hayes, who had successful bowel surgery in May 2010 thanks to an early diagnosis, said the centre’s hospitality ensured clients received support in a very homely environment.“When people heard the word cancer before, it was viewed as a death sentence. However, a lot of people who have received great support from the centre have been successfully treated.“It is great to see cancer patients, who have been through the centre coming back to support others. It is important that cancer sufferers speak out about their experience to provide hope and assistance for others,” he said.Thanks to the latest donation, Tai …

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Gardaí investigating burglary of public house

GARDAÍ in Killaloe are investigating the burglary of a public house in Ballina, which occurred in the early hours of Monday morning. The incident occurred between 5.30am and 6am on November 28 when the pub was entered by forcing a side door open. A small amount of cash was taken from the premises and gardaí are seeking the assistance of the public and anyone with information can contact Killaloe Gardaí on 061 376242.  

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Kayaks pillaged

Gardaí in Lahinch are investigating the theft of two kayaks from a trailer parked in the town and are seeking the assistance of the public in tracking them down. The property was stolen from a trailer parked in the layby on the Miltown Malbay road in Lahinch. The incident is understood to have occurred between 4am and 1pm on Sunday, November 20 last. One of the kayaks was red in colour and had Diesel 65 written on it, while the second kayak was green and had the word “Allstar” written on it. Anyone who may have come across these items for sale in unusual circumstances or anyone who observed someone in possession of these items either in transit or in unusual or suspicious circumstances is asked to contact Lahinch Garda Station on 065 7081222 or Ennistymon gardaí on 065 7072180.  

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Minister holds firm on Blake’s Corner

Clare County Council is to proceed with a Part 8 planning application for a project in Ennistymon despite a comment by the Minister for Heritage stating such a move would be “contrary to the thrust of the Planning and Development Act 2000.”The local authority commissioned a report, at a cost of between €10,000 and €15,000, which recommended that the Blake’s and Linnane’s buildings be deconstructed and reconstructed back from the narrow junction and the road widened. The local authority’s senior engineer has stated that he believes Clare County Council can provide the “strong justification” required to go ahead with the proposed works subject to planning permission.Earlier this month Clare TD Michael McNamara put a question to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, asking his views on preserving and maintaining the listed buildings. He also asked the minister “if he will support the proposal to move the buildings complete and intact on their site to allow both …

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Kilkee councillor calls for bypass proposal to be shelved

ATTEMPTS by Kilkee county councillor Pat Keane to remove the proposal for a bypass linking the Carrigaholt Road with the Kilrush Road in Kilkee is unlikely to happen soon. The proposal is contained in the current West Clare Local Area Plan and was first submitted to the 2003 plan.Councillor Keane told last week’s Kilrush Electoral Area meeting that Clare County Council should ditch the proposal and allow the land in question to be used for alternative purposes.“It’s unfair to a person that their land is tied up. The main question is, will this ever be done? My view and the view of the people of Kilkee is that it will never be and that it shouldn’t be done,” Councillor Keane said of the bypass in Kilkee.He said traffic heading West of Kilkee should have to pass through the town to be of economic benefit.“If anybody is going West to the Loop Head Lighthouse, you need to bring them through the …

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