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College scholarships for five Clare students

FIVE young people from Clare and one from South Galway received university entrance scholarships in the past week based on their exceptional Leaving Certificate Examination results.Two North Clare students will be awarded a JP McManus All-Ireland Scholarship toward their third level education next week. Alison Byrne and Stella McGlennon both students at Scoil Mhuire in Ennistymon will receive their scholarships at the awards ceremony that will take place at University of Limerick where President Mary McAleese will be the guest of honour.The Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe, TD and Minister for Education in Northern Ireland, Caitriona Ruane will present the third-level scholarships to a total of 126 students from the island of Ireland. This is the second year of the scholarships sponsored by JP McManus. The scheme is set to provide financial assistance to many high-achieving students who completed their Leaving Certificate in 2009.First year college students from St Flannan’s College and Rice College in Ennis, Miltown Malbay, …

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Creditors write off €3.5m debts to keep Lynch Hotel Group trading

THE future of some 450 employees across the Lynch Hotel Group looks secure with the High Court in Dublin expected to adopt recommendations put forward by the examiner, which will allow the hotel chain to continue to trade.The Ennis-based hotel group is due before the High Court this Friday where proposals contained in a report by examiner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, a Dublin-based accounting and auditing company, regarding a payment package to creditors will be accepted.Recently, Mr McAteer met with creditors of the Lynch companies and The Clare Champion understands that approximately 85% of the creditors were prepared to accept proposals whereby preferential creditors will receive 15% and agreed creditors 10% of monies owing to them. The deal will see creditors prepared to write off debts in the region of €3.5million.With debts in excess of €22.85 million, the Lynch Hotel Group, Ireland’s largest family-owned hotel chain with hotels in Clare, Limerick and Mayo, went into voluntary examinership last July …

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Ireland can’t survive outside the euro

  IRELAND doesn’t have the ability to run an economy within the euro but can’t pull out, according to economist Jim Power, who spoke at last Friday’s Shannon Development conference in Limerick.Mr Power, who is chief economist with Friends First, said he hadn’t favoured joining the single currency in the first place.“I would have been very sceptical about Ireland’s participation in the euro back in the late nineties. I believed it was going to create an inflationary bubble and I didn’t believe the government of Ireland would be capable of managing an economy in a monetary union and I think that has been borne out. “We’ve had serious policy errors over the last decade that have made our life very difficult but to suggest that we should leave the euro at this stage does not make sense; it would be a recipe for disaster. If Ireland left the euro in the morning we would become Iceland in six hours; it’s …

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Revenue collectors in threat to strike

REVENUE collectors employed by Clare’s local authorities are threatening industrial action as the row over new work practices rumbles on.The council executive is trying to put plans in place to streamline its revenue collection service, whereby the 16 revenue collectors will be office based rather than home-based, but the employees, all members of IMPACT, are unhappy with this change in work practice.The executive says that in trying to rationalise revenue collector staff, the series of proposed measures are aimed at making its revenue service more efficient, without incurring job losses among the existing revenue collectors. The proposals are being implemented under a national framework agreement endorsed by the Labour Court in 2006, which would yield major efficiencies across the county, according to the council.Revenue collectors collect local authority income, such as housing rents, business rates and commercial water rates. Clare County Council confirmed that the 16 revenue collection staff have refused to accept a proposal, which would move their duties …

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Hotel sector facing ruin, says expert

THE Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) received a major, independent economic report undertaken by economist Peter Bacon, which warns that the entire hotels sector faces insolvency.The report confirms the worst fears expressed by the IHF since the recession started as Mr Bacon outlined a series of urgent actions needed now if the hotel sector is to survive.The report highlights the damage that is being caused to the hotels sector by financial institutions and banks supporting unviable and insolvent enterprises.  It underlines the urgent need to address over supply within the sector and the negative effect of ongoing tax regulations that impede the ability of unviable hotels to exit from the market. Tourism is one of the largest indigenous contributors to the economy and the report reinforces hoteliers’ concerns that the industry will collapse unless action is taken. According to Matthew Ryan, President of the IHF, the report contains a very detailed and structured approach on how to deal with a sector …

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