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Arrogant, ignorant, self-loving life of Bertie

Bertie Ahern’s sage pronouncements this week in the newspaper that employs him were staggering in their arrogance. The smugness of his statements, the infuriating self-love and the complete ignorance of reality were quite unbelievable. The interview read like satire.He didn’t rule out running for the position of president but seemed unwilling simply because it would be difficult for anyone from Fianna Fáil to win in the current climate. Nothing to do with him you understand, it’s all down to the smoking wreckage of the party he helped snuff out, which might tarnish his halo were he to run under its banner. How terrible for Bertie, how that rotten pair of ‘Fs’ continues to cling to him, even now that he has been promoted to his new position of sports pundit for a gutter red top and, of course, statesman in stasis. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe he was better qualified than most to make pronouncements about the “race to …

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Killeen bows out

The shock retirement of Minister for Defence Tony Killeen from national politics has thrown the general election race wide open for the four-seater Clare constituency.Minister Killeen confirmed to The Clare Champion on Wednesday evening his decision not to seek re-election to Dáil Éireann  “after medical appraisal and advice in recent weeks”.Minister Killeen informed An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen of his decision on Wednesday morning. He subsequently confirmed to family members he was stepping down once the 30th Dáil is dissolved.He decided to bow out of politics this week ahead of the Clare Fianna Fáil General Election Selection Convention on Sunday, January 16, to allow other prospective candidates an opportunity to put themselves forward.His withdrawal is regarded as a major blow to Fianna Fáil’s chance of retaining two seats in Clare and increases the possibility of Labour making a breakthrough for the first time since 1992 with its new candidate, Michael McNamara. With Clare guaranteed at least one new TD, the campaign …

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E-policing plan to extend to Kilkee

Kilrush area Garda Superintendent Gerry Wall is planning to extend E Business Watch to Kilkee. Since mid-October Superintendent Wall has been encouraging Kilrush-based business people to e-mail him with any concerns they might have. In the coming months he is hoping to have a similar system operating in Kilkee. Kilrush Gardai are to liaise with Kilkee business people in the near future before putting the programme in place. “Members of the business community can contact the Superintendent’s office with their concerns by e-mailing it,” Superintendent Wall explained.  “A garda is then assigned to the task and they are notified by e-mail who the garda is. We used this with great success up in the Dublin North Central division. Hundreds of businesses were using this as a way to communicate,” the Kilrush Superintendent said. If the scheme is to take off in Kilrush and Kilkee, Superintendent Wall says that business people in both towns will have to buy into the idea. …

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43 Clare companies collapsed in 2010

A TOTAL of 43 Clare companies collapsed in 2010 accounting for more than 13% of all insolvencies in Munster, writes Nicola Corless. The highest month for insolvencies was September when seven companies were declared insolvent according to a new report. In August, just one company went to the wall according to the report by insolvencyjournal.ie. Nationally, more than 1,500 companies collapsed last year with the highest number of these being based in Dublin. In Cork 138 companies collapsed in 2010 while in Limerick 65 companies had a liquidator appointed. 29 companies in Tipperary, 24 in Kerry and 22 in Waterford were declared insolvent over the past year.

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Aer Lingus launch Shannon-Gatwick route

THERE was a good start to 2011 for Shannon Airport, with an announcement on Wednesday that Aer Lingus is to commence a new daily service to London Gatwick.This follows a pre-Christmas announcement by Ryanair of a new Fuerteventura route, while the low cost airline is reinstate routes to Nantes, Malaga and Palma-Mallorca from April. Also in December Aer Lingus commenced a new Shannon-Paris Charles De Gaulle service.Speaking about the new Gatwick service, Aer Lingus spokesman Declan Kearney said the options available to customers were being increased. “This new daily service will provide Aer Lingus customers with the first early morning from London to the Shannon region. It will complement the existing London-Heathrow service, which operates three times daily.”Gatwick airport is Britain’s second largest airport and it’s the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 33 million passengers a year. It is 28 miles south of London and is well served …

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No motions tabled by 18 councillors

NEITHER of Tuesday night’s town council meetings in Kilkee or Shannon featured a single motion from any of the 18 elected town councillors.Although the country is still emerging from the coldest winter in 130 years, which resulted in water shortages and poor driving conditions in both towns, none of the town councillors felt it necessary to address any of these concerns via a motion at their monthly meeting.The Kilkee Town Council meeting was preceded by a Joint Police Committee meeting attended by Kilrush area Garda Superintendent Gerry Wall.The actual town council meeting featured a debate on Kilkee Tidy Towns, a progress report on the town’s proposed boundary extension and information on councillors’ mobile phone allowance.Councillors heard they are entitled to seek remuneration of up to 50% on their phone bills. However, this figure is capped at €300. Kilkee town clerk John Corry told members they have been entitled to claim mobile phone allowance expenses since January 2007. Some councillors though …

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Divided opinions on Seanad referendum date

MINISTER for Defence Tony Killeen revealed earlier this week that the Government was considering holding a referendum to abolish the Seanad on the same day as the impending general election but reacting to the move, Clare TDs say this could not happen.Minister Killeen explained he suggested the referendum on the Seanad because  he feared that Seanad reform would fall way down the list of priorities once a new Government was elected.While Deputy Killeen is keeping an open mind on whether the Seanad should be abolished, he admitted he wasn’t fully convinced about the arguments being put forward for its retention as part of the current debate.If it is not abolished, Minister Killeen stressed it should be radically reformed as part of an overall reform of the Oireachtas.“I think there is a consensus developing in relation to the abolition of the Seanad. I am concerned if Fine Gael and Labour form the next Government, it will fall down the list of …

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