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Clare publican: continuing restrictions will shut more bars

WHILE publicans had been hoping to see the end of a dark chapter for the sector on Friday, those hopes were dashed with news that some restrictions will be staying in place, potentially until February 2022. While normal opening hours can resume, from Friday there will still be a requirement for customers to have a Covid certificate, table service must remain in place with a maximum of ten adults per table, social distancing will remain, while collection of contact tracing information will continue. Face masks are required but can be removed for the consumption of food or drinks. Specific guidelines for nightclubs are to be made available. Publican Darragh McAllister is also President of business advocacy group Ennis Chamber. Following this week’s news that restrictions will be continuing, he said there was disappointment among his colleagues. “It is hugely disappointing, but I have to admit that because there have been so many false dawns there weren’t too many hopes raised. …

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Vision for future of Ennis to be unveiled by Tánaiste

A VISION for the future of Ennis will be launched this Friday by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD. The much anticipated Ennis 2040 Economic and Spatial Strategy is, according to Clare County Council, “a bold vision to deliver economic investment and make housing, jobs, amenity and services easier to access for all. The strategy is about building communities and creating one of the best places in the world to live, work and visit.” The strategy has set out ambitious growth targets and proposes the prioritisation of sustainable economic activities that will grow its population on average by 1.6% per annum and deliver an additional 5,000 jobs by 2040. Nine transformational projects have been identified through which the Ennis 2040 vision can be realised. The projects deliver on the concept of the ‘10-minute town’, attracting investment and delivering quality of life. In the implementation of this strategy Ennis will become Ireland’s first Climate Adaptive …

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Clare TD says no to Ulster ceremony

CLARE TD Cathal Crowe has said he feels the Government is taking the wrong option by sending representatives to this Thursday’s interdenominational church service in Armagh, marking the partition of Ireland, writes Owen Ryan. The decision of President Michael D Higgins not to attend was criticised in some quarters, but opinion polls indicated broad popular support for his decision.  On Thursday the Irish Government will be represented at the event by Simon Coveney and Jack Chambers, but Deputy Crowe said he felt the President had taken the right approach. “I wouldn’t for a moment be telling party members what they should or shouldn’t do, but I myself would have quite strong opinions on it, they’re personally held opinions. “I think that partition has had a devastating impact on the whole island and I think Brexit has augmented the divisions once more. I think we shouldn’t be attending any sort of a service like that. “I fully supported the stance taken …

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Ó Céidigh aims to restore Shannon passenger numbers by 2024

ADDRESSING the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, Padraig Ó Céidigh again set out his target for having Shannon back on a pre-pandemic footing by 2024. Mr Ó Céidigh, who is about to take up the position of non executive chair of Shannon Group, said, “The recovery of the aviation sector to pre-pandemic levels is likely to take many years, and it is certain that airports such as Shannon will face much increased competition for new routes during this time. “However, I have set an ambitious target to recover Shannon’s air traffic to 2019 levels by 2024.” He said that achieving this goal is very important for the region. “At the core of the Group is Shannon Airport, which provides essential air connectivity that supports businesses and the livelihoods of thousands of people in the west of Ireland. “Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, 1.7 million passengers travelled through Shannon Airport. It is important to remember that in early …

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Clare Council house relet cost is third highest in country

Local authority spent three times as much as Tipperary County Council refurbishing housing stock CLARE County Council’s average expenditure on reletting its own housing stock to new tenants is almost three times higher than Tipperary County Council, new figures have revealed. The National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), has produced statistics that show Clare County Council average relet is €28,713, which is the third highest in the country. Tipperary County Council, which operates from an approved list of contractors, has an average re-let cost of €10,871. This then increases cost efficiency and reduces the time in reletting homes. Clare’s average reletting time rose 24.37% from 35.37 weeks in 2019 to 43.99 weeks in 2020. NOAC was advised by the Council that a few properties skew the data, as one property took more than two years to remove an illegal occupant. The Council outlined they had two single rural dwellings to relet, which is always more expensive to refurbish due to …

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Shannon tests its emergency response capacity

ON Tuesday a crash-exercise was staged at Shannon to test the response of the airport to such an event, writes Owen Ryan. The airport’s co-operation with primary emergency agencies and other key stakeholders who would be called on in the event of a major aircraft accident at the airport was also under the microscope. Participating agencies include Shannon Airport, Clare County Council Fire Service, An Garda Síochána Clare Division, the Health Service Executive, the Irish Coast Guard, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Shannon Foynes Port Authority. Commenting on the crash-exercise, Niall Maloney, Shannon Airport Operations & Commercial Director said: “Crash-exercises are conducted every two years at Shannon Airport as a condition of our aerodrome certification and we use the opportunity then in conjunction with the other emergency services to test the regional major emergency plan and site-specific arrangements for the airport. “It was also an opportunity to test our airport’s state-of-the-art High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) fire tenders. Using …

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Carroll keen to maintain forward motion

Naomi Carroll at Cratloe GAA Club Photography by Eugene McCafferty

Cratloe’s Naomi Carroll has been called up to the Irish women’s hockey squad as they aim to qualify for the World Cup. Carroll is aiming to help Ireland reach the World Cup and keep the momentum that Irish hockey has generated after competing in the Olympic Games this summer. Ireland memorably reached the final of the World Cup in 2018 and will be determined to qualify for the tournament again as they compete in an eight team competition which starts on Thursday, October 21. The eight-team competition will be played in a knock-out format with only one side earning a place at next summer’s World Cup which will be played at venues in Spain and the Netherlands. Ireland face a dangerous France outfit first as Sean Dancer’s side enter the tournament as top seeds. The Catholic Institute player is aware of the challenge her side will face when they commence their quest to compete at the World Cup. “It is …

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Public urged to have their say on pedestrianisation in Ennis

DIVIDED opinion on car-free streets in Ennis has prompted the local authority to carry out a first of its kind public survey. The local authority is planning to give the public their say on the future of pedestrianisation in the county capital. The Ennis Municipal District is urging people to get involved with the two-week survey which opens to the public this Friday. Leonore O’Neill, senior executive officer Ennis Municipal District said, “We strongly encourage people to take part in this survey, this is a huge opportunity. “We received hundreds of emails throughout the Covid-19 Mobility Plan about pedestrianisation from people of all walks of life. “It is really important that we get as many responses to this survey as possible. This is the first time we have gone out and undertaken a full survey of pedestrianisation and the results will inform future decisions. “This is people’s opportunity to have their say in shaping the future of their town.” In …

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