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Fears grow over future of Kepak meat factory

CLARE IFA officers are planning to seek a meeting with Kepak representatives amid growing concern about whether their meat factory in Drumquin will re-open following its closure on February 14. IFA chairman, Tom Lane told the Clare Champion officers were keen to meet Kepak executives to question them about their future plans for the plant. Mr Lane said Kepak had some contracts with local beef finishers, which it was honouring by slaughtering their animals outside the county. “I would like to see Kepak re-open in Drumquin,” he said. Clare Beef Plan chairman, Joe Woulfe has expressed concern about the long delay in re-opening Kepak’s Drumquin plant. Mr Woulfe is worried that Kepak’s Clare plant may not re-open and has been informed that some equipment may have been transferred off site. He said management should have sat down with local farming representatives to work out a future for the plant. Last February, Kepak staff were told two days before its closure …

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Tankers On Standy-By To Ease Future Miltown Water Outages

ONGOING water outages on the supply for the Miltown Malbay area have been described as “hell” for families, farms and businesses by a member of the West Clare Municipal District. Councillor Shane Talty told the monthly district meeting that people were “crying and tearing their hair out” and that there had been more than 30 outages lasting for three days or more. The Fianna Fáil member’s comments were made as he tabled a motion calling on the council to make sure that water was tankered promptly to group schemes during future outages. “I’m calling for a protocol where, in the event of disruption, tankers would be made available within 36 hours,” he said, “and this should be the case until Irish Water completes the long-term upgrade works. Bursts and breaks will continue . We must have some kind of interim solution. I would hope we would be able to bill Irish Water, if necessary.” Backing the motion, Councillor Joe Killeen …

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Death of Detective Horkan was “catastrophic”

THE death of Dectective Garda Colm Horkan following a shooting incident in Roscommon has been described as “catastrophic” by a Killaloe-based Garda Inspector. Inspector Adrian Queeney was appointed as the new inspector at Killaloe Garda Station during the first week in May, replacing Inspector Frawley. In an interview with the Clare Champion following a minute silence outside Killaloe Garda Station on Sunday, he outlined how devastating his death was on a personal level and for all gardaí. “I was stationed in the Castlrea district from 2010 to 2015 and then I went to Roscommon from 2015 until I came to Killaloe. “We were in neighbouring districts and Colm was a very active conscientious fella who I knew very well. There is no words to explain what his family are going through since this happened last week. It is shocking and I don’t think the word tragic is enough to describe this situation. “For the Garda family word filtered through pretty …

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New figures reveal threat to Clare tourism jobs

ALMOST 9,000 jobs in hospitality and tourism in Clare are at immediate risk, with the sector braced for what industry leaders are calling “an impending disaster”. While hotels and pubs serving food are set to re-open from next Monday, representative groups are concerned about the chances of salvaging the 2020 season. An industry briefing for Clare, prepared for the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), reveals that 8,800 jobs are at risk in 2020. The figure represents close to 75% of all jobs in the industry in Clare, and the same percentage of the total revenue the sector generates for the county. “Up until recently, tourism and hospitality across Clare supported 12,000 jobs and generated €266 in revenues annual for the local economy,” the IHF briefing stated. “We are now facing a deepening crisis with 8,800 tourism jobs at risk across Clare and local tourism revenues estimated to drop by €200 million as businesses fight for survival,” Responding to the figures, North …

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Local ETB launches Ireland’s first Bicycle Engineering Traineeship

With renewed interest and increased growth in bicycle usage driven in part by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board in co-operation with the Mid West Regional Skills Forum has just launched Ireland’s first Bicycle Engineering Traineeship. The new traineeship will empower participants with knowledge and skills in foundation engineering, specifically professional bicycle maintenance process. Developed in partnership with the Bicycle Engineering Academy, participants will study the maintenance, design and engineering of eBicycles and commercial work bicycles. Commenting on the launch of the new traineeship, Eimear Brophy, Further Education and Training Manager, Limerick Education and Training Board, said: “Cycling is an essential part of a solution in decarbonising our transport system. This ETB partnership with the Bicycle Engineering Academy is timely in enabling participants to pursue training in bicycle maintenance and bicycle mechanics, which are skills that will be needed in the future.” Traineeships combine learning in an education and training setting with learning in the workplace. They provide …

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Be in with a chance to WIN €150 worth of goodies for your dog from Precious Pets

June 26th is Dog Friendly Ireland Day! However, for obvious reasons, this year’s Dog Friendly Ireland Day is going to be very different. To some extent, most of our lives have been turned upside down. Our homes are now our workplaces and at our feet, through it all, has been our faithful four-legged friends. Your canine has become your colleague and we want to celebrate them on a job well done! So this year we are asking you to send us a photo of your pooch ‘Working from Home’ We will publish the photos next week in The Clare Champion Send your photos to sales@clarechampion.ie before Tuesday June 30th

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Clare Bus Hope Covid Restrictions Won’t Impact on Tender Plans

LIMITS on the number of passengers who can safely use public transport could have implications for the ability of Clare Bus to tender for nine local transport routes. Earlier this month, the National Transport Authority (NTA) sought Expressions of Interest for the routes, which had been operated by Clare Bus until the end of March. Due to a funding dispute, the Feakle-based accessible transport service lost a total of 12 routes and is hopeful of being able to tender again for nine of them. The chairperson of Clare Accessible Transport (CAT), which trades as Clare Bus, told The Champion the board would have to examine the tender documents in detail before making an application. “We have expressed our interest and the next step is that the NTA will issue nine individual tender calls,” he said. “We expect to receive those this week, but until we look at them, we don’t know exactly what will be required. Once the management team …

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Breaking-€6.1 million for Shannon Airport

SHANNON Airport will receive €6.1 million in emergency funding in a boost to the airport as it prepares to reopen on a full-time basis next week, Clare TD Joe Carey confirmed this evening. The emergency funding was agreed at a Cabinet meeting in Dublin today. Deputy Carey, who recently convened the all-party Shannon Airport Oireachtas Group, confirmed Shannon is the only airport to benefit from this funding. The Clare TD said: “This is a hugely welcome development for Shannon Airport, especially in light of recent developments as a result of the pandemic. The airport faces significant challenges, and this funding will provide an important lifeline to Shannon as it prepares to reopen on a 24-hour basis from July 1.” Today’s announcement will come as welcome news as Shannon Airport prepares to resume scheduled passenger operations from next Wednesday. Deputy Carey added: “The return of passenger flights in and out of Shannon is obviously vital for the airport and all its …

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