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Stats show a cash-strapped Banner County

CLARE people have less disposable income than the national average, according to new information from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Average Clare people were worse off in 2010 than they were five years earlier the report stated and the county is one of eight with between 90% and 95% of the State average disposable income for that year. It is estimated that Clare households benefit from €613 million in social transfers, while paying €471 million in taxes.The disposable income per person in Clare is €18,111, a little less than the average for the Mid-West at €19,122.The survey looked at the 26 counties in the Republic, but broke Tipperary into north and south for its purposes. Of the 27 areas included, eight had less than 90% of the State average; Clare and seven others had 90-95%; another seven counties had 95-100%; three had 100-110%, while Dublin alone had greater than 110%.Of the seven Munster regions included in the survey, Clare finishes …

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Dance, ballerina, dance to victory

An Ennis ballet student has been named the first Irish winner of the International Theatre Dance Awards in ballet this week. Sarah Nolan, aged 16, a transition year pupil at Coláiste Muire in Ennis, is a student at the Dinan School of Ballet.  The International Theatre Dance Awards take place annually at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and encompasses four dance categories, ballet, theatre craft, tap and modern jazz. It is not an open competition and all students participating in the awards earn their place by being nominated by IDTA examiners as a result of receiving particularly high marks in IDTA exams. There were only three Irish candidates nominated for the 2013 awards, with Sarah the only one nominated in the ballet category. She went on to compete against 76 other ballet students, both male and female, nominated worldwide. She made it through to the final on Saturday last and then at the end of the day, was …

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Hurley-Hoey Memorial Run goes global

THE St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield organised Hurley-Hoey Memorial Run/Walk on Saturday, March 9, will have a worldwide dimension with similar events in eight countries, spanning six continents on the same day. Organisers are expecting in the region of 1,500 participants to take part in the Gurteen element of the run/walk. However, sister events will be held in Centennial Park, Sydney; Albert Park, Melbourne; Hyde Park, London; Pitsford Reservoir, Northampton and in Dubai, Cape Town, New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires at times and venues to be confirmed.Proceeds raised from all runs will be donated to St Anne’s School in Ennis and The Sunshine Children’s Ward in the Regional Hospital, Limerick. “The international element has gone huge. If people hear about a GAA run in these regions, they’ll do it. This has come from Mary White’s contact base. Mary is the late Niall White’s mother. The international dimension has really been energised by her specifically,” organising committee chairman Lorcan Hassett explained.Amongst those …

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TD fitted as altar boy in Magdalene Laundry

CLARE TD Michael McNamara this week recalled how, as a child he was measured and fitted as an altar server in what he now knows was a Magdalene Laundry.Deputy McNamara also said the Taoiseach’s historic, heartfelt and emotional apology to the women who suffered in the Magdalene Laundries was “the most moving moment I experienced since I was elected to Dáil Éireann”. “The Taoiseach described what happened as a national shame but it is also a shame for every county and parish all over Ireland from which those women were sent,” he said.Deputy McNamara also noted the McAleese Report identified 261 women from Clare who spent time in Magdalene laundries, although the real figure is likely to be much higher. “I remember, as a child who served mass, being measured and fitted with a surplice and soutane in what I now know was a Magdalene Laundry. I may never see those women again or many of the other women from …

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Doubts hang over future of CAT

Clare’s bus service can only be maintained by keeping Clare Accessible Transport in its entirety, the manager of the rural transport company has said. The future of Clare Accessible Transport was cast into doubt this week following the leaking of a draft report from the Department of Transport, which signalled the abolishment of 35 community-based rural transport companies. Speaking following the leaking of the report, Laura Ward, manager of Clare Accessible Transport, which services 50,000 passenger trips per year, said the National Transport Authority is exploring ways of making a direct awards process available to fleet-owning companies such as Clare Accessible Transport within the restructuring process.She said, “A direct award contract will enable the company to remain intact, maintaining Clare’s local bus service and local jobs.”  “Clare Accessible Transport will work to make sure we have strong representation to the minister, that services will continue for the community in the way they have been since 2003 and that jobs are …

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€2m cut in roads maintenance

CLARE’S roads are far better than they once were but much of the progress is in danger of being lost due to swingeing cuts – around 40% over five years – in funding, that was the message at this week’s meeting of the county council.Sixmilebridge Councillor PJ Ryan asked the council how they propose to carry out the same level of maintenance on our secondary and primary roads in the county due to the big reductions in the NRA and Department of Transport Tourist and Sport road allocations.In her reply, Transportation director of services, Anne Haugh, said the county’s roads can’t be fully maintained with the level of funding currently being received. “Reduced levels of funding means reduced levels of response to maintenance and restoration needs. In general, funding levels have reduced by well over 40% since 2008 and this is unsustainable – particularly when one considers the extent of the investment put into the network during the Celtic Tiger …

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