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Regional

No confidence in Shannon Group management

Sinn Féin TD for Clare, Violet-Anne Wynne, has said that confidence in Shannon Group to properly support workers at Shannon Airport, local businesses and the economy of the Mid-West has been swept away by this week’s announcement of job losses and pay cuts. Sinn Féin TD for Clare, Violet-Anne Wynne said it is quite clear that the “experiment” of a standalone Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) has not worked. “Cutting Shannon adrift from the DAA has been an un unmitigated disaster and this week’s announcement to cut pay and seek redundancies has only strengthened this opinion amongst staff in the Airport. “Two recent managerial departures from the Shannon Group have further created an atmosphere of insecurity at Shannon and workers are genuinely fearful for what is going to come next. I think it is now time for the entire Management team of the Shannon Group to step down and allow a new team to come in and pull the Airport back …

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Enhancements for Ennistymon ahead of ‘Destination Town’ designation

TOURISM in Ennistymon is set to take a major step forward as a number of enhancement projects are ear-marked to tie in with the development of its status as a Fáilte Ireland Destination Town. Last December, the tourism body announced that €500,000 would be issued, in two rounds, in order to boost the town’s attractiveness to visitors. The aim is to capitalise on the huge numbers travelling to North Clare attractions like the Cliffs of Moher and to entice them to spend more time and money in the town. At the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Shane Talty urged the council to tackle the “low-hanging fruit” and examine projects that might be completed in conjunction with the Destination Town works. “The Fáilte Ireland funding will deliver a very welcome post-Covid boost for Main Street, Ennistymon, later this year,” the Fianna Fáil member noted. As an example of a project that might be tackled, Councillor Talty highlighted …

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Knockanean school development gets green light

A LONG awaited multi-million euro re-development of Knockanean National School has been given the green light by Clare County Council. The plans submitted by the Office of Public Works (OPW) include the construction of eight new classrooms, with an existing four-classroom block built in 2011 retained and integrated into the new build. The new development will not result in an increase in student numbers at the school, with a condition of planning limiting school enrolments to 297 pupils. The number of enrolments can only be changed with another planning permission. According to the planning authority, “In the interests of traffic safety and free flow, the protection of adjacent amenities and to control the intensity of use of the site, it is considered appropriate to restrict pupil numbers to current enrolment levels in order to provide for a qualitative improvement of school facilities.” Councillor Johnny Flynn, part of the project team established to realise the new development, has described the planned …

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Call for rural roads to be ‘returned’ for cycling and walking

A CALL has come from the new Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District for local and secondary roads to be given back to local communities to provide safe places for people to cycle between local towns and villages. Councillor Joe Garrihy told the June meeting of the district that, during lockdown, record numbers of people had been able to safely walk and cycle and get to know their localities. “I saw people of every age out cycling,” he said. “My 14 year-old son learned how to cycle on roads he wouldn’t have been able to travel previously. We are all aware of how dangerous North Clare roads can be. Lately, people have been able to cycle and walk in a safe manner. We also have a vast number of roads in the district which poses a challenge in terms of maintenance.” Reacting to a council response outlining the complexity of making his motion a reality, Councillor Garrihy said he …

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Direct Provision residents join Ennis Tidy Towns

RESIDENTS of Direct Provision in Ennis have joined efforts to keep the county capital looking its best by becoming the newest members of Ennis Tidy Towns. According to new member Innocent Iroaganachi, “Participating in taking care of the community, like we did in Miltown Malbay, is our little way of saying thanks to the community that has contributed so much to our well-being.” Ten men who are international protection applicants and are residing in Ennis Clare Lodge, which began operating as a direct provision (DP) centre late last year, have been inducted as members of the local organisation. The induction which took place at the Abbey Street Car Park, saw in attendance some long standing members of Ennis Tidy Towns. Among the newly joined members were: Aung from Bangladesh, Amin from Algeria, Godsway from Ghana, Membratu from Eritrea, Nicholas and Jonas from Zimbabwe, Andrea, Onise and Koba from Georgia and Innocent from Nigeria. In preparation for their first clean-up operation …

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Anger at Fáilte Ireland response on Atlantic Way signs for Miltown

A NORTH Clare councillor has been sharply critical of the decision by Fáilte Ireland not to erect Wild Atlantic Way signage in Miltown Malbay. Councillor Róisín Garvey told the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District that sometimes local authority members knew better than Fáilte Ireland when it came to tourism development projects. In response to the Green Party member calling for Miltown, “the real gateway to West Clare” to be put on the route, using new signage, the tourism authority said it had no plans to do so. A written reply to Councillor Garvey’s motion from Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, said it was felt that Miltown was already part of the destination marketing plan. “Being on or adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way,” Ms Kennedy said, “offers destinations an opportunity to influence the visitor’s travel patterns as they navigate along the route and given Miltown Malbay’s immediate proximity to the route, it is considered …

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Web series showcases Miltown’s musical youth

THE wealth of musical talent of the young people of the Miltown Malbay area is set to be showcased to audiences around the world in a new web series to be released from this week. The series, which was the brainchild of the Miltown Malbay Development Committee (MMDC) and was filmed by Neil Hynes, the manager of the state-of-the-art €1.4m community centre in the West Clare town, features some of those who have taken the tradition into the 21st century. The initiative was prompted after the pandemic forced the cancellation of this year’s Willie Clancy Summer School. Mr Hynes explained, “Realising the streets wouldn’t be heaving this July with musicians and tourists from all over the world, we felt that it may be easy for the public to assume that the spirit of the area had been sucked out of it, that it was no longer there. No Willie Clancy, no Miltown Malbay. Nothing could be further from the truth.” …

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Scariff Bay Community Radio awarded second 100-day licence

AFTER outstanding service to the communities of East Clare during the lockdown, Scariff Bay Community Radio has been awarded a second one hundred day FM licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). The station is also pursuing plans to open new studios in O’Callaghan’s Mills, Tulla and Killaloe in the near future. The licence came into effect last Monday, and once again allows the station to broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am on both 88.3FM and 92.7FM, throughout the east of the county. The station will also continue to stream all shows on-line and on its website scariffbayradio.com, as well as on the Tune In app for smart devices and phones. Led by Chairman Jim Collins, the roster of 30 volunteers has continued to present its shows during the Covid-19 crisis. Using a range of remote working technologies, they have broadcast to the local communities and a wide diaspora abroad. Hosting shows and interviewing guests using social media including WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook and …

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