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Hoop dreams alive and well in Clare town

THE sport of basketball is thriving in Shannon, with numbers playing increasing very significantly during the pandemic, writes Owen Ryan. When he spoke to the Champion last Friday Shannon Jets club secretary Dean Flynn was waiting to see what restrictions were going to be retained, following the Government’s decision not to go for a full relaxation of them last week. Dean said that basketball has been quite heavily disrupted due to Covid. “Last year we were about to start the season when the October/November lockdown kicked in and the season ended up getting cancelled, so we’ve been a year without basketball really. “During the summer we were allowed to train, but only outdoors. Most of our groups started up in the middle of May and we had outdoor training through the summer. “The schools in Shannon were really good to us, they gave us the use of their facilities with no cost. That was brilliant, we had loads of underage …

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Gardai seek witnesses after man found with head injuries in Ennis

GARDAI have renewed an appeal for witnesses to an incident which occurred last Wednesday, October 27 in Ennis. A male was found with head injuries in the Clon Road area of Ennis town at around 9pm on that evening. Anyone who may have witnessed anything or may have dashcam footage from this area at the time are kindly asked to contact Ennis Garda station at 065 6848100 or any Garda station. There is one witness in particular that Gardai would like to speak to. This person assisted with traffic management before Gardai arrived at scene. The witness is a male and is described as being 5’8” in height with tight brown hair wearing grey tracksuit bottoms. Gardai are looking for this person to contact them at Ennis Garda Station.

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Gardai renew appeal on identifying bodies found off Clare coast

GARDAÍ at Kilrush are renewing their appeals to the public for assistance in identifying the remains of three people whose bodies were recovered in recent years off the coast of County Clare. The first case concerns the body of a female recovered on August 14 2016, near Doolin by a member of the Burren sub-aqua unit in the course of a training exercise. The deceased was removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Limerick where a post-mortem was carried out. Following examination foul play was ruled out and a DNA sample was harvested. Partial clothing on the body included denim jeans bearing the label Esmara and another item of clothing which was purple in colour bearing a size tag 40/42. A black belt with a woven pattern was also recovered. The deceased has never been identified and was buried on January 3 2018 at Drumcliffe Cemetery in Ennis. In the second case, on July 30 2010, the body of man …

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Three Clare players just miss out on €19m Lotto jackpot

THREE CLARE Lotto players came agonisingly close to winning the €19 million jackpot last week, matching five of the drawn numbers. Getting the five numbers last Wednesday October 27, has, however, earned 35 players around the country €22,872 each. With the jackpot again intact after Saturday’s draw another 42 players won €23,367 each. Amazingly two of the three tickets for the Wednesday October 27 draw were sold in the same Ennis shop, while the third ticket that came so close to scooping Ireland’s largest ever Lotto was sold in Corofin. The National Lottery has revealed the selling locations where each of the 35 tickets that matched five numbers in the Wednesday October 27 draw were purchased. The winning ticket holders from 13 counties will now go on to claim €22,872 each. As Wednesday night’s jackpot was capped, this meant that the funds that would usually be added to the jackpot were instead distributed to the next prize tier at which …

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20-hour days in saddle all part of Clare men’s epic charity cycle

TWO East Clare cyclists completed more than 20 hours in the saddle in one day as part of their nationwide charity fundraising cycle, writes Dan Danaher. James Skehan (38), Bridgetown, and James Chaplin (41) Sixmilebridge, have cycled the length and breadth of Ireland to raise money for The Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Ireland. They were motivated to support the association’s fundraising efforts as James’s son has a cleft lip. More than €20,000 was raised for the association in Ireland this year including €3,000 from the two Clare cyclists, who just sought voluntary donations through WhatsApp messages and didn’t engage in bucket or other collections. (CLAPAI), a registered charity, is a voluntary group formed to provide support and information for parents of children affected by cleft lip and palate and to those directly affected by the condition. There are more than 100 new births per year and about 2,000 children in treatment at any given time. The association distributes …

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Apartment solution to Ennis population growth ambition

WHILE Ennis is in the grip of a housing crisis, the Ennis 2040 strategy suggests a significant increase in the town’s population can be accommodated. The strategy, launched by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, proposes high density development composed mostly of two-bedroom units, with some one- and three-bed units. Up to 1,500 apartments could be developed, the strategy posits. Annual population growth of 1.6% per annum is projected, bringing the town’s population to around 37,000 by 2040, and it identifies areas where these new residents can be accommodated. First off, it says that 30 hectares of land in the town centre can be made available for housing in the inner area of Ennis. “It is envisaged that spare land capacity identified in the inner area will be used to achieve a mix of uses, in the form of a combination of commercial and residential development,” the strategy states. “Broadly speaking, a 50-50 split might result in 30 hectares of residential development …

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Ennis ambition to attract major multinational by 2025

THE Ennis 2040 plan envisages attracting at least one large multinational employer by 2025, writes Owen Ryan. The document stresses that multinationals are a significant part of the Irish economy with the country recently reaching its highest ever number of people employed by foreign companies. According to the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), some 229,057 people as of January 2019 are employed by multinationals, with 58% of those people being employed in locations outside of Dublin. It acknowledges, however that multinationals are only one part of a sustainable economic mix and must be combined with strong support indigenous enterprise and SMEs. Strong employment growth in the sector at 7% in 2018 as compared to 3% in the rest of the economy would suggest that this is a sector that should be specifically targeted. Research also shows that for every ten jobs created through foreign direct investment, eight jobs are created in the local economy in retail, service and other spin off …

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Varadkar pledges State backing for Ennis 2040 strategy

AN Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had high praise for the Ennis 2040 plan, saying he wanted to stress the Government is behind it.  “It’s a really ambitious plan for Ennis, which is the largest town in Munster, Co Clare’s capital town and the public and private sector have come together to develop a really exciting plan to increase the population of the town by 1.6% a year, to secure 5,000 jobs for the town and to develop the whole concept of Ennis being a ten minute town, where everything you need or want is within a ten minute walk or cycle of where you live. “It’s really ambitious and I’m here not just to launch it but to offer Government support and endorsement. I think it’s exactly the kind of thing we want to see other county towns developing around the country. I’m really excited to see it being launched today and look forward to it being implemented.” At the moment …

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