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New recruits are taking off at Shannon Airport

This year has gotten off to a flying start at Shannon Airport for the new recruits to the airport’s Police and Fire Service (APFS), who were selected following an exhaustive process which saw the number of applicants being whittled down from more than 150 to just 11. The new candidates, who commenced their training in January, are currently undergoing an intensive three-month programme which will equip them with the necessary skills to work in the combined role of airport police and fire service personnel. The recruits, hailing from across Clare and Limerick, come from a wide variety of backgrounds and previous industries. As part of the training programme, the new recruits will be covering a range of topics in Aviation Firefighting and Aviation Security to ensure they are competent to carry out the role as an Airport Police Fire Service member. Elements of the course will include Emergency Communications and Alerting Facilities, Fire Dynamics, Extinguishing Agents and Firefighting Techniques, Search …

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Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn to leave politics and will not contest the local election in June.

Ennis councillor Johnny Flynn (FG) has made the surprise announcement he is to leave the political arena and will not contest the local election in June. “Coming up to an election, all politicians have to consider their position and with the election looming I had to consider it, and decided to give other candidates an opportunity.” He contacted his fellow councillors to tell them his decision over the weekend. And now he has made the announcement, many members of the public have thanked him for his service over the last after 20 years. “It is all about the constituents rather than the politicians really,” he said. Councillor Flynn has been interested in, and involved with environmental issues over his tenure at Clare County Council, and said there is “satisfaction” in leaving after the recent Clare Climate Action Plan 2024 – 2029 was adopted. “I am delighted with the final plan,” he said highlighting that the work done over the last …

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Levie aims for election success

As a lone parent raising four children on her own and a house renter, Fiona Levie knows what it is like to struggle financially before overcoming several obstacles to become a business consultant and lecturer. Experiencing the highs and lows in business has steeled the Mountshannon resident for the rough and tumble of local politics before she decided to contest the next Local Elections in the Killaloe Municipal District. Her husband is now classified as a missing person, leaving her in an unusual and difficult limbo. Ms Levie explained that she moved to Spain for six years with her husband and young family after they were offered an opportunity to take over a yacht brokerage. Following the death of her father, she returned to Ireland in late 2010, but her husband remained in Spain, leaving her to raise their children on her own without his support. “I came back with nothing and had to start all over again as a …

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Locals channel anger in effort to restore polluted river

A new volunteer organisation is aiming to reverse the recent devastation caused to the Ballymacraven River in North Clare and restore it to its former glory. Thousands of fish were killed in the river in May of 2023 following a significant water pollution event. Earlier this month, Uisce Éireann were fined €10,000 for the incident, which threatens the viability of the river’s population of Atlantic salmon and eels. In the wake of this decision, the newly formed Restore Ballymacraven River Association now aims to painstakingly rebuild the habitat of the river and hopefully help restore the local fish population. Group spokesperson, Kevin Nunan, said the group welcomed the recent case against Uisce Éireann but also committed to working with the water utility in the future to help rebuild the river. “We were delighted with the outcome of the recent case again Uisce Éireann and we would like to pay tribute to the staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland who put all …

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Talent runs deep for River

An Ennis teenage musician is to be honoured with an international award in one of the world’s most prestigious fiddle competitions, the Fiddler of London. Seventeen year old River McGann struck the right chord with the judges and has been named ‘Up and Coming Fiddler of London 2024’. He is set to travel to the awards ceremony in London this April where he will perform at the gala final during the Fiddler of London festival. Speaking to The Clare Champion, River tells us he was in shock when he received the email telling him he had scooped the major award. “I had sent in my entry and I didn’t know how long I’d have to wait to get an email back, he said. “It was midterm and my Mam had dropped the kids to school and I was at home minding the baby. I just checked my phone, I’d got into the habit of checking my email just in case, …

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Dog foulers should be ‘shamed’

ENNIS local councillors are crying foul over irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up after their pets while walking along the popular River Fergus Walkway. Meanwhile, users of the amenity who have reported flooding on the route, have been reminded that the walkway was created on a flood plain as part of flood relief works to protect the town. Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) made a request for ‘doggie poop’ bins to be provided along the walkway at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District council. However, while the local authority in conjunction with Clarecastle Tidy Towns has recently installed anti-litter and anti-dog fouling signage on the walkway, the council have said they are not in a position to install bins. “We would have difficulty servicing this site at this time, given the distance from our normal street cleaning and litter bin maintenance route,” said Paddy Tiernan, A/Senior Executive Engineer. “We would appeal to all users of this …

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Seed Savers take root at the Áras

AN EAST Clare non profit seed bank has branched out to Áras an Uachtaráin after presenting president Michael D Higgins with a special tree in memory of his dog. Irish Seed Savers Association received the presidential seal of approval recently after a Lough Key Crab tree was planted at Áras an Uachtaráin in memory of the beloved Bernese Mountain Dog, Bród owned by President Higgins and his wife, Sabina. President Higgins expressed his gratitude for the meaningful gesture from the Irish Seed Savers Association, emphasising the importance of preserving Ireland’s agricultural heritage. The planting of the Lough Key Crab tree at Áras an Uachtaráin serves as a poignant tribute to Bród and contributes to the protection of Ireland’s apple tree heritage. Four members of the ISSA attended the planting ceremony including Communications Development Co-ordinator, Gillian Lattimore, Executive Director, Elaine Bradley, Orchard Team members, Marie Collins, Scariff, and Anne English. Áras an Uachtaráin Head Gardener, Robert Norris showed the ISSA the …

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One person arrested after seizure of drugs, cash and designer goods in Ennis

Gardaí have arrested one person following the seizure of a quantity of drugs, cash and designer goods in Ennis. Gardaí in Ennis arrested a motorist last Saturday afternoon after he failed to stop when instructed. During a follow-up operation which included searches under warrant of a residential property in Ennis, suspected cocaine and cannabis to the value of approximately €15,500 were seized. A sum of cash and a quantity of designer goods were also confiscated. The drugs have been sent for forensic analysis and investigations into the matter are ongoing. The arrested individual who is a male in his 20s, was subsequently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, at a Garda Station in County Clare. He has since been released without charge, and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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