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Ennis Chamber welcomes Merriman

Ennis Chamber has welcomed the return of the Merriman School back to the county capital for 2014. Taking place from Wednesday to Sunday week in Glór, Merriman has since its foundation in 1967, celebrated the work of Poet Brian Merriman and the history and traditions of Thomond,as well as promoting interest in all aspects of Irish culture. CEO of Ennis Chamber Rita Mc Inerney said, “Ennis Chamber is delighted that the Merriman School has returned to Ennis this year. The school is a very unique and distinguished festival in the Irish calendar with and impressive programme of topics and speakers. Ennis Chamber would like to encourage the business community to show their support for the festival through their welcome and interest in the programme of events. “The Merriman School attracts a broad range of people locally, nationally and internationally to Ennis over the five days, resulting in an economic boost to the business community. In turn Ennis has much to offer …

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Businesses beware after Ennis Shop targeted by scam artist

Clare Gardaí are advising business owners in the county to beware following reports of a deception scam in Ennis. Gardaí in Ennis have been alerted to at least one instance of a scam where a male has posed as a delivery man and has been paid in cash for a low value product. The incident reported involved a well dressed male calling to a shop in Ennis with bulk boxes of matches. He informed the shop assistant that their boss ordered the items and that he was to be paid cash on delivery. He  then gave over an order docket with a description of the product but it contained no contact details. He then asked to be paid an amount which was more than the product was worth. He left after receiving the cash and the sales assistant later discovered the manager never ordered the product. Clare’s crime prevention officer, Sergeant Joe Downey has asked businesses to be vigilant for …

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Lough Graney centre to open doors

AFTER more than 10 years waiting, the doors of the Lough Graney Community Centre are set to open. Ahead of opening for public viewing on Saturday,  Kathleen McNamara, secretary of Loughgraney Community Development Association, acknowledged, “There is no way we would have a community centre in Flagmount without CLDC.” The community development association received LEADER funding of €230,000 to build this centre and, subsequently, received€45,000 under Sports Capital funding to equip the centre. “CLDC have been brilliant. I know they are fighting this struggle about keeping LEADER funding administered by CLDC, but we have seen first-hand what it can do. If we didn’t have CLDC administering the funding, then a small community like ours would never have got it. I think it is vital for LEADER funding to be left with CLDC and our small rural parish and community is a case in point for it. CLDC have a great rapport with communities and they give you backup and support. There …

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Quilty’s problems ‘not sexy enough’ for help

“Unfortunately, Quilty does not have a cute, sexy and/or sympathy-generating situation.” That’s according to Nancy Creech, co-secretary of the Quilty Action Group, who has written to local TDs, county councillors and the Office of Public Works (OPW), claiming that Quilty is being ignored when it comes to addressing erosion issues in the West Clare village. “The damage in Quilty and Quilty West happened in the second and third storms and missed out on the sensationalism of the media coverage. “I have been watching and listening with interest to the coastal erosion media coverage driven by our neighbours in Clohanincy and I believe that Quilty village is, once again, being overlooked,” Ms Creech’s letter claimed. “Like the residents in Clohanincy, we are attempting to keep safe our property and our village. It has been six months since the winter storms devastated the Quilty coastline and, to date, Clare County Council have done nothing with regards to putting in place a plan …

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Mountshannon’s grown-ups get a playground

LOCALS and visitors to Mountshannon seeking to keep fit were given a welcome boost this week, when new public outdoor sporting equipment was installed in the Aistear Park. Five pieces of equipment, which consist of a double air walker, rower, cross trainer, surf board and single rider, were fixed into position in their new home in the Aistear on Wednesday last, much to the delight of locals and visitors. The amenities formed part of a joint initiative between Mountshannon Community Council, which now runs the Aistear, and the local CE scheme, headed by Tom McNamara. It was made possible after the community council was awarded €3,000 in grant aid, under the Public Area Enhancement Scheme, by Clare County Council. Speaking about the latest addition to the Aistear Park, John Harvey, chairman of Mountshannon Community Council, said, “We have a playground for the children, so we thought a playground for the adults wouldn’t be out of the question. It was just …

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Good news and high hopes

AFTER some difficult years, which saw significant job losses at Shannon, the pendulum has now swung the other way, with hundreds of vacancies in local companies. Speaking in the Senate recently, Shannon’s Tony Mulcahy said there are now hundreds of jobs available in the town and local business figures agree that things have definitely turned after a very severe recession. As the legislation on the independence of Shannon Airport went through the upper house, Senator Mulcahy said, “Between 600 and 800 jobs are currently being advertised on the industrial estate and I have no doubt that, in seven or eight years, there will be up to 8,000 jobs available.” When he spoke to The Clare Champion on Tuesday, he outlined numerous companies that are now looking for new employees. “Wipro are hiring, they’re the old Halifax and they’ll be hiring people in September. Pepper Finance are hiring. EI have been taking people on all the time and they’re one of …

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Hats off to some great local characters

Meetings of Clare’s most famous names is the premise for a one-man show to be staged in the north and east of the county later this year. Lisdoonvarna man Gerry Howard will star in the performance Hats Off To Clare, written and directed by Mountshannon resident, Paul Brennan. The production will explore the imagined interactions of Clare’s most famous factual and fictional characters. Gerry was involved in amateur drama for years before taking the leap into professional acting and it was around the time he decided to leave his career as a hotelier that the seed was sown for this particular production. “I was always involved in amateur acting. I think I started around the age of 12. I was involved in plays with the Lisdoonvarna Dramatic Society and was involved right up to when I sold the hotel, The Carrigann in Lisdoonvarna. When I sold it, it seemed to be a great opportunity to have a cut at something …

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Crusaders’ experience knocks HSE plan

A new HSE plan to restructure children’s disability services has been challenged by the head of a local therapy centre, as the number of children with special needs receiving treatment almost doubled to 400 in the last 12 months. The HSE is planning to roll-out early intervention teams to all parts of the country for children with special needs, on the basis that it has proven successful in areas like the Mid-West. It insists its new strategy is based on recommendations in the Report of the National Reference Group on Multidisciplinary Services for Children Aged Five to 18 Years. The Clare Champion submitted a number of queries to the national HSE, which hadn’t been responded to at the time of going to press. Clare Crusaders’ Clinic managing director, Ann Norton, has claimed this strategy flies in the face of growing waiting lists and the fact that the number of Clare children with special needs attending the centre has jumped from …

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