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Regional

Flood relief works will help Ennis reach ‘true potential’

THE delivery of flood protection defences for Ennis paves the way for the future development of the county capital into “the town it really has the potential to be”, Minister of State Pat O’Donovan said this week. The Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme, the final of three flood defence schemes in the town, was officially opened on Tuesday by the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works. This scheme provides protection from flooding to the residential areas of Ballybeg, Clareabbey and Toberteascáin as well as St Flannan’s College and the Quin Road Business Park. Minister O’Donovan said working in partnership with the OPW, Clare County Council has delivered peace of mind to 121 home owners and five businesses in the local community with this last phase. Speaking at the opening, Minister O’Donovan said the future growth potential of the town was dependent on flood defence works being carried out; that industrial, tourism, housing, commercial and retail …

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Minister quizzed as clock winds down on Heathrow guarantee

THE current obligation on Aer Lingus to run a Heathrow-Shannon service, put in place as a condition of the Government’s sale of the State’s shares in the airline back in 2015, is about to run out. While it is understood that the routes had been performing well prior to Covid, the fact that the guarantee is expiring will inevitably induce a certain amount of trepidation given how significant they are. The fact that Shannon Airport has connectivity to Heathrow is deemed hugely important to it and to Clare. Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports and a global hub, meaning that passengers who fly there from Shannon can travel onwards to a massive number of destinations. The link is of huge importance to Shannon’s industrial base and to Clare’s tourism industry. Clare TD Cathal Crowe raised the situation with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil last week, while he also questioned if the State could help Shannon secure …

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Clarecastle Regatta returns this weekend after two-year hiatus

AFTER a two year Covid-related hiatus the popular Clarecastle Regatta returns this coming Saturday June 25 from 1.30pm to 6pm. According to organisers the Regatta promises to be a day of fun with a wide range of events to thrill all members of the family. Returning favourites include a children’s fancy dress parade from the church grounds meeting at 1.15pm, dog show, bonny baby and best dressed lady competitions as well as the market stalls, vintage cars live music and food. Other events include the “Hanging Tough” challenge, children races and amusements. There will be hurling shootouts, the Long Puck and footballs tests of skills. The local Currach Club Fergus Rovers will be on hand to give people an opportunity to sit into and manoeuvre the currachs. Other water events will include kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boards. The Regatta was revived over 13 years ago and has been a resounding success offering the community of Clarecastle and surrounding areas …

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Inspirational Angela remembered as ‘a woman ahead of her time’

ANGELA Lyne, a name synonymous with the success of some of Ennis’ most well known businesses, has been remembered as “inspirational and a woman ahead of her time” as she was laid to rest this week. Mrs Lyne (nee Canny) played a key role in The Queens Hotel, Cruises Bar, Restaurant and nightclub and the Auburn Lodge on the Gort Road alongside her husband Robert, known to most as Bob. Mourners gathered at Ennis Cathedral to say their final goodbyes to the mother of five on Tuesday. Paying tribute her son Riobard remarked it was appropriate the funeral was taking pace on the longest day of the year. “Mam, for decades, would be up before dawn and finish late in the night. It would seem for her that there was not enough hours in the day.” He recalled his mother’s early years in Tullabrack near Kilrush, and her move to Listowel to work as a telephone operator. She was then …

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School to move into GAA club car park ahead of new building

A MULTI-million euro redevelopment of Knockanean National School has moved a step closer as planning permission is now being sought for a ‘decant’ temporary school at a local GAA club. The board of management at Knockanean has lodged an application with Clare County Council for a temporary school on lands at St Joseph’s Doora – Barefield GAA Club to be used during construction of a long awaited new school development which has already been given the go-ahead. The temporary primary school will consist of seven prefabricated buildings to accommodate 12 classrooms, five SET Rooms, staff room, principal office and administration. Other works include roads, parking and a drop-off area. According to a services report lodged with the application on behalf of the school, no set-down or pick up will be facilitated on the public road. The proposed development will use the existing gates which are 6 metres wide with adequate sight lines available without works. It is proposed to provide …

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Loose armadillos spark safety fears in Ennis

ARMADILLOS on the loose could result in a trip hazard on Ennis roads, an Ennis councillor has warned. However, these aren’t armadillos of an animal kind, instead they are safety measures which have been installed as part of the county capital’s network of cycle lanes. Councillor Mary Howard raised the need to clean bollards and armadillos along the route from Clon Road to College View at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. The council confirmed that there are a small number of armadillos and kerb bollards that need resetting or replacing between Eire Óg and the Kilrush Road, and this work is on the local authority crew’s work list. The councillor pointed out that over the last number of years the council has invested a large amount of money in Active Travel initiatives throughout the town. She requested that these initiatives be maintained “as your built environment leads your social environment.” She urged that cycle path markings need …

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Volunteer spirit at Ennis IWA charity shop rewarded

“OUR volunteers are the backbone of what we do,” says Tina Nagle, shop supervisor at the Irish Wheelchair Association’s charity shop in Ennis’ Elevation Business Park. Tina was speaking to The Champion as the shop’s team celebrated scooping an impressive four national awards from the Irish Charity Shop Association, including Volunteer of the Year for Margaret Hurley. And she revealed the success of the Ennis shop, which has expanded to 3,000 square feet at its base on the Clon Road, is set to become the model for any new shops to be opened by the charity in the future. According to Tina they were “thrilled” to receive accolades from the Irish Charity Shop Association at their recent awards ceremony in Dublin. As well as Margaret’s national Volunteer of the Year award, selected from charity shops all over Ireland, volunteer Hasibullah Darwish was runner up in the Volunteer throughout Ireland category; Teresa Marshall received a special Volunteer Recognition award and Tina …

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Stage set for 400th anniversary Spancilhill Fair celebrations

FINAL preparations are underway ahead of the return of the legendary Spancilhill Fair to the festival calendar on Thursday, June 23.  The event, which had to be cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic, was almost mothballed permanently, due to insurance issues. In April, an eleventh hour intervention by Clare County Council secured its future and paved the way for celebrations this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the world renowned horse fair.  “It’s the 400th anniversary and we really hope that people will come along and enjoy the event,” said PRO and local vet Paddy Hassett. “People tend to arrive the night before and, on the day of the fair, we’ll have the car parks open from around 6.30am. We have significant visitor parking in place, as well as a large parking facility for those transporting horses. We’re finalising the traffic management plan and would ask people to respect the stewards and the Gardaí.” With …

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