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Very positive CSO tourism data

Central Statistics Office (CSO) latest tourism data shows that the number of overseas visits to Ireland between February and April 2015 increased by 13.5% compared to the corresponding period last year. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State, Michael Ring, have said the continued strong growth in tourism is contributing to our economic recovery and the creation of jobs across the sector. Minister Donohoe said, “As we enter the peak months for tourism, it is very encouraging that the growth trend witnessed in recent years is continuing in 2015 with a very strong performance for the first four months of the year. Thankfully the growth is not confined to any particular market with good growth being displayed by all of our key target overseas markets. Our overseas marketing efforts will continue in the months ahead to ensure the momentum is maintained, that jobs continue to be created and that tourism continues to pay its part …

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Disruption to Tulla water supply

Clare County Council, as an agent of Irish Water, are currently carrying out works to repair a burst main in the Tulla area. The burst main may result in temporary disruption to the water supply in Tulla, O’Callaghan’s Mills and surrounding areas.  Group Water Schemes in the area are also affected. Clare County Council says it expects to complete the works by 10am tomorrow, Thursday

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Irish Water accused of ‘double standards’

Irish Water has been accused of engaging in “double standards” by meeting county councillors in private about some issues, while offering to make a presentation about the controversial Lough Derg abstraction project at their July meeting. The charge has been levelled by Councillor Pat Hayes, who has opted to boycott Irish Water’s regular meetings with his colleagues in the Killaloe Muncipal District Area, concerning billing and maintenance issues. Councillor Hayes took the stance after the national water authority refused to send one of its representatives to a full council meeting where issues could be debated in public and reported on by local media. The Fianna Fáil councillor believes IW is engaging in “double standards” by offering to send representatives to the full council meeting because of its desire to press ahead with the contentious water abstraction from Lough Derg. He said local councillors are strongly opposed to IW’s plans to take water from Lough Derg to boost Dublin’s water supplies. …

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Holy show at Ennistymon Communion

A video, in which a woman claims to have been asked to leave the church in Ennistymon ahead of last Saturday’s First Holy Communion ceremony there, has been posted online. Thousands of people have now viewed the footage in which a woman claims that she is being denied entry to the church because of what she is wearing. She accuses the Parish Priest, Fr Willie Cummins, of making a scene. During the video Fr Cummins does not respond to the woman. She claims she is being discriminated against because she is a Traveller and that the priest allowed “settled women with a lot shorter clothes” to enter the church. A statement from the Parish of Ennistymon, released through the Galway Diocese, of which it is part, stated it has a dress code specifying “reasonably modest attire”. “Together with many parishes and similar institutions throughout the world, the Parish of Ennistymon has a dress-code for participants in liturgical celebrations. The code is not onerous and is …

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A great lighthouse on Loop Head

Loop Head Lighthouse has been named as part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, an EU funded tourism initiative. Launched by Tourism Minister, Paschal Donohoe and the Commissioners of Irish Lights, featured are 12 lighthouses in stunning coastal location, which will offer unforgettable experiences and create a deep appreciation of the role of lighthouses, past and present, and in the maritime and seafaring story of the island of Ireland. From Loop Head Lighthouse it is possible to spot whales, dolphins and seals, and the rock ledges and caves of the dramatic cliffs are home to many seabirds. Ger Dollard, director of services at Clare County Council, who oversees the Loop Head lighthouse projects, said “Loop Head’s recognition among these 12 extraordinary sites will benefit all locations, enabling us to better showcase our individual attractions and the maritime heritage of the whole island to wider audiences. We see a lot of opportunities to further grow our international appeal and extend the season through …

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Pupils teaching a prince about the Burren

Windswept, and waiting hours on the side of a limestone hill took little out of four young experts, on hand to educate the future king of England on the local area when he visited the Burren on Tuesday. The local children, all graduates of the Burrenbeo 20-week Ecobeo educational programme, instructed Prince Charles on archaeological, historic, geological and ecological features of the local landscape. The sight of the helicopter accompanying the royal motorcade as it weaved towards the Nagle farm in Pullaghcarron eased the boredom of waiting to meet the heir to the British throne for the primary-school pupils. Watching it, 12-year-old Eoin McNamara, a pupil at Carron National School, revealed his hopes for the historic arrival of the Prince of Wales in the Burren. “I keep expecting it to be like the Olympics, when the Queen parachuted out of the helicopter,” he said. His classmate, Aoife McNamara, was philosophical about her upcoming brush with royalty. “He is just a person, …

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Ennis man dies in Tenerife accident

AN Ennis accountant who was holidaying with his wife at Playa Paraiso in Tenerife has tragically died as a result of a fall. Financial accountant Johnny Mulcaire was holidaying with his wife, Noelle, in the resort on the Costa Adeje when the fatal accident occurred last Saturday night. The couple arrived at the apartment on Thursday for the break that 56-year-old Mr Mulcaire had booked online. “Noelle had gone to bed and Johnny said he’d follow her up but, unfortunately, he seems to have locked himself out of the complex. “He went to go around a fence into the pool area but slipped and struck his head fatally after falling 20ft,” said his brother, Mike. Noelle’s brother, John Bane and her son, Darragh flew out to Tenerife on Monday to be with her. They flew back on Tuesday night into Dublin and Mrs Mulcaire returned to their home in Cahercalla Heights off the Kilrush Road to be with the couple’s …

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North Clare woman witnesses historic handshake

A North Clare business woman was one of 150 guests invited to attend a reception in NUI Galway, honouring the first official joint visit of the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. Birgitta Curtin described the event as “very special”, especially given that she witnessed the historic first meeting and handshake between Prince Charles and Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams. Deputy Adams described their handshake “as a symbol” of the progress that has been made since the Prince’s first visit to Ireland in 1995. Birgitta described the atmosphere as “very relaxed” adding that she “didn’t know it was going to happen”. “Of course then it dawned on me that this was extremely significant,” she recalled. While the handshake and brief introduction, witnessed by Birgitta, lasted just 30 seconds, the pair later held a 10-minute private meeting. Prince Charles, in his first speech of the couple’s four-day visit to both sides of the Irish border, told the …

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