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Shannon Chamber assured by minister on work permit issue

IN light of the current labour market crisis, Shannon Chamber has sought answers on delays in securing work permits for non-EEA nationals. A request was made by members of Shannon Chamber’s HR Forum to meet with Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, to discuss labour market matters. Minister English was able to assure them that delays being experienced in the processing of employment permits for non-EEA nationals were being reduced. The meeting arranged through Deputy Joe Carey, which was held virtually, enabled Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes and members of the HR Forum to discuss these issues in person with Minister English and officials from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The minister acknowledged that the delays to employment permit processing times are not acceptable. He said, “We experienced a significant increase in applications for employment permits in the past year, impacting on processing times. “From the start of January to the end of …

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St Cuan’s students stick together for national victory

SCIENCE loving pupils at St Cuan’s National School, Kilbaha, are enjoying the breakfast of champions after success in a national competition, with popular morning foodstuffs playing a key role in their entry. A group of fourth to sixth class students at the school achieved the Sustainability award at the Intel Mini-Scientist Competition, in which 4,000 students from 18 counties competed. The students developed a project which explored “Natural Glue vs Synthetic Glue” with porridge and Weetabix among the ingredients they used as possible glue alternatives. Teacher Sarah Cunningham told The Clare Champion, “We are so delighted to receive one of the top prizes on grand final day, national champions for sustainability. “The grand final took place via Zoom. The students were both shocked and delighted to have their names called out over the live Zoom event. “They received a beautiful glass trophy, Grand Final Medals and a STEM kit to keep and bring home.” The national competition is open to …

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CD launch kicks off Ennistymon CBS arts week

CBS Ennistymon held a CD launch in the town this week to kick off the school’s annual arts week which is packed as ever with workshops, performances and outings. The CD, launched in the Cheese Press on Monday, features three original songs written by the students, namely “The Burning of Ennistymon”, “Summer in Lahinch” and “Inis Oirr”. English teacher Eimear Griffey explained that the songs were written about places and feelings close to the students’ hearts, having learned about the local stories from their history teacher, John Galvin. She said, “We kept the songs about simple things, things the students could draw inspiration from through their own experience. “We were lucky enough to get the funding to take part in the Creative Engagement programme, and this was what this particular group decided to do with it with the help of our artist in residence John O’Connell.” Both the lyrics and the music were composed by the students, and Eimear attributed …

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Prestwick working with Ryanair to create Shannon jobs

SCOTTISH company Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance whose sole client is Ryanair is set to open a Shannon base, where up to 200 people will be employed.  The aircraft maintenance company provides services to the Irish carrier’s aircraft and will take on a hangar that had previously been used by Lufthansa, but has been vacant more recently.  It would be a significant jobs boost for Shannon, and it is understood that Shannon Group and Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance are close to signing a contract.  The company already employs around 500 at Prestwick Airport in Scotland and around 1,300 at other locations around Europe. Clare TD Joe Carey said that getting the company to Shannon is very welcome. “This is very positive news for Shannon and the whole aircraft maintenance sector locally. The Mid West had a blow last year when Lufthanasa Technik Shannon announced they were to cease operations, but thankfully Atlantic Aviation Group came in and acquired a large part of that …

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US veterans aged 85 and 80 go on trial for ‘criminal damage’ at Shannon Airport

Two American octogenarians have gone on trial accused of criminal damage and trespass at Shannon Airport on St Patricks Day three years ago, leading to the closure of a runway, writes Isabel Hayes. Ken Mayers (85) and Tarak Kauff (80), both with addresses in the US, are accused of damaging a perimeter fence before allegedly trespassing the lands of the Co Clare airport, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard this Monday. The pair, who were wearing high vis vests bearing the words ‘Veterans for Peace’, walked on to a taxiway at the airport, causing airport personnel to close the runway for a period of time, Tony McGillicuddy BL, prosecuting, told the jury. A plane which was due to land at the airport was unable to do so for the course of that warning, the court heard. Mr Mayers and Mr Kauff have each pleaded not guilty to three counts in relation to the alleged incident. Mr Mayers, of Monte Alte Road, …

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Gallery exhibition for Ennistymon students working with Foust

As part of the Creative Engagement Programme 2021-22, Scoil Mhuire Ennistymon has been exhibiting work completed by its Transition Year and fifth year students. The exhibition, named ‘Transcendence in the Landscape – Painting with Emotion and Memory’, was created in response to the local environment of the students, with help from artist Sara Foust. Alongside the art teacher Ellen McMahon, the students collaborated with Sara through a range of workshops carried out throughout the duration of the project. Ellen said, “The school gets involved in the Creative Engagement programme every year. It involved the full group of TYs and five fifth year art students. “Sara came up with a plan for us and the workshops took place out at her gallery, before moving out into the landscape to make work from that with Sara’s work as inspiration.” Each of the workshops focused on the different aspects of Sara’s work, including concepts and processes, application of paint and her use of …

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Beat the rush with sustainable farming project in Clare

WAR and spiralling costs have put the focus firmly on our dependence on fossil fuels and accelerated the pace of the hunt for alternatives. In East Clare, a pilot project looking at the potential of ‘biomass’ is nearing a conclusion and exciting results are set to boost the case for the use of organic matter, like rushes, as fuel and fertiliser. The Biomass to Biochar project, headquartered close to Mountshannon, is a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine (DAFM) under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. It has been investigating the treatment of biomass created from rushes to turn it into what is called ‘biochar’. a charcoal-like substance which can work as a fertiliser. Briquets for domestic use have also been developed. Farmers are paid to supply rushes and can qualify for carbon credits. Not only that, but the urgency of investing in carbon removal, in the interests of the climate change, has …

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Vitalograph to create 200 new jobs in Clare and Limerick

Vitalograph is set to invest €10 million as it expands its operations and creates 100 new jobs in Clare and and another 100 in Limerick over the next two years. As revealed in the Clare Champion last week, the company is to spread its investment over two centres in the Mid-West. The company is opening new sites at Engine Innovate Building, Limerick and the Clare Technology Park, Ennis to accommodate the high value new jobs that will support the rapid growth of its global clinical trials and healthcare business. A significant investment is also being made in its existing manufacturing plant in Ennis as Vitalograph brings the production of its consumables from Asia to Ireland to achieve efficiencies of scale, increase the stability in their supply line and reduce the overall carbon footprint of these essential medical accessories. With a base in Ennis since 1974, Vitalograph is a global leader in respiratory diagnostics, developing and manufacturing innovative medical diagnostical devices …

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