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INIS Fest at the Showgrounds

INIS Fest music festival is back on track and will take place at Ennis Showgrounds on June 26-28, it has been confirmed. The three-day festival will see Ennis Showgrounds being transformed into a world-class venue with a 3,000-person capacity big top tent and an entertainment and leisure area featuring food and drink stalls. Organised by Impresario Events, the inaugural event features Nathan Carter, Damien Dempsey, Delorentos, Hermitage Green, Mundy, Rackhouse Pilfer and more acts to be announced. “We received overwhelming support from the wider public following our decision to defer holding the event last month. Thanks to Clare Agricultural Show Society and the ongoing support of Clare County Council, the Fire Service, An Garda Síochána, Clare Civil Defence and the public we are delighted to announce that an alternative event venue has now been secured,” explained Darren Purtill of Impresario Events. “We believe that INIS Fest is a hugely positive event which not only provides the people of Clare and …

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Free parking trial in Ennis and Kilrush

Free parking is to be introduced on a trial basis in Ennis and Kilrush, it has been confirmed. Clare County Council has announced two-hour free parking is being made available in Kilrush, while free parking is also being provided in the council’s car parks in Ennis from 2pm each Saturday. Parking charges will continue to apply to on-street car parking in Ennis. The incentives were proposed at Monday’s council meeting where they received the unanimous backing of elected members. Both schemes will operate on a trial period from June 1 to the end of September. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe said, “Providing quality access and convenient parking is instrumental in presenting our main towns as attractive and vibrant shopping locations. I welcome the council’s introduction of these incentives, which should now act as an additional stimulus to activity in both Ennis and Kilrush and encourage greater retail activity in the towns.”

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Loos-ing its Wild Atlantic Way

A public representative has called for Lahinch to be taken off the Wild Atlantic Way, in what he described as an “extreme” response to a lack of adequate public toilets in the seaside resort. “It is time the council peed or got off the pot, we are eight years waiting for toilets,” Councillor Bill Slattery told a meeting of the West Clare Municipal District on Tuesday. The Fine Gael councillor had called for an updated report on plans to provide “much-needed toilet and shower facilities on Lahinch Promenade”. “The present facilities are sub-standard and totally unacceptable,” he said, highlighting that Clare County Council disposed of the old toilet block for a figure in excess of €400,000, with a commitment that the money would be ring-fenced for the provision of a new facility. Councillor Slattery claimed, “The toilets had to close on Monday at 4pm, the Monday of a bank holiday weekend, because the pipe was all backed up. The sewer …

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A personal look at the Burren

THE unique attractions of the world famous Burren are highlighted in the first personal DVD of the area, which was launched in the Burren Centre, Kilfenora last week by Killimer native, Professor Michael O’Connell of University College, Galway. Entitled Clare’s Wonderland, The Burren the DVD is based on a book of the same name compiled by Br Sean MacNamara, Ennis. The hour-long DVD is a personal account of the Burren by Br Sean, who has been a regular visitor to the Burren for almost 50 years. It contains pen pictures of some famous men associated with the Burren, including Brian Merriman; John Philip Holland, Liscannor; Michael Cusack of Carron; Paddy Nolan, Gleninsheen, who discovered the Gold Collar in 1932; Charles Lucas, who wrote the first account of the natural history of the Burren; Micho Russell of Doolin and Frederick J Foot, a native of Dublin, who produced a botanical map of the Burren and the first worthwhile list of plants …

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Sea eagles cause economy to soar by €500,000

THE East Clare economy soared by an extra €500,000 last year, thanks to the lure of the first successful breeding pair of white-tailed sea eagles in the country in over a century. Clare County Council, which funds the popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing and Information Point at Mountshannon Pier, confirmed the facility generated more than €500,000 for the local economy in 2014. A visitor survey conducted last year found that 43% of people reported the attraction of the sea eagles was the primary factor influencing their decision to visit Mountshannon. More than 10,000 people flocked to the shores of Lough Derg between mid-July and September 2014 to catch a glimpse of the eagles which had nested on Bushy Island, off Mountshannon Bay. A person from Northern Ireland on a sabbatical completed a visitor survey of those attending the viewing and information point. Dr Allan Mee of the Golden Eagle Trust acknowledged that some day trippers visiting Mountshannon last year …

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Profits rise at Shannon

PROFITABILITY at Shannon Airport “improved considerably” in 2014, a year in which passenger numbers also rose by 17%. That’s one of the messages from Shannon Group’s 2014 annual report, along with a commitment from Shannon Group chief executive, Neil Pakey, to correct what he called “historic underinvestment” at the airport and other facilities under the remit of Shannon Group plc. In the annual report, Mr Pakey outlined that “profitability of the airport has also improved considerably in 2014, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €4.6 million, an increase of 34% on 2013. This increase in profit was achieved in part through passenger growth and new routes, but also by managing cost efficiencies.” Mr Pakey added that work on lowering costs will continue this year, as will capital investment at the airport. “We will continue to address the operating cost base in 2015 and identify further cost efficiencies to ensure our sustainability and enable us to compete …

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Shannon businesses to take high performance tips

Shannon Chamber has stepped into the world of sport to equip business executives with the wherewithal to operate at optimal performance levels. Renowned high-performance expert Gary Keegan, who devised a world-class talent management programme for the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), has been drafted in to give a half-day seminar to both Chamber members and non-members on Wednesday, May 20 at 8.30am. The seminar is being held in the viewing gallery at Shannon Airport. Drawing analogies between business and sport, Mr Keegan will show how leadership, strategy, culture and execution for results are dependent on cultivating a high-performance ethos within a company. Speaking ahead of the event, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said: “In his time with the IABA, and now as director of the Irish Institute of Sport, Gary Keegan has demonstrated his ability to get the best out of teams. In his five years with the IABA, Ireland won 29 medals at European, World and Olympic levels, …

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Ennis Market project goes to tender

Clare County Council has confirmed that Phase 1 of the Ennis Market Rejuvenation project is now proceeding to tender stage and construction is expected to commence in the autumn of 2015 The €1.75m loan for the Market Rejuvenation Project, which also includes the upgrading of the streets adjoining the market area, is now in place. Clare County Council says a detailed design will shortly proceed to tender stage in relation to Phase One of the redevelopment of the market which will begin at Garraunakilla, the site of the current Farmer’s Market. Speaking on behalf of the Elected Members of Ennis Municipal District Committee, Mayor of Ennis Councillor Johnny Flynn welcomed the progress being made in relation to the project in consultation with local residents and business people. “This project will have a significant role in the rejuvenation of this area of the town, which is significant, both from an economic and heritage perspective considering Ennis has always been an important …

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