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Facelift plan for Tim Smythe Park

Ennis Town Council has engaged a consultancy firm to prepare plans for a major facelift of Tim Smythe Park, known locally as The Fairgreen, which includes the construction of a new children’s playground.Consultants Commane Stratton Reynolds are preparing revised drawings for the park and the town council intends to proceed to tender in mid-February, with work to upgrade and improve amenities commencing on site next April.A pedestrian crossing will be provided at the northern end of the park leading to the relocated playground, while there will also be a separate play area for young teenagers. The project will also include the replacement of existing exercise bars, the development of walkways and landscaping improvements. The Fairgreen is home to several junior soccer clubs in Clare and the redevelopment plan will see the demolition and replacement of the existing dressing room block. Minister of State Tony Killeen said that while improvement works such as the development of new playing pitches have taken …

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Further information sought on marina project

Additional information concerning a controversial marina development in Killaloe has been sought by Clare County Council, amid concern from local residents about compliance for existing planning permission.The local planning department has requested Ian Symington, c/o Neil Bennett MRAI, 3 Riverfront, Howley’s, to submit revised plans for the retention of nine existing berths at the marina at Harbour Village, Scariff Road, Killaloe, in accordance with plans submitted last September. It expressed concern that the site layout plan as received was not an accurate illustration of the existing marina layout at the site.An application submitted by the same applicant last year to reorganise a previously permitted inland marina, provide 48 new berths within the marina and retain nine existing berths at Harbour Village was refused by the county council.On inspection of the marina, the council claimed that the site layout plan differs from the actual situation on site, which has a wooden walkway at the side of one of the berths proposed …

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Fundraising target of €5,000 for Tallaght hospital

For years, Matthew Corry has harboured a desire to visit the Great Wall of China but his commitments on the family farm at Tyreda invariably saw travel put on the back burner. However, he never gave up hope that some day it might eventually come to pass. Recently, a window of opportunity presented itself when, as he leafed through the pages of The Farmer’s Journal, he stumbled on an article looking for volunteers to undertake a 60km trek in China next October. But it wasn’t that straightforward. There was an in-built condition as he had to raise a minimum of €5,000 for the beneficiary of the sponsored walk, the National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght.Matthew was immediately sold on the idea because a few years ago he experienced first-hand the dedication and professionalism of the staff when his son, Calum, was a patient in the children’s hospital. He always wanted to show his appreciation in some tangible way and he now …

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Conway questions source of flooding funds

A North Clare councillor has called on the Government to clarify exactly how essential repairs to infrastructure damaged by recent flooding are going to be funded.“I am calling for clarity in relation to exactly what is going to happen. Whatever has been damaged by the flooding needs to be repaired as a matter of urgency and needs to be funded by central Government and not come from council funds and hopefully early in the New Year that clarity will be brought to this issue,” Fine Gael councillor, Martin Conway told The Clare Champion.Asked whether he thought Clare County Council had the money to repair the damaged roads in North Clare and across the county, Councillor Conway said, “The simple answer is ‘no’. This response has to be taken on by central Government.”According to Councillor Conway, the responsibility for repairing the roads damaged by flooding lies with the Government and not with the local authority.“There was a significant amount of damage …

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South Galway still reeling in aftermath of floods

A month on, communities in South Galway are still feeling the effects of the unprecedented flooding in the county.The deputy mayor of County Galway, Councillor Bridie Willers was forced to leave her home one month ago. The Labane woman is still unable to return to her home.“I don’t expect to be back in the house until early in the New Year. It is drying out but we had to put in a new floor. I’m still living in a neighbour’s house,” Bridie explained.Bridie and her family will go to her daughter’s home for Christmas dinner.“In many ways I am looking forward to the year being over. Next year can’t be any worse. I have never been out of my house on Christmas and I would never dream of going away for Christmas,” she continued.“We have to grin and bear it. It is the same for everyone who was evacuated. We have to go on with our lives. I am a …

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Shannon unemployment swells in 2009

IT’S been a bad year for employment in Shannon, with a number of major job losses swelling the Live Register figures.In July, there was shock after Element Six, a long-time stellar Shannon employer announced plans to axe 370 jobs. While the number of jobs lost eventually turned out to be significantly lower, it was a major shock to workers.A protracted dispute over the level of redundancy ensued, with staff very angry that they were being offered less than what was available under previous arrangements. “I’m here 10 years and I was offered nearly €60,000 to leave last year and now I’m looking at €10,000 going out the door,” one employee told The Clare Champion. Following a protracted process, redundancy arrangements that were more palatable to workers were agreed.CEO Cyrus Jilla said that Ireland was no longer competitive on costs. “While we have made great strides over the years to make the site competitive, it is insufficient to ensure long-term viability. …

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Kilmihil students collect for charity

STUDENTS at St Michael’s Community College in Kilmihil have again collected a huge amount of food and toys in aid of the annual St Vincent de Paul Christmas appeal. Ruth Morrissey, a teacher of Irish and English at the school organised the collection. Everything collected will be distributed in the greater West Clare area.“The message we want to relay to the students is that we, by our contributions, can make a real difference in these people’s lives,” Ruth said. “This year, more than ever, contributions are needed, in light of the recession and the recent flooding. The food and toys collected in the school will be given to the local branch of St Vincent de Paul which is in Kilrush. It will then be distributed locally in the West Clare area. Each year, I am overwhelmed at the students’ generosity and spirit to help those less fortunate. They have an innate sense of compassion and a desire to help others, …

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Redundancies planned for Schwarz Pharma

IT has been confirmed that Schwarz Pharma are set to make a number of workers redundant in the early part of 2010.In a statement, parent company UCB confirmed that jobs will be going. “Schwarz Pharma announced a proposal to reduce its headcount by approximately 29 positions as part of a restructuring programme. The goal is to achieve the jobs reduction through a voluntary severance programme and completion is expected by Quarter 1/Quarter 2 of 2010.”The statement confirmed that new arrangements will apply at the Shannon plant. “The company is restructuring following the completion of a third-party manufacturing project, the result of which was to decommission one of its three plants on the Shannon site. The company’s other two manufacturing plants on site will continue to operate to normal capacity.”Mayor of Shannon Seán McLoughlin said that the news reflected a worrying pattern. “You don’t see major headlines when 20 or 30 jobs are going but it’s happening all the time and …

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