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Regional

Lisdoonvarna company to feature on TV

The Burren Smokehouse, based in Lisdoonvarna, is to feature in a new documentary series being produced by ITV. Wild Ireland, a primetime six-part series, sees presenter Christine Bleakley returning home to Ireland to travel the length of its 1,500-mile west coast – the longest continuous coastal route – known as the Wild Atlantic Way. The series is devised by Big Mountain Productions, a Newry-based production company, but supported by Tourism Ireland, within their strategy to highlight the Wild Atlantic Way around the world. The Burren Smokehouse will feature in the first episode of the series to be broadcast on ITV and UTV Ireland on Monday April next from 8pm to 8.30pm. ” As a Wild Atlantic Way Food Ambassador for Fáilte Ireland, we hope this wonderful exposure will help us grow the 30,000 visitor figure at our visitor entre, said Birgitta Hedin-Curtin.

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Concerns raised over Kilrush warfarin clinic

THE University of Limerick Hospitals Group chief executive officer has pledged to take into account concerns expressed about the impact of the phased closure of the Warfarin clinic in Kilrush. Professor Colette Cowan made the pledge after a meeting with Deputy Pat Breen this week, amid growing unease about the proposed ending of this service. “CEO Colette Cowan assured me that she would take my concerns on board. She advised me that the HSE is currently in discussions with GPs regarding a number of issues and that the warfarin services in Kilrush will feature in these discussions. “She is very aware of the concerns, the logistical problems which it could cause for patients who would require ongoing treatment and is hoping that a successful resolution and agreement can be reached with the GPs to accommodate those patients locally. “Following our meeting, she is to revert back to me at the earliest opportunity,” he said. Deputy Breen had sought a meeting …

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Thousands of Germans to visit Clare

A CLARE hotel is to bring thousands of German visitors to the county between now and October, resulting in 60,000 additional bed nights here and 211,000 nationally. Whites Hotel Group, which owns the Hydro Hotel, the Imperial Hotel and the Burren Castle Hotel in Lisdoonvarna, as well as hotels elsewhere in Ireland, announced this week that it is to bring 5,500 German tourists here this year, as part of one agreement with a tour operator filling 25,000 bed nights in Clare and one with a different tour operator, which will result in 35,000 more in the county. Marcus White, the man behind the deals, said while this is great for the Whites Group, it will also have benefits for other businesses. “There is a great spin-off for the economy because we use the Aillwee Caves, Kilmacduagh, Loop Head Lighthouse, The Vandeleur Gardens in Kilrush, we bring them to visit Ennis town and spend some money there. This will create jobs. …

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Corofin pupils have Indian cultural experience

Pupils in Corofin National School brought together a range of diverse themes recently when they invited members of the Ireland India Council and the India Embassy in Dublin to take part in their Walk for Water. A week of celebrations before the Easter holidays marked India Week and the pupils’ Active School and Green Flag endeavours. Partha Ray, First Secretary at The Embassy of India, Dublin and Mr Ray’s wife, Temina, took part in the school’s celebrations, as did Prashaut Shukla, director of the Ireland-India Council and board member Aparna Shukla. The group spent two days in the school teaching the pupils about Indian culture, history and heritage. Pupils took part in Yoga, Bollywood dancing, Laughter Yoga, Indian music workshops and Indian food-tasting as part of their week-long celebrations. Guests from the Ireland India Council and the Embassy took part in the Walk for Water alongside the school community, as part of Scoil Mhuire’s Water Action Day for their Green …

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Ennis targets tidiest town title

LOCAL community group representatives and members of the business community in Ennis gathered in the Old Ground Hotel this week for the launch of an initiative aimed at enhancing the Clare county town’s chances of becoming Ireland’s tidiest town. Ennis Tidy Towns Committee launched its new website, www.ennistidytowns.com, and a community-wide campaign called On The Move To Become Ireland’s Tidiest Town, to help Ennis achieve national success in the 2016 competition. The three-year plan aims to address new criteria of the competition, including waste management and biodiversity. The initiative also features a heavy focus on community involvement and encouraging local residents, community groups and businesses to work together to improve the overall appearance of the town. The first major initiative being undertaken as part of the plan takes place on April 18, when communities will be invited to participate in a large clean-up that is being facilitated by Clare County Council, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, The Lions Club, Clare …

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Call for re-think on hen harrier protection

ICSA rural development chairman, Billy Gray has called for a complete re-think on how to protect the hen harrier, an endangered bird that is found in the East Clare/South Galway region. Recent extensive gorse fires in the area increased concerns for the long term future of the bird. Mr Gray argues that the Government response to the hen harrier is a denial of reality which will not safeguard the bird but will continue to have a devastating impact on farmers with hen harrier designation. “The GLAS scheme is of some help to farmers with smaller areas of designation, but it is inadequate for many farmers,” said Mr. Gray. “The ban on afforestation needs to be reviewed as there are considerable doubts about whether it is actually warranted or whether a more nuanced approach could yield better results. Most importantly, the Government needs to wake up to the reality that the hen harrier cannot thrive in rural communities if its presence …

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Dunnes workers walk the line

A LARGE number of Dunnes Stores workers in Ennis were on the picket line this Thursday morning, as part of the national bid to force senior management to the negotiating table. Dunnes Stores staff nationwide are seeking secure hours and earnings; job security; fair pay; and the right to trade union representation. At the heart of the dispute is 15 hour contracts which can be spread over five days and prevent them from getting family income supplement or the dole. The striking workers in Ennis mounting two pickets, front and back of the store, say the response from shoppers and passers-by this morning has been brilliant. “It’s going very good and has started very well,” said a representative of the picketers who didn’t want to be named. “There’s a brilliant response. We’re getting a lot of support from people passing by and people have come up to the entrance in their cars and driven off again,” she told The Clare …

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Lighting up Loop Head

The historic Loop Head Lighthouse is to reopen to the public on Good Friday. The 19th century West Clare landmark will be looking to capitalise on its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way by exceeding the 20,368 visitors it recorded during its six-month opening period during 2014. Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse, in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights, says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until October 4. “2014, which was the lighthouse’s fourth year of operation as a visitor attraction, saw visitor figures buoyed by the development of new services at Shannon Airport, favourable weather conditions and the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way,” said Gerard Dollard, director of services, Tourism & Community, Clare County Council. “We are confident that its status as one of Clare’s most popular visitor attractions as well as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way will garner further interest from domestic …

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