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Regional

Call for action on ‘systematic and organised’ begging in Ennis

“SYSTEMATIC and organised” beggars on the streets of Ennis are taking advantage of the generosity of well-meaning local people, with some collecting up to €200 a day, it has been claimed. A meeting of the Ennis Municipal District this week heard calls for an investigation to be carried out by An Garda, Revenue and other State Agencies, with councillors saying organised begging is taking much needed funds away from local charities. The issue was highlighted by Councillor Johnny Flynn who said that people are being dropped off in the town centre to beg before being collected later. He said these are not local homeless people, but instead are “people plying their trade, it’s a business”. He insisted that Ennis is “one of the safest and friendliest towns in the country” adding he is proud of the actions of gardaí when dealing with criminal behaviour. He said that the actions of organised beggars “has to be called out” and an investigation …

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Seed exchange event returns to Scariff

THE highly popular seed swapping events return to Scariff on Sunday next (March 6), offering an opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to the promotion of biodiversity.  A Community Seed Exchange will be hosted by Irish Seed Savers at its leafy gardens in Capparoe. The event will run over two time-slots, starting at 12pm and again at 2pm, and will present the chance to for individuals, families, gardening and community groups to come together to share and swap seeds. Those intending to join are invited to bring any spare or saved seeds to share and swap with other growers. From the rare to the everyday varieties all kinds of seeds are welcome. This event will help promote biodiversity and, through the sharing seeds, a more resilient food system is created. Irish Seed Savers is delighted to be able to open to in-person visits and events, after the restrictions that the pandemic brought. “The past two years have really highlighted …

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Councillors condemn Moneypoint’s use of Russian coal

WEST Clare councillors are to write to the ESB to condemn the sourcing of coal from Russia for the Moneypoint power plant. It comes against the backdrop of sanctions taken by western nations against Russia over its attack on Ukraine. This coincides with the revelation that Russian coal accounted for almost all of the fuel consumed in Moneypoint in 2021. Responding to Clare Champion queries, the ESB outlined prior to 2021, electricity generation from Moneypoint had reduced significantly, requiring only small quantities of coal in those years. However, in 2021, a combination of factors saw an increase in electricity generation from Moneypoint to meet demand on the Irish electricity system, resulting in more than one million tons of coal being burned over that year. The ESB has seen that trend continue into the early part of 2022. “ESB sources coal for Moneypoint on international markets. Russian coal accounted for almost all of the coal consumed in Moneypoint in 2021,” the …

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Shannon’s retiring parish secretary gives praise to the people

ON March 1 Teresa Woods will retire having been Parish Secretary for the last 17 years. She took up the role in February of 2005, working for then parish priest Father Tom Ryan, with the Parish Office having opened a couple of months afterwards. People call into the office for all sorts of reasons, from baptisms to bereavements, buying mass cards and booking weddings.  Looking back on the last 17 years Teresa says the people she has encountered have made the job a really fulfilling experience. “I’ve worked with incredible people in the parish. First of all the clergy have been terrific. The parishioners as well.” Shannon has a unique mix of people, and she feels that one consequence of its demographics is that people give each other a chance. “We’re a very unique parish in that we’re all kind of blow-ins, and we all get on well with each other, we take each other at face value. I think …

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Doonbeg festival to shine as it celebrates diamond anniversary

The West Clare Drama Festival in Doonbeg will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this March with plans to mark the milestone, writes Conor Clohessy. Commenting at the recent AGM, Chairperson John Keane said: “We are delighted to have reached our Diamond Jubilee. This is a significant milestone which has been achieved and maintained through the hard work and commitment of committees passing the mantle of keeping drama alive down through the years. “We are fortunate to still have three members of the original committee – Marie Shanahan, John Igoe and Murt McInerney.” Only a couple of weeks ago, a fourth original member passed away; Theresa McMahon had been the Secretary for over forty years, and Public Relations Officer Rita McInerney said that her passing will be poignant within the celebrations this year. In the middle of the festival on March 8, a dinner is planned to specifically mark the sixtieth anniversary and reward those who have worked hard in the …

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Sisters doing it for themselves in LA rescue skills competition

LOCAL woman Brid Casey is part of the first all-female team that will compete in the GRIMP North America competition which will be held in Los Angeles next month. It is an international rescue skills challenge and will be hosted on the Battleship Iowa. GRIMP is a competition that originated in Belgium in the mid 2000s for rescue teams to pit their skills against one another. “Some of them are fire service, some of them work in industry and come together, some of them are rescue teams from different mountains, there’s cave rescue,” explains Brid. “The competition goes over four days, there are different scenarios set, everyone competes on those and there’s a winner announced. GRIMP North America is a spin off from that. “It was on in LA in 2019 and initially they planned to have it every second year, but Covid interfered with that. This is going to be the second year of it. “Twelve teams compete, it’s …

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Clare group set for take-off in aviation revolution

Dan Danaher on plans from a Clare-based group at the leading edge of change in aviation Providing air taxis for players and patrons attending the 2027 Ryder Cup in Adare Manor is an achievable target, according to a new Shannon-based aviation consortium. This is one of the exciting enterprises planned by the new group piloting a revolution in how air taxis and unmanned drones will completely change aviation over the coming years. Skyports, Future Mobility Campus Ireland, Avtrain and Shannon Group have joined forces to establish Ireland’s first passenger and cargo vertiport at Shannon’s FMCI campus, encouraging participation and investment in Ireland’s Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) industry. Their goal is the establishment of Ireland’s first air taxi service and routine beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. The consortium includes Skyports, the world’s leading passenger air taxi and cargo drone vertiport provider; Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI), Ireland’s first test bed for future mobility located next to Shannon Airport; …

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From crippling debt to near death, Danny’s days were never dull

From Cross village to Texas for gruelling US Navy training; from running festivals to nearly drowning in debt; from earthquakes in Manila to almost dying in Mondello, Danny Boland has experienced many highs and lows which he shares with Dan Danaher. WHEN he was working on major construction projects all over the world, Danny Boland always gave thanks for the training he received in Ardnacrusha Power Station. “It was the greatest training anyone could ever have,” says Danny, “It was unbelievable. I would not have been able to work on any of these projects without the ESB. The training and skills I learned in Ardnacrusha made all these jobs so easy. “If I ever ran into a problem on a job, I can pick up the phone and get advice from one of the ESB fitters or electricians I worked with.” “We were trained to weld, operate lathes, maintenance work, construction work, piping. I learned about five different trades in …

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