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Investor services company to create 45 jobs in Clare

THERE was good news this morning for Clare with the announcement that a financial services company was to create 45 jobs in the county. IQ-EQ, a leading global investor services group, has today announced plans to expand its Irish operations with the launch of a dedicated Funds business in Ireland creating 45 roles in Shannon over the next five years. IQ-EQ provides a comprehensive range of compliance, administration, asset and advisory services to alternative funds, global companies, and private and institutional investors globally. This includes a 135-strong team in Northern Ireland, specialised in fund administration and depositary services, plus third-party alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) platforms in London as well as Luxembourg. IQ-EQ has been active in Ireland for over 30 years, providing a full range of corporate administration and structured finance solutions from its offices in Dublin and Shannon. This move signifies the importance of Ireland as a funds domicile, particularly in light of recent changes to the Irish …

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Aer Lingus staff at Clare airport laid off until summer

AER Lingus has confirmed it is to lay off all 129 Inflight Service and Ground Operations staff in Shannon Airport from next Monday, March 8, until June 7. The workers will not receive a wage for the duration of this layoff and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Aviation Cathal Crowe has labelled the move a real blow for the region. “Aer Lingus’s announcement is majorly disappointing and a real blow for its Shannon workers, who have faced almost a year of stress and anxiety about their jobs,” said Deputy Crowe. A statement from the airline referencing the announcement on Friday of its full year results said it showed Aer Lingus recorded an operating of loss of €361m in 2020. “This represents the largest ever loss in the airline’s history and demonstrates the profound impact of Covid-19.  Increased travel restrictions in Ireland and across our network and the subsequent negative impact on demand for travel required us to review our network schedule and …

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Shannon food bank running out of supplies

A SHANNON food bank is set to close for most of the last two months of the year, because the demand for what it offers is too great. Feed Clare has been operating at the Kincora building in the Town Centre for some time, but last Friday was the first time it opened in three weeks, as it had run out of food to distribute. Local woman Karen Cassidy is involved in running Feed Clare and she explained why it hadn’t been open. “We ran out of supplies, we just have a bigger number of people coming in, so obviously we’ve been going through our supplies more quickly, so we had to close until our next delivery was due. We’re with Food Cloud and we’re allotted a certain amount every year, now we’ve applied for more credit from them, but we have to wait and see.” While a fresh delivery last week allowed it to reopen on Friday, she says …

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Crunch time in talks to save Shannon Heritage sites

Clare Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Cathal Crowe is in talks with ministerial colleagues ahead of an expected decision on the immediate future of the Shannon Heritage sites. As things stand, sites including Bunratty Castle and King John’s Castle are due to close at the end of the month while the likes of Craggaunowen and Knappogue Castles have remained closed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I’ve spent quite a considerable amount of time this week chatting to my colleagues, including ministers with a decision-making capacity on Shannon Heritage,” said Deputy Crowe. “Minister Michael McGrath has confirmed to me that the file has reached his department and it is now being examined, with a decision due in the coming days. “I have reiterated the importance of these sites to Clare to the Minister, particularly given the year we have been facing. “This morning, I held an impromptu meeting with Shannon Heritage workers following a separate meeting I was at …

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Outlook ‘stark’ for Shannon as staff cuts announced

REDUNDANCIES and severe pay cuts are being demanded of Shannon Airport staff, while its managing director is about to depart. A letter sent to airport employees on Monday informed them of a wide range of cuts, which Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine claims are necessary to deal with the fallout from Covid-19. On Friday, it was announced that the airport’s managing director Andrew Murphy is leaving. This follows the recent departure of Niall O’Callaghan, the managing director of Shannon Heritage, the tourism arm of Shannon Group. The aviation sector globally is being hammered by Covid-19, with cuts being introduced at many airlines and airports, and in her letter to staff on Monday, Ms Considine stated that things look very bleak for Shannon. “The outlook for this year, and beyond, is stark and the scale of the challenge we are facing is unprecedented. “Currently, expected year-end airport passenger numbers are forecast to be down by approximately 70% on last year. “However, …

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No confidence in Shannon Group management

Sinn Féin TD for Clare, Violet-Anne Wynne, has said that confidence in Shannon Group to properly support workers at Shannon Airport, local businesses and the economy of the Mid-West has been swept away by this week’s announcement of job losses and pay cuts. Sinn Féin TD for Clare, Violet-Anne Wynne said it is quite clear that the “experiment” of a standalone Shannon Airport Authority (SAA) has not worked. “Cutting Shannon adrift from the DAA has been an un unmitigated disaster and this week’s announcement to cut pay and seek redundancies has only strengthened this opinion amongst staff in the Airport. “Two recent managerial departures from the Shannon Group have further created an atmosphere of insecurity at Shannon and workers are genuinely fearful for what is going to come next. I think it is now time for the entire Management team of the Shannon Group to step down and allow a new team to come in and pull the Airport back …

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Wheelchair users raise concerns about access to new Local Link services in Clare

A SOUTH Galway wheelchair user has voiced his concern about the accessibility of vehicles on Local Link routes currently, and called on Minister Shane Ross to “cop on” and return the service to Clare Bus. Séamus Ó Donnacha from Kinvara, who works for Clare Crusaders in Barefield, has been using a wheelchair for 15 years, said the nature of the accessible buses currently on the routes removed independence from passengers with disabilities, and literally left them “stuck at the back of the bus”. “To my knowledge, there are some accessible buses in the fleet which are able to cater for wheelchair users,” Mr Ó Donnacha outlined. “Clare Bus had low-floor buses which meant that someone could get straight onto the bus. Now, what we have are vehicles with tail lifts at the back. That means that wheelchair user needs to be helped on board, and they’re left there away from everyone else and can’t interact with others. That’s an upsetting …

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Second plane carrying vital medical equipment lands at Shannon

A second Qatar Airways cargo plane carrying vital medical equipment from China landed at Shannon Airport yesterday afternoon. The cargo was the second consignment to arrive in Shannon in under a week. Among the medical equipment on board were ICU ventilators, masks and thermometers for distribution to frontline workers around Ireland in the fight against COVID-19. This follows a delivery of ICU ventilators and hospital beds which arrived in Shannon on a Qatar plane on April 3. Qatar Airways is one of the world’s largest cargo operators and has an extensive network of more than 160 destinations using both freight and passenger flights. The airline resumed flights to China at the end of last month to support the global supply chain, which includes the transportation of urgent medical relief aid, essential to the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Commenting on this latest consignment Mary Considine, CEO Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Airport said: “As an essential service our airport …

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