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Planning sought for significant extension of Shannon school

THE Board of Management of St Aidan’s National School has sought planning permission for a significant extension to the educational facility. Permission is being sought for two special educational needs classrooms and another mainstream classroom, along with ancillary accommodation, a mainstream classroom and associated circulation space. A document prepared by Quinn Architects accompanying the application said that three proposed options were considered before the preferred option was identified. The document stated, “Having evaluated alternative options, in collaboration with the School Authority and the Department of Education, of locating the proposed new building to the north of the existing building, the agreed conclusion was that these options did not achieve all of the desired design criteria. “We then looked at the options of locating the building in the green field area to the west of the existing school which is zoned Open Space.”  It added, “This proposal has a logical extension of the existing main circulation spine to the left of …

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Minister quizzed as clock winds down on Heathrow guarantee

THE current obligation on Aer Lingus to run a Heathrow-Shannon service, put in place as a condition of the Government’s sale of the State’s shares in the airline back in 2015, is about to run out. While it is understood that the routes had been performing well prior to Covid, the fact that the guarantee is expiring will inevitably induce a certain amount of trepidation given how significant they are. The fact that Shannon Airport has connectivity to Heathrow is deemed hugely important to it and to Clare. Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports and a global hub, meaning that passengers who fly there from Shannon can travel onwards to a massive number of destinations. The link is of huge importance to Shannon’s industrial base and to Clare’s tourism industry. Clare TD Cathal Crowe raised the situation with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil last week, while he also questioned if the State could help Shannon secure …

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Shannon Group chair rebuffs Council’s interest in board role

The possibility of Clare County Council’s Chief Executive joining the board of Shannon Group was raised at a meeting of the group and the local authority. While Conal Henry said he hadn’t given the idea much thought, he wasn’t supportive of it. “The job of the board is to promote the interests of the entity to which it is the board. The job of the Chief Executive (of Clare County Council) is to promote the interests of Clare. They’re generally the same, but not always.” Mr Henry said it would create some potential for conflicts of interest. “It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the interests of Clare County Council and the people of Clare at the forefront of our minds. “It means from a corporate governance point of view everybody on the board of Shannon should be thinking first and foremost about the interests of Shannon. “That’s not Pat’s (Clare County Council CEO Pat Dowling) job, Pat’s job first and …

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Triumph of inclusivity at St Tola’s greeted with joy

SAINT Tola’s National School marked the recent opening of its class for pupils with multiple disabilities on Thursday of last week. The new facility opened earlier in the year and the class is entitled Aoibhneas, translated to English as ‘joy’. School principal Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald said, “We have opened the new multiple disability class and we’ve got a new prefab. We’re going to be putting a new extension onto the school for the children. “We currently have four pupils enrolled, a fifth starting in September and we’re delighted with the success of the class so far and delighted to meet the needs of very vulnerable pupils within our community.” Speaking about the class, she added, “The children have multiple disabilities so they have challenges in relation to communication and movement and daily living skills. “Typically children with these sorts of disabilities would have gone to a special school and being able to provide the facility in a mainstream setting and …

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Shannon summer music festival to spread the joy

THE Shannon Summer Music Festival will take place on this Saturday, June 11, in the Town Park.  It is being organised by Chris Walshe and he said there will be something for all age groups on the day. “It starts at 2pm and from 2-6pm we’ll have children’s entertainment. We’ll have face painting, balloon modellers, kiddies disco and we’ll have a DJ. From 6pm on it’ll be live music on the main stage in the Park.” All of the acts during the evening are local. “First up we have the Kirby brothers, then we have Adam Moloney, then we have a band called North of Fortitude, then we’ve a band called the Mangled Badgers. “The last band then, the headliners, is a band called Sticky September. You might know the bands One September and Sticky Fingers. The two of those are joining forces for the evening.” It is the first major outdoor event in the town for several years and …

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‘It’s delightful to be going from Shannon Airport’

ALL week, news reports have been highlighting the crisis at Dublin Airport, where more than 1,000 people missed flights last Sunday. Around Clare there is little sympathy for an airport which is seen as having pursued a fairly aggressive policy of targeting the traffic of its smaller competitors. Many people are saying they won’t fly from the capital again, happy to  holiday from whatever destinations Shannon has available at the time. To test the ease of using Shannon, the Clare Champion simulated the experience of a passenger catching a flight scheduled for departure to the UK at 3.15pm on Wednesday afternoon. The first step involved driving to Shannon and after leaving Ennis at 1.19pm, we turned off the engine in Shannon 21 minutes later.  While people who only fly from Shannon might not fully appreciate it, the fact of not hitting any red lights in the miles up to the airport and effectively having no congestion to deal with is …

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Closing road entrance could lead to death, says councillor

THE closing off of the entrance to the Cluainin apartments at Tullyvarraga could result in a death, so difficult does it make access for emergency vehicles, the May meeting of local councillors heard. In a motion before the meeting, Fianna Fáil’s Pat O’Gorman said, “I’m calling on this Municipal District to reopen the entrance to Cluainin apartments as a matter of health and safety. “There are a lot of residential care facilities within the above address, which call on emergency services on a more regular basis. “When there is an emergency and the Eircode is given out the ambulance is not directed to the house but to the entrance that has been closed off by Clare County Council. “The entrance has to be reopened or at the very least in the meantime the maps should be updated.” However a report from Senior Executive Planner Gareth Ruane explained the reasoning. “The Cluainin housing development received planning permission to use a temporary …

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‘People will pick up the poo, but where do they put it after?’

THE lack of bags for dog waste or bins on the Shannon Estuary Loop is causing a problem, Councillor Pat O’Gorman told a recent meeting of Shannon Municipal District. At the meeting Councillor O’Gorman put forward a motion looking for bags and dog waste bins to be installed along the route. In a written reply Senior Executive Engineer Tom Mellett said, “Clare County Council currently operates a leave no trace policy. To this end additional waste bins are not encouraged. “Scoop bags are provided by our environment department and are available free of charge from the Shannon MD office upon request.” However, that did not satisfy Councillor O’Gorman. He said that even when people do pick up the waste, they have nowhere to go. “People will pick up the poo, but where do they put it after?” He said that in some cases they actually hang it on trees on the walk. Councillor O’Gorman said that in one case he …

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