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Minister says no study into Shannon smell

ON Tuesday Minister for Health James Reilly declined to commission a study into the effect of the odours that have tormented residents of Shannon over the last month. In the Dáil, Clare TD Michael McNamara asked the minister “if he will commission a study to look into the effect of smells in Shannon; if he or his officials can provide assurances to Shannon residents that the smells there do not pose a threat to public health and if he will make a statement on the matter.” Responding, the minister said, “I do not propose to commission a study to look at the effect of smells in Shannon as an investigation into the matter is already underway. I am advised by the HSE that the investigation of recent odours in Shannon is being undertaken by the EPA and Clare County Council. This investigation is being assisted by the Public Health and Environmental Health Departments of the HSE.” Regarding the investigation, he …

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Shannon rat problem disputed

DEBATE and disagreement broke out over the scale of the rat problem in Shannon at Tuesday’s town council meeting. There have been numerous complaints about the amount of rats going around the town in recent weeks but at Tuesday’s meeting, there were suggestions that the problem isn’t as bad as has been claimed, something some of the members angrily refuted. At the meeting, Councillor Sean McLoughlin put forward a motion asking that County Council carry out rat baiting on a regular basis in Shannon and for the council to clean out any place where rats might nest. Councillor Cathy McCafferty had another motion requesting that members be informed of what arrangements the council had entered into with regard to pest/rodent control since the last local elections in 2009. The written response to Councillor McLoughlin’s motion from senior executive engineer Eugene O’Shea said Shannon isn’t worse than any other county. “While it is impossible to inspect all possible locations where rodents …

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Baby Shane in dramatic debut

SHANE O’Donnell wrote himself into the history books on Saturday and a child born early on Monday morning, in the most dramatic of circumstances, will bear his first name. Shannon’s Laura Hinsley gave birth to her fourth child and first son at the side of the road close to the Clare-Limerick border, after a dash to the hospital didn’t quite succeed. Describing the morning, she said, “My husband was doing 160km going in the road but I knew once we hit Bunratty that it was coming. He had to pull over across from the Two Mile Inn. We went from flying down the road to pulling in and the baby was just there! He delivered the baby, made sure it was crying and put his hoody around it and drove on again to the hospital; it had happened in a matter of seconds. I’d say we were only stopped for about a minute and a half, it was that fast. …

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Anger over Shannon smell at public meeting

DOZENS of concerned people attended a public meeting on Tuesday night at the Oakwood Arms about the odours that have lingered around Shannon in the last few weeks. The anger at the meeting, which was attended by representatives of Clare County Council, but not the EPA, was palpable. There were different views on the type of odour causing the problem, with several people saying it resembled sewage and others saying it was like raw eggs. Many expressed their concerns about the impact upon their health and said they are worried about the impact of air quality on children. There was also much anger after Clare County Council engineer, Sean Ward, acknowledged that the local sewage treatment plant is not adequate, but that there is no prospect of it being improved in the immediate future because the millions required to do so is not available. The meeting was chaired by local man Chris Price and with emotions running high, he had …

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Preparing for a healthier lifestyle

WITH autumn now upon us and dark evenings prompting a more sedentary lifestyle, Shannon Chamber has enlisted the help of sport and recreation expert, Dave Mahedy, Director of Sport and Recreation at the University of Limerick, to help members and business people generally to prepare a personal programme for a healthier lifestyle. Mr Mahedy will deliver a presentation, entitled ‘Fit for Work, Project Me: A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body’ in GECAS Shannon next Tuesdayevening  from 5.30pm to 7pm.   The event is being run by Shannon Chamber, with the support of GECAS, as part of Chamber Week, which runs from  September 16 – 20 nationally. Making the announcement, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said, “Summer is a time for the outdoors and exercise comes naturally but it’s difficult to find the routine as we head into winter. It’s easy to fall into a sedentary pattern, yet exercise is so important for our well-being, it relaxes and stimulates …

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Crematorium plans back on table at Shannon

THE prospect of a crematorium being built in Shannon is back on the agenda again, after a number of years of silence on the issue. Some years ago, former Clare county councillors Tony McMahon and the late Sean Hillery proposed the development of a crematorium at Illaunmanagh. Nothing has been heard about it for some time but at the very end of this week’s meeting of Shannon electoral area councillors, town manager Bernadette Kinsella said while the original parties are not involved, another party is now interested in proceeding and it will be proposed that the lands in question be disposed of. Ms Kinsella also said the third party is in the process of applying for an extension of planning permission. Attending the meeting, Councillor Gerry Flynn, who had opposed the development, restated his opposition to it. After originally getting the green light from Clare county planners, the decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála and in 2009 it granted …

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Getting Shannon back on track

In a three-part series, Owen Ryan speaks to some of Clare’s leading business figures, beginning with Shannon Airport chief executive Neil Pakey. Next week, Irish Hotels Federation president Michael Vaughan of Lahinch will be featured   SHANNON’S performance is important for everyone in Clare. Many of us wouldn’t even live in the county but for it. If it weren’t for the tourists it brings to the county, huge numbers of jobs and businesses wouldn’t exist. Its Heathrow and US links have helped make the Mid-West of Ireland a hub for multi-national companies. The decline of the airport, which had its worst year since the ’80s in 2012, is a serious problem and a Scot has been brought in to get it back on track, 52-year-old Neil Pakey, the new chief executive, who was appointed in May. At the moment, he is commuting to Clare and heading back to Britain at the weekends, where his family are based. “My two boys …

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Shannon Airport on the up

Shannon Airport’s steady recovery in passenger numbers continued for a third consecutive month in August, figures revealed by the airport today show. Passenger numbers for the month show that 170,000 people travelled through Shannon in August, a 3% increase on August 2012. The increase comes on the back of strong gains also in June – the first time in five years growth was seen in month-over-month figures – and July. Transatlantic services again showed the greatest uplift in August, with 35% more passengers travelling between Shannon and the US/Canada compared to 12 months ago.

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