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Applications received for four Glaise na Rinne houses

FOUR completed applications for affordable houses at the Glaise na Rinne development in Cluain Airne have been received by the town council ahead of this month’s meeting.Town manager Bernadette Kinsella also disclosed that a further four were awaiting tax clearance certificates. She said if any documentation was missing from an application the whole lot was returned to the applicant but she didn’t know how often this had occurred.She said there had been some “slight concern” as when the council’s site representative on the day of the meeting, there wasn’t any visible presence of machinery. Prior to the meeting, independent Councillor Cathy McCafferty put down a motion asking, “In the interest of transparency, value for public money and fair competition, that the town manager provides all details of the public procurement process to appoint an auctioneer/estate agent to dispose of properties at Glaise na Rinne under the affordable housing scheme.”In a written response, Mairéad Corbett of the county council’s housing section …

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Council impasse on hosting of conference

THERE was some animated debate about the possibility of Shannon hosting an Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland (AMAI) conference in 2013, when the town council met on Tuesday night. In response to a question from Independent Councillor Cathy McCafferty, town manager Bernadette Kinsella said a previous meeting of various interests had agreed that it be recommended to the council that a bid to host the conference be made.However, Councillor McCafferty said she was dubious about it, given the level of expense that could accrue. “I don’t know. I’m very sceptical about putting in a bid because we have to have the money up front and we were already told we are looking at a figure of €15,000.”She said if the council wasn’t able to raise the money through sponsorship and support, it would cause serious financial trouble to the council.Ms Kinsella acknowledged that if a bid is made Shannon will have to go ahead with the conference, even if …

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Enterprise Ireland and Chamber team up for R & D seminar

SHANNON Chamber has teamed up with Enterprise Ireland to deliver a half-day seminar on the practical benefits of accessing and utilising national and EU research and development (R&D) funding for product, process and/or technology development. The seminar, which takes place at Intel Shannon on Tuesday, April 24 from 8.30am to 12.15pm is supported by Shannon Development and Intel.This is the second year an event of this nature has been held at Intel Shannon, to highlight the benefits of R&D to a company’s ongoing sustainability and international competitiveness.As Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes explains, “Since hosting an EU Innovation Supports conference in May 2010, the Chamber has witnessed an increase in interest in the topic among its membership. The initial seminar focused on the whys and wherefores of research funding. Last year’s seminar moved a step further and addressed the sourcing and outcomes of such funding. This year’s panel of speakers will broaden the discussion and also showcase Shannon-based and …

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3% drop in free zone employment

OVERALL employment at Shannon Free Zone declined by 3% last year, Shannon Development has revealed. Five hundred and eighty jobs were lost, while 406 jobs were gained over the 12-month period.Shannon Development chief executive Vincent Cunnane said while there is a decline, it is less serious than in other years. “We sort of hoped we had arrested that decline and we would have been more encouraged over the last year but we had thought we’d break even. There were jobs created in Zagg and Cregg but more jobs were lost.”He said it was positive that the vast majority of job losses were not down to closures. “Major companies are having to deal with the impact of a huge global economic downturn. They’ve been dealing with it two-fold; they’ve been looking at their staff retirements and they’ve been bringing best practice into their operations; more efficient, best engineering practice and lean engineering. We’ve done a lot of work with companies in …

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Theatre goers urged to Run for your Wife

MUSE Productions will return to the Oakwood Arms next week with Run for your Wife, a classic, well-regarded farce.The comedy centres around the travails of a London cabbie, who has been successfully juggling a double life until an accident derails his meticulous schedule. The audience are made privy to his secret in the opening scene as two concerned wives simultaneously call the police regarding the whereabouts of their missing husbands and describe the same John Smith.The stage is then set for high jinks and mayhem as John (who is played by Chris Rowley) dashes from one home to the other, struggling to keep his two carefully orchestrated worlds from colliding. As he endeavours to cover his tracks, his lazy but likeable neighbour Stanley (played by Chris Willetts) becomes his unwitting accomplice and the preposterous scenarios that ensue make for two hours of non-stop action and light-hearted fun that will have you wondering what can possibly happen next.The play was written …

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Mentor Graphics invests $15m in data centre

EAST Park-based Mentor Graphics has opened its newly constructed regional data centre, which was developed at a cost of some $15 million.Seven jobs have been created to date and a similar amount of jobs are set to follow in the next few years, according to site manager Martin Gennery. “We’ve spent $15m installing a new consolidated regional data centre. This facility is to host up to 6,000 servers, which will be used by the 1,000 software development engineers that Mentor Graphics has in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.“We’ve added about seven [employees] so far and in the next three years we’ll probably add another seven. The rate of growth is something that’s hard to predict because there are so many other factors. There’s a technology change called virtualisation, which is driving a lot of growth. We’ve built two halls in the data centre and in the next three years we’ll fill hall one and then spill over into the …

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Chamber interest in minister’s address

WITH a decision on the future of the airport imminent, there will be much interest in Transport Minister Leo Varadkar’s address at Shannon Chamber’s spring lunch at the Oakwood Arms at 1pm on Friday.Chamber president Damian Gleeson has encouraged tourism providers, operators and members of the business community to take time out to meet the minister and voice their views on the Booz Report.“Opinions only turn into action when they are heard and heard by the decision makers. While the minister has spoken to chamber executives in advance of publishing the recent report, he has not, as yet, had the opportunity to address or mingle with the business community at Shannon, for whom the airport is an imperative component of their business operations, for both passenger and freight movement. This is possibly the last opportunity for engagement on a very pertinent issue for the Mid-West Region before the final decision is made.”He said he hopes to hear a few more …

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