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Seven-star alumnus returns to college

ONE of the Shannon College of Hotel Management’s most illustrious alumnus, Gerald Lawless, came back to his alma mater last Thursday, for this year’s graduation ceremony.Mr Lawless is currently Executive Chairman of one of the world’s top hotel groups, the Jumeriah Group. Based in Dubai, the group is regarded as one of the most luxurious and innovative hotel and resort groups in the world and among its flagship operations is the renowned Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel, which is regularly described as the world’s only seven-star hotel.He said that his years in Shannon had been very positive for his career. “One thing I’ve always said about Shannon, and I was here from ’71-’75, is it instilled great self belief and confidence in the students. At that time we had to be a year out of school before coming then we worked in the airport kitchens for the summer. Then we had a year in Shannon, I spent …

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Huge drop in industrial estate crime

CRIME in Shannon’s industrial estates has experienced a huge drop since the establishment of Shannon Business Watch, while the value of goods stolen dropped by €100,000 last year.A letter from the Gardai and Shannon Business Watch to last week’s town council meeting sought funding for CCTV and outlined some of the benefits that have accrued since the establishment of Business Watch.“Business Watch is a crime prevention programme designed by An Garda Siochána and was established in Shannon in 2009. It is founded on the same principles as Neighbourhood Watch and Community Alert which is the practice of the Gardai and the community coming together to prevent and reduce crime, the only difference being that the community which this scheme targets is the business community.“The Business Watch Schemes in Shannon has been widely recognised by garda authorities as being one of the best practice examples of Business Watch in the country and the benefits of this can be seen in a …

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Ministerial approval for adult learners

DOZENS of participants in adult education were presented with certificates at the Lemass Library last Friday morning by Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan, who stressed the importance of continuing with education.Mayor of Shannon, Mary Brennan, said she was very pleased the work in adult education in the town had been recognised with the opening of the VEC centre at Brú na Sionna.Moira Greene, co-ordinator of the Clare Adult Basic Education Services, also spoke and said the overall benefits of education often aren’t recognised fully. “If you listen to the news and current affairs discussions, there is a lot of talk of unemployment and the need to upskill and the importance of education to get jobs but sometimes people don’t focus on the wider benefits of learning.”She referred to British research that stated those who returned to education were less likely to be depressed and more likely to give up cigarettes. Ms Greene said that it is very important for people …

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Bishop leads St Conaire’s in prayer

BISHOP Kieran O’Reilly was at St Conaire’s on Tuesday  for the launch of a new prayer initiative.The school has published a pocket-sized prayer booklet for its pupils. It is entitled Prayers go up, Blessings go down and it contains a reflection for each day of the week along with a piece of scripture. The booklet is child friendly and designed to support the work of parents, the parish and the school.Headmaster Peter Walsh said the decision to proceed with the initiative came about following dialogue among teachers. “It came from staff discussions about prayers in the school and we then worked with the parish, so it’s a combination of the staff and the parish.”He said the school still retains a Catholic ethos, although it caters for children from various backgrounds. “We are a Catholic school but we do have children from all faiths and none. We think it’s very important for those that do profess the Catholic faith that we …

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Decline in parish income

SHANNON parish saw its income decline in 2011 but ended up in the black for the 12-month period.The pastoral council published its financial statement in the parish newsletter, showing receipts of €238,551.93 last year compared to €280,006.41 in 2010. It had net expenditure of €203,842.38 compared to €295,390.87 the year before.A statement from Pascal Hynds of the finance committee and parish priest Fr Tom Ryan said, “The Parish Financial Statement published this week for 2011 continues to reflect the financial position of parishioners at this time in our history. For the third year in succession, our Sunday collections, which is the main source of income for the parish, continues to decline. Since 2008, our Sunday collections have declined by €29,000. This is in line with the life experiences of our ­parishioners at the present time, where income has been reduced.“However, we do want to thank all parishioners and those who choose Shannon as their place of worship for your continued …

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