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IW back under the public microscope

Irish Water (IW) is under scrutiny once again following a stream of complaints about sewage overflowing in Shannon last year. A new “damning” report about environmental breaches concerning the Shannon Wastewater Treatment Plant and foul network has prompted renewed pressure on government to sanction an estimated €24 million for a major upgrade of the Shannon plant and foul network. The 2015 Annual Environmental Report for the Shannon Wastewater Treatment Plant outlined a steady flow of complaints about sewage overflows from January 16, 2015 to December 31 last. They included 11 complaints about sewage overflowing from a manhole, six into gardens, one onto a street and one through a wall. All the complaints related to blocked sewers, which required action to unblock manholes. In the case of sewage overflowing into one garden on January 29 last, a CCTV survey was undertaken and repair was scheduled in the first quarter of this year. One of 28 environmental complaints concerning blocks sewers in …

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Silicon Valley trip for Shannon’s young innovators

Everything from microchips inserted at birth to predict health problems to self-drive cars with workstations were imagined for a world 50 years from now as 700 students competed at the second Young Innovators competition at Shannon Airport. The students representing schools nationwide were set the tasks of imagining the world 50 years from now and coming up with new business ideas for then across six categories – how we Live, Work, Play, Shop, Learn and Travel. Top honours were claimed by St. Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon. The Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG) event, in association with LIT, saw the students mentored by representatives from some of the world’s leading companies including Dell, Intel, Analog, Johnson and Johnson, Cook Medical, Zagg and Logitech ahead of submitting their project. A short list of six schools – eventual winners St. Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon (Work category); Mary Immaculate, Lisdoonvarna (Play category, 2nd place); Patrician Academy, Mallow (Shop category, 3rd place); Salesian College, Limerick (Travel category); Castletroy …

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Young Innovators touch down at Shannon

Some 700 students will touch down in Shannon Airport on Wednesday morning to compete for the The Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG) Young Innovators title. The event starts at 10am in the terminal building and will see the students from 15 counties imagine the world 50 years from now in a competition to become Ireland’s ‘Young Innovators’ for 2016. Teams will be tasked with exploring how society will live, work, play, shop, learn and travel half a century away. The winning team will be announced at 4pm following a pitch by a shortlist of finalists and will walk away with not alone the ‘Young Innovators’ title but a dream trip to Silicon Valley, California courtesy of Aer Lingus. Students will have the opportunity over the course of the day to meet with and hear from experts from these companies as well as experts in future technologies from the third level sector. Mentors from industry will work with students on the day …

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Shannon man threats chain protest

ONE Shannnon man has vowed he will chain himself to gates at the site of the proposed crematorium at Illaunnamanagh to stop machinery getting in to start work. Pat Madden says he is utterly determined to prevent the crematorium going ahead at the current location, which he says is very inappropriate. “I’m only speaking for myself here now, my colleagues and I have to debate it, but I am prepared to chain myself to the gate. Should it proceed a bit farther, there is another option open to me,” he said. While he didn’t go into detail on what other options he might be considering, he added, “I’m prepared to take very, very extensive measures, but that’s not a threat of violence or anything like that.” However, he indicated that his own personal safety might be at risk. Even if the crematorium were built, he said he would be moved to protest when funerals began. “If it is finished, the …

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Shannon support for single fathers

SHANNON Family Resource Centre (SFRC) is hosting a new support group for fathers who are living apart from their children. A spokesperson for SFRC said, “It’s just two weeks old, it’s very new. It came from the community, a request was made here. A couple of fathers were talking to each other, looking for a space where they could share information and offer support to each other. That’s how the idea came about – local lads met and they are still meeting.” Speaking about the issues that are being dealt with in the group, the spokesperson explained, “Basically, the fathers are not with the mothers of the children and it’s been about custody and things like that. It’s really a group for dads, who feel they don’t have a voice particularly around shared care.” As time goes by, the group will go in the direction that those involved want it to. “It has to be what they want in a …

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No Dáil bid for Flynn

Shannon-based county councillor Gerry Flynn has decided against running for the Dáil. The independent councillor said he made the decision with a heavy heart but had concluded that it wasn’t possible for him to win a seat, particularly with support for Fine Gael rising. He predicted that the electorate will punish Labour but that Fine Gael will perform well and will probably hold onto their two Clare seats. Councillor Flynn said finance is part of the reason for not running. “I have thought long and hard about it, I’ve looked at the opinion polls. I have also costed how much I would need. I’d have to have approximately €30,000 at my disposal to even think about it. The parties are funded by the taxpayer but, for me, it would be like climbing Mount Everest 10 times. There was no way Gerry Flynn was going to enter any race unless I thought I was going to win. From an economic perspective, …

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Councillors stump Tullyglass tree felling proposal

A PROPOSAL that all the trees at Tullyglass Hill be taken out in one fell swoop didn’t get much of a welcome at this week’s Shannon Municipal District meeting. The two members from the town, Sinn Féin’s Mike McKee and independent Gerry Flynn, were particularly against it, claiming that the job at Tullyvarraga Hill some years ago has meant that local people will oppose it. The meeting also heard a proposal for increasing the amount of open space at the town park by creating room by removing older trees, many of them behind the existing town hall. This was largely welcomed by the members. Speaking about this dimension, consultant Nicholas De Jong said the idea of the park works is to meet the recreational needs of the town going into the future and that the existing park area is restructured. He said many of the trees had been damaged last year, others have reached maturity and work is required. He …

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€21m to bring Free Zone into 21st Century

MANY of the buildings in Shannon Free Zone were built decades ago and are in poor shape but with €21 million to be invested in the next 24 months and more to follow, Shannon Group says it will soon be far more suited to the needs of 21st Century industry. Demolition work on some of the old stock begun this week and Shannon Group says the project will significantly strengthen the hand of development agencies in attracting major investment. The agency says the €21m first phase of the redevelopment will take place over the next two years and will support more than 250 construction-related jobs, including the redevelopment of a 12 acre site. As part of the initial phase, two projects have been planned at a combined cost of in excess of €10 million. These include a 40,000ft² Grade A office block and a 30,000ft² advance technology manufacturing unit. Work on the 12 acre site commenced with the demolition of …

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