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Free Zone hails arrival of high-speed broadband

SHANNON Development have welcomed a new broadband initiative at the Free Zone, which they claim will help strengthen its case when seeking to attract foreign direct investment.A new dark fibre optic cable will give businesses operating in the Zone and the Smithstown Business Parks an opportunity to avail of enhanced high-speed broadband services improving the region’s national and international connectivity. The new service is being provided by Aurora Telecom, a division of Bord Gais networks. Shannon Development worked with them to extend their planned Ennis to Cork fibre project to include the areas. They also facilitated Aurora with a site at Shannon for the point of presence (POP point of presence, it telecom switch).Doctor Vincent Cunnane, chief executive of Shannon Development said that the new service will offer industries in the Free Zone and Smithstown virtually unlimited resilient bandwidth well into the future, a key selling point for potential foreign direct investors. “As Aurora’s network is fibre-based, it ensures a …

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Council expenditure to fall by €4,500

THE national budget dominated the headlines on Tuesday but on the same evening, Shannon Town Council’s budget for next year was announced, which will see spending lowered slightly.In 2011, total expenditure came to €149,500, while budget estimates for next year have come to €145,000. Some of the areas of saving include office expenses and advertising (€500), travel and subsistence (€1,000), training (€1,000) and town twinning (€1,500).In the budget document, town manager Bernadette Kinsella stated, “Overall, the budget for 2012 has represented a difficult balance in terms of maintaining services while at the same time acknowledging the financial circumstances which exist, both at public finance level and at individual enterprise level.“I am confident the draft budget achieves the balance required and will ensure that Shannon Town Council can fully contribute to and participate in a wide range of activities in 2012. It is essential that Shannon Town Council would continue to adopt a progressive and visionary approach to the discharging of …

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EPA criticised amid Smithstown odour concerns

THE people of Shannon don’t know what they’re breathing in, this week’s meeting of Shannon town councillors heard, while there was trenchant criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency. There were also concerns expressed about the rate of cancer in Shannon and the surrounding areas.The EPA wrote to the council, in response to an earlier letter, outlining some of its activities in Shannon.“I refer to your letter dated September 14, 2011, received by the agency on September 16, 2011 in relation to your request that the agency investigate significant odour problems in the Smithstown area in Shannon. The agency has been working with Clare County Council in relation to this issue and the following outlines the agency’s work to date.”The letter went on to state that the EPA received odour complaints relating to EPA-licensed facilities in the Smithstown Industrial Estate on 10 specific dates in August, September and October. It also stated the complaints were passed on to both Chemifloc Ltd …

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Public urged to shop local this Christmas

MEMBERS of the Shannon area Fianna Fáil organisation are urging people in the locality to think of local jobs and have launched a campaign to encourage everyone to consider shopping local and buying Irish this Christmas.At a recent meeting in the Oakwood Arms Hotel, concern was expressed at the closure of shops during the year in the SkyCourt Shopping Centre and the difficulties facing many of the traders in the centre, who have seen a serious downturn in business in recent years.This worry is shared in many other towns and villages throughout Ireland, where local shops and businesses are competing with shops in the North or the attractions of buying from abroad over the internet.In an effort to focus attention on the goods and services available locally and the return to the economy when buying Irish goods, this Friday will see members and friends gather in the SkyCourt Centre to promote a Shop local-Buy Irish campaign.Ted Germaine, chairperson of Shannon …

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Chris told ‘you’re fired’

ON Monday night’s episode of The Apprentice, Bill Cullen said “you’re fired” to Shannon’s Chris Harold, thus ending his chance of getting a €200,000 investment in his business. The Shannon man spoke to The Clare Champion about the highs and lows of the programme and how life really was behind the scenes. Even though he was fired, Chris said the experience was “well worth it”.“It’s hard to be negative about something that I got so much out of. I think to be able to see your weaknesses and strengths from outside yourself, that’s how you work on things,” he explained.Going into the process, Chris said he had two goals, “I wasn’t going to lie and I wasn’t going to screw anyone over”.Chris sat in the final boardroom on four previous occasions, only to be fired on Monday’s show but he said he learned to pick himself back up very early on and fight his own corner.“I was rubbing people up …

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Shannon loses out as decentralisation scrapped

HUNDREDS of jobs that had been expected to come to Shannon under decentralisation will not be coming, after the Government announced the scrapping of further decentralisation programmes this week. In the Government’s Public Sector Reform Plan, a review of Shannon Development’s tourism function was also announced.Another 226 postions had been due to come to Shannon resulting from the decentralisation of Enterprise Ireland and a further 102 positions by relocating the headquarters of the Irish Aviation Authority in Shannon.Sixty-six people were working within Enterprise Ireland in Shannon last year, as part of a so-called ‘advance party’. However, the figure of 66 included 40 Shannon Development posts that had been absorbed into Enterprise Ireland. In December of 2009, both Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Aviation Authority were on a list of decentralisation projects deferred pending a 2011 review. Last Thursday, the Government’s Public Sector Reform Plan listed the Irish Aviation Authority as a decentralisation project that would be cancelled. It also put …

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