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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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Large gathering expected for St Senan’s 50th anniversary

PREPARATIONS have been stepping up a gear for St Senan’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which will take place on March 3 and 4, with past pupils now based in foreign countries expected to return for the festivities.Deputy principal Margaret Murphy said that a number of events have been planned. “This was the first Catholic school to be established in Shannon and it opened up on February 1, 1962 and Carmel Kenny was the first principal. The school started out in the community hall but it moved into the new building in the mid-’60s.”A golden jubilee booklet will be launched on the night of March 3 at Wolfe Tones, which will have pictures of students and teachers, past and present. Ms Murphy said a large crowd is expected at the event. “All the teachers are coming back and there are about 60 or 70 and there are past pupils coming who are based in Europe, America and England.”The event will kick off …

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Minister to join in the celebration of learning

MINISTER Jan O’Sullivan will visit the Clare VEC Shannon Adult Learning Centre next Friday where she will meet students and tutors and get a flavour of the programmes and courses ongoing in the centre. Her visit is part of the Aontas Adult Learning Festival, a Celebration of Learning and which includes a number of events around Clare.Conor Flynn is a guidance counsellor with the VEC and he says there has been a lot more demand for services around Clare and at the centre in Brú na Sionna over the last few years. “Especially since the construction industry declined, we have a lot more males, young lads who might never have considered something like healthcare. They might be doing FETAC level 5 and several have gone on to do the full healthcare award and now work in nursing homes or respite centres or places like that. Others see it as an opportunity to go on and follow a dream career or …

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EPA turns nose up at council’s offer

THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declined an offer from Shannon Town Council to send a representative to a meeting. Shannon Town Council previously wrote to the agency and the EPA’s response was presented at the February meeting.“The agency acknowledges the concerns that have been expressed by the elected members of Shannon Town Council in relation to the odour issues, which affected the Smithstown area of Shannon in September and October of last year. The agency notes that you refer to our previous letter of October 28, 2011 in which we set out the position in respect of our investigation of these odour issues. In that letter, we confirmed that odour complaints had been received concerning two EPA licensed facilities, that the details of these complaints had been passed to the operators for their investigation and that the odours had been investigated by EPA personnel and by independent specialists on a number of occasions.“As a result of these measures, the …

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