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McLoughlin seeks county council seat

WITH the election of Tony Mulcahy to the Seanad, opportunity may be about to knock for Sean McLoughlin. Councillor McLoughlin was heavily involved with his party colleague’s bids for election to both the Dáil and the Seanad. Now, with Senator Mulcahy going to the upper house, he may take his seat on Clare County Council.The abolition of the so-called dual mandate some years ago means that a member of the Oireachtas cannot sit on a county council or a town council and so Fine Gael will co-opt new members.Following Mulcahy’s election, McLoughlin threw his hat into the ring. In a statement, the two-time Mayor of Shannon congratulated the new Senator and announced his interest in taking the county council seat.“Seventeen years ago in Shannon the Fine Gael branch reformed. I was proud to be a member of that group. That branch has performed well, subsequently ensuring a greater vote and representation for the party in all elections. This success has …

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Calls for Cluain Airne investigation

A NUMBER of councillors backed a call for an investigation into the Cluain Airne saga at this week’s meeting of Shannon Town Council.The affordable housing development at Cluain Airne was controversial before a brick was ever laid but became even more so when work stopped on it last year. Work still hasn’t resumed and at Tuesday’s meeting, a date still could not be provided for the resumption.There were some frank exchanges at the meeting involving town manager, Bernadette Kinsella and Councillor Gerry Flynn, with the independent councillor refusing to withdraw certain comments he made, which she objected to.The meeting heard that €15,000 has been spent on security at the site, with another €75,000 spent on additional costs, including surveying and consultants’ fees.Councillor Flynn and Sinn Féin Councillor Cathy McCafferty both put down motions regarding the situation.In the written response from Ms Kinsella, she outlined where the project stands.“Following liquidation of the initial contracting company and based on the best available …

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Blessings on the road to sainthood

POPE John Paul II will be beatified this Sunday and it’s a major step along the road towards a possible sainthood.Should he eventually receive the Church’s greatest honour he would be the only saint in modern times to have set foot in Clare, having flown out of Shannon after his visit in 1979.The local parish community will gather for the 10am mass in SS John and Paul Church to celebrate the newly Blessed John Paul. At 6pm that evening they will gather in the Jubilee garden of the Church for rosary and benediction.While at Shannon in 1979, the Pope blessed the foundation stone for Saints John and Paul Church. He also gave every Irish bishop a sapling tree for their diocese to mark his visit. The late Bishop Michael Harty subsequently gave his sapling to the parish of Shannon and the tree now blossoms in the grounds of Ss John and Paul church.In 2005 to celebrate the silver jubilee of …

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Councillors want playground equipment to stay

SHANNON councillors have said they don’t want to see playground equipment being removed from Inis Ealga. County councillors from the Shannon area were recently informed that there is a “real danger” of the area losing its playground, as a group of residents to manage it is not in place.In a discussion on the matter following a recent Shannon area meeting Councillor Gerry Flynn said that removing the playground equipment would be “an awful bad PR exercise”. The independent councillor said that removing it “would be an awful thing to do to the children and the community.”The councillors were urged to use their influence to try and bring about the formation of another residents’ group, that would take control of the playground. Councillor Patricia McCarthy said that it may be possible to make an application for support from the town council’s community fund. She also said that responsibility for the playground should have been more evenly shared. She suggested calling a …

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300 Zagg jobs confirmed

ENTERPRISE Minister Richard Bruton will come to Shannon on Friday morning and it is expected that 300 new jobs will be announced.As previously reported, an investment by US company Zagg will result in the creation of 160 jobs by the end of 2012, with another 140 over the next four years.It is expected that they will occupy the building previously used by Tyco Electronics.Zagg make accessories for electronic products such as screen protectors and cases. They are expected to serve customers in Europe, Asia and Africa from Shannon. In 2010, the company recorded revenue for the year of US$76.1m, with a gross profit of $37.4m. The announcement comes after a year in which the overall level of employment at the Shannon Free Zone declined by 4%.Six-hundred-and-sixteen jobs were lost but this was offset by the creation of another 362 jobs.In a statement, Shannon Development said, “Three-hundred-and-sixty-two new jobs were created at Shannon Free Zone during 2010. Among the job highlights …

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€1,000 costs for repair of signs

CLARE County Council is to be stuck with a bill for over €1,000 following the repair of signs that are to be re-installed in Shannon.At this week’s meeting of Shannon area councillors, Councillor Gerry Flynn said, “In the interest of safety to the public in Shannon that Clare County Council as a matter of urgency purchase new road and estate signs for the town of Shannon.” He claimed the lack of signage was causing major problems for emergency services and the community.In a written reply, engineer Eugene O’Shea said, “A survey of the existing directional signage in the town, some of which needs to be renewed or replaced is currently underway. Once this survey is completed and costed a source of funding will have to be identified in order to proceed. “In relation to the signs that are currently being restored, repair works are underway and, subject to satisfying our requirements, it is hoped that the signs can be re-erected …

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