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Kelleher highlights need to support SMEs

SMALL and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need to be supported and can be a vital part of economic recovery, according to Minister for Trade and Commerce, Billy Kelleher.Deputy Kelleher was in Westpark, Shannon on Tuesday morning, where he addressed a seminar organised by Shannon Chamber on accessing and using EU Innovation supports.In his address, he said, “SMEs are the backbone of the Irish economy. Over 97% of businesses operating in Ireland today are small, operating over half of the total workforce in this country. The ability of small companies to compete and grow is something that merits a lot of attention, as Ireland’s future economic growth relies on the development of our indigenous enterprise sector.”The minister claimed that promoting innovation is a priority for the Government. “Over the past 10 years, the Government has trebled the level of investment in research and development and is working towards reaching its target of achieving a national R&D investment of 3% of GDP, public …

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Complaints over carnival danger beside Gaelscoil

On Tuesday, as she collected her son, Joanne Hinsley from Ballycasey said that safety had been compromised. “It’s just about health and safety. It’s so dangerous. We’ve got the playground here, the school beside it, there are cars coming in all the time and when the carnival is here there are trucks and lorries. That one of them would knock over a child is my biggest concern.”She said this wasn’t the first time the arrival of a carnival had caused problems and they had been very disappointed to see the problem arriving again this year. “We were all angry last year but no one seemed to do anything. This year, when we saw it coming back again it was different. The circus was over behind the Comp and we thought, great, it won’t be here anymore. “Then when the carnival came in the other day we couldn’t believe it. No matter how many times you tell them, the kids will …

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Firm celebrates travelling in style for 50 years

Fifty years of a limousine service that opened up Waterford and the South-East to the flow of American tourism and investment from the Shannon transatlantic gateway was marked with an anniversary re-enactment.Now heading the country’s oldest family-run limousine operation, Jim Falconer was behind the wheel when repeating the Waterford to Shannon run that he first completed 50 years ago. This time round, he was driving one of the Falconer fleet of Mercedes.Jim recalled his debut as a chauffeur. “Back in 1960 I was driving a 1952 metallic silver Ford V8 and I can even remember the registration of ZF 4320,” he said.Jim has good reason to recall every detail and the precise date, because May 4 is his birthday. “I was still at school at Waterford de La Salle and it was on my 17th birthday that I got my licence and my father gave me my first assignment.”To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Jim received a presentation from Shannon Airport …

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R&D funding call from Shannon Chamber chief

BUSINESS and academic communities should be aware of the funding being provided by the EU for research & development (R&D), according to Helen Downes, chief executive of Shannon Chamber.“With Ireland aiming to win €600 million in EU R&D funding by 2013, the West and South-Western business and academic communities should equip themselves to avail of a greater share of this funding than heretofore,” said Ms Downes ahead of a one-day seminar entitled Accessing and Using EU Innovation Supports – the Whys and Wherefores being held at the Westpark Business Campus on Tuesday, May 25.The seminar is being hosted by the chamber in conjunction with the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) and is co-hosted and supported by Enterprise Ireland, the Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland and Bank of Ireland.“It is an ideal opportunity for businesses, policy makers, regional authorities, regional development agencies, higher education institutes, innovation centres, consultants, chambers of commerce or other such entities in the West or South-West …

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‘Serious litter problem’ on N18 according to IBAL

WHILE Shannon performed very well in the 2009 IBAL litter league, there was an early shot fired across its boughs, as the 2010 league was launched this week.IBAL produced a litter report card on key tourist entry points and it found that the N18 (northbound and southbound) from Shannon Airport has a “serious litter problem”.The assessors described the road as, heavily littered with large pieces of plastic, especially on central median and litter hidden by long grass.While they were negative about Shannon, they found that the litter there isn’t as bad as at sites close to Dublin Airport, Dublin Port Tunnel, the Cork-Waterford Road and the Cork-Limerick approach road.Mayor of Shannon Seán McLoughlin said that the comments have to be taken seriously and that the growing problem of litter has to be tackled. “It’s fair comment. I brought it to the attention of the council in Shannon some months ago but the reply was that the money wasn’t there because …

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