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Shannon

Chamber president sees ‘payback for NAMA’ in Budget

ELEMENTS of the budget were welcomed by Shannon Chamber president Ian Barrett at a breakfast briefing for members held last Thursday morning, as the country absorbed the detail of Brian Lenihan’s figures.“The chamber welcomes steps to take control of the public finances. It sends out the message that we are serious about it internationally,” he commented.He welcomed the message that corporation tax wasn’t being increased, saying the existing low rate was the single biggest factor in bringing foreign direct investment to Ireland.Mr Barrett welcomed the rates freeze in Clare. “Shannon Chamber lobbied hard on rates and I would like to applaud Clare County Council and the councillors for passing a zero per cent increase in rates and a three per cent cut in water rates.” He also welcomed a package for flooding relief and prevention.A presentation on the budget was given by Lesley Barrett and Eamonn Murphy of Grant Thornton.The credit review system mentioned in the Budget was described as …

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Councillors pushing for more library parking

CLARE County Council is being urged to provide additional disabled parking spaces at the Seán Lemass library.At this week’s meeting of local area councillors, Mayor of Shannon, Seán McLoughlin, asked that the situation be addressed and put forward three possible responses.They were: to widen the area in front of the library and put parking spaces with bumper to kerb parking; clean out the area at the back of the library and make it suitable for parking; or to provide disabled parking spaces at the back and front of the library.In his reply on the matter, however, engineer Eugene O’Shea said there are a number of difficulties to be addressed.“The road fronting the library is a private road and not in charge of the council. Widening of the area in front of the library is therefore not an option. In any event the road layout is not suitable for reversing vehicles due to inadequate sight lines and the vehicular access on …

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New oratory means more churches than pubs in Shannon says mayor

  THE new SkyCourt Adoration Chapel opened on Tuesday afternoon and was blessed by Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh.Located in the Town Square, it replaces the old oratory in SkyCourt, which opened in 1976.The chapel was developed at a cost of €250,000 and can accommodate 60 people, although there was a larger crowd at Tuesday’s opening with the congregation spilling out the doors. Writing in the booklet that was distributed at the opening, parish priest, Fr Tom Ryan said it was a very significant moment for the parish. “On an occasion like today, there is an undoubted sense of nostalgia as we consider all those who helped build and give shape to our parish over the past 42 years and who have gone to their eternal reward. I thank all who have helped make this oratory a reality; the owners of SkyCourt, Shannon Development Company, parishioners and friends who use this place as part of their daily lives. Our ceremony …

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Interest in cricket on the rise

  TWENTY-five year old Raj Singh is one of the leading members of the Clare Cricket Club, which was formed two years ago.The Indian national, who lives in Ballycasey and works in Limerick, says that the club has a good number of members living in Shannon, where much of their summer training was done. “This was just our second year. Because we don’t have our own ground, we have to play all away games. We trained on the all-weather pitch here in Shannon and in Ennis a bit. For the winter, we are training indoors in Newmarket.”Of course, there is a very small cricket base in the county, with many of the players having recently arrived to Ireland. “We have three or four from South Africa, a few from England and Australia and three or four more from India. We have a few Irish playing as well. It’s a mixture of people from all different cultures.”While it’s not a game …

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New church for town to be officially opened

THE new Catholic church in the dioceses of Killaloe will open on December 8 at the Town Square.Bishop Willie Walsh will bless and dedicate the new Adoration Chapel, which will replace the Oratory in SkyCourt Shopping Centre. The Oratory was provided as a place of worship, rent free, since 1976, four years after the opening of Shannon Town Centre. Since then, mass has been celebrated at the Oratory and people have went there daily to pray.With the redevelopment of the town centre as SkyCourt, the Oratory moved to temporary premises in the shopping centre in 2004. SkyCourt later commissioned a new standalone building in the town square to replace the old facility. The Adoration Chapel was developed by SkyCourt at a cost of €250,000.The new chapel is an oval-shaped building and will be able to accommodate up to 60 people. It was designed by Thompsons & Partners and architect Michael Pledge said the project presented an interesting and unusual opportunity. …

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Smithstown planning decision appealed

A DECISION made by Clare County Council in relation to a planning application at Smithstown has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.Greenband Investments had sought permission for a mixed-use development that would include a number of retail units and a neighbourhood centre, a discount foodstore, motor showroom, business centre and medical centre.The neighbourhood centre would have a number of retail outlets but planners refused permission for this aspect of the development earlier this year. In the appeal to An Bord Pleanála, Greenband gave a number of reasons why the neighbourhood centre should be allowed to go ahead.“While the council notes that the uses proposed within the neighbourhood centre are considered appropriate, they assert that the centre would have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre. The planning official’s report notes that ‘while the uses as proposed within the neighbourhood centre area considered appropriate uses for a neighbourhood centre, the location of this neighbourhood centre in …

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Company rewarded for thinking big

SHANNON-based company ABC Nutrition was a winner at the Bord Bia Food & Drink Industry Awards recently.The company came out on top in the Thinking Big category, which is for small businesses that have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, matched by strong sales and marketing.Seán McNamara is a director of the company and he said he is thrilled with the success.“We couldn’t believe it. The other winners included the likes of Glanbia and Kerry Group, huge companies, whereas we’re very small and virtually unknown.”The company employs eight people and has been running for the last three years. It produces sports nutrition products, such as nutritional powders, vitamin capsules and spray vitamins, and is now exporting to 13 countries.ABC Nutrition is still doing relatively well, despite the global recession, according to Seán.“Myself and Willie Wixted, who was a friend of mine from school, had experience of similar American companies and we saw an opening here. It’s going well, although it’s a tough …

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