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Alternative to Lough Derg abstraction proposed

A plan to take water from the Comeragh Mountains to deal with water shortages in the Dublin region would eliminate the need for the controversial Lough Derg water abstraction project, a retired Cork businessman has claimed. William K Loftus, who previously ran a plant hire and civil engineering business, has drafted proposals for what he described as an “elaborate plan to utilise the southern side of the Comeragh Mountains for freshwater storage and a hydro electric scheme by seawater in the lower lakes”. Mr Loftus maintains it can be achieved without interfering with the scenic aspect of the mountains on the Mahon Falls side. He has sent his proposal to Irish Water (IW), who hadn’t responded to a number of Clare Champion at the time of going to print. A Department of Environment spokesman stated the matter is for IW, while Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s private secretary acknowledged press queries from The Clare Champion but didn’t respond with a comment …

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Cratloe PO to stay open

Cratloe Post Office is to remain open for at least another 18 months it has been announced. Senator Tony Mulcahy said he has received confirmation from An Post that the contract for the operation of the post office, which was due to end this month, has been extended until September 2016. He said An Post’s decision is a credit to the work of the local community and the Cratloe Post Office Action Group which have “campaigned vigorously” against the closure during recent months.” He described the extension of the Post Office contract as “a victory for community action.” “I attended a number of meetings in Cratloe and at the GPO in Dublin at which the people of Cratloe outlined the many reasons why the post office should remain open and how its closure would potentially impact the village and surrounding areas. This community approach worked and has served to convince An Post that its plan to not renew the Post …

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Airport makes some new friends

THE newly formed Friends of Shannon Airport held its inaugural meeting recently at the Oakwood Arms Hotel. Officials have been elected within the group and it will now embark on setting up its operating structure and establishing a programme of activity to support the airport, as it continues on the growth path it began when it was separated from the Dublin Airport Authority. The origins of the group date to a 2014 meeting at the airport, which facilitated requests from people keen to see how they could support Shannon. To date, members of the public from Clare, Limerick, Galway, Tipperary and Cork have shown an interest in getting involved. Shannon Group CEO, Neil Pakey, said the enthusiasm of the Friends of Shannon Airport members and the sense of volunteerism is very encouraging. “There is a really strong sense of community around Shannon Airport and a sense of belonging that stretches far and wide, up the west coast, deep into the …

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Ardnacrusha man dreaming of perfect job

A TALENTED Ardnacrusha actor and director is among five finalists who are bidding to win a €50,000 prize fund to pursue his dream job. Mark Griffin soared above almost 2,000 entries to earn a voted place in the Dream Job final with Brazilian fashion designer, Alex D’Paula; Dublin concert pianist, Sean Rooney; Stillorgan-based music composer, Scott Tobin and Dundalk comedian, Lisa Casey. Budweiser is asking people across the country to check out the finalist videos on their Facebook page and offer their vote to the person they believe deserves it most. Although each finalist has already secured an equipment bursary of €2,000, the opportunity for the overall winner is life-changing; with a prize fund of €50,000 up for grabs, as well as the priceless mentoring and industry guidance they will receive. The judging panel was headed up by Game of Thrones star, Liam Cunningham, alongside internationally acclaimed DJ Matador and TV presenter, Leanne Moore. According to a Budweiser spokeswoman, the …

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Woman dies after Hurler’s Cross fire

A woman was pronounced dead following a fire at a house in Firgrove at Hurler’s Cross in the early hours of this morning. The alarm was raised at around 1.30am and the emergency services were summoned. The woman was 70 years of age and she was pronounced dead shortly after 5am at the scene. Her name has not been released at the time of writing.

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George Hook at Young FG dinner

The keynote speaker at this weekend’s Young Fine Gael conference dinner will be An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, while TV rugby pundit, George Hook will deliver what will undoubtedly an entertain after dinner speech. The conference opens at the Radisson Blu Hotel this Friday evening and  will continue until Sunday afternoon, during which time a wide range of party and national issues will be discussed. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and MEP Mairead McGuinness will be among the speakers.  

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Killaloe centre shortlisted for award

A dementia specific respite and daycare centre in Ballina/Killaloe, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Irish Healthcare Award, 2015. Waterman’s Lodge, which has been nominated under the Specialist Centre of the Year category, is one of two national respite centres run by the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland. A former hotel, the premises was acquired by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland in 2008 and extensively modernised and converted into a dementia specific care centre. The purpose of the respite centre is to provide dementia specific person-centred care to the person with dementia and their carers in the community. The centre can accommodate up to 11 respite clients per week. Currently there is 35 staff employed at Waterman’s Lodge all of whom have received dementia specific training. The Irish Healthcare Centre Awards 2015 will be presented on March 27.

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Killaloe hay barn fire ‘suspicious’

KILLALOE gardaí are investigating the circumstances surrounding a suspicious fire, which has caused in the region of €20,000 to €40,000 worth of damage to property at a hay barn in Garraunboy, Killaloe. Gardaí received a call at 6.30am on Sunday, alerting them to a fire at a hay barn, where farm machinery is stored, in the townland of Garraunboy. At the scene, gardaí found that extensive damage was caused to not alone the hay barn but also to two silage trailers and a sprayer. An investigation was launched and the fire is being treated as a deliberate act of vandalism. Gardaí have determined that there was nothing in the hay barn or any external factor that may have caused an accidental fire at this location and so are treating the incident as suspicious. The owner of the property, who works as a farm contractor and lives nearby, was alerted to the fire by neighbours, who heard an explosion and contacted …

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