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Tag Archives: christmas

President Higgins sends Christmas greetings

May I, as President of Ireland, mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, send you my warmest wishes for a peaceful and a Happy Christmas and New Year. Christmas is a time when we can pause for reflection, as we look back on the year gone by. It is a time when it is surely appropriate to recall the story that lies at the heart of this festive season. That story is of a long and difficult journey, and the birth of a child, in a temporary home, in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Let us think too of how far from a state of peace that region is today, and how the absence of peace reflects our failure at a human and diplomatic level, and how, sadly, we hear words that provoke rather than heal. Across the many years and miles that separate us from the original Christmas story, we can unfortunately see too many parallels in our own society today. As …

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Christmas safety standards check

Clare homeowners and shoppers have been reminded by Minister of State Pat Breen to check for safety standards during the festive season. Supporting the “12 Day’s of Christmas Safety” by the National Standards Authority of Ireland, which is under his remit, Minister Breen wished all Clare people a safe Christmas. “To ensure we all remain safe and happy during this special time of year, it its worth remembering the safety advised being issued by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). “The NSAI will issue daily reminders to help us all stay safe including advice such as the CE mark must be present on all children’s toys, fairy lights and other electronics. “We are also reminded to buy products from trustworthy shops and legitimate online stores and check all your Christmas lights for signs of wear-and-tear and replace them if necessary,” Minister Breen said.

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Garda step up campaign to curb drink driving

In the first 10 days of the DUI (Driving Under Intoxicant) campaign,December 1-10 inclusive, there have been 260 arrests on suspicion of DUI, compared to 243 for the same period in 2016. Whilst most are alcohol related, there have also been positive tests for drug driving. There are multiple examples of arrested drivers found to have an alcohol concentration of more than 100 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath. These have been intercepted throughout the country, including the morning after and early evening. The limits are, 9 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath for a specified driver. A specified driver includes learner, novice and professional driver. 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millitres of breath for a non-specified driver. The Garda message is, “This Christmas campaign will continue to concentrate on intoxicated drivers all day every day. These high risk drivers put everyone’s life in danger. Never ever drink and drive.”

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Dear Santa, please bring me

The Clare Champion has received lots of letters for Santa Claus over the past few weeks. We will be sending them by special post to the North Pole, in good time for Santa and his team of elves to load his magic sleigh with presents for children all over the world. Don’t be too disappointed if Santa does not deliver all you asked for in your letter, as there is huge demand on some toys.   He will do his best with nice surprises instead. You can read all the letters to Santa in this week’s Clare Champion, in Living, pages 6 and 7.

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Santa’s elves in tip-top shape after Bunratty boot-camp

All is at the ready at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park for the biggest Santa experience ever in the Mid-West after the great man’s team of Elves have successfully been put through their paces with a special Elf Bootcamp. New recruits to the Elf team were on their toes throughout last weekend’s boot-camp to make sure they are ready to start welcoming over 23,000 people who will come through the doors once they open for this’s special experience on Saturday. ‘The Santa Experience at Bunratty’ has become a Christmas staple for young people from across the country but wouldn’t be possible for Santa to put on without the help of his very special helpers. Among the tasks set for them for last weekend’s boot-camp were how many of Mrs Claus’ mince pies they could hand out in a single minute; could they fit through the special Elf hatch; could they bear the warmer climate here; how good were they at …

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A happy Christmas for traders

TRADERS in Clare say that Christmas 2016 was quite good for them, providing some evidence that long-sought economic recovery has reached the county. Paul Queally of SuperValu in Kilrush and Killaloe felt that December 25 falling on a Sunday was helpful, as it changed how people spent. “In comparison to other years it was favourable, slightly up on previous years. It often is like that when you have a full week running into it. When it is like that, it tends to be busier. It’s a bit more relaxed, people can remember everything they are looking for and there isn’t as much of a rush.” While he believes this side of the country is still lagging behind the east, he feels that things improved in Clare a little this year. “I would say it has been quite good this year, probably the best for a few years.” Audrey Flynn of Ennis Electrical also felt it had been a fairly good …

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Six drink-driving detections over Christmas

SIX people have been detected drink driving in Clare over the Christmas period, with two of these being during the day time. Of the six drink drivers, one was detected at 9.20am on Monday, December 19 and another at lunchtime on December 21. Two were detected in the early hours of December 28. Although the drink-driving figures for the month of December to date show a “significant increase” in those driving while under the influence of alcohol, locally the statistics are down one on last year for the Christmas period. On December 1, An Garda Síochána and the RSA launched the Christmas and new year anti-drink driving campaign. This was heavily publicised across all broadcast mediums, particularly social media, and was fronted by the Treacy family, who tragically lost their four-year-old son Ciarán in a road traffic collision involving a drunk driver. Despite this stark ad, people continue to drive under the influence. Nationally, from December 1 to December 20, …

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Cathaoirleach contributes to charity

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council has made Christmas donations to five local charity organisations. Councillor Bill Chambers made the donations in place of sending Mayoral Christmas cards.The charity organisations are Aware, West Clare Cancer Support Group, Irish Kidney Association (Clare), Brothers of Charity (Kilrush), and the Mid-West Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association. “I am delighted to contribute to the respective fundraising efforts of these wonderful organisations who for different but important reasons rely on such donations,” stated Cathaoirleach Chambers.

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