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Tag Archives: christmas

Santa flying high at Shannon

A very merry Christmas, with an anticipated 15% increase in passenger numbers from 12 months ago, kicked off at Shannon Airport at the weekend, as 2,000 children and parents got to meet Santa in the skies. In an initiative to thank the public for its support over what has been a year of strong growth, as well as raise some much needed funds for two local charities, Shannon Airport, in partnership with Ryanair, made Christmas come early for the excited children as 12 flights took the skies over Saturday and Sunday. Among those getting to savour this special moment were special needs children from the Clare Crusaders Clinic, St Gabriel’s School in Limerick and Mirmear Autism Unit in Tipperary. Demand for the ‘free flights’, the booking fee for which goes to charity, was so high that they booked out in all of 12 minutes, when they went up for grabs two weeks ago. The airport is readying itself for its …

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Steer clear of unsafe toys this Christmas

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has an extensive list of  unsafe toys, which Santa shouldn’t be asked to bring this Christmas. Last year, the commission prevented some 20,000 unsafe toys from being placed for sale on the Irish market. The unsafe toys, mainly imported from China, were unbranded, of poor quality and intended for sale at markets or discount shops. If the commission determines that a product presents a hazard to the consumer, it can compel the trader to take appropriate remedial action, which might include the product being withdrawn from the market and the recall and or repair of products already sold. The commission is the Irish contact point for the Europe-wide rapid alert system, RAPEX, which contains a list of all product recalls, which have taken place in the EU. Safety tips for parents in guiding their children when compiling their Santa list: Only buy toys with the CE Mark. All toys for sale in Ireland must have the …

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Fr Ger sleep-out to focus on poor

IN a gesture of solidarity with the poor, Ennis priest, Fr Ger Fitzgerald will be spending the night outside a rundown apartment block, beginning at 12midnight up to 7am on Christmas Day. Fr Ger will rough it at the Fairways Apartments, near Ennis Hospital, as part of what he hopes will be the first of many initiatives in the coming year, which will see a closer union between the Church and the poor. He sees it as part of the Church’s attempts to do what Pope Francis has demanded and go out into the streets and meet the poor and those in need. He has asked the public to remember him in their prayers that night and welcomes anyone interested in joining him for an hour or half an hour in solidarity. “In particular if you can play a musical instrument or tell a good story,” he said. Outlining the reasons behind this initiative, Fr Ger said, “Last March, when …

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Seeking a mould-free house for Christmas

A FATHER of three is pleading with Ennis Town Council to help make a Christmas promise to his family come true – that they will not have to continue to live in their home that has been riddled with mould and damp. Ayobami Oyedele has been living in Clancy Park as a tenant of the town council with his family for the past five years and he says that his house is now inhabitable. “I promised my family that we are not going to be here at Christmas, it is just so bad the dampness is all over. I don’t know how I am going to keep that promise,” he said. When contacted by the Clare Champion, a spokesperson for Ennis Town Council stated that while they do not comment on individual circumstances, they could confirm there have been ongoing discussions with the family. They added that contact would be maintained towards addressing their circumstances. Mr Oyedele said that he …

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Exiles boost for Clare business

EMIGRATION is one of the most regrettable effects of the recession but with masses returning from countries like Australia and Canada, Clare businesses are getting a Christmas lift. Patrick Bourke has men’s clothes shops in Kilrush and Ennis and he says that the ‘Australia effect’ is obvious at the moment. “There are an awful lot of people buying clothing when they come home. They’re travelling light on the way home because of carriage and it’s so hot over there, but when they come home they’re frozen.” One visitor to his shop had little option but to go shopping quickly. “A fella came home with one pair of jeans on him, his mother asked him to bring in coal and he dirtied his only jeans! He was going buying more, but that forced his hand to do it a bit earlier.” He says that pubs will probably get more business from people back home for short visits. “There was a fella …

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Festival of Cribs in Liscannor

THE annual Festival of Christmas Cribs will be held at Liscannor Church from Saturday to Monday next. More than 550 cribs, representing the traditions of over 50 countries around the world, will be on display. According to parish priest, Fr Denis Crosby, this is a great opportunity to see the variation of interpretations of the Christmas story in different cultures. The display should be of particular interest to young children, so families are being encouraged to visit the church over the weekend. The festival will be open each day from 10am to 6pm.

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Christmas magic in the Shannon skies

The magic of Christmas will come alive in the skies over Shannon for 3,000 lucky children. Ryanair, with the support of Shannon Airport, have decided to spread the Christmas cheer in an initiative to celebrate the recent agreement between the parties by offering free flights to meet Santa over the next two weekends. The initiative also celebrates Shannon’s first year as an independent entity, a year which has seen it make significant advances across a number of fronts, including stabilising passenger numbers and moving to growth mode for 2014. The free flights will operate on Saturdays and Sundays over this and the following weekend from Shannon Airport six times daily for 40 minutes each – enough time for the flights to get sufficiently airborne for Santa to jump on board from his sleigh and spread the festive cheer among the excited young passengers. The magical one-off opportunity will enable many children not alone to meet Santa some 15,000ft above sea …

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