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Tag Archives: Owen Ryan

“We need a new direction and new leadership”

ROSE Hynes has been at the helm of Shannon Group since it was created, but her time could come to an end within weeks. Last year a five year spell as chairman of the board came to a conclusion, but she was reappointed for a further 12 months. While it had been expected that she would be reappointed for another two years, and still may be, it is understood that this is not a done deal at this stage. It is understood that Ms Hynes would be open to remaining in the position going forward. While Shannon Group has had some successes on the property side of its business over the last couple of years, the performance of Shannon Airport has been quite disappointing, and this was the case before the emergence of Covid-19. This year has seen a number of calls for Ms Hynes to be replaced, with these coming from figures in local tourism and in politics. On …

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“They have no outlet at all”

TUESDAY evening’s decision to keep pubs which don’t serve food, was bad news for the vast majority of rural Clare’s publicans. Many such pubs closed for the last time during the recession and among those still standing, there are fears that Covid-19 could be the coup de grace. “You’d be afraid customers would stop coming to pubs, the whole thing could change.” warned John Quinlivan of the Honk in Newmarket on Fergus on Wednesday. Allowing only a select few pubs to open their doors may actually be counterproductive, giving too great a concentration of people, he believes. “I think it’s actually more dangerous. We were away for a weekend and there were only two pubs that did food in this area, and everyone was gravitating to these two places and funnelling into them. Between people inside trying to come out, people trying to get in and people trying to book, there was a whole heap of people at the one …

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“Is it a second wave? It’s hard to know”

CLARE went for weeks at a time without any confirmed Covid-19 cases earlier in the summer, but the numbers for the county jumped from 380 to 399 between July 30 and August 4. As it stands now Clare is the county with the second highest number of infections (335.8) per 100,000 persons in Munster, behind Tipperary, where the figure per 100,000 of population is 341.6. The figure for Galway is just 193.0. Speaking to the Clare Champion on Tuesday, West Clare GP and former TD Michael Harty said there were bound to be more cases of Covid-19 as restrictions were relaxed. “As restrictions ease obviously there’s going to be a resurgence of the virus, that’s been repeated elsewhere and there’s no reason to think Clare will be any different to anywhere else.” Last weekend saw footage emerge of huge numbers of people completely disregarding precautions in Kilkee and Dr Harty said that if guidance isn’t followed there will be consequences. …

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“We’ll be bailing out each other”

WITH massive numbers of people out of work, even the language about the economic shock seems jaded, according to UL-based economist Stephen Kinsella. “The first thing to note is that we need to come up with new words for unprecedented,” he jokes. “The only time I can compare this to is the Second World War, the Emergency, when everything was rationed.” So many people who were contributing to the State’s coffers just a few months ago are drawing from them now but can this continue? “You could conceivably keep doing it. It costs something like €200 million a week. Every long month, that’s a billion quid. The stock of debt is slightly over €200bn and we can borrow very, very cheaply. “If it’s a question of keeping the wolf from the door for lots and lots of people or allowing them to go on the dole, then you should just keep spending the money. Forever isn’t possible but to the …

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“We are in the depression”

WHILE the battle against Covid-19 is being won in the towns and villages of the Banner, the county has slipped into an economic depression. Around 14,400 Clare people are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350, with 900 medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19 related Illness Benefit payment. More than 1,000 Clare businesses, employing approximately 7,300 people, have registered for the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. There are also 5,662 people on the Live Register, according to the most recent statistics from the Central Statistics Office. When all of these are combined, it seems likely that the majority of Clare’s workforce are now receiving some level of support from the State, an unprecedented situation. Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Limerick Stephen Kinsella spoke to The Clare Champion on Tuesday and when asked if an economic depression is now inevitable, he said, “I think the right way to think about it is that we are in the …

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Concern over chemicals at Avara plant

WITH Shannon company Avara in provisional liquidation, local county councillor Mike McKee has raised concerns about public safety, given the chemicals stored there and about the level of redundancy being offered to departing workers. On Wednesday, Councillor McKee said, “My understanding is that they are going to keep a skeleton staff there, due to the fact that there are materials in the plant. The materials in the plant are quite significant and could be construed as quite dangerous chemicals. One has to question are the company being responsible on this because of the seriousness of the raw products that are in situ in the plant. They would be left on their own with just a handful of people monitoring them. I do know for a fact that the chemicals are not the most stable.” He questioned if the people currently charged with running the company, as a buyer is sought, are aware of some of the incidents that have happened there …

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Former Clare TD holding back cattle in support of protests

FARMER and former TD Michael McNamara is supportive of the Beef Plan protests and is holding back his own cattle. “I have cattle that are fit to kill and I’m not moving them. I’m going to hold them until this strike is over, one way or another. Whether they are under 30 months or over 30 months, I’m going to hold them,” he said. He expects things could become even more tense at the front lines of the protest, as he predicts that the “big companies will do everything they can to break the strike”. Mr McNamara slammed the Competition Authority for not looking closely at what is happening in the beef industry. “The only investigation the Competition Authority in Ireland has carried out in relation to price fixing was that they raided the IFA offices. The Competition Authority in Ireland is a joke and I’m happy to be on the record to say they are a joke. They’re like …

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HSE failures continue 10 years on

TEN years ago this month, 24- hour emergency department services in Ennis closed and services in the region were reconfigured, despite dire warnings that the HSE’s new plan would not work and could, in fact, prove disastrous. When one looks back at the reports from that time, it is very striking how prescient the people who made the objections were but even they surely could not have believed that things would be so bad so long later. On Monday, Clare County Council passed a motion of no confidence in Minister Simon Harris, after 81 people were left on trolleys at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) last Wednesday. In The Clare Champion of April 3, 2009, Clare TD Pat Breen opposed the new acute model and, at the time, he felt far more moderate figures were also terrible. “Patients have been left on trolleys for extended periods. There were 17 people on trolleys in Limerick on Tuesday and 28 people on Monday,” …

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