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Gardaí praised for tracing Mountshannon cattle rustler

EAST Clare gardaí and the Department of Agriculture were today [Thursday] commended for what was described as “without question the most outstanding piece of police work” in a cattle rustling case. Remarkably the comments were made by the defence counsel for Padraig O’Brien, (42), of Magherigh, Mountshannon who pleaded guilty at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court to 15 counts of theft offences relating to the animals worth €17,000. The offences involved the theft of five in-calf heifers from Bohatch, Mountshannon between January 17 and 18, 2015; the theft of six heifers from Kilrateera, Mountshannon between May 23 and 24, 2013, and the theft of four cows from Bohatch between December 8 and 9, 2013. Gardaí and the Department of Agriculture used DNA testing to trace the stolen cattle through their progeny providing links back to O’Brien. Presiding Judge Gerald Keys commended the gardaí for their “Trojan work” highlighting that this country’s system of tracing cattle is “one of the best in …

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Updated: Voluntary redundancy scheme for Shannon

SOURCES on Wednesday evening indicated that employees aged in their mid 50s and older at Shannon Airport will be offered a voluntary redundancy package. While Shannon’s traffic has increased since it separated from the Dublin Airport Authority at the start of 2013, it is still less than 50% of what it was at its peak. As far back as June 2015, a voluntary redundancy scheme for the airport was first proposed, at a time when Neil Pakey was still its CEO. Then it was said that such a move would be required to address Shannon’s cost base, with staffing levels still relatively similiar to 2006 and 2007, when Shannon had more than 3.6 million passengers per annum. To put it in perspective, there were 1.7 million passengers in 2016. It appears that the savings achieved through redundancies would be used in part to fund redevelopment at the airport. At the moment some works are underway in the terminal building and there are …

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More overseas investment needed – Canney

Ireland must redouble its efforts to attract overseas investment and expand business in light of the triggering of Article 50 by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, according to Independent Alliance Junior Minister Sean Canney. The Galway East TD, who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works, has acknowledged the significance of the triggering of Article 50, saying it is a ‘huge day in the history of the European Union’. “While we respect the vote of the people of the UK, now that Article 50 has been triggered, Ireland must make sure we protect ourselves and our economy in the best possible way,” Minister Canney said. The Minister, who recently returned from a St Patrick’s Day trade mission to China, said there are significant trading opportunities with Asian countries such as China and Ireland needs to work hard and redouble its efforts to secure these. “Ireland will negotiate from a position of strength as an integral part of the EU …

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Heartbreaking defeat for footballers in Newbridge

Kildare 0-18 Clare 1-14 CLARE fell to a heartbreaking one point defeat in Newbridge on Sunday afternoon. Five points down at half-time, they took the game to the home county in the second half, with Shane Brennan scoring a crucial goal. He flicked to the net following a Keelan Sexton angled delivery. Fifteen minutes from time Clare led 1-12 to 0-13 and at that point, the pendulum seemed to be swinging in their direction. However late points from Fionn Dowling and Paul Cribbin swung the result in favour of Cian O’Neill’s team, who are now promoted. Eoin Cleary had an opportunity to equalise from an injury time free but it drifted wide. Unless Clare beat Meath in their final game in Ennis next Sunday, they will need Down and Derry to lose their final league ties, to stave off relegation to division 3. Kildare led 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time, with their midfielder Kevin Feely kicking 0-5 from frees. Clare …

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High rent driving people to Simon

A TOTAL of 730 people, including 500 children, are regularly receiving supplies from the Mid West Simon food banks in Ennis and Kilrush, it has emerged. This figure is an increase of 180 people, compared to July 2016. Figures released by Mid West Simon this week gave a detailed breakdown of the amount of people who are depending on the charity to feed either themselves or, in many cases, entire families. In Ennis, 356 children are depending on food from the bank, which caters for 54 families, including 90 adult females and 26 adult males. The Ennis food bank caters for a total of 472 people, compared to 258 in Kilrush. The Kilrush figure includes 143 children, 58 men and 57 adult females. Tracey Reddy, client services manager with Mid West Simon, has told The Clare Champion that increases in rent is a contributing factor to food poverty in the county. “The number of people using food banks is increasing …

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VAT creates a grave situation

Payment of VAT on graves in newly developed graveyards is an unfair imposition on hard pressed communities, Clare Independent TD Dr Michael Harty maintains. The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has told Deputy Harty that while the provision of services by an undertaker is exempt from VAT, the exemption does not extend to the supply of graves. However, the minister, in a written reply to a parliamentary question, said the supply of a grave in a graveyard that is more than five years old is also exempt from VAT but the supply of a grave in a newly developed graveyard is liable to a VAT rate of 13.5%. Minister Noonan added that the operator of a newly developed graveyard is entitled to VAT deductibility on their development costs as well as ongoing maintenance costs during the period where VAT is applied to the supply of graves. “I don’t understand,” said Dr. Harty, “ why graveyards over five years old are …

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Inagh-Kilnamona and Feakle-Killanena meet again

The under 21 A hurling final will be a repeat of last year with Inagh-Kilnamona (holders) taking on Feakle-Killanena on a date to be confirmed. Feakle-Killanena were first to qualify when they scored a 2-18 to 0-17 win over Clonlara at Gurteen earlier this evening.. A contribution of 1-12, 1-9 from frees from Fiachra Donnellan, played a key part in Feakle-Killanena’s victory. Clonlara led by two points at half time when the score was 0-11 to 1-6, the winner’s first half goal having come from Darren Keehan and this was still the position five minutes into he second half after the sides had exchanged points. Donnellan’s goal, seven minutes into the second half, proved to be a crucial score and gave his side back a lead they held to the finish. Evan McMahon, Con Smyth, Cathal Noonan and Tobias O’Meara gave most support to Donnellan on the evening. Ian Galvin who contributed a dozen points, Cian and Sean Moriarty and …

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Tom Coughlan to chair HSA

Former chief executive of Clare County Council Tom Coughlan has been announced as the chairman designate of the board of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). Mr Coughlan who was council CEO from 2009 to 2016, is a board member of the Shannon Group PLC. In accordance with the Programme for a Partnership Government, Mr Coughlan is scheduled to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation prior to the confirmation of his appointment. This appearance will take place on Tuesday, April 11. The announcement was made today (Friday) by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen. Three of the ordinary members, who were recruited to the board of the HSA via the Public Appointments Service (PAS) in 2014, have been re-appointed for a second three-year term. They have been joined by a new appointee, Ms Deirdre Cullivan.  Ms Cullivan was recruited through PAS and is a science graduate with senior level …

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Bus strike hits Clare

Bus Éireann passengers in County Clare have been making alternative travel plans today as an-all out strike is underway. Among those discommoded are people who normally use bus services to get to work and those who travel from rural areas to Ennis for shopping and business. One regular Bus Éireann passenger from West Clare told The Clare Champion he was unable to make it to work today, which had serious implications for him and his employer. Bus Éireann services across the country stopped at midnight after drivers refused to work under the threat of pay cuts. Management at the transport firm are warning they need to plug a multi-million euro hole in their finances, but their claim that there’s ‘no basis’ for talks led to unions escalating their action. Unions representing drivers say members will engage in all-out indefinite strike until their greviences are addressed. Unions are in dispute with the company over cuts to pay, the casualisation of work and the …

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Clare companies at UK travel show

Fourteen Irish tourism companies, including O’Brien Line Ferries and Shannon Ferries, have joined Tourism Ireland at the British Tourism and Travel Show this week. The show at the NEC in Birmingham is an annual event for the travel trade in Britain,attracting nearly 3,000 coach tour operators and group travel organisers, including leading travel companies like British Airways Holidays, Coachholidays.com and JacTravel. The two-day event provides a valuable opportunity for the participating companies from Ireland to meet, and do business with, key players in the British travel trade. Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland’s deputy head of Great Britain, said, “Great Britain is the largest market for tourism to Ireland and we were pleased to see visitor numbers increase by +11% in 2016, an extra 377,200 British visitors compared with 2015. Our presence at this year’s show is just one element of Tourism Ireland’s programme of activity with the travel trade. Our aim is to enthuse the British travel trade, including online and …

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