Emerging Talent Programme nears end

THE Emerging Talent Programme concludes in Clare next Monday June 4, with a four county end of year “Development Day” featuring Clare, Limerick County, Roscommon, and North Tipperary at Lees Road.

The focus of the day is on player development with each league field- ing two squads each playing three games. One half of each match will be a coaching game where coaches will stop and coach players during the games.

Through the programme for under- age talent in Clare aged from 1I1 — 16,

the FAI are seeking to develop the game outside the traditional urban centres of Cork and Dublin.

The programme has been developed along similar guidelines to many of the European Countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Holland. The major difference between those pro- grammes and the FAI’s is that each Emerging Talent Squad is coached and administrated by qualified lo- cal people in each of the 33 School- boys/girls leagues in the country. The CPSSL agreed to join the FAI’s emerging talent programme last Sep- tember

The aim of the Emerging Talent

programme is to identify, monitor, and develop players from age 11 to 16 that are capable of reaching their full potential.

The CPSSL began year one with the selection of a Squad of 30 play- ers born in 1995 in August 2006. This squad was then enlarged to 44 players at Christmas 2006. The pro- gramme consisted of 34 coaching sessions run weekly from August to May. The sessions have to be con- ducted by minimum two qualified coaches.

These coaches who commit to working with league emerging tal- ent quads then get their additional

coaching qualifications funded by the FAI as long as they stay in the programme. The coaching sessions are designed and implemented in line with an age appropriate syllabus to try and produce all round players.

Eventually the players will be able to have the confidence and talent to express themselves in competitive situations such as Kennedy Cup and Umbro Cup. Each League Emerging Talent Squad has to meet strict set criteria during and at the end of year in order to receive tunding from the Wave

According to Denis Hynes FAI Re- gional Development Officer, “Any

kid now living in any part of Ire- land can now get access to the pro- gramme. There is no need for kids to have to leave their locality be that club or league to receive top quality coaching”.

All club coaches and parents to at- tend the day. The under 11 Emerging Talent Development Day begins at llam and runs to 3pm at Lees Road.


It’s the business

FITZPATRICK & Co are currently selling a Retail Unit in the Bru na Sionna development in Shannon, Clare. In a superb central location adjacent to SkyCourt Shopping Cen- tre and within easy reach of Shan- non International Airport and Shan- non Free Zone, Bru na Sionna when completed, will consist of approx. 230 residential units, 11 commercial

units and car parking.

Under construction by Paddy Burke Builders Ltd. and available through Fitzpatrick & Company is a 205 sq. m. prime ground floor unit with full planning permission for Retail use.

The unit will be ideally located within the Bru na Sionna develop- ment with adjacent parking.

For further details, please contact Rory Fitzpatrick at 061 361118.


Dont hound the council for funds

NORTH Clare community groups will be prohibited from ‘hounding’ Clare County Council for top-up funding should they fall short in capital for developing playgrounds, it was decided at yesterday’s local area meeting of Clare County Council in Ennistymon.

A motion put forward by Cllr Flan Garvey (FF), proposed that Corofin playground would be granted one off top-up funding of €12,000 from the 2008 Playground Grant Scheme (PGS), but that no future proposal for extra funding for playgrounds would be entertained.

The proposal came following a dis- cussion from the council as to which playground should benefit from some €§3,000 available under the PGS for 2007. New playgrounds in Lahinch, Ballyvaughan and Kilmaley all made applications for the funding as well as the Corofin playground which re- ceived some €50,000 last year.

‘“T’m very clear in my conscience that our commitment this year is to Lahinch. I would suggest that we al- locate the €12,000 to Corofin out of next year’s funding,” said Garvey. “If committees know they can come back to us every year if they over- spend then they will be coming back and hounding us year after year.

“As from next year, no-one will

get extra funding should they over- spend.”

An informal decision was made last year to prioritise the Lahinch play- ground, which is being developed in parallel with a major council devel- opment on the village’s promenade.

“T have no problem with Corofin getting more funding we would first need to find out how much it would take to complete the playground in Lahinch. We don’t want to have a half finished playground in Lahinch. There cannot have a finished play- eround without money. We gave a commitment to Lahinch last year, a unanimous commitment from this committee,” said Cllr Richard Nagle (FF).

“The playground committee and local community in Lahinch have en- gaged in a load of fundraising events which have raise some €50,000. Everything is in place to proceed, with a view to the community sup- port and the commitment that we gave last year. I think we should pro- eTere Ma Laem ore Lie

After lengthy discussion it was de- cided that the Lahinch playground would receive the full allocation of this year’s funding, with Corofin to receive an amount of funding from the 2008 budget. Other playgrounds, such as in Ballyvaughan and Kilma- ley will also be considered for fund- ing in 2008.


Sheep farmers make the headlines

THE problems faced by Irish sheep farmers made national media head- lines last Thursday following a successful stunt by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association in Dublin’s O’Connell’s street.

The farming organisation took ad- vantage of last Wednesday’s morato- rium of general election coverage in the media and succeeded in bringing the issue to a non-farming viewer- ship for the first time.

ICSA sheep farmers gave away their lamb on Dublin’s O’Connell

Street last Wednesday, giving more than 400 families a free and tasty evening meal.

The promotion was designed to highlight the low lamb prices that farmers are currently getting while giving the public an opportunity to sample Irish lamb, which is at its very best at this time of year.

“The lamb giveaway this morning was a huge success. We are delighted at the public’s appreciation for Irish lamb, which is at its prime at this time of year, and also at the public’s understanding of the plight of the sheep farmers,” said ICSA president

Malcolm Thompson.

“They were genuinely shocked to hear that farmers are only getting €66 – €76 for their lambs, which would retail in the supermarkets for between €240 – €278.”

ICSA Sheep Chairman, Mervyn Sunderland, thanked members of the public for offering their support to farmers. “This kind of support for ICSA, and all sheep farmers, is very heartening. Maybe now the retailers will realise that the price they are paying for Irish lamb is unsustaina- ble, and that they had better improve their prices to farmers if they want

to maintain supplies and satisfy their customers.”

“If this doesn’t happen, the Irish consumer will be forced to buy sub- standard imported products at an inflated price, and today’s public response clearly demonstrates that they don’t want that.”

The best of cuts, including legs of lamb, chops and various joints, all reared in Laois, were handed out to the public, as well as hot lamb chunks, freshly prepared, so that the passing public got a sample to taste and a sample to bring home and try out with a simple recipe.


Banned GM maize found in US feed

TRACES of the GM maize Herculex Rw, which is not authorized in the EU, has been detected in samples taken from animal feed imported from the United States according to the Department of Agriculture and Food.

This GM Herculex Rw maize va- riety is authorised in a number of countries including the US and an application for its approval in the EU has been made. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has evaluated the application as part of the EU authorisation process and has

recently given a favourable opinion.

The authority concluded that it is unlikely that the placing on the market of products consisting of, or produced from GM maize Herculex Rw will have adverse effects on hu- man or animal health or the environ- eeloale

The Food Safety Authority of Ire- land (FSAT) have been consulted and they agree with EFSA’s evaluation.

Some 6,000 tonnes of Corn Glu- ten Feed and 6,200 tonnes Distillers Dried Grain was discharged at Dub- lin port from a ship, the MV Pakrac, which went on to Rotterdam where it discharged the remainder of the ani-

mal feed cargo.

The cargo of animal feed was certi- fied as not containing GM Herculex Rw maize product. However, infor- mation was received from the Dutch authorities that official samples tak- en by them had tested positive. The Department immediately arranged for samples to be taken from the ani- mal feed off-loaded at Dublin Port and sent to the State Laboratory for analysis. The State Laboratory in- formed the department that the sam- ples submitted had tested positive for eloceilo.@ ays

When the department received the information on positive results

from the Dutch authorities they 1m- mediately put in place a restriction order on the 7,000 tonnes that still remained in portal stores.

In the meantime, steps have been taken to take out of circulation ma- terial that had left the portal stores. While some of the material has al- ready been incorporated into the an- imal feed chain, it 1s unlikely, based on the EFSA evaluation, to have any adverse effects on human or animal health or the environment.

The application for approval of GM maize Herculex Rw will be con- sidered at EU Standing Committee Meeting in Brussels on June 8.


Power cut doesn’t disrupt voting at Ennis CBS

BY 6pm, Clare’s largest polling sta- tion was humming. The flow of vot- ers had been steady all day at Ennis CBS, but now business was really picking up.

The narrow hallways rumbled with the purposeful steps of voters. Out- side cars and SUV’s were plonked on the footpath. Inside the walls, others jostled for parking spaces.

Normally you’d associate this kind of traffic with the daily school com- mute taken by parents and children to and from New Road.

But today there’s a different reason for the hustle and bustle. It’s Election Day.

Time to chose the men or women that will serve Clare in the 30th Dail. And the people are eager to have Dales DMITRY

“Oh it’s always this way,” says Cen- tre Supervisor Anne Monahan. Pre- siding officer Lawrence O’ Loughlin concurs, “You’ll always find it like that.”

Between them, Anne and Lawrence have over 50 years experience at the polling stations. Steady hands on hec- tic days. 3,800 voters drawn mainly

from the Tulla Road and Roslevan areas of the town passed through the CBS last Thursday.

Seven individual stations were di- vided between two buildings. The booths propped neatly in classrooms in the main building. Three more ar- ranged in a circle in a separate hall.

The school also housed the busi- est polling booth in the county – box number two where 860 of the coun- ty’s 79,883 potential votes were cast.

Anne checked the first polling fig- ures at 2pm and already turnout was high, at 18 per cent. By 6pm that fig- ure had risen to 30 per cent.

A staff of 15 people sat through the long hours of voting, making sure everything ran smoothly. A good thing too.

A power cut struck parts of Ennis on Thursday. Electronic voting may- be quick, easy and less cumbersome, but what happens when the lights go oD nia

‘That would be an absolute disas- ter. No one would be able to vote,” says Anne.

While we await the winner of the pencil versus keypad debate, there will still be plenty of work for pre- siding officers at election time.

For Lawrence, that means rising in the early light of 6.30am. The day isn’t done until 10.30pm when the last of the all-important ballot boxes are under lock and key in the West County Hotel.

It’s a day for people and their pri- orities. After a 15-hour day, there’s only one place the Boston, Tubber native is thinking of.

“It’s a long day alright. I remember we had a long one a few years ago. It will take about a half an hour to clean up. I’ll be aiming to hit Rory Kenny’s by twenty past eleven’, says Lawrence.


Drilling operation to start soon on west Clare oil field


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The field, which is being developed jointly by Providence Resources and Challenger Minerals, has a massive reserve of one and a quarter trillion cubic feet of gas, as-well as 206 mil- hon barrels of oil. In total, the reserve is currently valued at €19.6 billion.

“We have agreed to work on this project with Challenger Minerals which is one of the biggest companies of their kind in the world. It is subject to the approval of Noel Dempsey, or whoever becomes Minister for Com- munications, Marine and Natural Resources after him,” said a spokes- person from Providence Resources.

“It is up to the Government when and how we proceed. Providence Resources have been undertaking a number of surveys and compiling a huge amount of information on the field. It is a very tightly regulated business as you would expect and there are many conditions and regu- lations which need to be adhered to.”

The Spanish Point field is located

around 200km off the coast of west Clare, just to the north of a Burren field of roughly the same size. No firm time-frame is currently in place for the development of the Burren field, which is also owned by Provi- dence Resources.

The Spanish Point field was discov- ered in 1981 by Phillips Petroleum and a consortium which included At- lantic Resources PLC, Providence’s predecessor company.

Providence Resources holds an 80 per cent interest in the field which is located in an area known as the Porcupine Basin, off the west coast. It is located underneath 300 to 400 metres of water over sandstone and is believed to date back to the Upper Jurassic Period.

Providence Resources PLC applied for and became operator of the Span- ish Point licence in November 2004, and now holds the licence for a 15 year-term.

Last month, Providence’s Chief Executive, Tony O’Reilly JNR, an- nounced a 10 per cent faring out of the Spanish Point project to Chal- lenger Minerals.

A spokesperson from the Petro- leum Affairs Division of the depart- ment said last week that there is at least €450 billion worth of oil lying off the west coast of Ireland.


Limerick East goes wild for Willie

OUTGOING Minister for Defence, Willie O’Dea, has topped the poll in Limerick East with a whopping 19,082 first preference votes- making him more popular than the Taoiseach in voting terms.

The other four seats were filled in order by Michael Noonan (FG), Peter Power (FF), Jan O’Sullivan (LAB) and Kieran O’Donnell (FG). Pharmacist Tim O’Malley (PD) was the most high profile casualty.

If Fianna Fail form the next Gov- ernment, O’Dea’s victory puts him in contention for a high profile ministry such as justice- a post he recently ex- pressed an interest in and left free as outgoing minister for justice Michael McDowell has lost his seat.

Noonan, former Fine Gael leader and long serving TD, came in a not so close second on the second count with 8,484 votes.

O’Dea’s huge surplus of more than double the quota of 8,320, guaran- teed fellow Fianna Fail TD Peter Power the third seat as the marathon race for the remaining slots began.

Count after count followed at Lim- erick Racecourse in Patrickswell as Labour education spokeswoman Jan O’Sullivan, young councillor Kieran O’Donnell and PD Minister of State, Tim O’Malley, led the field.

Votes from Trish Forde-Brennan (GP), Maurice Quinlivan (SF) and Noreen Ryan (FF) were added to tallies along with various eliminat- ed Independent candidates such as

prominent solicitor John Devane (the highest polling Independent with 469 votes total).

It took eight counts before O’Sullivan reached the quota and

O’Donnell, son of well known TD and MEP Tom O’Donnell, edged ahead of O’ Malley to be elected. The pro-O’Donnell roar was deat- ening as the results were announced

and as Noonan said in his speech, it sounded the end of an era for the Pro- gressive Democrats in their former stronghold of Limerick East.

The cousin of party founder Des

O’ Malley and nephew of former edu- cation minister Donagh O’Malley, said that he was “bitterly disappoint- ed” to lose his seat, conceding that politics is not for the “faint hearted”’.

His parting shot, “This is not the end for the PDs,’ echoed the defiant stance of many party members na- tionally as the PDs suffered massive losses including leader McDowell and deputy leader, Liz O’ Donnell.

Noonan added that Fine Gael’s vote management system had secured his party the same number of seats as Fi- anna Fail despite being 23 per cent below them overall in the constitu- STAY

It was 3.30am before the candidates had finished thanking supporters and election staff- a full eight hours after the count for Limerick West finished at the same venue. The west result of two Fianna Fail candidates and one for Fine Gael mirrors the east and so it seems that the voting trend for Limerick is clear.


Seanad race looms on the horizon

VETERAN politician Brendan Daly is remaining tight lipped on whether he’ll run for election to the Seanad.

Senator Daly said he would first have to speak to the Fianna Fail par- ty in Kilrush and discuss a strategy for the future of Fianna Fail in west SEK

“We don’t want to leave the west without a representative,” he said.

Fellow west Clare politician Cllr Madeleine Taylor-Quinn was also remaining tight lipped on a possible Seanad election.

The former TD and Senator said

that it was too soon after her defeat in the general election for such a con- sideration.

“It is early days to make an assess- ment on the Seanad. We are only over One campaign.”

CUT RA U leer Olesbsvemny-lmme om se(om@ntle tural and Educational Panel from 1997 to 2002.

The two Fine Gael senators on the five person panel, Brian Hayes and Noel Coonan, were both elected to the Dail at the weekend.

But Cllr Taylor-Quinn would be the first to admit this does not auto- matically mean she will be returned to one of the most hotly contested

eye ke

Meanwhile, some of Clare county councillors are also considering a term in the upper house.

Ennis County Councillor Pat Daly has already been proposed by the GRA for selection by the Irish Con- ference of Professional and Service Association as one of its Seanad nominations.

The meeting on June 6, will see the association appoint their candidates for the Labour Panel, of which FI1- anna Fail Senator Brendan Daly is currently a member.

Cllr Bill Chambers (FF) said he was also considering his options.

The Cooraclare man said he believed that the west of the county needed representation at national level. But he added that he would wait to see the position of other candidates be- fore deciding.

Fine Gael’s Cllr John Crowe has also actively been seeking a nomina- tion from different bodies.

But he said he was conscious that his nomination would not clash with another candidate.

Other names being bandied about within their parties as possible Sea- nad candidates are Fine Gael’s Mar- tin Conway and Tony Mulcahy, and Fianna Fail’s Pat Hayes.


Kilrush native Upton keeps her seat

WEST Clare may not have returned a local TD to represent it in the 30th Dail but it can take heart that one of its own was among the 166 Dail deputies elected on Thursday.

Kilrush native, Dr Mary Upton was re-elected to the Dail for Dublin South Central after a long drawn-out count in the capital.

The Labour TD was elected on the ninth count to the five-seater con- stituency.

A qualified microbiologist and

former lecturer at University College Dublin, Dr Upton won her first Dail seat in the 1999 by-election follow- ing the death of her brother, Pat.

She was re-elected in 2002, and ap- pointed Labour Party spokesperson on Agriculture and Food.

Among her other achievements in politics was her appointment to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture and Food from 2002 to 2007.

She is also a board member of Fa- tima Mansions Regeneration Board and of James’ Street CBS.

The 60-year-old Kilrush woman was chairperson of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland and the National Council for Educational Awards.

She previously held the portfolio of food safety, consumer affairs and health promotion.

Her academic background and her quietly spoken articulate manner saw her comments in these roles respect- ed and rarely challenged.

Dr Upton was educated in Colaiste Mhuire, Ennis, before attending Un1- versity College, Galway and Univer-

sity College Dublin.

The newly returned TD now lives in Dundrum. She was the third TD to be returned to the hotly contested Dublin constituency, with a first pref- erence vote of 5,987 and a surplus on the ninth count of 1,261 votes.

The transfers were not enough how- ever to bring in running mate Eric Byrne.

Byrne lost out in a lengthy battle with sitting TD, Aengus O Snodaigh (SF), who eventually took the seat by 69 votes after a recheck of ballot papers.