‘Patriotism means creating new jobs’

“PATRIOTISM used to mean going out and being shot – now it means creating jobs.” That’s the view of the new president of the Chamber of Commerce who is calling for the setting up of an employment generating alliance for the county.

John Dillane told The Clare People that he wants “people who are will- ing to put their money where their mouths are,” to contact him through the chamber to get the group up and running.

“We want all the stakeholders involved, The businesses, the county council – everyone. We need to get off our backsides and do something if this county is to pull out of the recession.”

The shoot-from-the-hip new presi- dent said that he believes that the new patriotism is job creation.

“In 1916 when the country was in trouble, people demonstrated patriotism by going out and getting shot. Now they can do it by going out and creating jobs.”

He is calling for a special meeting to set up the group which will have job creation as its focus.

“We need to get this county back on its feet. There’s no reason we can’t start a movement to do that, but we need to do it for ourselves and every single person in the county needs to get involved in that.”

“I’m calling on any companies that have some money in their pockets to come together and be part of this organisation for Clare. We can make a difference, we can employ more people.”

Mr Dillane, who is proprietor of Banner Motors, says that in the coming year the “red carpet should be rolled out for anyone who is employing people.”

In his role as president of the Chamber, Dillane says he hopes to motivate people in the county to get more people back in the workforce and to persuade consumers to support their own and spend in the Banner.


Gardai make ten arrests for drink driving

GARDAÍ in Clare arrested a total of sixty three people on suspicion of various offences between Christmas Eve and last Sunday.

The busy holiday period saw ten people arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

Five of these were stopped in Ennis, three in Lahinch and two in Kilrush.

In Ennis alone, thirty four people were arrested and in seventeen of these cases the arrests were for alleged breaches of the Public Order Act. A number of these arrests were made on St Stephen’s night.

Gardaí working round the clock over the holiday period manned twenty sixcheckpoints around the county.

The busy period and the weather didn’t stop members of the force getting out on the county’s roads to check for drink driving, speeding and other Road Traffic offences.

According to a Garda spokesperson the road conditions “weren’t a big factor” in the holiday operations as the thaw had set in and only Christmas eve and Christmas day presented some dangerous road conditions and only in some places. During the icy road conditions members of the public did also heed garda advice on driving with extra care.

While the special operations to stop people drinking and driving during the holiday period will now be stood down, gardaí are reminding motorists that checkpoints and speed detectors are a feature of Garda operations all year.


Sparrow now working to a clearer vision

2010 was very much a year of transition for new Clare senior hurling manager Ger O’Loughlin and his management team as a combination of high profile retirements, injuries and emigrations forced his hand to introduce a new wave of young talent into the squad.

Having worked with those players over the year and assessed the standard required at inter-county level, ‘the Sparrow’ now has a clearer vision of how much rebuilding work is required and despite the large workload involved, he is very much looking forward to the challenge.

“We are hoping that this year we do get out of Division 2. We are putting an emphasis on the league in trying to get off to a good start and our goal is to gain promotion this year. We got to the final of Division 2 last year with everybody fairly new to the set-up but we have a better handle on who’s who this year. I would be hoping that we’ll give this year a very good run in the league and get ready for the championship.

“The winners of Cork and Tipperary in the championship isn’t an easy hurdle but at the same time they are the sort of games we should be looking forward to.

“Cork proved last season that they are going to have to rebuild as well and we are probably ahead of them on that side of things. “Tipp are the team to beat in the country and they probably wouldn’t focus as much on Munster now as they would be on the All-Ireland so I would see this as an opportunity for us to give either of those two counties a very good game and if possible get to a Munster final.” However, with the county side very much a work in progress at the moment, Clarecastle clubman O’Loughlin is hoping that supporters will be patient and get behind these young players in the pursuit of those goals.

“That goes without saying. No matter what way you go about it, we have to be realistic and say that the present management have inherited a very young squad and even in the last couple of months, we’ve seen the comings and goings of some guys.

“That’s the way it’s going to be until we get what you’d call a settled 25 people who have what it takes. That doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes even successful counties like Tipp, Cork and Kilkenny go through the rebuilding structure that we are going through at the moment.

“I’m really looking forward to the year though because I just think that we can come on from 2010. I’d hope that fellas have matured a bit better and that when you are playing the likes of Wexford in a league final with Division 1 status on the line, that we would be more clinical because basically if we don’t grasp those opportunities with both hands, we will remain where we are.

“So there’s an awful lot of work to be done on the mental strength side of it as well. As I say we have it all to do but I’m looking forward to working with them in the coming season and hopefully make good progress.”


Future of ‘Bridge mart hangs in balance

THE DEAL to save the Sixmilebridge Mart has not yet been completed, despite media reports to the contrary.

A shareholders meeting to decide whether the local consortium will purchase the mart from Golden Vale Properties (GVP) will take place this Thursday, and if an agreement is reached the local group will formally bid € 300,000 for the property.

Support for the project is said to remain high among the shareholders but there is a small number who believe that the time taken to complete the deal will hamper the mart’s pros- pects for success in the future.

The mart has been closed for more then 12 months with a group of more then 500 local farmers and Sixmilebridge residents in negotiations since early 2010. The group withdrew their final bid of € 350,000 for the premises in November when Golden Vale Properties were unwilling to match their valuation.

GVP contacted the group in late December with a revised price of just € 300,000 for the property. The mart had been placed on the market with a guide price of € 600,000 in early 2010 with GVP reportedly keen to sell the property for industry or housing, rather than for a mart.

Should the bid for the mart go ahead it is likely that it will be midMarch or April before the mart is up and going again.

“The negotiations were going on for a long time and we were getting frustrated so we withdrew the offer in November and told them they could do what they like with the mart. It was then that they got interested about selling it,” said local farmer Jim Enright.

“They looked for a meeting with the negotiation committee before Christmas and they made the offer of € 300,000 just a day or two before Christmas. Now our group had offered them € 350,000 for it earlier in the year and I guess they thought that we would keep coming – but we didn’t.

“It is great news and I would have no doubt that the group will sanction the sale. There is a small doubt though. Whether it’s a pub or a shop or a mart, and it’s been closed for more then 12 months, there can be doubt because people have gotten used to doing their business elsewhere, but I am confident that it will be passed.”

A meeting for all shareholders and prospective shareholders will take place in the Sixmilebridge GAA Hall at 9pm this Thursday evening, January 6.