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Shannon records 15% passenger hike in first half of 2014




Ryanair's Peter Bellew... delighted.

Shannon Airport has recorded a 15 per cent increase in terminal passenger numbers over the first time months of the year – thanks, in part, to 16 service enhancements, including nine new Ryanair routes.

A breakdown of figures revealed at a joint Shannon Airport/Ryanair Travel Clinic in Bunratty to promote the airline’s winter schedule, complete with five additional services on last year’s schedule, shows that passenger numbers on European routes have enjoyed a 54% uplift in the year to date.

The bulk of the increase has been driven by the nine new services – to Munich, Paris, Faro, Warsaw, Krakow, Nice, Poitiers, Berlin and Fuerteventura – launched by Ryanair in April.

Overall, passenger numbers through the Shannon terminal in the first six months of the year were 653,894, up from 568,133 in the same period last year.

The increase, which is timely in the context of the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route this year, has not just been confined to Europe, with UK passengers showing a return to growth after some challenging years with a 5% increase and transatlantic up by 11%.

“We are really happy with the passenger numbers so far this year.

We worked hard with our airline partners to secure the new services and there has been a really positive response from the public,” said Shannon Airport Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Murphy.

“We have made huge strides this year in meeting the demand for services to and from Shannon with the nine new routes for the summer season.  We are also looking at a better upcoming winter season thanks to the five additional services that Ryanair have announced.

“The significant increases in services are very timely this year with the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Shannon is the only airport on the route with services from all three key markets, the US, UK and Europe.  If Shannon is going well, it bodes well for the route,” he added.

Ryanair’s Head of Sales & Marketing, Peter Bellew, said the company was delighted to celebrate record growth at Shannon Airport with 18 routes which will deliver 750,000 customers for 2014.

“Ryanair’s nine new summer routes to and from Berlin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Memmingen, Nice, Paris Beauvais, Poitiers and Warsaw Modlin, and five new winter routes to and from Berlin, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Paris Beauvais & Warsaw, will deliver over 300,000 additional passengers at Shannon Airport,” he concluded.

Connacht Tribune

Galway App company Booniverse plans pivotal communication role during COVID-19 emergency




Deputy Anne Rabbitte

The Booniverse Town App (Xplore, Galway App) is a free to download app created with the initial concept of imparting information on local attractions, events, shopping, accommodation, hikes and trails, cultural and historical information as well as tourist information.

With the arrival of Covid-19, Booniverse has been working in collaboration with The Wild Geese, an East Galway Task Force, co-founded by Deputy Anne Rabbitte, TD for East Galway and Elodie Golden, an experienced digital project manager, to expand the app as a trusted digital tool for communication during the crisis.

According to Deputy Rabbitte: “Our mission was simple, to solve the challenges faced by our rural towns, villages, and communities who were on their knees, from town to town, village to village, community to community.

The Wild Geese community team consists of seasoned leaders and volunteers with a fervent and passionate interest in the renewal of the main towns and villages of East Galway. They have been working very closely with Booniverse Limited over the past 18 months with a view to creating a digital infrastructure for the towns of East Galway, onboarding the towns, villages and communities onto this unique digital ecosystem conceived, created and nurtured by the Galway-based Booniverse Limited.

Elodie Golden said: “Since the COVID-19 crisis began, it quickly became apparent to me that a robust digital infrastructure built over 9 years, on battle-tested technologies and frameworks, could play a pivotal role as an important trusted digital tool for communication during the crisis.”

Deputy Anne Rabbitte said: “I quickly realised the benefits of adopting the town and community app to the Public Health Emergency making it easier for government agencies and locals to communicate swiftly, securely and with tailored messages to our towns, villages and communities”.

Deputy Rabbitte continued: “In particular, the opportunity was there for state bodies such as the Irish Government, HSE, Garda Siochana, County Council to have secure access to the dashboard, to send tailored push notifications to all or to a selected number of locations on behalf of stakeholders”.

“On the community level, access would be available for communities to publish local content, create and share timely, accurate informative updates to volunteer initiatives, news articles, list essential business listings, volunteer services open in the community featuring turn by turn navigation and one-touch call and email”

Deputy Rabbitte concluded “I envisage the roll-out of the community app in two phases.  Phase 1: Covid-19 Emergency and Phase 2: Covid-19 Recovery when all of the retail, hike and trails, tourism features are turned back on and businesses are supported digitally in getting back on their feet.  The app is ready to scale with an experienced digital team behind it, to drive it forward and support our communities in and agile and expeditious manner.”

Talks are currently at advanced stages to roll out the platform to every county in Ireland and moving the Galway App to Xplore which will allow users, regardless of where they are, to download the one app and from there, users simply enable location services or select a region to stay local. The Xplore app is also available currently for a number of Munster towns having been rolled out in conjunction with McCarthy Insurance Group and local Credit Unions.



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Connacht Tribune

Athenry Credit Union’s goodwill gesture to customers




Billy Mulvihill, John McCartan and Peter Kelly at the recent launch of the Athenry Credit Union's new Current Account service .

Members of Athenry Credit Union had been expecting to pay fees for the Current Accounts service for the quarter just ended – but to support their members during this Covid-19 Pandemic, CU management has decided to refund the automatically applied quarterly fees.

Earlier this year, Athenry Credit Union launched a full-service Current Account with a globally accepted Mastercard Debit Card that boasts Contactless Payments, Standing Orders, Direct Debits, and the option of an Overdraft facility.

“The Credit Union has always been member-focused, during these times of uncertainty we need to support our members and help them get through this difficult period,” explained Athenry Credit Union CEO Tony Dennis.

“We had to make the difficult decision to reduce in-branch visits due to the recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in Ireland.

“We pride ourselves on offering award-winning customer service and being on hand to assist members with in-branch transactions.

“I would encourage members to utilise our Online Banking and Banking App which offers an array of excellent services online that include the ability for members to transfer money internally and externally, online loan application facility, the ability to lodge money to accounts using any Irish debit card and much more,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Local papers call on Government for additional support




Local Ireland President David Ryan…urgent Government support required.

As the financial pressures mount on local newspapers, the President of Local Ireland David Ryan has called on the Government here to urgently adopt the Danish subsidy model to ensure that local newspapers like the Connacht Tribune can survive the catastrophic revenue declines incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Local and national news publishers are the cornerstone of our democracy.  During this time of crisis, it is important that our communities are served by trusted and critical media that can provide credible information and address the major challenges facing every community,” said Mr Ryan.

“The enormous loss of advertising revenue and circulation declines are unsustainable and, unless there is urgent government support forthcoming, some of our trusted news brands are in danger of closing,” he said.

Under the Danish model newspapers recording advertising revenue declines of 30% to 50% in March, April and May, year on year, will receive compensation up to the equivalent of 60% of their loss. Compensation scales up to an equivalent of 80% of the amount for those suffering 50% to 100% loss. This compensation applies to both print and digital newspapers.

Emphasising the urgency of Government intervention to assist the sector, David Ryan said; “Local Ireland is the representative association for 46 weekly paid for local newspapers, and its members publish 90% of the weekly paid for trusted local news across the 26 counties.

“The majority of newspapers represented have been publishing for over 120 years and are the recognised and respected news brands in the communities they serve”.

Local Ireland has partnered with An Post to deliver a subsidised postal service for local newspapers to those who are in self-isolation, lonely and the vulnerable in our communities.


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