Home » Living

Living

Ennis woman among expats honoured in Abu Dhabi

AN ENNIS woman is among a group of expats living in Abu Dhabi who have been honoured for their work in raising awareness of mental health. Laura Brennan, originally from Toberteascain and daughter of Martin and Cora, is the vice chairperson of the voluntary group Darkness Into Light Abu Dhabi. The group who dedicate their time to raising awareness and providing accessible support for their community in the United Arab Emirates have been presented with the Spirit of the Community Award at the Pride of Abu Dhabi awards. They began work in 2015 in an effort to bring the Pieta House Darkness into Light walk to Abu Dhabi and last year’s walk saw more than 700 people take part. However, their work is about so much more than the walk. They strive to provide free and accessible support and to unite people who are suffering distress through various events such as the annual Light Ball Abu Dhabi and monthly Tea …

Read More »

Daughter takes a leaf out of her father’s book at Christmas tree throwing competition

IT was a case of like father like daughter at this year’s annual Christmas Tree Throwing Championship. January 6 is the traditional time for taking down the Christmas decorations, and for the eighth year in a row that tradition has been taken to the extreme in Ennis. Leaf-ing the festive season behind on Sunday, 150 people took part in the annual Christmas Tree Throwing Championship at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park. Among those were father and daughter John and Lauren Leahy. John took the overall title of champion tree thrower for the third year in a row with an impressive throw of 7 metres. While his daughter Lauren followed in his family footsteps by winning in the under 14 category with a throw of 4.5 metres. John, who competes in athletic throwing events, puts his success down to technique. “It’s great to have three in a row. It’s a very awkward thing to throw a Christmas tree, some people might …

Read More »

‘I can see the difference it makes to people’s lives’

WHEN Government ministers or business leaders talk about prioritising what they call STEM, it shows a very one-dimensional view of what Irish education should be. Such a view isn’t particularly concerned with developing people, rather with creating human units of economic activity but, thankfully, people with a more balanced view of young people are also active in Irish schools and classrooms. Cora Guinnane is one of them, a woman who serves as chaplain of St Caimin’s in Shannon, and whose enthusiasm for what she does is very obvious. “I love chaplaincy, love it. I really believe in it. I can see the difference it makes to people’s lives. I see the kids at a different level. I would know the kids who might come to school without a breakfast or the kids where there is a bereavement or separation. “There could be addiction, just the kids that are struggling with emotional difficulties, their well-being mightn’t be great or their mental …

Read More »

Estlin’s light shines on this Christmas

EVEN in the darkest days a gesture of kindness can bring some light. An Ennistymon family who tragically lost their daughter last year, are helping to make this Christmas a little bit brighter for others in an amazing act of generosity. Amy Dutil-Wall and her partner Vincent Wall from Ennistymon have endured the deepest of tragedies with the loss of Estlin Luna just before her fourth birthday in a car crash last year that also left Vincent fighting for his life. In honour of Estlin, the family have decided to donate some Christmas gifts to two worthy young girls around her age. Amy explains that she got the idea after seeing a number of offers of help to those in need on the Clare Free to a Good Home site. “It was something I was thinking of doing for a while, to give a gift in honour of Estlin and I thought why not this year. The holidays can be …

Read More »

Adoption is a “terrible option”

Clarecastle resident Geraldine Gregan made the difficult decision to give her baby up for adoption, a decision she has regretted ever since. Her pregnancy as a single woman brought shame, she was branded as damaged goods and had to hide out half way across the country for the last month of her pregnancy, writes Carol Byrne. Originally from County Cork, Geraldine Gregan acquired a rare job as a quality manager in a dairy business in Cavan. After receiving a BSc in Dairy Science, her job security, being a single woman, was put in jeopardy when she became pregnant in the mid-1980s. “The relationship had ended when I realised I was pregnant. I felt a deep sense of guilt and sadness. It was so wrong and selfish of me to be bringing a baby into the world that would not have a dad. My own dad passed away when I was 16 and I still missed him. I also felt sadness for …

Read More »

Ciara Relays Her Survival Story

Clare’s first Relay For Life, in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, took place in Tim Smythe Park over 24 hours from 2pm last Saturday. It was an event for the whole community to remember those lost, to support those who continue their fight, and to celebrate survivors. In an interview with The Clare Champion Lissycasey woman Ciara Lynch speaks about her cancer journey having just graduated when she was diagnosed with oral cancer.  “THERE is something powerful about walking in silence and in solidarity”, cancer survivor Ciara Lynch said, after participating in Clare’s first Relay For Life in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. The soon to be 30-year-old said the event was an emotional but inspirational one. Ciara, a national school teacher who survived oral cancer in her early 20s, is the new chairperson of Ennis Musical Society and was joined by society members who held a strong presence on the Fair Green for the 24 hours. “It was a great …

Read More »

A Race Against Time For Rohingyas

WHITEGATE native Marie Madden joined Concern Worldwide as their communications officer last October and has spoken to The Clare Champion about her experience working for the NGO, particularly in dealing with the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. CONCERN have recently launched the Bangladesh Monsoon Appeal as nearly one million Rohingya people face further catastrophe at the makeshift refugee camp they are currently occupying in the coastal region of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Marie Madden, from Whitegate, has just returned from a two week trip to Cox’s Bazar where she has seen first hand the conditions these people, primarily made up of women and children, have been living in. She explains how these people have already been through so much pain and suffering and now stand to lose the makeshift homes they have made in monsoon rains. She explained that the Rohingyas are an ethnic minority based in Myanmar, and despite having been there for generations they don’t have citizenship and are …

Read More »

Australian Ambassador visits Spanish Point

THE Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Andrews, visited St Joseph’s Secondary School in Spanish Point last week, at part of his day-long visit to the county. Originally from Canberra, which is the administrative capital of Australia, Mr Andrews has visited the county a few times prior to this trip, in a private capacity. “I’ve been here a couple of times on holidays and I came down for the Fleadh Cheoil last year. I have an interest in music generally and, as a whim, I decided it would be a good idea to learn how to play the uileann pipes when I came to Ireland. I’m not sure that I’ll inflict my skills on you at this stage,” he laughed. The ambassador has worked for 30 years in the Australian public service and has served for just under two years in his current role. He visited Spanish Point due to the area’s connection with a local man, who made the Clare …

Read More »