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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 …

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Jose is first male midwife in Limerick hospital

ON Friday last, University Maternity Hospital Limerick celebrated the International Day of the Midwife by hosting an information session promoting midwifery as a career for local secondary school students, and by having a celebration in the canteen for staff. Special birth certificates were also given to all babies born on International Day Of The Midwife to mark the occasion. Director of midwifery, Margaret Quigley, said “University Maternity Hospital Limerick is engaging with the National Women’s and Infants Programme to implement the National Maternity Strategy. In January of this year we were very pleased to recruit Jose, our first male midwife, and he is settling in very well among the majority female staff. “Midwifery is a separate profession from nursing and gradually establishing its own identity locally and nationally, and certainly in Limerick we have a lot to be proud of. We are especially proud of our midwives on how they are embracing all these changes and I would like to …

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Get snapping for Ennis Rotary

BUDDING photographers are being encouraged to showcase their skills by taking part in a photography competition, run by Ennis Rotary Club, with the support of The Clare Champion. Young people, aged between seven and 18, have the chance to win some picture-perfect prizes, while the overall winner will compete in the Rotary International All-Ireland final. Participants are being asked to submit an image based on the theme ‘My Best Friend’. Judging the competition will be award-winning Clare Champion photographer John Kelly, commercial and wedding photographer Paul Corey and Chris Copley, a member of the committee of Ennis Camera Club. The competition is now open, with April 6 the closing date for submissions. According to organisers, they have already been blown away with some of the entries that have been received. However, it is not too late to get involved. Photographs for the competition must be entered in digital format and winners will be printed and presented at an awards night …

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One million Swedes catch a glimpse of Clare

IMAGES of Lahinch were beamed into the homes of some one million people in Sweden recently, in an episode of a popular TV show called Go’kväll. The show aired on Sveriges Television, the national public broadcaster in Sweden, and focused on seaweed-foraging and locally-produced beer. It also featured the spectacular County Clare landscape. Filming took place last summer and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. Viewers of Go’kväll saw reporter Joachim Vogel interview local seaweed forager Oonagh O’Dwyer, from Wild Kitchen, as well as Birgitta and Peter Curtin from The Burren Brewery. A separate episode featuring County Clare also aired at the end January, featuring Lisdoonvarna matchmaker Willie Daly and The Burren. “Tourism Ireland was delighted that Go’kväll chose to film in Clare. With an audience of more than one million viewers per episode, it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase County Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way,” said Julie McLaughlin, Tourism Ireland’s manager for the Nordic Region. …

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Dr Christina Larkin

‘It’s never too late’ for education

WITH Leaving Certificate students across the county preparing for the next stage of their lives, they would do well to listen to the advice of one Ennis-based woman who certainly knows a thing or two about studying. Christina Larkin has become the first Doctor of Nursing to graduate from University College Dublin. As she says herself, she was “a very average student” while in secondary school; however, at 46, she has gone on to graduate with the highest educational honour. Dr Larkin hopes that by sharing her story, it will show people that there are many ways of achieving what you want and that it is never too late to follow your dreams. “I am also quite excited to be speaking about my study at the Horatio Congress for European Psychiatric Nurses in the Faroe Islands in May. I have become a member of the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group so I am looking forward to meeting other researchers …

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Parteen NS kicks off rugby project

Pupils in Parteen National School have kicked off a new rugby project, with a public appeal for assistance in their fact-finding mission. They need help telling the life- stories of the 15 men who played on the Parteen rugby team more than a century ago. A good deal of the pupils’ work will focus on how conflicts drastically altered the lives of the rugby players. ‘United by Sport, Divided by War’ is the theme of the project. The men were united in their love for playing rugby in peacetime but war would ultimately tear their team apart and have a devastating impact on many of their lives. A project team, made up of 17 history-loving pupils and third-class teacher Cathal Crowe, meets after school on Monday to delve into the untold stories of the rugby players. School principal Ger Ruane described this project as a fantastic opportunity for the children. Mr Ruane thanked Mr Crowe for volunteering to do this in his free …

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International award for Edna O’Brien

East Clare author Edna O’Brien has won the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. It is a major award with a prize of $50,000 and it will be presented at the 2018 PEN American Literary Awards Ceremony in New York on Tuesday next. According to PEN America, the award is “conferred annually to a living author whose body of work, either written in or translated into English, represents the highest level of achievement in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and/or drama, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship”. PEN said Ms O’Brien’s “acclaimed work broke down social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond”. Born in Tuamgraney in 1930, the now 87-year-old Ms O’Brien went to school in Scariff and Loughrea. In 1960, her first novel, The Country Girls, was banned in Ireland, as were a number of subsequent novels. She has been a prolific writer in the years since and in 2002, In The Forest was …

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Clare hurlers back County Library health initiative

Clare senior hurler and youth wellness ambassador, Podge Collins, and captain, Patrick O’Connor, have pledged their support for Clare County Library’s Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme. Speaking at the launch in the de Valera Library, Podge said, “I am delighted to be associated with this library initiative, it’s a brilliant resource for the county. I hope that young people will call into their local library or log on to the website www.clarelibrary.ie to check out what’s on offer.” Caroline Aherne, executive librarian, explained, “Healthy Ireland is the national strategy to improve health and wellbeing, placing a focus on prevention, individual awareness and keeping people healthy for longer. Public libraries, including Clare County Library, are currently delivering the nationwide ‘Healthy Ireland at Your Library’ programme that will establish libraries as a valuable source within the community for health information.” Through funding granted by Healthy Ireland, Clare County Library has enhanced its health and wellbeing book collections (digital and hardcopy), and …

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