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Civic reception honour for Sharon

SHE has performed in front of tens of thousands of people at Croke Park and played with some of the biggest names in music, but for world-renowned musician Sharon Shannon, it was a visit to the headquarters of Clare County Council that was her most nerve-wracking moment. On Monday, the Ruan-born accordionist was honoured with a civic reception from Clare County Council at Aras Contae and Chláir. She told those gathered, “I am the most nervous I have been in all of my life”.But she had no need to worry, as surrounded by her family, friends and neighbours she was highly praised by all on the council and officials for her contribution to music. The floor of the council chambers vibrated as all tapped their feet along with the tunes she performed alongside Eoin O’Neill. PJ Murrihy also played a rendition of Sharon on the Box, a song inspired by the lady herself.Speaking to The Clare Champion, Sharon explained that …

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Miltown sergeant ends 38-year career

A MEMBER of An Garda Síochána for almost 38 years, Sergeant Joseph Hehir has worked in various capacities across the country, but on Monday, he put down his final hours at Miltown Malbay Garda Station. Embarking on his retirement, Sergeant Hehir said while he has thoroughly enjoyed his work, “there comes a time to call it a day”. The Monmore native said he always wanted to become a garda and recalled his days of walking the beat in Midleton, where he was first stationed in 1972. “I suppose that if I hadn’t got in, I would have applied in the UK. Thirty-seven years ago we had very little transport and we tended to be on the beat walking around. Also crime was much lower. On the other side of that though, we got to interact with the public,” he said. He admitted that the most rewarding and enjoyable period of his career was his time in East Cork as a …

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A life less ordinary

Time has flown for PJ Harvey during a life that took him across the world and saw him rub shoulders with one of the most powerful political dynasties in American history, writes Peter O’ Connell When PJ Harvey left Bealaha in West Clare in 1960, he headed across the Atlantic gripped by sadness and desolation. It was just four days since he had buried his father. Occasionally during his flight over, the 20-year-old’s thoughts cleared and he ruminated on where he would find work and what he would think of America. Harvey was following his father’s example. He had lived and worked in the US for seven years, from 1925 to 1932. When he came home for good, with America in the throes of the Great Depression, he was greeted by his wife and seven-year-old son, PJ’s oldest brother, whom he had never seen before.“He worked in the docks; $30 a week for six days, 10 and 12 hours a …

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Clare FM celebrates 20 years on the airwaves

Just over 20 years ago, things were very different on the radio scene, with Radio 1 and Radio 2 dominating the national airwaves and a few pirate stations broadcasting local news around Clare.But that all changed when Michael Evans and Flan Galvin became the main driving force behind obtaining a radio licence for a local station in Clare. After much hard work, Clare FM burst onto the scene with Caimin Jones on board as the station’s first chief executive. Mike Ryan, sales manager, joined the radio station shortly after it first began broadcasting. “It was all very exciting when we first started, everything was new. In the early days we were nearly like a first-year class in college starting out.”Times have certainly changed, he said. “We didn’t even have a mobile phone, let alone the internet or email. Sometimes I wonder how we did business at all,” he laughed.“From a sales point of view, before Clare FM there was very …

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Opportunity knocks for Ennistymon Enterprise Centre

While it’s a lot easier said than done, one way of dealing with being made redundant is to establish a small business. This applies particularly to people in Ennistymon or surrounding areas, who may have been laid off recently and are thinking about what to do next. Ennis woman Sharon Malone has recently been appointed by Project Ennistymon as business development manager for the Ennistymon Enterprise Centre in Deerpark, just outside the town.

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Putting trad in its rightful place

A NEW venue specifically targeted at promoting traditional Irish music is set to open in Ennis next week creating around 15 jobs and potentially helping to boost local tourism. It’s certainly been quite a journey for Michael Coffey from vice president of a multi-national company to investor in The Merchant, a new pub which will open on Thursday next.

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A snapshot of tragedy in a West Clare cemetery

ONE hundred and sixty years ago this December, 36 young men were drowned off the West Clare coast in Clarefield, which is located on the Kilkee-Carrigaholt parish boundary. At least two, and possibly more, of the young men who died are buried in Kilnagalliagh graveyard, which is situated in a near-overgrown cemetery several miles from the main Kilkee-Carrigaholt road. Various stories abound as to where the dead men were from and what led to their deaths on December 12, 1849. About four years ago, photographer Katrina Morrison moved from New York to Kilkee and later onto Cross. She has developed a keen interest in sourcing and visiting derelict graveyards since settling in the west of the county.  Having read a number of British and Canadian newspaper reports from 1849, Katrina was led to believe that most of the men who died were from Kerry. “That’s what I was told. I was told that they were coming here to find work …

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