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Living

The Frost Fair of London

The recent frosty spell showed what kind of damage it can do and also how it can be a source of fun and enjoyment when done safely. Previous great frosts were also occasions of both fun and damage. We all remember reading about the Great Famine in the 1840s. There was another famine about 100 years earlier but that one was caused by extreme winter weather.

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Taking a trip down memory lane at Drumcharley National School

FROM 1886 to 1970, the pupils of Drumcharley National School in Tulla walked the winding roads of Thome, Cragroe, Clondanagh, Glendree, Ugoon, Ayle and further afield to get their primary education.

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Week in pictures

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Lack of understanding of care system highlighted

  A LACK of understanding still surrounds the child-in-care system, according to parents of children in foster care.Speaking to The Clare Champion, two mothers who found themselves unable to cope with their circumstances due to illness recall believing that their children were being taken into care for a short time and would not be there permanently.“I didn’t understand the full implications of fostering. I thought my children are going but they will be back in a couple of weeks. I didn’t know that they had to be settled and it would be very hard to get them back and that without real family support they wouldn’t come back,” Margaret* says.Margaret suffered from depression and feels that her family and friends judged her when she found herself unable to cope.“There is a big stigma about it. A lot of your family would frown on you. My friends would know but they wouldn’t mention it to me. Some friends I wouldn’t socialise …

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Harvesting ice on the Mississippi

IN spite of what we were told by our spiritual leaders when we were young, the practice of self-denial is of little or no value to a human being. Rewarding one for one’s efforts is not necessarily a bad thing. The only stipulation is that a person must not reward themselves for the efforts of others without consent.One of the negative characteristics of the Irish people even in the recent past was their tendency to gain enjoyment from the failure of others. If the person of their derision failed a second or third time, their pleasure was doubled or tripled.This unfortunate national characteristic prevented many people with foresight, imagination and vision trying out new ideas. Even the most thick-skinned person gets tired of being laughed at. It is so much easier to go along with the crowd. Many the plan died a sad death at the bottom of a porter glass.We talk a lot about the Irish people who were …

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Clare pupils to speak out at Comhairle na nÓg

“YOUNG people in County Clare care passionately about making the world they live in a better place for everyone,” says Amy Bickerton, chairperson of Clare Comhairle na nÓg.Amy, a Leaving Certificate pupil in St Joseph’s School, Tulla, was speaking ahead of the opening of Comhairle na nÓg 2009, which will be held on Friday in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis.“Those who are young now will be adults in the future and we are willing to play our part in helping to create that future,” she continued, before adding, “the decision-making structures of the county need to be more open and welcoming for young people”.Amy urged young people to become involved in Comhairle na nÓg through their schools or youth groups.Comhairle na nÓg is an initiative from the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMCYA), which aims to provide an opportunity for young people to discuss and debate matters of relevance to them in their community.Of equal importance …

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Life-changing transformation for Dympna

A 67-year-old Shannon woman scooped the top prize in this year’s national Curvette of the Year competition. Dympna Carthy was announced as the winner of the contest at a gala event in Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Hotel last Wednesday. Curves is an international women’s fitness franchise with a programme that aims to increase energy levels, self-confidence and encourages members to meet new people and make friends. This is the third year of the competition, which aims to find a Curves member who has not only lost weight and inches through Curves but has also experienced positive life changes since joining the Curves programme.After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, Dympna joined Curves in Shannon (which is in Smithstown) in 2006 to help increase her strength. She says the results have changed her life.“I don’t know myself now, I have that much energy. I was very inactive but once I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, I was nervous about lifting heavy things but going to Curves …

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Keeping slim the Holly’s way

A NEW venture for one Clare family and for an Irish company is already making waves as Lifeslim Ireland’s first meal replacement weight-loss programme branches out into 30 pharmacies nationwide.Lifeslim is the brainchild of Holly’s Pharmacy and was conceived when Frank, Tom and John Holly noticed a gap in the market for an Irish weight-loss management programme.While losing the pounds for some might be easy, maintaining the loss can be a difficult challenge.Speaking to The Clare Champion, Frank Holly, founder of Lifeslim, explains how the Holly’s developed this product and what the benefits of the Clare programme are in comparison to other “shake” diets. “When I was working in my father’s pharmacy, we have a pharmacy together in Ennis and in Ballinasloe, we had been working with a similar type weight-loss programme for about four or five years. In that time, we got very interested in it as we had some good success with it, so we decided to start …

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