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Living

Reintegrating child soldiers in Uganda

UGANDA is a tale of two countries. The south is relatively prosperous, where most children are able to attend primary school. The north, on the other hand, is a totally different land.In the Acholi region, more than one million people were forced to flee their homes due to the conflict between government forces and Joseph Kony’s rebel Lords’ Resistance Army (LRA).Children are among the main victims of the brutal and bloody 20-year civil war.In fact, Northern Uganda has been particularly blighted by the scandalous practice of abducting children from their homes and communities and forcing them to become members of the LRA.Conservative estimates from UNICEF suggest 25,000 children were abducted, based on the numbers who escaped and registered in reception centres.The real figure could be at least double this, when the number of children who were killed and unaccounted for is taken into account. Estimates suggest 66,000 young people, including those over 18, were abducted.According to a Human Rights Watch …

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Dream come true for Clare Rose

THE Clare Rose committee is making the final preparations for the Clare Rose selection night, which takes place next month. The closing date for entries is March 20 and last year’s winner, Orla McDonagh, is urging women around the county to take part for what she says is a “whirlwind of wonderful, lifelong, memorable experiences”.“It has been a privilege to have had this opportunity to represent County Clare as this year’s Clare Rose of Tralee 2012. As all young girls in Ireland, we can recall being brought up watching the Rose of Tralee each summer and the excitement of each rose being interviewed on stage, while guessing which girl will represent the Rose of Tralee in the coming year. Being selected as the Clare Rose gave me that feeling of accomplishment and pride after achieving a childhood dream to step into the shoes of a rose,” Orla said.The Gort resident and Ennis teacher explained how she took the first steps …

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Kaitlin battles to be ‘one to watch’

A WEST Clare designer will feature at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards in the Radisson Blu Hotel,Galway later this month.Kaitlin McGrath from Farrihy, Kilkee was shortlisted in this competition last year and won a prestigious award for her final-year collection, Still Grew the Beat of Our Wings. She was also named the overall winner of the Contour 2012 Fashion Degree Show at the Limerick School of Art and Design/LIT Gallery.Kaitlin is a past pupil of Scoil Réalt na Mara, Kilkee and St Joseph’s Community College, Kilkee and Limerick School of Art and Design.Katilin has been shortlisted in the “Ones To Watch 2013” category where she faces competition from Galway’s Zoe Wong, as well as Riona Treacy, Honor Fitzsimons, Jane McKenna, Rebecca Marsden, Angela Beaumont and fresh from the Oscars, Laura Jayne Halton.Galway designers are well represented at the awards, which will take place on Thursday, March 28. Milliner Mary White, jewellery designers Aoife McGough and Lynsey de Burca will share …

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The man who inspired My Wild Irish Rose

The Rambler from Clare was a name used by the famous circus entertainer from Feakle, Johnny Patterson and the Minstrel from Clare is a recording by the late Willie Clancy. Less well known is the Minstrel of Clare, a musical play that opened on Broadway in 1886 starring Chancellor John Alcott and featuring a score written by him. Better known as Chauncey Alcott he was the most famous Irish-American singer/songwriter of his generation and his stage career lasted from the 1880s until he retired in 1925. His life story was the inspiration for the film My Wild Irish Rose. Released in 1947 by Warner Brothers, it starred Denis Morgan, Andrea King, Arlene Dahl and the great Abbey actress Sara Allgood. It received one Oscar nomination for best music.Alcott’s mother had been born in Ireland but her family had all emigrated when she was only eight years old. His biographies list him as having been born in Buffalo, New York and …

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Vigilance urged despite drop in wildfires

CLARE County Council has warned of the dangers and legal implications surrounding both backyard burning and uncontrolled burning of bog and gorse fires in the county.The timely reminder to the public coincides with the promotion of their annual public information campaign and the release of new figures, which show a sharp decrease in the number of forest, bog and gorse fires attended by the Clare Fire and Rescue Service over the past two years.The Clare County Fire and Rescue Service attended 31 forest, bog and gorse fires last year, which represented a 90% decrease when compared to the high of 262 call-outs in 2010.  The number of call-outs to forest, bog and gorse fires recorded in 2012 is also a significant decrease on the 76 call-outs that took place the previous year.Mayor of Clare, Councillor Pat Daly has emphasised the need for householders and landowners to be vigilant and conscious of their obligations under current environmental legislation.“The burning of waste, …

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430 Clare babies born in third quarter of 2012

CLARE had a slightly lower birth rate than the national average in the third quarter of 2012, when 430 babies were born to women with addresses in the Banner County.The Clare birth rate at the time was 14.7 per 1,000, a little lower than the average for the State of 15.7. It was marginally lower than the Munster average of 14.8 per 1,000.Sixty-nine percent of the babies were born to married parents and 31% to unmarried. Overall, 17% of the children were born to parents who, though unmarried, share the same address.Nine teenagers in Clare gave birth during the three-month period. Thirty-eight women aged between 20 and 24 also gave birth, 83 aged between 25 and 29, 155 aged between 30 and 34, 118 aged between 35 and 39 and 27 aged over 40.The average age of women giving birth was 32.5 years and the average age of a woman giving birth for the first time was 30.4 years.The average …

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Week in pics

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Hearth and soul

THE Rambling House in Kilmurry McMahon hosted Belfast-based Zimbabwean man Cuthbert ‘Tura’ Arutura on Monday night.

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