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Business Profile: Bourke weathering another recession

INCREDIBLE though it might seem, when it emerged that Cypriots were having their bank accounts raided as part of the island’s bailout, it led to an increase in business for those selling clothes in small towns on the far side of Europe. Patrick Bourke found that people, particularly older people, were inclined to turn part of their savings into something tangible, lest Ireland’s dysfunctional banks be next in the firing line. “It helped us. People were afraid their money would be lost so they decided to spend their money instead of losing it. You’d notice it with older people rather than younger people, because younger people hadn’t the money sitting there.” He operates men’s clothes shops in both Kilrush and Ennis and is the third generation of his family in the business. “It started in 1928, we’re 85 years in business this year in our shop in Kilrush. My grandfather started it in 1928, my father took it over in …

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Cappa man overcomes adversity to keep the dream alive

DRIFTING in and out of consciousness, John Cahill couldn’t let go of his dream. His bicycle lay mangled in a Killaloe ditch, an increasing crowd surrounded the Cappa man and the pain seared through his body. Still his scrambled thoughts zoned in on London. “I was lying on the road for about 20 minutes waiting for the ambulance to come,” the An Post employee recalled on Wednesday more than a year after his accident at a triathlon in Killaloe. “The first thing I did was move my fingers and toes. Once I could do that I knew then that one day I’d get back on the bike. Even when I was lying there the first thing that went through my head was London and would I be able to make it.” John is just back from the World Triathlon Championships in London, so yes, he definitely made it. Along with David Brew, also from Cappa, John represented the West Clare …

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Life at the Poles

THE wilds of the Antarctic and Arctic will be all too real for an audience in Glór in Ennis on Thursday, as wildlife film maker and photographer Doug Allan invites them to join him in an exploration of his life in these Polar opposites. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Doug explains Clare is his first stop on a whirlwind 10-date tour of Ireland and he is looking forward to sharing his experiences. “I began as a marine biologist and I worked a bit as a scientist but more as an assistant diver – this was way back in the early ’70s, and then I got this fantastic job in the Antarctic working as a diver. Between 1976 and 1986, I had spent a lot of time in the Antarctic; at one stage up to two and a half years without coming back. Really it was in that time that I gained a lot of experience about snow, ice and cold …

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Michael in no rush to hang up his golf clubs

ALTHOUGH he has lived and worked in Nottingham since 1966, the love of golf Michael Rush picked up in his native Lahinch has had a profound effect on his life. Now almost 72, Michael or ‘Smiley’, which he says he is better known as, was the centre of attention at Lahinch Golf Club earlier this month when the exploits of the 1963 All-Ireland Junior Cup winning team were recalled at a golden anniversary celebration. Lahinch Golf Club won the same competition in 1961 but according to Michael, the cupboard has been bare since. “I wasn’t even in Clare in 1961, I was in London. My brother, Tommy, was part of the 1961 squad. He was a radio officer and he won a vital game but he had to go back to sea and he missed the last two rounds. When we had won it twice, you think, ‘this is easy enough’. You could think different now. Lahinch hasn’t won any …

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A loud shout

KILKISHEN reverberated to the sound of wild cries on Sunday afternoon as young and old gave vent to the traditional Clare Shout.  

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Cappa man getting used to new life at UCD

MARK Glynn is acclimatising to life at UCD having traded Kilrush Community School for the prestigious third level campus. The 18-year-old Cappa man achieved stunning results in the leaving certificate, emerging with eight A1s and one A2. Mark, who has two sisters and a brother, was one of just nine students nation-wide to achieve similar results. Utilising his mathematical prowess to tot up his points tally, he realised that it sat at a maximum 625. Not surprisingly he sailed into medicine, his first-choice course. “I wasn’t expecting to get those results at all although I needed those points to get medicine,” the self deprecating student told The Clare Champion last week. Mark probably sensed that something was up when it was suggested that he stay around for a bit, on the day the leaving certificate results were distributed. “I went into the school at about 9.30am. They handed me the envelope. I was just told to wait back for a …

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Clare Flag

NRA removes signs of support

THE National Roads Authority (NRA) has been accused of discriminating against the Banner, taking down signs supporting Clare along the M18, with a zeal that isn’t shown in other counties. While the towns and villages of Clare are covered in saffron and blue, signs supporting the Banner have been taken away from the M18 and Councillor Patricia McCarthy objected to it at this week’s meeting of Shannon Electoral Area. “It was disheartening over the last couple of weeks to see signs disappearing,” she said. The independent councillor said the signs in question hadn’t even been causing issues. “There are certain events and times when a bit of leniency is expected,” she added. Fine Gael Councillor John Crowe said signs advertising local events are being “whipped away overnight”. Councillor PJ Ryan said he is of the same mind as Councillor McCarthy and that “a bit of leniency would do no harm”. Workers are now spending up to three hours a day …

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Parents warned to know where teens are

MORE than 1,400 Clare teens were among the nearly 60,000 students who received their Junior Certificate results on Wednesday afternoon. The Institute of Guidance Counsellors of Ireland (IGC) advised the 685 girls and 743 boys to celebrate sensibly and to use their first experience with State exams to their advantage. “For many students this is the result of three years hard work and is a base for them to build their future studies on for the Leaving Cert and higher education. I would urge students to celebrate sensibly and anyone who is disappointed with their results should remember that this is a trial run and you can use this experience to do a lot better in the future. I would also remind them that there are many routes to what they want to do later in life, not just the academic one,” commented John O’Donovan, Clare representative on the ICG national executive. While Wednesday night is the traditional night for …

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