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Recalling tales of the showband era

PEOPLE with memories of the halcyon days and nights of dancing to showbands are being sought to retell their tales as part of a new publication due out later this year. From The Candy Store to the Galtymore will chronicle this unique time in rural and urban Ireland through the stories of the young men and women who religiously went to their local Ballroom of Romance each weekend. The book will be co-edited by PJ Cunningham and Dr Joe Kearney, who are seeking memorable stories from that golden era, which saw the beginnings of thousands of romances. “What we want are the stories of romance, of chance meetings or tales that are funny and maybe even mischievous,” said PJ. “All human life gathered for the weekly dances in what was a cultural shift away from the more formal céilís which held sway up until then. “The showband dances were modern and slightly more brash occasions than the country had been …

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Lions roar with An Post

The founding of Lions Clubs International, one hundred years ago, is celebrated on An Post’s new international postage stamp.   The €1.35 stamp, which covers standard letter postage anywhere in the world, was designed by Dublin company Red Dog and features a photograph from the annual Lions Holiday Project in 2016. The Lions Club is the world’s largest voluntary service organisation with a presence in over 200 countries and more than 1.4 million volunteers worldwide.  There are 2,700 members in 116 clubs across the island of Ireland, north and south. With their motto ‘We Serve’, they organise projects to help vulnerable and elderly people within their communities, and they undertake humanitarian work such as aiding street children, providing diabetic screening and preventing suicide and blindness. Paul Allen, District Governor of Lions Clubs International in Ireland, expressed his appreciation that the Lions Clubs work in serving their communities has been recognised by An Post with this special international stamp, reflecting the global reach of Lions …

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Public art gaining ground in Clare

Clare County Council’s Arts Office has announced of a four-year public art programme, entitled ‘Gaining Ground’. The aim of the council’s Public Art Programme 2017-2020 will be to utilise the pooled resources of the Per Cent for Art Schemes of the Local Authority and the Office of Public Works to maximise their potential. The programme comprises four strands taking place in North and West Clare, Shannon and Ennis. In North Clare, four six-month residency projects will be selected to take place over a two-year timeframe. A single residency project, entitled ‘Re-imagining the Rural’, will be selected to take place over a one-year timeframe in West Clare.  A single project, entitled ‘Dancing Together’ will be selected to take place over a one-year timeframe in Shannon.  ‘Reflections’, meanwhile, is the title of a publication and symposium in Ennis from 2019 to 2020. The launch of Gaining Ground will be held at Glór in Ennis on June 15 with guest speaker Annette Moloney, …

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18 submissions on Inis Cealtra plan

CLARE County Council has confirmed that it has received 18 written submissions to the Draft Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan. Submissions were made by members of the public and statutory authorities to the draft plan and the associated strategic environmental assessment, the habitats directive assessment and the strategic flood risk assessment. The process of reviewing and considering these submissions is underway. When it is complete, the draft plan will be amended to become the final plan. Brian McCarthy, senior planner, outlined the details on foot of a motion by Councillor Pat Burke. He asked the local authority to detail the number of submissions received from the public following the launch of the draft plan and to outline the next steps in the process. Mr McCarthy said, “It is intended that the Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan will be presented to the local community in July 2017, thus concluding the plan-making process”. Councillor …

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Dancing into the light

It has been three years since Ballynacally resident Pascal Kenny found himself in a very dark place but having sought out Pieta House, he said the welcome he received has led him to a place where he is now medication free after 20 months. “I struggled for many years with my mental health, mainly in the form of depression and anxiety. I was on medication and I had been treated by the mental health services for many years. I continued to do the best I could at the time and it was a huge challenge. There were times when things were a little bit better and there were times when things were really bad. When I visited Pieta House three years ago, the light had gone out in my head,” he said. Pascal said he doesn’t remember getting to Pieta House, he just remembers not being able to find it. “The hope I had was to find it. I was …

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Examining State bereavement support

AN Taoiseach Enda Kenny has launched Finite Lives Dying, Death and Bereavement: An Examination of State Services in Ireland, a report by Independent Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of end-of-life issues across all government departments outside health.  Commenting on the report, Senator O’Donnell said that death affects nearly 1,000 people every day between the estimated 80 people who die each day, and the 800 people directly affected by these deaths. Amongst the recommendations in the report is: The need for a whole-of-government strategy on end-of-life A national public consultation process. A socio-economic review of the costs of  death and bereavement An analysis of fuel and funeral poverty Regulation of the funeral services industry Further recommendations include the reinstatement of the Bereavement Grant and an audit to combat financial abuse of pensions of the elderly. In terms of communications, Senator O’Donnell has recommended that the State develops a dedicated website outlining all State services that are available to support …

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Ennis artist paints President’s portrait

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has completed an official portrait of President Michael D Higgins, which will hang in Leinster House throughout his time in office, before being moved to Áras an Uachtaráin after his departure from office. “The annual Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition will be opening on May 22 and I’m going to show the newly completed official portrait of President Higgins,” said Mick. While he has recently exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy and will have another painting in London’s Royal Academy over the summer, he said this is the most important one for him. “For a portrait painter, it is a big honour. I’m humbled to have been asked to do it.” In relation to where the official portrait will be on show, he explained. “It will hang in the Áras, along with the previous Presidential portraits, once he leaves office. I’ll be showing it in the RHA, which I’m currently president of, and when that exhibition …

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Clare’s wait for All-Ireland honours goes on

Galway 4-14 Clare 0-6 Clare’s wait for an All-Ireland minor camogie title goes on. Their latest final defeat, their fourth in ten years, came at the hands of Galway at McDonagh park in Nenagh on this Saturday afternoon and while the final scoreline is somewhat harsh on Clare, there is no denying the merit of Galway’s win. In capturing the title, Galway repeated their success of 2010 when they also proved too strong for Clare, in a replay on that occasion. From an early stage in today’s final, Galway looked the stronger side but there was nothing to suggest throughout the opening half that the final scoreline would be as one sided. There was only one team in this tie in the second half when Galway dictated matters throughout and, indeed, were it not for goalkeeper Ciara McCarthy who made a number of impressive saves, Clare’s defeat would surely have been much heavier. Galway attacked from the throw in and …

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Happy Easter from Daisy

Chocolate is harmful to dogs

CHOCOLATE is made with cocoa beans, and cocoa beans contain methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeinea, which are toxic to dogs. Chocolate can also contain high amounts of fat, which can put your dog’s health in jeopardy as well. How much is too much? Different dogs react differently to the methylxanthines and reactions can vary according to the age, size and overall health of the dog. The smaller the dog, the smaller the dose needed to produce an effect. If your dog’s health is already weakened by other medical conditions, they are more susceptible. The same holds for older dogs. Theobromine is present in differing amounts in chocolate: white chocolate has 1mg/oz, hot chocolate 12 mg/oz, milk chocolate 44-66mg/oz, semi-sweet chocolate 260mg/oz, dark chocolate 450mg/oz, while baking/bitter chocolate or cocoa powder varies as much as 150-600 mg/oz. A potentially lethal dose in a 16-pound dog is only one pound of milk chocolate. Only two ounces of baking …

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Waterford’s strong finish leaves Clare facing relegation

Waterford 2-21 Clare 1-22 A disappointing two point loss to Waterford in round 5 of the Allianz hurling league at Cusack Park this afternoon means that Clare must play Dublin in a relegation play off next weekend. Understandably, the result left Clare players and management very disappointed as this was a contest they had enough chances to win. While they can point to the fact that they played some great hurling in what was a very entertaining contest, their failure to emerge with victory left the home side’s followers in the attendance of 6,640, leave a sunny Cusack park in a very disappointed mood. The visitors started as if they were going to record a big win, racing into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just six minutes when they had the aid of a fresh wind. Then, in the space of six minutes, Clare hit 1-6 without reply, the goal coming from Podge Collins who caused a lot of …

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