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Enjoying the sunshine during breakfast on the terrace.

Half a Century at BrookLodge

Keep it to yourself but one of my humans recently celebrated his 50th birthday. That’s ancient – around seven in dog years. Seeing as he’s always so good to me and looks after me so well, I decided to do something nice for him. I checked my bone account to see what it could stand and thanks to the excellent Bone/Euro exchange rate, on account of Brexit worries, I found that I could manage a few nights in BrookLodge in County Wicklow. It’s one of my favourite places as I get to look at the hens, chickens and geese that roam the grounds. My humans love it for the peace and tranquillity, not to mention the organic food for which it’s renowned. There’s a further attraction – the two resident dogs, my pals, Oscar and George, who are always good for a laugh and a chat. It was late afternoon when we arrived so after checking in with my American …

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Competitors race towards their bikes at the start of the Brompton World Championships in London.

Brompton World Championships – again

Another year, another Brompton World Championship but unfortunately, this year I didn’t manage to win a place in the lottery to get an entry to the race. Fortunately, only a week before the event, I managed to ‘acquire’ an entry and made arrangements to ship both myself and my Brompton folding bike over to London. Last year, I competed with a bulging disc in my spine and the rain was incessant. I had high hopes that this year’s race would be better on all counts. On the day before the race, I met up with friends from the London Brompton Club near Buckingham Palace and we cycled through St James’ Park and Hyde Park to end up at the Brompton Junction shop in Long Acre, near Covent Garden for champagne and nibbles. It was an enjoyable run, despite the heavy rain that fell for most of the hour. I got talking to an Australian who had come over specifically with …

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Adoption is a “terrible option”

Clarecastle resident Geraldine Gregan made the difficult decision to give her baby up for adoption, a decision she has regretted ever since. Her pregnancy as a single woman brought shame, she was branded as damaged goods and had to hide out half way across the country for the last month of her pregnancy, writes Carol Byrne. Originally from County Cork, Geraldine Gregan acquired a rare job as a quality manager in a dairy business in Cavan. After receiving a BSc in Dairy Science, her job security, being a single woman, was put in jeopardy when she became pregnant in the mid-1980s. “The relationship had ended when I realised I was pregnant. I felt a deep sense of guilt and sadness. It was so wrong and selfish of me to be bringing a baby into the world that would not have a dad. My own dad passed away when I was 16 and I still missed him. I also felt sadness for …

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Ciara Relays Her Survival Story

Clare’s first Relay For Life, in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, took place in Tim Smythe Park over 24 hours from 2pm last Saturday. It was an event for the whole community to remember those lost, to support those who continue their fight, and to celebrate survivors. In an interview with The Clare Champion Lissycasey woman Ciara Lynch speaks about her cancer journey having just graduated when she was diagnosed with oral cancer.  “THERE is something powerful about walking in silence and in solidarity”, cancer survivor Ciara Lynch said, after participating in Clare’s first Relay For Life in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. The soon to be 30-year-old said the event was an emotional but inspirational one. Ciara, a national school teacher who survived oral cancer in her early 20s, is the new chairperson of Ennis Musical Society and was joined by society members who held a strong presence on the Fair Green for the 24 hours. “It was a great …

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Never leave your dog in a car in hot weather.

Never leave your dog in a hot car

With the current heat wave showing no signs of abating, Škoda are highlighting the dangers of leaving your pets in a car in hot conditions. Even a few minutes in a hot car can prove fatal to a dog. A car’s interior can reach 47 degrees in an hour when the outside temperature is 22 degrees. If it rises to 26, a car can reach 37 degrees in just 10 minutes. Such temperatures can prove fatal to a dog in under 20 minutes. You can take precautions to keep your dogs safe on a hot day: Never leave your dog in a car in warm weather, even if it feels cool outside. Don’t excessively walk or over-exercise your dog. Avoid walking your dog at the hottest time of the day – often morning or later in the evenings can be cooler. Always take plenty of water with you when out with your dog. Make sure your dog has shade to …

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A Race Against Time For Rohingyas

WHITEGATE native Marie Madden joined Concern Worldwide as their communications officer last October and has spoken to The Clare Champion about her experience working for the NGO, particularly in dealing with the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. CONCERN have recently launched the Bangladesh Monsoon Appeal as nearly one million Rohingya people face further catastrophe at the makeshift refugee camp they are currently occupying in the coastal region of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Marie Madden, from Whitegate, has just returned from a two week trip to Cox’s Bazar where she has seen first hand the conditions these people, primarily made up of women and children, have been living in. She explains how these people have already been through so much pain and suffering and now stand to lose the makeshift homes they have made in monsoon rains. She explained that the Rohingyas are an ethnic minority based in Myanmar, and despite having been there for generations they don’t have citizenship and are …

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Australian Ambassador visits Spanish Point

THE Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Andrews, visited St Joseph’s Secondary School in Spanish Point last week, at part of his day-long visit to the county. Originally from Canberra, which is the administrative capital of Australia, Mr Andrews has visited the county a few times prior to this trip, in a private capacity. “I’ve been here a couple of times on holidays and I came down for the Fleadh Cheoil last year. I have an interest in music generally and, as a whim, I decided it would be a good idea to learn how to play the uileann pipes when I came to Ireland. I’m not sure that I’ll inflict my skills on you at this stage,” he laughed. The ambassador has worked for 30 years in the Australian public service and has served for just under two years in his current role. He visited Spanish Point due to the area’s connection with a local man, who made the Clare …

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Jose is first male midwife in Limerick hospital

ON Friday last, University Maternity Hospital Limerick celebrated the International Day of the Midwife by hosting an information session promoting midwifery as a career for local secondary school students, and by having a celebration in the canteen for staff. Special birth certificates were also given to all babies born on International Day Of The Midwife to mark the occasion. Director of midwifery, Margaret Quigley, said “University Maternity Hospital Limerick is engaging with the National Women’s and Infants Programme to implement the National Maternity Strategy. In January of this year we were very pleased to recruit Jose, our first male midwife, and he is settling in very well among the majority female staff. “Midwifery is a separate profession from nursing and gradually establishing its own identity locally and nationally, and certainly in Limerick we have a lot to be proud of. We are especially proud of our midwives on how they are embracing all these changes and I would like to …

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