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French ambassador visits Kilmaley NS

FRENCH Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, will visit Kilmaley National School on Monday morning to pay tribute to the school’s 127 pupils for their butterfly condolence card sent to the French embassy, following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. School principal Leonard McNamara told The Clare Champion the children wanted to somehow extend the hand of friendship to the French people following the attacks, in which 129 people died. “We have roughly the same number of children in the school as the number of people that were murdered in Paris. The children each created their own butterfly to represent each person who died in the tragedy. We made a large card, depicting the map of France,” Mr McNamara explained. “The children represented France in the French colours in crepe paper, like a large butterfly, with the River Seine coming out from the butterfly. The children had all of the other butterflies mounted onto the card. It was as if you …

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Clarecare served 22,000 meals in 2014

MORE than 22,000 meals were delivered by Clarecare staff in homes or in one of its centres in 2014. That is just one of the more interesting statistics contained its annual report for 2014. One of the most worrying conclusions is the fact that the charity is struggling to meet increased demand, while simultaneously experiencing cuts in funding. Services are delivered by almost 500 staff members, with 370 employed as part-time home helps, 74 core staff and 33 as Community Employment Scheme (CES) participants. In excess of 11,000 meals were provided in people’s homes by home helps and more than 11,000 meals were provided in the Clarecare centres last year. Specialised social workers for older persons received 4,233 contacts in face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and written enquiries in 2014. Clarecare general manager, Fiacre Hensey, acknowledged 2014  was an extremely difficult year for the charity, with the demand for services continuing to increase, coupled with the continued decrease in statutory funding. …

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Shannon Airport in photos

A PHOTOGRAPHIC exhibition capturing some of the golden moments and world famous faces that visited Shannon Airport has just opened. Closing the curtain on a year of celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight into Shannon, or any land-based Irish airport, some 64 images, dating from the 1950s up to now, have been placed in a permanent exhibition on the walls of the airport’s transit lounge. The exhibition, which was officially launched by Shannon Group chairman Rose Hynes, reflects the international standing of Shannon as a global aviation crossroads as it includes some of the world’s best known personalities of politics, stage, screen and sport. Famous faces and events captured in the exhibition include every US president from presidents John F Kennedy to Barack Obama; other global political and religious leaders such as Nelson Mandela, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Cuban President Fidel Castrol, Pope John Paul II and the Dali Lama. Shannon Group CEO, …

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Volunteers sought for new patient council

UL Hospitals’ Group is seeking to strengthen its relationships with patients by setting up a new patient council. The purpose of a patient council is to establish a group of people who have an interest in the hospital group to plan and advise on improving services for patients and families who use any of the six hospitals across the group. The objective is to include people from Clare, Tipperary and Limerick, who are interested in a wide range of specialities and who have experiences of different services as patients or family members. “Establishing partnerships with patients and their families is essential to improving the quality, safety and cost effectiveness of health care in the mid west region. The group value the unique experiences that patients have and we are looking for their feedback to continuously improve the services we provide”. “The idea of the patient council is to offer patients the opportunity to become involved as active partners with the …

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Daisy on holidays in Cornwall last year.

Daisy’s Scottish roots

MY mate Daisy is causing a bit of a ripple in the newspaper community. Last week’s episode of The Local Eye saw Daisy having a break at The Twelve Hotel in Barna, County Galway and visiting Bubbles and Barks Doggy Day Spa. Most people don’t know Daisy’s story and why she is Ireland’s only canine columnist and Clare Champion mascot. This little white terrier is an ancient Scottish breed and is part of a breed type ‘trio’, West Highland white or Westie for short; the Cairn terrier, the red coloured cousin, and the black cousin, the Scottish terrier or Scottie. The Scottie and the Westie dogs are familiar mascots of Black & White Scotch Whisky. The West Highland White terrier originated in Scotland and was used for hunting fox, badger, otter and for killing vermin such as rats. There’s not much evidence to determine the exact history of the Westie but many believe the breed can be traced back to …

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Peadar turns camera on Latin America

KILKEE man, Peadar King is about to return to TV screens, with the ninth series of What In The World?, which explores issues in various parts of the developing world. At this stage, they have covered 50 countries and this series covers matters in Venezuela, El Salvador, Libya and Western Sahara. The plight of Western Sahara is something that very few people in Ireland will know much about, but it has had a dire recent history. “Western Sahara is a country people know very little about in West Africa because, for the last 40 years, it has been occupied by Morocco. In 1975, the Sahrawi people, the indigenous people of Western Sahara, fled in the face of the onslaught of the Moroccan army and they now live in a refugee camp in south-western Algeria. Over 100,000 of them have been living in refugee camps for the last 40 years and it’s a story that gets very little attention,” Peadar explained. …

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Italians catch a glimpse of County Clare

A TV travel programme featuring County Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way has scooped a top award in Italy. The prestigious media award was presented by the Adutei (Associazione dei Delegati Ufficiali del Turismo Estero in Italia – the association of foreign tourist boards in Italy) in Rome this week. The awards recognise the best in Italian radio and TV travel broadcasts – and Alle Falde del Kilimangiaro, the most popular travel programme in Italy, was awarded first prize for an episode highlighting the Wild Atlantic Way. Tourism Ireland in Milan invited camerawoman Annapia Chico to come and explore the Wild Atlantic Way in spring 2014, for the Alle Falde del Kilimangiaro show, which airs on the national TV station, RAI Tre. She filmed in counties Galway and Clare. To view the winning Alle Falde del Kilimangiaro episode, click here. Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager Italy, said, “We are absolutely delighted that the Alle Falde del Kilimangiaro show highlighting Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way has been singled out for this prestigious award. Tourism Ireland has …

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Maureen Cronin visits the 'Champion on Thursday mornings.

Ireland’s oldest newspaper contributor on ‘The Local Eye’

Kerry native, Maureen Cronin, is rapidly approaching her 100th birthday but she comes into the ‘Champion offices without fail every Thursday. She comes in to drop in her unique poetry and to have the chat. Hear Maureen tell her story on ‘The Local Eye’ on RTÉ 1 this Thursday evening at 7.30pm.

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