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Doolin photograph showcases clean coasts

A Clare castle has featured in a prize-winning photograph in a national competition. Brendan Cullen’s picture of Doonagore Castle, near Doolin, won him third place in the Heritage Section of Clean Coasts’ Love Your Coast Photography Awards, which were held in Dublin. Speaking at the ceremony, a spokesperson said, “Ireland is fortunate to have some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world. This competition encourages people to look anew at the beaches and coastal landscapes we sometimes take for granted. The overall mission of the Clean Coasts programme is to celebrate and preserve Ireland’s spectacular coast and this competition is central to that effort, as it gives people a chance to show their local coastline at its best.” A gallery of the winning photographs can be viewed online.

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The Fleadh down in Ennis

FLEADH Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 is set for a ‘glór-ious’ launch on this Friday night. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ard-Stiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will launch the Fleadh, which will be held in Ennis from August 14 to 21, before an invited audience in Glór. There has been much excitement and anticipation around the town and county following the decision of an Ardchomhairle last March to entrust the local Abbey Branch with the honour of hosting the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2016, after a gap of almost 40 years. Since then, chairman Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh and the Fleadh Executive Committee, in partnership with Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, the health and emergency services, have enthusiastically set about the task of organising the event. And what a mammoth task it is, with an estimated 400,000 visitors, 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians due to descend on Ennis and its environs over the course of nine days next summer. The official opening will …

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Super Troopers gets Clare pupils active

More than 4,000 pupils in 48 County Clare primary schools are currently signed up to the biggest health homework programme in Ireland. Nationwide, in excess of 180,000 school children, 7,000 teachers and 75,000 families are participating in an innovative programme, Super Troopers with laya healthcare, which encourages daily physical activity to be treated with the same importance as their regular school homework and other subjects. Super Troopers is now in place in more than 1,000 or one third of all Ireland’s primary schools and registration is still open for more schools to sign up to the programme until October 30. The 30-week programme has been designed by teachers for teachers and is backed by Clare-based leading clinical psychologist and parenting expert, David Coleman. David Coleman explains that the unique part of the Super Troopers initiative is that it is a long-term habit-changing programme for children to encourage positive attitudes towards healthy eating, well-being and exercise and not a quick-fix solution. …

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Plastic waste measured in rugby balls

The scale of plastic waste generated in Ireland amounts to the weight of 80 rugby balls or 8.2 Web Ellis cups per person every year, Repak has revealed. A massive 169,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste is generated per year in Ireland, amounting to 37kg per person. At the launch of the 15th Repak Recycle Week, Irish consumers have been asked to “make plastic fantastic” by recycling their plastic packaging. Repak is a not for profit packaging recycling scheme funded by contributions from more than 2120 participating members companies. While plastic materials constitute a huge 31% of total household waste, just 36% of plastics are actually recycled. The number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill every year would stretch around the island of Ireland 2,000 times and in landfill these bottles could take up to a millennium (1,000 years) to biodegrade. For every tonne of plastic recycled we save the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 released into …

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British Empire Medal for Mary

A NORTH Clare woman was awarded an Honorary British Empire Medal recently for her contribution to her adopted home in the UK. Mary Daly from Lisdoonvarna was conferred with the award from the Queen of England in recognition of her voluntary services to the Ashford Community and the Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. Mary was told she was being considered for the honour in July and asked if she would accept it, if she was selected. “I had to keep it quiet, which was the hardest thing ever,” she recalled, adding that she was dying to let the secret out but “I could only tell Michael, my husband”. Official confirmation of her award came from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by letter in recent weeks. It cited her services to the Butterfly Appeal Campaign for Multiple Sclerosis Therapy, in which she raised more than £1.6 million for the opening of a state-of-the-art MS centre. Mary emigrated from Clare in 1989 …

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Tom and Gerry are cutting it fine

Monreel’s Gerry Mullins was presented with a silver medal in Portlaoise at the weekend, after coming second in the National Loy Digging Competition, held at The National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, County Laois last month. Tom Kennedy from Ennistymon also took part in the competition, securing fourth place overall. Gerry’s performance had earned him enough points in his national debut to win the competition but he was penalised for breaking a rule. Loy Association of Ireland special advisor, Tom Egan explained. “Gerry would have come first but for he was penalised. He received a 10-point penalty because he broke rule number two. When you are digging, you put down lines to nick the soil, then when you are finished, you lift the line and roll it up but Gerry must have forgotten that and left it down,” he said. It is not something Gerry will forget again. “I won it, sure I had the highest score,” Gerry said. “I had …

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De Valera document could sell for €20,000

Auctioneer, Ian Whyte has described a 1917 returning officer’s report for the East Clare election that was signed by Eamon de Valera as a “very special” document, which could sell for €20,000, when it goes to auction this Saturday. The auction at Whyte & Sons Auctioneers on Molesworth Street in Dublin will be broadcast live on the company website between 1pm and 1.30pm. Mr Whyte said it would be nice if it was bought by a Clare person and returned to the county. The document has an estimated price of between €8,000 and €10,000 but Mr Whye believes it could fetch considerably more. “There was a big evaluation day on Easter Monday this year in the GPO,” he explained. “We were there on hand to give valuations and this lady brought in the item. It’s been in their family for years. She has no idea how it got there. She found it in the house. She thinks her father had it …

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Protecting pets from fireworks

ALTHOUGH fireworks are illegal in Ireland, we are all too aware of them as early as October. Each year we are asked to keep our pets indoors or locked away safe, and each year the veterinary practices all over Ireland are full of dogs and cats that have become victims to fireworks, bonfires and their own terror. Our pets are terrified of the noise and can be driven to extreme behaviour. Some will go off their food, hide for days under the bed or in other small spaces. Some will bite and growl at their well-meaning owners trying to comfort them; this can result in the poor dog being thrown out into a much more terrifying environment.Some poor dogs are so frightened that they run off to get away from the noise and get lost, many ending up in the dog pound or worse, under a car. Desensitising your dog to the noise of fireworks can take months and a …

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