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Kildysart’s Fr Michael enjoys transatlantic life

WHEN he left Ireland for Arizona in August 1958, the then 24-year-old Fr Michael O’Grady thought it would be at least 1965 before he would set foot in Kildysart again. He was one of four newly minted priests who sailed the Atlantic, having spent six years at the seminary in Carlow. One of the four was Fr Tom O’Dea from Newmarket, who is now based in Ballynacally. “All four us set off for Arizona from Cobh. The bishop wouldn’t let us fly. He wouldn’t pay for us, probably and then he made us go by train from New York to Tucson. I’d say we were two days on the train. We had been seven days on the boat,” Fr Michael recalled in his house in The Square, Kildysart last week. A Harty Cup winner with St Flannan’s College in 1952, Fr Michael also played minor football (three years) and hurling for Clare. His GAA skills didn’t desert Fr Michael entirely …

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Conway has no plans to go independent

CLARE Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway said he has no immediate plans to run as an independent candidate if he is not selected as one of the party’s candidates at their Dáil selection convention this Friday night. Speculation has been rife that the Ennistymon-based Senator might run as an independent if he is not chosen on the ticket. However, Senator Conway is confident that he will get a chance to run for Fine Gael at the next election and feels he should be added as a third candidate, if he is unsuccessful at convention. Asked if he would run as an independent candidate, he said, “No one can predict the future. Running as an independent is a situation I wouldn’t countenance. I have no immediate plans to run as an independent. “I believe my performance over the last few years, my proven vote-getting record and my geographical position makes a strong case for why I should be part of the …

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Clare to Calais appeal goes nationwide

A logistics expert from an international development agency has joined the Clare to Calais campaign, after it grew from a single van to a nationwide humanitarian aid convoy. The group will bring supplies from Ireland to the French port on September 30, in response to the international refugee crisis. Róisín Ní Gháirbhíth from Inagh and her friend Tracey Ryan, from Cork, began the movement less than two weeks ago. Now they have raised nearly €60,000 and are bringing two trucks, 20 vans, three campers and several cars of goods to the migrant camps in Calais and are considering adding a 56-seat bus of volunteers to distribute the donations. “It is so big now we are meeting with a logistics manager later this week and we are very lucky in that a man who had been travelling has just come back and has volunteered to be a full-time administrator until we go on September 30,” Ms Ní Gháirbhíth told The Clare …

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Run on the moon in Ennis

Active Ennis is giving local people the chance to trial the world’s first Alterg anti-gravity treadmill this Friday in the town centre. This piece of life-changing technology was engineered by NASA and as well as the fun of feeling what it’s like to walk on the moon it has the serious ability to get people moving again much sooner after illness or injury. Users step into the treadmill, the sealed chamber inflates around their waist and fills with air. Therapists can then select a percentage of bodyweight to take off the patient by adjusting the air pressure, allowing them to move without the burden of gravity on their lower limbs. John Carey, Duty Gym Manager at Active Ennis, the only facility in the county with an anti-gravity treadmill said: “We have been using our treadmill on a wide range of patients who have all experienced a quicker recovery time. The treadmill enables us to get our patients moving a lot …

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Fitness firmly on their minds

Shannon Chamber is pulling out all the stops to ensure its members and their business colleagues face into the autumn with health and fitness firmly ensconced in their minds. As part of Chamber Week 2015, which takes place from September 14 – 18, the Chamber has invited fitness expert, radio and TV broadcaster, author and columnist, Karl Henry, to make a presentation at Shannon Airport on Thursday, September 17. The event, which is sponsored by Shannon Airport and GECAS, commences at 6pm in the Transit Lounge at the airport. Encouraging the business community to attend this event, Shannon Chamber’schief executive Helen Downes said, “A lot of people dread the onset of autumn and its association with long, dark nights, and a fear of becoming a couch potato through lack of exercise. Karl Henry is one Ireland’s most recognised and leading personal trainers.  We felt he would be the ideal person to speak to our members and a general business audience …

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Cancer survivors ‘Stride for Life’

The Midwestern Cancer Information and Support Centre at University Hospital Limerick has commenced its ‘Strides for Life’ Programme, a 15 week walking programme developed by the Irish Cancer Society for cancer survivors. The Cancer Information and Support Centre, located in the grounds of the University Hospital Limerick offers patients and their families’ practical information and emotional support in a friendly environment. Twenty cancer survivors from across the Midwest have signed up to take part in the ‘Strides for Life’ programme, which was developed specifically by the Irish Cancer Society for cancer support services around the country. ‘Strides for Life’ brings participants through a structured walking programme, gradually increasing fitness and training over its course. The programme aims to bring the individual to a level of fitness where they can help reduce their risk of a recurrence of the cancer and improve their health and quality of life. A key part of ‘Strides for Life’ is the role which programme volunteers …

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Shocks galore in football title race

The third round of the Clare senior football championship produced its fair share of surprise results not least the elimination of Kilmurry-Ibrickane who lost out to Ennistymon at Cusack Park on Sunday. The winners showed from an early stage that it would take a big effort to stop them from marching on. They led by three points at half time and held this advantage throughout the third quarter. Kilmurry made a number of changes and this helped them get back into contention and they drew level inside the final ten minutes before a superb Ennistymon move ended with corner back Enda Ralph shooting to the net for the game’s only goal which helped them to a 1-9 to 0-9 victory. On Saturday in Cooraclare, O’Currys proved too strong for a fancied Lissycasey side and scored a merited one point win, 0-7 to 0-6. The winners dominated the opening half and were full value for their 0-6 to 0-1 half time …

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Remembering the skiffe and showband era

LOOKING at an old photograph from the 1950s and reminiscing about the skiffle group that he formed with his three childhood friends, Tony Mulvey’s eyes sparkle as he recalls the memories. Tony says the photograph of the group, called the Drifters, was taken by his late brother, Frankie, a priest based in Cardiff since 1959, who died in August last year. “The picture was taken in the laneway between myself and Tom Quinn’s house at Clonroad, Ennis in 1957, I’d say,” he says. “Skiffle was in vogue at the time and there were a few skiffle groups in Ennis.” Tony says a skiffle group had a steel washboard that was used for the rhythm section and a tea-chest that was converted into a bass. “There were a number of skiffle groups in Ennis there at that time around the ’57, ’58 period and there were a lot of skiffle competitions going on,” Tony recalls. “It was kind of the start …

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