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Kellie Maloney to join matchmaking trail

A FORMER UK boxing promoter is to attend the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival this September, just months after completing a sex-change operation. Kellie Maloney is a well-known transgender person and was formerly known as Frank Maloney, before completing her transition 16 weeks ago. As Frank, she managed Lennox Lewis to the world heavyweight title. Kellie, 61, heard about the festival last year when she was in Dublin for an interview on The Late Late Show. “I tried to get accommodation but there were no hotels available. This year I booked a small cottage, where I can bring my dogs with me,” she said. Kellie is heading to Lisdoonvarna from September 25 to October 4 and also plans to attend the LGBT festival, The Outing. “Now I have completed my journey, I have to decide whether I want a partner or companion. I am going to go to as many events as possible and see what happens. I will throw the dice …

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Daniel’s book points to a happier life

An Ennis man, who has overcome mental health difficulties, officially launched his second book in Brogan’s Bar, Ennis, on Friday evening. Daniel Meehan, who suffers from schizoaffective disorder, found writing Wrath of the Dead to be a somewhat therapeutic and cathartic process. Diagnosed with this disorder at the age of 18, the 36-year-old, who lives in Pound Lane in a housing scheme run by Cluaid, believes his new environment is also helping his ongoing recovery. He is thrilled to complete his first novel, thanks to the development of his writing skills, which he finds to be a great coping mechanism for his condition. In fact, he says that writing is always something he can fall back on if he is going through a tough time. “The process of getting something down on paper helps me sort out all the jumble that is in my mind. It helps put a structure on my thoughts,” he said. Liam Minogue, who established the …

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scattery island

History and spirituality in Clare

A NEW book, which is both historical and spiritual, Kilfenora, Killinaboy, Scattery Island: A Guide for Pilgrims in County Clare by Rosemary Power, is an interesting read. The book was launched by Dr Janet Harbison, director of the Irish Harp Centre in Castleconnell, at the Burren Centre and Kilfenora Céili Band Parlour. Rosemary’s book gives details of three ancient pilgrim sites in Clare and traces a walking route between them, including lesser-known sites on the way. It also provides a guide to the cathedral at Kilfenora, the monastic ruins at Killinaboy and the famous churches on Scattery Island in the Shannon estuary. The route follows, in part, the ancient pilgrim routes and the stopping places on the way indicate that a journey should give time to enjoy the landscape, as well as the places where people have prayed down through the centuries. Prayers and poetry from early Ireland are included, in translations that are often poems in their own right. …

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Top bathing water standards in Clare

Ireland’s bathing waters are of still of a very high standard, even if they are a bit cooler than popular European holiday destinations, according to the EPA. Around three-quarters of all Irish bathing waters (128 coastal and 9 inland waters) met the new stricter standard of ‘Excellent’ quality based on an assessment of data for the period 2011-2014. Eleven bathing waters in County Clare achieved the ‘Excellent’ standard rating, including Ballyallia Lake, Ballycuggeran, Bishopsquater, Cappagh Pier in Kilrush, Fanore, Kilkee, Lahinch, Mountshannon, Lough Derg, Spanish Point and White Strand – Doonbeg and Miltown Malbay. Current water quality at most sites around the country is extremely good with only a few problems having been reported to SPLASH (splash.epa.ie), the national bathing water website. The website has an interactive, colour-coded map that allows people to check out any of the 137 EU identified bathing waters. Peter Webster, senior scientist at the EPA and author of the 2014 Bathing Water report commented, “Despite …

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Councillor Richard Nagle

Doolin road surface ‘an embarrassment’

A ROAD in Doolin has been described as “an embarrassment” by North Clare county councillor Richard Nagle. The construction of badly-needed footpaths linking the two parts of the North Clare village was discussed at the West Clare Municipal District meeting in Kilrush last week. During the discussion, council engineer Cyril Feeney calculated that it could cost €250,000 to pay for the footpaths, excluding the purchase of land. However, Councillor Nagle said the road should be repaired as well. “One of the worst pieces of road in any village in North Clare is from Fitz’s Cross to Fisher Street. The surface is absolutely shocking. It’s an embarrassment for any premier tourist village to have that road surface. Why was it left that way? Because every time a motion was put down, requesting the upgrade of the road, we were told that we had to wait because we had to do the footpaths and the lot. The result is that absolutely nothing …

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Exploring Burren mysteries by bike

A NORTH Clare man is introducing tourists to the mysteries of the Burren. Enda McGuane, founder of West Coast Cycle Tours, explained how visits from friends inspired his flagship tour, the Wild Atlantic Day. “I got a bike about seven or eight years ago on the Bike to Work Scheme and am living in Kilnamona so I’m close to the Burren and the coast, so I came up with this from cycling around on my own and with my friends and seeing what was out there that was good to do. When my friends from outside the county or from college would come up to visit, I’d take them to these places,” he said. “The one thing about cycling here is that it is not as safe in Ireland as it is on the continent but we have tried to pick the most scenic and safe routes. The Western Greenway and the West Clare Railway are great starts in providing …

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Iconic sporting moment immortalised in airport sculpture

A moment which represents an iconic day when sport transcended politics – the 2007 victory for Ireland in an unforgettable rugby clash with England in Croke Park – will be unveiled in a stunning sculpture at Shannon Airport on Friday. The 6 metre piece, titled ‘The day That Changed Ireland’ , captures a famous Irish line-out that saw rugby legend Paul O’Connell, raised by teammates John Hayes and Donncha O’Callaghan, in the second half of the treasured game and will stand in the airport terminal building for future generations to savour. The sculpture is a representation of a photograph by Irish Times photographer Cyril Byrne, an image that has already been captured in an official An Post stamp. The 2007 game stands out as one of the great Irish moments of the new millennium, marking a symbolic new chapter in Anglo-Irish relations as Ireland and England met for the first time in any sport at the home of GAA. The …

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Killaloe nurse off to top American cancer centre

Killaloe nurse Charlotte Gleeson will travel to New York later this year to observe practice at one of the world’s top cancer centres. Charlotte, (33), who works at University Hospital Limerick, is off to the world-renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan for a week’s clinical observation in October after winning the inaugural Sheila Clarke Travel Bursary at the annual conference of the Irish Association for Nurses in Oncology (IANO). The award is worth €2,000 and is named in honour of the late Sheila Clarke, a pioneer in the development of cancer nursing as a specialty in Ireland and a former president of the IANO. Charlotte was nominated for the Innovation in Clinical Practice Award by her clinical nurse manager Cathleen Osborne and by Catherine Hand, nurse services manager, cancer services, University Hospital Limerick. The award recognises not just Charlotte’s excellent care but also the manner in which she has driven innovation in clinical practice for the benefit of …

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