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Gathering tales from the Great War

A HERITAGE project in Clarecastle and Ballyea has established that more than 100 local men served in the British Army during World War I, while a local historian believes there are at least the same number again of men from the area that they don’t know about yet. The Clarecastle and Ballyea Heritage Group are continuing to collect stories about The Great War and parishioners involved and a number of people have come forward recently with medals, photographs and fascinating stories of their grandfathers’ roles in that war. “We’ve been at it for the last couple of months; we’re trying to build up a database for people from the parish of Clarecastle and Ballyea of people who might have gone off to The Great War. “We know the men who went off and were killed, we’ve plenty of information on them, but there’s a lot, we reckon from the parish, who went away and served, then came back and never …

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Immigrant domestic workers ‘virtual prisoners’

A NUMBER of disturbing incidents relating to the treatment of immigrant domestic and childcare workers in this county have been revealed by Orla Ní Éili, project manager at the Clare Immigrant Support Centre in Ennis. “Some domestic and childcare workers in Clare have been held virtual prisoners in their employers’ homes,” she declared. Her shocking statement comes in a week when a report from the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) indicated that urgent action is needed to ensure that Ireland guarantees the safety and welfare of the thousands of migrant women caring for children. Launched on Wednesday, Childcare in the Domestic Work Sector: Who’s Minding the Children? draws on Irish and European data. “I remember hearing of one girl, who was doing English classes in the evening, being brought to Ennis. She was dropped with all her bags and told ‘We’ve had enough of you. You’re not doing enough work.’ That was it. It was a winter’s evening and she …

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40,000 to attend Shannon airshow

Shannon Airport has announced it will deliver an air display extravaganza on Saturday, July 18 to mark the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight at the airport. An estimated 40,000 people are expected at the airport for the airshow, which will provide a visual treat from some of Ireland and Europe’s leading aerobatics performers, parachutists, helicopters, jet fighters and stunt fliers during the six hour event. In addition to the sky manoeuvres on the day, there will be plenty of on-the-ground action, including a static aircraft and tank display, entertainment zone, live music and a catering zone with an array of dining choices.  

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Civil marriage outside of ‘office hours’

Civil marriage ceremonies shouldn’t be organised just to suit regular office hours, according to Clare TD Michael McNamara. “It is no longer acceptable that people wishing to marry in a registry office should be confined to a ‘Monday to Friday office hours’ ceremony,” the Clare Labour deputy said. “Following the historic vote on same-sex marriage at the weekend more people will now be seeking a civil marriage ceremony. I believe we should extend the hours at which a registrar is available to solemnise a ceremony, not just because same-sex couples are limited to a mid-week wedding, but so too are heterosexual couples who do not wish to have a religious wedding ceremony,” he added. “It is only fair that couples can marry at a time and venue of their choosing. People should have the right to marry at the weekend and celebrate this special occasion with family and friends. Currently those wishing to marry in a registrar office, or have …

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Bridie’s 60 years in the Pioneers

HAVING been a member of the Pioneers since she was a teenager, it’s no surprise that Bridie Hendrick describes herself as “very loyal” to the organisation. Bridie will receive her 60-year pin at a ceremony on June 12 at SS John & Paul Church, while others who have also reached certain landmarks will be recognised. Speaking about her decision to throw her lot in with the organisation, she says, “I joined it when I was 14 in Armagh. At that time, you’d go into the probationers and the Pioneers when you were 16. There were eight in my family and we all joined. One of them broke his pledge but all the rest of them stayed Pioneers. Non-smokers and non-drinkers the whole lot. In those days, there were no women going into pubs or things and you didn’t see drink much. It was easier for people than it is now.” While times have changed since her Armagh childhood in the …

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Sad news from the hedge

THE news from the hedge this week is not happy. This week, we have had a few hedgehogs arrive that haven’t survived their encounters with humans. One little female came in as she had been found by her rescuer after someone had let their dogs “play with her”. The poor wee thing was traumatised and had multiple wounds and died before I could get her to a vet to help; she was also pregnant. Another hedgehog, this time a male, had been seen by his rescuer out in the day on the lawn. He had been there three days before the man who owned the house phoned me for advice. He came to The Hogsprickle very cold, dehydrated and thin; he didn’t survive the night. Sadly, one of my colleagues at the hedgehog rescue in Dublin phoned me for advice about a spikey butt they had that was having seizures due to slug-pellet poisoning. This poor animal died a slow …

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Lisdoonvarna says I do

Lisdoonvarna is set to benefit from a massive tourism campaign, launched by Tourism Ireland just hours after the yes vote in the marriage referendum was announced. The campaign, ‘Ireland says I do’ which features a short video of The Outing LGBT festival in Lisdoonvarna, is being rolled out to nine markets, including Britain, the United States, Canada, the Nordic Region, Australia, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. Lisdoonvarna voted a resounding yes to the marriage equality referendum, polling just over 59% in favour. According to the tally taken at Ennis Courthouse on Saturday, 419 yes votes were counted in the Lisdoonvarna National School polling station, compared with 286 no votes; thirteen were spoiled. Of the valid votes, 59.4% were in favour of changing the constitution to allow marriage between two people regardless of sex. Marcus White, from the White Hotel Group said, “Bookings have already been flooding in – it is going to be one of the busiest on record. Publicity …

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Clare raises nine Blue Flags

An Taisce has awarded a record nine prestigious International Blue Flag to County Clare’s beaches, as well as two Green Coast Awards. The Blue Flag award is a prestigious environmental eco-label awarded to more than 80 beaches and a small number of marinas in Ireland.   The award represents high standards in water quality, environmental information and education, environmental management and safety, services and facilities. The Flags were presented  by Alan Kelly TD. Minister for the Environment Community and Local Government, at a ceremony held at Ballinskelligs Beach in Kerry. Blue Flags were awarded to Whitestrand, Miltown Malbay, Ballycuggernan, Whitestrand Doonbeg, Mountshannon, Cappa, Fanore, Spanish Point, Kilkee and Lahinch. Speaking following the award ceremony, Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, expressed his delighted that Clare had for the first time been awarded 9 blue flags, as well as Green Coast Awards for beaches at Bishops Quarter at Ballyvaughan and Seafield, Quilty. Councillor Crowe also noted the significance of Clare’s …

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