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Ennis woman’s wow factor in Dubai

A young Ennis woman now has use of a Jaguar F-TYPE coupé sports car for a year after winning Best Dressed Lady title at the Dubai World Cup Carnival racing festival over the weekend. Mary Behan from Beechpark, who works at the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, won the prestigous competition wearing a high street outfit, with a blue floral dress from Miss Selfridge and a hat from occasion wear specialists Coast. There were more than 1,000 online entries for the Best Dressed categories, with race-goers converging from Europe, Australia, America and Asia on Dubai’s Meydan course. A daugher of Geralding and Randel Behan, Mary was shocked but delighted to be chosen from so many ladies who worn splendid outfits. The use of the car was one of a number of prizes that goes with the accolade. Emirates flight attendant and staff trainer, Evelyn McDermott from Tralee was runner-up. She won the Best Dressed prize at the Dubai World Cup …

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Aer Lingus backs UNICEF’s Syrian Appeal

As part of the Change for Good campaign, Aer Lingus has this week launched a special collection on all flights to raise funds for UNICEF’s Syrian appeal. Change for Good is the UNICEF in-flight collection of unused foreign notes and coins to raise funds for vulnerable children around the world. As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, 14 million children are in need of humanitarian support, making this the single biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two. The situation of more than 5.6 million children inside Syria remains the most desperate. Almost two million Syrian children have fled and are living as refugees most of them in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The scale of this crisis is unprecedented; the total number of Syrian children in need of assistance is 15 times what it was in 2012. UNICEF Ireland Executive Director, Peter Power said, “While visiting the Syrian-Lebanese border, I witnessed first hand the appalling and inhumane conditions in …

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Family’s gift of life lauded

AN Ennis family has been lauded by a local kidney recipient for donating organs from their 19-year-old son, who died unexpectedly 10 years ago. In an interview with The Clare Champion to promote Organ Donor Awareness Week, which continues until April 4, Mary Murphy, Considine Road, explained that her youngest son, Garry died as a result of heart failure caused by a seizure in 2005. Mary says that she didn’t really think about organ donation at the time because she didn’t think anything was going to happen to Garry. “The family was called into a room in University Hospital, Limerick and were asked would we donate his organs and without even thinking, I said ‘yes’. Even though Garry was on life support, it was as if I was on the outside looking in. I brought in his clothes for going home. It hadn’t hit home. “He got a seizure on a Saturday morning and the life-support machine was turned off the …

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Organ donors giving the gift of life

MEMBERS and volunteers from the Clare Branch of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) are promotion donor cards and fundraising at locations throughout the county this week. They focused on Ennis, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Tulla over the weekend  and will head to Killaloe on this Thursday and Kilrush and Shannon on Saturday. The focus of the campaign is to promote awareness of the need for organ donation during National Organ Donor Awareness Week. The week was officially launched at an information meeting in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis last week. The speakers included Professor Austin Stack, consultant nephrologist at University Hospital, Limerick (UHL); Libby Sweeney, pharmacist at UHL and Mike Kelly, coordinator of counselling services at Donor House. Currently, there are 36 Clare patients receiving life-saving haemodialysis treatment at the dialysis unit in UHL, the Fresenius unit at Riverside Park and Unit 7, Merlin Park. There are also seven Clare patients on the home dialysis programme and on the more recent treatment …

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East Clare singers face ‘brutal’ Voice battle

Two East Clare singers are among those battling to survive what has been described as a “brutal format” in The Voice of Ireland competition this Sunday night on RTÉ 1. Kate Purcell and Sarah McTernan have made it through to the live knockout stage, with folk singer Purcell warning they face a “brutal format” in the next stage. With 36 acts whittled down to just 12, the judges now face the task of picking their favourites. Each coach pitch three contestants against each other but there is only space for one from each team to go through. Tulla’s Kate Purcell is part of Westlife star Kian Egan’s team. She performed a powerful rendition of Rihanna’s We Found Love to advance through from the blind auditions. She next sang Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn in the battle round. While the 48-year-old mother-of-two would love to qualify for the quarter-finals, she says she has already achieved her initial ambitions. “Performing live on stage in …

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Katie and Caitlin cook up a storm

Caitlin McInerney and Kate Hehir from the Inagh-Kilnamona Youth Club were among the big winners at the fourth annual Clare Youth Service Masterchef cook-off, held at St Flannan’s College in Ennis. The duo created a delicious golden chicken with braised greens and potato gratin. Along with their granny’s apple cake, the dish secured the judges’ approval as well as a range of culinary-related prizes from Clare Bar Supplies and the Ennis Bookshop. A feature of this year’s event was the return of previous winner, 20-year-old Amber Pierce as a judge. Since winning the 2012 competition as a 17-year-old, Bodyke’s Amber has gone on to pursue a professional career and is currently working in Dromoland Castle’s prestigious five-star kitchen. She commented, “I felt honoured to be asked back to judge this year’s competition and it  helped me reflect on how far I had come in my own career path since I was a participant. I hope this year’s entrants can see …

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Niamh McMahon reaches her target weight.

Niamh reaches her Weightwatcher target

Food Diary Tuesday March 17 Breakfast 8:00 One poached egg with a bagel and a tomato and one bacon medallion with a green tea. Mid morning 11:00 Weightwatchers yoghurt a mandarin and a coffee. Lunch 13:30 Home made vegetable soup with a slice of porridge bread and a pear with a pint of water. Dinner 17:30 Two baby potatoes with vegetables and a slice of turkey with a pint of water. Snack 20:00 Green tea. Wednesday March 18 Breakfast 7:15 Two crumpets with Weightwatchers jam and a green tea. Mid morning 12:00 A coffee and a Weightwatchers cookie. Lunch 14:00 A bowl of pepper and tomato soup with a slice of soda bread and a diet coke. Dinner 17:30 One potato with vegetables and a gammon steak with a pint of water. Snack 20:00 A green tea with a Weightwatchers bar. Thursday March 19 Breakfast 7:15 30g of porridge with skimmed milk and water and a green tea. Mid morning …

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Hotelier on the crest of Clíona’s wave

HIS was the plight of hospitality workers the world over, he was never free on weekends. Donal Minihane, manager of Hotel Doolin, always wanted to go to a writers’ festival but couldn’t get away to attend one. Undeterred, he decided the solution was to organise one in his own hotel. So not long after he set about writing his first novel, he set off to the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin to get some advice on starting the Doolin Writers’ Weekend. “The idea for the writers’ weekend came from the fact I always wanted to go to a writers’ festival but I work in a hotel, so I thought I will never be able to go to one unless I have one here. I approached the Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin about the writers’ weekend and when I was there, I noticed a flyer about their Novel Fair and decided to enter that,” Donal outlined. He was one of the …

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