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Clare – a county of culture

Clare County Council is to lead an initiative to promote the Banner as a county of culture during 2016 to coincide with the designation of Ennis as the host town for next year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The initiative will incorporate the development of a year long programme of cultural events, to be promoted nationally and internationally, around the prestigious annual event which is expected to attract up to 400,000 people to Ennis in August 2016. The announcement was made at the March meeting of Clare County Council, at which the elected members endorsed the initiative “Securing Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann provides a unique opportunity for the people of Clare to celebrate their county’s rich cultural legacy and to promot it to a national and international audience,” said cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe.

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What does the future hold for Lisdoonvarna?

FORTUNE tellers were on the receiving end of councillors’ wrath this week, for parking their camper vans in Lisdoonvarna for the months of August and September. Parking problems in the North Clare town were raised at Tuesday’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District in Kilkee, when councillors Bill Slattery and Richard Nagle outlined their concerns. “You have traders and you have fortune tellers who take up their positions in the square, along the bog road and remain there for the whole month of September, taking up prime parking spaces,” Councillor Nagle claimed. The Clare Champion contacted a number of fortune tellers for their take on the suggestion that they park up for weeks on end in Lisdoonvarna. However, just one, on the understanding that she remained anonymous, was prepared to comment. “I predict that there will be no issue this year, if we are provided with somewhere to park. However, I also predict bad tidings for anyone who makes …

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Niamh McMahon

Niamh’s Weightwatcher food diary

Niamh McMahon’s Weightwatchers programme is continuing. Read about her food week below. Tuesday February 24 Breakfast 7:15 – Two poached eggs on two slices of Brennan’s Be Good bread and a green tea. Mid Morning 10:30 – A pear and an orange. Lunch 13:00 – Home made vegetable soup and two slices of porridge bread, a Weightwatchers yogurt and a glass of water. Dinner 17:00 – Home made chicken curry with loads of vegetables and brown rice with a glass of water. Snack 20:00 – Two tablespoons of natural yogurt with peaches drained from natural juice with a green tea. Wednesday February 25 Breakfast 7:15 – Two crumpets with a banana and green tea. Mid Morning 11:30 – A piece of Weightwatchers pear cake and a coffee. Lunch 14:00 – Two slices of porridge bread with two slices of ham and tomato. A pear and a pint of water. Dinner 18:00 – Home made spaghetti bolognese, made with tinned tomatoes …

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Shannon town’s history reviewed

THE last in the series of autumn/winter lectures of Shannon and Clare Archaeological and Historical Societies will be held next Wednesday night at the Oakwood Arms Hotel at 8pm and the subject will be the Dúchas na Sionna oral history project on the town. This project is entitled Between Old World and New World and was prepared by Olive Carey. Speaking about the oral history, Ms Carey said, “We started in March 2011 and we launched the report in June of last year. What it involved was researching anything that had been written about Shannon before and conducting the interviews with the earliest residents of Shannon.” In all, around 40 interviews were conducted and next Wednesday night there will be excerpts played from six of them. Regarding the six excerpts to be used, Ms Carey said, “It’s divided between people who were here before the town was built and then some from people who came right at the very beginning …

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Primary schools delve into science

Clare Education Centre held its annual science fair for primary schools in the Auburn Lodge Hotel this week. In excess of 420 pupils participated from schools across the county. The evening was the culmination of a series of evening workshops delivered in Clare Education Centre by primary science expert, Michael Browne. Michael, a Crusheen native, is the author of a range of science books for the primary school curriculum and has worked closely with Clare Education Centre for a number of years. The teachers from the participating schools attended five evening workshops during the term, in preparation for the science fair. Schools looked at all aspects of the curriculum and devised suitable experiments to demonstrate various concepts. The emphasis was very much on the practical and ‘learning by doing’. At the science fair, pupils demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of the subject to their parents, teachers and all who attended. Director of Clare Education Centre, Pat Hanrahan, acknowledged all the …

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D-Day looms for €30m Ennis Fleadh bid

HUNDREDS of businesses will be waiting anxiously this Saturday for a final decision on whether or not Clare will be tuning up for a €30 million Fleadh Cheoil windfall in 2016. Securing what is regarded as the largest traditional music festival in the world, which would attract an estimated 350,000 visitors to Ennis and neighbouring towns in August 2016, would provide a major boost in the coffers of local traders. Efforts to host the lucrative 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competition got a significant shot in the arm recently after a submission from a local branch defeated Cork City by 11 votes to nine in a new regional final. For the first time ever, counties had to submit their plans for hosting this money-spinning event against other competing counties in some provinces and Clare’s bid, which was in the name of the Abbey branch in Ennis, triumphed with two votes to spare. Ennis is now in a three-horse race involving …

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Safety training for home care workers

A new fire safety training programme specifically designed for home care workers could soon be rolled out countrywide, having been developed and piloted in Clare. Developed by Ennis-based Caring for Carers Ireland (CFCI), in partnership with Clare County Fire and Rescue Service, the programme is aimed at improving fire safety and home security for people who are living independently and in need of medium to high caring support. The first training session took place at Ennis Fire Station at the weekend, and involved the participation of community-based staff of Caring for Carers Ireland who are providing the organisation’s home care service to families in their own homes. Presenting certificates to 12 participants, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John spoke about the importance of organisations working in partnership and the added benefits of such working partnerships. He also praised the work undertaken by home care workers and how important it is to local communities. Adrian Kelly, chief fire officer, Clare County …

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Sr Ethel to continue her work in Missionvale

CLARE missionary nun Sr Ethel Normoyle has vowed to continue her work, helping thousands of poor and unprivileged people in a South African township, until a plan is put in place for sustainable development. Sr Ethel (70) said she has no plans to retire or to return home, after spending 27 years developing and maintaining the Missionvale Centre in Port Elizabeth. The Lissycasey-born nun said she could not betray the trust of hundreds of people who have donated time and money to build the centre, until a strategic plan has been put in place, considering the centre gets no financial help from the South African government and is relying on the goodness of others. She noted this process is in the capable hands of Missionvale Ireland chairman, Ollie O’Loughlin; secretary, Kieran McDermott and their board of trustees. A member of the Little Company of Mary order, she revealed she was subjected to an attempted kidnapping during the Apartheid years after …

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