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Martin’s Clonea to Cooraclare fundraising cycle

COORACLARE man, Martin Donnelly, who lives in Meath, has revealed details of a fundraising cycle on June 20 and 21. All proceeds from the two-day cycle, which will start in Clonea and conclude in Cooraclare, will be split between the West Clare Mini Marathon Cancer Fund and St Francis Hospice in Dublin 15. “This cycle is something that has been in my mind for a while,” Martin Donnelly told The Clare Champion. “You’re not going to cycle all that way without having a purpose to it. So I came up with the idea of calling it a Cycle In Remembrance. So people will do this in memory of somebody close to them who has passed away and, at the same time, raise much-needed funds for West Clare Cancer Care and St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown, which is very close to Clonea. There are 60,000 to 80,000 people living in Dublin 15 and they have opened a six-bed hospice. They all …

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Motivation is the key to training your dog

THE key to any training is knowing how to motivate your dog. Knowing your dogs’ likes and dislikes will impact your training enormously. When we talk about rewards in training, it’s not all about food. We humans all have different things we love to do as a reward, a nice meal, shopping, chocolate and shoes. Dogs are not so different; they all have their own reward preferences. Does your dog prefer cheese or chicken or would he much prefer a good game with a toy or a chase game with a ball or frisbee? Generally, most dogs adore food and would most likely prefer a smelly bit of sausage to anything else. However, the terriers may prefer a good tug game with a ragger toy, while collies and sheepdogs have a preference for chase games like fetch. One dog may really enjoy being petted, while others may not, so our response when giving a reward when we are training our …

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Home improvements on the rise

Onlinetradesmen.ie, a well- recognised source of qualified trade professionals, last year processed more than 59,000 jobs across 130 home improvement categories, with a cumulative value of €230 million to the Irish construction sector. The results demonstrate a continued improvement in the Irish home improvement sector since 2012, according to Ted Laverty. CEO of Onlinetradesmen.ie. The company experienced a 28% increase in jobs submitted by property owners seeking qualified tradesmen. The most significant demand was for kitchen re-fit projects, with handyman jobs and interior painting also high on the agenda for property owners. “We continue to see significant growth in the sector as a whole after a number of difficult years. There has been an increase in demand across nearly all project types in 2014, from home extensions to smaller projects and repair jobs. An improved economy which has impacted on consumer confidence, and the government’s Home Renovation Incentive scheme have all contributed to the growth,” he said. Some of the key …

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Clare Tourism broadens its horizons

The renaming of the Clare Tourism Forum as Clare Tourism is one of a number outcomes of a structural and operational review of the group responsible for the tourism marketing and promotion of the Banner County. Clare Tourism is to engage with the wider tourism sector, including the establishment of a steering group featuring representatives of five geographical areas; namely Ennis, West Clare, North Clare, East Clare and South Clare. Among the actions outlined in its Structure & Implementation Plan is the distribution of a Festival & Events Guide and the removal of membership fees and greater engagement with key stakeholders. The series of measures and the nomination process for the proposed new steering group will be confirmed at a Clare Tourism Networking Event in Treacy’s West County Hotel Ennis this Thursday. “The goal of Clare Tourism is to create and implement an integrated tourism marketing strategy that will develop a positive and sustainable brand for County Clare and deliver …

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Lots to see and do in Clare in 2015

THE reigning International Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, officially launched the Clare Festivals and Events Guide 2015 in Glór at the weekend. More than 150 events are featured in the new guide, which is produced by the Clare Tourism Forum, with the support of Shannon Airport. The new guide is being made available at visitor attractions, accommodation providers, tourist offices, libraries and council area offices throughout Clare. Thousands of copies of the guide are also being distributed to Limerick City and Galway tourist offices, as well as to various locations throughout the world. Some of the event and festival highlights during the coming weeks include the third annual Concertina Cruinniú in Miltown Malbay (February 13-15), Bunratty Chess Festival (February 18-22), Corofin Traditional (March 2-8), the 54th West Clare Drama Festival in Doonbeg (March 7-16), Killaloe/Ballina St Patrick’s Festival (March 16-17) and the Doolin Writers Weekend (March 27-29). Other highlights for the remainder of 2015 include the Festival of Finn in …

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Varadkar’s coming out ‘will help young people’

KILRUSH man, Brian Sheehan, director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has told The Clare Champion that Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s decision to come out as gay indicates how open Ireland has become and will encourage young gay people to pursue whatever career they see fit. “If you’re a young man or woman in school for example, you now know that being lesbian or gay isn’t a barrier to the highest political office. That is a really important point, that no job should be denied you because of who you are,” he said. Mr Sheehan feels that growing up in a small town, like Kilrush, these days is easier for a young gay person. “When I grew up in Kilrush, I didn’t know any gay people. The only gay person I knew in Ireland was David Norris and I didn’t seem to be represented in him. If I was the young me now in Kilrush, there is great …

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The Voice debut for Kate

THERE will be East Clare interest in RTÉ’s The Voice of Ireland, as Tulla singer Kate Purcell puts herself before the judges, Bressie, Kian Egan, Una Foden and Rachel Stevens in an upcoming episode. Speaking about her appearance, she said she felt The Voice was the best of the various talent shows that have proved so popular over the last 10 years. “I’d watched it and I thought it was a far more real show than the likes of the X Factor, which is sort of there to ridicule people. Anyone who goes on this show can sing at least.” She is quite experienced and many people around Clare would have heard her sing. “I’ve been a professional singer for the last 25 years or so, recorded four or five albums and I’ve been the resident singer in Dromoland for years as well. Basically, I’m a folk singer and I sing at all kinds of things, from weddings to funerals, …

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John Kelly, PPAI award winner.

John Kelly – a portrait of a photographer

Clare Champion photographer, John Kelly’s long string of successes in the Press Photographers’ Association of Ireland (PPAI) annual award scheme continued  in Dublin on Friday night. John’s remarkable gift as one of the country’s leading press photographers was underlined by the fact that not only did he win first prize in the 2015 Portrait category, but he also claimed third place in the same section.  Furthermore, John also won third prize in the Sports Features. The winning photograph is Body Builder, a striking image of Jason Morris of Toonagh, County Clare. Jason came second in the Irish Natural Bodybuidling Federation 2014 Under-68kg category. John’s other award-winning portrait is titled, The Old Man and the Sea. It shows Paddy Hanrahan from Cappa, Kilrush collecting seaweed as fertilizer for his nearby garden. The third prize in the Sports Feature is a dramatic image of Davy Fitzgerald in the rain after Clare hurlers loss to Tipperary in last year’s Waterford Crystal Cup. In congratulating John on …

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