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West Clare-China links stretch back a long way

CLARE’S links with China stretch back to the early part of the last century, when several people from the west of the county served with the Shanghai police force and in the judiciary. In a week when Clare County Council voted to accept an invitation from the vice-president of Yunnan Province to visit the region in April or May, with a view to building links between the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Stone Forest Geopark (Shilin Geopark), located in the south-west of China, historian Paddy Waldron has told The Clare Champion of the connection between Carrigaholt and Cross to Shanghai, in particular. Pat Keating from Fierd in Cross returned to Ireland from China in 1933 and later donated one thousand pounds for a marble altar in the Catholic church in the village, near his birthplace. He bought Plassey House, known as the White House to University of Limerick students, in 1933. He is thought to have got …

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China twinning needs cost benefit study

A cost benefit analysis should be conducted on a proposed twinning arrangement between Clare and a province in China, according to a local councillor. Councillor PJ Kelly has urged Clare County Council to complete a thorough review on the costs and benefits of sending a delegation to Yuman Province, to prevent members ending up like a “shower of fools”. While Councillor Kelly is not opposed to the council’s bid to explore establishing a new twinning arrangement, he stressed the importance of proper planning and research on what the Chinese like to do when they travel abroad, before a decision is made on the trip. While the Lissycasey councillor admitted that the public may not happy with the cost of the trip, he warned they would be even more dissatisfied if the delegation returned without achieving a defined set of objectives. The council has accepted an invitation from the People’s Republic of China to send a delegation to the country later …

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Search begins for Clare’s older person of the year

THE Clare Older People’s Council are looking to find the County’s Older Person of the Year. This person will be aged 55 or over and will be up to their neck in voluntary work for their community. Evelyn Henry of the council outlined what’s required, “It must be someone aged over 55, they must reside in Clare and we’re looking for someone who does a lot of voluntary work for their communities. We’re looking for nominations from community organisations; that can be a scout group, an active retirement group, the ICA, a community council, whatever. We’re looking for the sort of person who is always there to lend a hand, whether it’s picking up rubbish, washing up cups, whatever’s required.” Chairperson of the council, Stella O’Gorman added, “This is to recognise that older people have a very valuable contribution to make and should be rewarded for it.” Regarding the council’s role, she said, “We represent the views of older people …

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Michael Waugh pictured at his grandmother's house near Barefield. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

US Tour Company seeks to expand in Clare

ALTHOUGH born and bred in The Bronx, New York, Michael Waugh feels a deep attachment to his late grandmothers home in Trinaderry, Barefield. In practical terms he is using his emotional link to Clare to help further develop US based Wild West Irish Tours which he operates with his wife Trish. Now living in Richmond, Virginia, Michael called Sligo home for five years but is hoping to spend a sizeable portion of 2015 in Clare in the company of his various tour groups. “We have tours from April right up to November 1. Around this time of the year I’m normally over in the US promoting our tours and going to Irish festivals. Then around April 1, I’ll be in Ireland and the tours start. We’ll pick up the people, who signed up over the winter, at Shannon or Dublin. Then we show them the real, authentic Ireland that I know from living here. The thing is while I do …

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Nature’s new year wake up

THE new year has arrived mild and wet. Nature is getting confused here at The Hogsprickle; we have flowers blooming that should be asleep. Our hedgehogs are all awake, hungry and grumpy and, unfortunately, it still too early to release them, so they will continue to enjoy their B&B here until the weather is mild enough for them to go into the outside runs to acclimatise, before release back to the wild. The birds that were released during last year are, mostly, still around, as the garden is full of birds looking for an easy meal. Fat balls and bird seeds are an important supplement at this time, as the birds now need to put on condition and attract a mate ready to raise this year’s family. Although it’s mild, you still need to keep an eye out for wildlife that may be injured or made homeless due to the heavy rainfall flooding ground nests of hedgehogs, foxes and other …

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Championing The Banner on the airwaves

NEXT Monday, Raidio Corca Baiscinn will broadcast a documentary on the history and role of The Clare Champion newspaper in the county. This one-hour documentary, Championing The Banner, highlights some of the key and important events reported in Clare. It explores how The Clare Champion came into existence in 1903 and the circumstances surrounding it. It will also explore the cultural and social scene that the paper was born into and how the paper progressed through the early years. “Listeners will be given an insight into the day-to-day running of the paper. It is also an interactive documentary between the broadcaster and the community of Clare,” producer and presenter of the documentary, James Flanagan said. The programme also discusses key stories, such as Clare’s Munster football success in 1992, the success of the Clare hurlers in the mid-90s, the opening of Shannon Airport, Muhammad Ali’s visit to Ennis, De Valera’s election in Clare and many more of the most important …

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Look out for the elderly

Age Action is urging communities to play their part to ensure that their older neighbours remain safe and well in their homes as Met Eireann forecasts snowy and icy conditions countrywide today (Tuesday). Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said, “Snow and ice make that challenge even greater as many older people may not be able to get out to buy food, fuel or medical supplies.” Met Eireann is forecasting accumulations of up to 8cm of snow in some parts of the country and hail, sleet and icy conditions in other areas. “If there is an older person living in your neighbourhood we would encourage you tovisit or phone them to check if they need supplies and that they are okay – don’t depend on others to do it,” Mr Timmins said. ” We are urging older people not to venture out in slippery and dangerous conditions. But if they are to take this advice, they may need help from neighbours …

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Council accepts invite to visit China

Clare County Council has accepted an invitation from the People’s Republic of China to send a delegation to the country later this year. Since the visit of China’s Vice President Xi Jinping’s to Clare in 2012, the local authority has been exploring the potential of establishing a twinning arrangement that fosters the development of closer industrial, tourism, farming, educational and cultural ties between the county and China. Members of Clare County Council today (Monday) voted in favour of accepting an invitation from the Vice President of Yunnan Province to visit the region in April or May 2015 with a view to building links between the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Stone Forest Geopark (Shilin Geopark), located in the southwest of China.

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