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Lifestyle

No rates reprieve as Budget adopted

Businesses will not benefit from any commercial cut in rates next year, ahead of the new equalisation process in 2016. Clare’s 2015 Draft Budget was passed at a meeting on Wednesday by 23 votes to three. It was opposed by Fine Gael Councillor Johnny Flynn and Independent Councillors Ian Lynch and James Breen. The new Annual Rate of Valuation (ARV) was set at €72.99, which is the existing county commercial rate. This proposal was passed by 23 votes to two, following opposition from Councillors Flynn and Lynch, with one abstention. Following this decision, it seems as if commercial rates in Ennis and Kilrush will have to increase from €65.45 and €61.93, respectively, up to the €72.99 over a five-year period, starting in 2016. Councillor Johnny Flynn argued there should be plenty of scope to reduce the county commercial rate down to the Ennis rate, considering up to €1 million should have been saved in increased efficiencies, following the abolition of …

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bill slattery

Council plumbs depths with grave debate

A Lahinch county councillor has claimed that Clare County Council employees are “roaming” around North Clare, checking if graves are the required depth, which Councillor Bill Slattery has heard should now be eight-foot deep. Councillor Slattery has challenged the local authority to dig 10 eight-foot graves in Lahinch, where he says the rock formation mitigate against deep graves. “In recent times, a person was being buried and somebody came out and told them the coffin wasn’t down far enough,” Councillor Slattery claimed. “Was it someone from the council?” director of services, Ann Haugh asked. “I believe so. They couldn’t go down any further because they had met rock. They were down five-foot-nine and he said ‘ye better go down to eight foot. Those are the new guidelines.’ This was the morning of the funeral. The graveyards around here are all rock. Are there new EU guidelines or guidelines from the Department of Environment, as regards new requirements for burial grounds, …

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Clare Museum acquires 1916 journal

A journal and autograph book that provides a unique insight into life and conditions at Frongoch prisoner of war camp, where an estimated 1,800 Irish participants of The Easter Rising were interned between June and December 1916, has been acquired at auction by Clare Museum. Belonging to IRA Volunteer and future Clare T.D. Patrick Brennan, from Meelick, the album features accounts of life in the North Wales camp, poetry in Irish and English, and coloured illustrations of the camp and its inhabitants. The journal is also autographed by many of the camp’s prisoners including Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, who would later become instrumental figures in the ensuing Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the Irish Free State. “Outside of the author’s historic connections with County Clare, this journal and autograph book is hugely important considering the upcoming centenary of the 1916 Rising and the significant influence of the Frongoch camp experience on the future leaders of the …

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The Killaloe swim instruction who ‘couldn’t swim’

A KILLALOE resident has helped a local author to solve the mystery about the swimming instructor and one time town mayor “who couldn’t swim”. Henry Murdoch, who grew up in Ballina and Killaloe in the 1950s and ’60s, described the impact of great characters, such as Peter Lacy, in his recently published book Remembering Killaloe. Peter Lacy taught a huge number of children to swim, including Henry, at the Pier Head in Killaloe in the 1950s. Working as the local painter and decorator, Peter lived in Canal Bank Cottage, near the author’s dwelling in Aillebaun House. The extraordinary thing was that Peter was not able to swim himself. At least, that is what he told everyone and everyone believed him. But that did not prevent him “going for a swim”, which he did by diving in at the step at the Pier Head, twisting around while under water, to emerge back at the step without a stroke. Peter taught Henry …

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‘Champion stories make it big

CLARE news stories selected from The Clare Champion feature as part of a new book of best headlines and stories from Ireland’s local newspapers, written by journalist, Ronan Casey. Medium Sized Town, Fairly Big Story features the best, unique and most hilarious stories from Ireland’s local newspapers. Each week, Ronan Casey reads through every local newspaper in Ireland and carefully chooses the stories that have hit the headlines in the towns and villages the length and breadth of the country for his local news slot on TV3’s Ireland AM. The best of those headlines and stories has been gathered together in a his new book, published this week by Gill & Macmillan. Among the County Clare stories that captured the writer’s imagination were Clare Champion articles entitled, Clare Litter Louts To Be Attacked With Drones?, Council Cannot Think Of Anything and Exercise Can Get Your Goat, among others. Medium Sized Town, Fairly Big Story started out with Ronan and Hector …

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‘Bridge raises fifth Green Flag

Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe returned to his alma mater last week to unfurl the school’s fifth Green Flag. He was assisted in hoisting the flag by Aoibheann Kennedy and Emma O’Connor, members of the Green Schools Committee. For a number of years now, Sixmilebridge National School has been participating in the Green Schools initiative, which encourages schools, pupils and families to learn about waste, conservation and sustainability. Every two years or so, they explore a new theme in order to apply for the renewal of their Green Flag. The theme for this year, their fifth Green Flag, was biodiversity and, through the biodiversity theme, students learned how they can all play a big part in protecting the natural world. Two senior members of the Green Schools Committee, Saoirse Downes and Aoibhe Ward Murphy, spoke on behalf of the committee. Principal Gareth Heagney acknowledged the hard work, planning and organisation in receiving this Green Flag. He congratulated all …

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Seamount tresses up for the stage

Seamount College will stage two performances of Hairspray the Musical in Kilcornan Hall, Clarinbridge on Thursday, November 13 and Friday, November 14 at 8pm. There will also be two matinee shows each day at 10.30am. The show will be performed and staged by the school’s Transition Year and second year students, following the tradition of highly successful musicals from Seamount. The show is led by choreographer Cherie Worthington Eyre and musical director Sinéad O’Reilly. The story of this year’s musical is set in Baltimore, Maryland. It follows the life of dancer Tracy Turnblad. Dealing with discrimination in 1960s United States, the story revolves around Tracy’s efforts to get everyone to dance and sing together regardless of gender, body weight or race. Together Tracy and her friends bring the audience on a humorous adventure meeting an array of diverse characters along the way. Aoife Lavelle takes on the lead role of Tracy with Sarah Murphy playing Penny Pingelton, Grace Wallis as …

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Chinese getting a flavour of Shannon Hotel College

Executives of a leading hotel group in the Far East travelled to Shannon College of Hotel Management this week to learn the ‘Irish way’ of hotel-keeping. The senior Gloria Hotels & Resorts Group executives spent a week undergoing an intensive course at the renowned college, which has educated some of the leading hoteliers in the world. The rapidly growing group has 63 four and five star hotels, which are mainly located in China but also in Malaysia and Japan, and employs 15,000 people. It is adding up to 20 new hotels to its portfolio each year. It is the latest international education coup for the Shannon College of Hotel Management, which in 2012 signed a deal with the Seychelles government for all hotel management students from the tourism archipelago to be educated through the college, including with one year in Ireland. Shannon College of Hotel Management has 400 students, almost 50% of which are international students, with 70% of those …

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