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dancers sought for charity barn dance

Experienced dancers have been invited to showcase their talents at a charity barn dance in Rodger’s Bar, Scariff on this Saturday night at 8 pm. All age groups from teenagers up to pensioners are being urged to support this venture in aid of Crumlin Children’s Cardiac Unit. A number of spot prizes will be awarded on the night for those who display sublime dancing skills and for the best dressed male and female. It is being organised by the parents of Sophie O’Brien who was born on May 6 last with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a serious defect in the left side of her heart and died less than four weeks later on June 2 with her family in Ballina, Killaloe. While Darren O’Brien (31), Scariff, and his wife, Pamela (32), are still devastated over the loss of Baby Sophie, they are determined that something good will emerge from their personal tragedy. They have issued a fresh appeal for people …

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Clare doctors receive gift from government

A local TD presented €5,000 to two Clare doctors on behalf of the Irish Government on a recent visit to Uganda. Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen paid an official visit to the Jinga Hospice in the Busoga Region where he presented a cheque of €5,000 to Frank and Patricia Hassett for “the outstanding work being undertaken there”. “I was very pleased to fulfill a long-standing invitation from Drs Frank and Patricia Hassett to visit this hospice which was founded in 2005. They saw the need for a palliative care service for patients with advanced cancer and HIV/AIDS in Jinja which is capital of the Bosoga region with a population of 4.5 million people,” Deputy Breen stated. When Deputy Breen arrived in Jinga, accompanied by the Irish Ambassador to Uganda, Donal Cronin, he was greeted by Frank and Patricia together with members of their local board, civic officials, representatives of the Department of …

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A scientific experience in the Burren

THE Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark will mark Earth Science Week 2014 in October by hosting a series of events. Earth Science week was initiated in 1998 by the American Geosciences Institute which has been holding events in the third week of October ever since. Geological associations and institutes around the world now participate to promote awareness and education of all aspects of Earth Science. Among the events being hosted by the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is a fieldtrip for university students looking at climate change in the rocks of the Burren.  There will also be a water tracing project for transition year students from Lisdoonvarna Secondary School, which is being supported by the Clare Caving Club, the Geological Survey of Ireland and Clare County Council.

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Silver surfers making waves

DO you know somebody over 50 years of age who has taken technology in their stride? If so, 2014 Google Silver Surfer Awards with Age Action wants to know about them. The public has until October 6 to nominate a friend, neighbour or relative who is over 50 and who has embraced technology and made it part of their daily life. Google and Age Action are asking people across Clare to put forward those older people who have taken to the digital world with gusto, such as last year’s overall winner David Lowen. David’s love of music gave him his taste of the online world. Regularly streaming music through sites Spotify, David also learned to shop, bank and book holidays online. Stuart McLaughlin, head of GooglersGive EMEA said, “The awards are about recognising the steps taken by older people in the digital world. Whether it’s connecting with loved ones on the other side of the world, arranging travel plans or using …

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Fr Frank reflects on life in LA and Clare GAA

FR Frank Cassidy revels in a good long silence. Originally from Cusack Road in Ennis, he represented Clare at centre-forward in the 1953 All-Ireland minor football final in Croke Park. Since then, his life has centred on Los Angeles where Fr Frank has served in eight parishes during his 55-year stint on the west coast. While he can comfortably sit in silence, Fr Cassidy is equally passionate talking about his career as a young dual player or his decades as priest in the US. However his 79-year-old, still radiant, eyes exude life when he talks about his love of meditation. Now retired from active ministry in LA, Fr Frank took up meditation 30 years ago. “I’m talking about being absolutely quiet. Getting to know silence and stillness. There’s no doubt about it, it’s very beneficial. Not alone for a person’s spiritual path but for a person’s physical being,” Fr Cassidy reflected last week, a day prior to returning to the …

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Boycott a catalyst for change

THE recent boycott of Israeli goods by Kinvara businesses has been a catalyst for change elsewhere and was a welcome show of solidarity with the people of Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland, Ahmad Abdelrazek. His Excellency Mr Abdelrazek was in the South Galway village with his wife, Rania Abdullah, on Friday to acknowledge the collective action taken by the pharmacy, retailers, restaurants, cafés and salons there, in response to the bombardment of Gaza last month. The boycott was the brainchild of John Griffin, Frank Naughton and Vicky Donnelly, who guided the couple around the village during their short visit, introducing them to business people and members of the community. His Excellency Mr Abdelrazek was welcomed by those who met him and even gave an impromptu address to the busy Kinvara Farmers’ Market. In an interview with The Clare Champion, the ambassador stated that people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were aware of the move …

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Style showcase for Sixmilebridge school

Models from the Holman-Lee agency will showcase the latest fashions from more than 10 boutiques and shops in the Limerick, Shannon and Ennis areas at a fundraising fashion show in Bunratty next week. The event, which will also include displays in beauty and health care and a pre-show punch reception, will be held at the Bunratty Castle Hotel on Thursday next, September 18 with proceeds going to the Sixmilebridge National School Development Fund. “We are really pleased and welcome the presence of the Celia Holman-Lee Agency, the country’s leading model agency, at the upcoming show. It will be a great night of fashion and maybe there will be a few surprises to add to the enjoyment of the evening. It’s the must-go-to event for this autumn; the first winter and autumn show in the area,” according to chairperson of the fashion committee Tanya Walker. Speaking at the fashion show announcement, school principal Gareth Heagney praised Shannon Precision Engineering for “the …

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Open forum on ‘exclusion of women’

A TEN-strong group of women, disenchanted with the Diocese of Killaloe’s plan for men-only deacons, have organised an open forum on the issue at the Dromoland Inn on Monday, September 15 at 8pm. The forum, open to men and women, will be titled Diaconate! An Inclusive Church? On August 15, The Clare Champion revealed that, as deacons, married men could preside over baptisms, weddings, funerals and other ceremonies. However, women cannot train to become deacons. “It will be an inclusive forum for anybody who wants to come and talk about this issue,” Kathleen McDonald, chairperson of Cross Pastoral Council explained. “We have formed a Killaloe Forum on the diaconate. There is a group of 10 women involved in setting up this forum for women and men. It’s to give people an opportunity to discuss this topic. Lots of women and men have been talking in their parishes. This isn’t just a women’s issue,” she stressed. The diocesan office is to …

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