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Lifestyle

Spend some hours in the 12 O’Clocks

THE official opening of the 12 O’Clock Hills Project which has developed looped walks in these scenic East Clare hills will take place on Sunday, September 14 at 1pm. The 12 O’Clock Hills recreational and heritage project is based at Knockanuarha hill, which is located 5km to the southeast of Kilkishen village. The main summit stands at 309 metres or 1,014 feet above mean sea level, and there is another peak about 10 metres lower and 400 metres away to the west/south west. From the 12 O’Clock Hills much of County Clare is on view including West Clare, the Burren and the Shannon Estuary while locally Kilkishen village, Cullaun Lake and Steele’s Turret are prominent. With a little effort, the town of Ennis and many of the villages of East Clare will reveal themselves. With so much on offer from this vantage point the committee felt it was something worth developing on to share with the public. The project was …

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Giant Spectacle in Treaty City

A GIANT granny comes to Munster this weekend as world renowned French based street theatre company Royal de Luxe bring their newest giant to Limerick as part of the city of culture line-up. Founded in France in 1979 by Jean-Luc Courcoult Royal de Luxe have performed in front of more than 18 million spectators across the world and this weekend they bring their 30 foot tall Grandmother to Limerick. From Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 7 they will be in Limerick where they will deliver a unique Irish urban tale, bringing their Giant’s Saga to Ireland for the first time. The Giant will tell a story while she is in the city over three days offering plenty of free family entertainment. Grandmother, which is being referred to locally as Granny, stands at 7.5metres tall, and is handled like a marionette by tens of Lilliputians, which have become a directly identifiable signature of the street theatre company. Speaking about the …

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Celebrating East Clare’s iron industry

EAST Clare is all set to  host the inaugural Sliabh Aughty Furnace Festival  celebrating the region’s rich history with the iron industry. Hidden on the western shores of Lough Derg, in the foothills of the Sliabh Aughty mountains are the remains of four blast furnaces. These furnaces are a witness to an industry that changed the landscape here forever. They were built 300 to 400 years ago to smelt rich local iron ores together with charcoal made from the oak woodlands there. These hidden gems have recently been brought into focus again, due to the efforts of local historian, Gerard Madden and Dr Paul Rondelez. The two have been working on a publication to publish a transcription of 80 hitherto unknown letters, written between 1693 and 1701, primarily on the iron works of Scariff and Woodford. The festival also follows a very successful visit to the area by the Historical Metallurgy Society earlier this year. The festival will take place on …

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Hectic times at The Hogsprickle

WE have had a busy couple of weeks at The Hogsprickle. One of the vets at Ceithre Cos Vets in Tulla phoned concerned about a fallow deer fawn that had been hit by a car. The driver rescued the fawn and took him to the vet to be checked. We picked up the fawn following rescue protocols, as dealing with deer is not an easy job. They are terrified of human contact and can sometime die with the stress of being handled, especially if injured. This little female was in such shock she stayed quiet and her head was covered while we transported her to The Hogsprickle to be stabilised, before transport to the specialist wildlife unit in Kildare. Their vet, who specialises in wildlife, confirmed a break in her pelvis. She is in the hands of the rehabilitators at Kildare and, paws crossed, she makes it back to the wild. The same week we got a call about a …

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A reflection on the early-morning beauty of Kilkee

It is between 8am and 9am, very early  by Kilkee standards. Sleep would appear to be the order of the day. Even the well laid-out houses, as viewed from my vantage point over by the boathouse, look eloquent in their sombre state. In my mind’s eye, I imagine each and every dwelling displaying a sign outside saying, ‘Do not disturb’. The only sound I am conscious of is that of the rivulets lazily lapping their aquatic way towards the golden, undisturbed sandy beach. One or two barefoot people skirt the water’s edge, rounding that famous tranquil horseshoe-shaped beach. Two white West Highland terriers frolic freely close by. This is their time to enjoy a short period of joyous liberation, as curfew will be set in place at 11am. Black crows and gulls have arrived just now, as they screech in their frantic, hungry way, in search of a morsel of food. Their sound, it seems, is an intricate part of this …

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Bergins make charity a family affair

A CLARECASTLE family has paid tribute to their local community, following their second successful educational mission to the heart of Africa. Pat and Frances Bergin and their adult children, Tim and student teacher, Laura, have expressed their appreciation to all those in the Clarecastle-Ballyea parish, who supported their month-long trip to Zambia in July. The Bergin family were accompanied by five student teachers from St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra for their lengthy stint at a school in the Linda compound, outside Lusaka, the capital of land-locked Zambia. The school was originally founded as a community school in 2003, with the help of Frances Bergin’s sister, Sr Claudia, a Mercy nun, who is now living in Trim, County Meath. Last year, Laura set up a society in St Patrick’s called ZOCS, Zambian Open Community Schools, and she and three other students, including Ennis trainee teacher, Ultan O’Brien, went to the Zambian school with Laura’s parents to begin the work. “It was …

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Ban animal circuses from public land plea

Clare county councillors have been asked to ban animal circuses from performing on public land. However, in a statement, the council said they do not issue permits to visiting circuses. In an open letter to the council, Mullagh resident Betty Fowler said councils in South Dublin, Monaghan, Wicklow, Waterford, Drogheda and Clonakilty have already banned animal circuses from performing locally. “Animals are being caged, transported and made to perform in unnatural ways for the fun and amusement of people. Animals are not on this planet for human entertainment. It distresses me to see circuses like this being given permission to tour this misery around Clare and Ireland,” her letter read. “I am calling on you, as our public representative, to put forward and vote to pass a motion to ban animal circuses on public land in Clare and I look forward to hearing back from you,” Ms Fowler wrote. Independent councillor Christy Curtin said councillors will consider Ms Fowler’s request. However, …

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Cillian shows leader skills for Burrenbeo

Earlier this year, Burrenbeo Trust put out a call looking for a ‘Young Burren Leader’ to represent the landscape charity at the world’s largest conservation conference in Australia. This week, the successful candidate for the role as a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) has been announced as New Quay’s Cillian Fahy. This is not the first award for Cillian, who became the only Irish person to receive a Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year, allowing him to pursue an M. Phil in European Literature and Culture at the university starting in October. After getting As across the board in his Leaving Cert in 2010, Cillian sold his notes online for €3,000 and subsequently was a regular columnist in the Irish Times education section. He holds a degree in English Literature from Trinity College, Dublin. After being named a global youth ambassador, Cillian will now represent the Burrenbeo Trust at the world’s largest conservation conference, the IUCN World Congress in Syndey, this November. …

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