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Pre-1901 census now on-line

MINISTER for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan this Monday evening launched the online Pre-1901 Census Survivals and Census Search forms for 1841 and 1851, at the National Archives. This marks the first online product of a partnership between the National Archives, FindMyPast.ie and FamilySearch.org. The records being launched feature surviving pre-1901 census fragments and census search forms for 1841 and 1851.The census search forms exist because people had to provide proof of age to qualify for the Old Age Pension, introduced in 1909. In many cases the early census records were the only way to prove that you were over 70, and people made application to the Public Record Office to search in the 1841 and 1851 census records. These search forms, where they exist, serve as substitutes for lost census records. Minister Deenihan commented, “Over the coming years, many millions of names from the Irish past will be made available online for the first time due to …

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The cost of not neutering

SPAYING a female cat or dog and neutering a male cat or dog is a veterinary procedure to ensure the animal can no longer breed. Some people think that this is cruel and that, perhaps, the female should have one litter first. Studies over many years have, however, proven that there are no beneficial effects on the female to have a litter. We all like to see puppies and kittens but some litters in dogs can be as large as 12, and it’s up to the owner to find loving, forever homes for all the offspring. Welfare and rescue centres all over Ireland are overflowing with unwanted cats, dogs and rabbits. Many of them are pure-bred and cross-bred and would have cost a few hundred euro to buy as a pup. One female cat can have between 60 and 100 kittens in her life. A male and one female and their offspring can be responsible for 11,606,077 cats in just …

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In a Foreign Field

By Jane O’Loughlin, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna Highly commended, junior Clare Champion Short Story Competition MARY poured the hot water out of the kettle slowly, took out the tea bag and started stirring in a spoon of sugar. With her left hand she turned the notch to turn up the volume of the radio. She listened carefully, “World War Two bomb found, the army have cleared the area and are attempting a controlled explosion.” She clenched the top of her wooden walking stick and as slow as a snail, walked over and sat down on her old armchair. She took a sip from her cup of tea and grimaced at its heat and sweetness. She placed it down on a small wooden tea table beside her armchair. She closed her eyes, rocked back and forth on her chair and started reminiscing about the past. She was 19 again, with long blond locks which she always had pinned up. She …

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Success

By Sean Lyons, St Flannan’s College. Highly commended, junior Clare Champion Short Story RYAN ‘Ringo’ McGrath placed his camp chair carefully on the cobblestone pavement in front of Harry’s Café. The pavement had almost become indented from the legs of the chair as it had been placed there countless times. He opened his fibreglass guitar case, unbuckling the clips that kept it closed. From the case, he withdrew a quite ancient-looking guitar which had been adorned with scratches and scrapes picked up over the years. Any spectator would think that an instrument of this appearance would have a matching sound but once Ringo carefully gave the strings their first strum, magic filled the ears of listeners. When Ringo went busking, he was in a world of his own, taking no notice of his surroundings. Sometimes he’d smile or laugh to himself while playing if he did something with the guitar that came as a surprise to even him – a …

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Missing Figure

By Aneesha Abdalla, Coláiste Muire, Ennis. Highly commended, junior Clare Champion Short Story Competition HAVING two parents in your life is important. We need both a mother and a father figure. But sometimes things don’t turn out as you want them to be. Some people grow up with one. For me, it’s my mom. All my life I just wanted the feeling and relationship or bond with my father. Every time someone brings up their dad it just makes me feel sad because I have never known or had the chance to get close to my father. Every Father’s Day I write a letter, which I wish I could send. I write about how I feel, my emotions and everything that I would ask him such as “Do you ever think about how I’m getting on?”, “Do you have another family?”, “Why did you leave?”. These questions are always on my mind. After I’m done writing the letter, I read …

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A Teenager’s Guide to Life

By Muireann Duffy, Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon. Highly commended, senior Clare Champion Short Story Competition EVERYONE  says that being a teenager is the best time in your life. That’s easy for them to say when you’re going on ancient and decide to look back on your teen years through rose-coloured glasses. Seriously, anyone who says it’s the best part of life has huge gaps in their memory, so if they complain about how easy you have it being 16, do the decent thing and ignore them. Don’t storm off in a huff and slam every door on the way to your room, that’s way too much effort. I suggest you simply tune out and when you think they’re done, say ‘I know’ as smugly as you possibly can, leaving them annoyed and you truly satisfied. One of the hardest parts of being a teenager is that it’s a constant juggling act. Organisation isn’t usually the main focus, unless you’re just a …

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Just Another Day….

By Eve Quinn, Coláiste Muire, Enis. Highly commended, senior Clare Champion Short Story Competition. THE Angelus chimed tunelessly over the whining tyres and impatient horns and babble of voices. Six o’clock was her favourite time of day – it always had been. The suit-clad businessmen and businesswomen bustled past, carrying bulging briefcases, wearing weary expressions. Their eyebrows were pulled together in frustration and their lips were sealed in a firm line of discontent. But beneath the hard exteriors, she could see the love, the hunger to be home, the longing to see family. Some stood waiting at the dilapidated bus stop. Others made their way towards the underground car park, where a private mode of transport awaited them. At six o’clock, everybody had a purpose. She could see what that must have felt like – to actually live for something. As people passed her by, most avoided eye contact. Their eyes darted nervously or disgustedly or judgmentally to the other …

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A Noble Profession

By Róisín O’Sullivan St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point Highly commended, senior Clare Champion Short Story Competition EVERY year, a boisterous gaggle of grandchildren gather in one place in order to prove their dedication to their grandmother. Many are young, too young to understand that what they will be doing is something that will be forever engraved in their memories. They will learn skills only taught to those worthy of such high regard. Some will falter and give up, yet the majority, goaded on by their proud parents, will master their skills and become true and noble glass collectors. Each year in July, for the Willie Clancy Week festival, every bar, restaurant and street corner in Miltown Malbay transforms into a bustling atmospheric cauldron of instruments, musicians and nameless voices singing songs of old. The week brings thousands of people of every age to the normally quiet town. It is this week that my grandmother’s pub renews its youth and …

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