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‘Champion features in libraries’ tour

CLARE County Library is once again participating in the annual Bealtaine festival, a national arts event, celebrating creativity in older age, now in its 19th year. The Clare Champion features prominently in this year’s programme. Over 120,000 people take part in Bealtaine, with over 3,500 events happening all over Ireland during the coming weeks. The Bealtaine festival provides an opportunity to communicate traditions between the generations, to try something new, to share talents or to come back to something you haven’t done for years. This year, the theme for the festival is And Catch The Heart Off Guard, a phrase from Seamus Heaney’s poem, Postscript. Events will be held by Clare County Library to mark the festival throughout the month of May. As with previous years, library events for Bealtaine are varied and widespread. All are free of charge and everyone is welcome. There will be craft displays in Kilfinaghty Public Library in Sixmilebridge and the Dr Patrick J Hillery …

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Coolmeen link to Lusitania tragedy

By Peter O’Connell NINETY-NINE years ago this week, two Coolmeen men were among 1,198 passengers and crew drowned when the British ocean liner, the Lusitania, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat. The tragedy happened on May 7, 1915, when the ship was just 18km off the Irish coast at Kinsale. The Coolmeen passengers were Michael Galvin of Derryshane and Dr Joe Garry of Shanahea. Michael Galvin had emigrated to New York on September 21, 1906, aged 22. He was coming home to visit his family in Coolmeen, when disaster struck a short distance from Ireland. Kilmurry McMahon historian, Paul Markham has been researching the sinking of the Lusitania and, in particular, the West Clare link, as the 100th anniversary approaches. “Michael Galvin has three nieces living, two of whom are nuns in Kent; Sister Margaret, aged 98, and Sister Anne, aged 95. Another sister, Delia, aged 96, lives in Plymouth, England. This very week, I had a letter …

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Tiernan Likes to Keep On Moving

By Carol Byrne TOMMY Tiernan  is preparing for what he calls a World Tour of Clare running from June 13-22. Speaking to The Clare Champion, he said he’s looking forward to the tour of the Banner. “It’s the second one. I did one a few years ago, it was great. I’d never been to East Clare before but I’d be a fan of Martin Hayes and the Tulla Céilí Band and all that. The last time we did Killaloe and there were great drinking sessions over at Miltown Malbay on the west coast and Spanish Point; it was a great tour.” He has done tours of all the counties at this stage and says he enjoys seeing places a bit off the beaten track and it has given him a few new insights. “About four or five years ago, I thought it’d be more interesting, that you’d get to see more of a county, have more opportunities for story-telling. It’s …

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Switch Your New Friday Night Alternative

THE Church of Ireland on Bindon Street, Ennis, is the venue for a new live music experience coming to Clare. Switch, a Clare Youth Service initiative, aims to showcase old and new music talent from all over Ireland in unexpected locations around the county. The group of volunteers involved promise a “unique live music experience” with the events aimed at 18 to 25 year olds in the Clare area. Shane Killowry, volunteer with the Ennis Music Project explains, “Switch aims to give you a concert experience with a professional atmosphere, and introduce you to your new favourite Irish artists.” Their first show this Friday, will present local alternative rock band 39 Shots who have been writing and performing together for over six years. They will be joined by Ennis rap veteran Clerk 5 who will be showcasing his forthcoming EP which he recently recorded with music producer Deviant and Naive Ted. Korazoncito, a five piece band playing mainly Spanish music …

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Two Clare areas in top 10 for food

LISDOONVARNA, ‘the Gateway to the Burren’ and the Loop Head Peninsula, were both named in the The Restaurants Association of Ireland, in association with Admailer.ie from An Post, 10 finalists in the search for the ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’. Both areas will be looking for public votes to win the competition which is run in conjunction with Irish Restaurant Awards. The top ten ‘Foodie Towns’ of Ireland were announced at the weekend and among them were Cork City, Kinsale, Dingle/Daingean Uí Chuis, Galway City, Sligo Town, Howth, Kilkenny and the Westport and Clew Bay area. The ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’ award recognises a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences. Each of the ten finalists will now receive a  visit to the town by a representative from the Restaurants Association of Ireland and a representative from An Post. Combined with a national public …

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Does your cat…..?

DOES your cat scratch the furniture or wood outside? Scratching is a complex behaviour which has multiple uses. Many people believe that the cats are sharpening their claws but they are actually getting rid of the outer nails to reveal the new sharp nail underneath. Cats ‘shed’ rather than sharpen their nails. This is also the cat’s way of exercising and strengthening the paws and sheaths that keep the nails covered and in prime condition. They are marking territory, too, using both the chemical signals from scent and sweat glands on the paws and also a visual signal displaying the scratch marks. Unfortunately, this can also happen indoors on the furniture and some walls. Does your cat spray urine? This is a deliberate attempt by the cat to mark territory by standing against a vertical surface and raising its tail to spray urine at nose height as a clear signal to other cats. Cats may do this indoors, as a …

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Teaming up with Special Olympics

THE IFA has unveiled its partnership with the 2014 Special Olympics Games Ireland. IFA is a bronze partner of the equestrian competition at the Games, which will be held in Limerick from June 12 to 15. IFA president Eddie Downey and the organisation’s national treasurer, Jer Bergin, said, “We’re proud to partner with 2014 Special Olympics Ireland Games and all that they represent. IFA chose to get involved with the Games to support participating Irish farm families and our members volunteering at the Games. With their drive, determination, commitment and passion, Special Olympic athletes are incredible role-models for all’. More than 1,500 athletes will compete in the Games and will be supported by 500 coaches, 3,000 volunteers and 3,000 family members. Meanwhile, a coach company owned by a West Clare man and which recently launched an Ennis-based service, has been appointed as official transport partner for the Games in Limerick. Dublin Coach have progressed through a lengthy tender process over …

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Donald Trump due in Doonbeg on May 12

DONALD J Trump will make his first visit to the Doonbeg Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland on Monday May 12. The billionaire businessman will touch down at Shannon Airport at approximately 7.30am that morning. The Trumps purchased the Doonbeg club for an estimated fee of €15m after it had gone into receivership in early 2014. Speaking to The Clare Champion in late February Donald Trump Senior said that his company intend to invest several million euro/dollars in the venture. “I’d say many, many millions of dollars. One of the things we’ll be doing, in conjunction with the council and with the town, is a ballroom. Ballrooms provide a lot of jobs. We’ll also be talking about a beautiful enhancement to the spa including an indoor swimming pool. We’ll be talking about many things like that. So we’re going to spend many millions of dollars before we have it at the level we want it at,” he Mr Trump …

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