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SciFest awards for St Caimin’s student

ST Caimin’s Community School, Shannon student Aláine Ní Laoi was celebrating on the double at this year’s SciFest 2014 in Limerick Institute of Technology, when she not alone won her category prize but scooped the top accolade with her project. Aláine won the intermediate/senior physical sciences category of SciFest 2014 with her project ‘A Study Into Flight Strategy Efficiency In Raptors’. The six adjudicators voted her project as best overall project in the competition. The aim of Aláine’s entry was to devise a comparative model of different species of raptors. The topic was formulated after three years of raptor observations. These observations influenced the experimental procedure used in the project. The procedure involved finding wing aspect ratio of the raptors, as well as their energy expenditure and comparing these values to find which variety was the most efficient. The varieties studied were the Peregrine Falcon, Common Kestrel and Falco Peregrinus. Projects from Clare, Limerick and Tipperary were on display at …

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Department of Education rejects ‘offensive’ SNA circular claim

By Dan Danaher THE full implementation of an “offensive” Department of Education circular will result in a reduction in special needs assistants (SNAs) for Clare children with disabilities, a local election candidate has claimed. Clare Crusaders’ Clinic managing director, Ann Norton has described the recent DOE instruction to schools on the SNA scheme as “offensive”, “outrageous” and “disgraceful” to parents of children with special needs. Ms Norton warned that implementing this circular would result in the withdrawl of numerous SNAs in Clare schools, unless the DOE withdrew it. However, her assertion was rejected by a DOE spokeswoman who stated there is no question of reducing the number of SNA posts in the school system. In fact, the spokeswoman outlined the department had increased the number of SNAs to its highest level yet with 10,656 Whole Time Equivalent posts currently allocated to schools. In December, 2013 the Government announced it was increasing the number of SNAs available for allocation to schools, …

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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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