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I am

By Aoife Daly, St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe Junior winner, Clare Champion short story  competition. THE nearby crash of waves can scarcely be heard over the fierce murmurs and mutters of the tacticians and the pounding heartbeats of the warriors. Fervent prayers uttered from trembling lips, the melody of battle songs celebrating past triumphs, the screeching, grinding sound of sword against whetstone all meld together to form a vibrant and powerful cacophony. My eyes flash open and slowly I rise from the Grey Rock, Craig Liath, reliving that memory from one thousand years ago. Gliding across the air, I gaze at the ever-changing landscape beneath me, the trees I saw rise and fall, the rapid rushing river that grew from a mere trickling stream and the jade green fields dotted by towns and cities. I watch the land go by, seeing a glimpse of a long forgotten past, the present, tainted by the human emotions of greed and hate, and …

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An important journey

By Ellen Brogan, Coláiste Muire, Ennis Senior winner,  Clare Champion Short Story competition IT’S  a cold September morning as I stroll through the park with my granddaughter. It’s her birthday and I wanted to do something special for her. I have brought her back to my home town; to the park I used to play in as a young girl. I want to explain to her what life was like for me growing up under such strict rule, waking up every day with fear in our hearts, how one’s life can be turned upside-down in the space of a day. Everywhere I look, a new painful memory is evoked. As I glance through the trees, I spot the roof of the Hochstadt University where my parents once worked. They were professors of music and engineering. Through the park railings on the left, I see the butcher shop my grandfather owned; so many memories come flooding back to me. Suddenly I’m …

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Junior category winner Aoife Daly, St Annes Killaloe with John Galvin, Clare Champion Managing Director.

Telling tales for the ‘Champion

THIS year’s Clare Champion Short Story Competition not only attracted its largest ever number of entries but it also saw some previous entrants scooping top prizes. At the presentation of prizes in De Valera Library, Ennis last Thursday night, Clare Champion editor Austin Hobbs said the competition has been a huge success since its inception. “It has been an incredible experience over a number of years and we are delighted to see huge participation in it,” he commented. He said the competition gives young people a chance to let their imagination “run riot a bit, without having to worry about the parameters of the Leaving Cert or Junior Cert structure”. Clare Champion managing director, John Galvin, added that over 270 young people had submitted entries, the largest number ever to enter the competition. He complimented all who had taken the time to write a story. “After a hard day at school, not to mention homework, it’s not easy to put …

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Fly Shannon, St John Paul II did

ON Saturday last,  Bishop Kieran O’Reilly launched the St John Paul car sticker, which features a picture of the man who will be canonised this Sunday, taken when he visited Shannon in 1979. The car sticker features the last recorded photo of the pope on Irish soil, just before he flew to the United States. The stickers encourage people to use the airport when flying and they are available locally, free of charge. The picture on the car stickers was taken by photographer Padraig O’Reilly, who lives in Fergus Drive. Almost 35 years afterwards, he still remembers the image as one that was very hard to get and it caused him a great deal of stress. It was actually his first day working as a freelance photographer, after leaving his job with Shannon Development. The Clare Champion had commissioned him to cover the Pope at the airport, where he was to get a picture of his Holiness meeting President of …

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A special stage for Boroimhe Suite

A SPECIAL 50m stage is being constructed to facilitate the eagerly-anticipated production of a new suite of music, commemorating the life and times of Brian Boru. Preparations are in full swing to ensure the stage and other additions to St Flannan’s Catholic Church will be finished for the Boroimhe Suite on Wednesday, April 23 at 8.30pm. It is fitting that Killaloe has the distinction of hosting a performance of this suite in old Kincora, where Brian Boru previously ruled. This is just one of the four April performances of the suite, which kicks off in Clasac, Clontarf on Monday, heads for Armagh Cathedral the following day before making the long trip to the banks of the River Shannon on the High King’s 1,000-year anniversary. On Thursday, the orchestra’s whistle-stop tour ends in Brú Ború, Cashel. Having augmented the sound of the National Folk Orchestra with the inclusion of a group of highly skilled musicians, composer Michael Rooney believes the resulting …

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One County One Book

CLARE County Library is encouraging adults and children to read, discuss, share and experience the same book by participating in a One County One Book programme. The One County One Book initiative will be officially launched by county librarian, Helen Walsh, along with a representative from Clare County Council in the De Valera Library, Ennis on Wednesday next at 7.30pm. The title chosen for adults is Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn, while the chosen children’s title is Brian Ború: Emperor of the Irish , also by Morgan Llywelyn. These titles were chosen in keeping with the initiatives taking place throughout the county this year to commemorate Brian Ború and the millennium of The Battle of Clontarf. It is hoped that as many people as possible will read these books between April and October and enjoy the events that are planned at the library to enhance the reading experience. Copies of the books will be available for borrowing at all …

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Councillors condemn GAA Sky deal

THOSE at the top of the GAA have lost all touch with the grassroots and put money before all else, it’s been claimed by  Clare County Council members.  Several of the speakers at the April meeting are former players or involved in local clubs. Several councillors spoke out against the GAA-Sky deal, including vice-chairman of the county board, Joe Cooney, while Mayor of Clare, Joe Arkins, described it as the “thin end of a wedge that’s going to get a lot, lot thicker as time goes by”. Councillors Cooney, Arkins and Michael Kelly put down a motion calling on the GAA to ensure that all of Ireland be able to watch games, without any additional cost. The three were bitingly critical of the decision to award Sky exclusive rights to games. The mayor said that huge numbers of people have developed the GAA, helping in all sorts of ways, but many will now be denied the chance to watch intercounty …

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Cycle challenge to honour Seamus Mullane

HUNDREDS of cyclists will set off from Ennis this month for a very special fundraising event to remember an avid member of a local cycling club who died suddenly last year. This year’s Dolmen Challenge Tour is being dedicated to the memory of the late Seamus Mullane, a keen cyclist and member of Dolmen Cycle Club. The father of four was also known to many through his work with Aer Lingus in Shannon and more recently the court service in Ennis. As part of the cycle, the participants will pass the Mullane family home in Kilnaboy and will mark a minute’s remembrance at the nearby graveyard. The cycle will take place on April 27, leaving from the Woodstock Golf and Country Club on the Shanaway Road at 10am. As well as honouring the life of the late Mr Mullane, the event will also raise money for the valuable work of Doolin Search and Rescue. According to John Colleran of Dolmen …

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