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Mary Coughlan to launch Ennis Women’s Shed

RENOWNED Irish singer Mary Coughlan will visit Ennis this month where she will officially launch the Ennis Women’s Shed, the first such organisation in Europe. The launch will take place as part of Ennis Men’s Shed’s first national conference to be held in the county capital. The conference, titled ‘No Man is an Island’ will take place on April 25 and 26 in the West County Hotel. Frank McNamara, facilitator, Ennis Men’s Shed explained, “As the Men’s Sheds were set up to enhance or maintain the wellbeing of the participating men, this conference entitled “No man is an island”, will explore how this objective can be attained using the concept of men’s sheds.” It is hoped that the “No man is an island” conference will show how the men’s shed can be used as a tool to enhance the men’s wellbeing, both mentally and physically.” This conference will be opened by Councillor Mary Coote Ryan, Mayor of Ennis and will …

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Unveiling Clare Champion Short Story winners

THE Clare Champion annual second level short story competition winners will be announced at a function in the De Valera Library in Ennis on this Thursday evening. The 2014  competition attracted  a record of over 270 entries from  schools all over the county, as well as south Galway. Mr John Galvin, Clare Champion managing director, will present the prizes to all the shortlisted students  in both the junior and senior categories.  

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Ennis Friary re-opens

Ennis Friary, the old Franciscan Friary on Abbey Street has now re-opened for the 2014 tourist season. And visitors to the historic site this Easter will have a chance to see the results of recent restoration works of the medieval ‘passion panels’. Last year saw a record number of both locals and foreign tourists visiting the heritage site. And so far this year there has already been an increase in visitor numbers since the Friary opened at the beginning of the month. The Office of Public Works, who manage the site, are encouraging local families as well as visitors to the town to go along during the Easter holidays to witness the ‘passion panels’ These panels were carved for a royal tomb built by the McMahon family in the 1400s and show in exquisite detail various scenes of story of Easter including Christ’s betrayal, crucifixion and resurrection. There has also been renewed local interest in the site due to the …

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Closing the door on 30 years at the Old Ground Hotel

HE FOUND it a hard decision to close the doors on 30 years of meeting stars of the silver screen and the entertainment world and talking to people from all corners of the globe. But now that he has decided to step down from his post as night porter at the Old Ground Hotel, Joe Shannon is slowly getting to grips with his new lifestyle. While Ennis slept, Joe was busy looking after the requirements of hotel guests, during his long career in the well-known establishment. Some looked for food, others preferred a drink and many joined Joe for a late-night chat. Being a native of Ennis and with his knowledge of the town and county, he was often a mine of information for visitors trying to trace their Clare roots. Joe’s association with the Old Ground Hotel goes back to 1985, when he received a phonecall from John Woods, another Ennis man, who was head porter at the time. …

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Podge delivers crucial 35 minutes for Clare

INTRODUCED at half time, Podge Collins made an invaluable contribution to Clare’s promotion winning second half display in Creggan. The All-Ireland winning All-Star hurler kicked two crucial points from play and along with players like Shane McGrath, his brother Seán, Ciaran Russell and Dean Ryan, the UL student worked exceptionally hard on and off the ball. Speaking afterwards Podge said that the passion evident in the dressing room inspires him. “You can tell by the way lads talk in the dressing room, before games and at half time, how passionate they are about it. I know it doesn’t sound too glamorous after winning the All-Ireland hurling but it’s absolutely huge, especially in my house. It’ll be a happy house for the night,” he laughed. Collins acknowledged that it took him a few minutes to get up to the pace of the game after his introduction for Jamie Malone. “Coming up to Antrim we didn’t really know what to expect. I’d …

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Bunratty girl is volunteer of the year

By Owen Ryan   A CLARE teenager was one of two named as All Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year at the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. Sixteen year old Elysha Ní Chuláin is from Bunratty and is currently a fifth year student at Coláiste Íde in Kerry. She was honoured for her volunteering activities with Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Hospital in Crumlin and Barretstown Camp in Co Kildare. At five Elysha was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was hospitalised in Crumlin for ten years. During that time she underwent chemotherapy and several surgeries, which have left her with permanent kidney damage and without sight in one eye. Speaking on Tuesday she said she was delighted to win the award. “They announced Dayna Ní Shíocháin, the other winner first and I was delighted for her but I was getting a bit worried that I’d be in tears if I didn’t win. When they called out Coláiste Íde I …

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Home stays needed for 300 cyclists against suicide in Ennis

LOCALS are being asked to make a “wheel” effort in supporting the upcoming Cycle Against Suicide, by opening up their homes to 300 participants. The cycle will be making its way through Ennis on Saturday, May 3 and organisers need homestays for the cyclists who have taken on the challenge to raise suicide awareness. Fr Jerry Carey, who is working towards finding places for the participants, along with training to take part in the cycle himself, said he is “absolutely confident” that the generous people of Ennis will answer the call. He explained, “Cycle Against Suicide is a national initiative that was started by Irish entrepreneur, Jim Breen, as a result of his appearance on The Secret Millionaire. The main objective of the cycle is to raise awareness of the considerable help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. The cycle is more about promoting awareness than …

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Almost time to pick a rose

EASTER Saturday, April 19, is the date that one lucky Banner lass will become the 2014 Clare Rose at a gala selection event in the Inn at Dromoland and it’s not too late to take part. The 2013 Clare Rose, Marie Donnellan, urged, “I have had the most wonderful year of my life and I would encourage women from across the county to fill-in an online entry form at www.roseoftralee.ie as soon as possible. I have made so many wonderful friends and enjoyed my travels to Belarus and New York City. The Clare Rose Selection event in itself is a life-changing experience while being selected to go forward to the Regional Festival in Portlaoise and ultimately the International Festival in Tralee were a bonus.” Deputy general manager of The Inn at Dromoland, Claire Coughlan, commented, “We are delighted to welcome the Clare Rose Centre to the hotel for the first time ever. It is a testament to the quality of …

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