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Killaloe rallies around ‘miracle’ baby

A KILLALOE premature “miracle” baby, who suffers from a rare and life-threatening blood condition, has defied all the odds. There is no recorded case of a premature baby surviving with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in the UK or Ireland, so Shaye Collins has confounded medical experts. Parents Eoin and Veronica Collins said they have been “blown away” by all the support for the treatment of baby Shaye, who remains in Great Ormond Street, London. Shaye was born by emergency C-section at Holles Street, Dublin on September 6, at 30 weeks and six days. He weighed over four pounds but, when he lost excess fluid, he went down to just over three pounds. Three days later, doctors diagnosed Shaye with HLH, in which the body makes too many activated immune cells. Shaye was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin and, once stabilised, he was airlifted to Great Ormond Street Hospital on October 11. Eoin said a doctor on the helicopter transporting Shaye to London …

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Pupils gain space exploration insight

JUST 24 people have ever flown to the moon and one of the exclusive club was in Shannon last Thursday, where he spoke to children at St Aidan’s and St Caimin’s national schools. Al Worden was command module pilot on Apollo 15 in July 1971, alongside commander Dave Scott and lunar module pilot Jim Irwin. During his time in space, he entered the record books as the most isolated human being ever, at times being 3,600km away from his companions. Addressing children at St Aidan’s National School, he said that one of them could be among the first humans to go to Mars, if they persist with education. “When you get through college, you’re going to be the right age to go to Mars. Some of you may be able to do that and that’s going to be a very cool thing to do. It took me two weeks to go to the moon and come back. Going to Mars …

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Nuala is the cat’s whiskers

A FORTUNATE feline has managed to land on his feet after finding a ‘purr-fect’ friend in Ennis. A stray cat has become a regular fixture around Glór and six months ago, he caught the attention of an animal lover who has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure all his nine lives are kept. Nuala Costello, wife of Ennis vet Michael Costello, feeds the stray she has nicknamed Pio every day, even travelling from her home in the Burren on weekends. In a positive ‘tail’ that gives ‘paws’ for thought, Nuala explains that when she first caught sight of the cat in the undergrowth of the car park, he was “small, puny and miserable looking” in desperate need of food. However, with her care and attention Pio, named after Padre Pio, has thrived. It seems Pio himself thinks that Nuala is the cat’s pyjamas, rushing to her whenever she arrives on the scene. “When I first noticed him, I called him …

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Vicar General post for Fr Des Hillery

MILTOWN Malbay born Fr Des Hillery has been appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Killaloe. Speaking at the appointment, Bishop Fintan Monahan said, “I am happy to call upon the experience of Fr Hillery in assisting with the administration of the diocese. I am very grateful that he has accepted to take on the role at this time along with his work as parish priest of Nenagh. His gentle and effective leadership during his time as Administrator of the Diocese was a great source of encouragement to the clergy and people before my appointment as bishop.” Bishop Monahan said Fr Des brings a breadth of vision and experience to his appointment. “He has a great knowledge of the local church from his time in education and parish work in St Flannan’s College and Nenagh, while his missionary experience in Latin America gives him a wider consciousness of the needs of the universal church. As I make the appointment in …

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Shannon’s Garrii unbowed by homophobic bullying

CRUEL, sickening homophobic violence overshadowed Garrii Bailey’s teenage years in Shannon, but now he is bringing his drag act back to his hometown in November. In the aftermath of last year’s same-sex marriage referendum it is easy to forget how deeply ingrained homophobia was, to the point that violence and verbal abuse aimed at gay people was relatively commonplace, something which often went unremarked upon. But Garrii’s stories of growing up in Shannon during the 1990s shine a light on just how intolerant things were in the quite recent past. “I’m kind of open about speaking about it now because I feel like I’ve got respect for being who I want to be and I feel like I can talk about it. We had our house bricked, egged; my mum’s car got thrashed. I used to have to walk down a boreen to get home and I’d be petrified. I even walked through it the other day and I was …

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Sky is the limit for high-flying Sabena

SOMEHOW Sabena Moylan manages to mix working as an air hostess for Virgin Atlantic with rugby refereeing in Munster, along with extensive charity work for the London-based Atlas Foundation. As recently as August, her work brought her to almost every continent. Rugby-wise she has attended the Rugby World Cup and the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa. Next month, the former Shannon Comprehensive and IT Tralee student will touch down in Chicago for the Ireland v New Zealand international. Currently working her way back from a knee injury, Moylan started refereeing in 2012. She calculates that there are four female rugby referees in Munster and 10 in Ireland. “There was a bit of communication between me and the Munster branch. I was touch judge in my first game out in St Mary’s. I wasn’t thrown in at the deep end in the middle of the pitch. They’re good like that. They let you touch judge for a month or two …

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Another award for Champion journalist

Long serving Clare Champion journalist, Tony Mulvey has been honoured with a Media Award for his distinguished service to the regional press. A native of Colonroad in Ennis, Tony joined The Clare Champion staff all of 58 years ago and during his time with the newspaper, owned by the Galvin family, he has chronicled events be they news, current affairs or sporting events that have defined the Banner County. His late father, George was editor of The Clare Champion prior to his death in 1958. Tony was presented with his award at the annual Mid West Press Ball in The Strand Hotel, Limerick by special guest, Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Limerick Live95FM’s Len Dineen, who has been working in radio locally since the 1970s, was also honoured. JT McNamara, the Limerick jockey who died tragically in July from injuries sustained in a fall, was the posthumous recipient of the biennial Shannon Group Media Merit award. Presented by special guest Finance …

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17th century artefact found in Quin friary dig

AN American apprentice archaeologist, who flew in from Ohio to participate in the archaeological dig at Quin Friary earlier this week, has uncovered the first artefact, a clay pipe that dates back to 1628. Jenny Sacher from Cleveland, Ohio, has worked with archaeologists Joe McCooey and Graham Hull previously at Caherconnell and when she heard that they would be conducting a dig at the well-known historical site in Quin, she offered to volunteer. Mr McCooey said the find was made in trench one, where they believe there are remnants of a road and house. “It is a very small old-fashioned clay pipe. The size of the bowl suggests the date. Clay pipes are very well documented and we can narrow them down through the years in a sequence. We have drawings of other clay pipes that we take our references from and we found that pipe in the sequence and that’s how we got the 1628 date. We only have …

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