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Spring growth for garden festival

By Jessica Quin THE Clare Garden Festival returns on April 27 at Ennis Showground, with organisers challenging local communities to create their own pop-up gardens. In the run-up to the festival, the organisers are launching a calendar of community events and competitions to get gardeners geared up for the big day. In 2014 Clare Garden Festival will keep its educational character offering talks and demonstrations provided by reputable national speakers from the Horticultural and Gardening World and it will also again feature its popular large-scale garden and food fair. “Following a hugely successful Clare Garden Festival in 2013,  featuring a garden  and food, with over 60 stallholders from all over Ireland and attracting over 1500 visitors, we are delighted to welcome the festival back”. said Bernard Hanrahan, chairman of Co Clare Agricultural Show Society. “Our focus at Clare Garden Festival in 2014 is community, meaning the community of Ennis and Clare and, of course , the community of gardeners throughout Ireland. …

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Earls impressed by student gathering

MUNSTER and Ireland rugby star Keith Earls was among the interested parties at  Shannon Airport terminal this week,  as more than 700 young people from around the country gathered to look at solutions for how people will live, work, play, learn, shop and travel in 2064. With support and mentoring from Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) investors, the Irish dragons Barry O’Sullivan, Peter Casey, Gavin Duffy and Sean O’Sullivan as well as Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence Ingrid Vanderveldt, the students competed for an array of prizes with the overall honours going to Limerick school Castletroy College. A number of Clare schools took part, including St Flannan’s. Luke Lawlor was one of the  students present from the Ennis school and he said his group were looking at new possibilities for accommodation. “We have an idea for automated housing, where you have a central AI in your house that does all your cooking and cleaning, if you’re away on holidays it’d look …

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Emergency Animal First Aid

IN this horrible weather, our wild birds and animals are struggling to keep healthy and many can become ill or injured. Emergency first aid can be given to wildlife prior to them being transferred to a vet. Most vets do not charge for wildlife treatment from a rescuer or wildlife rehabilitator. The sooner that sick or injured wildlife is received by a carer, the more chance it has of recovering, so the following advice should be pursued. You can phone The Hogsprickle or log on to www.thehogsprickle.com or www.wri.ie. Remember – keeping or injuring wildlife in Ireland is illegal and Irish wildlife rehabilitators are all certified and work within NPWS licence. It’s important to remember that wildlife often harbour diseases, therefore, when handling wildlife, it is sensible and good hygiene to wear disposable gloves or gardening gloves. Be very careful when rescuing wildlife, as these animals and birds are not used to humans and even our voices and smell can …

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Home calling for Monsignor Muldoon

A YOUNG Brendan Muldoon left Currenrue five decades ago, but the Florida Monsignor’s links with the area have never dwindled. Though from the parish of New Quay in County Clare, Brendan and his family always felt more connected with nearby Kinvara and Galway, attending school there and playing for Galway inter-county teams at various grades. “We are from the parish of New Quay, about three miles west of Kinvara, right on the Clare and Galway border really. Most of the land is on the Galway side but the house is on the Clare side,” he states. Brendan was ordained on June 21, 1964 at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth. From there he returned to Galway, though to the other side of the bay. The young priest was appointed to Rossaveal where he spent four years in the Gaeltacht parish and was heavily involved in Coláiste Chonnacht in Spiddal before a spending a year ministering in Galway City. “Rossaveal was a …

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A winning Clare welcome

AN innovative approach to establishing County Clare as a welcoming visitor destination has picked up one of the top prizes at the annual LAMA Community and Council Awards 2014, in association with IPB Insurance. The Clare Tourism Forum ‘Clare says Céad Míle Fáilte’ campaign, which was nominated by Clare County Council, beat off competition from seven other shortlisted entries to win this year’s Best Tourism Initiative Award. Launched in early 2013, 152 tourism providers have signed up to the initiative which sees workers on the frontline of the hospitality sector undergo specific training to assist them in engaging better with visitors and welcoming them to the County. Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins welcomed the announcement, adding that it was a further sign that the Clare tourism sector collaborative approach to promoting the County as an attractive and welcoming destination. “For almost a decade the Clare Tourism Forum has been working closely with Clare’s tourism trade to market and promote …

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Raising awareness of Sliabh Aughty Famine heritage

By Nicola Corless A COMMUNITY heritage group in South Galway will host a table quiz in Gort next week to raise funds and awareness for its work. The Sliabh Aughty Famine Working Group is in the process of researching and documenting the Famine heritage of the region. The group was initially established to host the 2014 national Famine Commemoration  but Galway was unsuccessful in its bid. Nevertheless, the group decided to continue work on projects about the Famine in South East Galway, by researching Famine history especially pertaining to the Sliabh Aughty area “The group was developed under the umbrella of Slogadh Aughty. The group comprises different individuals from communities around the Sliabh Aughty Mountains that have a community or heritage interest in the area,” explained Dr Christy Cunniffe, Galway County Council Field Monument Advisor and group member. “The group comprises of people with very different interests. My main area of interest is the archaeology or the features in the …

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A journey to conflict hotspots

By Owen Ryan IRISH Times security analyst Tom Clonan’s memoir Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy– A Journey into the Dark Heart of the Global War on Terror brings the reader to some hotspots of conflict as well as exploring the heartbreaks and traumas he has suffered in recent years. The former Irish Army officer may be the only journalist ever to secure permission to interview soldiers transiting through Shannon. While much has been said and written about the morality of a neutral country allowing one of its airports to be used by the US, the human story of the soldiers, many of whom have come from very disadvantaged backgrounds, isn’t often heard. “There have been over a million troops going through since about 2002 and for me it was a very moving experience. We’re used to seeing images of the US troops going through the airport and on TV they’re always in that mid focus, you don’t get to see the faces …

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Gathering a pivotal moment in Mary Ellen’s life

ONLY in recent years did Mary Ellen Cardenas (née Finucane) discover that she had Lissycasey blood coursing through her veins. Currently living in Cary, North Carolina, Mary Ellen, a retired teacher and university lecturer, returned to her family’s old homestead in Lissycasey last October for the Finucane Family Gathering. “Our Gathering attests to a love of the land, musical tradition, a reverence for family and a welcoming spirit by showing a disregard for both distance and the passage of time. It was the first attempt to reassemble family in the old homestead since six of the 12 began their independent migrations well over a century ago,” is how Mary Ellen put it when explaining how the Finucane Gathering came about. The family home is in Leamnaleaha, Lissycasey and that was the focal point on October 6 when the event was held. “I can honestly say such a gathering was a most significant and profound experience, a story not to be …

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