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Watching spring unfold in Clare

CLARE primary schools have been asked to help track the arrival of spring by getting involved in Greenwave 2014. This citizen science project, which sees students log their sightings of six Greenwave species by uploading images to the greenwave.ie website, is one of the five criteria necessary to achieve a Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) Award of Science and Maths Excellence. It is part of the Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme. Between the months of February and May, students are asked to capture their sightings of six species: frog, swallow, horse-chestnut, primrose, hawthorn and ash, in addition to making at least one weather observation by measuring and recording wind speed, rainfall or temperature. The results are then logged on the Greenwave website in order to monitor and map the arrival of spring. Now entering its 8th year, Greenwave continues to grow in popularity amongst students, teachers and parents alike. Last year 554 Irish primary schools, including 23 Clare schools, took …

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Clare pupils Doodle4Google finalists

SIX Clare pupils have been named as finalists in the sixth annual Doodle 4 Google competition. They are now amongst 75 children from across Ireland who now have the chance of being named Ireland’s top doodler and having their doodle displayed on the Google Ireland homepage for millions of people to see. Everyone in Clare is now being urged to visit www.google.ie/doodle4google and vote for Caroline, Fionn, Samuel, Kyla, Paul and Seán. · Caroline Hamilton from Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge (Group 1) · Samuel Hamilton from Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge (Group 2) · Paul Hamilton from Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge (Group 3) · Fionn Rush from Kilfenora National School, (Group 1) · Kyla Baumann from Knockerra National School, Kilrush (Group 2) · Seán Lineen from St Michael’s Community College,  Kilmihil (Group 4) The 75 finalists were shortlisted by a panel of judges including Ciara O’Shea, Marketing Manager of Dublin Children’s Museum, Imaginosity, Irish artist Christine Crotty of The Swan Academy …

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Adult Learning In Shannon

THE eighth nationwide Adult Learners’ Festival will take place from Monday next to Saturday, March 1.  Shannon Adult Learning Centre, part of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board has a full week planned of activities and workshops in the centre itself and throughout Shannon to suit everybody. It is open to everybody to get involved  and the organisers are encouraging people to avail of this opportunity to learn about how the organisation serves the community.  For further details visit www.aontas.com / www.clarelearningnetw

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Pupils learning how to keep safe

UP to 100 children attending four primary schools in Ennis learned the importance of staying safe this week. The pupils of Ennis Educate Together, Ennis National School, Gaelscoil Micil Chíosog and CBS Primary School attended a ‘Keep Safe’ event at Cois na hAbhna which was hosted by the Health and Safety Authority and facilitated by Junior Achievement Ireland. The ‘Keep Safe’ involved a range of state agencies and organisations coming together to deliver a programme, directed at fifth and sixth class pupils, and aimed at promoting safety and community awareness through involving the children in a series of interactive scenarios. Sean Hyde, Senior Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority said the event is really useful because it teaches school children about safety both inside and outside of the home. “The children come to these events, with their teachers, and get a chance to learn from a wide range of agencies in a fun and interactive environment.,” he said. The …

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The other side of smoking

By Owen Ryan YOU may not have heard of Forest Éireann before, a group that labels itself ‘The Voice of the Smoker in Ireland’. Representative John Mallon is currently touring the country to fight against plain packaging for tobacco products and when he came to Ennis on Tuesday, he introduced some of his arguments, some of them rather bizarre, to The Champion. At one stage he likened the treatment of smokers in Irish society to that of Jews under the Nazi regime, while he made some claims about the role of smoking in cancer which wouldn’t tally with the views of experts. Forest Éireann receives funding from tobacco companies, which is hardly surprising given some of his comments, but he says he doesn’t personally benefit from his campaigning and isn’t an employee of the group. He took up the cause around the time that the ban on smoking in the workplace was coming in. “Back in 2003 I was sort …

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Mixed traditions in Burren burials

EXCAVATIONS at Caherconnell are revealing some interesting practices undertaken by Ireland’s early Christians, according to Dr Michelle Comber, director of The Caherconnell Archaeological Field School at Carron. “It is traditionally accepted that Christianity arrived in Ireland some time before the middle of the fifth century AD. You might be forgiven, then, for assuming that Christianity and Christian practices could be found throughout Ireland within a century or two of this date,” she said revealing that recent excavations by the Caherconnell Archaeology Field School are proving otherwise. “It was discovered in the summer of 2013 that Caherconnell cashel or ‘caher’ (a circular drystone enclosure containing dwelling houses and other domestic structures) had been deliberately constructed over the top of an earlier burial mound. This small mound covered two limestone cists. Although disturbed at one end, their contents were still present. The smaller of the two cists contained the remains of a young child, between one and two years of age, and …

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Aldi would “displace” existing jobs

By Dan Danaher THE development of an Aldi outlet in Ennistymon would result in job losses in local shops, a local supermarket manager has claimed. Supervalu manager, Jackie Crowe told a public meeting organised by Ennistymon IFA it would take 15 people to run a new Aldi store, which wouldn’t result in any new jobs as they would simply be displaced from Supervalu and small shops in the locality. She insisted the population in the Ennistymon catchment area is not big enough to support a large discount store and existing shops in the locality. At the meeting, which took place two days ahead of the announcement of the mart being sold, Ms Crowe  revealed the local Supervalu store paid out €1.4m in wages last year to 70 staff, as well as €400,000 to small independent producers in North Clare. She told the meeting Supervalu paid out  €17,000 in sponsorship to local clubs and charities. Since Supervalu moved to Church Street five years …

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Dogalogue with Bev and Daisy

Reptiles difficult to keep THINK very carefully before buying a reptile as a pet. Have you decided on the species of reptile that you want to keep? Read as much as possible about the different species available and talk to some local herpetologists and other keepers. Find out if there is a reptile club in your area that you can ask for advice. Take into consideration the space you have for the vivarium, the animal’s home, and how much you can afford. A good set-up for a small animal can be around €200 to 300. Many factors come into consideration; snake, lizard or amphibian? What size will it reach as an adult? Will it need high humidity or dry desert conditions? What size should its vivarium be? What do you feed it?  Where can you buy good quality food for it? Start small, get used to having a small animal and get used to the equipment you will need. Some …

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