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Clare man killed in Greece wildfires

BRIAN O’Callaghan-Westropp, who was originally from the Shannon/Newmarket area, has died as a result of the wildfires in Greece this week. Brian and his new wife Zoe Holohan had travelled to Greece following their wedding on July 19. At the time of writing Zoe is receiving treatment in hospital for burns. On Wednesday the death toll from the fires already exceeded 80 and was expected to rise further. In a statement the Holohan and O’Callaghan-Westropp families said they “would respectfully appreciate privacy at this time as we grieve and as Zoe makes her recovery.” Brian worked for a Dublin company called Ready Chef Ltd while he was secretary of Blood Bikes East, a charity that provides an emergency medical transport service between the hospitals in Dublin and the Greater Leinster area. Franco De Bonis of Blood Bikes East described Brian as “a big presence, a man of action, who wasn’t afraid to get things done and help out.” Brian became …

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Corofin preparing for North Clare Show

THE 69th North Clare Show will take place in Corofin on Saturday July 28.  The show will again feature a range of events and competitions including cattle, sheep, donkey, poultry, vegetable and dog show sections. Their will be particular interest in the All-Ireland Pedigree Suckler-Type Heifer Championship Qualifer. There will be a strong core of pedigree limousin cattle classes, with the Champion Limousin of the Show awarded the Michael Shannon Perpetual Memorial Cup.

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Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Michael Begley. Photograph by John Kelly.

Clare communities prepare for visit of Pride of Place judges

The communities of Spanish Point, Kilkishen, Shannon and Quin are busily preparing for the adjudication stage of 2018 IPB Pride of Place competition, which takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday. The four communities have been nominated by the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council to participate in annual all-island competition, which is run by Co-operation Ireland and aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society. The Castle Bog Walk project in Kilkishen, which features in the ‘Community Wellbeing Initiative’ category, will be visited by Pride of Places judges on Tuesday morning. The judges will then move on to Shannon which is representing the county in Population Category 5 (Population over 5,000) in recognition of its many leisure, sporting, social and educational facilities built by an active, vibrant and engaged community. On Wednesday morning, judges will visit Spanish Point which is included in the Islands & Coastal Communities Category of the competition in recognition of …

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Satefy petition over Kilkishen NS

IMPROVEMENT works and safety measures are to be considered and put in place to slow down traffic at Kilkishen National School, after a petition was submitted to members of the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Alan O’Callaghan called on Clare County Council to carry out works at the school to slow traffic, in the interest of the health and safety of children. At last week’s meeting of the municipal district, a petition with approximately 80 signatures was handed in on behalf of locals who were confirming these concerns. Responding, Hugh McGrath, senior executive engineer, said, “It is accepted that there are safety concerns at this location relating to traffic in the vicinity of the school. We are to carry out improvement works to the road surface at this location in the coming months.” In advance of the works, Mr McGrath said the local authority will give consideration to any measures that may improve road safety at this location in consultation with …

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Housing and jobs key to survival of shops in East Clare

THE lack of housing and employment have emerged as key issues to safeguard the future viability of rural shops in East Clare. O’Meara’s grocery and agri-business supplier is the only retail outlet in Flagmont village, operating out of the same premises since 1897. It was all started by John O’Meara. His great grandson, Thomas O’Meara, has been managing the shop since 2010, with valuable assistance from his mother, Annette. It provides a valuable service to people in East Clare from 9am to 8pm, six days a week and 9am to 1pm on Sunday. The key to its success is it provides, in the words of Thomas, a “bit of everything”, grocery, fuel, convenience goods and a large variety of agricultural supplies. The long hours in a rural shop mean it is very much a “vocation” for this family-run business. Asked if there is a magic wand solution to keep rural shops alive, Thomas says there is no quick-fix solution, but …

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Recalling a lost ’empire’in Ruan

THE introduction of large foreign multinational retail outlets has resulted in the demise of rural Ireland, according to a retired businessman. Michael Moloney, (72), who ran the Dalcassian Bar in Ruan, has outlined how he built a “business empire” in the small village, which attracted hundreds of shoppers from surrounding towns and villages for years. In 1968, Mr Moloney re-opened McGann’s pub in Ruan, which had closed due to a bereavement. He had learned the trade from managing a licensed premises in Galway City for more than two years and working five and a half years in the Diamond Bar in Ennis. At the time the Diamond Bar had a great grocery and retail business, which proved to be a great learning ground for him. Fr Carmody called into the pub he was working in Galway City and told him he should buy a property in Ruan. With the help of a loan from AIB in Galway, he purchased the …

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GAA needs a new model for small clubs

A NEW model is required to keep small rural clubs alive, according to GAA coaching officer, Peter Casey. The Lisdoonvarna native, who is living in Fanore for the past 15 years, argues the GAA’s one-size-fits-all approach isn’t suitable for some clubs, particularly those on the periphery in the west, north and east of the county. The former Clare U-21 hurling selector proposes one model for an urban club with enough playing resources and another for those struggling due to a lack of numbers. In the first group, he includes the likes of Éire Óg, Sixmilebridge, Doora-Barefield, Ballyea and Clarecastle, who usually can field two teams in most underage grades most years. He places Cratloe, Tulla, Broadford, Ennistymon and Corofin in a middle group that can comfortably field teams in most grades. Clubs on the Loop Head Peninsula, such as Naomh Eoin and O’Curry’s, and teams in isolated parts of North and East Clare, however, require amalgamations at underage level. Stressing …

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Sun shines on County Show

THE County Show went ahead last Sunday in superb weather conditions, with bright sunshine and very high temperatures. Clashing with the Munster hurling final hit the crowd to a certain extent, but it was still a very successful day according to chairman Joe Lillis. “The crowd was smaller than usual but we had great horse classes, plenty of jumpers, the cattle were back naturally because of the weather. We had a good few trade stands in it. We actually had a large fleet of donkeys in there.” He added, “The hurling took a good bit from it. Also the weather, a lot of people wouldn’t show cattle in that weather. The cattle just don’t perform, you could take a 100 weight off a beast travelling two hours in a box on a day like that. “The cattle were down, but the showing horses were up. We had a great All Ireland yearling class there, it’s known as the Banner yearling …

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