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Christmas tree throwing

HUNDREDS of people descended on Tim Smyth Park (Ennis Fairgreen) on Sunday afternoon to participate in, or enjoy as spectators, the annual Christmas tree throwing competition. A break in the bad weather enabled the event to progress in a very enjoyable atmosphere, much to the relief of organisers, Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council. The contest, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, sees members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree. Last year’s winner, John O’Dea from Limerick launched a Christmas tree 10.2 metres, just less than 2 metres short of the World Record held by Klaus Pubnaz who hurled a tree a distance of 12m in Germany three years ago.

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No respite from bad weather

WITH residents and local authorities in Clare trying to come to terms with the millions of euro of damage, particularly in Lahinch, caused by the severe storms of recent days, Met Éireann says there is more bad weather to come. Clare politicians, local authorities and business people are, in common with other areas of the country affected by the storm, appealing for emergency funding for remedial work. The damage caused to Lahinch, one of the top resorts in the West of Ireland, could have a major impact on the 2014 tourism season, Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins has said, in asking for a quick response from Government to the crisis. He is also concerned about serious damaged caused to others parts of the country. The forecast for the Munster area this evening is for further heavy showers,  some of  will be of hail.  It will remain cold with highest temperatures of just 4 to 6 degrees. Moderate, mainly westerly winds, …

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Nearly one million visitors to Cliffs of Moher in 2013

DESPITE a stormy December, visitor numbers at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in County Clare were up 10% during 2013. 960,134 people visited the world famous tourist attraction last year compared to 873,988 during the previous year. It is the third successive increase in visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher with year-on-year increases of 12% and 8% being achieved during 2011 and 2012 respectively. Management at the Cliffs of Moher say growth in the group travel market, good weather conditions during July and The Gathering Ireland initiative helped to deliver the increase. Fully Independent Travellers (FITs), mainly travelling by car, made up 49% of the total representing a 4% increase compared to 2012.   Groups, mainly travelling by coach, made up 46% of the total and this segment grew by 14.6% over 2012.  Walkers, cyclists and those travelling by public transport made up the remainder representing a 17.6% increase over 2012. “This is the highest number of visitors since …

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Miraculous escape for surfer in treacherous conditions

A SURFER had a miraculous escape in North Clare after he made it safely ashore in storm force winds and dangerous seas. Doolin Coast Guard team was called to the incident in Lahinch on Thursday evening at 5 o’clock when a member of the public reported what they thought was possibly a person in the water. The sea was rough at the time, according to Station Officer Mattie Shannon, and Doolin Coast Guard unit team members went to the location and searched the area. They found no evidence of anyone in the water until a surfer reported that another surfer was overdue. Against the odds, in darkness and difficult sea conditions, the surfer made it back to shore at approximately 6.50pm. He was assisted and treated for hypothermia by Coast Guard members until the HSE Ambulance arrived. He was then taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

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Storm Damage In Pictures: Doolin

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Funding sought to repair ‘devastated’ parts of county

PUBLIC representatives in Clare are calling for Government funding to repair damage caused by last night’s storm.  Among the places along the coast to suffer most damage were Lahinch, Doolin, Quilty,  Seafield, and Carrigahol, while there was serious flooding in parts of East Clare and other inland areas. Fine Gael Senator, Martin Conway, has said he contacted the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, to discuss what contingency funding can be made available to repair homes and structures which were badly damaged during the storm overnight. “Last night’s storm has devastated many parts of Clare, resulting in people being evacuated from their homes and huge parts of the county suffering from severe structural damage. I have contacted Minister Hogan in order to discuss what emergency funding can be made available to ensure that people can get back into their homes as soon as possible,” he said. “There has been a significant amount of structural damage …

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Storm Damage In Pictures: Lahinch

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Storm Damage In Pictures: Seafield, Quilty

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