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Precautionary measures in place to address flood risk

ENNIS Town Council is closely monitoring river levels in the town and has implemented a number of flood prevention measures on a precautionary basis. The council is also advising residents and business owners in flood prone areas of the town to familiarise themselves with actions that can be undertaken immediately prior to a flooding event to reduce the risk to life and property. Recent heavy rainfall has resulted in above average water levels along the River Fergus. With further heavy rainfall forecast over the Christmas period, the council says it will continue to monitor water levels on a continuous basis.

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County enjoys ‘The Gathering Effect’

THE tourism industry in Clare has enjoyed a better 2013, after a number of tough years, with much of the turnaround due to The Gathering, an initiative much maligned before the year began. Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan, who is also president of the Irish Hotels Federation, said The Gathering has been a significant factor. While there was some cynicism about the initiative at the start of the year, with actor Gabriel Byrne claiming it was more about money-grabbing than anything else, Mr Vaughan said it had succeeded and that communities had bought into it. “You’d have to say it [The Gathering] was a 100% success. When it started off and the initial hopes were outlined, a lot in the tourism trade believed they were only aspirational. As the year went on, it certainly gathered momentum and it wasn’t because of any one huge event but there were lots of small, cumulative events that have led to an overall increase in …

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Fairytales in every window

THE business community of Ennis has created a series of magical windows into the world of Christmas and make believe. Their imagination was inspired to a great degree by the theme of The Clare Champion’s annual window display competition, A Christmas Fairytale. The wide degree of interpretations of the theme made for fantastic window browsing along the streets. The early evening darkness further enhanced the displays in many instances, as the lighting gave them wonderful affect. The 10th year of the competition, yet again the selection process proved very difficult for the team of ‘Champion staff. There were even some revisits to view business premises such was the high quality of artistic endeavour employed to decorate the windows, with everything from hand paintings on glass to mannequins in Christmas attire. The winners were announced at a well-attended reception hosted by The Clare Champion in the Old Ground Hotel. First prize went to Eye Candy in Abbey Street; second to the …

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Fr John reports from Ecuador

AS former Ennis priest Fr John Molloy prepares for Christmas in his new parish of Monte Sinai in Ecuador, his thoughts turned to his many friends in Ennis. Updating readers of the Clare Champion on his ongoing work in South America, Fr Molloy explained that family is of major importance to those in Ecuador, and not just at Christmas. “A native priest here in the diocese never lives alone. In his parish house he lives with his family, maybe his parents but certainly with cousins, nephews and nieces. Parish homes are alive with human beings.  Everyone has a role and purpose. The parish house life and church are connected like a family. When I reflect I give great thanks to God for that kind of good start in priesthood that I got living with Fr Tom Hogan and all the others I lived with for eleven years in the parish house in Ennis Cathedral.” Work is continuing in the building …

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Seeking a mould-free house for Christmas

A FATHER of three is pleading with Ennis Town Council to help make a Christmas promise to his family come true – that they will not have to continue to live in their home that has been riddled with mould and damp. Ayobami Oyedele has been living in Clancy Park as a tenant of the town council with his family for the past five years and he says that his house is now inhabitable. “I promised my family that we are not going to be here at Christmas, it is just so bad the dampness is all over. I don’t know how I am going to keep that promise,” he said. When contacted by the Clare Champion, a spokesperson for Ennis Town Council stated that while they do not comment on individual circumstances, they could confirm there have been ongoing discussions with the family. They added that contact would be maintained towards addressing their circumstances. Mr Oyedele said that he …

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Fighting cancer on film

A woman with a strong connection to North Clare is hoping to return after tackling cancer in both her own personal fight and as the subject of a newly-released documentary. Filmmaker Allison W Gryphon is obtuse when asked where she is from. She is hesitant, maybe uncomfortable, in her response. She was born in New York. She is a child of divorced parents and moved house a lot. Home? “I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area,” she says. She now lives in Los Angeles. When she visited North Clare for a week before Christmas 2008, Allison was researching a book. If she was also searching for that elusive concept of ‘home’, she didn’t know it. That is perhaps why when she touched down in Heathrow Airport a week later on her way back to the United States, she was blindsided with the flood of emotion that overcame her. “The night I was meant to go on a plane …

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Tornado hits the Stormy Oak Wood

THE Frawleys of Derryguihy, which translates to the Stormy Oak Wood, saw the townland live up to its name when their hay barn was lifted and carried over the family home, at the height of a storm on Wednesday of last week. The barn roof travelled 60 feet from its original location and miraculously only caused damage to five slates on the roof of Brendan and Patricia Frawley’s home in Kilmurry McMahon. They were at home at the time of the phenomenon, which the family has labelled “a tornado”. Ivor Frawley, Brendan and Patricia’s son, who has a garage next to the family home, spoke about what he witnessed during the peak of the storm. “I was working in the garage. The storm just got ferocious all of a sudden. The intensity and the rain; I never saw anything like it. It was like a tornado for a minute at the height of the storm. The door was closed but …

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Lots to recycle this Christmas

REPAK is hoping to exceed  its Christmas recycling targets, with the support of both the Irish public and its members. Repak estimates that Irish householders will generate approximately 74,000 tonnes of used packaging waste over Christmas (or 44 kilos of waste per household), and receive nearly 12 million Christmas gifts. Its 2,400 members have been hugely supportive of the programme and have helped to facilitate it success as Ireland continues to meet and exceed its targets. This Christmas, Repak asks the public to continue with its support of packaging recycling during the holiday season. Over the Christmas period, Irish households will consume: · Nearly 5 million boxes of chocolate: enough chocolate whose calories converted to kilowatt hours, would run 860,000 houses’ electricity for Christmas. · 48 million beer bottles – enough beer bottles to get from Dublin to Lapland and back over five times. · 22 million wine bottles – which would fill over 432 ice rinks. · 60 million …

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