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Focusing on The Great Forest of Aughty

ANDREW St Ledger, a well-known native woodland specialist will be hosting two Heritage Week events in East Clare this week on behalf of The Woodland League and CELT ( Centre for Environmental Living and Training ). On Saturday, Andrew will be in Peppers Bar and Restaurant in Feakle from 2pm to give an overview, and a presentation on The Great Forest of Aughty, an active Native Oakwood Restoration project in East Clare and South Galway. “I have been conducting walks and talks in the Raheen ancient oakwood for many years and have subsequently become acquainted with the owner of the estate of 400 acres, William McLysaght. This is the place where the famous 1,000 year old Brian Boru oak tree is situated. William donated a four acre site of the estate to the local community and I was involved in persuading them to convert this into a community native woodland restoration project, with two NGO’s I work with, The Woodland …

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Schools’ science video challenge

PRIMARY and secondary schools across Ireland are being challenged by NUI Galway to produce an entertaining and educational short science video for this year’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE competition. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award €3,000 directly to the winning schools for science promotion. Since launching in 2013, more than 5,000 students in almost 200 schools around Ireland have taken part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE, while the videos produced have been viewed 70,000 times in over 100 countries worldwide. Director general of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson said, “We are delighted to support this initiative, which cleverly combines science literacy and creativity, provides a great opportunity for students and teachers to engage with science in a novel way. ReelLIFE SCIENCE encourages young people to connect with the science and technology in their everyday lives, and to bring that knowledge to a wider audience, while …

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NUI Galway appeal for spare rooms

WITH students returning to college this week, NUI Galway Students’ Union has issued an urgent appeal to anyone with a spare room to consider renting it to students this year. Under the Rent a Room Scheme you can earn up to €12,000 per annum tax free by renting a room. The option is also available to just rent a room for one semester to a visiting student if homeowners are uncertain about getting into a long term arrangement. Students’ Union president Jimmy McGovern said, “The lack of accommodation in Galway City has now become a serious issue, putting access to education at risk for many students. We are inundated with queries from students looking for accommodation. In particular there is a huge amount of visiting students that will just be attending NUI Galway for one semester, September to December or January to May, who are desperately in need of accommodation. We would encourage anyone with a spare room to strongly …

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Minister to visit Moneypoint

THE Minister for Communications and the Environment, Denis Naughten, will visit the ESB Moneypoint powerstation on Wednesday next. Clare TD Michael Harty, who has arranged the visit, said it is an important one, as the future of Moneypoint is uncertain. “This is a very important visit as the programme for a partnership government has outlined that in anticipation of Moneypoint coming to the end of its operating life in its current configuration, the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources will identify, as soon as possible, the most suitable replacement low carbon generation technology,” Dr Harty said. “To achieve this ambitious goal, all State bodies will need to engage positively with local communities to manage the transition to a low carbon future. The partnership government has committed to develop a low carbon transition and mitigation plan, within six months, which will examine specific measures to reduce emissions in electricity generation and will outline how new technologies can be ready …

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Liam’s skydive for Miltown GAA Club

Sixteen-year-old Liam O’Halloran Bryant, from Church Street in Miltown Malbay, is going to great heights to fundraiser for the Miltown St Joseph’s underage football club. On September 11, he will travel to Dublin to the Irish Parachute Club to undertake a skydive, which he hopes will raise significant funds for the Miltown club. Born in England, Liam returned to Miltown, where he resides with his mother, Pauline, who is a native of Miltown. “At the age of three, Liam was diagnosed with autism and we returned home when he was five, as he was about to start school. He went to the special autism unit in Inagh and he was one of the first students to graduate into mainstreem education at fourth class at the school,” Liam’s mother Pauline explained this week. Liam then joined Miltown GAA Club and was part of a juvenile team, under Maurice Reidy. “Maurice and his fellow officials were great and involved Liam as part …

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North Clare boil notices continue

UP to 300 householders in North Clare will have to continue boiling domestic water supplies for several more months at least. Irish Water is undertaking work to introduce measures to protect the water sources after the detection of cryptosporidium in both the Turlough and Carron water supply earlier this year. However, the utility has admitted that the work “is likely to take some time” and potentially it will be the end of the year before all of the work is complete. Separate boil water notices were issued for the Carron Water Supply Scheme, which serves approximately 20 houses, on May 4 and the Turlough Water Supply Scheme, which serves approximately 260 households, on July 5. Both notices were put in place to protect customers due to the detection of cryptosporidium. Irish Water stated that it is currently progressing with the installation of filtration and ultraviolet disinfection units in order to address the vulnerability of the water sources at both locations …

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Cycling heroes pedaling to Clare

THE first all-female duo cyclists to compete in the ultra-endurance Race Around Ireland are expected to arrive in Clare on Wednesday next. Lisa Jacob, former Irish international hockey player with 139 caps, and Nikki Dorey, a pilot with Aer Lingus and competitive triathlete, are competing in the gruelling ultra-distance 2,150km non-stop race. The pair will alternate cycling three hours on and three hours off for 132 hours, or five and a half days straight, starting this Sunday. They are expected to arrive in Clare on Wednesday, travelling through Doolin, Lahinch, Spanish Point, Ennis and Sixmilebridge. Both girls are strongly passionate about mental health, so they are also fundraising €100,000 for one of Ireland’s leading mental health charities, Suicide or Survive. Also very prevalent, especially with the recent referendum on gay marriage, is the closely related association between mental health and LGBT equality, especially in the youth demographic. The girls are in a long-term relationship and have a personal understanding of …

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Lobbying TDs on Aughinish licence

A NEWLY-formed group has contacted two ministers and 31 Shannon Estuary TDs to register concerns about a dredging operation that began at Aughinish in County Limerick last Friday, which could impact the Clare side of the estuary. Aughinish Alumina Ltd was granted a foreshore licence to undertake 128,000 tonnes of maintenance dredging of industrial waste on the Shannon Estuary. The plan involves dredging 16,000 tonnes of material annually for a period of eight years. The company submitted a detailed Natura Impact Statement to the Department of the Environment, who made the decision to issue a foreshore licence. Rescue the River Shannon Group has written to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed on the proposal. “We, as a group, are representing the farmers, fishermen and concerned residents of the Shannon Estuary area and we believe the department’s possible decision could have serious adverse effects on the …

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