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East Clare

Churchill all decked out for Christmas

APART from the obvious name association with one of Britain’s most famous politicians, the Churchill Arms in Kensington has become a landmark pub due to its multi award-winning floral displays. The man responsible is green-fingered landlord, Gerry O’Brien, from Ogonnelloe, who pays great attention to detail in the distinct appearance of his London pub, both inside and out. Gerry’s dedication to running a good house is surpassed only by his passion for flowers. Throughout the year, he has tubs, pots and window-boxes, from the pavement to the roof top, full to overflowing in a blaze of colourful flowers. In summer, when the flowers at the Churchill Arms are at their best, it is a wonderful sight to behold and one which has earned Gerry numerous awards. His most recent is from a London licensing trade magazine, Time Out. In recent weeks, with the winter taking its toll on the displays, Gerry put Plan B into operation. With the flower containers …

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Oireachtas Committee discusses hen harrier

The Oireachtas Joint Committee Agriculture, Food and the Marine agreed of Tuesday evening to progress farmers’ concerns around the designation of Special Conservation Area to protect the hen harrier. In addition to Clare and Galway, there are hen harrier protection areas in Tipperary, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Laois, Offaly and Monaghan. As part of the process to deal with farmers’ concerns, the committee intends to call officials from the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. The committee was meeting with representatives from Irish Farmers with Designated Land (IFDL), who outlined how changes of designation under EU Directives have served to dramatically devalue the land of about 4,000 farmers. Committee chairman, Deputy Andrew Doyle said, “The meeting with IFDL representatives illuminated the difficulties that many farmers have endured in light of the designation of 169,000 hectares of land to protect the hen harrier. The committee heard that farming and the hen harrier have coexisted for …

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Brian Boru Crown returns to Killaloe

A new Brian Boru Millennium Crown, which is being used as part of a nationwide drive to raise thousands of euro for cancer research, was taken to the birthplace of its namesake this week. The crown, which is part of the Jewels for Cures cancer initiative, was transported from the Hunt Museum for a few stops at historical landmarks connected with Brian Boru in East Clare, by the brainchild of the charity drive, Alison McCormick. Ms McCormick had originally intended to auction the crown but then decided to donate it to the Irish people, as a gift to mark the commemorations marking 1,000 years since Brian Boru’s death at the Battle of Clontarf. This project raises funds for the Cancer Clinical Research Trust (CCRT), which was set up by Professor John Crown in 1997. Members of Killaloe Ballina Féile Brian Boru committee and the High King’s direct descendant, Lord Inchiquin, Conor O’Brien were present to mark this historic occasion at …

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Tulla student called to the Somme battlefield

A TRANSITION-year student from Tulla has been chosen to represent his county in a research project that will see him visit the Somme battlefield in Northern France next summer. Nathan Peer was selected from entrants across Clare to represent the Banner County in the History Teachers Association of Ireland’s inaugural Adopt a WWI Soldier Project. The competition was open to students with an interest in history who were in either transition year or fifth year in the Republic of Ireland or in years 12/13 in Northern Ireland. The competition includes a research project between now and the summer and will culminate in a trip by 32 selected students from each county to the Somme battlefield in June 2015. The idea behind the project is that each student will “adopt” a soldier from his/her native county who died in the First World War. They will carry out research about the soldier through archival material and by talking with living relatives. When …

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Didi making Christmas visit to Haiti

WHITEGATE resident and volunteer with NGO Amurtel, Didi Ananda Prama Driscoll returns to Haiti this month to continue her work with those displaced by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince. Didi has been visiting the region each year over the Christmas period hoping to bring some joy to those who have been devastated and thrown into poverty since the earthquake struck four years ago. “I was last there a year ago to see how all the children in the children’s home were doing and trying to figure out a programme to increase the amount of protein that these kids could get because that’s what they are missing,” she explained. The charity developed a Moringa plantation that year and Didi is now returning to see how this is developing. “Moringa is a tree and its leaves are really rich in protein. The interesting thing is it tends to grow in very dry areas and in areas where people are …

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John Minogue dies in Tulla

Well known publican and former county councillor, John Minogue from Tulla has died. Elected to Clare County Council on five separate occasions, serving over 30 years as an Independent county councillor, John Minogue was also a well known publican in Tulla village. His premises was a great meeting point for GAA supporters on big match days at Dr Tommy Daly Park, as well as a venue for music sessions and social occasions. He died on Monday, having been unwell for the last number of months. He has also been an avid supporter of the GAA and collector of GAA memorabilia. John Minogue has been described as a “pillar of the local community” in his native Tulla by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Councillor, John Crowe. Councillor Crowe said, “John represented the Killaloe Electoral Area from 1960 to 1991. He was always honest and hard working for the people he represented. His non-party standing meant he often took a stand …

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McNamara seeks Inis Cealtra sale support

CLARE TD Michael McNamara has written to the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Paschal Donoghue calling on him to support and provide financial assistance to Clare County Council to secure the purchase of Inis Cealtra (Holy Island). Inis Cealtra on Lough Derg is included among the early monastic sites on Ireland’s UNESCO Tentative List and is one of the most famous of such sites in Ireland. He highlighted to the minister that among its many attractions are a well preserved round tower, the ruins of six churches and a cell-like structure, which is one of the most extraordinary buildings in Ireland. “A Lough Derg Tourism Audit carried out in 2012 found that Lough Derg is not reaching its full potential in terms of attracting visitors and that Lough Derg has no defined ‘iconic’ visitor attraction that can act as a motivator for visits. “Inis Cealtra, with its iconic round tower, has the potential to be that driver of tourism …

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Raheen hospital moves towards HIQA standards

THE Health Service Executive is to lodge a planning application in the coming weeks for the construction of an extension to Raheen Community Hospital to include six single rooms, one double room with en-suites and a new patient sitting area. The HSE publicised its intention to seek planning permission on Thursday and, commenting on the proposed development, Labour TD, Michael McNamara has said it is “a crucial first step in bringing the community hospital up to HIQA standards”. He said the extension, if granted, will ensure greater comfort and care for the patients in this highly-regarded facility. “The planning application has been expected for a long time but I believe that recent modifications to the plans, based on work carried out at Ennistymon and Kilrush community hospitals, will make for a better outcome at Raheen. “It is proposed to construct a new single-storey extension to include six single and one double bedrooms, all with en-suite facilities. The proposal to include …

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