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East Clare

Desperately seeking talented canines

THE 70TH annual Scariff Show took place last weekend and the competition was as fierce as ever for this milestone year. Among the events was a special dog category event, helping East Clare Musical Society select a suitable dog actor for their forthcoming production of Annie. Four candidates were selected to play the role of Sandy and, after a trial period working with these dogs, one lucky canine will be selected to perform in December. The shortlisted entries included Jessie, owned by Paul Brooks; Monty, owned by Eleanor Walsh; Sammy, owned by Caroline Ford; and Muffy, owned by Holly Sturton, who will play the role of Annie for the production. The top four dogs will work with a trainer, once rehearsals begin. Chorus rehearsals begin on Tuesday at 8pm in the music room at Scariff Community College. Anyone interested in getting involved are asked to come along, new members are always welcome.   Carol Byrne

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Edwina Guckian

Celebrities to Light Tulla Trad Stage

CON Fada Ó Drisceoil will be the host for the Tulla Trad Festival celebrity concert, which is the main highlight of this year’s festival. Con, a  songwriter and accordion-player from West Cork, is renowned for writing comic songs on a wide range of subjects, from Shakespearean tragedy to unwelcome percussionists and the wildlife of County Clare. In 2009, he received the composer’s award at Gradam Ceoil TG4. Among the celebrity guests taking to the concert stage on the weekend after next are Darren Breslin, June McCormack, Michael Rooney, Tim Collins, Edwina Guckian, Edel Fox and Neil Byrne. There is huge demand for places at the workshops, which are a very important element of the Tulla Trad Festival. The organisers have warned that places are filling up rapidly in most workshops, which feature top-class tutors. For details about the festival, visit tullatradfestival.ie. Carol Byrne

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Spend some hours in the 12 O’Clocks

THE official opening of the 12 O’Clock Hills Project which has developed looped walks in these scenic East Clare hills will take place on Sunday, September 14 at 1pm. The 12 O’Clock Hills recreational and heritage project is based at Knockanuarha hill, which is located 5km to the southeast of Kilkishen village. The main summit stands at 309 metres or 1,014 feet above mean sea level, and there is another peak about 10 metres lower and 400 metres away to the west/south west. From the 12 O’Clock Hills much of County Clare is on view including West Clare, the Burren and the Shannon Estuary while locally Kilkishen village, Cullaun Lake and Steele’s Turret are prominent. With a little effort, the town of Ennis and many of the villages of East Clare will reveal themselves. With so much on offer from this vantage point the committee felt it was something worth developing on to share with the public. The project was …

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Celebrating East Clare’s iron industry

EAST Clare is all set to  host the inaugural Sliabh Aughty Furnace Festival  celebrating the region’s rich history with the iron industry. Hidden on the western shores of Lough Derg, in the foothills of the Sliabh Aughty mountains are the remains of four blast furnaces. These furnaces are a witness to an industry that changed the landscape here forever. They were built 300 to 400 years ago to smelt rich local iron ores together with charcoal made from the oak woodlands there. These hidden gems have recently been brought into focus again, due to the efforts of local historian, Gerard Madden and Dr Paul Rondelez. The two have been working on a publication to publish a transcription of 80 hitherto unknown letters, written between 1693 and 1701, primarily on the iron works of Scariff and Woodford. The festival also follows a very successful visit to the area by the Historical Metallurgy Society earlier this year. The festival will take place on …

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Missing Scariff man found safe in London

A SCARIFF man who was missing in London has been found and is in good health. John Dowdall was found by police staying in a hotel in the Paddington area of the city on Wednesday night. He is now staying with relatives in London and is said to be in good spirits. Mr Dowdall had left his home place without informing relatives living locally. He checked into a hotel in London on July 31 but left it on August 7, leaving his belongings after him. On  Tuesday of last week it was established that he was alive and efforts to find him bore fruit late yesterday evening.  

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Efforts being made to get in touch with missing Scariff man

IT’S understood that a Scariff man who went missing in London last week is alive, but efforts are still being made to get in touch with him. Brief contact was made with him by phone late on Tuesday night, but police and relatives are still continuing the search. John Dowdall was last seen at 5pm on Thursday of last week at the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood, London. He had been a guest at the hotel since July 31 but failed to return on Thursday, leaving all his belongings and valuables behind. John is 5ft 7ins tall and of large stocky build. He has diabetes but left his medication for it at the hotel. On Sunday, a relative was told by a police source that John had been found and was in good health but this proved to be a mistake on the police’s side. However, following Tuesday night’s contact, it is understood that he is okay. It is understood …

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Lough Graney centre to open doors

AFTER more than 10 years waiting, the doors of the Lough Graney Community Centre are set to open. Ahead of opening for public viewing on Saturday,  Kathleen McNamara, secretary of Loughgraney Community Development Association, acknowledged, “There is no way we would have a community centre in Flagmount without CLDC.” The community development association received LEADER funding of €230,000 to build this centre and, subsequently, received€45,000 under Sports Capital funding to equip the centre. “CLDC have been brilliant. I know they are fighting this struggle about keeping LEADER funding administered by CLDC, but we have seen first-hand what it can do. If we didn’t have CLDC administering the funding, then a small community like ours would never have got it. I think it is vital for LEADER funding to be left with CLDC and our small rural parish and community is a case in point for it. CLDC have a great rapport with communities and they give you backup and support. There …

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Mountshannon’s grown-ups get a playground

LOCALS and visitors to Mountshannon seeking to keep fit were given a welcome boost this week, when new public outdoor sporting equipment was installed in the Aistear Park. Five pieces of equipment, which consist of a double air walker, rower, cross trainer, surf board and single rider, were fixed into position in their new home in the Aistear on Wednesday last, much to the delight of locals and visitors. The amenities formed part of a joint initiative between Mountshannon Community Council, which now runs the Aistear, and the local CE scheme, headed by Tom McNamara. It was made possible after the community council was awarded €3,000 in grant aid, under the Public Area Enhancement Scheme, by Clare County Council. Speaking about the latest addition to the Aistear Park, John Harvey, chairman of Mountshannon Community Council, said, “We have a playground for the children, so we thought a playground for the adults wouldn’t be out of the question. It was just …

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