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East Clare

Celeb Spotting in Quin

QUIN was where all the celebrities seemed to be hanging out in the last week, as locals got to meet with Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson and BBC chat show host, Graham Norton. Graham Norton clearly enjoyed the fun side of being in the village, tweeting that he was #lost and #hungover in Ireland, while posting pictures of a statue of a monk at Quin Abbey stating “Oh Brother where art thou? Any ideas? I’d really like to know”. He also included a second picture, one of a headstone which had Rice written on it, to which he commented, “It never stood a chance, [sic Long] live the potato”. Speaking about meeting the well-known television host, Ger O’Halloran, who runs Abbey Stores in Quin, said Graham came into the shop for a bottle of water. “I had an inkling when he walked into the shop of who it might be. He comes across as being much bigger on television …

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A new take on Mountshannon

Visitors to Mountshannon are to benefit from significant developments made by the local community council, in conjunction with the Aistear Field Committee, as the Aistear Tourist Office opened to the public this week. This is the first of a number of initiatives being rolled out by Mountshannon Community Council this month, which are all geared at increasing footfall in the village, as well as catering for tourism. The tourist office was officially opened on Monday, followed by the launch of the Mountshannon App on Thursday. The opening of an exhibition centre takes place on next Monday. Following the successful rollout of Mountshannon.com, a website featuring upcoming events, community pages, tourist information and historical details pertaining to the area, the local council decided to develop an app. This decision facilitated further discussion and out of this came the idea to provide a tourist office. Tom McNamara, supervisor of the CE scheme in Mountshannon, explained how it evolved from there. “We had …

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Lough Derg swim challenge

Former Irish Ladies rugby star, Rosie Foley and an Ogonnelloe TG4 presentation director will bid to make history by becoming the first two to swim the full 38 kilometre length of Lough Derg from Portumna to Killaloe this Saturday. James Lynch and Rosie Foley estimate it will take them 15 hours of continuous swimming to make the lake crossing depending on weather conditions and other factors. While Mr Lynch will be wearing a wetsuit for the event, Ms Foley, plans to swim without the wetsuit as she hopes to qualify for an attempt at the English Channel in the future. Up to now the pair have been training in pools since January and from late April they have been swimming long distances in the open water, to help them prepare for the event. The two swimmers and their support crews will be leaving Portumna on Saturday morning around 7am will subsequently make their way south along the lake to Killaloe. …

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Bodyke National School Goes Digital

BODYKE National School is taking a giant leap forward as it plans to go digital for the coming academic year, with pupils from the age of five being given a laptop from this September. The board of management, staff, and parents association have decided to embark on a project to ensure that every child from the age of five in this 24-pupil school has a laptop for the coming year. The ambitious proposal comes on the back of the school being one of a number of schools in County Clare to be awarded a Digital Schools of Distinction Award earlier this year. Colm Ó Tuathaill outlined how it came about.  “We sat down as a school, staff and board of management recently and we set about creating a new vision for the school, and that would be an e-learning vision. We could see the benefits of ICT (Information and communications technology) and we were looking at the Department of Education’s …

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Laura’s letter to the President

QUIN National School pupil, Lauren Wall took a persuasive writing exercise to great heights this year, when, instead of writing to her teacher like the rest of her class, she wrote to the President of Ireland. Fourth-class pupils at Scoil na Mainistreach were asked to write a letter to their teacher, Eleanor Gallagher, to try to persuade her where they would go on their school outing this summer. While the majority of the class did the task as assigned, 10-year-old Lauren took matters into her own hands and wrote to President Michael D Higgins, asking him if her class could visit him at the Áras. Her endeavour resulted in fourt- class students travelling to Dublin last Friday, for a tour of Áras an Uachtaráin. In her letter to President Higgins, which she sent on March 25 last the national school student wrote: “Hello, my name is Lauren Wall, I live in Quin, County Clare and I’m aware you are from …

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Lough Derg could benefit from National Park Status

LOUGH Derg could benefit if its status as a special protection area was upgraded to national park status in the future, according to a local white-tailed sea eagle conservation group. Chairman of the Mountshannon Eagle Group, Denis Minogue said he feels that Lough Derg, with its food source, has been a good attraction for the sea eagles, who have settled in Mountshannon, and have successfully bred another chick this season into the area. He said he would be encouraging the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to look at upgrading Lough Derg’s status in the future, if a few more pairs of sea eagles settle in East Clare. “If we had three or four pairs, they may even make Lough Derg a national park. They know they have a food source, you could deal with nine or 10 pairs there. That would be fantastic and everyone would benefit,” he said. Dr Allan …

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Tulla prepares for Cnoc na Gaoithe

The third annual  Féile Cnoc na Gaoithe gets underway in Tulla on the last weekend of this month. Celebrating fiddle music, with fiddle workshops, competitions and recitals, the cast is headed up by the legendary fiddle-player, Maurice Lennon, with Liam O’Connor, Anton MacGabhann, Bernadette Nic Gabhann and local legendary fiddle-player, Vincent Griffin. The festival highlights include a performance by Maurice Lennon. His father, Ben Lennon, is well-known as a master of the Leitrim style of traditional fiddle and his uncle, Charlie Lennon, is renowned as a composer, piano accompanist and fiddler. At 19, Maurice became the youngest person to win the Senior Fiddle Championship at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, held in Ennis in 1977. Shortly after this, he joined with three other All-Ireland champions to form Stockton’s Wing, with local Clare musicians, Kieran Hanrahan, Paul Roche and Tommy Hayes, with whom he composed, recorded and performed for the next 27 years. More recently, he has been composing and travelling the …

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Frank O’Meara is new Mayor of Tuamgraney

TUAMGRANEY’s community weekend attracted record numbers to the East Clare village this past bank holiday weekend, as the festival elected a new mayor, and celebrated the life and times of Brian Ború. After a hotly contested election campaign the new Mayor of Tuamgraney was announced as Frank O’Meara, representing Hassett’s Bar. A first time candidate, Frank beat off competition from Michael Daly representing Teach Uí Bhrian, Mary Hogan representing East Clare Equestrian Centre, and Louise Carey representing Ryans Fuels. With 2,200 votes cast across the whole weekend, it came down to 49 votes separating the mayor from his nearest rival, Louise Carey. The new mayor was announced at an event on Sunday night and the chain of office was presented to Frank O’Meara, by Councillor Joe Cooney, who knows a few things about poll topping, on Sunday night to a gathering of approximately 700 people in the Marquee at Hassetts. Frank’s first official duty as Mayor was on Monday when …

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