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East Clare

John Michael Tobin, 101, laid to rest

By CAROL BYRNE THE community of Feakle has laid to rest centenarian John Michael Tobin. He died last week in his 102nd year. The 101 year old from Laccaroe, Feakle died peacefully at Limerick Regional Hospital on Thursday, February 13. He was laid to rest in the local cemetery following funeral mass on Saturday at St Mary’s Church, Feakle. He lived with his son, JJ in Feakle, up to his death and he is also survived by his daughter, Martina, extended family and friends. John Michael was a post man in Feakle and a farmer. Hewas the last remaining person to have attended the funeral of the Scariff Martyrs, four men who were shot by Auxiliaries on Killaloe Bridge on November 16, 1920. John Michael attended their funeral with his mother on November 20, 1920. Each Easter Sunday, a memorial event is held to these men organised by East Clare Memorial Committee. John Michael has laid a wreath at the …

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112th birthday for Feakle woman

FEAKLE native, Kathleen Snavely, who is Ireland’s oldest ever woman, celebrated her 112th birthday on Sunday last. Mrs Snavely, nee Hayes, is originally from Garraun Feakle, made the record books in January as the Republic’s oldest living person, surpassing a record held by Katherine Plunkett of County Louth, who was born in 1820 and lived to 111 and 327 days. Now a resident of Syracuse, New York, Mrs Snavely celebrated her birthday at St Camillus retirement centre. She is in good health. She was born on February 16, 1902 to parents, Patrick and Ellen Hayes (nee Moroney). Her closest relatives live in Ireland, and Kathleen’s nearest relative  is nephew, Gerard Hayes, who lives in Limerick. She has a number of other relatives in Meath, Dublin, Louth and Leitrim. There are also bonds in Feakle. Former Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Hayes; renowned fiddle player Martin Hayes and their sister, Helen Hayes are also related to Mrs Snavely, as their father …

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Rory Moloney with his eight-year-old twins, Caoimhe and Jack, at the completely submerged roadway to their home near O’Callaghans Mills. His wife and kids have had to leave the family home due to the flooding but Rory remains to look after his animals and farm.

Dooras Flood Repairs to reach €80,000

MORE than €240,000 is necessary to deal with damage caused in non-coastal flooding in the county, following the recent storms, and of that, €80,000 to €100,000 is estimated to be required at Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills. According to a revised report issued at a meeting of Clare County Council last week, the estimated cost of repairs for non-coastal storm-related flooding remained at €240,000. However, additional costs are expected due to continued monitoring of flood levels, management of interim defence pumping facilities and construction of sandbag defences until early February. This process, according to the report, is continuing due to ongoing intensive rainfall events and very elevated river systems. In outlining the works required for the areas of non-coastal flooding, county engineer Tom Tiernan highlighted in the report that Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills has been cut off from services and the wider community since just before Christmas, due to flood inundation of the access road to them. He states the requirements involved at …

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Service cutbacks worry in East Clare

By CAROL BYRNE EAST Clare councillor Pat Hayes is calling for the Department of Social Protection to roll back on its decision to streamline community welfare services. “The services in the rural communities and smaller towns and villages are being centralised again and people are expected to come into the main towns all the time. In the circumstances the people involved don’t always know they might need community welfare services at the end of a week. I know people who didn’t get their wages and they would have been hungry by the weekend,” he said. Councillor Hayes was responding to the revision of community welfare services which came into effect on January 20 last, when a decision was taken to close 22 community welfare clinics across the county. The Department of Social Protection has made alternative clinics available to those facilitated at the 22 clinics and these are located at five principle locations countywide. In East Clare community welfare clinics …

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Inter-county hurling a lifestyle

By Seamus Hayes CLARE went into last year’s National Hurling League campaign under the radar but it’s a different situation this year, according  to  defender Brendan Bugler, winner of All star awards for the past two years at right wing back. Brendan is completely focused on hurling. Acknowledging that there are a lot of demands on inter county hurlers, he  said, “It’s a lifestyle now not just a hobby. We are well used to it. It’s like a full time job. At the end of the day, we are very privileged to be involved. We enjoy it.” Last year Bugler led his club Whitegate back to senior ranks in Clare when he captained the team to the intermediate title, beating Feakle in the final. Sunday’s game has particular interest for the Whitegate man, who is a member of the teaching staff at Callan Community School in Kilkenny. He said “It’s a mouth watering fixture. Kilkenny are sore over the way the …

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Anna Moroney

Killanena woman changes her life

IN 2011 Killanena woman Anna Moroney grabbed the bull by the horns and joined Weight Watchers to try to and do something about her weight. The 24-year-old teacher was then 21 and weighed 26 stone 25 pounds. Her decision to lose weight was arrived upon following an incident on a night out. “I was working at the time in New Look in Galway and I was out, enjoying myself and having a ball. My friends were chatting with a few guys and one of the guys pulled me aside and said to me ‘what are you doing to yourself?’ “I would have got comments before about being overweight and being a whale, hideous comments, some really horrific ones but they would always have bounced off and wouldn’t have any impact. But this guy, he was a total stranger, just got me in the gut and got me thinking, what am I doing with myself? He said ‘you seem lovely, you …

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Ger Mulqueen (front) and James Peppard use the only means available to access their home through dangerous bogland. Ger’s 88-year-old mother is stranded in her home.

Dooras flooding worsens

WATER levels in Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills have risen to a new high this week, as flooding along the access road reached the four foot mark. With only a few days reprieve, residents of the four houses on this stretch of road have endured five weeks of surface water surrounding their homes. One family moved out over the Christmas period and a second family has now made the decision to also move. Of those who remain, an 88-year-old woman remains trapped in her home. Her son, Ger Mulqueen, is living with her and trying to maintain a farm, while another resident, James Peppard, continues to live there to look after his animals. Locals have had to resort to using a boat to access their homes and to bring in meal and nuts to their cattle, as the road remains submerged and the bog behind them becomes more dangerous to traverse, with each rain shower. Helen Mulqueen, whose mother-in-law is 88 and …

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Tulla woman leading Irish language study

A TULLA woman, is leading a research study looking at new speakers in a multilingual Europe and one of the focus sites of the study is County Clare. Bernie O’Rourke, who is based in Scotland and is a reader in Sociolinguistics at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh is co-ordinating this EU-funded COST project. Originally from Tulla and a daughter of Tulla Pipe Band honoary president Michael O’Rourke, Bernie said she would classify herself as a new speaker of Irish, she have been intrigued by this growing phenomenon in the case of Irish. “I always had a strong interest in Irish, inspired very much by father’s interest in the language and his encouragement to speak it. I had also often heard my mother talking about her grandparents from West Clare who were Irish speakers. I also had a very inspirational Irish teacher in Tulla, Sr Eileen Callinan,” she said. The project involves researchers from 17 European countries and is aimed at finding out …

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