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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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Tragic death of young sportsman

ONE of East Clare’s leading young sportsmen died in a traffic accident on the M7, near Roscrea on Sunday night.  Eighteen-year-old Barry Nash from Tobarnagoth, Scariff was a noted  hurler and handball player, excelling in both codes. Barry was an All-Ireland and world champion in handball and a key member the Scariff senior hurling side. A brother of international handballer, Diarmuid, Barry was travelling back to college in Dublin with three friends, when the accident happened. Barry’s death has caused great sadness in the East Clare community. He reposed at his home and his funeral mass will take place at Scariff Church on Thursday, after which he will be buried at the New Cemetery, Moynoe.        

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East Clare man dies in traffic accident

A YOUNG man from East Clare died in a single car traffic accident on the north-bound lane of the M7 motorway near Roscrea last night. The deceased has not yet been officially named but is from a well-known family in the East Clare community, where the news has been treated with shock. He and three other passengers were returning to college in Dublin after a weekend at home. The man was pronounced dead at the scene and removed to Limerick Regional Hospital where a post mortem is due to take place today. The three other occupants, two young women and a man, were taken to Portlaoise Hospital but were later released. Gardaí carried out a technical examination of the accident scene close to Jct 22 ( Roscrea) and issued an appeal for any witness to contact them at Roscrea or any garda station.

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A night of high drama for ICA

CLOONEY-Quin guild of the ICA is inviting the local community to their night of drama at Quin Community Hall on Friday next. Now in its 34th year, the guild will present On the Couch, which is a new departure for the group, as they expand their annual drama night. The production now involves a split stage, which will facilitate the staging of two one-act comedies, an interview segment, music, song and storytelling. The two plays are the work of local woman, Anita O’Loughlin, who has been writing short comedies for Clooney-Quin ICA, and Spancilhill Drama Group for many years. “Both are short comedy acts. The first one, The Time of The Month, is about winter and specifically the three months in winter, November, December and January, and there is a sketch about each month, which are extremely comical. It starts with the holy souls in November, then it goes to the office Christmas party of Love Bites Limited and then …

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