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East Clare

Seed Savers to harvest funding windfall

By CAROL BYRNE A REVISIT to the budget estimate by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has resulted in an unexpected financial fillip for the East Clare-based charity, Irish Seed Savers Association. “We have revised the estimate for Seed Savers and we have upped their budget by 15%. There are very few examples in my budget where I have made a decision to increase any budget by that amount,” said Minister Coveney. He was responding to a question posed by Clare Deputy Michael McNamara who had asked him to consider providing a multi annual funding approach for the East Clare based charity. Deputy McNamara said while he was grateful to the minister for the increased funding, which is subject to EU approval and for the interest he had shown in the organisation, “a large part of the difficulty they encounter is not just because of a reduction in funding”. “It is also because there is a reduction in sales, which they rely …

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Cannabis seizure at Spancilhill

GARDAÍ  seized a quantity of drugs and arrested a man in his 30s in Ennis last  night. In a planned operation, Ennis gardaí searched a house at Kilvoyden, Spancillhill and during the course of the search a quantity of cannabis herb, with an estimated street value (subject to analysis) of €200,000, was discovered. A man in his 30s was arrested at the scene and he is currently detained at Ennis Garda Station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996. He can be detained for up to seven days. The scene remains preserved and a technical examination of the area will take place later today. This is the latest in a number of cannabis finds in Clare in recent times, while gardaí in other parts of the country have also had similar successes in the ongoing fight against drugs.

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David Coleman in the chair at Raheen Wood

RAHEEN Wood Steiner National School has a new chairman of its board of management, clinical psychologist, broadcaster and author, David Coleman. The Ogonnelloe resident has recently taken on the new role at the Tuamgraney-based school. Mr Coleman is well known for his award-winning television programme Bullyproof, the series Families in Trouble, Teens in the Wild and more recently his ongoing project 21st Century Child, which is running on RTÉ One on Tuesdays at 10.35pm. Mr Coleman’s three children attended Raheen Wood Steiner National School and his wife, Michelle, who is the chairperson of the parents’ association, has been actively involved with the school since their eldest started there. “He started in the local national school here in Ogonnelloe and then after two years, he moved into Raheen Wood Steiner School when my wife discovered Steiner education. We decided to make the shift and all three have either been through or are going through the school,” he said. What struck a …

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Life and times of Ireland’s longest living person

THE secret to a long life may lie somewhere in East Clare as this past week saw a Feakle woman make the headlines, both in Ireland and in the United States, having made history by being named the Republic of Ireland’s oldest ever person. East Clare has had its share of title holders in this regard, with Ireland’s oldest living residents often being from the region, including Mary Kelly, née McNamara (108) from Scariff, who also lived in New York; Annie Kett (108) from Kilkshen and Paddy Gleeson (106) from O’Callaghan’s Mills. Kathleen Snavely, née Hayes, hails from Garraun, Feakle, with her homestead not far from Pepper’s pub in the village. Last week, she overtook Ireland’s longest living person, Katherine Plunkett, who lived to be 111 and 327 days. Kathleen was born to parents Patrick and Ellen (neé Moroney) Hayes on February 16, 1902. Her father was a publican and farmer in the village. She had two sisters, Lena (known …

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Banking issues could be ‘a serious crisis’

THE lack of ATM services over the Christmas period and banking services in general in East Clare has the potential to become “a serious crisis”, according to local councillor, Pat Hayes. Councillor Hayes highlighted the issue after the two primary towns in the area, Scariff and Tulla, experienced intermittent outages of ATM services over Christmas and into the new year. “The Friday before Christmas, the ATM in Scariff in the bank and outside the bank were out of service. All over the place, there seems to be huge closures of services to the public. It is a continuous thing. “There are two ATMs in Tulla, the one inside the bank was out of order over Christmas and there’s the one in Supervalu, where there is a maximum withdrawal of €120. There were a lot of complaints about it. There were issues still the following Monday and they were out of order several times since,” Councillor Hayes said. He continued, “What …

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Rivalry hots up for Farmerette crown

RIVALRY is hotting up among 10 local women as they prepare to make a successful bid for the coveted new crown of East Clare Farmerette Queen next March. The line-up for the contest has been completed following the addition of another two contestants to the initial group. They include Tulla duo, Angela Lynch and Katie McInerney; Muirne Donnellan, Feakle; Aileen Thornton, Scariff; Clare Jones, O’Callaghan’s Mills; Aisling Callinan, Crusheen; Orla Burke, Whitegate, Martina Skehan, Kilkishen, Ellen Collins, Ogonnelloe and Cassandra McKenna, Bodyke. People from all over East Clare will flock with a great sense of anticipation to the Powerhouse Bar, Tulla on March 15, for what promises to be a great night of entertainment. The contestants have already started fundraising ahead of the event, which has been organised to help defray the cost of upgrading the Oak Ward at the National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght. This is a 24-bed ward catering for children with acute medical conditions, including respiratory, asthma, endocrinology, …

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Feakle woman is Ireland’s oldest ever

A FEAKLE native, now living in the United States, has reached a remarkable milestone as she has become Ireland’s oldest ever living person at 111 years of age. Kathleen Snavely, née Hayes, originally from Garraun in Feakle, reached the 327th day of her 111th year on Thursday and on February 16, will turn 112. The title for Ireland’s oldest born person was held by Katherine Plunket from County Louth, who was born in 1820 and lived to 111 and 327 days. Ms Plunket was listed from the earliest days of the Guinness Book of Records as Ireland’s oldest ever person and, in more recent times, a group called the GRG has maintained a table of the world’s oldest people. Now living Syracuse in New York State, Mrs Snavely resides at the Centres at St Camillus healthcare facility but up until she was around 104 years of age, she lived alone in her own home. Born in Feakle on February 16, …

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Dooras Residents “Trapped” since Christmas

RESIDENTS at Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills have been “trapped” in their homes since water levels began rising on the road outside their homes at Christmas. Some locals opted to abandon their homes taking up alternative accommodation, while others who had managed to traverse the flood in jeeps and tractors over Christmas week, are now unable to leave as water levels hit upwards of three feet. Flooding on this narrow stretch of road, which is a cul de sac, has been a feature of the area for many years, with residents having to resort to boats, or abandoning their homes until it subsided. However, in previous years the water abated much quicker. There are four houses on this stretch of road. Residents say although their houses have not been flooded the road servicing the properties is completely submerged and is extremely dangerous to even attempt to travel on as there is an eight to ten feet drop on either side of the …

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