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East Clare

Online initiative to grow Seed Savers

The East Clare based national charity, Irish Seed Savers, was dealt a financial blow in recent months arising from funding cuts, which led to redundancies at the facility. Last month it launched an online campaign at www.indiegogo.com to raise funds to help save the facility and secure its future. Although nowhere near the €100,000 it needs, funds are trickling in and to date, over €4,000 has been pledged. Irish Seed Savers Association was set up in 1991 to save Ireland’s heritage and heirloom vegetable seeds, potatoes, grains and fruit trees from extinction. Since then it has grown to a stage where it has over 800 varieties of organic, open pollinated heritage seeds in a purpose seed bank, which was opened in 2012 by President Michael D Higgins. Speaking at that time President Higgins said, “From little acorns, oak trees grow and from modest beginnings in 1991, the Irish Seed Savers Association has grown to such an extent that impressively it now …

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The Pipes are Calling for Trip Funds

ST Patrick’s Pipe Band will perform at a specially organised traditional music session in The Mills Tavern, O’Callaghan’s Mills on Saturday, with proceeds going towards their trip to the New York St Patrick’s Day Parade. Also known as the Tulla Pipe Band, St Patrick’s Pipe Band have been invited by the New York Clare Association to join them in celebrating their 125th anniversary at the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York. The fundraising concert takes place at 9pm on Saturday and Paula Carroll will be the MC. The event has been organised by Councillor Joe Cooney and Carmel Hall, whose son, David, is in the band. Speaking about the support that people are showing for the band, Pam O’Reilly PRO for St Patrick’s Pipe Band said, “It is amazing and wonderful for the band to realise that their years of service have not gone unnoticed and that everyone is behind the band”. “Just last week, the Tulla Vintage …

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Clare Bus launches fundraising calendar

CLARE Accessible Transport recently changed its trading name to Clare Bus and has launched a 2014 calendar embracing the change. The transport company, which is based in Feakle but services all of Clare and South Galway, has launched the calendar as a means of getting the new name out there to the general public and also to help raise funds for the service. In doing so, it also aims to celebrate the work of local photographers and artists and features work by award-winning Clare Champion photographer John Kelly, Tim Moloney, Sean McInerney, Ruth O’Keefe and Linda Bonugli. Speaking about the initiative, Ger Hoey, chairperson of the board of Clare Bus, said this is the first time the company has produced a calendar and it is hoped it will not only create awareness but also raise funds to benefit service users. “The calendar was created to promote the new name Clare Bus but also to raise funds because we as a …

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Jane’s Efforts to Reach Out Recognised

TULLA resident Jane Halloran Ryan was presented with the Ireland Reaching Out Volunteer of the Year award at a ceremony held in Limerick at the weekend. Born and raised in Connecticut, Jane’s Irish ancestral connections are in Clare, Cork, Sligo and Antrim. Having always had a keen interest in genealogy and family history, she became involved in the Ireland Reaching Out project in 2011. Speaking about the award, Jane said, “It’s great. I am delighted to be acknowledged but, at the same time, I have to be honest, all of us are great volunteers. The organisation has terrific volunteers working for it. I’m also delighted for Tulla and we joked at the event about it being another All-Ireland. It’s been a great year for us in Tulla and Ireland Reaching Out is a terrific project on so many levels. I think it will go from strength to strength with not only the heritage work but with tourism and with business …

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Seed Savers hit by funding cuts

IRISH Seed Savers Association has had to implement three redundancies and cut staff hours by almost half, as a result of funding cuts it has sustained this year from a number of sources that used to fund the national charity. The organisation’s project manager Lisa Duncan confirmed to The Clare Champion that in recent weeks the charity had to cut staff and staff hours due to financial constraints. She explained the charity relies on grant aid to survive and as it had sustained cuts to grant aid this year from a number of different organisations, it had to implement the cuts. On the back of this, it has launched an appeal to ensure the survival of the organisation and to enable it to continue its conservation work. According to the organisation, it received grant aid from the Department of Agriculture for the past number of years to help support it in saving Ireland’s agricultural heritage. Projects such as the creation …

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Parkinsons health conference in Feakle commended

THE Parkinson’s Health Conference, which took place in Feakle this summer, has received a commendation at the Irish Medical Times Irish Healthcare Awards. The conference was announced as a commended award recipient at a ceremony held in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on Thursday last. The conference, which preceded the annual Feakle Festival of Traditional Music, was hugely successful this summer and saw a huge influx of people into the East Clare village eager to learn more about Parkinson’s and the beneficial effects that set dancing has on sufferers of the disease. Speaking about the win, Breda Collins, conference manager said, “There were nine shortlisted in our category and we got a commendation for the best patient education project (non-pharmaceutical). The judging panel gave it to us for focusing on improving patient care innovation and collaboration. We got a lovely certificate in a frame. “Crumlin got the award in our category. They did a project for children with cancer and …

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Quin footbridge most preferred option

A PETITION yielding 596 signatures lobbying for the construction of a footbridge in Quin has led a local councillor to call on the council to abandon plans to provide pedestrian access on the existing bridge in favour of developing a footbridge. Councillor Sonny Scanlan, who last week announced his intention to retire from local politics, said the last item he would like to secure for his community before he hangs up his boots is a footbridge. He explained that over the last two months, a petition calling for a footbridge to be constructed has been issued to locals and has secured 596 signatures. Although a part eight planning application has already been granted for works on the existing bridge, Councillor Scanlan is calling for this to be scrapped. “What I want them to do is to forget about that and to put in a part eight for a footbridge, instead of the footpath on top of the bridge. There would …

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Didi to develop super food project in Haiti

WHITEGATE resident and volunteer with NGO Amurtel, Didi Ananda Prama Driscoll returns to Haiti this December to help continue her work with those displaced by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince. This is Didi’s third year working with Amurtel in Haiti and on this trip she will spend two months in Port Au Prince, where she is hoping to develop a project growing spirulina, a super protein food. “There are still 250,000 people in camps. One and a half million lost their homes in Haiti during the earthquake. We work mainly with women and children and we still have schools and our children’s homes have expanded. We now have two children’s homes, one in Port Au Prince and also another on the border with the Dominican Republic. We still have programmes with women, where we do microfinance. That’s where we give them a little money and they see what they can do with it, for example if they …

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