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East Clare

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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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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