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Regatta fever spreads through Clarecastle

FOLLOWING the rowing success of last year’s Clarecastle Regatta, the event will return once again this July. Organisers are promising an event to remember, with activities to entertain both the young, and young at heart.Performing the official launch will be Sean McGowan, who single handedly rowed across the Atlantic Ocean last year. Sean’s grandmother was originally from Clarecastle and he has strong ties to the area. He said he is delighted to have been asked to launch the regatta adding, “Clarecastle is a lovely place with lovely people and I am really looking forward to the regatta.”This year’s regatta will take place on Saturday, July 9 on the River Fergus and its banks. The regatta was a popular annual summer event in years gone by and last year, it was revitalised.According to Donal Carey, chairman of the organising committee, “The Clarecastle Regatta was staged last year for the first time in over 20 years and a very successful and enjoyable …

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Local fears allayed with official Tim Smythe playground opening

AT the opening of the new €240,000 state-of-the-art Tim Smythe Park playground this week, Councillor Peter Considine moved to allay the concerns of local residents after the playground became the scene for anti-social behaviour in recent months.“The CCTV cameras are up and running and the lighting is well on its way… I’m sure it will settle down and the playground will benefit families from both inside and outside the town of Ennis. The vision of this is of a family orientated facility,” he said.Councillor Considine, who performed the opening ceremony alongside then mayor of Ennis, Councillor Tommy Brennan, commented, “Like all projects, there are teething problems and initial fears and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Ennis Town Council who early on when the worries of local residents began to raise their heads, they went into an intensive consultation process. This process is ongoing and I think it has been very, very successful,” the …

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Two charities let Ennis dogs have their day

THEY say every dog has its day. Well in Ennis this weekend, hundreds of dogs will have their very own doggy day in aid of two local charities. Darren O’Connor of Doggy Daycare at the Ballymaley Business Park has organised a five-kilometre dog walk and family fun day for this Sunday. He is expecting nearly 500 pooches to get involved and help raise money for these worthy causes.The sponsored walk will raise funds for Paw Pourri Rescue Centre and Clare Animal Welfare and Darren is encouraging dog lovers to come along and show their support. You don’t even have to own a dog to get involved, as a number of dogs currently looking for foster homes will also be there on the day for people to walk.The event begins at 11am at Doggy Day Care and owners and their dogs will walk five kilometres from the Ballymaley Business Park to Ballyalla and back again. As well as the walk, there …

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Pupils collect 5,500 batteries for recycling

THE children of Ennis Educate Together are leading the charge against waste by putting their energy into ensuring batteries are disposed of correctly. Thousands of batteries have been collected by the children with their mobile battery recycling unit and they show no signs of stopping.The unit came about when as part of its Green Schools initiative, the national school’s Green Schools committee organised a day of action to use the school as a battery recycling depot.The Green Schools committee spoke to the children about the dangers of disposing of batteries incorrectly. The children took this on board so much that they started bringing recycling boxes home and collecting the batteries from their neighbours and local businesses.The children then turned the recycling depot into a mobile recycling unit, bringing the recycling unit to the community.  As a result, the children of Ennis Educate Together National School collected in the region of 5,500 batteries to recycle. They did this over a period …

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Clarecastle GAA tackles loneliness in the community

CLARECASTLE GAA club is at the forefront of an initiative aimed at tackling social isolation within the community. This Sunday, at the club’s Lá na gClub, will see the first launch in the county of the GAA Social Initiative.Both Clarecastle GAA and Ennistymon have been chosen to initiate the scheme in Clare, with Clarecastle GAA being the first to do so this weekend. According to Paschal Russell, co-ordinator of the social initiative in Clarecastle, the idea behind this is to facilitate men who may be experiencing loneliness to get more involved with the community, renew old friendships, make some new ones and to share their wealth of life experience.The GAA Social Initiative arose as a result of President Mary McAleese and her husband, Martin, noticing an absence of older men in attendance at official functions during their many visits to local communities over the years. She came to the conclusion that many men, because of the changing patterns of life, …

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Community enhanced with opening of The Junction

THE newly opened Ennis Youth and Community Resource building, known as The Junction, will help build relationships and strengthen communities, according to the chairperson of Clare Youth Service.The Junction was officially opened in Cloughleigh at the weekend by Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, and Councillor Tommy Brennan, Mayor of Ennis.Speaking at the launch, Michael Byrne, chairperson of Clare Youth Service, commented, “This initiative will see the development of youth-led community facilities for the benefit of all. It will bring all sections together building the relationships, which are the foundation of strong communities. Young people will learn about their community, about their rights and responsibilities as part of a community and those of us who are a bit older will see young people grow and emerge into active citizens and leaders.“The challenge at this stage is to continue to build on our experience of operating an integrated youth service open to all young people and expand this facility …

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Graveyard histories revealed in new booklets

HIDDEN secrets of Drumcliff and Templemaley graveyards have been revealed as part of a joint initiative between the Clare Roots Society and the Clare Archaeological and Historical Society.Last week, both societies launched their booklets exploring the backgrounds of the local burial grounds. On the evening of the launch, Larry Brennan, Eric Shaw and Fiona de Buitléir of the Roots Society gave a guided tour of Drumcliff Graveyard. This was followed by a visit to Templemaley Graveyard, where Mary Kearns and Edel Greene discussed the church and older burials there.The Roots Society introduced its booklet, Drumcliff Cemetery: The Hidden History of Ennis and the Archaeological Society launched its booklet, Templemaley Graveyard. The booklets give a background to the burial in Drumcliff and Templemaley and the transcriptions of gravestones within the graveyards.The Drumcliff book, compiled and edited by Larry Brennan and Eric Shaw, is a joint initiative between the Roots Society and Ennis Tidy Towns. It contains articles on the history of …

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50 years in Brogan’s… Pat wouldn’t have it any other way

WORKING in Brogan’s Bar for 50 years, Pat Sheedy is well used to lending an ear to the many customers who frequent the well-known Ennis pub. But when it comes to talking about himself, the bartender shies away from being the centre of attention.While Pat may prefer to stay out of the limelight, this month he will rightly be the focus of celebrations at Brogan’s Bar, with an evening of music planned to mark his golden anniversary.Pat, from Doora, first began working in Brogan’s when he left school at 14. “I certainly didn’t think I’d be here this long. I started off in the yard doing the bottles and peeling the spuds. My sister, Francis, had worked there along with my brother, John,” he recalled. “Brian Hogan was the owner at the time, son of Patrick Hogan who was Ceann Comhairle.“Things were very different back then, there have certainly been some big changes over the years. The pub itself hasn’t …

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