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North Clare

Diocesan Chapter role for Fr Tommy

GORT parish priest Fr Tommy Marrinan has been appointed to the Diocesan Chapter, earning him the title Canon and meaning he will now act as adviser to the bishop and as a trustee of the diocese. Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, Martin Drennan made the appointment on Thursday last. He announced that four priests were being added to the Diocesan Chapter, which now has 12 members. These canons work as advisers to, and in very close collaboration with, the bishop. They have a particular responsibility to ensure the effective administration of the temporal affairs of the diocese. Other priests appointed on the day were Fr Ian O’Neill, parish priest of Claregalway; Fr Michael McLoughlin, PP, Moycullen; and Martin Glynn, PP, Mervue and Good Shepherd. According to Fr Tommy, the appointment is a reflection of the parish of Gort and Beagh. “It is an honour for the parish, as it is a title usually given to a priest in a …

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World Award for Burren and Cliffs

THE Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has won a major international award, recognising it as a global leader in sustainable destination development. On Wednesday, the Geopark was revealed as the winner of the Destination Leadership award by National Geographic at their prestigious World Legacy Awards. The Geopark, which is managed by Clare County Council and receives support and funding from the Geological Survey of Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, won the Destination Leadership category for its tourism for conservation project, GeoparkLIFE. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark was the only European winner at the awards, which honours tourism companies, organisations and destinations regarded as leaders in sustainable tourism best practices. Speaking at the ITB Berlin Convention in Germany, at which the announcement was made, Mary Howard, leas-cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said the award “is testament to the partnership approach to managing sustainable tourism in the Burren that has been developed over the years by Clare County Council, regional …

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Moyhill Garden harvests a top award

MOYHILL Community Garden finished second in the Sustainable Community section of the 2015 Get Involved Community Award presentation ceremony, which was held in Dublin last week. Now in its third year, the Local Ireland Get Involved Sustainable Communities awards initiative is promoted by 51 weekly paid-for newspapers and this year’s initiative featured 30 projects from all over Ireland. The projects cover the essential areas necessary to build sustainable communities, including clean energy, water conservation, local food production, eco-tourism and developing local community employment. The North Clare-based group was also highly commended in the Community Impact section. In their presentation, the group told the gathering at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown that they had visited Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the UK in an effort to establish their own one. Green Party General Election candidate, Fergal Smith heads up the Moyhill group and he told The Clare Champion that reaching the national final was a positive experience for them. “Local …

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General Election count in Ennistymon

The unavailability of a suitable venue in Ennis has paved the way for a General Election count to take place in North Clare for the first time. A large function room and dining facilities are a prerequisite for an election count nowadays and the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon qualifies on both counts. With the Government giving the minimum required notice for polling day, county registrar Pat Wallace found that the West County Hotel, the traditional venue for major election counts, was already booked for Saturday, February 27. He said the move away from Ennis was unavoidable. The election count will bring a welcome boost for the Falls Hotel and other businesses.

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Moy garden creating a community impact

THE Get Involved Awards for 2015 have been underway over the last 10 months and it’s nearing awards day at the end of this month. The Clann Credo Community Impact Prize category has now been opened out to an online vote. This will allow communities celebrate their success and communicate the great things their projects are achieving locally. The online voting will commence on this Friday and close on Sunday, February 21. The Community Impact prize fund is €5,000; 1st €3,000, 2nd €1,500, 3rd €500. The Clann Credo “Community Impact Prize” highlights how outstanding community-based projects meet local and community needs in an innovative & collaborative way. In total six projects from around the country have been shortlisted for this year’s Clann Credo sponsored Community Impact Prize. Members of the local community are encouraged to get behind their local shortlisted project by sharing information about the online voting on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and through their other local networks All members of …

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Springfield roads now passable

Clare County Council has confirmed that a number of roads have reopened in flood-affected parts of North and Southeast Clare as water levels continue to slowly recede. All roads in Springfield, Clonlara are now passable. The N67 at New Quay has reopened but a number of local primary routes remain flooded in the North Clare area. Meanwhile, Clare County Council has received confirmation from the ESB of its decision to reduce the discharge level at Parteen Weir from 300 cumecs to 265 cumecs.

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Moy Hill project growing and growing

THE bitingly cool winter air swept across Moy on Monday evening, as the Get Involved 2015 Scheme’s judges visited Moy Hill Community Garden and a 17-acre farm located nearby, which was purchased five months ago. The volunteers who run the community garden have made it to the last six in the Local Ireland-organised Get Involved awards project, which is a competition run by 51 local newspapers throughout the country. The aim is that the national competition will drive voluntary sustainable projects, where local people collectively play a more proactive, inclusive and coherent role in shaping the future of their local environs. Matt Smith, along with his partner Sophie, Fergal Smith and Mitch Corbett, are some of the people who helped establish the community garden before purchasing the 17 acres. The garden grows a huge variety of fruit and vegetables and for much of the year, people visit on Friday evenings to enjoy the social setting. It also features an underground …

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Cliffs visitor numbers climbing

Visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience were up 15.8% during 2015, it has been confirmed. 1,251,574 people visited the Clare County Council owned centre last year compared to 1,080,501 during 2014, meaning that the Cliffs of Moher broke the one million visitor figure for the just the second time ever last year. It is the fifth successive increase in visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher with year-on-year increases of 12.5%, 10%, 8%, 10% and 12.3% being achieved during 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Fully Independent Travellers (FITs), mainly travelling by car, made up 49% of the total, representing a 14.6% increase compared to 2014   Groups travelling by coach made up 45.6% of the total and increased by 16.1% on the previous year.  Others including walkers, cyclists and those travelling by public transport made up 5.4% and increased by 16.5% compared to 2014. “This is the highest number of visitors since records were first kept exceeding the …

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