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North Clare

No birthday ‘miracle’ for Kennedy

Gerard Kennedy (FG) didn’t get the birthday present he was hoping for today after a recount of the West Clare electoral area saw him eliminated. Mr Kennedy requested the recount after he was eliminated on the fifth vote with just six votes separating him from Fianna Fáil’s Pat Keane. “The advice I got was that it was worth having a recount because at that stage we didn’t know what the story was. I was always under pressure in the position I was in because so many of the candidates around me were all from the Southern end of the constituency so I was unlikely to pick up any transfers,” he told the ‘Champion. Yesterday (Saturday) it looked like Mr Kennedy had polled much worse than his 1,010 first preferences. Tallies showed him more than 200 below this. “I was very disappointed because I thought that 780 was a poor enough reflection on what we had done on the canvas, and …

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Curtin elected to West Clare on first count

For the fifth time, Independent Christy Curtin has topped the poll in his electoral area. He was elected on the first count with 42 votes to spare. He gathered 1,938 votes in the new constituency which includes much of the old Ennistymon Electoral Area. According to Christy, the change in boundary made a considerable difference. “The change in boundary definitely benefitted me. I am strategically located in Miltown Malbay and I worked in Kilmihil for almost 30 years, I started my career in Ennistymon but I am located well geographically and the demographic suited me,” he said. The change brought Miltown Malbay, his home, back into the electoral area in which he was standing. “I was extremely nervous. I was back again in my own home town after 22 years and there was a strong candidate there already and for that reason I felt nervous, but they did not let me down, they stood by me,” he said. Councillor Curtin …

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Mayor “disappointed” but not bitter

Mayor of Clare, Councillor Joe Arkins was “disappointed” but not bitter over his shock exit from the local authority in the early hours of Saturday night. Councillor Arkins was eliminated after the seventh count in the Killaloe Municipal District with 1,116 votes. In fact, the outgoing mayor showed he hadn’t lost his sharp wit and humour, despite being the highest profile casualty of the 2014 Local Election. “I think my wife is at home at the moment writing up a list of jobs for me to do that have not been attended to for the last 15 years,” he joked. Next week he plans to be busy with the Fleadh Cheoil and has other duties he hopes to catch up on over the coming months. The outgoing Fine Gael Councillor could have lashed out at the party hierarchy over its vote management in East Clare and its failure to carve up the area between their three candidates -poll topper, Joe Cooney …

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Carron launch for flower and insect guides

Insects and wildflowers will be examined this weekend as part of the Burren in Bloom festival. Insects of Ireland – An Illustrated Introduction to Ireland’s Common Insect Groups by Stephen McCormack and Eugenie Regan, with illustrations by Chris Shields, published by The Collins Press, is one of two books being launched this weekend in Cassidy’s Pub, Carron. “About one third of our insect species are under threat of extinction, which is worrying because insects are vitally important in our environment. Eugenie and I both agree with David Attenborough who famously said, ‘If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse’,” said Stephen. Insects are the most diverse group of animals in Ireland but most are very small and escape notice. Identifying them accurately can be very difficult. The guide, by experts Stephen and Eugenie, …

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Flood damages road, cuts off nine households

Clare County Council was working on Wednesday to make a North Clare road passable after  heavy rain caused severe damage to it,  cutting off nine families. Thunder showers on Tuesday caused flash floods on multiple roads throughout the county making them temporarily impassable. When the water subsided, however, a segment of the L 10283 near Ballyvaughan, was washed away with it. The road is part of the route for the Burren Marathon which takes place this weekend. Local man James Keane managed to get to his home at Faunrooska but only after abandoning his car and using a tractor to cross the water-logged section of road. “The road is a cul de sac. There are nine houses beyond the section that was torn away. When I came home I just had to leave the car and get a tractor to bring us back across to the house because of the water but today [Wednesday] it was impassable even with a …

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Cambridge scholarship beckons for Cillian

A NORTH Clare student, who found national fame when he sold his Leaving Cert notes on eBay, has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to the University of Cambridge. Cillian Fahy was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue an M. Phil. in European Literature and Culture at the university, the only Irish person to achieve this in 2014. The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK, to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. They are selected based on outstanding intellectual ability; leadership potential; a commitment to improving the lives of others and a good fit between the applicant’s qualifications and aspirations and the postgraduate programme at Cambridge for which they are applying. “The Gates Cambridge Scholarships are one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world and it is an incredible honour to receive one,” said Cillian. “The scholarships are full-cost, covering all fees and maintenance, …

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Lahinch Golf Club buys FCA camp

LAHINCH Golf Club has purchased the local FCA camp at a public auction this Friday afternoon for €560,000. The main objective of the club was to secure the site and now that this has been achieved, plans for its development will be considered over the coming months, according to a spokesman. In a prime location, directly opposite the Lahinch clubhouse, the FCA complex adjoins the Castle Course and enjoys substantial road frontage on the Liscannor Road, leading to the Cliffs of Moher. For many years, the FCA, now the Reserve Defence Forces, held summer camps at the complex and this provided a welcome financial boost to local businesses.

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McGlennon takes Miss Clare crown

ENNISTYMON woman, Kate McGlennon was crowned Miss Clare 2014 at the annual pageant, held in the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis. The event was hosted by Deric Hartigan of TV3. Kate, who is 20, is no stranger to beauty pageants and the modelling world after being placed first runner-up in Miss Clare 2013, first runner-up in Miss Sunday World 2013, top-three finalist in Miss Irish Sun 2013 and a current finalist in the Face of Toni&Guy 2014. Kate will now go on to represent her county in the Miss Ireland Pageant 2014 in Dublin, where a successor to current Miss Ireland, Aoife Walsh, will be chosen to represent the country in Miss World 2014. “We had 15 girls from around the county, between the ages of 17 and 23. The final six were Lisa Sexton, Lorraine Tubridy, Naoise Mc Cormack, Pamela Brown, Rachael Mullane and Kate McGlennon,” outlined organiser, Tess Purcell. “The standard of girls was fantastic this year. There …

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