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North Clare

North Clare saddles up for Rás

IN just over two weeks, the 2014 Post Rás will bring international riders and their support teams and fans to North Clare. Lisdoonvarna will play host to the second-stage finish on Monday, May 19, and will also see the peloton set off on stage three the following morning. “It’s fantastic to see the An Post Rás come to Clare. We have a very exciting line-up of teams this year so I’ve no doubt it will be a thrilling couple of days racing. I’m sure that the locals will show some great support to the riders as they make their way through the county,” said national organiser, Tony Campbell. Following the second stage set-off from Roscommon that morning, the peloton will embark on a 160-kilometre trek to the stage finish in Lisdoonvarna. Mr Campbell expects to see plenty of action, particularly in the final few kilometres. “It will be a fast day, coming in from Roscommon, but there is a hard …

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Nicole’s 50km fundraising push

A CLARE  teenager with cerebral palsy will brave the pain barrier this weekend when she is pushed 50km in a loop from Lahinch to Ennistymon, Kilshanny, Lisdoonvarna, Doolin, down by the Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor and back to Lahinch. Nicole Norton has convinced over 100 of her transition-year peers, plus teachers, from around the county, to push her along the challenging, undulating route in West Clare to raise awareness and funds for the Clare Crusaders centre, which was founded by her mother, Ann. The push was launched this week at Shannon Airport and will take place on Saturday, just five months after the St Flannan’s College student underwent severe and potentially life-threatening spinal surgery at Temple Street hospital. Nicole will forgo her specially-designed motorised chair for a wheelchair, pushed in relay groups comprising teachers and fellow transition-year students from her own school, St Flannan’s College, as well as from Rice College, Ennis; Colaiste Muire, Ennis; Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon; Kilmihil Community …

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leo varadker, pat breen, m18, michael mcnamara, lorraine higgins

M18 contract signed

FOLLOWING  weeks of speculation, Ministers Leo Varadkar and Brendan Howlin signed the contract for the M17/M18 Gort to Tuam motorway this week.The €550 million project is a public-private partnership, which will see the M18 extended 57km beyond Gort.  Work is to begin on the motorway from Gort to Tuam in the coming weeks. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin signed a contract with consortium Direct Route, which includes Roadbridge, John Sisk, Lagan, three large Irish civil engineering firms, and Strabag of Austria. The project will create up to 450 jobs and, according to the Government, will “boost local economies in the West and ease congestion”. The jobs are expected to be created during the construction and post-construction phases. “This is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to improving transport infrastructure outside of the Greater Dublin Area,” Minister Varadkar said. Minister Howlin said, “I am very pleased we have achieved …

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The Festival of Finn takes place this weekend in Corofin. It includes two world record attempts.

Hairy world record attempt for Corofin

COROFIN will attempt to break two Guinness World Record this weekend. The first attempt takes place on Saturday when the village will attempt to hold the largest gathering of beards and moustaches. The current record was set in the US in 2011 when 462 beards amd moustaches gathered in Newport, New Hampshire in the United States. Ballymoe in County Galway made a valiant attempt as part of last year’s Gathering, but fell short with 287. Corofin’s second record attempt will be for longest beard chain, which was set in Germany by 20 men whose chain measured 62.5 feet. Guinness World Records are not taken on lightly. The publication has strict requirements to prove a record-breaker. Emer Brosnan, one of the Festival of Finn organisers, explains that following the criteria can be stressful. “For an event like ours – the largest gathering – we have to have a confined space to put our ‘beards and staches’. Among other things, we have …

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Fisk among speakers at Burren Law School

INTERNATIONALLY- renowned speakers, including journalist, Robert Fisk and former Libyan Minister for Health, Dr Fatima Hamroush will participate in this weekend’s Burren Law School. The theme for the event is “Twenty-First Century Justice?” The inaugural Burren Law School in May 1994, was the first event to take place at the newly-established Burren College of Art, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Other speakers for this weekend’s school include European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly; Professor Richard Susskind of Oxford University; Judge Nicholas Kearns, President of the High Court; Liam Herrick of the Irish Penal Reform Trust; Pat Leahy of the Sunday Business Post; Professor Donnchadh Ó Corráin; Donal Ryan, Booker nominated author of ‘The Spinning Heart’ (2013) and ‘The Thing about December’; Kenneth W Nicholls, ex-UCC historian and author of ‘Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland in the Middle Ages.’ Financial Services Ombudsman Bill Prasifka and Dr. Mary Rogan, chairperson of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, will also be speaking. The directors of …

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Woman dies in North Clare house fire

A woman has died in a house fire in North Clare. GARDAÍ, ambulance services and three units from Ennistymon fire brigade attended the scene at Derrynavaha, Craggagh, Ballyvaughan after 7pm last night. The woman, whose name is yet to be officially released, is understood to have been in her 50s. She was alone in the house at the time of the incident. The fire brigade were called to the scene at 7.15pm and arrived half an hour later, by which time the woman had been removed from the house. Fire and ambulance personnel attempted to resuscitate the woman but she was subsequently pronounced dead. According to Clare’s Chief Fire Officer, Adrian Kelly, structural damage in the building impeded efforts to bring the fire under control. Gardaí in Ennistymon are investigating the fire, however it is not being treated as suspicious.

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Hats off to milliner Margaret

By Carol Byrne BOSTON milliner Margaret O’Connor was awarded the title of Millinery Designer of the Year at the prestigious Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, held in Galway last Thursday. The judges at the event were Eddie Shanahan, chairperson at the council of Irish Fashion Designers; Deidre McQuillan, Irish Times fashion journalist; and Patricia McCrossan, managing director of Golden Egg Productions. This was the fifth annual Irish Fashion Innovation Awards and it was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway. This was the first time the North Clare milliner has been involved in this awards show and she said she was really surprised to have won the award. She said the shock set in when the room went from being calm and reserved to people going “mad” with excitement for her. Joined at the event by family and friends, Margaret said she couldn’t believe it. “I’ve never won anything like that in my life. I’m so delighted. I didn’t think …

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Five take on Kilimanjaro

By Owen Ryan FIVE teenage members of North Clare’s No Name Club, will, together with the club’s chairperson, climb Kilimanjaro in August, in association with the Kilimanjaro Achievers. The teens taking part are Dominic Talty, Declan Burke, Aisling Talty, Naomi Harvey and Rachel Harvey, while the club chairperson is Edel Harvey. As well as physically preparing for the climb, they are also raising funds for the charity in Tanzania. Each year, the Kilimanjaro Achievers focus on two charitable projects within the country and this year they are raising funds to expand an orphanage’s school in Cheti and to sponsor some children at the orphanage. As part of the trip the No Name Club group will visit Cheti and help out for a few days at the school, gaining first hand experience of volunteering with a charity abroad. The No Name Club is a youth club specifically designed for teenagers from the ages of 15, which aims to cater for the gap between …

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