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Young folk doing old stuff

ST Joseph’s Secondary School in Tulla were this week treated to a lunchtime concert by a young group of visiting traditional musicians from Vermont in the United States. The Young Tradition Touring Group, made up of 19 musicians aged between 12 and 19, are currently touring the West of Ireland and have stopped in Clare for performances in The Powerhouse in Tulla, Pepper’s and Shortt’s in Feakle. The group play North American traditional tunes, as well as Appalachian music, Cajun and some bluegrass. They also dance during their performances. The musicians are being hosted in Clare by Mary MacNamara and her group of young East Clare musicians. As part of this, they performed a lunchtime concert in the secondary school in Tulla on Wednesday for students and teachers. Students at St Joseph’s also played music, sang and danced for the visiting group. Most of the visiting group members are from Vermont, although a few hail from as far as Maine, …

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Ennis Taxi Watch saving lives

ENNIS taxi drivers have helped save four people at risk of suicide, since getting involved in a pioneering suicide awareness initiative late last year. As highlighted in The Clare Champion, drivers with AAA Taxis signed up to the Taxi Watch initiative last year, receiving training in how to identify and talk to people at risk. According to Trevor White of AAA this week, the training has saved the lives of four people in the county capital. “At the time we first started looking into getting involved with the Taxi Watch initiative, we thought that if it just saved one life, it would be worth it. But four of our drivers have helped people in four separate incidences,” he revealed. “Thankfully, in each case, the individual spoke to and felt comfortable enough to confide in the taxi driver that they were travelling with, after the driver had asked the correct questions when they felt something wasn’t quite right. Further help and …

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Embracing support after farm tragedy

Diane Banville should be celebrating her third wedding anniversary on Tuesday with her husband, Kevin. But just 11 months after their big day, Kevin was killed in a farm accident. Formerly Kelly, Diane lives with her two young sons in Wexford but is well known in her home county, having played football for Miltown Malbay and Clare. Diane met Kevin Banville in a pub in Wexford on the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2007 when she was visiting a friend who lived there. By October, she had foregone the offer of a job in Barbados and moved to the sunny south-east. On April 19, 2013 she married the love of her life. St Patrick’s Day of 2014 started off like any other and the pair and their two young sons, two-year-old Ryan and five-week-old Cillian, were going to go to the local parade. “I remember walking up the lane about a week or two beforehand and just going, ‘I really …

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From the Burren to Belarus, 30 years after Chernobyl disaster

To mark the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Burren Chernobyl Project is holding a fundraising walk in Ennistymon next Sunday (April 24, 2016). Nicola Corless spoke to Brother Liam O’Meara, director of the project, about the organisation’s work and his full-time involvement with it for the past 15 years.   Brother Liam is a Limerick man, reared on the border with Tipperary close to Galbally. He studied primary teaching at Mary Immaculate College and taught for four years in Limerick before becoming a Christian Brother in 1981 and working in schools in Cork. He moved to Ennistymon in 1986, the same year as the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Liam taught happily in the three-teacher CBS primary school in the North Clare town until 1999, when he dedicated himself fully to working with the Burren Chernobyl Project. The organisation was founded in 1993, with projects kicking off the following year. It was then …

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Historic first All-Ireland title for St Anne’s, Killaloe

St Anne’s Killaloe 4-6 De La Salle, Bagnalstown 0-4 Bonfires are blazing in Killaloe this Friday evening after the local secondary school, St Anne’s captured their first All-Ireland camogie title. A merited win over Peresentation De La Salle from Bagnalstown in Carlow has earned the Killaloe side the All-Ireland junior D colleges title. A tally of 3-3 from full forward Maeve Óg O’Leary earned her the player of the game award at the end of a contest n which they led from the outset. Playing with the aid if the breeze in the first half, they took the lead through team captain Aoife Power in the third minute and went on to be 1-6 to 0-2 in front at half time, O’Leary’s opening goal coming in the thirteenth minute. The player of the game struck for her second goal in the opening minute of the second half and this score really rocked their opponents and she had her third goal …

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East Clare Makes Waves on American Radio

A MICHIGAN radio show that focused on East Clare and was produced by local man, Eoin O’Hagan has been chosen for an award at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ upcoming Broadcast Excellence Awards. The Wild Michigan Outdoors radio show did a programme on Lough Derg, entitled Wild Ireland and it was submitted for review by an out-of-state broadcast association to the awards. The programme has been selected out of all entries in the Special Weekend Programme category for the Broadcast Excellence Awards, which take place on May 3. Eoin O’Hagan explained that efforts to produce this programme began two and a half years ago, when he met a producer of the Wild Michigan Outdoors show in Doonbeg, who put him in touch with the presenter, Duran Martinez. Eoin’s pitch was to highlight East Clare as a tourism destination for anglers in America. “I sent Duran emails, photographs and videos, teasing him about Lough Derg and I told him how empty …

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Wheels coming off Ennis cycle plans

A SPOKE has been put in the wheel of plans to improve cycling and pedestrian facilities in Ennis, with claims that it will make the county capital less attractive for business and may even lead to job losses. Clare County Council has lodged part eight plans in relation to three Ennis Active Travel Town schemes at various locations and are currently inviting submissions from the public. The controversial plans are increasing concerns about how the proposals will effect businesses. Prominent Ennis businessman, Brian O’Neill, owner of the Rowan Tree, is objecting to proposals under the Clareabbey to Ballymaley section of the scheme, which involves the loss of nine parking spaces for the development of an “active travel amenity hub” close to his business. In a submission to the council, he voices his “full support” for the development of safe and defined cycling routes and amenities in Ennis and the county. However, Mr O’Neill argues that the plans “will negatively effect …

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Shannon fire under control

A SPOKESMAN for the Clare fire service has said that a fire at Thermo King in Shannon has been brought under control. Large plumes of smoke have been wafting into the sky above the industrial estate this afternoon, while workers had to leave their posts. The fire service spokesman said that only units of the Shannon fire brigade had been required to tackle the blaze and that they had brought it under control relatively quickly.   Owen Ryan  

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