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Half a milllion see Galway take on Mayo in Gort

An unusual dance routine performed at a wedding in South Galway has gone viral, with over half a million views since a video of it was posted online. The footage, filmed by Noel Uniacke from Kilconieron, Craughwell, features the Gavin School of Dancing from Peterswell taking to the floor at the wedding of Sandra Lynskey and Trevor Blake in the Lady Gregory Hotel, Gort. Noel’s niece Sandra, from Skehanagh, married Salthill man Trevor, whose parents hail from Mayo, on December 30. The dance sees Galway take on Mayo in football, complete with referee, pre-match huddle, warm up, throw in, tackles and hand passes. A few days later, Noel posted the video of the dance to his Facebook page and it got in the region of 1,500 views. Recently, however, it got a new lease of life. “The wedding was on December 30. I posted on Facebook on January 4 and it went up to about 1,500 views. Then, last Saturday, …

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Political alliance to remove poster cable ties

GETTING rival political parties together to form a government has been proving difficult enough in recent weeks. However, calls are now being made for politicians to cross the divide and come together to tackle a real bind. And their common foe? Cable ties that have been left all over the county on poles after the removal of election posters. Councillor James Breen has led the call for something to be done to remove the ties, which he says are still visible all over the county. “I took down any one I ever put up when I ran for election. What action is being taken to ensure that these are removed?” he asked. Councillor Ann Norton agreed, adding that the issue of posters being left up by candidates and even election posters re-appearing in previously checked areas is also a concern. The Clare Champion reported last month that Councillor Mary Howard had reported that up to 200 of her election posters …

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John calls time on O’Dea’s

THE claim many years ago by Samuel  Johnson that “there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn” springs to mind when  looking back on nearly 80 years of trading in O’Dea’s pub, Ennis. Over that period, the popular O’Connell Street premises carved out a niche for itself in the licensed trade of the capital town. Like most pubs, it has many a story to tell with its characters – and there were many of them – the great music sessions and the sing-songs, now almost exclusive to a family-run pub like O’Dea’s. But it has run its race with the decision of proprietor, John O’Dea, to retire from  the licensed trade entirely and consider other options for 66 O’Connell Street. Last weekend, as patrons ordered their last drinks, they looked back on great times in O’Dea’s but, at the same time,  expressed their disappointment at …

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July date for next decision on Blake’s Corner

CLARE County Council will not apply for permission to carry out its proposed works at one of the county’s worst bottlenecks until the end of July at the earliest. In the past week, the local authority has submitted details to An Bord Pleanála of its plans to alleviate the severe traffic jams that occur annually during the summer months at Blake’s Corner, Ennistymon. An Bord Pleanála will determine by July 25 whether the planning decision should be made by Clare County Council under the Part VIII procedure or by An Bord Pleanála itself. In February, the council revealed its proposed approach to deal with the long-standing traffic problems at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon, following consultation with local residents and elected members of the West Clare Municipal District. The proposed solution involves the construction of a new bridge approximately 80m upstream (to the east) of the existing Ennistymon Bridge on the N67. The scheme comprises a two-phase project; Phase 1 of …

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IW back under the public microscope

Irish Water (IW) is under scrutiny once again following a stream of complaints about sewage overflowing in Shannon last year. A new “damning” report about environmental breaches concerning the Shannon Wastewater Treatment Plant and foul network has prompted renewed pressure on government to sanction an estimated €24 million for a major upgrade of the Shannon plant and foul network. The 2015 Annual Environmental Report for the Shannon Wastewater Treatment Plant outlined a steady flow of complaints about sewage overflows from January 16, 2015 to December 31 last. They included 11 complaints about sewage overflowing from a manhole, six into gardens, one onto a street and one through a wall. All the complaints related to blocked sewers, which required action to unblock manholes. In the case of sewage overflowing into one garden on January 29 last, a CCTV survey was undertaken and repair was scheduled in the first quarter of this year. One of 28 environmental complaints concerning blocks sewers in …

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€30m investment plan in Clare solar power

Plans have been unveiled for the development of six solar farms, which could result in €30 million renewable energy investment in the county over the coming years. County Clare could become a leading generator of solar powered energy with the announcement that the county’s first solar farm is to be located at Ballymorris in Cratloe, just off the N18 Ennis-Limerick road. The 12.4 hectare solar farm will be connected to the national grid and will generate enough electricity to power 1,200 homes over a 25-year period. Following a number of pre-planning meetings with the local authority, Terra Solar will lodge its first planning application to develop a solar farm at its Ballymorris site in the coming weeks. The company has selected six sites that all share certain common characteristics and have applied in each case for grid connection to ESB Networks. Requiring an investment of €5 million apiece, the six sites in the Shannon area will provide enough electricity to …

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St Flannan’s students hoping for blast off

FOUR Clare students have taken one giant leap by coming first in their category for a major international competition ran by NASA. The St Flannan’s students have come top in the senior small team category in the NASA/Ames Space Settlement Design contest. They now have a chance to present their ideas in front of an audience of scientists and those in the space industry at the International Space Development Conference in Puerto Rico next month. Some of the biggest names in space exploration will be at the five-day conference, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Eoghan Keane, Kieran Maher, Sean Donnelly and Jason Herbert designed a settlement for thousands of people in the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter. Their innovative design, orbiting around the dwarf planet Ceres, features agricultural, residential and industrial areas to support 10,000 people. The students worked with teachers John Conneely and Grainne O’Brien, with support from Michael Horgan, on the project. As well as facing …

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Hayes not canvassing for Seanad seat

ALTHOUGH the name of Pat Hayes will appear on the ballot papers that will issue on Monday for the forthcoming Seanad elections, the Clare county councillor will not be canvassing for election. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Councillor Hayes said that at this point in time and for personal reasons, it does not suit him to go forward. “I was honoured to get the nomination but circumstances this time didn’t allow me to canvass. I am very interested in being a candidate in the future,” he added. Last month, the East Clare councillor sought the nomination to the Seanad’s Agricultural Rural Development panel from the Irish Grain and Feed Association but then had a rethink and decided not to contest the seat. However, as the papers had been lodged, he could not formally withdraw. “I did seek the nomination and I did get a nomination and then I did seek to withdraw it. The system doesn’t allow you to withdraw …

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