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Monica’s poetry on a lifetime of memories

MONICA Stirling, who lives in Mullagh, has had a book of poetry published, somewhat against her will. Musings and Memories contains more than 70 poems, all written by Monica, who has been encouraged by Kilmurry-Ibrickane Active Retirement Group chairperson, Helen McGrath, to publish her work. “I’ve been writing for years but most of them were under the bed and scattered around the house. And a lot of them have gone out in the rubbish,” Monica laughed. Musings and Memories is Monica’s first collection of poetry. “The active retirement group have been after me for a couple of years to put them together in book form. I was reluctant but they decided they’d get on with it themselves. There are 70-plus poems in it. They have been up and down for few days, trying to fit them in,” the retired nurse explained. Monica and her husband, Bill, lived in Zambia for many years. She spent a year there in 1964/1965, before …

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Cratloe Researcher wins top award

A Cratloe man has won a national award for his work on walking and cycling routes. Richard Manton from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is the inaugural winner of the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) Postgraduate Researcher of the Year Competition 2014. Richard is in the write-up stages of his PhD, working on a multi-disciplinary project, entitled Route Selection and Design of Greenways: Guidance for the Irish National Cycle Network, which combines civil engineering and social science. Many people recognise Ireland’s over reliance on the private car and a shift to walking and cycling has the potential to dramatically improve the environmental, economic and health implications of Irish transport. “In the context of the unsustainability of Irish transport and restrictions on public space, a major shift to walking, cycling and public transport is needed. Although we need to curb car use and make our roads safer, the growing number of greenways represents a step in the right direction. …

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Laura’s letter to the President

QUIN National School pupil, Lauren Wall took a persuasive writing exercise to great heights this year, when, instead of writing to her teacher like the rest of her class, she wrote to the President of Ireland. Fourth-class pupils at Scoil na Mainistreach were asked to write a letter to their teacher, Eleanor Gallagher, to try to persuade her where they would go on their school outing this summer. While the majority of the class did the task as assigned, 10-year-old Lauren took matters into her own hands and wrote to President Michael D Higgins, asking him if her class could visit him at the Áras. Her endeavour resulted in fourt- class students travelling to Dublin last Friday, for a tour of Áras an Uachtaráin. In her letter to President Higgins, which she sent on March 25 last the national school student wrote: “Hello, my name is Lauren Wall, I live in Quin, County Clare and I’m aware you are from …

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Clare’s young ‘graduates’ at NUI Galway

Clara Feeney from Inch National School and Seosamh Ryan from Holy Family Senior School, Ennis were among 200 primary school children who were conferred with special certificates from NUI Galway as part of its Youth Academy. The pupils from across the Western region received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, almost 800 children have graduated from a variety of courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Mandarin, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, English Literature, History, Film Studies, Eco-Explorers, Map Adventures and the World in 3D, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth, fifth and sixth-class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, …

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Currach launch gives it five

QUERRIN Pier was buzzing last Sunday for the launch of a five-hand currach, built by boat-builder, James Madigan. A vessel of this type has not sailed the estuary waters since the 1800s. The launch was in conjunction with the Querrin regatta, which was held last year, for the first time since 1907. Dixie Collins, of the West Clare Currach Club, said that elements of the five-hand currach were unique to West Clare. “She’s just under 30 foot and she’s a five-hand canoe, with a mast up on the bow with a lug sail. That’s a square sail that you use in boats like this. They wouldn’t have been traditionally used in Clare but they would have been used on the Aran Islands and down in Kerry. “She’s a bit wider on the beam and the oars are a bit longer than our three-hand canoe. We’re all quite curious to know how she’ll handle and how she’ll feel. We have people …

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Kiltiernan date for influential inventors

TWO of the world’s most influential inventors visited a small South Galway school this week, prompted by a series of coincidences. All the pupils of Kiltiernan National School take part in the annual Write-a-Book project, run by Galway Education Centre. The children each write a book in just six weeks and it was one by Áine O’Rourke, about telecommunications, that led to Friday’s visit. While he is not a household name, Marty Cooper’s invention is something that almost every adult and many teenagers own and use multiple times per day. “On a recent visit to our school, Ciarán Cannon, Minister for Training and Skills at the Department of Education, launched our newly updated website. He is very interested in the myriad of ways IT can be used to support learning and education in schools,” explained teacher, Bríd Fenlon. “Coincidentally, we had a display of our Write-A-Book projects in the hall. Minister Cannon is very interested in technology and these books, …

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Baby Sophie’s legacy lives on

A hearbroken mother has spoken out her frantic efforts to resuscitate her newborn baby daughter before she died from suspected heart failure at their home in Ballina-Killaloe. Sophie O’Brien, who was born on May 6 last with a serious defect in the left side of her heart, died less than four weeks later on June 2 with her family. Despite the best efforts of Darren O’Brien (31), Scariff, and his wife, Pamela (32), Sophie was pronounced dead within a short period of time at the University Hospital, Limerick. In an emotional interview, Pamela recalled how her husband, Darren, sought her assistance after noticing a change in the colour of Sophie’s face around 11am. “I held her in my arms, looked at her and thought she is not fine. I put her on her lovely fleecy blanket on her changing unit. I tapped the end of her feet. I called her name, she didn’t open her eyes. I knew there was …

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Saying goodbye to your pet

Anyone who has owned a pet, be it a cat, dog, rabbit or something a bit exotic, has no doubt felt sadness when the animal has died or been euthanised by the vet. Sudden death, such as a road traffic accident or death due to a long illness are equally hard. The decision to euthanise a pet is one of the hardest decisions an owner will ever have to make on behalf of a loved pet. As a vet nurse, I have dealt with this many, many times and have shed countless tears with my clients over the death of a furry member of the family. It never gets any easier but, as long as the animal is let go with love and dignity, it’s the most loving thing we can do for an ill or old pet. Animals have the same emotions as we do and pain and suffering is a reality in their lives when illness or old …

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