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Kilkee, a winter experience

“Kilkee and all that lies about it offers only ordinary happiness, a most precious thing that any child can enjoy or any old man. But on the right day in West Clare, under the right light, that ordinary happiness takes on an immaculacy, an innocent radiance which lifts it near to what we mean by heavenly delight.” (Kate O’Brien) One searches in vain to aptly describe Kilkee in winter; the best I can come up with is ‘an experience with a difference’. The month of February usually spells the beginning of, or at least the onset of, spring. However, Sunday last, February 5, certainly defied that assumption. I awoke to the sound of John Bowman on radio followed by Sunday Miscellany, which has remained an enduring part of my Sunday morning line-up for almost 40 years now, together with that all-important, Sunday morning fry. When I woke, I had promised myself a walk over towards the Diamond Rocks prior to …

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Two late declarations in Clare election race

There have been two very late additions to the General Election line up in Clare. Candidates had until noon today (Thursday) to register their intention to run. Ahead of the deadline, Independent Dermot Mulqueen, an artist from Gort Road, Ennis and André Sibo Hakizimana, an economic policy consultant, also from Gort Road, Ennis, lodged their nomination papers. There are now 16 candidates in the field for the four-seater constituency.

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Pope prays for flood victims

Pope Francis has South Galway in his “prayerful concern”, according to a letter from the Apolostic Nuncio to a local General Election candidate. Independent candidate in the Galway East constituency, Councillor Michael Fahy, contacted Archbishop Charles J Brown about the hardship caused by flooding in South Galway throughout December and January. Last week, he received a letter from Archbishop Brown stating that he had personally assessed the “terrible flooding” in the area when he was there last month. “I have informed Pope Francis about the flooding and I can assure you of his prayerful concern for all the people who have suffered the effects of this very distressing situation,” the letter said. Councillor Fahy told The Clare Champion that he was very moved by the contents of the letter. “I might as well be honest, it made me that little bit emotional to see that the Pope has recognised the conditions that people were going through. Please God, God will …

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Turnpike memorabilia sought for new book

A FINAL appeal for memories of the Turnpike has been made by Flan Hehir from McNamara Park, who has been working in recent months on compiling a new book exploring the history of the area. Flan’s new publication will explore the history of the old and new Turnpike area. The book is being produced in conjunction with Clare Roots Society. Last year, the partnership, in conjunction with the residents of McNamara Park, produced a booklet to mark the 50th anniversary of the first replacement houses to the Old Turnpike. Flan has been carrying out research over the last 18 months, travelling the town and country, collecting memories and photographs of the houses and tales of former residents. While his extensive research has uncovered many interesting stories, he is urging anyone with any information they feel could be useful in the book to contact him. “The current appeal is for contributions of photographs, documents, invoices and memorabilia of all kinds associated …

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Shannon support for single fathers

SHANNON Family Resource Centre (SFRC) is hosting a new support group for fathers who are living apart from their children. A spokesperson for SFRC said, “It’s just two weeks old, it’s very new. It came from the community, a request was made here. A couple of fathers were talking to each other, looking for a space where they could share information and offer support to each other. That’s how the idea came about – local lads met and they are still meeting.” Speaking about the issues that are being dealt with in the group, the spokesperson explained, “Basically, the fathers are not with the mothers of the children and it’s been about custody and things like that. It’s really a group for dads, who feel they don’t have a voice particularly around shared care.” As time goes by, the group will go in the direction that those involved want it to. “It has to be what they want in a …

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General Election count in Ennistymon

The unavailability of a suitable venue in Ennis has paved the way for a General Election count to take place in North Clare for the first time. A large function room and dining facilities are a prerequisite for an election count nowadays and the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon qualifies on both counts. With the Government giving the minimum required notice for polling day, county registrar Pat Wallace found that the West County Hotel, the traditional venue for major election counts, was already booked for Saturday, February 27. He said the move away from Ennis was unavoidable. The election count will bring a welcome boost for the Falls Hotel and other businesses.

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Pateen Weir water levels continue to drop

The flow of water through Parteen Weir will reduce further to 195 cubic metres per second toda (Friday). This level of water flow will continue to have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick. Other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick may also be vulnerable to flooding due to local issues. ESB is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant local authorities.

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Fears for estuary dolphins’ health

ALTHOUGH a report published by the Zoological Society in London has found that the effect of pollution on bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon Estuary is the lowest in Europe, Dr Simon Berrow of the Kilrush-based Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has expressed alarm at the level of pollution in the estuary. Levels are above the toxic threshold thought to impact on bottlenose dolphins’ health and reproduction. Information collected by the IWDG in Irish waters fed into the research led by Dr Paul Jepson of the Zoological Society. Dr Berrow, project manager with the IWDG and lecturer in applied freshwater and marine biology at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, was one of the co-authors in the study. “We provided samples from bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon Estuary for the study and, although concentrations in the Shannon dolphins were the lowest in Europe, the levels were still well above the toxicity threshold, which leads to serious impacts,” Dr Berrow said, adding that …

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