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Cunningham believes in players’ talent

A little over 12 months ago, there were doubts as to whether or not Anthony Cunningham would be given another term in charge of the Galway senior hurlers. They had been knocked out of the All-Ireland race and some supporters were impatient but the St Thomas’ clubman, who had just completed three years in charge, clearly believed in the players. “You always want to stay with a team you believe in and I believed that these guys have talent. We have worked hard in the last three to four years in bringing the standards up. Kilkenny have led that. The work that goes into inter-county teams now and what they do on their own is massive and I am delighted to have had the chance of working with this group,” he said. Looking ahead to Sunday’s date with Kilkenny, he confirmed that the Tribesmen have no injury worries. “We came out of the game the last day [Tipperary] really well. …

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Contesting both finals great for Galway

Gort’s John Commins is one of a relatively small band of Galway hurlers to win All-Ireland minor, U-21 and senior hurling championship medals. He can readily appreciate what it means to be contesting both finals on Sunday. He told The Clare Champion, “It’s great for Galway hurling to be in the minor and senior finals this year. I am delighted to be involved with the minors. From the senior perspective, it’s great to be back in the final after 2012 and I am looking forward to both games”. In addition to his medals with Galway, Commins won a county title with Gort in 1983. He went on to add a Connacht medal, while he is the holder of two Railway Cup medals with Connacht. He was drafted into the Galway minor team in the early 1980s and won an All-Ireland medal in 1983. He was called up to the U-21 squad and won All-Ireland honours with them in 1986, after …

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Champion focus on All-Ireland final

As All-Ireland hurling final day fast approaches, this week’s  Clare Champion (out September 3) provides comprehensive coverage of the build-up. Galway face the formidable Kilkenny in the senior decider, while their minors, after beating Kilkenny in a replay, take on Tipperary for the Croke Park spectacle. After many disappointments, the Tribesman believe 2015 is their year to bring both the Liam MacCarthy Cup and the Irish Press Cup across the Shannon. There’s great excitement in Galway, following their single point win over Tipperary in a pulsating All-Ireland semi-final clash a couple of weeks ago. Several members of the team are from clubs in the South Galway area and they have many links with clubs, families and friends in neighbouring Clare. The Clare Champion has interviews with players, former players and club officers, as a well as an overview on  Sunday’s Croke Park showdown, and the underlying air is that of confidence, but with the caveat that nothing short of a …

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Lighthouse shines as a tourist attraction

Loop Head lighthouse has consolidated its position as one of West Clare’s best tourist attractions. Figures for the period April 3 to August 31 show that 23,000 people visited the lighthouse, a 13% increase on the entire figure for 2014. This is the historic landmark’s fifth year of operation. 47.5% of the total visitor figure up to Sunday, August 30, is represented by Irish visitors, with Germany, North America, UK, France and Italy collectively accounting for 42.2% of the overall figure. Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until October 4. For the first time ,meanwhile, the attraction will be opened to the public during weekends in October. Councillor James Breen, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said, “The 19th century West Clare landmark is certainly benefiting from its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and as one …

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Broadford bricklayer dies in freak accident

Communities in South-East Clare are united in mourning following the death of a Broadford bricklayer in a tragic accident on Saturday afternoon. Bryan Whelan (29) and T J O’Herlihy from Castleisland were killed, when the cage-like structure they were working in plunged under water near Thomond Bridge in Limerick City. The men were working on repointing the stonework on the bridge in a cage, which was suspended from the bridge with a cable that snapped. They were connected to the cage via a harness and were unable to free themselves. All three were wearning lifejackets. A third man, Paul Murphy (36) from Askeaton, managed to free himself and survived, raising the alarm in the process.While Mr Murphy managed to free himself, it is reported the other two were under the water for up to ten minutes. It is understood that the cage came within a few feet of the surface of the water but the two men couldn’t be freed in time, …

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Tulla ladies soccer a big hit

Tulla United has championed ladies soccer in recent years but trainer Murdoch Gleeson noted it was his daughter, Tara, who set the wheels in motion for ladies soccer back in 2010 when she asked ‘why girls can’t play soccer?’ On Thursday last, Ireland played Scotland in an historic U-19 women’s international friendly in Tulla. The impressive Cragg grounds looked immaculate as the sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw, seven years after the FAI promised the club an underage international match. Speaking to The Clare Champion about his daughter’s eagerness to play soccer, Murdoch said Tara had a strong desire to play for her home club. “I had an U-16 boys team at the time and my daughter Tara asked me one day ‘how come girls can’t play soccer?’ “She’s 17 now so, at the time, she would have been about 11. She would have been playing with her older brother and younger brother basically kicking a ball around.” Murdoch …

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Remembering the skiffe and showband era

LOOKING at an old photograph from the 1950s and reminiscing about the skiffle group that he formed with his three childhood friends, Tony Mulvey’s eyes sparkle as he recalls the memories. Tony says the photograph of the group, called the Drifters, was taken by his late brother, Frankie, a priest based in Cardiff since 1959, who died in August last year. “The picture was taken in the laneway between myself and Tom Quinn’s house at Clonroad, Ennis in 1957, I’d say,” he says. “Skiffle was in vogue at the time and there were a few skiffle groups in Ennis.” Tony says a skiffle group had a steel washboard that was used for the rhythm section and a tea-chest that was converted into a bass. “There were a number of skiffle groups in Ennis there at that time around the ’57, ’58 period and there were a lot of skiffle competitions going on,” Tony recalls. “It was kind of the start …

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Getting lost in the music at Moyasta

MAIRÉAD Considine can’t help but admit to clear pride at the fact that Moyasta will host up to 70 traditional music musicians this weekend for the 13th Crotty Galvin Festival. Her native townland, Shragh, is just a couple of miles away and it was while at primary school there that her love of music was honed. Mairéad attributes this to Yvonne Griffin, who taught her at Shragh National School. “She is definitely responsible for me playing and she is probably responsible for my career path as well. She was such an influence and so passionate. She used to teach me at break time,” Mairéad, who teaches at Ennistymon National School, recalled. This weekend’s festival commemorates the seismic contribution made to traditional music by the Crotty brothers and Nell Galvin. “Growing up, Peadar would have been one of the musicians you would have wanted to play beside. I would also have known of his younger brother, PJ. When you’re young, you …

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