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US politicians visit Cliffs

US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley; Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, James Breen and John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives at the Cliffs of Moher. A delegation from the US House of Representatives visited the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience on July 4, US Independence Day. The delegation was led by John Boehner, Speaker of the House and was welcomed to the Cliffs by Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen. As Speaker of the House, Boehner follows the Vice President in line to the Presidency of the United States in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act. The visiting party included Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). They were accompanied by the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley.

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Assault on pregnant woman

AN Ennis man who assaulted his heavily-pregnant partner received a prison sentence at Ennis District Court on Wednesday. The defendant admitted the offence, which occurred on June 27 of last year in Inagh. At the time, the woman was around 28 weeks pregnant. She was brought to the Maternity Hospital for a check-up but the baby was unharmed. The relationship subsequently ended. A three-month sentence was imposed, while a separate drugs-related charge was taken into consideration.

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Willie Clancy boost for Miltown

MILTOWN Malbay business person Maureen Kilduff has said that commerce in the town is hugely dependent upon the annual Willie Clancy Summer School, which begins today (Saturday) and runs until Sunday, July 12. “Most people would say that 20 to 30% of the year’s turnover in the service businesses are done in the 10 days of the Willie Clancy festival,” Maureen stated. “What makes a good year is the number of students booked in. Each student brings a parent or a friend with them. There isn’t a bed to be found from Lahinch to Quilty on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night of next week,” she revealed. Another boost in terms of visitor numbers is the fact that many primary-school teachers are availing of the Department of Education and Skills approved courses at the summer school. Meanwhile, four visual artists, Lorraine Callanan, Mary Moran, Bairbre Geraghty and Edel Hogan are set to launch an a project called CeA/R/T in Miltown …

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Tributes to murdered bus inspector

Clare bus drivers were “shocked” by the indiscriminate murder of Athlone-based bus inspector, Laurence Hayes and his wife, Martina, according to a local councillor. Laurence and Martina, who were in their 50s, were on holiday in the resort of Sousse in Tusinia last week, when they were among the 38 victims killed by terrorist, Seifeddine Rezgui. Meath woman, Lorna Carty was also killed in the attack. Martina came from a large, well-respected farming family in Kiltoom, County Roscommon, not far from Athlone. The couple, who are survived by daughter, Sinead,  lived in West Lodge, an estate on the western side of the Shannon in Athlone. A Bus Éireann employee, Councillor Tony O’Brien, who knew Mr Hayes personally, said it was “incomprehensible” what had happened to the couple. He said the couple had packed their bags and were waiting for a bus to go home, when they were brutally murdered. Describing Mr Hayes as a “very witty, chatty and friendly” colleague, who loved life, Councillor …

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Ennis a hub of activity

FOOTBALL and hurling fans going to the All-Ireland qualifiers double-header in Cusack Park on Saturday evening will get a flavour of the annual Ennis Street Festival, while crowning a great weekend in the town will be the Clare County Show in the Showgrounds on Sunday. There will be a number of road closures on Saturday as Superintendent Brendan McDonagh explained. “We would ask people to avoid the town centre if they’re going by car, as the streets will be closed from Saturday lunchtime until 6pm. “We would ask people who are going to the matches to arrive early and to watch where they’re parking, not to block entries or park near roundabouts.” The streets will become a hub for children and adults to explore their artistic side and experience many different events over the weekend, with children’s workshops, poetry, theatre, visual arts, comedy, art exhibitions, street entertainment, music and dance. Thousands are also expected to attend the Clare County Show, …

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Gardaí investigate ‘suspicious’ house fire

A GARDA investigation is continuing into the cause of what has been described as a “suspicious” fire in an Ennis housing estate. One house completely destroyed and another very badly damaged at Dún Na hInse, off the Lahinch Road, in the early hours of Saturday morning. The alarm was raised by residents of the estate and when three units of the fire service and a garda patrol rushed to the scene they found the end house of the vacant three house terrace was ablaze and its roof had fallen in. The roof of the adjoining house had also caught fire and caved in but the fire crews managed to bring the blaze under control and prevent it from spreading to the third house. Once the fires had been extinguished, gardaí sealed off the scene pending completion of a technical examination. The remains of the house that had sustained the worst damage was also cordoned off and engineers are expected to …

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A night of nostalgia for St Michael’s residents

Clare Roots Society is to extend its work in publishing and recording the history of the county, after completing its programme in Ennis. Its latest publication, St Michael’s Villas (Ennis) A History and Miscellany, was launched by Mayor of Ennis Johnny Flynn at the Temple Gate Hotel last week. It was a night of nostalgia and storytelling and a great reunion of past and present residents of the estate, which was opened in 1953. It was also a night to recall the names of deceased residents, who were remembered at a special ‘Celebrating Our Story and Remembering Our Dead’ mass in Ennis Cathedral earlier in the evening, celebrated by Fr Tom Ryan, Shannon, a son of St Michael’s. All the speakers at the launch congratauled St Michael’s Villas native Cora McNulty (the former Cora Hahessy), who documented the publication, which captures the history of a strong and vibrant community as well listing the wonderful achievements by many of its residents. Among …

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From ‘Champion to bestsellers list

CLARE-born journalist, Ann O’Loughlin has seen her debut novel, The Ballroom Café, go to number four on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list, even before its official launch in the UK and Ireland last Thursday. The Ballroom Café is set at the height of the recession in Ireland in a crumbling mansion, where two elderly sisters, Ella and Roberta O’Callaghan, live alone with their secrets, memories and mutual hatred. Long estranged by a dark family tragedy, they communicate only by terse notes. But when the sisters are threatened with bankruptcy, Ella defies Roberta’s wishes and takes matters into her own hands, converting the mansion’s old ballroom into a café. Much to Roberta’s displeasure, the café is a hit and the sisters are reluctantly drawn back into village life. But Ella finds herself reliving painful memories, when Debbie, an American woman searching for her birth mother, begins working at the café. The sisters find themselves caught up in an adoption scandal that …

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