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Celtic connections on Ennis streets

AN exciting mix of street entertainment, including circus and comedy, dance and theatre, will underpin the 10th annual Ennis Street Festival on the first weekend of July. During the three-day festival, Ennis will come alive with fun, art, culture, heritage and festivities featuring local, national and international acts and performances. There will also be a variety of workshops for children and adults, in association with Glór. At night there will be the Ennis Sounds Good music event, with 36 gigs in 15 different venues around the town. The theme of this year’s festival is Celtic Connections. “The Celtic tradition has always had a direct influence on the Ennis Street Festival. Over the last 10 years, we have created connections with a variety of local community groups, national and international artists, who celebrate a Celtic tribal influence. As a result, this year we are celebrating this harmonious co-existence and the beginning of a transition to times of rejuvenated success,” a spokesperson explained.

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Simon: Lack of services a hinderance

SINCE establishing a base in Kilrush earlier this year, Mid West Simon has come across what it describes as serious addiction issues, social problems and housing concerns in the town. Tracey Reddy, accommodation team leader with Mid West Simon, which covers Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary, said a lack of services in the town is a hindrance to people looking for help. Highlighting the organisation’s three-day 72km Simon’s Way fundraising trek across Clare on the weekend of September 25 to 27, Tracey noted the fundraising sleep-out held in Kilrush GAA field last year was very well supported by people in the town. In her role, Tracey tries to help people to cope if they are rendered homeless or are under threat of losing a place in which to live. “My job is to oversee the accommodation of Mid West Simon services. It is everything from supporting people who are living in our units, to meeting people who find themselves either …

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Ronan putts among the world’s elite

UP-and-coming Ennis golfer Ronan Herbert took a big step forward in his promising golf career when he earned the right to play in the US Kids Golf European Championship, which was decided over a number of historic links in Scotland recently. The nine-year-old did not feature among the winners but was proud to represent his country and Ennis Golf Club and tee off with the world’s best young golfers, aged five to 18. More than 550 of them from 35 nations competed in what is Europe’s premier junior golf tournament. Ronan won his way to Scotland through winning the Irish final of the US Kids event in Portmarnock on April 10 last. On that occasion he shot a level-par round and over the Gullane links in Scotland’s East Lothian, he turned in respectable scores in very difficult weather conditions. Ronan,who plays off a handicap of 16, is a son of Leo and Jana Herbert and a pupil of Scoil Críost …

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Kinvara breeder enjoys success at Balmoral

KINVARA beef shorthorn breeder, Tom Staunton, enjoyed tremendous success at the recent Balmoral Show in Northern Ireland. With his team of three animals he took the Beef Shorthorn Reserve Champion with his eye catching Carmba Rothes Hottie. It wasn’t Hottie’s debut, as she was awarded the All-Ireland Beef Shorthorn Heifer calf in Strokestown, CountyRoscommon last September. Tom’s bull, Bushypark Ultra took second prize in the senior bull class and his maiden heifer, Graigue Hilltop took second prize in her class also, at Balmoral. Tom was commended for the huge effort he puts into exhibiting his beef shorthorn cattle and putting Irish beef shorthorn genetics on the international stage.

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Holy Island in public ownership

Clare County Council has announced a comprehensive plan relating to the future tourism development and visitor management of Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) on Lough Derg. At a ceremony in Mountshannon today, the Local Authority confirmed it has acquired 41 acres on the island which, together with the two acres already in the ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW), now means that the entire island is in public ownership. The Council also announced its intention to procure professional experts to prepare a Visitor Management and Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island which will provide a framework, in consultation with key stakeholders, for tourism development and visitor management of the Island, whilst also ensuring the cultural heritage and natural assets that contribute to the Island’s uniqueness are maintained and protected. Still used as a burial ground, the ruins and buildings still standing on Holy Island date back as far as the 7th century when the monastic site was established by …

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Say it with flowers in Ennis

ENNIS will stage a prestigious event this month when the town hosts the Association of Irish Floral Artists National Flower Festival (AOIFA). It is expected that 4,000 people will come to Ennis during the festival. The epicentre of the weekend festival will be at Ennis Catherdral and St Columba’s Church of Ireland. All funds raised from the event will be donated to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association. AOIFA comprises 90 clubs nationwide and has approximately 6,000 members. Every two years, members nominate a charity to lend their valuable support to. The organisation has been running for 40 years and this is the first time that the national executive has been based in Ennis. The formal festival opening ceremony will be held on Friday, June 19 at Ennis Cathedral at 8pm, with RTÉ GAA commentator and Mullagh man Marty Morrissey hosting the opening night. More than 100 floral exhibits will be on view the following day from 11.30am to 6pm …

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Council issues asbestos removal method statement

THE ongoing saga over the start of phase two of the asbestos pipe removal in Kilkee took a further twist on Wednesday, when Kilkee resident PJ Linnane told The Clare Champion that Clare County Council had agreed to give residents the contractors method statement relating to how contractors proposed to remove the asbestos pipes. Last week, the council had explained it could not present a copy of the method statement to residents due to commercial concerns. Mr Linnane maintains that phase two is due to start on Monday next, having been postponed from last Monday. “Clare County Council have finally agreed to give us the method statement risk assessment on phase two of the asbestos removal. As it is now the 11th hour and phase two is starting on Monday, June 14, we haven’t yet received the documents,” Mr Linanne said. In a statement last week, Clare County Council said a medical report received by the local authority and made …

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Clare IFA chairman recalls farm injury

THE impact of an accident, even a minor one, can have long-term repercussions for a farmer. One Clare man recalls how he had an accident with livestock that left him needing surgery but he couldn’t have the necessary operation until later in the year when work on the farm eased off. Andrew Dundas is a mixed farmer from Ardnacrusha. He is also Clare’s IFA chairman and looking back on an accident he had two years ago, even now he is not sure he could have prevented it. “With the best care in the world, something can happen. Whatever about taking chances, you can often get caught when you are using the best care in the world,” he says. Andrew understands better than most that, on farms, the dangers are everywhere. Figures show that from 2004 to 2013, tractors accounted for more than one fifth of all farm accidents, with 14% of accidents down to machinery. Drowning, or slurry gas, accounted …

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