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Regional

Clare Rose hopes to blossom

Clare Rose Ava O’Mahony will hope to blossom this weekend, when she takes to the stage with 55 other hopefuls from all over the world, looking to securing her place at The Dome for the Rose of Tralee International Festival in August. The 25-year-old Ennis woman, a finance graduate of University of Limerick, will be hoping to clinch one of the 23 places up for grabs in the three consecutive selection nights, hosted by RTÉ presenter Dáithí Ó Sé in The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, starting this Friday. Ava impressed the judges last month at a county final, hosted by TV3 weatherman Deric Ó hArtagáin. The regional festival highlights will include the official opening in the Civic Plaza on Friday night, the vintage car parade of Roses and their Rose Buds followed by a street party on Saturday and the annual visit to Abbeyleix and Castle Durrow on Sunday. Roses representing 28 counties in Ireland, 13 regions in the United States, Scotland …

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Bridget is right on trend

ENNIS hair stylist Bridget Haren proved that she’s a cut above the rest by coming home from the World Hairdressing Championships in Malaysia with the gold medal in the ‘progressive cut and colour’ section of the competition. But there was no resting on her laurels for the owner of Altamoda Hair on Woodquay in Ennis. When she returned from Kuala Lumpur, it was straight back to work. “I arrived back in Ireland on Tuesday night and I worked 12 hours on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” Bridget said. Her world championship-winning progressive cut and colour was fashioned on a mannequin and following days of preparation, she had 30 minutes to complete the cut. “I rehearsed what I was going to do in five easy steps for myself, so when I went on to the floor, I just had to keep my head and make sure that I didn’t make any mistakes. It was only 30 minutes but it was fierce …

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EDEN Award for Burren Food Trail

The Burren Food Trail has been selected as the Irish winner of this year’s European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) award. The prestigious EU-wide competition is designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development and The Burren Food Trail was one of four destinations shortlisted earlier this month. The Trail now joins other Irish destinations such as Loop Head, Mulranny and Cavan Town in demonstrating best practice in various aspects of sustainable destination development. Launched by the Burren Ecotourism Network and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and as the Mid West’s first food trail in 2013, the Burren Food Trail is supported by an innovative schedule of food events taking place every Monday from May to October. The events showcase the region’s cuisine and provide a unique food experience in the amazing landscape that is the Burren. Members of the Food Trail place an emphasis on the use of local ingredients and are committed to …

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Celebrating Africa Day in Ennis

AS MANY as 40 African countries are represented in Ennis, according to the town mayor. Councillor Johnny Flynn was attending the Africa Day Celebrations in Ennis last week and welcomed the contribution made by all the people of the African communities in the town and throughout Clare. Africa Day marked 52 years of the African Union and African Independence and provided an opportunity for all Africans – including those who have made Ireland their home – and non-Africans to celebrate Africa, its people and their potential at a time of both great turmoil and opportunity for the continent. The day was marked on Wednesday afternoon last at the Civic Building in Drumbiggle, with food, music, poetry and the planting of an oak tree in the grounds at Waterpark. The community event shared some aspects of the rich heritage of a number of African countries and created an opportunity for everyone to enjoy some time together on a special occasion. “There …

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Darren’s delight at yes outcome

ENNIS man Darren McMahon, who canvassed for a yes vote in his home town and in Galway where he now lives, was delighted that his native county supported his search for equality. A total of 58.3% of the Clare electorate voted yes in the Marriage Equality Referendum. While Darren did have some rough experiences while canvassing, he found that many people in this county were supportive. “A yes vote won’t harm anyone but a no vote could have destroyed people,” he reflected when speaking to The Clare Champion. “I was incredibly proud of the result in Clare. It was one of the highest yes votes outside of the big cities,” he pointed out. A bit nervous in the days leading up to last Friday’s vote, Darren was one of many people tallying at Ennis Courthouse early on Saturday morning. “The first box that I tallied, I counted seven no votes in-a-row. I was saying I had misjudged this one and …

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Very positive CSO tourism data

Central Statistics Office (CSO) latest tourism data shows that the number of overseas visits to Ireland between February and April 2015 increased by 13.5% compared to the corresponding period last year. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State, Michael Ring, have said the continued strong growth in tourism is contributing to our economic recovery and the creation of jobs across the sector. Minister Donohoe said, “As we enter the peak months for tourism, it is very encouraging that the growth trend witnessed in recent years is continuing in 2015 with a very strong performance for the first four months of the year. Thankfully the growth is not confined to any particular market with good growth being displayed by all of our key target overseas markets. Our overseas marketing efforts will continue in the months ahead to ensure the momentum is maintained, that jobs continue to be created and that tourism continues to pay its part …

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Disruption to Tulla water supply

Clare County Council, as an agent of Irish Water, are currently carrying out works to repair a burst main in the Tulla area. The burst main may result in temporary disruption to the water supply in Tulla, O’Callaghan’s Mills and surrounding areas.  Group Water Schemes in the area are also affected. Clare County Council says it expects to complete the works by 10am tomorrow, Thursday

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Irish Water accused of ‘double standards’

Irish Water has been accused of engaging in “double standards” by meeting county councillors in private about some issues, while offering to make a presentation about the controversial Lough Derg abstraction project at their July meeting. The charge has been levelled by Councillor Pat Hayes, who has opted to boycott Irish Water’s regular meetings with his colleagues in the Killaloe Muncipal District Area, concerning billing and maintenance issues. Councillor Hayes took the stance after the national water authority refused to send one of its representatives to a full council meeting where issues could be debated in public and reported on by local media. The Fianna Fáil councillor believes IW is engaging in “double standards” by offering to send representatives to the full council meeting because of its desire to press ahead with the contentious water abstraction from Lough Derg. He said local councillors are strongly opposed to IW’s plans to take water from Lough Derg to boost Dublin’s water supplies. …

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