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Stars come out in force for Burren party

A FORMER NASA scientist will be among those keeping a close eye on the skies over north Clare this weekend. Over the years, Ireland’s premier astronomy gathering has been the Whirlpool Star Party, which was usually held in Offaly, but this year the venue will be Clare and it has been renamed the Burren Starparty.The event is organised by the Shannonside Astronomy Club, in conjunction with Shannon Development, and takes place this Saturday. It is set to be a one-day and one night astronomy extravaganza.There will be public astronomical lectures, a telescope workshop and a night sky presentation in preparation for an evening observation session. The Burren is extremely suitable for this, as it has so little light pollution, ensuring some of the darkest skies in Europe.The location for the event will be the Burren Coast Hotel in Ballyvaughan and it will be split into two sections; morning/afternoon and evening/night time. Weather permitting, night-time viewing will be based at the …

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Two north Clare food producers win top awards

TWO north Clare food firms scooped prestigious national awards this week. The Burren Smokehouse and Visitor Centre in Lisdoonvarna won the best producer accolade at the Good Food Ireland Awards, while Inagh Farmhouse Cheese won the Best Export Organic Product 2009 title at the National Organic Awards.

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€22,678 raised from kidney support group walk

A TOTAL of €22,678 was raised from the 10th annual kidney support group charity walk in West Clare last May. The money was presented to the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) at a function in Tubridy’s, Cooraclare, last Saturday night.

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Flagmount pupils take to the water

IT was plain sailing at Lough Graney last Friday as Flagmount National School pupils took to the water on a boat made out of scrap wood and milk cartons. The vessel, which is entirely handmade out of recycled material, hoisted the Clare flag and set out on its maiden voyage on Lough Graney with 24 pupils aboard.The project was set into motion arising from the green transport schools’ programme and while the school had encouraged its pupils to cycle or walk to school, it was suggested by a local couple that the children could get involved in building their own mode of environmental transport.School principal, Pat McNamara outlined that Flagmount National School had been a hive of activity at the end of last term and the pupils were now being given an opportunity to see their hard work come to fruition.Nearly all of the pupils at the school were involved in helping with the assembly and collecting the recycled materials, …

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Television transmitter to be replaced

FIFTY years ago, the concept of a box that could transmit pictures straight into your living room would have awed the average person in East Clare but in 1959, plans were underway to erect one of the country’s first television transmitters at Maghera, Feakle.

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GAA oral history project kicks off at Scariff school

PUPILS at Scariff Community College took on the roles of historians last Friday as they began their GAA Oral History Project by interviewing their teacher and All-Ireland hurling U-21 medal holder, Colin Ryan.The national project, which forms part of the 125th anniversary of the GAA, aims to record the rich, diverse and complex history of the GAA through the words of local people.It involves the chosen interviewee filling out a questionnaire and an audio recording of the interview with the person is also made. The project is being run by the GAA and Boston College.Transition year pupils from Scariff Community College kick-started their project by recording Colin Ryan, a member of the successful U-21 Clare team. Currently teaching in the school, the pupils focused in on Colin’s big day at the All-Ireland final and also asked questions about preparation and his training regimes.As part of the project, pupils will be interviewing many people in the East Clare area about their …

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Lady Gregory lives on at Gathering

Dying aged 80 in 1932, Lady Augusta Gregory had greatly influenced Irish literature, theatre and nationalism. So indelible was her mark that for the past 15 years, she has been remembered annually at the Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering at Coole Park. More than just a congregation of academics, the gathering offers something for everyone, according to one of its organisers, Marion Cox, herself a Lady Gregory enthusiast.

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Courthouse development up in the air

A request from Kilkee Town Council last April for submissions to revamp Kilkee Courthouse met with what town clerk John Corry described as a “very basic” response and not what could be called a full submission. The future of the courthouse, which stores Kilkee’s town records but is not in use, was addressed at the September meeting of Kilkee Town Council.

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