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Regional

Holy Family School 50 years on

It is 50 years to the day (Wednesday, January 7) that the Sisters of Mercy walked all their pupils from the old school at Temple Gate in Ennis to their new convent school, the Holy Family School on Station Road. To mark this occasion, all children and staff of Holy Family junior and senior schools retraced the steps of this walk this morning (Wednesday). They gathered at the Temple Gate Plaza to make the proud march up O’Connell Street. Heavy rain did not deter the pupils, teachers and parents from publicly marking this important milestone, which  greatly improved the standard of educational facilities in Ennis. The Holy Family School is also an iconic building in Ennis town.

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Planning decision to impact on Ennis pub’s future?

THE future viability of an Ennis pub/restaurant that employs 40 staff is uncertain, following a decision by An Bord Pleanála to refuse the retention and alteration of an outdoor smoking room with a retractable roof. Derek Gleeson, the owner of Yolo – You Only Live Once – at 40 Abbey Street, Ennis, in response to an enforcement order in March to remove the structure, had applied to Clare County Council to retain and alter the outdoor smoking room at the pub/restaurant with a traditional shop front at the smoking area, in keeping with the other traditional shop front on the premises. The council refused the development in July and this decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. The corner building is a protected structure, dating from the 18th century, and is part of a terrace of listed buildings on Abbey Street, in what is an Architectural Conservation Area. According to the submission made on behalf of Mr Gleeson, “This bar/restaurant …

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Afrikaan community prays for Kildysart tragedy victims

A MEMORIAL service was held in the midlands last weekend  in memory of Cornelius and Angelique Billing, their children and extended family at Tullamore Presbyterian Church. The service was celebrated by South African Reverend Rasmus (Rassie) Erasmus following a request by Angelique’s (Angie) mother in South Africa and requests by the Irish South African community, following the Kildysart tragedy in which Cornelius and Angelique died. It was decided to hold the service at a central location to facilitate those who wished to travel to the memorial, which was celebrated in both Afrikaans and English. The service involved hymns, readings, prayers and a reflection on the bible. The 23rd Psalm, The Lord is my Shepherd, was the chosen reading for the memorial. Reverend Erasmus said, “The lives of Neels and Angie, although tragic, came as a real shock to us. We don’t want this to happen ever again that two people among us can have such a tough time. I speak …

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Blogging about life and other stories

A SHANNON woman is stirring up quite the online following and is now a finalist in the UK Blog Awards. Claire McCarthy’s blog, www.clarewiththehair.com, is a finalist in the lifestyle and food and drink categories. “It’s kind of like an online magazine, the kind of thing that I would like to pick up and read. There’s a bit of fashion, a bit of beauty, a bit of celebrity gossip but the majority of the focus is around food and cooking easy, family-friendly meals.” Claire lives in Ballycasey and works in the marketing department of an IT services company. She started www.clarewiththehair.com at the start of September and says she had long been interested in blogging. “I always loved blogs and reading other people’s blogs. But I would have thought that blogging would have been a million miles away from me, I’d have thought other people do blogging, I don’t do blogging. But there were loads of blogs I was following …

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A Christmas tale of level spending

WHILE pre-Christmas and festive trading was certainly no worse than in previous years, there hasn’t been much evidence of increased spending in the Banner County, according to retailers. This week, Pat Kelly, manager of SkyCourt shopping centre in Shannon, said trading was quite similar to 12 months previously. “It was on a par with previous years, not better, but on a par with previous years. There was a lot of talk about the uplift but I thought we’d see more of it.” He said that Dealz, which sells goods at discount prices, had a very good Christmas but that most of the businesses at SkyCourt “generally found it was similar to last year, not the uplift we had probably expected”. Patrick Bourke, who has men’s clothes shops in Ennis and Kilrush, said there had been an improvement, albeit not a dramatic one. “We were busy, I have to say. We’d be up on last year, not hugely up. There were …

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Rent waiver proposal for filling vacant premises

ENNIS councillors have backed a motion calling on Clare County Council to introduce a rent waiver scheme that would give traders who set up business, in premises that are vacant for more than two years, a 75% rate cut in year one, a 50% rate cut in year two and a 25% rate cut in year three. Councillor Tom McNamara called for a three-year commitment by the council on rates and for the council to put pressure on landlords to “do something to get the town back in action”. He said such schemes had been successful elsewhere and asked his fellow local councillors to push it strongly at council level. Councillor Pat Daly supported the proposal and said it would be better to see some money being collected and would help to sustain new developing retail units. Councillor Mary Howard said she agreed with the spirit of the motion and called on landlords to look at their rents for new …

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Clare Cascaders move to Inagh

CLARE Cascaders Basketball Club has established   Inagh Community Centre as its headquarters for the season ahead. Since the club moved there in September, the membership is growing every week. A very important factor in the club’s decision to re-locate to Inagh was the fact that the centre is equipped with state-of-the-art adjustable basketball boards to suit all age categories. The club caters for boys and girls from U-10s right up to senior ladies and the Ennistymon senior men work out there on Thursday nights. “We needed a new home for basketball and it was great that the centre was finished on time with facilities second to none. The committee has been very supportive and welcoming to the club, its members and volunteers. Consequently, basketball is now flourishing in a new location with everyone looking forward to the new year,” according to a statement from the club. The club has plans to run more coaching clinics in the coming weeks and a basketball …

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A gala occasion for Cratloe GAA

By Seamus Hayes The most successful year in the history of Cratloe GAA was celebrated by a sell out attendance at the Ryan Suite in the Radisson Blu hotel on Friday night. Tickets for the victory social were sold out two weeks ago as members and supporters of the club all wanted to be in attendance to celebrate the Clare senior football (Jack Daly cup) and hurling (Canon Hamilton trophy) championship titles as well as their  inaugural success in the Clare Champion cup (senior hurling league), the winning of the division 3 senior football league and the junior B football championship titles.   All star award winner Sean McMahon from St. Josephs, Clare’s All-Ireland winning centre back in 1995 and 1997, was in attendance to present the medals to all involved. He joined with Munster Council chairman Robert Frost and Clare GAA chairman Michael McDonagh in congratulating all involved on their achievements during 2014. Cratloe parish priest Fr. Liam Enright who is the …

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