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Regional

The Killaloe swim instruction who ‘couldn’t swim’

A KILLALOE resident has helped a local author to solve the mystery about the swimming instructor and one time town mayor “who couldn’t swim”. Henry Murdoch, who grew up in Ballina and Killaloe in the 1950s and ’60s, described the impact of great characters, such as Peter Lacy, in his recently published book Remembering Killaloe. Peter Lacy taught a huge number of children to swim, including Henry, at the Pier Head in Killaloe in the 1950s. Working as the local painter and decorator, Peter lived in Canal Bank Cottage, near the author’s dwelling in Aillebaun House. The extraordinary thing was that Peter was not able to swim himself. At least, that is what he told everyone and everyone believed him. But that did not prevent him “going for a swim”, which he did by diving in at the step at the Pier Head, twisting around while under water, to emerge back at the step without a stroke. Peter taught Henry …

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Cree company cleans up

Clean Ireland Recycling, a family-run waste management business based in Cree, has cleaned up on the awards front, winning the Kerbside Collection Service of the Year Award at the 2014 Repak Recycling Awards. Run by brothers, John and Michael O’Donoghue, Clean Ireland has a large kerbside customer base of 30,000 households and their waste management service covers Clare, Limerick, Kilkenny and South Tipperary. They have a six-bin collection system, which consists of residual bins, mixed dry recyclables, food waste, glass, grass and clothes. They accept an extended range of materials in the mixed dry recyclables bin, once they are clean and dry. The introduction of the multiple-compartment collection vehicles, which are the first of their kind in Europe, has meant that Clean Ireland only has to do fortnightly collections. This, in turn, minimises disruption to customers and lowers the carbon footprint, as well as collection costs. Their pay-per-weight charging method, which applies the Polluter Pays principle, has proved successful, as …

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End of Quin bridge bollards

LONG awaited works are to begin on Quin bridge next week, which will see the removal of temporary bollards providing pedestrian access on the bridge. The local bridge committee held a meeting at Quin Hall this week where it was revealed that Clare County Council is to begin works on agreed plans to provide pedestrian access on the bridge from Monday. The news comes on the back of nine months work by the local committee, under the chairmanship of Tony Demspey, who said they are pleased to see the project to progress to the construction stage. It is expected the work will take about four weeks to complete, weather-permitting. This will mean the project will be completed by Christmas. Local councillor Clare Colleran Molloy said, “Thankfully, the bollards will be removed next week and there will be a pathway paved and edged in Liscannor limestone, which will be put on the bridge”. The work, when complete, will see the bridge …

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Capturing moments of history

THE people of Clare are used to seeing the creative mind of photographer John Kelly jump out of them from the pages of The Clare Champion each week but for the next year, the public will also get an opportunity to view his photography in a new setting. An award-winning photographer, John has worked with The Clare Champion for almost 25 years, displaying his passion for photography and for capturing the unusual of everyday life. In recent weeks, John was invited by Glór in Ennis to exhibit a selection of his favourite photographs from his extensive collection at the café and lobby. Seven of his photographs are on display in the building and take over from an exhibition by Christy McNamara. Sponsored by The Clare Champion, they will showcase until September 2015. “Glór is always looking for ways to support our local artists, photographers, musicians and we see this as an ideal space or opportunity for photographers, in particular, to …

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House prices up, supply down

House prices in Ennis have begun to rise again after losing more than half their value over the past seven years and may be up by 20% this year. But the number of properties for sale are falling, as the supply of houses coming to the market contracts. “We’ve seen a significant change since the beginning of August. There was a change from March or April on but from August on – particularly in Ennis – quite a lot of housing supply was snapped up and the available stock has contracted significantly. Houses are selling but the supply is just not being replaced,” said Diarmuid McMahon of Sherry FitzGerald McMahon. “There are more people buying than selling and there’s no new supply. There has been nothing built in five or six years, and that’s starting to bite,” he said. Much of the impetus for rising prices comes from the rise in confidence in the economy this year; and also from …

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Parteen audiologist retains top award

Providing a new lease of life to a Dublin St John of God Sister has helped a top Parteen hearing aid specialist scoop the most coveted award in his field for the second successive year. Peter Ferguson, a long-time resident of Parteen, fought off stiff competition to secure the Irish Audiologist of the Year crown for the second year running. Mr Ferguson was nominated by his patient, Anne Casey, age 64, who described how he helped her participate fully in life, after an infection caused severe hearing loss. Anne’s hearing began to deteriorate when she was just 27, having contracted Rubella, which caused damage to the nerve endings in her ear. At the time, Anne had just embarked on a teaching career in Dublin and was left devastated when her hearing aid audiologist informed her that the infection had caused such severe hearing loss that hearing aids would be of no help. Anne decided to try hearing aids for herself …

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barra macmahon, na tonnta, gort community school

Gort students win Comortas Beo

A group of Gort students made waves in Kerry last week where they won a top Irish language music prize. Eight songs were selected for the final of the Comórtas Beo song-writing competition for young people held in Killarney on Thursday last. Sixteen year old Barra MacMahon from Kinvara composed the song and with classmates from his music class in Gort Community School performed it on stage in the final which coincided with Oireachtas na Gaeilge. The group’s song Bí Imithe proved a hit with judges winning the overall prize of €3,000. “My music teacher Yvonne Conroy told us about the competition. She had received an email about it. That was back in September,” Barra recalled. To enter people between 11 and 18 had to compose a song in Irish lasting less than five minutes, be prepared to perform it live at the finals, supply a video including the song and details of the writing process as well as recording …

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Clúid officially opens its doors

A 22-apartment complex in Pound Lane, Ennis, was officially opened this Thursday by Housing Minister, Paudie Coffey. The one and two-bedroomed apartments are owned and managed by Clúid Housing, one of the State’s largest housing associations. The apartments were originally built as a private development and, following consultation with Clare County Council, Clúid purchased the units for €970,000 in April this year, under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) scheme and invested a further €130,000 in refurbishing the complex. The first tenants, including returned emigrant Jim Houlihan, took up residence in September 2014. A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver, Jim Houlihan arrived back from London to his native Kilrush seven years ago, just as the Celtic Tiger era came to an abrupt end. “I was living and working in London for 30 years as a HGV driver and then as a bus driver for a year and I decided to come back to live and work in Ennis. But the …

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