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South Clare

Getting US tourists to ‘jump into Ireland’

Tourism Ireland, together with a delegation of 20 tourism enterprises, including Killaloe-based Secret Ireland Escapes, is undertaking a three-city trade and media blitz in the United States this week. The last of the 2014 Jump into Ireland (JITI) events is taking in the key cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. The Jump into Ireland schedule includes a B2B event in each city, showcasing the island of Ireland via a special travel TV show format to the influential American travel professionals in attendance. The events also include an opportunity for networking with influential travel and lifestyle media. Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, said, “The United States is one of the most important markets for tourism to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland has undertaken a busy programme of promotions throughout 2014, to grow American visitor numbers. Our Jump into Ireland sales blitz to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle this week provides an excellent platform …

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Works to extend Killaloe walkway

Clare County Council has commenced work on developing a walkway along the shore of Lough Derg from Killaloe to Ballycuggeran and Two Mile Gate. The existing 0.5km walkway runs from the centre of Killaloe to Brian Ború’s Fort (Beal Ború). Work on the 1.8km extension to the walkway is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The €100,000 project is funded under a €2 million stimulus package recently announced by the Government for the development of tourism in the Lakelands Lough Derg Region. Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, has welcomed the project, adding that it is part of a “coordinated approach to enhancing the overall tourism infrastructure around Lough Derg.” He continued: “The new walkway, in conjunction with the development of new walking routes and the erection of new signage around the lake, is aimed at creating a greater sense of arrival and enhance the visitor experience in exploring the area. This work is being …

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Clare Museum acquires 1916 journal

A journal and autograph book that provides a unique insight into life and conditions at Frongoch prisoner of war camp, where an estimated 1,800 Irish participants of The Easter Rising were interned between June and December 1916, has been acquired at auction by Clare Museum. Belonging to IRA Volunteer and future Clare T.D. Patrick Brennan, from Meelick, the album features accounts of life in the North Wales camp, poetry in Irish and English, and coloured illustrations of the camp and its inhabitants. The journal is also autographed by many of the camp’s prisoners including Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, who would later become instrumental figures in the ensuing Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the Irish Free State. “Outside of the author’s historic connections with County Clare, this journal and autograph book is hugely important considering the upcoming centenary of the 1916 Rising and the significant influence of the Frongoch camp experience on the future leaders of the …

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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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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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Minister opens new €3.2m Clonlara housing scheme

A new €3.284 million social housing development in Clonlara was officially opened by Housing Minister Paudie Coffey on Thursday morning. Clare County Council’s newest social housing development at Glór na Srutha, Knockbrack Lower, Clonlara was unveiled by Minister Coffey in spite of heavy rain. The minister took the opportunity to examine the houses and was with their overall energy efficiency and compliance with national building regulations. The scheme, comprising two-bed and three-bed units based on a single storey and two-storey grouping, was developed to meet the social housing need in the Clonlara area. All 12 units have been occupied since the development was completed in September 2014 by L and M Keating Contractors, and featured a design team comprising Hassett, Leyden and Associates Architects, Tom McNamara and Partners Quantity Surveyors and Moloney Fox Mechanical and Electrical Consultants. The minister was joined at the official opening by chief executive officer, Tom Coughlan, councillors, council officials, members of the project team, the …

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Anti-water protests in downpour

Ironically, the weekend’s anti-water charge protests in Ennis, Shannon and Limerick, and indeed many other places around the country, took place in torrential downpours. However, this didn’t dampen the spirits of the estimated 1500,000 protesters, who sent a clear message to the Government that Irish Water is not the way to go. The Ennis protest began at O’Connell Square where speakers addressed  the protesters before the marched up the street and turned into Carmody Street and wormed their way back to the Square. Residents from a number of housing estates marched to the town centre area of Shannon, where the protest included the burning of notices from Irish Water. Several communities from South East Clare were well represented at the largest protest in the Mid West in Limerick city.

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‘Coffee morning’ to repay debt

A CIRCUIT Court Judge has encouraged a County Tipperary man to organise a coffee morning with his neighbours in order to help repay a €63,360 debt from an unsuccessful court action taken to prevent a Traveller family from moving into the Cullenagh estate in Ballina. Brendan Maguire and four others, supported by 61 members of the Cullenagh Residents Association, took a High Court action against North Tipperary County Council to block a Traveller family moving into a €465,000 council house in the estate. They were unsuccessful in a judicial review action which was determined in May 2009. As a result of this action, Traveller couple, Charlie and Noreen O’Reilly of Cullenagh faced a legal bill connected with this action. An order for repayment of €63,360 associated with the O’Reilly’s costs was made against Brendan Maguire of Ivy Grove, Cullenagh, Ballina, County Tipperary. Mr Maguire was ordered to repay €40 per month to the Traveller couple but at Ennis Circuit Court …

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