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South Clare

Show put Bridgetown on the map

ON a cold winter’s night in Ginivan’s Bar in 1989, a handful of locals held an impromptu discussion on what new venture would attract people to Bridgetown. A gymkhana was proposed and 52 people attended the first meeting. Following a decision to hold an agricultural show, the inaugural event in 1990 was packed to capacity. In fact, it was such a success, it earned €6,000 for the organising committee. Ed Ginivan, one of the co-founders, said this windfall helped the committee get the show off the ground and it continued to develop and grow over the next three decades. “No one heard about Bridgetown until the show started. It put Bridgetown on the map, particularly for people connected with jumping and showing horses, as well as cattle,” he said. A number of volunteers, including Ed and his wife, Eileen, decided to take a back seat recently from the organising to allow new blood to rejuvenate the show. However, they are …

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Heritage bridge damaged yet again

A protected heritage bridge in O’Briensbridge was damaged by a heavy goods vehicle last week for the second time in recent weeks. The latest incident has prompted renewed concern from O’Briensbridge community group public relations officer, Mick Murtagh about the implications of regular damage by heavy goods vehicles. According to Mr Murtagh, a low-loader carrying heavy machinery knocked a sizable portion of the downstream corner of the bridge, about five or six feet of the parapet, on Wednesday, July 16 at 4.30pm. “This very large heavy goods vehicle was using the single-lane bridge in O’Briensbridge to access the N7 or the motorway at Birdhill, County Tipperary. There were no advance warning or lead vehicle to make people aware that a heavy load was being moved. “A few motorists coming from the Birdhill direction had to drive up on the side of the ditch to allow the heavy goods vehicle pass. Traffic was backed up on the O’Briensbridge side as this …

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Motorists urged to avoid Corbally Road due to mains repairs

HOUSEHOLDS in South East Clare remain without water as Irish Water carry out essential works to repair a burst water main which has affected the water supply in the Shannon Banks, Westbury and Ardnacrusha area. The local authority is now advising motorists of traffic congestion due to the unplanned works being undertaken by Irish Water to resolve the issue. Homes and businesses in the locality were affected by disruptions to their water supply and reduced water pressure on the Mill Road, Corbally Road, Irish Estates, Shannon Banks, Westbury and outwards to Barrys Cross and surrounding areas. Works have an estimated completion time of 2pm. However this afternoon Limerick City and County Council said that water is not expected to return to the area until 7pm this Tuesday evening. The local authority is also advising motorists to avoid the Corbally Road and to use the R464 through the Long Pavement and Parteen as severe traffic congestion is expected on this road …

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Charlie has his paws on Bridgetown Show

AN award-winning Great Dane was one of the star attractions at the official launch of one of the major social events in South-East Clare. Charlie the Great Dane helped to launch the 24th annual South-East Clare Show in Bridgetown, with his three-year-old owner and best friend, Brianna Lync,h and her mother, Arabella Scanlan. This amazing dog, who captured the hearts of the country when The Clare Champion highlighted his uncanny ability to detect Brianna’s epileptic seizures up to 20 minutes before each episode, was coolness personified with all the hustle and bustle at the show launch. Charlie has already been honoured by the Irish Great Dane Club for his amazing sixth sense and also received a Great Paws Award for his services, which will be featured on RTÉ again in the coming weeks. With a total prize fund of €20,000 and more than 2,500 equestrian, cattle and horticultural entries expected, the 2014 show will draw thousands of people to watch …

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Shannon social history connects old and new

NEXT Tuesday night will mark  the culmination of more than three years of preparation when the report of the Shannon Social History project will be launched at  Seán Lemass Library. The title of the report, Shannon-Between Old World and New World, comes from a quote from Brendan O’Regan and it was chosen to reflect two perspectives of Shannon’s story-that of the people steeped in a traditional way of life, whose farms were purchased for the building of Shannon and those who settled in the fledgling town. The report brings together around 40 interviews that were conducted with long term residents. Written accounts were also donated to the project by people who were among the town’s earliest residents but have since moved away. Olive Carey co-ordinated the project and speaking about it she said, “Over the last three years it has been a fair amount of work to record the interviews, then transcribe them, then collating them and putting all of the …

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€4.4m Lotto win in Sixmilebridge

A huge wave of excitement has enveloped Sixmilebridge, as news has broken that a new millionaire is likely to be somewhere in the community. The winning ticket for Saturday night’s National Lottery jackpot of €4.4m was sold in the village. The quick pick ticket was sold in Reddans’. A very happy shop owner, John Reddan said it would be great if the lucky winner was from the general area. He said, at this stage, he had no idea who the winner might be. He wished the mystery winner the very best for the future.    

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Out of the loop at O’Briensbridge

The “permanent” closure of a small section of a National Looped Walk near O’Briensbridge in the interest of safety has been described as “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”. Councillor Michael Begley made the assertion after it emerged that it could take years before the public walkway near the bridge in the village is re-opened after it was closed off last week. Last week, Clare County Council explained this walkway was shut for the “forseeable future” after Christy Crotty and a young toddler passed under the bridge minutes before mortar fell when the bridge was hit by a truck. This was the second incident involving falling mortar after another walker, Sean O’Dowd, has a similar experience. However, it could take years before this walkway can be used again, after the council linked its re-opening with the opening of the Killaloe bypass. Killaloe Municipal District senior executive engineer, Hugh McGrath explained the council couldn’t give a date for re-opening as …

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Over 1,000 sign petition to save Cratloe P0

Over 1,000 residents and businesses have signed a petition, requesting An Post to safeguard the future of Cratloe Post Office, it emerged this week. However, it looks as if the newly-established Cratloe Post Office Action Group will have a big battle on its hands to save the post office, despite huge support from the local community for its retention. Group members were told by senior officials from An Post, at a meeting in the Radisson Hotel, Cratloe, on Friday, that the post office needs more financial transactions. A large delegation from the group, as well as Oireachtas members and councillors, met two senior executives from An Post to discuss the future of this vital rural service. The meeting was told that An Post had about 1,140 post offices throughout the country and that it is trying to compete with banks, who had much smaller overheads and maintenance costs. Members of the new action group, including chairperson, Tara McWaine; secretary, Deirdre …

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Broadband boost for Clare

Homes and businesses in Clare are set to benefit as a result of a joint ESB and Vodafone venture to upgrade broadband facilities across the country. The  €450 million investment will benefit 50 towns, among them Ennis and Shannon. ESB and Vodafone are to invest €450 million in building a 100%  fibre-to-the-building broadband network offering speeds from 200 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, propelling Ireland into the ranks of the world’s fastest broadband countries. Ireland will also become the first country in Europe to utilise existing electricity infrastructure on a nationwide basis to deploy fibre directly into homes and businesses, initially reaching 500,000 premises in 50 towns.

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Killaloe farmer feels ‘under siege’

A Killaloe farmer believes he is “under siege”, having sustained losses from vandalism totalling an estimated €25,000 over a four-year period. Michael Scanlan, Garraunboy, has decided to speak publicly about his ordeal, in the hope that the on-off cycle of malicious damage to his farm will finally cease. In addition to at least 15 serious incidents of what Mr Scanlan has described as criminal damage, at least 100 punctures had to be repaired and four tyres replaced on cars and his jeep. The first act of vandalism occurred in January 2010 and the most recent on June 19; tractor tyres being slashed in both cases. When Padraig Nally was cleared of manslaughter in 2006, after shooting dead Traveller John ‘Frog’ Ward, there were changes in the law, which allow people to take more direct action when defending themselves or their property. Mr Scanlan stressed he has no plans to take the law into his own hands and just wants to be …

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