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South Clare

Killaloe forester’s international success story

By Dan Danaher A RANDOM meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny blossomed into a great working relationship with one of the co-founders of an innovative award-winning tree mapping company, who has strong links with Killaloe. Enda Keane, who was educated in Killaloe, met Mr Kenny by chance at Merrion Square, Dublin back in December 2011 and they spent about 30 minutes talking about his business, Treemetrics, which has won and been nominated for numerous national and international awards. Born in Cork, Enda and his family moved to Killaloe when he was nine.His father, Paddy was a wildlife officer with the National Parks and Wildlife Service so it was no great surprise when Enda followed in his footsteps by studying forestry in UCG and UCD. In addition to delivering an address at an official function at Treemetrics’ headquarters in Cork two years ago, the Taoiseach also gave the company a huge boost to their international profile by citing them as one of …

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Killaloe Courthouse hand-over

THE Courts Service is prepared to hand over the old Courthouse at Killaloe, Deputy Michael McNamara has confirmed. He described this as very good news, adding that he had been working on the issue for some time. The Labour deputy said Clare Council Council has already expressed an interest in acquiring the building for community use. “The Council will now have an opportunity to invite expressions of interest from local groups for the development and use of the building. I am aware of community groups in Killaloe who are interested in the using the property. The current use of Tulla Courthouse by the community is a precedent for what could be done,” he said. “A new round of Leader funding will become available for development by local community groups towards the end of the end of this year. Furthermore, at the end of last year, the Government announced a Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme to assist owners/occupiers of protected structures …

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Ennis-Limerick rail line remains closed

THE railway line between Limerick and Ennis will remain closed for six weeks, and potentially longer, due to flooding on the line at Ballycar. Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail advised on Tuesday that instead bus transfers will operate between Limerick and Ennis, also serving Sixmilebridge, for the duration of the closure. Buses will depart all stations at the scheduled train time. Train services will, however, continue to operate as normal between Ennis and Galway. The line has flooded following a significant increase in water levels at Ballycar Lough due to the recent sustained heavy rainfall, and the slow draining nature of the karst landscape in the area. Should the recent rainfall patterns persist, this will extend significantly the duration of the closure of the rail line. according to Iarnród Éireann. Iarnród Éireann raised the track level by 60 centimetres at Ballycar in 2003 to mitigate against the effects of flooding. However, the current flood levels are at least 50 centimetres over …

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Jimmy Whelan, of Whelan's shop in Killaloe, is celebrating 50 years in the retail business.

Jimmy still behind the counter 50 years on

RETIREMENT is still not an option for 78-year-old Killaloe shopkeeper Jimmy Whelan, despite reaching 50 years in local retailing on Friday. Jimmy still loves meeting his loyal customers in Whelan’s Foodstore at the bottom of Main Street, Killaloe, as much as he did when he opened a small shop in Church Street in January 1964. Then aged 27, he rented this building, which included the shop, a small kitchen and two bedrooms at a cost of £2 weekly. Jimmy never envisaged he would transform the old Kincora Dance Hall into a thriving business, while he was playing the button accordion with the Jimmy Whelan Dance Band at this venue from 1964 to 1970. His current premises, which is located nearby, became renowned as a popular entertainment venue during the construction of the Shannon Scheme in Ardnacrusha and throughout the ’30s. Two West Clare brothers opened a supermarket there in 1970 but were forced to shut down following a fire a …

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Almost ready to live in Killaloe ghost estate

A RETIRED businessman is hoping to reside permanently in a Killaloe ghost estate in March, after making substantial progress with the connection of services. Fed up of waiting for the completion of the sale of Ard na Deirge and the completion of connections such as water, sewerage and public lighting, John Ryan Snr decided to try to progress matters himself. In recent weeks, Mr Ryan has been busy tiling the hallway, kitchen and bathrooms and fitting out the house he purchased in 2006 but was subsequently “locked out” of for over seven years. Thanks to the provision of the watermains past his house, Mr Ryan hopes to have running water within the next two weeks, once a plumber completes some relatively minor connection works. This will, in turn, pave the way for an electrician to connect his electricity supply, which will make it habitable on a permanent basis in late February or March. John Ryan Snr has also been working …

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Meelick battle to keep players

MEELICK GAA Club is in a battle to hold on to three of their more prominent players, it has emerged this week. The Clare Champion has learned from sources within the club that Oisin Hickey, Eanna Mulvihill and Damian Moloney have indicated their desire to transfer to neighbouring clubs Clonlara, Cratloe and Parteen. Already working from a small panel, the loss of any players would undermine the club’s ability to be competitive. Indeed some argue that they would struggle to field at adult level if they were to lose players. This week Clare GAA delegated three of the officers board, Ger Hickey, Sean O’Halloran and Gerry Lynch, to meet with officials of the Meelick club to discuss the current situation. Meelick compete at intermediate hurling level and also compete in junior A football. Just last year the South East Clare club purchased additional land, adjacent to their playing pitch at Knockalisheen, and they have plans in place for further development …

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Brian Boru Square proposal

LIMERICK City Council is inviting members of the public to have their say on a proposal to rename two of the city’s landmark locations in honour of  Brian Boru and John F Kennedy. The council  wants to gauge public opinion on the renaming of The Shannon Bridge as ‘John Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge’ and the area at Merchant’s Quay in the vicinity of Limerick City Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral, as ‘Brian Boru Square’. JFK, who had close ancestral ties with Limerick, was honoured as a Freeman of Limerick, which he visited during his 1963 trip to Ireland. 2014 marks the 1000th anniversary of Brian Boru’s death following his victory over the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf. The High King of Ireland was also born on the banks of the River Shannon at  Killaloe, a short distance from Limerick.

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Putting South-East Clare’s past in the frame

DIFFERENT facets of life in South-East Clare over a 60-year period have literally been put into the frame in a major photographic exhibition at Limerick City Hall. The Street, comprising photographs from The Haselbeck Collection, was officially launched by Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan, TD and Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin recently. In addition, the museum at City Hall hosts a display of his camera equipment, as well as some archival documents illustrating the professional and personal life of professional photographer Franz S Haselbeck. It will remain open to the public at Limerick City Hall from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm until the end of February. Admission is free. The exhibition follows the publication of a book, Franz S Haselbeck’s Ireland, which was compiled by his granddaughter, Patricia Haselbeck Flynn, with 200 selected images from the Haselbeck Collection. The book followed his career from Dublin to Kerry and concentrates on his work throughout the Mid-West, where he spent most …

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