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West Clare

Monica’s poetry on a lifetime of memories

MONICA Stirling, who lives in Mullagh, has had a book of poetry published, somewhat against her will. Musings and Memories contains more than 70 poems, all written by Monica, who has been encouraged by Kilmurry-Ibrickane Active Retirement Group chairperson, Helen McGrath, to publish her work. “I’ve been writing for years but most of them were under the bed and scattered around the house. And a lot of them have gone out in the rubbish,” Monica laughed. Musings and Memories is Monica’s first collection of poetry. “The active retirement group have been after me for a couple of years to put them together in book form. I was reluctant but they decided they’d get on with it themselves. There are 70-plus poems in it. They have been up and down for few days, trying to fit them in,” the retired nurse explained. Monica and her husband, Bill, lived in Zambia for many years. She spent a year there in 1964/1965, before …

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Currach launch gives it five

QUERRIN Pier was buzzing last Sunday for the launch of a five-hand currach, built by boat-builder, James Madigan. A vessel of this type has not sailed the estuary waters since the 1800s. The launch was in conjunction with the Querrin regatta, which was held last year, for the first time since 1907. Dixie Collins, of the West Clare Currach Club, said that elements of the five-hand currach were unique to West Clare. “She’s just under 30 foot and she’s a five-hand canoe, with a mast up on the bow with a lug sail. That’s a square sail that you use in boats like this. They wouldn’t have been traditionally used in Clare but they would have been used on the Aran Islands and down in Kerry. “She’s a bit wider on the beam and the oars are a bit longer than our three-hand canoe. We’re all quite curious to know how she’ll handle and how she’ll feel. We have people …

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Mary sent home – no radiographer available

A West Clare  woman  had what she described as a “dreadful” experience at the University of Limerick Hospital last week.  Originally from Kilkee but now living in Lahasheeda, Mary Dillon, who underwent treatment for breast cancer in June 2013, recently had related health issues. “In the last four weeks, my breast got inflamed. I was on antibiotics for a week,” she explained. Last year, Mary, who, along with her husband, is a retired teacher, received six weeks of radiotherapy treatment in Limerick, although her surgery was in Galway. Following treatment from her GP, Mary was advised to attend UL hospital in Limerick last Tuesday week. “I was there at 3.20pm, in the Surgical Assessment Unit, and I got a bed at 7.10pm. In the meantime, I had a few examinations. I gave urine samples and they took my temperature. All the routine stuff,” she explained. In preparation for surgery the following day, Mary was put on an intravenous drip. Having …

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Kilrush mother and baby home part of inquiry

A mother and baby home in Kilrush, where 180 children were born and 321 women admitted, between 1922 and 1926, is to be included as part of a nationwide commission of investigation. This inquiry follows the revelations that almost 800 babies and children died at the Bon Secours home in Tuam, while high death rates at Seán Ross Abbey in Tipperary, Bessborough in Cork and Castlepollard in Westmeath have also come to light. Plots in the three latter homes are believed to hold the remains of 3,200 babies and infants. The Kilrush mother and baby home was located on the site of Kilrush Workhouse on the Cooraclare road. The workhouse was built in 1841 and closed in the early 1920s. It was transformed into a mother and baby home in the early 1920s. The workhouse and home were operated by the Sisters of Mercy, who had been involved in the workhouse since 1875, when they sent three sisters to live …

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Lahinch regains Blue Flag

The prestigious International Blue Flag has been awarded to seven of County Clare’s beaches, including Lahinch which lost its Blue Flag status in 2013. Despite the extensive storm damage caused along Clare’s coastline earlier this year, Blue Flags have been awarded to Fanore, Kilkee, Cappa, White Strand (near Doonbeg), Ballycuggeran, Mountshannon and Lahinch. The flag is awarded to hundreds of beaches and a small number of marinas across Europe each year. The award challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four main categories of water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Anne Haugh, Director of Services for Transportation, Environment and Emergency Services with Clare County Council expressed confidence that Clare could increase its complement of Blue Flag beaches from 7 to 8 in 2015. “White Strand near Miltown Malbay was not considered for a Blue Flag this year due to the ongoing construction of a new community-based Lifeguard Training Centre by Irish Water Safety. …

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Hair erasing experience for Kilmihil students

ELEVEN St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil, fifth-year LCVP pupils, guided by their LCVP teacher, Claire Davoren, recently decided to organise a Shave Or Dye event in their school to raise awareness and funds for the Donal Walsh Livelife Foundation. Forty-eight students took part in the Shave Or Dye. Earlier this month, Elma Walsh, mother of Donal, visited St Michael’s Community College to be presented with a cheque for €1,400. She spoke to the students about the work the foundation does, trying to improve hospice care for teenagers. The fun started in January, when students brainstormed various ideas and, through a group discussion, decided on the Shave Or Dye fundraiser. “Jobs were allocated to all members and a time schedule was agreed on. Every week, we checked our progress against our plan and, if someone was finding it difficult to complete their task, as a group, we discussed other options to help them achieve their aim. “It was a team effort …

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Marital mayhem ahead as Kilmurry prepares for Mr and Mrs night

AS Kilmurry McMahon prepares to stage a fundraising Mr and Mrs night on Friday, Martin Keogh, who will present the evening along with Debbie O’Shea, has offered some sound advice on how a man can keep his wife or partner happy. “Always say ‘yes’ anyway,” Mr Keogh, a former Shannon Gaels, Clare and Munster footballer, advised. The Tullycrine man’s words of wisdom didn’t cease there.  “Agree to everything and make sure to give them breakfast in bed once a year, for the first year of marriage,” he added. Mr Keogh even has a strategy for putting off jobs that his wife, Mary, feels he should be immediately seeing to. “Tell them what they want to hear, especially when jobs have to be done. But at the same time, try to put things on hold for as long as you can. When you are getting all picture and no sound, it’s time to get it done. Or make some shape anyway,” …

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Teachers learn about Loop Head

The Department of Education, in conjunction with Clare Education Centre, has approved two summer courses specifically designed for primary school teachers to run at the Loop Head Hedge School during July and August. Each programme is designed around the Loop Head natural environment and consists of a suite of ICT related workshops,  covering the Loop Head coastline, pathways into folklore writing and a combination of creativity workshops designed to incorporate literacy, numeracy and ICT across all curricula areas. The programme has been developed and approved in response to requests from primary teachers,who have attended the Loop Head Summer Hedge School modules over the past two years. The programmes are delivered by artist, author and habitat researcher, Carmel Madigan together with author and masters graduate in writing, Patricia Byrne.  

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