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West Clare

‘Ghost’ rides the West Clare Railway

A MYSTERY figure has been detected in a photograph of the carriage of the West Clare Railway. May Byrne, who visited the Moyasta last summer, recently contacted Jackie Whelan, who operates the tourist attraction, when she spotted a lone figure in the carriage of the Slieve Callan steam engine. Her husband, Ray, who is adamant that there was nobody on the train at the time, took the photograph. “He is 100% certain that there was nobody on the train at the time. Mr Whelan was giving the tour in the station and Ray took the photograph while there was no people on the train,” May Byrne explained. Speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday, Jackie Whelan was equally adamant that the train was unoccupied at the time. “There definitely wasn’t anyone on board and I’ll tell you why. There was a crowd of people there together and they all came off the train. The standard practice is that when the …

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Kilcredaun families marooned

FOUR families in Kilcredaun, Carrigaholt were marooned on Monday when high tide hit the picturesque townland, which is home to an historic lighthouse. The flooding has resulted in the townland of Kilcredaun on the Loop Head peninsula being rendered effectively an island. A total of six houses were cut off by the flooding in recent days. The grounds of the nearby O’Curry’s Irish College has also been hit by flooding following the breaching of a wall. Meanwhile,  a number of houses in Carrigaholt village were hit by flooding when the village wall was breached at high tide. Locals are very concerned that their difficulties will be exacerbated should further storms hit the area in the coming days.

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Shannon embankment breached – 1,000 acres flooded

UP to 1,000 acres of farmland in the Ballynacally/Kildysart area was flooded on Sunday, as a result of a major breach in the Shannon Estuary embankment. Over 50 farmers in the area have been affected – 43 in Ballynacally and the remainder in Kildysart. Kildysart graveyard has also been flooded, which has caused further distress to locals. At a public meeting, attended by elected representatives, in Ballynacally community centre, a formal appeal for Government intervention was made.  Efforts are to be made as soon as possible to assess the cost of the damage to support the appeal. There are no reports of the loss of livestock but in one instance fodder had to be brought to two horses isolated on raised ground. On many farms, however, silage bales have been left under several feet of water, which will cause an additional financial burden for farmers. John Joe O’Sullivan, whose farm in Ballynacally includes a parcel of corcass, said his holding …

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Tornado hits the Stormy Oak Wood

THE Frawleys of Derryguihy, which translates to the Stormy Oak Wood, saw the townland live up to its name when their hay barn was lifted and carried over the family home, at the height of a storm on Wednesday of last week. The barn roof travelled 60 feet from its original location and miraculously only caused damage to five slates on the roof of Brendan and Patricia Frawley’s home in Kilmurry McMahon. They were at home at the time of the phenomenon, which the family has labelled “a tornado”. Ivor Frawley, Brendan and Patricia’s son, who has a garage next to the family home, spoke about what he witnessed during the peak of the storm. “I was working in the garage. The storm just got ferocious all of a sudden. The intensity and the rain; I never saw anything like it. It was like a tornado for a minute at the height of the storm. The door was closed but …

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€200,000 for Kildysart AstroTurf pitch

FUNDING of €200,000 was announced on Friday for the development of an AstroTurf pitch facility in the West Clare village of Kildysart. The Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, allocated the money to Clare Local Development Company for the development of the sports facility. Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway said he believes the funds will “yield tangible results for the local community”. “I am delighted that funding for this project has been sanctioned and will soon yield tangible results for the local community of Kildysart in Clare. The AstroTurf facility is due to be developed on a site in the centre of the village. The project also includes the provision of flood-lighting and fencing. “Increasing participation in sport is very important for the health and well-being of the population and the provision of new facilitates such as this one will no doubt greatly encourage the community of Kildysart to play sport and promote physical activity,” Senator Conway …

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Two clare attractions in line for world tourism award

TWO County Clare attractions have been shortlisted for the 10th annual 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Loop Head Peninsula have been shortlisted alongside six other sustainable tourism destinations and organisations in the Best Destination for Responsible Tourism category. They are the only Irish attractions to make the list. Tourism destinations in Brazil, Bhutan, Austria, Lithuania, Kenya and Wales have also been nominated in that category. Loop Head Tourism chairman Cillian Murphy expressed his delight at the West Clare peninsula’s nomination. “Four years ago, we set out our stall to become one of the pre-eminent responsible tourism destinations in Ireland. We have achieved much since then, with both the EDEN award in 2010 and more recently being awarded the Best Place To Holiday In Ireland by The Irish Times,” the Kilkee businessman said. “The Loop Head Peninsula has made the jump from being relatively unknown to being a nationally recognised holiday destination and …

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Maintenance man Tom retires

IN recent weeks, Kilrush Town Councillor Tom Clyne retired from his role as a FÁS job initiative worker in the town. The former town mayor, who was first elected to the local council in 2004, has worked in the position since 1998. As he remembers it, a significant amount of people were employed on the jobs initiative scheme 15 years ago. That figure has since drastically reduced. “There are about 10 people on the scheme in Kilrush at the moment. We have lost a lot of people through retirement or death in the last few years. I think there was 21 on the scheme in 1998,” Mr Clyne said this week. The Westmeath man, whose wife Breda is from Kilrush, worked primarily as a maintenance man on the scheme. “I was one of the people assigned to do the house maintenance for Kilrush Town Council, who were our sponsors. I was a general operative starting off but as we progressed, …

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Michael in no rush to hang up his golf clubs

ALTHOUGH he has lived and worked in Nottingham since 1966, the love of golf Michael Rush picked up in his native Lahinch has had a profound effect on his life. Now almost 72, Michael or ‘Smiley’, which he says he is better known as, was the centre of attention at Lahinch Golf Club earlier this month when the exploits of the 1963 All-Ireland Junior Cup winning team were recalled at a golden anniversary celebration. Lahinch Golf Club won the same competition in 1961 but according to Michael, the cupboard has been bare since. “I wasn’t even in Clare in 1961, I was in London. My brother, Tommy, was part of the 1961 squad. He was a radio officer and he won a vital game but he had to go back to sea and he missed the last two rounds. When we had won it twice, you think, ‘this is easy enough’. You could think different now. Lahinch hasn’t won any …

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