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West Clare

Lynch to stand in general election

INDEPENDENT Kilrush county councillor Ian Lynch has confirmed that he will be a candidate in the upcoming general election, which is expected to be held in late February. Ten candidates have now declared their intention to stand in the Clare constituency. Elected to Clare County Council in 2014, Councillor Lynch also served on Kilrush Town Council from 2009 to 2014, when he represented Fine Gael. However, he opted to stand as an independent candidate in the county council elections after Fine Gael selected Gabriel Keating, Oliver Garry and Marian McMahon Jones to represent the party in the West Clare Municipal District in May 2014. Councillor Lynch maintains that the interests of West Clare have not been sufficiently represented in Dáil Éireann and insists that he is the candidate to change that. “There has been huge support in West Clare for me to run. People have said to me that the West has not had representation, based in West Clare, since …

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Death of Ballynacally/Lissycasey priest

The death has occurred peacefully at his home of Fr Tom O’Dea, assistant priest, Ballynacally/Lissycasey. Born on December 16, 1933 in Newmarket-on-Fergus, he was a pupil of St Flannan’s College, Ennis and he studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Carlow.He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona on June 7, 1958. Fr Tom served in various parishes in Tucson Diocese and later in Phoenix Diocese, including St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix, Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa, St Anthony of Padua Parish, Casa Grande; St Francis Parish in Superior, St Patrick Parish in Bisbee, St John Vianney Parish in Goodyear, St Matthew Parish in Phoenix, Christ the King Parish in Mesa and Holy Spirit Parish in Tempe. He retired after serving as pastor of Ascension Parish in Fountain Hills in 2003. After his return to Ireland he served as assistant priest in the Parish of Ballynacally/Lissycasey. He died peacefully at his home in …

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Famous sherpas visit West Clare

THE world’s most prolific climbers are currently in Ireland speaking about their death-defying experiences in the Himalayas. Nepalese heroes Mingma Sherpa and Pasang Sherpa have travelled here to speak about their efforts to rebuild the renowned Rolwaling valley area since the devastating earthquake struck on April 25, 2015. They adressed an enthusiastic gathering at the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point on Saturday night last. The community have been working tirelessly to rebuild their village and their livelihoods and they are hoping to promote tourism in Nepal through Ascent Himalayas, Nepal Tourism Board and the Nepal Ireland Society. Tourism is the key back bone of Nepal’s economy and is a much needed source of foreign currencies, especially in the aftermath of the unprecedented natural disaster that crumbled the country’s economy and shattered the livelihoods of those living in the mountains. Climbing is currently changing dramatically in Nepal, with many sherpas setting up their own companies instead of working for western-based ones. …

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Christmas Swim at Gortglas Lake (Photo Gallery)

Hardy souls took to the water at beaches and lakes around the county on Christmas Day to raise funds for charities. Our photographer John Kelly travelled to Gortglas Lake in Kildysart where swimmers took their annual dip at midday, raising much needed funds for the West Clare Mini marathon Cancer fund. [doptg id=”90″]  

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Tourism chair to address Washington forum

LOOP HEAD Tourism chairman Cillian Murphy will be among the speakers at the World Bank Tourism Forum, which will be held at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington DC next Tuesday and Wednesday. The theme of the forum is Driving Development Through Tourism and among the speakers will be Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank; Aireen Omar, CEO Air Asis and Mauricio Ventura Aragon, the Costa Rican Minister for Tourism. “I did an assignment for my masters on tourism and local economic benefit. One of my tutors puts together part of the programme for the World Travel Market  discussions and was impressed with the Loop Head story and invited me to present it at World Bank Tourism Forum,” Mr Murphy explained. Mr Murphy’s discussion on Wednesday will be moderated by journalist and author Elizabeth Becker and he will be joined by Gabriella Crescini, head client and partner relationships, Swiss Contact; Brian Said, executive director of Visit Philadelphia …

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Sr Mary’s lifetime working with teens

WHEN Sister Mary O’Connell retired from teaching business studies and accounting at Kilkee Community College last year, it marked the end of a 136-year link between the Sisters of Mercy and education in the town. Sr Mary, who completed her Leaving Certificate in 1966, taught in Kilkee since 1980, having had previous stints in Nenagh and Tulla. She served as deputy principal in Kilkee since 2006. “It’s a good stretch. It has been a good life,” Sr Mary reflected recently when The Clare Champion visited. She still lives in the nuns’ house on the Miltown Malbay road in the town. She feels and hopes that she grew into her role since she first decided to enter the order as a teenager. “Who knows what it is really? It’s one thing when you’re 17 and it’s another thing by the time you’re 37. Why wouldn’t it be because we grow and we change. We have another experience and then another one. …

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Plea for end to drink culture

A grieving father has issued an appeal for an end to the “frightening” culture of excess drinking involving some young people. Danny Mungovan, who runs Quilty Holiday Cottages, made the plea at the funeral mass for his son, Stephen (20), who was found by Irish Navy divers in the waters off Spanish Point last week. Addressing the packed congregation in the Star of the Sea Church and hundreds of mourners who stood outside on Sunday last, Danny said his family would never forget the work of all the emergency services, volunteers and neighbours who never stopped walking the shore night and day. This is the second time that tragedy has struck the family. Another son, Michael (22), was killed when he was struck by a train while he was working at Vauxhall Station, South London in October 2000. Stating that both he and his wife, Geraldine, do not drink, Danny said he offered several times to go out and purchase …

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Global award for Loop Head

THE tourism and economic sectors in West Clare received a seismic boost on Wednesday when the Loop Head Heritage Trail won the Best Cultural Heritage Attraction at the World Responsible Tourism Awards in London. The awards are staged each year as part of World Travel Market. Launched in November 2014, the Loop Head Heritage Trail was created by a network of 47 local businesses, now the Loop Head Tourism Network, which is based in the area. Loop Head Tourism Network chairman Cillian Murphy attended the World Travel Market and, speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday, expressed his delight at the global award. “I’m very proud of what a group of people have achieved back in Loop Head. Some of the people are involved in the tourism industry but some aren’t and are just involved because they are interested in our heritage. It’s a great validation of where we live and the people we live with and how they view …

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