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Tag Archives: Burren

Hundreds gather to celebrate Burren farming traditions

Hundreds of people from the Burren and further afield gathered over the recent October Bank Holiday Weekend to join in the Burren Winterage Weekend, a celebration of the Burren’s unique farming heritage. For thousands of years, Burren farmers have marked the end of summer by herding their cattle up onto winter pastures in the limestone uplands, in the tradition known as winterage and the Burren is one of the only places in the world where it still occurs. Winterage has been integral to shaping today’s familiar Burren landscape. With coordination support by local landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust, community members put on an amazing range of events including a community gathering, herdsman walk, heritage walks in Ballyvaughan and Fanore, farmers market and farming innovation fair. The weekend culminated in the community cattle drive where the community followed a herd of cattle into the Burren hills where they will spend the winter. The weekend was a great celebration of this rich tradition …

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BurrenLIFE receives ‘Best Ever’ award

THE BurrenLIFE project has just received a special “Best-Ever” award from the European Commission, recognising it as the best ever LIFE project in the 25-year history of the programme. The prize was awarded in the Nature and Biodiversity Category. The awards are being presented in Green Week to exceptional LIFE projects over the past 25 years, at the Green Awards ceremony in Brussels. A special edition of the annual LIFE awards, the Green Awards singled out projects that have had remarkable effects on the EU’s natural environment and in creating green jobs and boosting green growth over the past quarter century. The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said at the ceremony, “A quarter century is a long time, and over that time LIFE has funded more than 4,000 projects to the tune of over €3 billion.” He told attendees that the awards symbolise the Commission’s “appreciation for the efforts of thousands, the hard work and …

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It’s almost tea time, Ted

THERE will be a welcome on the mat for all this Sunday at Fr Ted’s House in the heart of the Burren. The hosts, Cheryl and Patrick McCormack, will be on hand to offer tea and scones. Visitors to the house made famous as the ‘parochial house’ for Fr Ted Crilly in the award-winning TV series Father Ted, between 6pm and 9pm on Sunday evening will be asked to part with €10, as a fundraiser for the RNLI. John and Shelly Galvin of The Clare Champion are promoting the event in recognition of the outstanding work being carried out by the RNLI lifeboat personnel all over the country. John lauded the bravery of crew members in facing into very difficult situations to deal with emergencies on sea and inland waterways

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New Year's Eve at St Enda's Well, Slieve Elva, Fanore. Tom Doherty of Doolin Coastguard lights a torch to leave inside the well chamber, in memory of all who have lost their lives at sea over the past year, Looking on are, Celina Kennedy, David Courtney, former Coastguard helicopter pilot, John Galvin, MD Clare Champion and Joe Queally of the RNLI. Photograph by John Kelly.

New Year’s wonder on Slieve Elva

Once you reach a certain age, New Year’s Eve should be spent in front of the telly, watching whatever rubbish is on, but sometimes you want to do something completely different. This New Year’s Eve, I found myself in a car, heading for Fanore in the company of Joe Queally, RNLI stalwart and Dave Courtney, a former Coastguard helicopter pilot. Our mission was to climb Sliebh Elva and light candles for the souls lost at sea and for our own families. Even leaving Ennis, the rain was coming down but by the time we hit Fanore and joined Doolin Coastguard, Tom Doherty and his partner Celine Kennedy, it was coming down like stair rods. I confess, I wasn’t well prepared. I forgot to bring my waterproof trousers and had to borrow a pair from Tom. My boots weren’t best suited to the conditions either. I really needed wellies to properly deal with the lakes of water that flooded the trail. …

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Broadening the Wild Atlantic Way

Two new touring routes, branching off the Wild Atlantic Way, have been launched by Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan, as part of a new pilot scheme from Fáilte Ireland to encourage visitors to discover the variety of inland visitor experiences as they travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. The Shannon Estuary Drive and the Burren Drive are the first in a series of drives to be developed adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way with additional routes planned for later next year. Welcoming the initiative to broaden visitor activity in the west, Minister O’Donovan said, “As the Wild Atlantic Way continues to grow three years since its launch, we can now start to develop additional experiences for visitors to enjoy and, vitally, through initiatives like this we can start to plan for a more even spread of visitors across the West of Ireland.” These new touring routes will incorporate existing sites in the wider geography adjacent to the Wild …

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Media traverse the Burren

A media group from Germany, Spain and the US are in the Burren this week to experience and sample one of Ireland’s best tourism and gastronomy destinations. Included in the visiting group is Frances Folsom who writes for the Boston Globe and Dallas Morning News, which have a combined circulation of over two million. The trip, organised by Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, will allow the journalists to enjoy the vast selection of seasonal and local produce on the County Clare leg of the Wild Atlantic Way. Welcoming the group to Ireland, John Mulcahy, Fáilte Ireland’s head of Food Tourism, said, “We welcome the opportunity to showcase our island, and indeed The Burren, with its range of food trails, festivals, farmer’s markets. “With the emergence of a distinctive Irish cuisine, our intention is clear; Ireland aims to become one of the world’s hottest new culinary destination and we want to highlight this to our visiting media where they …

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World Award for Burren and Cliffs

THE Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has won a major international award, recognising it as a global leader in sustainable destination development. On Wednesday, the Geopark was revealed as the winner of the Destination Leadership award by National Geographic at their prestigious World Legacy Awards. The Geopark, which is managed by Clare County Council and receives support and funding from the Geological Survey of Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, won the Destination Leadership category for its tourism for conservation project, GeoparkLIFE. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark was the only European winner at the awards, which honours tourism companies, organisations and destinations regarded as leaders in sustainable tourism best practices. Speaking at the ITB Berlin Convention in Germany, at which the announcement was made, Mary Howard, leas-cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said the award “is testament to the partnership approach to managing sustainable tourism in the Burren that has been developed over the years by Clare County Council, regional …

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National Geographic award nomination for Burren

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been shortlisted in an international awards scheme hosted by The National Geographic. The Geopark, which was yesterday (Tuesday) designated as a UNESCO site, has been shortlisted in the Destination Leadership category of The National Geographic World Legacy Awards alongside Destination Røros (Norway) and Travel Oregon (United States). The annual scheme honours tourism companies, organisations and destinations regarded as leaders in sustainable tourism best practices. Welcoming the Burren’s inclusion in the National Geographic World Legacy Awards shortlist, Carol Gleeson, manager of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark said, “The award we are in consideration for is Destination Leadership, a category for destinations demonstrating environmental best practices, protection for cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local people and educating travellers on the principles of sustainable tourism.” Ms Gleeson continued, “The award nomination is testament to the partnership approach to managing sustainable tourism in the Burren that has been developed by regional development agencies …

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