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Tag Archives: christmas

Santa’s elves in tip-top shape after Bunratty boot-camp

All is at the ready at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park for the biggest Santa experience ever in the Mid-West after the great man’s team of Elves have successfully been put through their paces with a special Elf Bootcamp. New recruits to the Elf team were on their toes throughout last weekend’s boot-camp to make sure they are ready to start welcoming over 23,000 people who will come through the doors once they open for this’s special experience on Saturday. ‘The Santa Experience at Bunratty’ has become a Christmas staple for young people from across the country but wouldn’t be possible for Santa to put on without the help of his very special helpers. Among the tasks set for them for last weekend’s boot-camp were how many of Mrs Claus’ mince pies they could hand out in a single minute; could they fit through the special Elf hatch; could they bear the warmer climate here; how good were they at …

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A happy Christmas for traders

TRADERS in Clare say that Christmas 2016 was quite good for them, providing some evidence that long-sought economic recovery has reached the county. Paul Queally of SuperValu in Kilrush and Killaloe felt that December 25 falling on a Sunday was helpful, as it changed how people spent. “In comparison to other years it was favourable, slightly up on previous years. It often is like that when you have a full week running into it. When it is like that, it tends to be busier. It’s a bit more relaxed, people can remember everything they are looking for and there isn’t as much of a rush.” While he believes this side of the country is still lagging behind the east, he feels that things improved in Clare a little this year. “I would say it has been quite good this year, probably the best for a few years.” Audrey Flynn of Ennis Electrical also felt it had been a fairly good …

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Six drink-driving detections over Christmas

SIX people have been detected drink driving in Clare over the Christmas period, with two of these being during the day time. Of the six drink drivers, one was detected at 9.20am on Monday, December 19 and another at lunchtime on December 21. Two were detected in the early hours of December 28. Although the drink-driving figures for the month of December to date show a “significant increase” in those driving while under the influence of alcohol, locally the statistics are down one on last year for the Christmas period. On December 1, An Garda Síochána and the RSA launched the Christmas and new year anti-drink driving campaign. This was heavily publicised across all broadcast mediums, particularly social media, and was fronted by the Treacy family, who tragically lost their four-year-old son Ciarán in a road traffic collision involving a drunk driver. Despite this stark ad, people continue to drive under the influence. Nationally, from December 1 to December 20, …

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Cathaoirleach contributes to charity

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council has made Christmas donations to five local charity organisations. Councillor Bill Chambers made the donations in place of sending Mayoral Christmas cards.The charity organisations are Aware, West Clare Cancer Support Group, Irish Kidney Association (Clare), Brothers of Charity (Kilrush), and the Mid-West Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association. “I am delighted to contribute to the respective fundraising efforts of these wonderful organisations who for different but important reasons rely on such donations,” stated Cathaoirleach Chambers.

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A poem for Christmas Day

Light of Christmas THERE in a manger in a stable dark and forlorn, The baby Jesus was born With Mary and Joseph by his side In their sweet love he did abide The stable was dark and cold But in it was a treasure more precious than gold The baby son of God most high Who came to save both you and I The poor shepherds came to kneel before the baby king And his praises they did sing Then the magi from the east Came their eyes on the baby king to feast We too on this new Christmas day Should take a little time to pray And give heartfelt thanks to God in heaven above For his most precious gift of love And on bended knee with heads bowed low Ask him on you his blessing to bestow And be filled with peace and joy As you recall the birth of Gods little boy. Dermot Maguire, Shannon.

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Look out for rural dwellers

The ICSA has appealed to all rural dwellers to look out for one another over the Christmas period. The organisation’s rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said, “We all lead busy lives and none more so than farmers but it’s important to keep our older and more vulnerable citizens in mind over the coming weeks. This will be all the more pertinent given the bad weather forecast for the weekend which may add to the difficulties for many.” Continuing Mr Sherlock said, “A quick call may be all that is needed to make a big difference in the life of someone who feels lonely or isolated at this time of year. It is important that these people are reassured and reminded they are still a much valued and respected part of their communities. Farmers are renowned for lending a helping hand to others when in need so let’s all work to keep that tradition alive.”

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Tears of joy at Shannon

THOUSANDS of reunions took place at Shannon Airport this week, but there may not have been an embrace as warm as that between Michael and Lilly Gleeson on a rainy Tuesday evening. The 16-year-old and her grandfather hugged tightly as all around them fellow emigrants and their loved ones were catching up. Lilly actually grew up in Ireland until her family moved to Detroit six years ago and she was delighted to be back. She has visited several times but plans to move back in the relatively near future. Asked about life in Detroit, she says, “I prefer Ireland but it’s fine. Definitely for college I’ll be back here”. Her mother Aoife is also delighted to be home and looking forward to seeing all her relatives. “It’s been a few years since we had Christmas here. I can’t wait to see everybody, all the nieces and the nephews and brothers and sisters.” White Christmases almost never happen here, but that …

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ESB warning on risks over Christmas

With a massive increase in domestic electricity use over Christmas, together with the risk of fallen wires in winter conditions, ESB Networks has advised people to be safety conscious. “In the home make sure your own electrical system is safe. Check that your safety trip switch – called a Residual Current Device (RCD) – works by pushing the test button and that there are no damaged plug tops or frayed wires. If in any doubt, get in touch with a registered electrician. When it comes to the overhead wires and poles that ESB Networks uses to supply electricity to everyone, remember that these poles and wires are live and dangerous and should never to be used for anything else. Here are a few simple safety tips from ESB Networks for the home around Christmas time,” a spokesman said. While the weather during winter 2016 has so far been relatively benign, ESB Networks are reminding people to never approach or touch …

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