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Tag Archives: christmas

Put Irish food on the Christmas table

AGRI Aware, the independent Irish agri-food educational body, is asking shoppers to think local and support Irish farmers and food producers when purchasing food for the festive season. By filling your shopping basket with quality and seasonal Irish produce, consumers are making the smart choice. “Irish food is of the highest quality, it is sustainably produced and traceable and it is affordable for consumers,” explained Agri Aware’s chairman and organic farmer, Richard Moeran. Agri Aware is asking consumers to be mindful of the damage which below cost selling can have on farmers and food producers. Below cost selling and heavy discounting of fresh produces diminishes the value of food to consumers and removes the link between the costs of production for the farmer and the price charged for the product. “Simply put, continuous below cost selling results in consumers expecting heavily discounted food year-round. Unfortunately, these discounts mean that over time, lower prices become the norm in shops across the country, …

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Embracing the Christmas spirit

The annual Embrace Christmas Concert, a talent showcase for performers, singers and musicians from St Anne’s School, The Dulick Centre, Kilrush Day Hospital, Brothers of Charity, Enable Ireland and The Ennis Arch Club, takes place on this Wednesday. The free event,from 12.30pm to 2pm, at Cois na hAbhna in Ennis, will feature participants in the Embrace Arts & Disability programme. The initiative was established by Clare County Arts Office in 2001 to enable people with disabilities to experience the arts in a variety of art forms through working with professional artists.

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Christmas fire risk warning

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service has issued an appeal to the public to remain fire safety aware over the Christmas period. The fire service says the main causes of fire during the festive season are candles left unprotected, fairy lights left on all night or improperly wired, Christmas trees falling over, open fires without fireguards, and decorations catching fire. Clare chief fire officer Adrian Kelly says people should familiarise themselves with the fire safety advice available on www.clarecoco.ie and www.fireireland.ie. He added, “Christmas is a time for celebrating with families but it also is a time when extra fire hazards appear such as fairy lights, candles, open fires and decorations. I encourage householders across Clare to think about fire safety ahead of and during the Christmas period to avoid the risk of their Christmas being ruined.” “Open fires are used for longer periods during the winter and Christmas period as people spend a lot more time at home. Electrical …

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Shop local on Small Business Saturday

The Small Firms Association has called for December 3 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’, with shoppers across the country asked to support small businesses in their communities. SFA assistant director, Linda Barry, stated, “Retail sales are expected to exceed €4 billion in December, but much of this will be spent in large stores or online. The latest figures show that the value of online purchases increased by 20% in the last quarter to €1.2 billion. If each adult spent just €20 extra in small businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €70 million for small Irish firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres.” “The first Saturday of December is traditionally a busy shopping day and consumers should use this weekend as an opportunity to focus on buying Irish and supporting their local businesses, as the Christmas celebrations can add a major economic impetus to …

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A vintage Christmas in Ennis

It’s that time of the year again, when The Clare Champion urges Ennis businesses to go all out with some festive flair and decorate their windows for Christmas. This year’s Christmas window display competition is expected to be bigger and better than ever before, with increasing numbers of businesses getting involved year on year. The theme for this year’s competition, open to all shops and businesses in Ennis, is A Vintage Christmas. While the theme has been inspired by this year’s centenary anniversary of 1916, retailers can chose from any time period of the past when it comes to decorating their windows. Shelly Galvin of The Clare Champion explained, “When choosing this year’s theme, we decided on A Vintage Christmas as our nod to the 1916 celebrations. But we’ve opened it up so people can pick from any time, so long as its vintage. The theme can be showcased across as many windows as you wish. This is about harking …

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90,000 apply for Santa’s Shannon flights

Santa remains top of the popularity polls with the very young as the great man’s annual Christmas flights at Shannon Airport have attracted 90,000 applications. Shannon Airport has received 45 times the number of requests for the 2,000 seats on the very special services to meet Santa in the sky on December 3 and 4 next, which is an increase of over 55% on the corresponding stage 12 months ago. Applications have been received from each one of the 32 counties and, indeed, from as far afield as the UK. The top ten counties in terms of applications include Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Tipperary, accounting for over 60% of the applications. Said Matthew Thomas, CEO of Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Airport: “We are delighted at the incredible demand for these flights but can’t say we’re entirely surprised. Is there really a better draw than Santa! “Airports are a magical place at Christmas as they are where homecomings …

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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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Christmas at the coalface of Syrian crisis

BACK in 1995, Mountshannon woman Ann McNamara decided to leave her job with an insurance company and work with Concern in Bangladesh for a two-year period. More than 20 years later, she is still working with an organisation responding to crisis situations. An assistant country director with GOAL, based in Antakya on the Turkey/Syria border for six months, Ann says spending Christmas away from home and family has become the norm. “Over the 22 years I have been overseas, I have probably spent two or three Christmases back in Ireland,” she says. “This is normal for me. It’s so crazy here you don’t even realise it’s Christmas.” Ann initially worked with Concern for 11 years as a regional HR advisor, before working with Oxfam and then Save the Children UK in South Sudan. She returned to Concern in 2011 to work as an assistant country director in Liberia for two years and then spent one year in Lebanon. “I finished my …

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