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Tag Archives: christmas

Finding comfort at nativity at the Height

THE spirit of Christmas is set to be brought out onto the streets of Ennis in a very special way this week. On Christmas Eve, a nativity scene crib will be set up at O’Connell Square, highlighting the spiritual meaning of the holiday season to passersby on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. This is the second year that the crib has been installed at the prominent Ennis location. The crib will be in place from 2pm to 4.30pm on Thursday. As well as the nativity scene, there will be festive music from the Wylde Roses choir and the Clarecastle Youth Choir, and some mince pies on the day. Ennis priest Fr Ger Fitzgerald who is behind the endeavour explained, “The whole idea behind the crib is to show people another side of the church, in that the church is not just four walls. It is a part of life, the church wants to identify with people’s …

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Home for the holidays

AROUND 57,000 passengers are set to arrive into the country through Shannon for Christmas, sparking countless emotional scenes and moments at the airport. On Tuesday afternoon, Paddy Fitzgerald from Corofin was waiting for his daughter Catherine and her husband to arrive from London. He said his daughter had been born in England and after coming back to live in Ireland, had returned to London again. “Catherine was born there, Richard is an Englishman. Catherine would have been home and then went back in the early 1980s. They’re staying for a week and going back for New Year’s.” Frances and Seamus Cahill from Galway were waiting for their daughter, Rowena, son-in-law and one-year-old grand-daughter, Celia.This will be their first time to have a grandchild in the house for Christmas. “We’re looking forward to it. We’ve pushed the boat out and we’re hoping everything will be good,” said Seamus. There was much excitement when Rowena arrived with her daughter Celia walking beside …

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Clearing Christmas waste campaign 

A campaign aimed at promoting good recycling practices and cutting down on the mountains of waste sent to landfill over the Christmas period has been launched. The Southern Region Waste Management Office has published a list of items that often end up contaminating recycling bins having been mistakenly identified as recyclable. Among the items are foil containers or crisp bags, crisp tubes, jars, nappies, plastic film and soiled packaging. “Recyclables get rejected if the recycling companies spot contamination that can spoil the quality of the recycled materials and the sorting machinery,” explained Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region. “This waste can be very expensive to dispose of, while it also leads to more waste than is required being set to landfill,” she added. Outlining some tips for recycling, Ms McDonogh stated, “Plastics with recycling codes 1, 2 and 5 are fully recyclable and should always be put in the recycling bin. These codes are located at the base …

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Have an Irish turkey dinner

A call has gone out to consumers to support local farmers by buying Irish reared turkeys this Christmas. IFA Poultry chairman Nigel Renaghan said: “Buy an Irish turkey and be sure of what you’re getting for Christmas. Irish turkeys are reared to the highest possible welfare standards and are fully traceable back to farm.” “By buying Irish you will be supporting the hard work put in year-round on family farms throughout the country to produce top quality, sustainable food; you’ll help to support your local economy and to sustain the 300,000 jobs connected to farming and food in Ireland.” The IFA Poultry chairman thanked all retailers who are supporting Irish and providing their customers with an Irish reared turkey this Christmas. Mr Renaghan urged consumers who want to buy Irish and to support Irish farmers to check origin labels or to challenge the butcher or retailer directly about the origin of their meat. He reminded consumers who wished to buy …

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A cold Christmas in prospect for Clare families

An estimated 20,300 people in Clare are suffering from fuel deprivation according to trade union Unite, which has issued a brief report highlighting the prevalence of fuel deprivation on a county-by-county basis. Entitled A Cold Christmas, the document uses the most recent (2014) figures for the EU-SILC heat affordability indicator, which show that over 700,000 people were unable to afford heating at some point during the year,  and adjusts them for county-level income figures to arrive at a county-by-county estimate.  The union also proposes a package of short and medium-term measures to address fuel deprivation. Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said, “Fuel deprivation impacts on the personal dignity, health and well-being of those directly affected. It diminishes family life at home and can impact on productivity at work. It also results in an increased demand on health and social services. Fuel deprivation is directly related to the increased rate of death in cold weather – what is known as excess winter mortality. The causes of fuel …

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Increase in road deaths “a worrying trend”

The rise in fatalities on the county’s roads is “a worrying trend”, according to the head of Clare’s Road Traffic Division, Inspector John Ryan. He was speaking as gardaí have issued an urgent appeal this Christmas season advising motorists and road users to drive safely. To date in 2014, there have been four fatalities in County Clare and five in County Galway. An Garda Síochána have said they want to ensure those numbers do not increase over the Christmas and new-year period. Commenting on the figures and the Western Region Road Safety Christmas Campaign 2014, which began on December 1 and will conclude on January 4, 2015. Inspector Ryan said, “We had four fatalities from three road traffic collisions and that’s an increase from two fatalities last year and the previous year. It absolutely is a worrying trend and our aim would be to have zero fatalities and that’s our goal but any increase is something you don’t want to …

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Never Forgotten at Christmas

Special occasions can be very difficult for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, but there are things that the bereaved can do to make things a little easier, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has advised as Christmas Day draws near. People who are bereaved should plan ahead and keep things simple, as a way of coping with their loss this Christmas, according to Dr Susan Delaney, clinical psychologist and bereavement services manager at the IHF. A recent IHF survey on attitudes to death and dying in Ireland revealed that 53% of the adult population suffered bereavement in the last two years – that is more than one and a half a million people who will be missing a family member or friend this festive season. “There is something about Christmas that intensifies all our emotions. The hype begins in October and builds up in the weeks before Christmas, often making make it a very difficult time …

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Santa flying high at Shannon

A very merry Christmas, with an anticipated 15% increase in passenger numbers from 12 months ago, kicked off at Shannon Airport at the weekend, as 2,000 children and parents got to meet Santa in the skies. In an initiative to thank the public for its support over what has been a year of strong growth, as well as raise some much needed funds for two local charities, Shannon Airport, in partnership with Ryanair, made Christmas come early for the excited children as 12 flights took the skies over Saturday and Sunday. Among those getting to savour this special moment were special needs children from the Clare Crusaders Clinic, St Gabriel’s School in Limerick and Mirmear Autism Unit in Tipperary. Demand for the ‘free flights’, the booking fee for which goes to charity, was so high that they booked out in all of 12 minutes, when they went up for grabs two weeks ago. The airport is readying itself for its …

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