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Martin McDonnell, originally from Kilkee, enjoys a read of The Clare Champion in snowy Ontario.

Chilling out with The Champion

KILKEE man Martin McDonnell returned to his native town for a holiday this Christmas, for the first time in five years. Martin and his wife, Tracy, live in Muskoka, Ontario, and to underline his West Clare credentials, Martin brought a copy of The Clare Champion back to Canada with him. His wife then took a photograph of him reading it outside. “He just had to get a photo of himself with The Clare Champion,” Tracy laughed. “Martin says don’t complain about the Clare weather. It’s minus 18 here at the moment. He’d take the weather back home any time, including the rain,” she added. Muskoka, is a regional municipality located in Central Ontario, Canada. Muskoka extends from Georgian Bay in the west, to the northern tip of Lake Couchiching in the south, to the western border of Algonquin Provincial Park in the east. Located approximately a two-hour car drive north of Toronto Muskoka has some 1,600 lakes, making it a …

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‘Champion brings a warm glow to ‘Frozen’ windows

THE retail community in Ennis have created a series of magical, sparkling windows allowing the public to dip into the world of Christmas fantasy. Their imagination was inspired this year by the theme of The Clare Champion’s annual window display competition, Frozen in Ennis. This is the 11th year of the competition and entrants were invited to, once again, give free rein to their creative sides and they certainly Let it Go. The wide interpretation of Frozen in Ennis, inspired by the 2013 Walt Disney film, the highest grossing animation movie of all time, was reflected in the glittering shop fronts all around the town. Since its release last year, Frozen has become a firm favourite with children of all ages. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, it tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey along with a rugged iceman, his loyal pet reindeer and a naive snowman, in …

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Frozen to warm the hearts of Ennis shoppers

ENNIS retailers and shop owners are certain to receive a warm reception, when they enter this year’s Clare Champion Christmas Window Display competition. This year’s competition theme is Frozen in Ennis and is inspired by the 2013 Walt Disney film, which has become the highest-grossing animation movie of all time. Despite the chilly theme, the best-dressed window displays and shopfronts in the county town are certain to get a warm response from shoppers and visitors. This is the 11th year of the competition and entrants are invited to once again give free rein to their creative sides. Managing director, John Galvin said, “The Clare Champion organises this competition to bring out the creative side of our shop owners and service providers. Ennis has a great reputation for its shopfronts and its fine display windows, behind which there are a wonderful variety of retail businesses. “By coupling a Christmas theme with what is already a high standard of window displays, we …

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Kilmurry in pursuit of another Cusack Cup

HENNESSY Memorial Park in Miltown will host The Clare Champion-sponsored Cusack Cup final on Saturday, when holders Kilmurry Ibrickane take on Éire Óg in a repeat of the 2013 final, which the West Clare club won in a replay. This weekend, Kilmurry will be seeking their fourth successive Cusack Cup and their ninth in total, including three won by Quilty in the mid-1930s. The winners will be presented with a €2,000 cheque, while the runners-up will be presented with €1,000 from The Clare Champion. Éire Óg reached this year’s final courtesy of finishing top of the Cusack Cup table, while Kilmurry defeated Miltown 1-11 to 1-7 in the semi-final played in Quilty two weeks ago. Given that both clubs had disappointing ends to this year’s championship, they will be keen to finish the year with a trophy in the cabinet. Of course, Éire Óg beat Kilmurry in this year’s semi-final in Kilmihil before losing the county final to Cratloe. The …

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Simon says, sleep out in Kilrush

Almost 50 people have accepted the challenge to spend a night sleeping rough in Kilrush this Friday  but there is still room for more, according to organisers of the Mid West Simon Community Sleep Out Challenge. Volunteers will sleep under the stars in West Clare to raise awareness and funds to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. “The event is not attempting to replicate the serious situation of being homeless but is an attempt to bring an awareness of the crisis to the forefront of everyone’s mind, for one evening,” explained Jackie Bonfield, manager of Mid West Simon Community. “We can in no way understand the feelings of loss, vulnerability and fear that is felt by those in a homeless situation, as the participants will return in the morning to their homes and move on with their life in security. However, the fundraising efforts will go a long way to help …

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Weight Watchers take cliff walk in their stride

[doptg id=”38″] It started with just the germ of an idea at a Weight Watchers meeting, where members gather each week to be weighed and to gain encouragement to keep losing weight. One of the members, Shelly Galvin, suggested that a social outing would be a good way to increase morale and fellowship. By the end of the class, the members decided that they would tackle the walk along the Cliffs of Moher, with sponsorship from The Clare Champion. As a result, over 50 Weight Watcher members from classes around the county descended on Liscannor last Saturday to tackle the 18km route. Although the weather forecasts were iffy, the day couldn’t have been better, with blue skies and a cooling breeze coming in from the sea. Spirits were high as the group set off, with a cracking initial pace, despite the sometimes uneven and narrow path. It was wonderful to see the Cliffs from a completely different angle and the views …

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‘Champion feature: Education for the Future

Now that Leaving Certificate students have received their results and calculated their points, they can gather their thoughts as to what the future holds for them. There is literally something for everybody out there. This week’s special Clare Champion feature, Education for the Future, can assist students in deciding what universities, ITs, other acredited third level institutions or post Leaving Certificate course providers best suit their career path. In addition to listing the courses, many give a background on the history and particular strengths of their respective centre of education.

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Clare Champion tops the poll for election coverage

The Clare Champion broke new ground with our 2014 Local and European elections coverage. With regular updates on our websites  from our team of reporters, Nicola Corless, Carol Byrne, Dan Danaher, Peter O’Connell and Owen Ryan, and photographer, John Kelly, there was a huge following over the two-day count at Treacys’ West County Hotel in Ennis. There was also big engagement via Facebook and twitter. Up to Wednesday evening, our website election coverage had more than 48,000 hits. Of course, this week’s Clare Champion has  comprehensive election coverage, in particular a debate with former TDs Tony Killeen, Donal Carey and Moosajee Bhamjee, as well as analysts, Mike Torpey and Kevin Halpin.

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