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Lisdoonvarna to vote on arrival of asylum seekers

THE people of Lisdoonvarna are set to vote on whether they will accept asylum seekers in the North Clare town from March 5. A Direct Provision centre is to open on the first Monday in March with approximately 30 asylum seekers due on that date. A maximum of 115 can be housed in the King Thomond Hotel in the town. The hotel is owned by Marcus White who spoke at a public meeting last Friday, which was attended by approximately 100 local people. A further meeting has been called for Wednesday night in the Pavilion in the town at which Fáilte Lisdoonvarna, a local community group, has said a vote will take place. The idea of holding a vote had initially been mooted at last Friday’s meeting. “In order to vote, you must be on the register of electors for the parish,” Lisdoonvarna Fáilte said on their Facebook page. “Or bring an official document, bill or a bank statement with …

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Heated views at Lisdoonvarna Direct Provision public meeting

A public meeting, addressing the opening of a Direct Provision centre in Lisdoonvarna on March 5, was attended by approximately 100 people at the Pavilion in the town on Friday morning. The meeting heard stringent criticism from many speakers who questioned whether Lisdoonvarna was equipped to cater for up to 115 asylum seekers, approximately 30 of whom are due to start living there on the first Monday of next month. While some speakers said that they would like to help the asylum seekers, many maintained that the town, which has a population of 300 people, does not have sufficient health, educational or social services to cater for the perspective new arrivals. However, some doubt was cast on the future of the Direct Provision centre in the town when King Thomond Hotel proprietor, Marcus White, said that he had yet to formally sign the contract and that he would listen to the views of local people, before making a definite decision. …

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Local schools give gum the boot

A NATIONWIDE schools’ campaign to raise student awareness of littering is being supported by St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil and Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna. The Gum Litter Taskforce team visited both schools recently to deliver the Bin It! message. It features an actor-led workshop visiting secondary schools across the participating local authority areas. The workshop is geared towards first year students and explores littering and social responsibility. This is the 11th year the ‘Bin it!’ campaign has toured Ireland and to date over 45,242 students have taken part, with 6,024 attending one of the 63 workshops that ran in 2016 alone. Chairman of the GLT, Paul Kelly said, “The overall aim of the Gum Litter Taskforce campaign has always been to exact a behaviour change amongst the proportion of the public that dispose of chewing gum incorrectly. The Bin It! tour has proven to be an extremely effective, fun and interactive means of getting the important GLT gum disposal message to younger audiences. …

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Michelin Success for Clare Chefs

History was made this week when a North Clare pub secured its first Michelin Star, the first public house to receive the accolade in the country. The Wild Honey Inn, in Lisdoonvarna owned and run by prominent chef Aidan McGrath and his partner Kate Sweeney was awarded a Michelin Star in the 2018 Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland earlier this week. This wasn’t the only Clare success at the awards event, as Sixmilebridge woman, and head chef at the Five Fields restaurant in Chelsea, London Marguerite Keogh retained the Michelin star she received last year at the same event. The Wild Honey Inn has been a Michelin Bib Gourmand holder since 2010 and becomes the only newcomer to join what is now an 11-strong list of Michelin Star restaurants in the Republic of Ireland. Rebecca Burr, editor of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, said, “It’s such good news that Ireland has its first pub with a Michelin …

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Lisdoonvarna hits the screen in Oz

LISDOONVARNA and other areas of North Clare featured in an episode of a popular Australian TV show, The Living Room last week. The show aired on Network Ten and included an interview with matchmaker Willie Daly, and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher Filming took place last autumn and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The Living Room is presented by Dr Chris Brown , an Australian veterinarian, TV personality and author, famously known as the ‘Bondi Vet’. Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia, said, “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Dr Chris and the team from The Living Room chose to film in County Clare. With an audience of about 700,000 viewers per episode, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lisdoonvarna and the county to a huge Australian audience. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel …

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Clearning the ballroom in Lisdoonvarna

WORK is underway in Lisdoonvarna on creating a historical exhibition in the ballroom of the Spa Wells. The aim is to show how the town developed from the discovery of the different wells in the mid-1700s right up to modern times. Lisdoonvarna Historical Society is behind the project and will be using photographs, prints and arterfacts to try and bring history to life. Pat Dowling is chairman of the group and he said, “It’s a work in progress at the moment. We got a small grant from Leader so we decided we will put up 20 roll-up banners, put on some of the high-resolution photographs. There are some super photographs, both in the National Library and some of the ones we have ourselves. We’re going to have some display trays and a bit of memorabilia in general from the Spa Wells and the town as well.” The group already has a fair bit of work done and Pat is hopeful …

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High radon gas levels in Clare

RADON gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and Clare has one of the highest rates of radon in the country, with 18% of monitored houses in the county recording high levels of the gas. On foot of an awareness campaign, the EPA is encouraging householders to check the levels of radon in their homes and take measures to reduce their exposure to the silent killer. Senior scientist with the EPA and manager of the radon and radiation measurements services, David Fenton, said acceptable levels of radon within the home are anything up to 200 units but, in the last 12 months, a recording 10 times that was found in Ennis. “In County Clare, the highest level we found was 3,500 units near Lisdoonvarna in a private house in 2010. The radiation dose that people in that house were receiving would be the equivalent of 12 chest x-rays a day. The more we measure, the more …

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70 years looking for love in Lisdoon

A BACHELOR farmer, who has been coming to Lisdoonvarna for the past 70 years, is still hopeful he will meet “the one”. Ninety-two-year-old Mick Burke, a sheep farmer from Borrislea in County Tipperary, first came to Lisdoonvarna with his mother in 1946. Mick, who was 23 at the time, said, “I fell in love with the atmosphere, the music and the dancing and, of course, the women. After that I was hooked and have been coming back every year since, still hopeful I will meet someone. “I never married. I had a lot of lucky escapes. I fell in love with several women I met in Lisdoonvarna,” he said. A pocket-full of phone numbers he picked up on his visits to the Spa town in September was, he said, “ my fodder for the winter”. He had no shortage of dates and would go dances but had no notion of getting married. “I had a few girlfriends over the years; …

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