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Elaine painting the nation

From painting pets to Painting the Nation, Ennis-based artist Elaine Gavin is helping to bring a bit of colour to television screens after being named among the finalists in RTÉ’s search to find Ireland’s best amateur painter. The teacher in Lissycasey National School is one of seven contestants chosen from hundreds of accomplished artists who applied to take part in the second series of the popular Painting the Nation show. She revealed that while she was supposed to keep her television debut a secret, she couldn’t help but let it slip to some of her biggest fans. “I was actually at school when I found out the news and the kids were the first to find out. They probably shouldn’t have, because I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone, but you know yourself. It was just so exciting,” she said. The 31-year-old, who teaches senior infants and first class, said she couldn’t believe she had made it to the show. “I …

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Crowe up and running in Dáil race

Councillor Cathal Crowe may become one of the youngest public representatives to contest the next general election in Clare but he chose an old style Fianna Fáil rally-type event to officially launch his bid on Wednesday afternoon. Standing on an open top trailer surrounded by political posters from the last three local elections, Councillor Crowe also turned back the clock by launching his election campaign outside the home of the last Dáil deputy from South-East Clare, Paddy Brennan. The fact that the Brennans were Free Staters and staunch Cumann na nGaedheal members didn’t deter the 34-year-old from declaring his intention to run in the next general election at Brennan’s Cross in Meelick. The passionate historian recalled that while on the run, the Brennans often took shelter at his grandparents’ house in Woodcock Hill, just three miles from the cross. With former Clare hurler Niall Gilligan providing the warm-up speech, Councillor Crowe then outlined his vision. “For 95 years, this corner …

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Save the last dance for Strictly

THE final Strictly Come Dancing will take place in the Armada Hotel on Saturday, November 22 and again the following Saturday, November 29. This will represent the fourth staging of the event, which raises money for the provision of the building of house in Cherven, Belarus, for young adults who have left the nearby orphanage. Primary organiser, Edel Smith has been involved in helping the Cherven orphans for many years. This final series of Strictly will result in the finishing touches on the house in Belarus. Ten couples have dedicated their time and energy over the past few months to prepare for Strictly, while Christina Cawte has given her time and energy over the past four years in helping the dancers to get ready. “She is such a brilliant person, who strives so hard to bring out the best in all our couples. Christina is an amazing choreographer, who should be so proud of what she has accomplished. Charlie Killeen …

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Maureen proves age is no barrier

ENNIS woman, Maureen Cronin from Mountain View has proven that age is no barrier when honoured at the 2014 Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards ceremony in Dublin which celebrate those who made a significant, and often unheralded, contribution to society. RTE personality Brenda Donohue presented the 92-year-old with the ‘Age Is No Barrier Award’. Maureen was recognised for having played a key role in getting the marriage ban lifted for school teachers in 1950s Ireland. She became a test case for the INTO Teachers’ Union when she defied the ban and carried on teaching in Limerick for a full year without pay, then continuing her career until well after the ban was eventually lifted in 1958. Proving that age is no barrier, the Kerry native delivers parish newsletters to the local shops, writes poetry for The Clare Champion and plays several musical instruments at parish events. She was also featured on RTE’s programme Nationwide recently. Speaking at the function Brenda Donohue, RTE said, …

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