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Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

Cnoc na Gaoithe to host two free concerts

TULLA’S traditional music venue, Cnoc na Gaoithe is to host two free concerts this Friday (May 20) and next.  On May 20 at 8pm, fiddle maestro Liz Kane from Letterfrack, Connemara will take to the stage alongside acclaimed accordion player Danny O’Mahony from Ballyduff in Kerry.  On Friday, May 27, multi-instrumentalist Fergal Scahill, best known as the fiddle player with We Banjo 3 will perform along with Tyrone native Ryan Molloy, an accomplished contemporary classical and traditional piano player.  Admission to both concerts is free but must be pre-booked due to limited seating. Bookings can be made on Eventbrite.com. The concerts are support by Clare Arts Office and The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Local Live Performance Support Scheme (LLPSS). Earlier this month, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, announced details of live events to be staged using the €5m in funding allocated to local authorities for the …

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Kilfenora Cathedral venue for bishop’s ‘enthronement’

A CELEBRATORY service of evensong will welcome the new Anglican bishop of the diocese that covers Kilfenora, to the village’s ancient cathedral on Sunday next, May 22.  The Right Reverent Michael Burrows, whose diocese has recently been expanded to encompass Tuam, as well as Limerick and Killaloe, will be ‘enthroned’ in Kilfenora Cathedral, in a history-making ceremony, at 4pm. It follows the formal installation, on May 1, of the Catholic Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora. Bishop Michael Duignan was formally installed in a ceremony at Galway Cathedral.  Sunday’s ceremony will be a celebration of song and welcome and refreshments will be served in the cathedral after the service. Everyone in the community is welcome to attend. The last enthronement took place in 1981, when Bishop Walton Empey, who was later COI Archbishop of Dublin, came to Kilfenora Cathedral. The bishop’s throne was donated in that year for the deremony, and will be used again on …

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Council look at options for cremated remains in Clare

FACILITIES for housing cremated remains are to be developed at cemeteries across Clare, in response to rising demand and changing funeral practices.  The matter was discussed at the monthly meeting of Clare County Council on foot of a motion from Councillor Alan O’Callaghan who called on the authority to look at installing columbarium walls and other options for urns. The Kilmurry man said he had recently met a lady who inquired about a grave to bury an urn. “It struck me that a lot of ground could be wasted and that all this lady wanted was a place to bury the urn,” he said. “There has been a huge jump since 2016 in cremations and 212 people are cremated in Clare every year. That figure will definitely increase and burial ground at a premium. We need to open a discussion and look at having columbarium walls in graveyards. As it stands, some areas don’t meet bye-laws for full burial, but …

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Appeal lodged against Clare village’s pavilion plan

AN OUTDOOR pavilion planned for Mountshannon has hit a further hitch, with permission for the development being appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Earlier this year, Mountshannon Community Council, which is spearheading the project, secured a funding award of €54,860 from The Department of Rural and Community Development. The facility, to be located at Aistear Park, was given planning permission by Clare County Council at the start of last month. Now, a third-party appeal has been lodged by four residents of the town’s Main Street. The hitch means it will be several months before the future of the project is known. The appeal, which was lodged on April 27, has been made by two couples who had objected to the development when it originally came before the Council. In their correspondence with An Bord Pleanála, the appellants have outlined seven grounds for their opposition to the development. In the first instance, the appellants express the opinion that the planning application should …

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Appeal for more support in responding to Clare’s refugees

“MORE boots on the ground” are being sought to support Ukrainian refugees and the communities welcoming them to Clare.  The appeal came from Councillor Joe Garrihy, who said he is “immensely proud” of the response of communities in Clare. The Lisdoonvarna man, who has been helping to spearhead relief efforts in North Clare, made his call in response to an update from Chief Executive Pat Dowling.  “We have gone from a national high of 750 to between 100 and 150 per day,”” Mr Dowling said. “Most definitely, the numbers have softened somewhat.” In response to an update request from Mary Howard, Mr Dowling said that there are an estimated 2,200 Ukrainian nationals now in Clare. “We had some additional arrivals over the weekend,” he said. “These were small enough numbers. Those that were accommodation in Quin Road have been now relocated to Rowan Tree building, The Abbey Hostel. That Quin Road emergency facility remains available and we have another facility …

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Adventurous Eily celebrates her 100th birthday 

CAMOGIE has been a life-long passion for Quin’s Eileen (Eily) McMahon, who celebrated her 100th birthday in recent weeks. Alongside her sisters, Marcella (Cella), Maisie, Teresa (Tesa) and Kathleen (Dokey), Eily was known for her skill, athleticism and her dedication to her club. Now in her 101st year, Eily is President of Clooney-Quin Camogie and Ladies Football Club and Vice President of the GAA Club. Born Eileen McNamara, Eily was the second youngest in a family of nine from Hazelwood, Quin. Her parents were Jim McNamara and his wife Etta (née Neylan) and her nine siblings were Maisie, Mike, Joe, Paddy, Kathleen, Tom, Marcella and Teresa. Having grown up in a house steeped in hurling, Eily went on to prove her own sporting prowess and talent. “Her brothers were hurlers and their home was close to a pitch,” her daughter Geraldine told The Champion. “There were always people coming and going and the family had a great time growing up.” …

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Garvey: ‘Speeding up medical results is not our job as politicians’

SENATOR Róisín Garvey has criticised delays in cervical screening services, saying they are causing huge stress. The Inagh woman also shared her own experience of the worry that results when a smear test shows up irregularities. “Several women have contacted me to tell me that they have experienced a huge amount of stress caused by delays in getting results after they had an initial cervical smear test, and they experienced further delay, in cases where there were irregularities, in getting an appointment for a colposcopy procedure or have irregular cells removed and discover the final diagnosis,” she told Junior Minister Frank Feighan. “A few women have told me that they had to wait over five months. As a woman who has had a cervical smear test and irregular cells were discovered, I know that as soon as one is told irregular cells have been found one automatically thinks cancer, and one continues to think like that until one is told …

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Clare ‘In-fill’ sites motion generates Council controversy

RURAL development is being seriously stifled by restrictions on ‘in-fill’ sites, a West Clare councillor has said.  At this week’s local authority meeting, Councillor PJ Kelly described the situation as “a landmine” and he called for all references to in-fill sites to be removed from the forthcoming Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029. The Fianna Fáil member said that some people were being refused permission to build a home, on the basis that developing their site would create an in-fill site, a situation the Council did not want to see.  “I know of situations where a farmer wants to give land to a son for example,” he outlined. Planning permission is refused because if son got it, there would be an in-fill site beside it.  This situation is not good enough and it’s downright discrimination. If there’s an in-fill site, someone with plenty of money can come in from outside and build. I have no objection to that and Iove to …

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