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Clare poet Grace’s Platform to advance her work

NORTH Clare writer and poet Grace Wells has been announced as the Clare artist for 2022’s Platform 31 scheme. Platform 31 is a nationwide artist development scheme involving 31 local authority offices across the country in collaboration with the Arts Council. It is designed to support artists to reflect on and develop their practice or make work in a new way, while being connected with and supported by peer practitioners, advisors and mentors. Thirty-one participating artists, one from each Local Authority area in Ireland, have been announced including Grace who was named Ennistymon Poetry Town Poet Laureate in 2021. Developed by the Association of Local Authority Arts Offices (ALAAO) with the Arts Council, Platform 31 offers two elements of support – financial and developmental – for mid-career artists across all disciplines. Speaking about the announcement, Grace said, “I’m delighted to have been selected for Platform 31. It’s a unique opportunity for me to connect with other artists and consider different …

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Volunteer spirit at Ennis IWA charity shop rewarded

“OUR volunteers are the backbone of what we do,” says Tina Nagle, shop supervisor at the Irish Wheelchair Association’s charity shop in Ennis’ Elevation Business Park. Tina was speaking to The Champion as the shop’s team celebrated scooping an impressive four national awards from the Irish Charity Shop Association, including Volunteer of the Year for Margaret Hurley. And she revealed the success of the Ennis shop, which has expanded to 3,000 square feet at its base on the Clon Road, is set to become the model for any new shops to be opened by the charity in the future. According to Tina they were “thrilled” to receive accolades from the Irish Charity Shop Association at their recent awards ceremony in Dublin. As well as Margaret’s national Volunteer of the Year award, selected from charity shops all over Ireland, volunteer Hasibullah Darwish was runner up in the Volunteer throughout Ireland category; Teresa Marshall received a special Volunteer Recognition award and Tina …

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Stage set for 400th anniversary Spancilhill Fair celebrations

FINAL preparations are underway ahead of the return of the legendary Spancilhill Fair to the festival calendar on Thursday, June 23.  The event, which had to be cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic, was almost mothballed permanently, due to insurance issues. In April, an eleventh hour intervention by Clare County Council secured its future and paved the way for celebrations this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the world renowned horse fair.  “It’s the 400th anniversary and we really hope that people will come along and enjoy the event,” said PRO and local vet Paddy Hassett. “People tend to arrive the night before and, on the day of the fair, we’ll have the car parks open from around 6.30am. We have significant visitor parking in place, as well as a large parking facility for those transporting horses. We’re finalising the traffic management plan and would ask people to respect the stewards and the Gardaí.” With …

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INMO claims overcrowded UHL flouting fire regulations

FIRE safety reports are not being adhered to in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) due to chronic overcrowding, a nursing union has claimed. In a statement issued to The Clare Champion, the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) called on the Health and Safety Authority to act on the “unsafe conditions” affecting nurses and patients. It has also emerged that the union is considering consulting its members on the possibility of balloting for industrial action. “The dignity of patients is often diminished because of the conditions they are being treated in,” the INMO states. “Emergency Departments are pressure cooker environments leading to the physical and verbal assault of our members in some instances. “The HSE has a duty to provide a safe environment for employees and patients and this just is not being adhered to in the vast majority of hospitals. “Our nurses are at the end of our tether, and they cannot provide the clinical care that is required. They …

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Tulla gives thanks for the life of Fr Brendan Lawlor

FOND tributes have been paid on the passing, at the age of 92, of Fr Brendan Lawlor, Assistant Priest of Tulla.  At his funeral mass Bishop Fintan Monahan gave thanks for Fr Brendan’s long, happy and fruitful life and his “remarkable breath of pastoral experience”. The bishop paid tribute to Fr Brendan’s decades-long ministry. This was mainly in the priesthood, but Fr Brendan also ministered as a lay person and counsellor after being dispensed from his vows in his mid 40s to marry. After the untimely passing of his wife, Paula Jean Anthony, he returned to the priesthood and spend the last 22 years of his life in Tulla.  Michael Patrick Brendan Lawlor was born in O’Brien’s Bridge on March 4, 1930. He began studies for the priesthood in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on the June 19, 1955 for the diocese of St. Augustine Florida. His first appointment was to St. Rose of Lima Parish …

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GALLERY: Donations instrumental to school’s music programme

TRADITIONAL music frequently reverberates through Scoil Chríost Rí in Cloughleigh, with instruments that the school has received through an instrument appeal run by Councillor Mary Howard. The latest haul was brought to the school last Friday morning and music teacher Karen Vaughan said that the instruments received over the years have made a huge difference, giving children access to music that they wouldn’t otherwise have had. “It’s fantastic. Mary Howard set up an instrument donation scheme for us many years ago, on the back of a wonderful visit we had from the Phoenix Twinning Committee Band. “They came from America on a visit, we had a band here and when the two came together something magic happened. “Mary was here that day and she said will we set up an instrument donation scheme because there must be loads of instruments around the county not being used. “Over the years I’ve been championing traditional music here in the school and I …

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Clare gardai issue warning over bogus tradespeople

GARDAI have urged caution when engaging people to do work on their properties. Clare crime prevention officer Sergeant Triona Brooks reported a recent cautionary incident. “A few months ago a lady began communicating with a person purporting to be a tradesman on a Facebook community page. “She asked him would he do a job that she needed done in her house – he subsequently called to her, a price was agreed and the lady paid three separate instalments of a large sum of money into this person’s account. He has since deleted his page from Facebook and has never carried out the work paid for. “We would urge people to only use recommended genuine tradespeople. “If anxious or you think that there are bogus callers/trades people in your area contact your local Garda Station. If you think you have been scammed contact your bank as soon as you can to report the matter.”

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Clare youths have designs on fashioning climate change response

YOUNG people with designs on helping to tackle the climate crisis are being offered a stylish opportunity in the Junction, Ennis which will see them set the trend for a more sustainable future. Clothes production is a major contributor to excessive energy use and Clare Youth Service, with the assistance of Youth Work Ireland’s Climate Justice Fund and Councillor Mary Howard, are now in a position to offer training to young people in reducing carbon footprint through sustainable fashion techniques. Having attended Sustainable Fashion workshops delivered by the Rediscovery Centre, CYS staff have rolled out programmes to young people at the Junction in Ennis as well as in Shannon. Two Sustainable Fashion Projects were recently run in the Junction Youth and Community building in which 12 young people had the opportunity to learn more about the impact of fast fashion and the importance of sustainable fashion. They acquired skills, knowledge and tools needed to upcycle, repair, alter and customize their own clothes. …

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