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Breaking News

GAA set May dates for Banner’s return to inter-county action

THE Clare hurlers are set to begin their National League campaign on the weekend of May 8/9, while the county’s footballers will return to action the following weekend, according to the GAA fixture calendar released today. Intercounty teams are to resume training on April 19, and the football league will see a regionalised format this year, with Clare facing Cork, Laois and Kildare in Division 2 South. They will begin with an away tie against Kildare. After the action begins the hurlers will have five league games, but the competition will not have a specific final this year, with the winners of Divisions 1A and 1B being joint winners, or if they meet in the championship, this will double as a final. As in 2020 the Munster and Leinster hurling championships will be knock out, with a back door qualifier system. The football championship will be knock out, with no qualifier system. Both the football and hurling championships will get …

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Sam sharpens focus on starting knife making school in Clare

“I CAME over to Dublin from Ghana for what was meant to be six months, to help my friends set up a restaurant and plan a menu, then I blinked and found five years had gone by.” Sam Gleeson is reflecting on the road that has led him to Ennistymon and how he has come to set up a knife making business that last week won him a prestigious national craft award with a €10,000 bursary. Using metal and woodworking techniques, and using found and reclaimed materials, even washed-up ocean plastics, he creates beautiful, distinctive knives for culinary use. The plan now is to open a teaching facility in Ennistymon to share his bladesmith craft with others and Sam plans to use his bursary to attend a forge-welding course in the US and take his own skills to the next level. “Reclaimed wood and plastic goes in the handles,” he says, “but what I’m becoming known for is making my …

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Considine returns to full-back for Ireland in Six Nations opener

HEAD Coach Adam Griggs has named Clare’s Eimear Considine at full-back in his Ireland Match Day 23 to face Wales in Saturday’s Women’s Six Nations game in Cardiff. Considine returns to number 15 as one of the three changes in personnel from the victory over Italy last time out. Ireland will be captained by Ciara Griffin in the opening game of their 2021 Championship campaign at Cardiff Arms Park (Kick-off 5pm, live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player), with Griggs’ starting XV showing three changes to the side that beat Italy at Energia Park last October. Commenting on his selection, Head Coach Griggs says the competition for places within the squad has intensified in recent weeks as the squad stepped up their preparations at the IRFU High Performance Centre. “We are extremely confident in the squad we have selected,” he said. “We have had a great deal of time to prepare together and this group of players have earned the responsibility …

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Anger as property earmarked for social housing lies empty for 19 years

A LANDMARK property in Mountshannon has lain idle for 19 years, with no progress on plans for sheltered accommodation, in a situation branded by a local councillor as “shocking” and “a disgrace”. The status of Mountshannon House was raised by Councillor Pat Burke who said that “a major mistake” had been made when the property was sold, by the local authority, in 2002. The meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District was told that Respond Voluntary Housing Association had purchased the building with a view to creating homes for the elderly and those with special needs under the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS). In response to Councillor Burke’s query, the council outlined how the purchase had been financed by a loan raised by the local authority. A written reply noted that the accommodation scheme has not progressed to-date, and that Respond remains responsible for the building’s maintenance and upkeep “as they own the house with Clare County Council having a charge on …

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27% out of work in Clare, as McNamara warns State response will bankrupt Ireland

MORE than one in four people in Clare’s workforce are currently on the live register or receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. There are more than three times as many people in Clare getting support due to lack of employment than was the case in February 2020, before Covid-19 had reached Ireland. By any pre-Pandemic standards, the figures are incredible, reflecting a level of unemployment that would be unthinkable at any other time. This week Clare TD Michael McNamara has warned that Ireland’s approach to the pandemic over the past year will lead to economic ruin, while he compared the lack of dissenting voices to the latter years of the Celtic Tiger, when there was little criticism of economic policies that brought disaster. “The key is to work safely but we didn’t make an attempt to work safely, we just stopped working altogether. I’m not aware of any country in Europe that has dealt with it the way we have, which …

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Russell Links Up With Clare SFC Champions For 2021 Campaign

Clare senior football champions Kilmurry Ibrickane have added one of the best known names in Clare football to their backroom team for the 2021 campaign. St Senan’s Kilkee clubman and former county star David Russell has been confirmed as part of manager Aidan ‘Horse’ Moloney’s backroom team, with the ‘Bricks bidding to retain their title after winning a 16th senior championship last year. Russell, who coached Naomh Eoin to the Clare Junior A football title in 2014 and 2017, also had spells involved with his native club Kilkee and Cooraclare. He faced Kilmurry Ibrickane on the field in county finals twice in his club career, winning his second county title in 2005 scoring 0-3 in their in their 3-8 to 1-9 win. He was on the losing side when the sides met in the showpiece again in 2009, with the Brick’s winning 0-12 to 2-3 before going on to contest the All Ireland club final. It is understood that the …

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GAA Set To Outline 2021 Fixtures Plan Later Today

An update on the GAA’s fixtures calendar for the 2021 season is expected to be outlined later today (Thursday). Intercounty teams are set to return to training on Monday April 19, with a regionalised format set to be adopted for the National Football Leagues in order to reduce the amount of travel for teams to limit the risk of Covid-19. Ahead of that, two proposals have been put forward for counties in the National Hurling league to choose from with the decision on the preferred option having an impact on when competitive action will return. One option is for the 12 teams in Division One to be split into two groups of six, which would see a minimum of five games for each team. Those games would be played over five consecutive weekends, with the top two teams in each group contesting the National League final, while the bottom two teams will play off in the relegation decider. It is …

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New Moneypoint offshore wind energy plan will power 1.5 million homes

THE FUTURE viability of Moneypoint Power Station has been thrown a much needed lifeline under a new proposed offshore wind development project, which has the potential to generate enough energy to power up 1.5 million homes reports Dan Danaher. Under a new public private partnership between the ESB and Equinor, a new multi-million Euro project concerning a 270 km2 flaghship floating offshore wind development is being planned off the coast of Clare and Kerry. Details of the new plan are due to be announced by the ESB under Ireland’s long-term decarbonisation strategy this Friday. The Clare Champion has learned the ESB and Equinor submitted a Foreshore License application to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in January, and a lot of preliminary work has already been undertaken preparing the groundwork for a new planning application. In addition to revitalising Moneypoint Power Station, this project would provide a commercial rates windfall for Clare County Council, pending planning approval. This …

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