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Ogonnolloe twins celebrate Leaving Certificate results on the double

OGONNOLLOE twin brothers had reasons for a double celebration earlier this week when they achieved outstanding results in their Leaving Certificate exams. Oisín McKeogh scooped the highest possible marks of 625 in the Leaving Certificate while his brother, Cathal secured 532. The two brothers attend St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe. Oisín hopes to study film and television production in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire, which is a four-year undergraduate degree, subject to his Leaving Certificate results. The young film maker is very passionate about making films and is eagerly looking forward to honing his craft in Dublin. Acknowledging that securing accommodation in Dublin is quite expensive and will be challenging, he is nevertheless eager to take on the next steps in his academic career. It looks like Cathal will be in college much closer to home as he hopes to study Biological and Chemical Science in the University of Limerick. “I was very happy …

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GPs under pressure due to parental Covid questions

FAMILY doctors are braced for a challenging winter, with pressure already coming on the service just weeks after children returned to school. Already a number of primary classes have had to be suspended temporarily and at least one national school closed due to Covid-19. There is also said to be considerable confusion over what kind of symptoms should raise red flags over attendance at school. “When it comes to the public health guidelines, it seems that the advice from every source is to contact your GP,” said Dr Máire Finn of the Centric Medical Centre. “Given the pressures the service is under, we can’t be the only port of call. We are getting a large number of people with questions over whether or not children should be going to school and sometimes, we just can’t answer them. I can foresee a situation where the whole winter is taken up with people keeping kids off school when they should be in, …

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Wettest summer since 1997

THE summer was exceptionally wet in Shannon, but it was also the warmest place to be in Ireland, according to Met Éireann figures. Rainfall in Shannon was 79% above average for the months of June, July and August, making it the wettest summer in the town since 1997. Overall there was just under 3.9 metres of rainfall, a huge amount for the time of year. Shannon’s mean temperature for the summer was 15.2 degrees celsius, and while this was 0.3 degrees below average, it was still the highest mean temperature recorded across Met Éireann’s network of weather stations. It did get 381 hours of sunshine over the summer, but this was also below the expected amount. The Met Éireann report on the summer said, “After a spring where a weakened Jetstream remained away from Ireland to the north or south, the summer of 2020 saw an unseasonally strong North Atlantic Jetstream dominating our weather, keeping it mostly unsettled and cool …

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Clooney beekeeper in line for another award

A CLOONEY beekeeper is in a strong position to add to his growing collection of awards following his selection as a finalist in the Irish Food Awards. Michael Curran’s Beekeeping and Honey Harvesting has been in operation for over 30 years and the apiary currently has in excess of 200 hives at his home and in various locations throughout East Clare. A key member of Banner Beekeepers’ Association, Mr Curran has won a multitude of awards at national level. Now operating as a full time commercial business in Clooney since he retired from work in 2013, Mr Curran has won awards in the Clonmel and Phoenix Park Honey Shows, fourth prize in a major show in London in a line up of a few hundred competitors and wins accolades on an annual basis. Most of these awards are based on the overall taste, look and presentation of his honey. In 1985, he started beekeeping as a hobby and now breeds …

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Staycation honeymooners provide Clare tourism boost

A BOOST to hotel trade in parts of Clare has come in the form of newly-weds honeymooning at home this year. With a raft of Covid-19 related rules curtailing the size of gatherings at weddings, many have opted to defer their nuptials, but those who are tying the knot in the time of coronavirus, are providing tourism operations with a very welcome staycation boost. “I have seen a lot of Irish honeymooners coming to Clare,” said Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan. “My stocks of champagne are much depleted and anecdotally I’m hearing that couples who are staying in the country for their honeymoons are getting to discover what the country has to offer. I think there is a silver lining here in that people are quite surprised by what their own country has to offer.” In terms of his own business, the former Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) president said that while visitor numbers had been strong in August, he estimate that …

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Bramble Cottage serves up a tasty treat for food awards

MAKING tasty spiced beetroot relish has helped a South- East Clare food producers to secure a place in the 2020 Blas na hEireann Awards finals. Bramble Cottage Produce has beaten off stiff competition to become a finalists in the Irish Food Awards. Kathy McAndrew Wallace is a small artisan producer who makes chutneys, relishes and pickles in her HSE-approved kitchen in Clonlara from home grown vegetables and fruit. Operating from Bramble Cottage, she is a finalist in the relish category for her spiced beetroot relish. Her business evolved out of growing her own vegetables and deciding to make beetroot relish, which is the product that has made it to the finals. She recalled people asked her to make beetroot relish for them, and, as one of the main founders of the Urban Coop in the Eastway Business Park. Limerick, she started selling it in this market. She also makes red onion marmalade, Thomond Red Ale chutney using the red ale …

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Grandmother fears house will fall over building defects

A GRANDMOTHER of ten, living in South East Clare, says she is living in fear over the condition of her home where serious building defects have been identified. Geraldine Kennedy from Parteen came forward after an article in last week’s Champion, where a woman in the north of the county called on others to join the new Clare Pyrite Action Group. “My hair has fallen out over this and I’ve had panic attacks,” Mrs Kennedy said. “We are incredibly frustrated because we’ve had to pay for all kinds of tests and repair work and, at this stage, no matter what we do, it won’t solve the problem. I would be afraid the house will fall down and the only option would be to have it knocked altogether and rebuilt.” Engineer’s reports have shown the presence of a defective material in the blockwork of Mrs Kennedy’s home. The family has already spent thousands on tests to the building to prove the …

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Residents of Summerhill ‘bearing unfair burden’ over mobility plan

ANGER has been expressed by those living on of one of the last remaining residential streets in the centre of Ennis, over the introduction of two-way traffic to facilitate the new mobility plan. Residents of Summerhill have told The Champion that the introduction of two-way traffic for the third time in recent years is the last straw in terms of noise, inconvenience and danger. Nancy O’Brien who has lived in the town since the 1950s said residents are frustrated and in fear. “We have gone along with everything, up to now, for the good of Ennis,” she said. “We had two-way traffic to facilitate works on Parnell Street and two All-Ireland Fleadhs, now we have just had enough. People are speeding through the area and won’t let residents out into the traffic. They’re coming through at all hours and parking and blocking people in all day.” Her son Brendan has made numerous representations to Clare County Council and said residents …

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