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Breaking News

Three from Clare are charged in crime sting

Operation targeting organised crime gang yields cash, guns, drugs, cars and horses THREE people with Clare addresses have appeared in court charged in connection with one of the biggest garda operations targeting serious crime. Over half a million euro in cash and account funds; drugs; high-end vehicles; and horses including a €50,000 stallion, were seized during the major operation which took place in a series of raids, including along the Clare Limerick border. The garda investigation, code-named ‘Operation Coronation’, was specifically launched last year to target the assets of the Limerick based Keane Collopy crime gang. In excess of of 300 gardai from the Limerick Division, supported by national units, members of the Defence Forces, as well as officers from Revenue and Customs, swooped on 67 homes, premises, and lands. Nineteen suspects were arrested, 14 were charged, and five remained in custody. Two women and a man with Clare addresses were charged before Limerick District Court, Wednesday. They are accused …

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Shannon Development photographic archive to be made available worldwide

A PHOTOGRAPHIC archive chronicling the evolution of Shannon town and the broader region is set to be made available globally. The Special Collections and Archives Department at University of Limerick’s Glucksman Library has been awarded significant funding to digitise the Shannon Development photographic archive. UL’s Special Collections has been awarded around €125,000 (£107,365) in funding from the Wellcome Trust to catalogue, conserve, digitise and increase accessibility to the key photographic archive, which boasts around 25,000–36,000 original photographic negatives. The funding is part of an overall award of almost €500,000 (£427,809) granted by Wellcome to the collaborative project ‘The New Jerusalems: post-war New Town archives in Britain and Ireland’, granted to a network of archives services to catalogue and conserve eleven post-war new town collections. This funding award from the global charitable foundation is significant for UL, as it will allow the Glucksman Library to hire dedicated project staff and to purchase the necessary materials to catalogue, digitise and rehouse the …

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Funding boost for outdoor dining in Ennis town centre

FUNDING of €186,975 has been allocated to Clare County Council to transform parts of Ennis to facilitate permanent outdoor dining. Francis Street, Lower Parnell Street, Abbey Street Car Park and the Temple Gate Plaza are set to benefit from the funding announced under Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme. Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland announced the locations of 38 permanent Outdoor Dining facilities to be developed in 19 counties nationwide, including Clare. Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme opened for applications in March 2021 and comprises two parts. Wednesday’s announcement relates to Part Two of the scheme. All local authorities were invited to apply to Fáilte Ireland for funding under Part Two – Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme – to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining in urban tourism centres.  Part One of the Scheme – Outdoor Seating and Accessories – supports individual hospitality businesses with grants of …

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Staff shortages could force North Clare hotel to close

A WELL known North Clare hotel is facing closure for a temporary period due to chronic staff shortages, it emerged this week. Staff shortages in the hospitality sector in the Burren could hamper Autumn bookings, following one of the busiest summers in the region in recent years in terms of Irish visitors. Hotels and self-catering accommodation providers have reported bookings are up on last year, due to a combination of recent fine weather and the desire to holiday at home due to coronavirus restrictions, abroad. Despite Ireland’s vaccine roll out success many people are still putting off taking international holidays until next year. But an exodus of staff from the sector is proving to be a major hurdle for many businesses in the Burren region. One of the businesses badly affected by staff shortages is Gregans Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan. Simon Haden, owner of Gregans Castle said the hotel are extremely busy up to the end of October. However, he …

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End of an era for Larkin’s of Miltown Malbay

THE doors of Larkin’s newsagents in Miltown Malbay closed its doors for the last time at the weekend, marking the end of an era. After 22 years serving the local community Michael Larkin describes the final days at the store as “very emotional” as customers dropped in to wish him well. The Kilkee native and his late wife Anne took over the shop from the Hurley family back in 1999, a few years after the couple had returned to Clare after living in New York. “We came back from the States in 1995 and we had a bar for four years, The Lark’s Nest. We decided we had enough, I was in the bar game in New York and if I was going to make money from it I would have there. We took over from the Hurleys in 1999, we bought the shop because it was a little goldmine. There were no supermarkets around at that time and Hurley’s …

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Magic back on Lees Road fairy trail as new post box is delivered

FAIRY magic is returning to Ennis thanks to local efforts to restore a beloved children’s attraction recently destroyed by vandals. Last week The Clare Champion detailed how a fairy post box, part of the popular Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Lees Road fairy trail was smashed beyond repair in an act described as “heartbreaking”. We can now reveal that a brand new fairy post box has been installed along the trail, and is now open for children to write their letters to the magical folk who live along the woodland looped walk. The pretty new post box featuring images of fairies, dragonflies and butterflies has been created by Ennis’ Martin Tuohy. Councillor Mary Howard, who initiated the idea for the fairy trail said she is delighted that Martin stepped in to build a new post box for the children. “On foot of the publicity regarding the fairy post box being destroyed a local man, a neighbour of mine Martin Tuohy offered …

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The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis is the place to be for literary lovers this weekend (sponsored)

IN celebration of this Saturday’s Ennis Book Club Festival The Old Ground Hotel has put pen to paper and created the perfect ‘book lovers break’. The hotel, of course, has many literary connections of its own, featuring a cosy library area for residents and it celebrates many of the great Irish Poets throughout the hotel, particularly in the bar area where painted portraits hang of writers like Seamus Heaney and Oscar Wilde. Fittingly then they have titled their Book Club Festival offer The ‘Poet’s Package’ which includes a one-night stay in a luxurious and spacious room or suite, dinner in the acclaimed Poet’s Corner bar which features delicious fresh local Ennis produce. Guests availing of the ‘Poet’s Package’ will also receive a signed copy of ‘This is Happiness’ by Man Booker nominated novelist Niall Williams in their room upon arrival along with tickets to a book festival headline event of your choice. Just days now to the #EBCF2021 Sept 11th …

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East Clare musician wins prestigious young player of year award

TULLA musician Sorcha Costello is to be honoured as part of the highly prestigious TG4 Gradam Ceoil, which was launched in Belfast last night, writes Fiona McGarry. The talented fiddle player was chosen as Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana and will be presented with the award at ceremony that will be broadcast on TG4 on October 31 at 9.30pm. Sorcha, who is now Galway-based, but returns regularly to Tulla to teach told The Champion of her delight at the award. “To receive this honour is just mind-blowing,” she said. “I play for the love and enjoyment of music and it’s a huge honour to have that recognised.” Sorcha is the daughter of MÓrglór Award winner, Mary MacNamara, and Kevin Costello, who makes and repairs concertinas. Mary, was Sorcha’s first music teacher, and according to her daughter is herself “a secret fiddle player”. “Dad is a lovely singer and a great dancer,” Sorcha added. “Both of them are over the moon at …

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