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To Kingdom come

Kerry v Clare at Austin Stack Park Tralee, Sunday 2pm (Austin O’Connell, Galway) After showing plenty of character and teeth in a battling opening victory over Wexford, the tests get decidedly steeper over the next two Sundays. Victory over either Kerry or Meath would be sufficient to earn a place in the Division 2 Semi-Finals. However, with both remaining group games being against senior opposition on away soil, any positive result will be viewed as a bonus to the priorities of performance and unearthing new players for the All-ireland Intermediate series which commence in mid-July. First up are a Kerry side that have their sights set on finally breaking back into the top four in the country. The joint All-Ireland senior Championship roll of honour leaders with neighbours Cork haven’t been in the winners enclosure since 1993 but have consistently reached the business end over the past two decades. A spine of Aislinn Desmond, Lorraine Scanlon, Anna Galvin and Louise …

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TD alleges cabinet interference as Inis Cealtra misses heritage listing

A CLARE TD has alleged Cabinet interference in the selection of sites for potential inclusion on a highly prestigious World Heritage listing. Deputy Michael McNamara made his remarks on receiving written confirmation that The Burren is the only Clare site likely to be put forward for inclusion on a Tentative List of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Currently, Ireland has just two sites recognised for their universal value – Brú na Boinne and Sceilig Mhicíl. Inis Cealtra had been included in a grouping of six early medieval monastic sites, alongside Glendalough and Clonmacnoise, for the 2010 Tentative List. Designation did not progress, Deputy McNamara told the Dáil this Wednesday over a lack of interest from Offaly County Council. The likely applications, ahead of a June 30 deadline, for inclusion on the updated list were outlined this week by Minister Peter Burke and include The Burren, Glendalough Monastic Site, the Passage Tomb Landscapes of Sligo, The Royal Sites, and Valentia Transatlantic Cable …

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Passion and pride in the parish

John Burns can look back on a lifetime of achievement as he steps down as principal of Barefield National School THREE small classrooms, a prefab and outdoor toilets, classes of 45 children in a room meant for 20, stepping over school bags to correct children’s work. The early days of John Burns’ professional life at Barefield National School, where he started in 1980, are a far cry from the modern, richly-resourced facility he retires from this Friday. Now into his last week as principal, John recalled the days when white chalk and blackboard were his only teaching aids and the excitement he felt when the school first got coloured chalk. Interactive white boards and the world wide web have opened up children’s horizons, but without passionate and talented teachers, they mean little, and as the tributes made to John this week indicate, his passion and talent has made a major impact on his community. The journey ahead for John began …

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Clare look to nail down semi-final spot

Clare v Cork at Cusack Park Ennis, Sunday 1.45pm (Derek O’Mahoney, Tipperary) An unprecedented start of back-to-back opening victories have placed Clare on the verge of the Division 2 Semi-Finals. With a foot and a half in the knock-out stages, it would have to take an extraordinary series of results to deny Colm Collins’ men from facing either Meath or Mayo in the last four. However, if Division 2 has taught us anything over the past five seasons, it’s to expect the unexpected and therefore Clare will need to maintain their current impetus against Munster rivals Cork who crave victory equally as much. With all four teams involved in either promotion or relegation play-offs after this weekend’s final round, the Rebels are most in danger of becoming embroiled in the nervy demotion series that would halt their rebuilding process. After all, following recent All-Ireland Minor and Under 20 titles, last year’s Munster Senior Final appearance after dethroning kingpins Kerry along …

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Family’s frustration at inquiry delay

A CLARE family has made its frustration known over the latest delay in the publication of a state inquiry into the Garda investigation of the death of Patrick Nugent in 1984. Former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald appointed retired District Court judge Patrick Clyne to lead an inquiry under Section 42 into the Garda investigation and disciplinary inquiries that took place following the death of Mr Nugent (23) Feenagh, Sixmilebridge at the end of a 40th wedding anniversary party in the early hours of February 11th, 1984. The death of Mr Nugent, Feenagh, Sixmilebridge, was one of the 320 cases examined by the Independent Review Mechanism set up by Minister Fitzgerald, following a complaint made by the family relating to alleged Garda misconduct in June 2014. Judge Clyne completed his inquiry on October 31, 2020 and the Department of Justice received this report on November 3, 2020. The family are concerned about repeated delays in publishing a report concerning the …

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Victory the only option for Clare

National Camogie League Division 3 Round 3 Carlow v Clare at Netwatch Training Centre Fenagh, Saturday 2pm Clare’s aim is simple when embarking on the five hour round trip to Fenagh on Saturday. There’s no need for calculators as it’s do-or-die for the visitors that will only be sated by a victory in order to advance to the Division 3 Semi-Finals. Having consistently reached that lofty stage since taking over four years ago, joint-managers Ann-Marie McGann and Tim McGrath are arguably facing their toughest test to maintain that record against intermediate side Carlow. Of course, Carlow last overcame Clare in the 2014 All-Ireland Junior Championship Semi-Final on their way to national glory. It would provide the catalyst to subsequently soar to an All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship and National League Division 3 double twelve months later, but any further momentum hasn’t materialised as the Leinster side were relegated back to the third league tier for 2020. Perennial top-scorer Ciara Quirke and …

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Clare woman speaks about living with Multiple Sclerosis ahead of World MS Day

A CLARE woman living with Multiple Sclerosis has spoken about her “life changing” diagnosis and the challenges she has faced this year ahead of World MS Day 2021. Margaret Lohan Gunning, said, “I have Multiple Sclerosis, MS, for many years. It is a life-changing diagnosis where one must rethink life’s goals and expectations. “The past year has brought added challenges. While I was concerned about contracting Covid, I knew I had to stay physically active. Margaret told the Champion that physical activity is important for people with MS, for their mental, physical and social wellbeing. “My physical activity consisted of short walks outdoors, face to face group physiotherapy classes and yoga. All that changed in March 2020. I was however able to participate in exercise classes online. “Group exercise classes, organised by the MS community worker and led by a physiotherapist, were delivered via zoom.” World MS Day takes place on Sunday, May 30, with the aim of raising awareness …

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Julie’s charity cycle prompts epic response from public

A KILLALOE mother-of-two has described the €27,000 raised by her daughter’s charity cycle for a major community development as “phenomenal”. “Julie’s Cycle to School” has exceeded the initial €3,000 target ninefold as thousands of euro poured in from people who watched Julie Collins (6), who is a wheelchair user, cycle on her adapted bike. Even the rain didn’t deter Julie from cycling her fourth kilometre from the car park near Gooser’s Bar, Ballina down to the former co-op store on the bridge and back again on Saturday. Flanked by her parents, Nicola and Fergus, a group of about 40 family and friends cheered Julie along the way and posed for photographs with two giant balloons with inscriptions “Well Done Julie” in the viewing area overlooking the lake in the middle of Ballina. Julie will complete her final kilometre at Boher National School. Born in Ballyvalley, Killaloe, Nicola is now living in Boher and is the chairperson of Boher Community Development …

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