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WATCH: Clare’s marine magic in focus with courting sharks

THE WATERS off county Clare are once again the focus of attention for eye-opening marine life action. Last week, a group of scuba divers observed a large gathering of Basking Sharks engaged in what is believed to be courtship behaviour and in doing so, captured some amazing footage. Little is known about the behaviour of the giant creatures, the second largest fish in the sea and, like many, sadly now an endangered species. The man responsible for the footage Mark O’Leary of UL Sub Aqua Club was on a dive with friends from Kilkee Sub Aqua Club when the opportunity arose to film the graceful creatures. Mark told The Champion this week that he and his friends had been planning a regular dive when some jet skiers told them at Kilkee pier that there were Basking Sharks in the area, so the group deliberately went out looking for them. “We found them pretty fast in around 70 metres of water,” …

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Horse road safety event in Clooney

THE Pass Wide and Slow campaign will be taking to the road on September 19, to raise awareness about the dangers associated with how drivers and horse riders interact on Irish roads. In Clare, this campaign will be brought to the public’s attention in Clooney, via a walk involving riders and their mounts, as well as cyclists, walkers and children from the local national school, close to which the walk will start. The main aim of the initiative is to promote road safety in the context of how drivers and horse riders must respect each other’s right to the road; one of the central messages of Pass Wide and Slow is to do just that- leave at least two metres between vehicle and animal. Spokeswoman for the event, Máire Gleeson, said: “As soon as a driver sees a horse on the road, they should slow to a maximum of 15km per hour. We have been working for two or three …

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Pedestrianisation confusion

THE easing of pedestrianisation in Ennis’ town centre has been labelled as a “mess” with calls for an alert system to be put in place to warn people when traffic is about to be let back on the streets. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed by the Ennis Municipal District that the public is to be asked its views on pedestrianisation next month. A survey to “capture the public’s mindset” on car-free streets is set to be launched by the local authority in mid October. Full details have to be finalised but it is anticipated that the public consultation process will be open for up to two weeks. Since August 30 restrictions on traffic in Ennis town centre have been lifted except for Monday to Friday from 11am to 2pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 6pm and Lower Parnell Street where the current road closure applies until the end of September. Councillor Mary Howard insists this has led to …

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National Library acquires Edna O’Brien’s papers

THE National Library of Ireland has acquired the Papers of renowned Clare author, Edna O’Brien, covering the period 2009 to 2021. These will now be added to a collection of her papers for the period 2000-2009 that are already held by the National Library of Ireland. The archive comprises literary and personal papers, including notebooks, drafts and revisions, and correspondence with other well-known literary figures. A native of Tuamgraney, Edna O’Brien was born iin 1930. Her first book, The Country Girls, published in 1960, was banned in Ireland for its frank portrayal of female sexuality. Today, her work enjoys enduring popularity and critical success, with O’Brien renowned for her skill as a novelist and the centring of women’s experiences in her work. She received the prestigious French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in May 2021. Other writers who have received this accolade include TS Eliot, Ray Bradbury and Seamus Heaney. Her recent novels, including Girl, published in 2019, are …

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Strong objections with Dun Aras decision due

A DECISION is due in the coming days on a proposal for 14 two-storey houses at Dun Aras Avenue. Ballycasey Property Developments Ltd has put the application before Clare County Council, which has received a number of objections. One objector stated it would be disastrous for the area and scoffed at the notion locals would monitor potential anti-social behaviour on behalf of the developer. “It would become a guaranteed hotspot for anti-social behaviour,” the objector noted. “Already in that very location, the Gardai have been called on a number of occasions. The developer wants the residents to monitor the area for anti-social behaviour that he will have created? That is nothing short of ludicrous.” Acting for the Dun Aras Residents group, planning consultant Andrew Hersey outlined a number of concerns regarding what is proposed. “My clients in particular have concerns regarding the proposed entrance arrangements to the estate which is located directly opposite No 3 and 4 Dun Aras Avenue. …

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Do the ‘wright’ thing with fabulous online plays from Kilkee

Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a few good plays online for free as The Kilkee Playwright Festival continues this Friday, September 10. For under 16 year olds and adults Crystal Vardo by Suzanna King will be streamed at 3pm and 8pm. Don’t miss your chance to join Crystal as she travels through time in her vardo on an extraordinary journey through Romani history. Brimming with a wealth of colourful characters, humour, music and storytelling, Crystal’s Vardo brings to life the rich tapestry of Gypsy Roma Traveller history and culture. One audience member has described it as “cracking good theatre. It remains entertaining while also raising awareness about the racism and injustice faced by Gypsies and Travellers today” On Saturday, September 11, at 3pm and 8pm brings the much applauded Sacrificial Wind by Lorna Shaughnessy (published poet with Salmon publishers ( Ireland ) and NUI Galway lecturer). Sacrificial Wind is a poetic examination of the characters around the story of …

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Ennistymon Púca is up, artist says ‘there’s more to come’

THE artist at the centre of the latest controversy about the painting of a Púca – half-man, half-horse – on a new mural in Ennistymon believes public consultation isn’t necessary. Plans by Clare County Council to erect a two-metre sculpture of a Púca on Lower Church Hill, Ennistymon, were put on hold earlier this year following significant local opposition, which included an online petition. Even though this statue also attracted significant support, a lot of opponents expressed concern about the lack of public consultation around the project. The placing of a Púca image on a new mural on the side of Unglert’s Bakery just a short distance from Blake’s Corner in the centre of Ennistymon has reignited public debate about this controversial image. However, Jonny O’Gorman, who hopes to fully complete the mural before Culture Night on September 21, believes public consultation is not necessary for a piece of art on private property. Living directly opposite Unglert’s Bakery, Jonny has …

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Trust propels Clare teen to summit blindfolded

Yeshua O’Brien-Bayer raises €1,215 for Irish Guide Dogs with Carrauntoohil climb A KILLAlOE teenager has completed a “nerve wracking” charity challenge by climbing Ireland’s highest mountain blindfolded. Not content with going up and down Carrauntoohil eight times in seven days in August 2020, Yeshuah O’Brien-Bayer (15) climbed to the top without the benefit of his eyes on Saturday. Standing at 1,039m, Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland and is set among the Macgillycuddy Reeks in Co Kerry. On Friday morning, Yeshuah left for Carrauntohil with a support group to prepare for the climb, which started at 8.35am from Cronin’s Yard the following day. They included his father, Hergen Bayer, uncle Emmanuel Bayer, Dominik Maslanek, Shane Oakley, Scott Chatterson and Camden Chatterson. To add to the sense of occasion, John Cronin from Cronin’s Yard put the blindfold on Yeshuah. It took Yeshuah four hours and twenty minutes to reach the top of the mountain blindfolded, compared to his usual time …

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