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Ennis woman among expats honoured in Abu Dhabi

AN ENNIS woman is among a group of expats living in Abu Dhabi who have been honoured for their work in raising awareness of mental health. Laura Brennan, originally from Toberteascain and daughter of Martin and Cora, is the vice chairperson of the voluntary group Darkness Into Light Abu Dhabi. The group who dedicate their time to raising awareness and providing accessible support for their community in the United Arab Emirates have been presented with the Spirit of the Community Award at the Pride of Abu Dhabi awards. They began work in 2015 in an effort to bring the Pieta House Darkness into Light walk to Abu Dhabi and last year’s walk saw more than 700 people take part. However, their work is about so much more than the walk. They strive to provide free and accessible support and to unite people who are suffering distress through various events such as the annual Light Ball Abu Dhabi and monthly Tea …

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Daughter takes a leaf out of her father’s book at Christmas tree throwing competition

IT was a case of like father like daughter at this year’s annual Christmas Tree Throwing Championship. January 6 is the traditional time for taking down the Christmas decorations, and for the eighth year in a row that tradition has been taken to the extreme in Ennis. Leaf-ing the festive season behind on Sunday, 150 people took part in the annual Christmas Tree Throwing Championship at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park. Among those were father and daughter John and Lauren Leahy. John took the overall title of champion tree thrower for the third year in a row with an impressive throw of 7 metres. While his daughter Lauren followed in his family footsteps by winning in the under 14 category with a throw of 4.5 metres. John, who competes in athletic throwing events, puts his success down to technique. “It’s great to have three in a row. It’s a very awkward thing to throw a Christmas tree, some people might …

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Estlin’s light shines on this Christmas

EVEN in the darkest days a gesture of kindness can bring some light. An Ennistymon family who tragically lost their daughter last year, are helping to make this Christmas a little bit brighter for others in an amazing act of generosity. Amy Dutil-Wall and her partner Vincent Wall from Ennistymon have endured the deepest of tragedies with the loss of Estlin Luna just before her fourth birthday in a car crash last year that also left Vincent fighting for his life. In honour of Estlin, the family have decided to donate some Christmas gifts to two worthy young girls around her age. Amy explains that she got the idea after seeing a number of offers of help to those in need on the Clare Free to a Good Home site. “It was something I was thinking of doing for a while, to give a gift in honour of Estlin and I thought why not this year. The holidays can be …

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A Race Against Time For Rohingyas

WHITEGATE native Marie Madden joined Concern Worldwide as their communications officer last October and has spoken to The Clare Champion about her experience working for the NGO, particularly in dealing with the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. CONCERN have recently launched the Bangladesh Monsoon Appeal as nearly one million Rohingya people face further catastrophe at the makeshift refugee camp they are currently occupying in the coastal region of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Marie Madden, from Whitegate, has just returned from a two week trip to Cox’s Bazar where she has seen first hand the conditions these people, primarily made up of women and children, have been living in. She explains how these people have already been through so much pain and suffering and now stand to lose the makeshift homes they have made in monsoon rains. She explained that the Rohingyas are an ethnic minority based in Myanmar, and despite having been there for generations they don’t have citizenship and are …

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Successful Marie Keating walk

THE Marie Keating Foundation 5km walk was held for the third year in Shannon and will result in more than €5,000 being raised for the charity.

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Charity match for families struck by illness

THE heat of the late evening sun enveloped the Keavey family homestead west of the Crosses of Annagh last Sunday evening. Far across the freshly cut fields, the Atlantic glistened blue and serene, as news filtered through of Kilmurry Ibrickane’s latest O’Gorman Cup success in neighbouring Doonbeg.

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RabbITte on hand for Caring for Carers

SHANNON’S Sylvia Gaffney is no longer afraid of a mouse – a computer mouse that is. Sylvia was among a number of family carers presented with certificates by Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte in Ennis this week after completing a Caring for Carers course in information technology skills.

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Orla has designs on Dublin

Orla Hannon from Pollough in Sixmilebridge is one of 16 designers of a unique Dublin tour guide, which was designed for people with Down Syndrome by people with Down Syndrome.

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