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Bishop Eamonn Casey laid to rest

The funeral mass for Bishop Eamonn Casey took place in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Haven and St Nicholas this afternoon (Thursday). The attendance included President Michael D Higgins, members of Galway City and County Councils, representatives of Trocáire and other organisations he lead, as well as people from all walks of society. The principal celebrant was the Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby, former chairman of Trocáire, while the preacher was Bishop of Achonry Brendan Kelly, a former priest of the Diocese of Galway. Also at the altar were bishops and priests from dioceses across the country and the UK, where he ministered. In his homily, Bishop Kirby said, “Eamonn Casey, whose mortal remains are with us today in this cathedral, had a long life as priest and bishop. He did much good. As a young priest with the Emigrant Mission in London, he enabled many young couples to acquire their first home, to rise out of tenements …

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Ballyea dreaming of glory

Croke Park is usually the preserve of  hurling, football, camogie and ladies football county teams.  However, that all changes for St Patrick’s Day, when local hurling and football teams enjoy their moment under the spotlight for the All-Ireland Club finals. This Friday, Ballyea, lining out in black and amber, will face Cuala from Dublin, in red and white, in the final of this year’s series. For those who will never don their county colours at Croke Park, pulling on the club jersey there is every bit as good. It will be a dream fulfilled for any group of lads who have been a unit from under-age right up to senior. To mark Ballyea’s march to Croke Park, this week’s Clare Champion includes a special supplement  – Dreaming of Glory – with features, interviews and commentary.

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Valentine’s Special: How Sixmilebridge Couple Found Love Online

A LITTLE over three years ago, Aileen O’Connor and Ronan Shiels began messaging each other on Plenty of Fish and now they are married, living in Sixmilebridge with their two children. Unsurprisingly, both of them are advocates of online dating and Ronan says he knows several others who have found love on the web. “It’s definitely a good avenue. Three of my friends are married through online dating.” The couple had actually met each other socially long before they got together, says 33-year-old Aileen. “I actually had met him through mutual friends years ago and then I had lost touch with that friend. To my knowledge, he was in a long-term relationship or married, then he appeared on this Plenty of Fish thing. I kind of knew he was a decent and good guy. He messaged me to say ‘hey, fancy meeting you here’ kind of thing and we chatted fairly fluidly because we had been in each other’s company …

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Couple to establish LGBT charity in Clare

A new charity is to be established that aims to cater for the specific requirements of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in rural parts of the county. Bronntanas will be steered by newly-married couple Fr Bernárd Lynch and Billy Desmond. They primarily live near Spanish Point and feel that the charity could help people to deal with their sexuality in an inclusive manner. “We’re starting up the charity to further the mental health needs of LGBT people, especially younger people. We want to help them to come to terms with who they are and how to deal with it. That is our goal,” Bernárd Lynch confirmed. The couple had asked their approximate 120 guests at their wedding, which was held at the Armada Hotel on Friday last, not to give them presents but to contribute to the charity. “We said if guests wanted to contribute voluntarily to this, they could. It’s for rural Clare. We’ll probably have …

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Looking for a guaranteed Clare hero

Business membership organisation, Guaranteed Irish is calling on the individuals and businesses in Clare to get involved in their Guaranteed Irish ‘Hero’ Awards which recognise the work of people who have been ambassadors for Ireland both at home and abroad. People are invited to nominate their heroes in the areas of sport, science, music, technology and food through the Guaranteed Irish website or by using #GIhero on Twitter. At the launch today (Wednesday), artist Maser received the first of six ‘Hero’ Awards for his contributions to contemporary Irish art. The award ceremony took place at his new mural on The Tara Building; a multi display space, for creatives and start-ups on Tara Street in Dublin.

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70th anniversary of Okeanos shipwreck

IN January 1947, the Okeanos, a Panamanian-owed steamship, made its way from the River Plate in South America (now the area of Argentina and Uruguay) to Limerick, delivering grain to the firm Ranks, whose grain silo was a well known landmark on the docks in the city. Captain Lampraidos and the other crew members were mostly Greek natives. My father, Eamon Ginnane, tracked ships as they came and went along the Shannon Estuary from his farm in Rahona. In mid-January, he spied the Okeanos on its way to Limerick and saw the ship again a few days later, anchored off Carrigaholt Bay, noting the difference in its height out of the water, since its cargo of 5,000 tonnes of grain had been deposited in Limerick City. On the night of January 13, the Okeanos hit the rocks at Kilcredaun Point and sounded her siren. As soon as the siren sounded, the first on the scene were local farmers from the …

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President recalls Holocaust victims

President Michael D. Higgins has focused on one of the most terrible atrocities ever committed against a section of society, ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday. “Today, on Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember the victims of the Nazi Holocaust – the millions of innocent men, women and children who were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis because of their ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliations or their religious beliefs. “On this day we pause and remember the atrocities committed in that short space of time in the middle of the 20th century, as we remember the unspeakable horror unleashed on millions of people under a regime built on fear, hatred, prejudice and convulsive cruelty. “In remembering, we are inviting each other to pay heed to the small and dwindling number of powerful voices of those who experienced and survived the Holocaust in person. Voices that implore us to never forget, and to learn the lessons history teaches us,” President …

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First Dates star defends himself after online slating

ENNIS man Timmie Murphy has been slated on social media over the last week, following his appearance on First Dates Ireland. However, in an interview with The Clare Champion, he said the cyberbullies’ views are not upsetting him, while he pointed out he did not set out to hurt his date on the show, Donegal man Richard McNeil. While Richard was obviously very keen to meet Timmie again, the 34-year-old, who is now based in Dublin but is originally from Golf Links Road, ruled it out.   Much of the online criticism of Timmie came because he urged Richard to say if he wanted to meet again first, even though his own mind was already made up. However, Timmie said he really thought there was little chance Richard would want to see him again. “I was as honest as I could be. I genuinely thought he would have said no to me. We got on but we got on as …

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