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Hotel college students serve golden dish

A TEAM of students from the Shannon College of Hotel Management won gold at the Chef Ireland competition at the Hospitality Expo in the RDS last week. Over 200 entries were received by Chef Ireland for the 11 categories of culinary competitions for senior professionals and junior chefs. It is one of the largest and most prestigious national competitions for professional chefs in Ireland and it attracts entries from leading restaurants and hospitality establishments around Ireland. The Shannon College team included David Wallace from Bunratty and his team-mates Peter Searle (Kerry) and Tracy Deane (Carlow). The students were coached by lecturers Andrew Langford, Chef Sarah Ryan and Chef Sean T Ruane, who mentored the students throughout the preparation and training in the weeks leading up to the competition. Ms Ryan said the competition is quite an intense event. “The Cook Serve event is a 90 minute high-pressure competition involving a team of two chefs and a server who plan, prepare, …

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Don’t nominate – Donate a pint

CLARE Ógra Fianna Fáil has called on young people to support its campaign aimed at turning the dangerous ‘NekNomination’ craze into a positive. The #NekDonate campaign, which is being run by Ógra members in towns and third level colleges across Ireland, encourages young people to donate a pint of blood instead of necking a pint of alcohol. “Our campaign is about encouraging young people to take a small step that could help save a life. We are calling on young people to donate a pint of blood instead of necking a pint of alcohol,” Patrick Clancy of Clare Ógra, commented following the local launch of the campaign. “The NekNomination game that has swept across social media in recent weeks encourages social media users to outdo each other with increasingly dangerous drinking scenarios. It has clearly spiralled out of control in recent days with more and more young people putting their lives at risk to satisfy peer-pressure. This game only serves …

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Anna Moroney

Killanena woman changes her life

IN 2011 Killanena woman Anna Moroney grabbed the bull by the horns and joined Weight Watchers to try to and do something about her weight. The 24-year-old teacher was then 21 and weighed 26 stone 25 pounds. Her decision to lose weight was arrived upon following an incident on a night out. “I was working at the time in New Look in Galway and I was out, enjoying myself and having a ball. My friends were chatting with a few guys and one of the guys pulled me aside and said to me ‘what are you doing to yourself?’ “I would have got comments before about being overweight and being a whale, hideous comments, some really horrific ones but they would always have bounced off and wouldn’t have any impact. But this guy, he was a total stranger, just got me in the gut and got me thinking, what am I doing with myself? He said ‘you seem lovely, you …

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O’Dea on the mend

ENNIS born internationally-renowned artist Mick O’Dea has described his recent accident, which left him with serious injuries, as a “very close call.” The award-winning artist was brought to the Mater Hospital for surgery after an accident on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in January. He said he was “very lucky” to have escaped with his life. Mr O’Dea is now recovering at his home in Dublin, having spent a week in hospital, where he spent a number of days in intensive care. “I just have to take it easy now for a couple more weeks and try and heal,” he told The Clare Champion. He said the impact “shattered” his spleen, which had to be surgically removed. He praised the surgical team and all at the Mater Hospital saying “they saved me”. The accident occurred on January 17 when Mr O’Dea was cycling on O’Connell Street. He recalled, “I was cycling along O’Connell Street and somebody walked out in front of me …

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Wedding Supplement

Wedding Supplement in this week’s Champion

THIS week there’s a special wedding supplement in your Clare Champion, on sale from Thursday morning. Our full colour 28 page supplement will give you everything you need know about planning your big day. It includes hints and tips about buying the engagement ring, booking the hotel for the reception,  as well as special décor or themes. For the groom, or indeed the bride, there’s the all- important speeches and, of course, the honeymoon.  

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Support to quit smoking in Shannon

SUPPORT is important when people try to quit smoking and a new Quit Tobacco group run by the HSE is about to begin in Shannon. Smoking cessation specialist Mary McMahon said that giving up nicotine is hard enough to do with support, but the odds are awful without some backing. She also says that even if people fail to kick the habit, having tried makes it easier to do in the future. “Without any help its so hard that only one to three per cent of smokers who quit will still have quit at the end of a year. But the more support you get the easier it is to quit. In the UK they would aim to get at least a 15% quit rate at the end of a year. What happens is that 38-40% would quit with help and support for four weeks, but the more often they practice it and the longer the quit attempt, they bring …

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Flying the coop in a new trailer

A LOCAL pigeon racing club has scored a real ‘coo’ with the arrival of their newest member. The Banner Racing Pigeon Club has just purchased a state-of-the-art trailer, specially designed for their needs. This comes after the flying success of a fundraising effort in which 42 birds were auctioned off last year. The trailer will make it easier for the club to head to overseas races, having previously relied on others for help with transporting the birds. The pigeon club started in Ennis 20 years ago, with 15 members now involved and youngsters gaining an interest in the sport. The club races against others from all over the West of Ireland. Treasurer, George Guilfoyle explained that a decision was made last year to fundraise for the trailer. “We decided to have an auction and prize winning birds were donated by people from all over Ireland and the UK. The people at St Mary’s Pigeon Club in Limerick and Galway Racing …

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Spring growth for garden festival

By Jessica Quin THE Clare Garden Festival returns on April 27 at Ennis Showground, with organisers challenging local communities to create their own pop-up gardens. In the run-up to the festival, the organisers are launching a calendar of community events and competitions to get gardeners geared up for the big day. In 2014 Clare Garden Festival will keep its educational character offering talks and demonstrations provided by reputable national speakers from the Horticultural and Gardening World and it will also again feature its popular large-scale garden and food fair. “Following a hugely successful Clare Garden Festival in 2013,  featuring a garden  and food, with over 60 stallholders from all over Ireland and attracting over 1500 visitors, we are delighted to welcome the festival back”. said Bernard Hanrahan, chairman of Co Clare Agricultural Show Society. “Our focus at Clare Garden Festival in 2014 is community, meaning the community of Ennis and Clare and, of course , the community of gardeners throughout Ireland. …

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