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Home calling for Monsignor Muldoon

A YOUNG Brendan Muldoon left Currenrue five decades ago, but the Florida Monsignor’s links with the area have never dwindled. Though from the parish of New Quay in County Clare, Brendan and his family always felt more connected with nearby Kinvara and Galway, attending school there and playing for Galway inter-county teams at various grades. “We are from the parish of New Quay, about three miles west of Kinvara, right on the Clare and Galway border really. Most of the land is on the Galway side but the house is on the Clare side,” he states. Brendan was ordained on June 21, 1964 at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth. From there he returned to Galway, though to the other side of the bay. The young priest was appointed to Rossaveal where he spent four years in the Gaeltacht parish and was heavily involved in Coláiste Chonnacht in Spiddal before a spending a year ministering in Galway City. “Rossaveal was a …

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A winning Clare welcome

AN innovative approach to establishing County Clare as a welcoming visitor destination has picked up one of the top prizes at the annual LAMA Community and Council Awards 2014, in association with IPB Insurance. The Clare Tourism Forum ‘Clare says Céad Míle Fáilte’ campaign, which was nominated by Clare County Council, beat off competition from seven other shortlisted entries to win this year’s Best Tourism Initiative Award. Launched in early 2013, 152 tourism providers have signed up to the initiative which sees workers on the frontline of the hospitality sector undergo specific training to assist them in engaging better with visitors and welcoming them to the County. Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins welcomed the announcement, adding that it was a further sign that the Clare tourism sector collaborative approach to promoting the County as an attractive and welcoming destination. “For almost a decade the Clare Tourism Forum has been working closely with Clare’s tourism trade to market and promote …

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Raising awareness of Sliabh Aughty Famine heritage

By Nicola Corless A COMMUNITY heritage group in South Galway will host a table quiz in Gort next week to raise funds and awareness for its work. The Sliabh Aughty Famine Working Group is in the process of researching and documenting the Famine heritage of the region. The group was initially established to host the 2014 national Famine Commemoration  but Galway was unsuccessful in its bid. Nevertheless, the group decided to continue work on projects about the Famine in South East Galway, by researching Famine history especially pertaining to the Sliabh Aughty area “The group was developed under the umbrella of Slogadh Aughty. The group comprises different individuals from communities around the Sliabh Aughty Mountains that have a community or heritage interest in the area,” explained Dr Christy Cunniffe, Galway County Council Field Monument Advisor and group member. “The group comprises of people with very different interests. My main area of interest is the archaeology or the features in the …

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A journey to conflict hotspots

By Owen Ryan IRISH Times security analyst Tom Clonan’s memoir Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy– A Journey into the Dark Heart of the Global War on Terror brings the reader to some hotspots of conflict as well as exploring the heartbreaks and traumas he has suffered in recent years. The former Irish Army officer may be the only journalist ever to secure permission to interview soldiers transiting through Shannon. While much has been said and written about the morality of a neutral country allowing one of its airports to be used by the US, the human story of the soldiers, many of whom have come from very disadvantaged backgrounds, isn’t often heard. “There have been over a million troops going through since about 2002 and for me it was a very moving experience. We’re used to seeing images of the US troops going through the airport and on TV they’re always in that mid focus, you don’t get to see the faces …

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Gathering a pivotal moment in Mary Ellen’s life

ONLY in recent years did Mary Ellen Cardenas (née Finucane) discover that she had Lissycasey blood coursing through her veins. Currently living in Cary, North Carolina, Mary Ellen, a retired teacher and university lecturer, returned to her family’s old homestead in Lissycasey last October for the Finucane Family Gathering. “Our Gathering attests to a love of the land, musical tradition, a reverence for family and a welcoming spirit by showing a disregard for both distance and the passage of time. It was the first attempt to reassemble family in the old homestead since six of the 12 began their independent migrations well over a century ago,” is how Mary Ellen put it when explaining how the Finucane Gathering came about. The family home is in Leamnaleaha, Lissycasey and that was the focal point on October 6 when the event was held. “I can honestly say such a gathering was a most significant and profound experience, a story not to be …

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It’s time to learn

GETTING a pet dog or puppy also means trying to find someone who can help train your pet and with so many people claiming to be professional dog trainers and behaviourists, this can be a minefield. How can you determine who is best for you and your dog? The wrong person who uses ‘yank and yell’ techniques or has no recognised scientific background can have devastating consequences on the relationship between you and your dog. However, a good trainer will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Most pet dogs are not meant to enter obedience competitions and a good trainer will recognise the difference between training for competition and training for life as a family pet. Choosing your trainer Where did you hear about trainers? Internet or newspaper? All can have glossy, expensive ads or websites and promise a well-behaved, loving pet in a matter of days or, as some TV programmes would have you believe, 15 minutes. …

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Gather round to say ‘thanks’

THE Gathering  proved to be a winner with communities, larges and small, all over the country. An  event marking the success of the initiatives undertaken in  Clare in 2013 was held at Shannon Airport last night. Representatives of the 250 festivals and events held around Clare during 2013 were presented with “Thank You” certificates by Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins. He said they had made an important contribution to the positive year experienced by the local tourism industry in 2013.  Mayor Arkins was joined at the event by members of the County Clare Gathering Steering Committee, and representatives of Ireland Reaching Out and event sponsor Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. “Despite the scepticisn expressed in some quarters at national level regarding the potential impact of the Gathering Ireland initiative on tourism, it has become quite clear that the initiative was one of the primary factors behind the excellent performance of the local sector last year,” explained Mayor Arkins. He continued, “From …

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Orla’s desert run for Crumlin and Canteen

A CLARE woman will be running in the desert next month to raise money for two Irish organisations close to her heart. Just over a decade after her own cancer battle, Orla Derrane from Knockaderry, outside Ennis, will remember all those who helped her when she takes part in the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon, raising funds for Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Canteen Ireland, a support organisation for teenagers with cancer. Orla has lived in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for over five years. She moved there when she was 20 and has been teaching there ever since. “When I moved out first, I moved with a friend and hadn’t done a whole pile of research. My mother encouraged me; she always said it was good to travel. When I was coming out first, I thought I would have to cover up all the time. I was really naive but I found it to be more liberal than I …

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