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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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New haemochromatosis patients’ service

MINISTER of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch has launched the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS ) service to haemochromatosis patients in Munster. BTS has been providing a service for haemochromatosis patients since 2007 when a dedicated service was opened at the Stillorgan clinic in Dublin. This clinic has reached capacity and is treating about 650 patients in total. In 2013 there were 1205 phlebotomies which yielded 967 productive donations. Last August a general access service for patients was established at the IBTS D’Olier Street fixed centre clinic, for the first time providing a service to patients who are not eligible to be blood donors, as well as for those who could donate. “Since opening 148 patients have attended, 131 have been treated. 80% of these patients have decided to become donors and are now on the regular donor programme,” said Andy Kelly, chief executive of the IBTS. As part of the roll out of the national programme, …

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Putting South-East Clare’s past in the frame

DIFFERENT facets of life in South-East Clare over a 60-year period have literally been put into the frame in a major photographic exhibition at Limerick City Hall. The Street, comprising photographs from The Haselbeck Collection, was officially launched by Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan, TD and Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin recently. In addition, the museum at City Hall hosts a display of his camera equipment, as well as some archival documents illustrating the professional and personal life of professional photographer Franz S Haselbeck. It will remain open to the public at Limerick City Hall from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm until the end of February. Admission is free. The exhibition follows the publication of a book, Franz S Haselbeck’s Ireland, which was compiled by his granddaughter, Patricia Haselbeck Flynn, with 200 selected images from the Haselbeck Collection. The book followed his career from Dublin to Kerry and concentrates on his work throughout the Mid-West, where he spent most …

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Gary surveys his new flock in Killaloe

When Very Rev Gary Paulsen came to visit Rev Canon Bob Hanna in Ennis a few years ago and asked for directions to the Anglican Church, no one he spoke to knew what he was talking about. His request to locate the local Church of Ireland was also greeted with silence. Rev Paulsen drove on to a petrol station and repeated his request, where a man asked him “do you mean the Protestant church?” While the Rector of Adare eventually found Rev Hanna, he was amazed by the lack of local knowledge about different faiths and religions. His home town of Athlone in the Western Cape, near Cape Town, is an eclectic mix of Portugese, English, French, German, Malaysian and other cultures, which fostered a large variety of religions. There is no dominant church, everyone lives side-by-side and religious leaders meet each other on a regular basis. Rev Paulsen said he dislikes the Protestant label, as he doesn’t see himself …

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Shauna dusting herself off after vicious comments

A SHANNON model has been the victim of some vicious online commentary, but Celia Holman Lee, whose modelling agency she is associated with, says the youngster is dusting herself off and won’t let it get to her too much. Miss Limerick World Shauna Lindsay has seen a number of severe comments that were posted about her reproduced in the media this week. Speaking about the incident, Ms Holman Lee said the teenager is getting on with things. “Of course I didn’t see it (the online remarks), I only heard it and I’m only going by what her family have been telling me. She’s ignoring all of that but it hurt her a tremendous amount, of course it hurt her. Through no fault at all of her own, she became the victim but she’s doing fine; she’s a good girl, a strong girl and she’s doing fine. It’s practically blown over now.” Shauna works in Debenhams in Limerick. Ms Holman Lee …

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Kyle makes surprise new year appearance

KILKISHEN couple Catherine Desmond and Trevor Maxwell’s son Kyle decided he wanted to make a grand entrance and as his parents could hear fireworks ringing in the new year, he decided it was time he joined in the celebrations. Catherine and Trevor were over the moon to welcome baby Kyle Kevin Maxwell at 1.33am on January 1 at University Maternity Hospital, Limerick, making him the first baby born in the Mid-West in 2014. “It was a nice surprise, definitely I didn’t expect it. He was actually late. He was due on Sunday, December 29. My last boy came early so I was expecting him around Christmas Day but he decided he wanted to make a big entrance and wanted to be known. The fireworks started going up and Trevor got to look at them for a few seconds before he had to get back here to me,” Catherine said. She added that she was due to go into the maternity …

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