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Fighting cancer on film

A woman with a strong connection to North Clare is hoping to return after tackling cancer in both her own personal fight and as the subject of a newly-released documentary. Filmmaker Allison W Gryphon is obtuse when asked where she is from. She is hesitant, maybe uncomfortable, in her response. She was born in New York. She is a child of divorced parents and moved house a lot. Home? “I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area,” she says. She now lives in Los Angeles. When she visited North Clare for a week before Christmas 2008, Allison was researching a book. If she was also searching for that elusive concept of ‘home’, she didn’t know it. That is perhaps why when she touched down in Heathrow Airport a week later on her way back to the United States, she was blindsided with the flood of emotion that overcame her. “The night I was meant to go on a plane …

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Celebrating the name of Jesus

IF you have ever walked through Ennis and wondered about the significance of the little blue tiles over the doors of some of the older houses, then wonder no more. This year the Franciscans and Poor Clares are celebrating a Year of the Holy Name of Jesus beginning on the third of January 2014. The idea to celebrate this special year came about as the result of a discovery by the Galway Poor Clares that a wave of devotion to promote the Holy Name of Jesus began after a retreat in their monastery conducted by a Franciscan friar, Fr Francis Donnelly, in January 1914. It was Fr Donnelly who introduced the blue YHS tiles that can be seen over the doors of many houses in the cities of Galway, Cork and Limerick where he ministered and in other places such as Ennis and Tuam. The tiles depict an abbreviation of the Name of Jesus in Greek and they were placed …

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Clare Association honours Davy and Fr Harry

FURTHER honours are on the way for Clare hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald, who has been selected as the Clare Person of the Year for 2014 by the Clare Association in Dublin . He will be presented with his award at the association’s annual dinner next month in The Clyde Court Hotel, the venue also used by the Clare team for their post-match celebrations after winning the All-Ireland senior hurling replay. Well-known sociologist and Sixmilebridge parish priest, Fr Harry Bohan, who is prominently linked with Clare hurling, will receive the association’s Hall of Fame Award for 2014 at the same function. The latest personalities to be honoured by the Clare Association were named by Liam O’ Looney, chairman, at a function to launch the association’s annual yearbook in the Addison Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday night. He said that they were delighted to honour Davy Fitzgerald, who with his players and management, made it another special year for Clare. As well as …

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Fourth national title for McCormack

KILFENORA lightweight boxer Kayleigh McCormack captured her fourth national title at the National Intermediate Boxing Championships in Dublin on Friday night last. The much-heralded final, which was beamed live on TG4, lived up to its expectations, with both fighters serving up a thriller. This one provided due recompense for the Kilfenora club and trainer, Pat McCormack, as it was in the same ring in October that the North Clare boxer lost out by the narrowest of margins in the finals of the U-22 championships. That controversial final might well have disillusioned anybody else but McCormack comes from a resilient family and set her mind immediately on the intermediates. She was ultimately vindicated with a comprehensive points victory over Louise O’Donoghue from the Geesala club in Mayo. Appearing live on TV for the first time seemed a little daunting for the Clare girl and her earlier right-handers were tentative but were enough to take the round and set the trend of …

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’Bridge fundraiser for Jordan’s nursing hours

A SIXMILEBRIDGE mother has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase additional nursing hours for her son, who has a life-limiting, very rare illness. A new group, Nurses for Jordan, has organised a fundraising event in the Mill Bar, Sixmilebridge on Friday, December 13 in aid of local boy Jordan Perez (5), who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type Two. This will be just the start of a series of fundraising functions, which are required to purchase more nursing hours to meet his complex medical needs. SMA Type Two is part of a group of disorders that affect the control of muscle movements. It is caused by a loss of specialised nerve cells in the spinal cord and brainstem. Confined to a wheelchair, Jordan requires full-time care on a 24-hour basis. He was recently honoured as one of Ireland’s nine bravest children at Share a Dream’s National Children of Courage Awards at their Dream Ball in Clontarf Castle, Dublin. The …

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Brenda goes full circle

Canadian woman Brenda Cavillin has been busy mapping her Clare heritage, writes Carol Byrne TG4 recently featured a Canadian woman with Clare roots as part of its Tar Abhaile (Come Home) series, which focuses on the Ireland Reaching Out initiative. Brenda Cavillin (nee Killeen) came to County Clare this past week to watch the programme with the family members she has managed to connect with through the series and with the help of Tulla’s Reaching Out volunteers. Brenda is a direct descendant of James Killeen and his brother, Rev Charles Killeen, her third great-grandfather and her third great-granduncle, whose roots are in West Clare. Through her research and some happy coincidences, Brenda learned that their father, Thomas Killeen, enlisted with the British Army in 1808. After giving seven years service fighting in the Canadian War of 1812, he became eligible for a land grant in the Perth District in Canada. However, he instead opted to come home to his wife …

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