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When Maureen defied the marriage ban

WELL known Ennis-based writer, Maureen Cronin, wanted to be only one thing as a child – a teacher. So, it was no surprise to her family when she went on to secure a scholarship, allowing her to attend Our Lady of Mercy College, Carysfort, Blackrock to qualify as a national school teacher. However, after teaching in many schools after her graduation, falling in love could have meant the end of her time in the classroom. The introduction of the marriage ban in 1933 meant any female teacher who married after the rule came into force, had to give up their permanent job. That wasn’t to be for Maureen, who defied convention by carrying on working for 12 months without pay, then continuing her career until well after the ban was eventually lifted in 1958. For many she was a pioneer, but the mother-of-four modestly says she was only able to take this dramatic step because she had the means to …

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A million-mile gulf between Inverin and Uganda

Ronan Scully, Spancilhill, writes about his recent visit to Uganda with teachers and pupils from Coláiste Lurgan in Inverin, Galway IT takes two days to travel from a school tuck-shop in Inverin, County Galway to the poor homes of Kayunga in Uganda but, in a very real sense, the journey is one of a million miles. After two days of travel, your eyes are heavy and your legs are stiff but, in Kayunga, your mind is racing. Your first thought is to wonder how people could live in such poverty; your second is to wonder how you can help them out of it. I had travelled to the rural district in East Africa to see the work of Irish development organisation Self Help Africa, in the company of a very special group. For the last 12 years, the pupils of Coláiste Lurgan in Inverin have been raising money, through the school tuck-shop, to support projects that work with some of …

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Protecting kids on the internet

THE potential danger for children using the Internet is highlighted yet again in the result s of a recently published survey. ESET Ireland, an online scanning provider, has revealed that up to 73% of Irish children are left unsupervised online. So what can be doneto protect kids against online predators and solicitation? In 82% of online sex crimes against minors, the offender used the victim’s social networking site to gain information about the victim’s likes and dislikes. Sixty-five per cent of online sex offenders used the victim’s social networking site to gain home and school information about the victim Predators may seek out children who are participating in attention-seeking behaviours as a way of finding connections with others. Sadly, these kids seeking connection are generally the ones least apt to have a concerned adult that they will feel to whom they feel they can turn, to report solicitation. These targeted kids may also not wish to report the behaviour, as …

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Poison risk to pets

Dogalogue With Bev and Daisy AS the colder weather approaches and Christmas is around the corner, while we are enjoying the rich foods and putting up decorations, please look out for your pets. Pets are vulnerable to poisons but the risk can be even greater during the winter. Some poisons are very toxic, while some are minimally toxic, like ant baits and silica packs. When in doubt, call your vet. Take special care to keep these toxins out of your pet’s reach and pet-proof your house. Antifreeze poisoning is the most common emergency at this time of the year. Ethylene glycol is the main constituent of antifreeze and is poisonous for dogs, cats and other animals. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste of ethylene glycol and many will lap antifreeze spilled or leaking onto garage floors or driveways. Make sure all antifreeze containers are leak proof and have tight-fitting lids. Cats can knock them off shelves and sometimes get …

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Munster honours beckon for Clare clubs

By Seamus Hayes The GAA season just keeps getting better for Clare. In a year in which two All-Ireland hurling titles were captured, the county champions in hurling and football are now making their mark in Provincial competition. Sixmilebridge travelled to Pairc Ui Caoimh on Sunday where they proved too strong for their Cork counterparts Midleton. A four point win has sent the Clare champions through to the Munster finalwhere they will face Na Piarsaigh from Limerick on Sunday next in Cusack Park at 2p.m. Adding spice to the final is the fact that former Sixmilebridge captain Sean Stack is manager of the Limerick champions. While the Bridge were maintaining Clare’s dominance over Cork, their neighbours from Cratloe were making their own history. On Saturday they won their first ever Clare senior football title when they defeated Doonbeg who top the roll of honour in the Clare senior championship. Twenty four hours after their 0-10 to 0-7 win over the …

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Home alone and lonely

Dogalogue with Bev and Daisy DOGS are sociable animals and, as such, like to be part of their pack or, as we would call it our family. There are many ways that dogs will exhibit problem behaviour, especially when left alone. Boredom may be a key factor or lack of proper training in young dogs, they have never been taught that it is unacceptable to chew items, bark or dig. Others behave unacceptably because they cannot bear to be parted from their owners and become anxious. Dogs that suffer separation anxiety should not be trusted alone, even for a short time. Some may be destructive, others are noisy and some become so distressed that they will soil in the house. The ones who tend to suffer most are adopted dogs, dogs that have had two or three homes; shy, submissive, sensitive dogs and older puppies. Tips on what to do – Exercise your dog, walk or play games about an …

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Air force experience prepared veteran for cancer battle

TONY Petty returned from Oklahoma recently to his native North Clare. Here, the Ennistymon ex-pat recalls getting in on the ground floor of the computer industry and how his experience in the United States Air Force helped him in his most recent battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In 1957 Tony Petty took a leap of faith, unusual among his peers. The 20-year-old walked out of a permanent job as a bus conductor in London, to return home to meet an uncle returning to Ireland on holidays for the first time in 50 years. Seventy-year-old Mikey Petty left Ennistymon for America in 1907. For the following five decades, he remained in contact with his family, among them his brother Joseph, Tony’s father. Now, he was coming home from Worchester, Massachusetts for two weeks holidays but in London, Tony couldn’t get time off to return home. “I gave it up [the job] because they would not give me a holiday and I wanted …

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Shannon area’s aging population moving on

FIGURES published by the parish show  634 people have died in Shannon since 2000, with 2013 the year when most deaths were recorded. Speaking to The Clare Champion, parish priest Fr Tom Ryan (pictured) said the town’s demographics are maturing. “Maybe 30 years ago, there would be 10 baptisms every Sunday but now, the town is maturing and it’s an ageing town. That’s reflected in the amount of grandparents in the town and even great-grandparents, which wouldn’t have been there in the past.” It’s not that long ago since the cemetery was put in place at Illaunmanagh. “The cemetery opened in 2001 and a number of years later, an extension was sought for it. That’s filling up as well but there’s still plenty of space available.” The parish was founded on Christmas Eve of 1967, although people had been living in the town for some years before, as part of the Newmarket-on-Fergus parish. The number of deaths per year are: …

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