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Bells toll for soldiers of the Somme

THE year 1916 holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Not only was it the year of the Easter Rising, but that same year saw one of the most brutal, and most futile, battles of the Great War, the Battle of the Somme. To commemorate the centenary of the start of this battle, churches have been invited to toll a funeral bell for 10 minutes from 7.30am on the morning of July 1 (Friday), the precise moment that soldiers climbed from the safety of their trenches to face the awaiting onslaught. In Limerick, at 9pm today ( Thursday), the eve of the Battle of the Somme, the local branch of the Royal British Legion, with Irish ex-service organisations, will gather at the Limerick War Memorial in Pery Square, where a ceremonial candle will be lit, followed by a symbolic vigil, ending with reflective readings and prayer. On Friday, at 7.30am, as the church bells are tolling to mark the start …

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Throwing light on rural electrification

THEN There Was Light, a radio documentary and a book, is a project that has been initiated by the ESB to mark the 70 years since the commencement of the Rural Electrification Scheme. The book promises to be a unique collection of stories by people recalling their memories and experiences of the Rural Electrification Scheme and will provide a valuable snapshot of the time Ireland left the dark ages by allowing power and light into the midst of even the most remote communities. The stories for the collection and radio programme are expected to provide a frank insight into the suspicions, worries and welcome the ESB’s light brigade faced as they began work on one of the most important undertakings in recent Irish history. The stories encapsulate and preserve the approach of a previous generation as it came to terms with the prospect of rapidly changing rural lifestyles. The collection and editing for the book and documentary is being undertaken by authors and editors …

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Ennis boutique’s timeline on style

A PICTURE-perfect look at style through the ages in Clare will form part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of one of Ennis’ best known boutiques. The County Boutique will mark their golden jubilee with a very special exhibition, as part of their Eras of Style celebration later this year. They are hoping that some of their loyal customers who have shopped at the O’Connell Street store over the years will help make it a ‘run-way’ success. The October exhibition will see outfits from different decades, as far back as the 1950s, put on display, along with photographs of the very same ensemble being worn back in the day. Already, the County Boutique have been contacted by a number of customers wishing to include their beloved fashion finds in the exhibition. As an added incentive, there will be a prize for the best outfit from each decade. Gwen Culligan explained, “We wanted to do something to celebrate our 50 years here …

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Kilrush men’s shed builds currach

KILRUSH Men’s Shed recently completed the construction of a traditional West Clare two-man working currach. The canoe, as they are known locally, was built by 10 men for two hours one evening a week, over the winter months. Dimensions for the canoe were provided by local man Alan Madigan, whose grandfather was a traditional currach builder. The build was undertaken at the Limerick and Clare ETB Adult Education Centre, under the supervision of woodwork teacher Diarmuid Whelan. The canoe has a wide beam, high bow and large capacity for cargo and would be typical of the design of the Scattery Island two-man canoe. The canoe competed in Cork’s Ocean to City race over a 22km course last weekend. It was rowed by class participant Patrick Clancy and Diarmuid Whelan

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Freestyle football at Cliffs of Moher

THE Cliffs of Moher features in an innovative Tourism Ireland Euro 2016 promotion, to capitalise on the tourism potential of the tournament. Celebrating the historic and remarkable achievement that both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland teams have qualified for the tournament, Tourism Ireland has created a new online film – bringing the beautiful game together with some of the most beautiful places on the island of Ireland. The video features two freestyle footballers – Jamie Knight in Northern Ireland and Dara Coyne in the Republic of Ireland – playing ball at some of our top visitor attractions, including O’Brien’s Tower and the Cliffs of Moher. The campaign will be rolled out on Facebook and YouTube in seven markets, including France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Canada, leveraging devotion to football in those countries. The film will also be promoted worldwide on Ireland.com (16.6 million visits in 2016) and via Tourism Ireland’s social media platforms – with its Facebook fans (about 3.6 million fans), Twitter followers (346,000), and on its YouTubechannel. …

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Recreating Traveller life in the 1950s

People young and old turned out for a very special exhibition of living history in Ennis recently. As part of Travellers Pride Week, Waterpark House was transformed into a scene of Traveller life from the 1950s. According to organisers, the event wasn’t just about showcasing times past, it was also about promoting positive mental health. Dr Siobhan O’Connor, co-ordinator Ennis CDP Primary Health Care Programme for Travellers in the Clare/Ennis CDP Education Peer Support Project explained, “From the Ennis CDP Primary Health Care Programme’s perspective it was a day invoking positive mental health. Travellers could position themselves as part of the history of Ennis, Clare and Ireland. There was a sense of belonging and ownership of the space and history of Ireland. This was particularly strong in the drama that was performed talking about the role of Travellers in the 1916 Rising, when Travellers transported messages and hardware between the volunteers at great risk. “From a mental health perspective, it …

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Stonehall community rallies around Tara

Friends, neighbours and staff at Stonehall National School have rallied around a charitable cause for a 13-year-old pupil, who has a very rare medical condition. A number of fundraising events have been organised for Tara’s Trust, including a recent wax, shave or dye event in The Honk Bar and a gala barn dance at the Inn at Dromoland on Saturday, June 11. Tara O’Brien, her parents, Vincent and Geraldine; brother, Evan (17) and sister, Ellen (14) live in Rineanna North, Newmarket-on-Fergus. The sixth-class pupil in Stonehall National School suffers from a condition known as hemangioendothelioma, a very rare vascular tumour. Her numerous surgeries have included three spinal fusions, a splenectomy and, more recently, decompression of her spinal chord, as well as undergoing chemotherapy and trials on various drugs. While Tara is on daily painkillers, she has battled the disease with great courage and spirit and loves going to school and being with her friends. All the proceeds from the fundraisers will be donated to a …

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