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Sixmilebridge family call for access to life-changing therapy for newborns

WHEN Laura Collins and her husband Paul held their new born baby on New Year’s Eve not quite two years ago, it was a celebration the Sixmilebridge family will never forget. The couple had barely been allowed to hold their son since he was born, four days previously. A few hours after he came into the world, little Luan had had to be rushed to a neonatal care centre in Cork. Diagnosed with a form of brain damage known as Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), Luan was in a race against time to secure treatment. His parents faced an agonising wait – first for a specialist ambulance to come from Dublin, then the transfer to Cork. All the while, the clock was ticking down on the crucial six hour window for the start of a breakthrough treatment to bring down Luan’s body temperature and stop progressive damage to his brain cells. “To us, Luan seemed fine,” Laura said. “His condition was …

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Hendrick to cycle for bone marrow charity

THE experience of seeing his brother-in-law endure the traumatic process of a bone marrow transplant has inspired Hendrik Ketelaar to undertake a long-distance charity cycle. Hendrik, from Ballinruan, Crusheen is to set off on Saturday morning to cycle 2,220 kilometres of the Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale to Derry to raise funds for the Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust (BLMT), which supports people in Ireland who had or may need a stem cell transplant. It’s a big “thank you” to the organisation that helped somebody very closed to him. His wife, Laura’s brother, Gary O’Callaghan from Shannon was a recipient of the BMLT funded life-saving support in 2015 and has since made a full recovery. BMLT is the only facility in Ireland where an adult can receive a sibling or matched unrelated donor stem cell transplant. It does not receive financial support from the government and relies on fundraising. BMLT supports research and provides accommodation and vital day to day …

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Scariff community charity shop honours memory of its late founder

THE charity shop at East Clare Community Coop on Main Street in Scariff took its first steps on the road to re-opening with a bright new look, lots more space and an expanded range of stock for a dedicated clientele who missed its services over the course of the lockdown. An Alladin’s cave for the bargain hunter, the shop has existed in different forms and locations at the East Clare Community Coop premises over the last decade. The service was originally established by the late Margaret McTernan, grandmother of Eurovision star, Sarah. Margaret’s recent passing cast a cloud of sadness over the facility and, according to shop manager Sharon Daly, there is a determination to do her memory proud. “Margaret was the driving force for the shop and got it off the ground,” Sharon said. “I hope she would be proud of it, she will be sadly missed.” A tribute posted recently by the Coop described Mags as “a great …

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Bamboo set to take the hurling world by storm

THE great clash of the ash in hurling could soon be replaced by bamboo on bamboo if a new type of hurley takes off. Torpey in Sixmilebridge have launched a new Bambú hurley, made, as the name suggests, from bamboo material, which will be imported from China. According to Seán Torpey, operations manager at the long-established traditional craft business, the new hurley will offer players a natural material with added performance benefits to that of the traditional ash hurley. He notes that many attempts have been made over the years to use synthetic materials to replicate the ash hurley, but few have met with any great success. “Since the formation of the GAA in 1884, ash hurleys have been the favoured material of players up and down the country. The Bambú hurley offers a genuine natural alternative to ash hurleys,” he says. The bamboo hurley has been trialled by some of the top inter-county during the initial stages of the …

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European cycling route expands into Clare

Funding of €182,000 recently allocated by Minister Shane Ross will extend the EuroVelo cycling route into County Clare. EuroVelo 1 stretches from Norway to Portugal via Ireland and targets long-distance cyclists but also provides routes for users of all abilities as the criteria for inclusion specify lower-trafficked roads as well as Greenways. The route forms part of a network of 17 long-distance cycle routes throughout Europe and it enters County Clare via counties Galway and Limerick. The route in Clare is approximately 317km long and comprises six daily sections, that is sections which typically can be cycled in one day. In some parts the route ties into cycle routes already in operation, for example, the Doolin and Loop Head cycle routes. The roll out of the route will include the provision of EuroVelo signage, bike repair stands, information boards and cycle racks. Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, Clare County Council, said: “This project will be a stimulus for economic …

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No Tickets Needed as Religious Services Resume in Clare

TICKETS are unlikely to be required for masses in Clare, when religious services resume from next Monday, but the option of participating from your car is being considered by some parishes. Diocesan Communications Officer, Fr Brendan Quinlivan said that while bespoke booking services – some of which come with a hefty monthly fee – are being offered to the clergy, there are no plans, as of yet, to go down the ticketing route. “Advance booking really flies in the face of the principle that all are welcome,” he said. Fr Quinlivan, who is also Parish Priest of Tulla. “We would really be asking people to reflect on how comfortable they are attending at mass,” he said. “The obligation to attend Sunday mass was dispensed with and that continues to be the case for now.” With ‘drive-in’ masses being offered in a number of parishes from County Kerry to County Antrim, some parishes in Clare are looking at facilitating outdoor attendance. …

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East Clare Buddhist Centre Reaches Community Online

THE woodlands nestled along the The 12 O’Clock Hills, in East Clare, might seem a world away from the tropical forests of Thailand, but both provide inspiration for reflection and retreat from the world. And, tucked away along the woodland trails, a stone’s throw from Kilkishen, the Sunyata Buddhist Centre is dedicated to teaching a form of meditation associated with the Thai Forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. As well as welcoming a growing community of Irish Buddhists, in pre-pandemic times, the centre regularly welcomed Buddhist monks from South East Asia on retreat during the rainy season from July to October. Like all places of religious practice, the centre shut down in response to the coronavirus and has also succeeded in reaching its community and keeping activities going on-line. “In ordinary times, people would be welcome to visit the centre at any time, outside of the dates when retreats would be going on,” explained Heike Griffin, a member of the Sunyata …

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Fr Flann Responds to Covid Crisis with Online Grief Reflection

A CLARE-born Capuchin priest has produced a series of on-line reflections with messages of support and hope in challenging times. Fr Flann Lynch is a native of Quin and celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priesthood earlier this month. A member of the Capuchin community, he spent much of his life in ministry overseas and worked with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, before returning to Ireland where he now lives at the Ards Friary in Creeslough, County Donegal. Inspired by the difficulties of the lockdown and ongoing Covid-19 crisis, Fr Lynch has most recently created a meditation for those experiencing grief. “I’ve called it ‘Grief, A Stepping Stone’ and it’s a response to the huge amount of suffering that is in the country at this time,” Fr Lynch said. “We have had a situation where people haven’t been able to be present at the death of loved ones, or to attend funerals in some cases. People have been telling their stories …

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