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Exploring the sound of silence at Spanish Point

Clare singer, Sionnáin Michelle Shannon, will host a series of free events this weekend entitled Soundscapes and Seascapes or Fuaimdreacha agus Muirdreacha. The events, which will take place at Cleadagh, close to Spanish Point, aim to connect people to the sounds of the natural world using song and the Irish language. The free workshops, which will take place from 2pm to 5pm on May 24, 25 and 26, are designed to help people to deepen their relationship with the natural landscape, as well as to themselves and to one another by exploring the power of silence and sound. “It will be an immersive, sensory, bilingual experience down by the ocean between Spanish Point and the White Strand. There is a lovely cove that I have been going to for many years now and the experience will be happening there,” said Sionnáin. “We will be spending three hours down by the ocean and really connecting to the soundscapes and seascapes. That …

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Posing on Howth Pier.

Daisy’s Birthday Shenanigans Continue

Well, after my Birthday Shenanigans last week, I thought I’d have a wee rest before things ramped up again, but no, it was crazier than ever. Himself only guested at home this week, jetting off to London for Stirling Moss’ Memorial Service and only back for a night before heading off up the country for an AGM. As a result I hardly saw him and I was somewhat surprised when herself and myself ended up at Ennis train station on Friday morning. Now I’ve been on trains in London, but I’ve never had a real train ride in Ireland and I was really excited as we headed off. We arrived at Heuston and who was there to collect us only himself and we had a great reunion. The day was lovely, so instead of going around town, we all decided to head for Howth to get some sea air. I must say it was lovely walking around, trying to catch …

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Posing at Glendalough.

Daisy’s 15th Birthday Celebrations at BrookLodge

So I’ve finally made the landmark age of 15 – a great age for any doggie – but I have to say, I still feel like a little pup. I was always a slow walker and I haven’t got any faster over the years, but if there’s a bit of food in the offing, I can show a clean pair of paws to any young dog. I wanted to go somewhere really nice for my special day, so I howled to the pawrents that we hadn’t been to BrookLodge for some time and they took the hint – I have them very well trained. So well trained that before we even set off, I got them to order me a new bowtie and two bandanas from Pawssential, which we collected the night before we left. We had to work for part of the day before we headed off, so we arrived quite late in the evening, just in time for …

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Tara finds inner peace in Miltown Malbay

West Clare based American writer, Tara Darlene Smith, has released a powerful new memoir exploring war, relationships, mental health and healing “I knew nothing about Ireland at the time, I certainly never imagined that one day I’d be living here as a writer,” says Tara Darlene Smith as she reflects on the odyssey of releasing her first book. Twenty years ago, in 2004, the then 22-year-old arrived at Shannon Airport as a US soldier en route to Iraq. The brief stopover gave her enough time to purchase a silver shamrock necklace in a green box labelled “Tara,” which she wore every day at war. Thirteen years later, she returned as a civilian and a tourist to begin what she calls a “love affair with Clare”. It has been, she says, “a journey of healing the traumas of childhood and of war” and “discovering a sense of peace I never thought possible”. In her candid and gripping memoir entitled Sunflowers in …

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Living her life one beat at a time

AN Ardnacrusha heart patient whose life was saved by a double heart bypass, is urging the government to allocate €1.2 million in annual funding to the Irish Heart Foundation. Pauline O’Shea, (50) recalled the National Stroke and Heart Charity helped her to pick up the pieces after the shocking diagnosis she had the heart of a 70 year-old and a heart function of between 10% and 20% before surgery. The mother-of-three required emergency life-saving intervention to deal with Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) when a tear appeared in the wall of a coronary artery, which supplied blood to her heart. When her heart function improved to about 35% following medication and intensive rehabilitation work, Ms O’Shea started volunteering for the Irish Heart Foundation in 2018 before she applied for and was appointed as their Patient Advocacy Campaign Manager since September 2022. Using her marketing and communications experience, she draws on her personal near death experience as a heart failure patient …

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Sparring on the brink of history

THURSDAY afternoon in Shannon. The boxing club is upstairs, they say in SKB Gerdy’s Community Gym, go around the back and go up. An unpromising looking door does open, and David Ryan is there waiting. Work on developing the room hasn’t finished, quite clearly, but the ring is up and it’s within its confines that Ryan will do much of his preparations for the first title fight as a professional boxer, when he takes on Tony McGlynn for the BUI Celtic Super Lightweight belt on May 10. While he sees the belt as a stepping stone to greater things, winning it would be a milestone for a fighter who went straight from kickboxing into professional boxing in 2022. The preparation involved in prizefighting is as intense if not more so than for any sport on earth, and Ryan has to do it while working full time; he is a familiar figure to many in Shannon from his job at Denver …

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Daisy is serenaded by Michael Grogan at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.

Daisy’s St Patrick’s Day Adventures

Well, wasn’t I the busy little dog over the St Patrick’s weekend. I hardly had time to draw breath. But before I tell you all about it, I have some exciting news to share. A few months ago, I noticed that Stena Line had a competition for the best pawliday snaps and I barked at the pawrents to submit one of my many holiday photos. Eventually, we decided on a lovely picture of me gazing out at London Bridge on the banks of the Thames. Well, imagine the excitement when an email arrived telling us we’d won a return ferry trip to the UK, including access to the exclusive pet lounge on the boat. I could hardly contain my excitement and I hear a trip to Scotland in August is on the cards. Back to my roots! I must practice my Scottish accent before I go. Back to St Patrick and my weekend started early with a photo shoot at …

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Discovering the whispering land

Picture this: an eight-year-old boy experimenting with a camera at his home place, contentedly snapping away at the small things a curious young child observes in his back yard and a little further afield in the meadows and forests of southern Germany. For a while, the young German boy loses all interest in photography, until a holiday to Ireland as an adult inspires him and re-kindles his passion for the artform. The trip which got Carsten Krieger so hooked on Ireland prompted him to move to the emerald isle permanently in 2002. And the re-location revived a childhood fascination with nature, bringing about a career change from paediatric nursing to freelance photography. Since settling here, Carsten Krieger has photographed and written numerous books on Ireland’s landscape, nature and heritage. And now, 22 years on and almost 20 books later, the renowned photographer, author and environmentalist, who lives in Kibaha on the Loop Head Peninsula, has produced a new book entitled …

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