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Rose blossoms

WHEN Killaloe girl Nuala McKeogh was only eight her father beamed with pride when the Clare Rose sash was placed on her and she was serenaded with My Lovely Rose of Clare. But that was only for dramatic purposes in a school drama about Clare’s success in the All-Ireland.Little did she know then that one day she would represent the Banner County as the real Clare Rose.Twenty-three year-old primary school teacher Nuala was chosen last month to represent Clare in the Irish Regional Rose of Tralee Finals in Portlaoise over the June Bank Holiday Weekend. Nuala is a Clare girl through and through and has been heavily involved in local sports, arts and community events since she was a child.She hails from a farm in Ballycourney, about two miles from Killaloe.Nuala was educated in Killaloe Girls’ Primary School and in St Anne’s Community College and went on to train as a primary school teacher in Mary Immaculate College of Education …

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Cancer centre nears completion

THE stone cobbled road meanders its way into the depths of Ballygriffey Woods. It requires careful manoeuvring. A mile in and there’s a clearance where stands an imposing circular-shaped stone building is nearing completion. It’s the Clare 250 Cancer Centre.Centre campaigner, John Dunne gushes with pride that after what seems like an eternity, leaning heavily on the goodwill and generosity of the people of Clare, as well as scavenging for favours from different quarters, his dream and those of cancer sufferers in the county is finally taking concrete shape.The dedicated day care centre, with extensive glass panelling, is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and is tastefully designed to nestle comfortably within its surrounds. It stands as testament to Dunne’s desire and the architectural ingenuity of Joe Hanrahan of the Ennis-based firm, Paddy Coleman Consultant Engineers and quantity surveyor Dave McLaughlin.But what is now in place near Ruan hasn’t come cheaply and everything about the building is top class, as John …

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Sing hallelujah

MASS-goers in a number of churches around Clare bopped and clapped in their seats last Sunday to the songs of gospel choirs taking part in the first national Gospel Rising Festival.Ennis hosted the inaugural festival, which organisers say was a huge success. Fiona Walsh, from Ennis, who is also one of the national organisers for gospel choirs, said they surprised themselves with how well the festival went. “It went better than we could have hoped for. Events were greatly supported and from the feedback we’re getting, people absolutely loved the gigs and the workshops. For those of us who were participating in it, it was wonderful to be able to listen to other choirs and their styles. It is amazing the various styles which different choirs incorporate in their songs and music from Elvis style to ‘happy day’ stuff were all covered over the weekend,” Fiona said.The director of the local Ennis gospel Really Truly Joyful Choir. Fiona said the …

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The sound of music

JOE McDonagh had got so accustomed to life with impaired hearing, that he didn’t realise he was in fact lip reading.“When Geraldine [wife] was talking to me, I’d have to tell her to look at me. I was lip-reading but I didn’t realise it, I was in denial,” he says. It was Gearldine who helped Joe recognise how deficient his hearing actually was. “I said to him one day, you are definitely deaf. He said ‘I am not deaf’. I said you bloody well are, you can’t hear the indicator when you’re driving the car,” she noted.She said she had immediately noticed that Joe spoke very quickly, a knock-on effect of his poor hearing but she hadn’t noticed many other problems, other than having to face him when she was talking. “I found that odd. I’d be saying something and the next thing he’d say was ‘will you look at me when you’re talking?’ Why would I have to be …

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Swimwear for every shape and size

Getting the right swimsuit for your body not only looks great but also increases confidence. The idea, as always, is to accentuate assets and conceal anything else.Generally, a one-piece suit is a winner. If you think you will be swimming, it is certainly a lot more reassuring than the more minute pieces designed for soaking up the sun. Small bustHaving a small bust can be very advantageous when it comes to revealing bikinis. Triangle-shaped cups are really only possible for women with small busts. They, along with tie-front features are ideal for adding shape to a small bust. Bandeau dresses are hugely popular and bandeau bikinis can look amazing, especially on women with smaller busts.Lots of bikini tops now have padding but it is vital to opt for a good cut to keep the padding unnoticed. Ruffles are also very flattering on a small bust. Large bustThe importance of support cannot be over emphasised. Lots of one pieces and bikini …

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Boycott at Fethard on Sea

There are many things that reflect the changes that have taken place in this country over the past 50 years. None more so than people’s attitude to the Catholic Church and the influence that members of the clergy wielded.Sheila Kelly and Seán Clooney were natives of Fethard on Sea on the south coast of Wexford. They married in London in 1949. That should have been the end of the matter but Sheila was a member of the Church of Ireland and Seán was a Catholic. They married in an Augustinian Church and then had their marriage blessed in an Anglican Church.That was the time of the strict enforcement of the Ne Temere decree, which ordered that any children born to such a marriage had to be raised as Catholics. There were no exceptions. A Catholic was not allowed to marry unless the other partner agreed to the decree. That might seem harsh now but that was a time when if …

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Losing weight without the dieting

Ahead of the dreaded swimsuit season many women are considering losing a few pounds. However according to counsellor, hypnotherapist and author Fiona Hoban, dieting is not necessarily the best way to achieve this.While our pockets may not be as deep as they once were, it seems our collective waistlines are growing at an unprecedented rate. There has been a 30% increase reported in obesity figures in Ireland over the last four years, higher than most other EU countries, according to Fiona, who’s new programme Take a Weight Off Your Mind is being brought to Clare by counsellor Heike Griffin.“Obesity accounts for at least 2,500 deaths in Ireland each year. According to current Irish estimates, 16% of women and 20% of men are obese and perhaps as much as half the population is overweight. Seven percent of Irish children are obese and one in five nine-year-olds are overweight, resulting in an estimated cost of €339 million for childhood obesity alone,” Fiona …

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