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Role of youth promoted at Céifin conference

THE role of young people in the spiritual journey from a lakeside in East Clare to the mission fields of Africa and back to a lake in County Wicklow was recounted at the recent Céifin conference in Ennis.Young people also featured prominently in the conference contributions of other speakers at the West County Hotel.“A garden of Eden, where I experienced life as a blessing,” was how Fr Michael Rodgers described his childhood in Killanena. “My mother was religious but my father was a spiritual man,” he recalled. His earliest spiritual experiences were with his father when they were cutting turf in the bog. “At lunchtime he would lie back in the heather with his hat over his face and I would be watching the skylarks, tracking them from the sky overhead to their nests, where I would find their eggs and nestlings,” he said.Yet he found he took to institutional life when he was sent to St Flannan’s College and …

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San Fran’s famous Irish Coffee Club

THE 57th anniversary of the bond between Shannon and San Francisco, which was connected by an ocean of whiskey and coffee topped by foamy cream, took place on Tuesday.It was 1952 and three characters of very different professions and backgrounds had little to occupy them in an otherwise lifeless bar on the San Francisco waterfront. There was only one other person on the premises and he witnessed a series of botched attempts at making Irish Coffee, which travel writer, Stan Delaplane had discovered two years earlier when he made the first of what would be countless calls at Shannon Airport.With a readership counted in millions for his twice a week travel columns, which appeared in 45 newspapers across the USA, Stan was one of an elite press group that was flown to Rome to mark the Holy Year of 1950. But the Vatican-bound flight hit mechanical trouble over the Atlantic and made an unscheduled stop at Shannon.In those years when …

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Tara’s tips for looking your best

FROM looking her best to Amuzing Grace and from just imagining to The Guinness Book of World Records, former Clare Champion reporter Tara King is finding November a very busy month. The 23-year-old launched her first book on Wednesday and will follow this with the launches of two further books over the following two weeks. Having gone straight from school into a career in journalism, Tara worked as a journalist with The Clare Champion for four years, leaving in July to pursue her dream of becoming an author.Look Your Best is the first of three books completed by the Galway woman since then. Covering fashion, beauty, hair care and numerous tips and tricks, the book is endorsed by TV3’s Xposé and was launched by show presenter and Irish model Glenda Gilson this week.“The Look Your Best – beauty, fashion and tips book actually came about by accident. Earlier this year, I was chatting with my publisher John O’Connor of Blackwater …

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Parteen photographer receives volunteer award

  A PARTEEN-based photographer, who was given only months to live last March, has scooped an Ireland Involved Award for his volunteer work on behalf of Concern for the last 20 years.Liam Burke, who set up the Limerick-based Press 22 photo agency with his business partner Noel Gavin in 1984, was presented with the International Development Award by President Mary McAleese at a ceremony in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham last Thursday night.His work has propelled the name of Concern to a global audience over the past two decades, whether it was the stark images from the crisis in Somalia in the early ’90s or a picture of a local debate team in a regional paper.His iconic photograph of a malnourished young boy on the shoulders of his brother was the key image used in a major fundraising campaign for the Ethiopia crisis in 1989, helping to raise over €1.8 million for its emergency appeal at that time.He travelled to Somalia …

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