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Clare man Dion, first snapped in Champion, making waves as model

A YOUNG East Clare native whose photogenic potential was first spotted by The Clare Champion has since appeared in leading magazines including Italian Vogue and Irish Tatler.  Dion Mahoney was snapped, as a young boy, by Champion photographer John Kelly. He and his dad Paul were attending the Brian Ború reenactment at the East Clare Heritage Centre in Tuamgraney in 2005, when they were photographed for the paper.  When Dion recently reminded Paul of that picture, The Champion was fascinated to hear that Dion has been enjoying a high successful career in modelling. As a keen young sportsman, Dion enjoyed regularly playing rugby, soccer and hurling. A student at Scarriff Community College, Dion was in Junior Cert year when sustained a debilitating and recurring injury while on loan to Young Munster Rugby Club from Scarriff Rugby Club. Despite regular physiotherapy and osteopathy sessions, the injury would return after a few matches, requiring yet another period of treatment and rest. It …

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Man who co-discovered Doolin Cave returns for 70th anniversary

SEVEN decades after the discovery of Doolin Cave one of the original cavers who made this amazing find returned to North Clare at the weekend to help mark the momentous anniversary. Doolin Cave has celebrated its 70th birthday marking its discovery by cavers, Brian Varley and J M (Mike) Dickenson in 1952. Brian, who celebrates his 90th birthday this year, returned to Doolin where a commemorative plaque acknowledging the cavers’ achievement was unveiled. Helen Browne, proprietor of Doolin Cave Visitor Centre with husband John, explained that the plaque has been placed on the way into the cave so everybody who visits will be able to share in Brian and Mike’s story and the hard work which led to their great discovery. “It was very special for us to be able to welcome Brian to Doolin Cave, he is such an amazing character. We were honoured to have him return to the cave to unveil a plaque dedicated to him and …

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South for Susan & Antoinette underway

THE South for Susan & Antoinette Cyclists have been making their way down through the country this week, arriving in Ennis on Wednesday afternoon and pulled out from Ballyea this Thursday morning.  The cycle from Malin Head to Mizen Head is being completed as a fundraiser for Cancer Care West and Sláinte an Chláir. as well as commemorating Ballyea woman Susan O’Neill and Antoinette Pender of Quilty. In all the cyclists will cover some 600km. Monday saw them cycle from Malin Head to Donegal Town, a journey of 120km, in quite good weather. Day two was Donegal to Claremorris and conditions were quite good until the last 20km, when they hit a patch of rain. On Wednesday the cyclists went from Claremorris to Ballyea, while Thursday will be Ballyea to Blarney, with Friday’s final leg taking them to Mizen Head. On the way down they were greeted in Oranmore by Cancer Care West CEO Richard Flaherty and its Fundraising Manager …

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Council posts link to have your say on Cliffs of Moher future

CLARE County Council has extended the deadline for submissions to the Cliffs of Moher 2040 Strategy until Sunday, June 12, 2022. The Cliffs of Moher Experience, soliciting people’s opinions on the future of Ireland’s most visited natural attraction, has invited people to fill out a short survey. Clare County Council supported by Fáilte Ireland is working, with a multi-disciplinary consultancy team led by Haley Sharpe Design, to prepare the strategy 2040 including an overall site masterplan. The second phase of public and stakeholder consultation is underway in relation to the development of a long-term strategy and site masterplan. To learn more visit the following link Have your say in the short online survey here 

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Call goes out to build on Clare’s 15 Street Feasts this June 26

For the first time in three years neighbours and communities will be able to reconnect and celebrate together in person at Street Feast 2022. Registrations for Street Feast are now open and organisers are aiming for 1200 feasts with 100,000 people participating around the country on Sunday June 26. In 2019 Clare organised 15 feasts and organisers are calling for more people throughout the county to get involved this year and increase the number of feasts in the Banner. Street Feast is Ireland’s national day of lunches and one of Ireland’s most successful community initiatives for over a decade. The aim of Street Feast is to build neighbourhood and community networks and tackle social isolation. Sam Bishop, founder of Street Feast, said, “Since the last Street Feast three years ago after two years of restrictions and lockdowns our notion of community has altered immeasurably. “For some it was an opportunity to bond with neighbours as lockdown restrictions kept us at …

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‘We do everything together, we always have…’

JUNE 2, 1962 was a warm summer day at the Coton Parish Church in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. It was there and then that John and Marlene Phipps were married, and 60 years on they will celebrate the occasion in Ballinruan, which has been their home since 1995. The couple first met on a quiet Sunday in 1959, when Marlene was just about to turn 16. Not much older himself, John was already working on the railways, and was whiling the afternoon away at a social club for its employees. “On a Sunday there’d be a bit of a dance in one room and there were three rooms there. Marl’s friend, her father was a guard on the railway. They were fed up on a Sunday afternoon and her friend said I know where we’ll go.” Marlene says Sundays were for church and little else and her father wouldn’t have been a bit impressed if he’d known where she was off to. …

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Vikings and street theatre at top Clare attractions this weekend

SHANNON Heritage attractions Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Craggaunowen are set to come alive with entertainment this June Bank Holiday weekend with street theatre and Viking recreations all part of the fun. Craggaunowen is bracing itself for a Viking invasion with a thrilling exhibition of Norse Culture planned on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6 from 10am to 5pm. Hide your valuables because the Vikings are going to be rampaging through the lands of Craggaunowen – you’ll feel as if you are travelling back through time to an era when Viking warriors roamed Ireland! Several battles will place during the day with warriors unleashing their fierce battle skills for visitors to witness. Battles will take place at 12.30pm and 3pm daily on the Craggaunowen Castle Green. Fighting is expected to be hot and heavy but unlike historic battles of yesteryear there will be no blood spilt. Away from the battle front, visitors can experience demonstrations of Viking skills …

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Grainne’s gourmet delights earn stint with celebrity chef

A Transition Year (TY) student has scooped work experience with Irish celebrity chef television personality Neven Maguire after winning the Shannon Region Junior Chef of the Year 2022 competition. One student finalist was selected from four schools across the region to represent their school in a two-hour live culinary grand final in the Limerick Strand Hotel kitchen. Gráinne Scullane, a TY student from St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe was the overall competition winner and received the first place gold medal. She won a €250 Good Food Ireland voucher that can be spent in hotels around Ireland, a one4all voucher, a fresh fruit and vegetable voucher and a signed copy of Nevin Maguire’s latest cookbook. After sending a thank you message to Mr Maguire, Gráinne was taken aback when he replied, offering her a golden opportunity to work with him in his internationally renowned restaurant in Cavan for a few days. In an interview with The Clare Champion, Gráinne recalled her …

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