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Larry’s empowerment legacy

PARTEEN native, Larry De Cleir is a man of many parts. A psychotherapist, who spent two decades in the Irish army, he is also a talented singer-songwriter, whose work ranges from personal reflections to commentary on politics and society. With a CV like that, his retirement is probably set to be a fairly active one. The role of retiree is one that Larry is still getting used to having signed off, just last week, after a 13-and-a-half year stint as Project Leader with Bedford Row, an initiative that supports prisoners and families in Clare and Limerick. “I was involved with the project for a long time before that,” he explains. “I was counselling and getting clients from the project. Before that, again, I was involved, in very early days meeting workers with the Hospitality Centre in Limerick Prison, where the project started up. I was aworking with South Hill Outreach and we had a step-down [service] going on, so I …

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Spanish Point Golf Club rewards Doreise’s tranformation

A WEST Clare woman’s dedicated efforts to boost her health and fitness have secured her a top prize in an annual wellness initiative run by Spanish Point Golf Club. Doreise Power, who is from Quilty and now lives in Mullagh, took part in a ten-week initiative running alongside Operation Transformation from January to March this year. While the pandemic put paid to plans for a gala presentation night, a lower-key presentation was made recently to a delighted Doreise. Mervin Hehir of Spanish Point Golf Club said the local Operation Transformation initiative was aimed at making a difference to people in the dark months of the year, and about creating activities for the whole community. “The golf club is community owned and we wanted to take away any suggestion that clubs are stuffy places,” he explained. “That’s why, last year, we decided to run a 10-week programme alongside Operation Transformation on RTÉ. We really wanted to help people learn about fitness …

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Bunratty woman ‘jumps the gate’ to create line of children’s books

CREATIVITY, and an eye for a gap in the market, has inspired a Bunratty woman to ‘Jump Over the Gate,’ by developing a line of children’s books. Interior designer Edel Moloney has branched into children’s publishing, alongside a creative team featuring writer Róisín Meaney and illustrator Louisa Condon. The new company, called Jump Over the Gate, has created what Edel describes as “Ireland’s coolest puffin, Puffin Paulie, who resides in his burrow at the Cliffs of Moher”. “We’re three women with complementary skills,” notes Edel. “We’re very excited about the potential of this project.” Puffin Paulie Goes West is the first of two planned books, which will be accompanied by merchandise including a soft toy and T-shirts. The book, which is available, fittingly, at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, features Paulie on the back of his motorbike whizzing along the west coast, playing tunes, surfing the waves, cleaning some beaches and having lots of fun. his wonderful and entertaining …

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Key Clare images from War of Independence brought to life in colour

COLOURISED images of key moments in Clare’s revolutionary history have been included in a new book on the period between the East Rising and the foundation of the State. Among the pictures that author Michael Barry has included in An Illustrated History of the Irish Revolution (1916-1923) is a photograph of Eamon De Valera at Ennis Courthouse after the by-election of 1917. Other shots include scenes of tanks in Clare and an armoured car at the RIC barracks in Ennis. There is also a picture of De Valera’s arrest in 1923 at a Sinn Féin gathering. The latter appeared in the Illustrated London News just after the outbreak of the Civil War.   There’s also a photo of De Valera in America in the period 1919-1920. During a visit to the Chippewa Reservation Reserve in Wisconsin, he was famously made honorary chief of a Chippewa tribe, and the colourised image shows him wearing a Native American ceremonial headdress. “I specially …

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Shoeboxes send much needed message of hope

WEST Clare mother Josipa Akinradewo knows only too well the joy that the Team Hope annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal can bring. As a young girl living in Croatia while her father fought in its War of Independence she was one of those to receive a precious gift from a stranger overseas. That experience stayed with her, and now preparing a shoebox for others has become an annual tradition she shares with her own children. This year because of Covid-19 the experience will be very different, with people being asked to build a ‘virtual box’ online to be given to children in need in Africa and Eastern Europe. However, this has not taken away the spirit of the initiative which has brightened the lives of so many, and Josipa is encouraging others to get involved. Josipa, her husband and two children have been living in Ireland for five years. A year after their arrival her son brought home a leaflet about …

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Theresa measures the success of new podcast

“YOU’LL laugh, but I’m actually an introvert,” says Theresa Roseingrave, Barefield ‘newbie’ entrepreneur, mother and the woman behind the podcast series ‘Ladies of Measure’. The eight part series features intimate and candid conversations with some of this country’s strongest, but often less ‘obvious’, female leaders. Explaining her vision for the popular podcast which is now in its second series, she tells us, “Through life, I’ve been fortunate to always work with, and be surrounded by, inspirational women. I wanted to share the stories of women like them and use their journeys to help inspire others. I’m not talking about celebrities – real women walking the path of life just like the rest of us. It’s so easy to look at each other and think “she’s got it all – she’s successful and has her act together”, but it isn’t always so, and it isn’t always a battle easily won. I look at Maria Walsh, MEP, who was so open about …

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East Clare prepares to mark centenary of Glenwood Ambush

AS EVENTS in the War of Independence are commemorated across the country, communities in East Clare are preparing to mark the 100th anniversary of the Glenwood Ambush in the New Year. On January 20, 1921 at about 4pm, a motorised patrol of ten armed Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Black and Tans, travelling from Sixmilebridge to Broadford, approached the back gate of Glenwood House. Waiting for them, concealed behind the walls of the Glenwood estate was a group of approximately 37 armed volunteers, from the East Clare Brigade of the IRA, led by Michael Brennan of Meelick. As the patrol passed by the gates, a fusillade of gunshots struck the patrol. Six RIC and Black and Tans were killed, two were injured and two escaped unhurt. One IRA volunteer was injured. The ambush party then withdrew through the forest and mountains to the East of Glenwood, towards the village of Oatfield. The surviving members of the patrol made their way …

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McKernans weave strands of success in Tuamgraney

SUCCESS came as something of a surprise to husband-and-wife team Anke and Eugene McKernan, who set up their woollen mills in Tuamgraney in the 1980s. “We really didn’t plan it,” Anke told The Champion. “We were originally weavers, but realised that it was the market for hand-crafted scarves that was really going best for us. In 1995 we replaced our handlooms with a 120-year-old cast iron shuttle loom, and in 2012 we purchased our first knitting machine. We just couldn’t have imagined how the business would grow.” Now, McKernan Woollen Mills, produces over 500 different product lines which combine the crafts of weaving and knitting in innovative designs, textures and styles. With 70% of the pre-Covid business coming for export channels – to countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, the US and Canada – the company has had to switch gears to some extent because of the pandemic, and put more of a focus on retail business in outlets including …

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