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Birdwatch outing to Loophead

THE Clare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland will host an outing to Kilbaha and Loop Head on Saturday next, October 2.  The meeting point is Kilbaha village at 9am. For anyone arriving a little late, they can catch up along the road from the village as the group searches for scarce and rare autumn migrants. In the past birds such as Yellow-browed Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and many other species have been seen in this area around this time of year. Later in the morning, the group will walk the headland area of Loop Head where Golden Plover, Chough, Merlin, Peregrine and who can tell what may pop up before our eyes. If time allows, the group will also look for birds at the Fodry, Claughaun Lough and Kilcredaun later in the day. According to the branch, this part of the county is a birding hotspot at this time of year, and, with unsettled weather …

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Special plans for Clare amenity’s seventh anniversary

A NUMBER of special walks have been planned for the end of September at the 12 O’Clock Hills, writes Fiona McGarry. The amenity’s recreational and heritage project committee is planning the walks to mark the seventh anniversary of the official opening of the facility, in September 2014. The amenity has enjoyed a very successful seven years with continuous development of the trails and the upgrade of heritage sites. The development of a new car park at Belvoir and the addition of a Fairy Trail have been very well received, according to the committee. They have also highlighted the “added dimension” offered by the 13k Purple trail, which has increased the length and the number of hills to climb from two to three. In February funding of just over €18,000 was allocated to the 12 O’Clock Hills project under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) for small scale repairs as well as promotion and marketing. Picnic tables were among the improved …

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Clare to feature in new Failte Ireland campaign

FOLLOWING a busy season of staycations in Clare, a new marketing campaign is aiming to keep up the momentum for the Banner’s vital hospitality industry into the autumn and beyond. Throughout the summer, Fáilte Ireland’s ‘Keep Discovering’ marketing campaign has been encouraging Irish people to discover the joy of holidaying in Ireland. With restrictions for tourism and hospitality businesses easing, the upcoming shoulder season is an important time for the tourism sector in Clare. Rolling into Autumn, the next phase of the ‘Keep Discovering’ campaign is kicking off this month at a national, regional and county level. The campaign will aim to tempt those with remaining annual leave to book a break during the autumn and winter in Clare and other destinations in the country. Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Marketing, Niall Tracey, commented: “The campaign will showcase the great places to explore across the country with a dedicated ‘Keep Discovering Clare’ county video airing on national TV on Wednesday September …

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East Clare radio station secures licence for coming year

AN East Clare community radio station’s immediate future on the air has been secured after it was approved for a broadcasting licence, writes Dan Danaher. Scariff Bay Communty Radio is literally back on the wireless after securing another 100-day licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). This will ensure the station will continue to broadcast every weekend for the next 12 months. This latest licence, which came into force on Saturday is another boost to the station’s recent application for a 10-year licence, which is expected to be decided upon within the next six months. While no final decision has been made on the 10-year licence, early indications are positive, according to station public relations officer, Eoin O’Hagan. He said the BAI is very happy with the station’s governance, studio set-up and financial foundation. “We have built up a huge cohort of hard working and willing volunteers who give up their time and energy free to allow people to …

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Cyclists invited on fundraising ‘Tour Through East Clare’

CYCLISTS across the Mid-West have been invited on a picturesque tour through towns and villages in East Clare to help raise funds for a community group, writes Dan Danaher. The seventh annual Tour Through East Clare cycle will take place on Saturday, September 25, to raise badly needed funds for Kilkishen Development Association (KDA). All routes will start and finish at the Kilkishen Cultural Centre and cyclists can choose between 100km or 50km routes. The 100km route travels via Sixmilebridge, Broadford, Bodyke, Scarriff and into Mountshannon for a food stop. From Mountshannon, the cycle continues to Scarriff, Feakle, Glendree and on to Tulla before returning to Kilkishen. The 50km route travels via Sixmilebridge, Broadford, Bodyke and returns via Tulla. The cycle is organised by the Kilkishen Development Association, and all funds raised from this cycle will support the Kilkishen Cultural Centre. Secretary and treasurer of the Kilishen Cultural Centre, Olivia King recalled the former protestant church hosted exercise classes, yoga, …

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Clare ferry company extends free Aran trip offer to frontline healthcare workers

A FREE day trip to Inis Oirr, offered by a Clare ferry company as a thank you to frontline Irish Health Care workers for their work during the pandemic, was booked out in hours. Now, for those that missed out, Garrihy’s Doolin2Aran Ferries is setting aside 10 spaces per day for 10 days from Monday, September 20 so more frontline healthcare workers get the chance to enjoy the Aran trip. “Our team wanted to recognise dedicated frontline Healthcare workers, who have worked tirelessly and professionally in the darkest periods through this terrible pandemic,” said Eugene Garrihy. “There was a phenomenal response from frontline healthcare workers to our “Míle Buíochas” Thank you Boat Trip, and spaces were booked out eight hours after we announced it,” he said. “We were inundated with phones and emails and so many people were disappointed that the Garrihy team decided to extend the offer. “There will an additional 10 spaces per day on our Inis Oirr …

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Three Clare producers make Blas na hÉireann finals

THREE Clare food producers have made it to this year’s finals of the Blas na hÉireann food awards. The finalists shortlisted from Clare across a range of categories are Meere’s Pork Products, The Burren Butcher and St. Tola Cheese. The Burren Butcher, aka Neil Hawes, has operated as an artisan butcher since 2008 and specialises in local Burren meat. He was nominated for his six ounce steak burgers. Neil sells from a pop-up stall at his home in Lisdoonvarna and is also to be found at Ballyvaughan Farmers Market. Meere’s Pork Products have made it to the finals for the first time and have been nominated for their sausages. The family have been making award-winning pork products since 1975 from their base on the outskirts of Quin. They were awarded Dunne’s small producer of the year in 2017 for their contribution to the ‘Simply Better’ range. We are absolutely over the moon … for the first time and after some …

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Cannonball coming to the Banner

CANNONBALL, the action-packed supercar spectacle, will pass through Clare on Saturday September 17th arriving in Killimer Ferry Terminal at approximately 3.30pm and driving along the N67 through Kilrush, Kilkee, Doonbeg, Quilty, Miltown Malbay, Lahinch, Ennistymon, Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan and Kinavarra before heading on to Galway. Top mark cars include, not one but two spectacular Ford GTs for the first time in Ireland. Cannonball, fuelled by milesPlus from Circle K, will also feature firm favourites McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley. It will blaze a trail from Malahide to Cork and then take in Kerry, Clare, Galway, Westmeath, Longford, Meath, Cavan, Louth and Antrim. Any car enthusiasts and Cannonball fans wishing to come out to see the cars on the route are asked to please adhere to the advice of the Cannonball COVID-19 marshals and maintain social distancing. The official charity of Cannonball will be The HOPE Foundation, an Irish Charity doing incredible work with the street …

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