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Hop to it and support Clare Crusaders this Easter

THE Easter Bunny will make a special appearance in playgrounds throughout East Clare as part of a fundraising event for Clare Crusaders’ Clinic. Children can meet the Easter Bunny on Saturday, April 16, in O’Briensbridge at 11am, Broadford at 11.45am, Tulla at 1.30pm and Ennis Fairgreen at 3.30pm for a chat and photographs. Parents can make donations to the collection buckets that will be available at the playgrounds. The idea behind the fundraiser came from The Easter Bunny, Tina O’Loughlin, Broadford, who visited children’s gardens last year to collect money for the local playground development. Tina approached Lourda Doyle who felt this fun event should be repeated this year for Clare Crusaders. Lourda said it is important to raise money for Clare Crusaders, which provides a lot of free therapy to children with special needs. The Easter Bunny visited Barney’s Kids Club on Sunday, which was a huge success for both children and parents, as part of an initiative for …

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New Jersey political delegation welcomed to Clare

A delegation of key members of the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly led by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlan travelled to Clare last weekend for a visit aimed at strengthening ties between the US and Irish regions. The legislators are members of the New Jersey American Irish State Legislators Caucus (AISLC), a bipartisan network of American Irish legislators and legislators who are friends of Ireland at the state and local level of government. There is now an American Irish State Legislators Caucus in every state in the US. The New Jersey delegation visited the Cliffs of Moher, where they were welcomed to Clare by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr PJ Ryan, and Council Chief Executive Pat Dowling. The trip also included visits to Shannon Airport and Bunratty Castle. Speaking at the Cliffs of Moher, Cllr Ryan said: “I am delighted to welcome the members of the New Jersey AISLC to County Clare today. The visit gives us the …

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Landmark Clare attraction to reopen after €1m upgrade

ONE of Clare’s most famous tourist attractions is to reopen this Friday following a €1 million upgrade and rebrand. The Aillwee Burren Experience, formerly known as Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, will welcome back visitors on April 15, following extensive renovation works. The rebrand has sought to refine the facility’s unique offering, which as well as the famous caves and well-known bird attraction, also includes a farm shop selling its own award-winning cheese. Nuala Mulqueeney, Managing Director of Aillwee Burren Experience explained, “Our visitors will now be able to enjoy the reinvigorated experience from the newly installed cave lighting system to the spectacular birds of prey collection. “The Farm Shop here at Aillwee really is our hidden gem where you can see the award-winning Burren Gold Cheese being made using traditional farmhouse methods. We are really proud of the outcome of this renovation, and we can’t wait to welcome visitors back.” Speaking at the relaunch Aoibhín Garrihy said, …

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Clare’s Faye teams up with writing hero for Times piece

WHEN a 16-year-old Faye Curran sat down in her bedroom inspired by the work of Róisín Ingle to pen an entry for the 2016 Clare Champion Short Story competition little did she realise that one day she would be collaborating with the acclaimed author and journalist. An article co-written by Faye and Róisín exploring how Covid has changed sex for Gen Z was recently published in the Irish Times magazine, with Faye telling us it was “amazing” to be able to work with her writing hero. While she is thrilled to see her byline appearing next to Róisín’s, Faye has never forgotten where it all started, seeing her writings published for the first time in The Clare Champion as part of the popular schools’ competition. Faye, from Ballyea and a former student of Coláiste Muire in Ennis, is currently in her fourth year studying European Studies at Trinity College. She has been involved in the student newspaper ‘The University Times’ …

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Great prizes for auction in aid of Ukraine at Clare point to point

ALONGSIDE the excellent racing action at Quakerstown Point to Point on Easter Sunday, a charity auction will have top class prizes up for grabs in support of a great cause. The Co. Clare Hunt meeting on Sunday, April 17, will host the auction in aid of the Irish Red Cross: Ukraine Crisis Appeal to help the organisation further its vital work on the ground in the besieged country. The Co. Clare Hunt is well known for its efforts in raising money for some very worthy causes over the years having most notably raised over €20,000 with the running of the Pat Smullen Legends Race in aid of Cancer Trials Ireland in 2020. Also in the last five years, the Hunt has raised €15,000 in 2019 for Breast Cancer Ireland, and almost €30,000 for Clare Suicide Bereavement Group. Funds raised this year will help the Irish Red Cross continue its work in Ukraine where it is repairing vital infrastructure, supporting health …

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Parteen pupils put million minutes milestone in the book

PUPILS in a South-East Clare school jumped for joy last week after completing a marathon reading challenge totalling more than 1.3 million minutes. Children in Parteen National School were presented with an arduous challenge to read for a million minutes in just 21 weeks from November 3 to the end of March. This massive and unique challenge was a real test for the school as it equated to each of their 293 pupils reading for almost 3,500 minutes each. On Thursday, March 31, the children marked their success with a celebration day in the school where children, staff and parents literally jumped for joy in the sunshine and seized some much needed fun after the last few years of Covid-19 challenges and restrictions. This unique readathon began in November when the teachers at the school brainstormed how they could get their pupils to re-engage with reading after the challenges of lockdown and periods of school absence. Teachers wanted to get …

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Clare family values food from farm to fork

SEAN and Fiona Haugh are the epitome of the farm to fork concept, offering full traceability to customers who want their food to be produced in a sustainable way. Not only does, Sean (62) kill cattle in his abattoir on his farm on the outskirts of Kilkee, the third generation butcher sells his own meat with the help of his daughter, Fiona in the Market House, Ennistymon. Sean sources Aberdeen Angus cattle and Charolass yews from his customers in North and West Clare. Every year, he finishes Hereford cattle and Angus after purchasing them as weanlings. The stock is finished on the family farm and fed on a grass-fed system using the rich in nutrient clover pastures along the picturesque coastal walk from the Diamond Rocks Café in Kilkee. Versatile in every way, the Market House Ennistymon comprises of a craft butchers, food hall, deli and café. Founded in July 2015, the father and daughter run business provides locals and …

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Adventure sports competition makes East Clare debut

EXHILARATING action and beautiful scenery will be combined in a new sporting competition coming to east Clare next month. The growing sport of Adventure Racing makes its Banner debut on May 7 at the inaugural Lough Derg Adventure Challenge. Billed as the ultimate in outdoor events, teams of two will bike, hike and paddle around scenic Lough Derg with a choice of courses depending on experience. There are two race options within the Lough Derg Adventure Challenge this year. For beginners and first-time team adventure racers, the Sprint race presents a shortened course (3+ hours), where navigation is simplified, with an easy-to-follow map supplied and plenty of support available. You can also use either a road, mountain bike or hybrid in the sprint race. Experienced adventure racers can take part in the Endurance race, which is a little longer (7+ hours) and requires some navigation and map reading skills. Mountain bikes are required for this race. Adventure-racing enthusiast Lorraine Horan …

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