THE Clare Champion’s photographer John Kelly has been capturing the life and times of the Banner county for over 30 years. Last year was another successful one for John, adding Local Ireland photographer of the year 2021, to his ever growing catalogue of awards. Here he selects his favourite images from the year just gone by. We look forward with great anticipation to what he produces in 2022.Read More »
Teaching fire still burns in Ashe
Fiona McGarry speaks to former Flannan’s teacher Liam Ashe whose NGO’s school in Kolkata is changing lives AT 76 years of age, Doonbeg native Liam Ashe is a great advertisement for what he describes as “late adulthood”. A teacher with four decades of experience, Liam is the driving force behind an NGO that is currently teaching 320 children in one of the most deprived parts of Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. He describes psychologist Maureen Gaffney as his “guru” and lives her precept that if you are active in retirement, you are still in late adulthood. That, in part, explains the huge energy which the long-timer Ballyea resident puts into Balo Children Ireland which he set up after a visit to India over 15 years ago. Liam is known to several generations for his work at St Flannan’s College, Ennis, where he taught History and Geography for 40 years. “I idolised those subjects,” he told The Champion. …Read More »
Clare priest lends voice to world-famous tenor!
A CLARE priest will be the voice of opera singer Andrea Bocelli to millions of people around the world this Christmas. However Fr Brendan Quinlivan, the parish priest of Tulla, won’t be striking a chord with his singing. Instead, Fr Quinlivan has done the voice-over for a new radio Christmas special in which the multi-award winning Bocelli sits down with Ennis journalist and presenter Colm Flynn. The programme, ‘Andrea Bocelli, Christmas Special’ will be broadcast on the ‘Heart & Soul show on the BBC World Service on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The show goes out to around 22 million listeners on the BBC radio network around the world and Colm had exclusive access to Bocelli for the interview in Florence, Italy. Fr Quinlivan’s involvement with the programme came by chance, as he happened to be in Italy just as Colm was trying to find the ideal English speaking voice to dub over Bocelli’s Italian. “The whole thing was fortuitous …Read More »
Positive signs for sustainable tourism in North Clare
SIGNS are positive for north Clare after the latest initiative aimed at developing sustainable tourism in the area. Failte Ireland recently unveiled the first viewing points along the Burren Discovery Trail, a new looped route off the Wild Atlantic Way. The trail is one of the projects that has emerged from the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, published earlier this year, that is designed to encourage visitors to explore more and stay longer in the Burren. Developed with an investment of €340,000 from Fáilte Ireland, the 95km Burren Discovery Trail takes visitors through the Burren Highlands in Clare and Lowlands in Galway encouraging them to engage with the stories of each local area and explore the many wonderful towns and villages in the region. Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said, “The Burren is famous for its stunning karst natural landscape but it is also a living environment with …Read More »
Ennis toy store gets shop window on RTÉ
AN Ennis toyshop will feature in a brand new television show airing this week on RTÉ. Little Ones on Parnell Street, in the county town, which specialises in traditional wooden toys and children’s gifts, is among the stores to appear in The Toy Shop which airs on RTÉ One on Wednesday evening at 9.30pm and again on Christmas day on RTÉ 2 at 8.45pm. The programme has been made by Atom Films, the makers of the acclaimed Older Than Ireland, Abbeyfealegood and The Irish Wedding. Fiona Ryan, owner of Little Ones, told The Champion she was delighted to take part in the programme and to be able to share the joy that toy shops can bring into people’s lives. “I was contacted by Atom Films to take part in the programme, I don’t know how they found out about us but I think originally they were looking at doing a programme on toys in general, then they wanted to focus …Read More »
GALLERY: Cliffs of Moher and Clare schools team up to bring seasonal cheer
THE Cliffs of Moher Experience teamed up with two schools in recent days to bring some Christmas cheer to residents of local nursing homes. Pupils from Mol An Oige primary school in Ennistymon and Liscannor National School sang Christmas carols for residents of Ennistymon Community Hospital and Dominic Savio nursing home respectively. The children and their teachers sang the Christmas tunes outside the windows of the facilities to the delight of residents. They also helped deliver gifts and treats from the Cliffs of Moher Experience to the hard-working staff in both homes. Melanie Lennon, sales and marketing manager of the Cliffs of Moher Experience said the they were “delighted to organise the event”. She added, “Thank you to Cliff View Café for the treats for the hard-working staff and Craft and Gift store (Shannon heritage) for the lovely gifts for the residents. “The pupils from both schools will be treated to a day out at the Cliffs of Moher in …Read More »
WATCH: Clare family’s spectacular light show for charity
A CLARE family is helping to light up Christmas for children with a dazzling festive display, writes Jessica Quinn. A spectacular world of colourful lights, themed props and musical sequences is delighting the young and young-at-heart alike in Meelick in the lead-up to this Christmas, as the Hunt family once again present their wondrous works in support of Childline. Describing himself as a ‘maker’ with a passion for technology, Dave Hunt was first inspired to construct and create his own light show last year when watching videos on YouTube. He set about bringing his vision to life and left no stone unturned to present a very successful debut production which attracted attention from across counties Clare, Limerick and beyond. Now, he’s back with a sensational new display which he is proud to say is bigger and better for 2021. It’s raising vital funds for the Childline listening service, to help make sure every child and young person in Clare and …Read More »
WATCH: Clare school makes final of carol contest and needs your vote!
THE Barefield National School Choir has been named as a finalist in a national Christmas carol competition. The primary school is among 11 finalists in the Audiology Medical Services Online Christmas Carol Competition, and needs votes from the public to win. There is a prize of €2,000 cash for the winning school. A spokesperson for the competition explained, “Having a hearing loss can be challenging at any time of the year, but none more so than during the Christmas season. “The aim of this competition is to raise awareness among young people on the importance of hearing, and how important the sounds of Christmas are to us all, such as Christmas Carols.” To cast your vote for Barefield NS check https://bit.ly/31Ba7Fe and voting closes Sunday, December 19.Read More »