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Cleaning up in the Tidy Towns

A HOST of Clare towns and villages were thrust in the spotlight this week when the national Tidy Towns results were released and for some centres the glow of success embraced a golden tint. National winners of four years ago, Ennis maintained its remarkable run of success and came within a solitary point of joining places like Keadue, The Glenties, Ardagh, Ballyjamesduff and Westport as repeat winners. But if there was consolation in not taking top spot, that accolade went to County Tipperary village of Emly it was the fact that Ennis bagged a raft of awards.With a points tally of 304, Ennis was named the tidiest large urban centre while also picking up a gold medal, a regional award, the county award and the gum litter award.Kilrush, with 298 points, were gold medal winners also while Ballynacally were presented with a silver medal. Bronze medals went to Mountshannon and Kilkee.Sixmilebridge National School was also commended with a regional award …

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Miltown sergeant ends 38-year career

A MEMBER of An Garda Síochána for almost 38 years, Sergeant Joseph Hehir has worked in various capacities across the country, but on Monday, he put down his final hours at Miltown Malbay Garda Station. Embarking on his retirement, Sergeant Hehir said while he has thoroughly enjoyed his work, “there comes a time to call it a day”. The Monmore native said he always wanted to become a garda and recalled his days of walking the beat in Midleton, where he was first stationed in 1972. “I suppose that if I hadn’t got in, I would have applied in the UK. Thirty-seven years ago we had very little transport and we tended to be on the beat walking around. Also crime was much lower. On the other side of that though, we got to interact with the public,” he said. He admitted that the most rewarding and enjoyable period of his career was his time in East Cork as a …

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A life less ordinary

Time has flown for PJ Harvey during a life that took him across the world and saw him rub shoulders with one of the most powerful political dynasties in American history, writes Peter O’ Connell When PJ Harvey left Bealaha in West Clare in 1960, he headed across the Atlantic gripped by sadness and desolation. It was just four days since he had buried his father. Occasionally during his flight over, the 20-year-old’s thoughts cleared and he ruminated on where he would find work and what he would think of America. Harvey was following his father’s example. He had lived and worked in the US for seven years, from 1925 to 1932. When he came home for good, with America in the throes of the Great Depression, he was greeted by his wife and seven-year-old son, PJ’s oldest brother, whom he had never seen before.“He worked in the docks; $30 a week for six days, 10 and 12 hours a …

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Clare FM celebrates 20 years on the airwaves

Just over 20 years ago, things were very different on the radio scene, with Radio 1 and Radio 2 dominating the national airwaves and a few pirate stations broadcasting local news around Clare.But that all changed when Michael Evans and Flan Galvin became the main driving force behind obtaining a radio licence for a local station in Clare. After much hard work, Clare FM burst onto the scene with Caimin Jones on board as the station’s first chief executive. Mike Ryan, sales manager, joined the radio station shortly after it first began broadcasting. “It was all very exciting when we first started, everything was new. In the early days we were nearly like a first-year class in college starting out.”Times have certainly changed, he said. “We didn’t even have a mobile phone, let alone the internet or email. Sometimes I wonder how we did business at all,” he laughed.“From a sales point of view, before Clare FM there was very …

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Wardrobe staples given new life

With less in the country’s collective pockets, Nicola Corless examines the rising popularity of clothes and shoe maintenance when it comes to looking good Less disposable income is having a huge impact on all businesses but boutiques and shoe shops are especially affected by the recession. That said, not all industries are suffering. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of people conscious of belt tightening who are now looking at maintaining and repairing their wardrobe staples, rather than replacing them. Yvonne Flanagan, proprietor of Ennis-based Rainbow Laundry and Drycleaners and House Maintenance Services, has seen a huge swell in the number of customers looking for her services.“I have seen a major increase in people coming in for clothing alterations and for dry cleaning. We see the same dresses week in, week out to be dry cleaned. A lot of people are repairing things too, rather than throwing them away.“It is more the older generation that come in. …

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Opportunity knocks for Ennistymon Enterprise Centre

While it’s a lot easier said than done, one way of dealing with being made redundant is to establish a small business. This applies particularly to people in Ennistymon or surrounding areas, who may have been laid off recently and are thinking about what to do next. Ennis woman Sharon Malone has recently been appointed by Project Ennistymon as business development manager for the Ennistymon Enterprise Centre in Deerpark, just outside the town.

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