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Scariff Foróige ploughing ahead

Scariff Foróige Club has been chosen as one of four youth clubs across the country that will work with Diarmuid Gavin to design and create a garden, based on the theme of time travel, at the National Ploughing Championships. The enterprising youth club supports young people from Tulla, Feakle, Tuamgraney, Bodyke, Scariff and Mountshannon. Nine Foróige members, with youth leaders, parents and local flower expert Martina O’Brien, will travel to Rathaniskha this weekend to build the garden and have it ready for viewing from Tuesday next. Speaking to The Clare Champion, youth leader Tracy Doyle said the nine young people are “thrilled” to be working on the special garden and competing against the other three youth clubs. In May 2014, the youths, who are all aged between 12 and 17, were offered a small piece of publicly-owned land at the Connaught Road housing estate by residents to plant and develop. Tracy said the youth club members were in the process …

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Life is a barrel of laughs for Mullagh comedian

TWO days in Mullagh is George Casey’s ideal method of relaxing and staying in touch with his roots. Having emigrated to the US in 1970, the West Clare man has made a living on the folk singing circuit and, since 1985, as a full-time comedian. When he spoke to The Clare Champion last week, he was preparing to leave for Copenhagen the following day, where he linked up with the cruise ship company who employ him as their on-board comedian. Now aged 64, Casey went to primary school in Mullagh and secondary school at St Flannan’s College. He has fond memories of his native village. “We were right in the square. The church was next door and we had the shop with the petrol pumps and a furniture store,” he explained, adding that his parents were Sonny and Tessie Casey, while George was one of six children. His brother, Michael, still lives in Mullagh. “In my comedy act in the …

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Kildysart’s Fr Michael enjoys transatlantic life

WHEN he left Ireland for Arizona in August 1958, the then 24-year-old Fr Michael O’Grady thought it would be at least 1965 before he would set foot in Kildysart again. He was one of four newly minted priests who sailed the Atlantic, having spent six years at the seminary in Carlow. One of the four was Fr Tom O’Dea from Newmarket, who is now based in Ballynacally. “All four us set off for Arizona from Cobh. The bishop wouldn’t let us fly. He wouldn’t pay for us, probably and then he made us go by train from New York to Tucson. I’d say we were two days on the train. We had been seven days on the boat,” Fr Michael recalled in his house in The Square, Kildysart last week. A Harty Cup winner with St Flannan’s College in 1952, Fr Michael also played minor football (three years) and hurling for Clare. His GAA skills didn’t desert Fr Michael entirely …

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Conway has no plans to go independent

CLARE Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway said he has no immediate plans to run as an independent candidate if he is not selected as one of the party’s candidates at their Dáil selection convention this Friday night. Speculation has been rife that the Ennistymon-based Senator might run as an independent if he is not chosen on the ticket. However, Senator Conway is confident that he will get a chance to run for Fine Gael at the next election and feels he should be added as a third candidate, if he is unsuccessful at convention. Asked if he would run as an independent candidate, he said, “No one can predict the future. Running as an independent is a situation I wouldn’t countenance. I have no immediate plans to run as an independent. “I believe my performance over the last few years, my proven vote-getting record and my geographical position makes a strong case for why I should be part of the …

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Clare to Calais appeal goes nationwide

A logistics expert from an international development agency has joined the Clare to Calais campaign, after it grew from a single van to a nationwide humanitarian aid convoy. The group will bring supplies from Ireland to the French port on September 30, in response to the international refugee crisis. Róisín Ní Gháirbhíth from Inagh and her friend Tracey Ryan, from Cork, began the movement less than two weeks ago. Now they have raised nearly €60,000 and are bringing two trucks, 20 vans, three campers and several cars of goods to the migrant camps in Calais and are considering adding a 56-seat bus of volunteers to distribute the donations. “It is so big now we are meeting with a logistics manager later this week and we are very lucky in that a man who had been travelling has just come back and has volunteered to be a full-time administrator until we go on September 30,” Ms Ní Gháirbhíth told The Clare …

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Run on the moon in Ennis

Active Ennis is giving local people the chance to trial the world’s first Alterg anti-gravity treadmill this Friday in the town centre. This piece of life-changing technology was engineered by NASA and as well as the fun of feeling what it’s like to walk on the moon it has the serious ability to get people moving again much sooner after illness or injury. Users step into the treadmill, the sealed chamber inflates around their waist and fills with air. Therapists can then select a percentage of bodyweight to take off the patient by adjusting the air pressure, allowing them to move without the burden of gravity on their lower limbs. John Carey, Duty Gym Manager at Active Ennis, the only facility in the county with an anti-gravity treadmill said: “We have been using our treadmill on a wide range of patients who have all experienced a quicker recovery time. The treadmill enables us to get our patients moving a lot …

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Fitness firmly on their minds

Shannon Chamber is pulling out all the stops to ensure its members and their business colleagues face into the autumn with health and fitness firmly ensconced in their minds. As part of Chamber Week 2015, which takes place from September 14 – 18, the Chamber has invited fitness expert, radio and TV broadcaster, author and columnist, Karl Henry, to make a presentation at Shannon Airport on Thursday, September 17. The event, which is sponsored by Shannon Airport and GECAS, commences at 6pm in the Transit Lounge at the airport. Encouraging the business community to attend this event, Shannon Chamber’schief executive Helen Downes said, “A lot of people dread the onset of autumn and its association with long, dark nights, and a fear of becoming a couch potato through lack of exercise. Karl Henry is one Ireland’s most recognised and leading personal trainers.  We felt he would be the ideal person to speak to our members and a general business audience …

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Cancer survivors ‘Stride for Life’

The Midwestern Cancer Information and Support Centre at University Hospital Limerick has commenced its ‘Strides for Life’ Programme, a 15 week walking programme developed by the Irish Cancer Society for cancer survivors. The Cancer Information and Support Centre, located in the grounds of the University Hospital Limerick offers patients and their families’ practical information and emotional support in a friendly environment. Twenty cancer survivors from across the Midwest have signed up to take part in the ‘Strides for Life’ programme, which was developed specifically by the Irish Cancer Society for cancer support services around the country. ‘Strides for Life’ brings participants through a structured walking programme, gradually increasing fitness and training over its course. The programme aims to bring the individual to a level of fitness where they can help reduce their risk of a recurrence of the cancer and improve their health and quality of life. A key part of ‘Strides for Life’ is the role which programme volunteers …

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