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Clare needs more nominations for Best Place to Holiday

As the closing date for entries for the ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022’ approaches, its emerged that Clare has the ninth highest number of nominations so far. More than 450 people have entered the competition from every county in Ireland and 20 of them have nominated various locations in County Clare. With the closing date of June 7 fast approaching, Cork leads the way on 80, Monaghan lies in second on 60 and Kerry in third on 49. Waterford is fourth on 38 while Dublin is next on 33 and Donegal has 31. Mayo is next on 27 just ahead of Galway on 26 with Clare and Wexford (10) rounding off the top ten. The ‘Best Place to Holiday in Ireland’ initiative was launched by The Irish Times in association with Fáilte Ireland as the country gears up for what promises to be the first ‘normal’ summer in three years. The competition last took place in 2013 with …

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Limerick Racecourse kicks off summer with Twilight series

Limerick Racecourse manager says everyone at the track is “bursting for the off”, as the summer programme at Greenmount Park gets underway this week. This Thursday and Friday, May 26 and 27, will host the track’s ever popular Twilight Racing meetings to get summer 2022 up and running. In all, the Patrickswell venue will stage seven meetings across May, June and July with general manager Emma White enthusing, “Racing at Limerick and the summer season go hand in hand, and always have. “We have put in place what are special days’ racing, from our BBQ evenings, one of which features the brilliant Nathan Carter, to Ladies Day. “For the last two summers, followers were unfortunately unable to join us for a day’s racing action, which is entertaining both on and off the track. Now, let’s hope we can all come together once more and enjoy ourselves at Limerick Races.” At the heart of Limerick’s Summer Programme is Ladies Day on …

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Jigsaw calling on people to back ‘hike for hope’

Jigsaw, the youth mental health charity, is calling on people to strap on their boots for a fundraising hike this weekend. ‘Hike for Hope’ is a virtual fundraising challenge to raise funds for Jigsaw that will take place from Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29. Organised in collaboration with Scout volunteers from across Ireland, Hike for Hope is free, and you can sign up online now at jigsaw.ie/hikeforhope “Young people need hope, and our help, now more than ever. We need to spread hope in our communities and show young people that their communities value and support their mental health. We’re asking the whole of Ireland to get out and about and show our young people hope by Hiking for Hope and supporting Jigsaw!” said Michelle Comer of the Hike for Hope organising team. All ages and all abilities can take part. Join in as an individual, with family, friends, your scout group, schoolmates, colleagues, anyone! Choose a hike …

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Molly Bloom! Shannon girl’s biodiversity vision comes to fruition

ONE young Shannon girl got to see her vision for a biodiversity garden come to fruition last week. Ten-year-old primary school student Molly McPhillips was on hand to cut the ribbon at the launch of Shannon Group’s new community biodiversity garden and see her winning design in full bloom. Last year, Molly, a fourth-class student at St Senan’s National School won a competition to design a new biodiversity garden in Shannon, after her proposal was selected as the popular vote on social media. Last Tuesday, Molly, along with her classmates, returned to see her inspiring garden design in full bloom during a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the community garden on the Shannon Campus. After exploring the garden and seeing her inspirational design blossom into this new community amenity, Molly said, “I love all the wildflowers and the nature all around here. I am really happy, excited and proud. “I planted a tree and I got …

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WATCH: Councillor’s close encounter with Dusty the Dolphin

County Clare’s marine mascot has been popping her head up again around the coast and has had a close encounter with a county councillor. With calm water and sunny weather not conducive to surfing, Councillor Liam Grant, the Green Party representative, was relaxing by the sea when Dusty the Dolphin showed up. The pair are familiar with one another as Liam told the Champion, “I’ve been swimming in the area for around 15 years and she does actually remember people, so when she recognises you she is quite chilled out. “There were people in swimming at the weekend, though I was just sitting on the rocks myself when she swam up looking for belly rubs. “I had my camera with me though, a go-pro, and it has this sort of reflective casing, so anything shiny like that she is intrigued by it. So when I had the camera in the water she came up looking at it. “I’ve actually seen …

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Ballyvaughan shortlisted for digital tourism award

Ballyvaughan has been shortlisted in the 2022 .IE Digital Town Awards. After a competitive selection process by an independent judging panel, Ballyvaughan was shortlisted for a national award in the Digital Tourism category. The Ballyvaughan entry, “Linking the physical and digital worlds via interactive signage”, shows how the village has pioneered the development of interactive outdoor recreation tourism infrastructure, linking physical walking and cycling trails to the digital world. Now in its second year, the .IE Digital Town Awards honour local town projects and people that are using digital innovation, technologies, and digital-first thinking for the betterment of towns, citizens, and services in the community. During the shortlisting process, the judging panel looked for digitally motivated community leaders who demonstrated digital thinking to creatively problem-solve and develop innovative ideas that ‘disrupt’ and enhance towns and communities. The overall winners will be announced at the gala awards ceremony which will take place on June 8. Commenting on the announcement, Oonagh McCutcheon, …

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Seven saddle up for London to Lahinch cycle in Declan’s memory

SEVEN men will begin a cycle from the London Eye to Lahinch this weekend in memory of Declan Sexton from Ennistymon, who passed away two years ago, aged 27, after suffering a rare form of cancer. The seven are cycling to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society and have a target of €25,000. Those cycling include David Carey, Seanie Madigan, Conor Calder, Leo O’Regan, Sean Ronayne, Francis O’Flynn and Conor Meaney. Speaking to the Champion, Conor said he had known him from the time Declan spent in London. “Declan was from Ennistymon and I was friends with him here in London, I lived with him for a few years. One of the other lads, Dave Carey, is a cousin of Declan’s and the rest of the lads went to the University of Limerick with him.” In the UK, Declan worked as a civil engineer, while he played GAA with the Brother Pearses club, winning an All Britain Hurling Championship …

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My lovely dress in St Stephen's Green.

Daisy’s 13th Birthday Weekend

Well I’ve finally reached the teen years. I’m officially a teenager having had my 13th birthday last weekend. Do I feel different? Apart from wanting to go to the teens’ disco on a Friday night, I can’t say that I do. I’m still rearing to go anywhere as long as I have my hoomans with me. And what a lovely birthday weekend they organised for me – the best ever! We were a bit late leaving Ennis so it was straight up the motorway and even though we stopped once, I didn’t bother getting out to stretch my legs. Once we’d parked, I recognised the river so I knew we were in Dublin. We walked by the river for a few minutes until we reached a place called Temple Bar. I’m told it’s party central in Dublin city but I’ve never been allowed to visit until now. It must be one of the privileges of becoming a teenager. What did …

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