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One million Swedes catch a glimpse of Clare

IMAGES of Lahinch were beamed into the homes of some one million people in Sweden recently, in an episode of a popular TV show called Go’kväll. The show aired on Sveriges Television, the national public broadcaster in Sweden, and focused on seaweed-foraging and locally-produced beer. It also featured the spectacular County Clare landscape. Filming took place last summer and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. Viewers of Go’kväll saw reporter Joachim Vogel interview local seaweed forager Oonagh O’Dwyer, from Wild Kitchen, as well as Birgitta and Peter Curtin from The Burren Brewery. A separate episode featuring County Clare also aired at the end January, featuring Lisdoonvarna matchmaker Willie Daly and The Burren. “Tourism Ireland was delighted that Go’kväll chose to film in Clare. With an audience of more than one million viewers per episode, it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase County Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way,” said Julie McLaughlin, Tourism Ireland’s manager for the Nordic Region. …

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Dr Christina Larkin

‘It’s never too late’ for education

WITH Leaving Certificate students across the county preparing for the next stage of their lives, they would do well to listen to the advice of one Ennis-based woman who certainly knows a thing or two about studying. Christina Larkin has become the first Doctor of Nursing to graduate from University College Dublin. As she says herself, she was “a very average student” while in secondary school; however, at 46, she has gone on to graduate with the highest educational honour. Dr Larkin hopes that by sharing her story, it will show people that there are many ways of achieving what you want and that it is never too late to follow your dreams. “I am also quite excited to be speaking about my study at the Horatio Congress for European Psychiatric Nurses in the Faroe Islands in May. I have become a member of the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group so I am looking forward to meeting other researchers …

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Parteen NS kicks off rugby project

Pupils in Parteen National School have kicked off a new rugby project, with a public appeal for assistance in their fact-finding mission. They need help telling the life- stories of the 15 men who played on the Parteen rugby team more than a century ago. A good deal of the pupils’ work will focus on how conflicts drastically altered the lives of the rugby players. ‘United by Sport, Divided by War’ is the theme of the project. The men were united in their love for playing rugby in peacetime but war would ultimately tear their team apart and have a devastating impact on many of their lives. A project team, made up of 17 history-loving pupils and third-class teacher Cathal Crowe, meets after school on Monday to delve into the untold stories of the rugby players. School principal Ger Ruane described this project as a fantastic opportunity for the children. Mr Ruane thanked Mr Crowe for volunteering to do this in his free …

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International award for Edna O’Brien

East Clare author Edna O’Brien has won the 2018 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. It is a major award with a prize of $50,000 and it will be presented at the 2018 PEN American Literary Awards Ceremony in New York on Tuesday next. According to PEN America, the award is “conferred annually to a living author whose body of work, either written in or translated into English, represents the highest level of achievement in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and/or drama, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship”. PEN said Ms O’Brien’s “acclaimed work broke down social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond”. Born in Tuamgraney in 1930, the now 87-year-old Ms O’Brien went to school in Scariff and Loughrea. In 1960, her first novel, The Country Girls, was banned in Ireland, as were a number of subsequent novels. She has been a prolific writer in the years since and in 2002, In The Forest was …

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Clare hurlers back County Library health initiative

Clare senior hurler and youth wellness ambassador, Podge Collins, and captain, Patrick O’Connor, have pledged their support for Clare County Library’s Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme. Speaking at the launch in the de Valera Library, Podge said, “I am delighted to be associated with this library initiative, it’s a brilliant resource for the county. I hope that young people will call into their local library or log on to the website www.clarelibrary.ie to check out what’s on offer.” Caroline Aherne, executive librarian, explained, “Healthy Ireland is the national strategy to improve health and wellbeing, placing a focus on prevention, individual awareness and keeping people healthy for longer. Public libraries, including Clare County Library, are currently delivering the nationwide ‘Healthy Ireland at Your Library’ programme that will establish libraries as a valuable source within the community for health information.” Through funding granted by Healthy Ireland, Clare County Library has enhanced its health and wellbeing book collections (digital and hardcopy), and …

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Teens raise €11,500 for grief centre

CHILDREN from the Mid-West who have suffered some form of bereavement will benefit from counselling and other supports worth €11,500, thanks to the fundraising efforts of a large group of Clare teenagers. The Children’s Grief Centre reaches out to young people in the Mid-West suffering loss by supporting them through a variety of interventions, such as art and play therapy. Based in South Circular Road, Limerick, the centre is a support service for school-aged children and young people affected by loss through death, separation or divorce. It provides a safe and supportive place for children and young people and their families as they grieve. The service is provided by trained and experienced people. Clarecastle-Ballyea Youth Choir and Celtic Ensemble Londubh organised a fundraising concert at Clarecastle’s St Peter and Paul Church, in aid of the centre on Sunday, December 3. Representatives of the group handed over a cheque for €11,500 to the director of the Children’s Grief Centre, Sister Helen …

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Coping with narcolepsy

IMAGINE knowing that you, or your child, could just suddenly fall asleep at any time. Think of the implications for careers, education or something as simple as travelling on public transport. That’s the reality of narcolepsy. Think about how difficult every-day life would be if you were a young person with narcolepsy in terms of study, exams, work, using public transport, finding accommodation and socialising. It’s a reality for approximately 100 young Irish people today because they developed narcolepsy after receiving the 2009/2010 H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine Pandemrix (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline) at the behest of Irish State. Sound (Sufferers of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder) was set up by parents of children who developed narcolepsy. The support group and registered charity continues to be run by a small voluntary team of parents of children with narcolepsy and young adult narcolepsy sufferers. Sound provides support for 87 Irish families affected by the vaccine and wants the State to provide a pathway for the …

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Flynn live from New York on Christmas Eve

ENNIS broadcaster Colm Flynn will be bringing some Christmas cheer all the way from the Big Apple this festive season, as part of a very special radio show. This Christmas Eve on RTÉ Radio 1, Colm will be broadcasting a live show from New York City, where he will be meeting a host of young Irish people, who have made the city their home. He told The Clare Champion, “It will be a really special Christmas Eve show. It’s going to be really magical, with special guests, music in Central Park, the most in-demand Santa in the US and lots more.” As they broadcast from the NPR studios in Midtown Manhattan, Colm and his guests will be exploring the highs and lows of Christmas in the magical city that never sleeps. Among his guests is a Galway girl, who is now head of social media for Teen Vogue magazine; a Cork woman, who designs floral arrangements for all the top …

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