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Lifestyle

The solar eclipse

Despite the generally overcast skies over County Clare this morning, in a number of locations people did witness the solar eclipse phenomenon. The moon almost fully blocked out the sunlight, the first time that has occurred in this part of the work since 1999. Our image was taken by local photographer, Jarek Dudek in the Woodstock area of Ennis, who was delighted to get a break in the cloud to capture the event.  

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Council hears of Tourism Ireland’s work in US

Representatives of Clare County Council, who are in New York for the St Patrick’s Day period, met with senior executives from Tourism Ireland this week. They were briefed on Tourism Ireland’s extensive promotional programme for 2015, which is in full swing right now. Tourism Ireland aims to build on the success of 2014, which was the best year ever for tourism from the United States, with visitor numbers increasing by +13% over 2013 – 134,000 additional American visitors during the year. Tourism Ireland’s Alison Metcalfe said, “Our ambition for 2015 is to grow visitor numbers from the US by a further +6% and we look forward to working closely with our valuable industry partners, in both the US and Ireland, to achieve that target. The outlook for 2015 is very positive, particularly given that the number of airline seats from the United States to Ireland is set to grow by +14% in the peak summer season months, making it that much …

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Labour Raises the Banner for Marriage Equality

The Clare Labour Party kicks off its campaign for a yes vote in the forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum with a public information meeting in Treacy’s West County Hotel this Friday night at 8 pm. Orla Howard, a Kilrush native and deputy chairperson of the national Yes Equality campaign group, Labour Party Deputy for Dublin North West, John Lyons and local Deputy Michael McNamara will address the key issues in relation to the referendum. The cabinet has approved wording for the referendum on Friday May 22 to allow couples of the same gender to marry in the eyes of the State. Citizens will be asked to vote, yes or no to the following change to the constitution “marriage may be contracted in accordance with the law by two persons without distinction to as to their sex”. While the campaign to change the constitution is supported by the main parties, the first to get the ball rolling in Clare is Labour, who …

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Lay me down to sleep

Ennis photogapher,  Louise Brooks is one of two co-ordinators in Ireland with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS). Louise is responsible for recruiting and training the foundation’s photographers and digital retouch artists throughout the country and also carries out the sensitive assignments in Clare, Limerick and Galway. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2005 by US photographer and author, Sandy Puc. It offers bereaved, or soon to be bereaved, parents the gift of the services of a professional photographer to create lasting images of their baby. When a family contacts the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, they are offered the services of an affiliated professional photographer, who will go to their home or the hospital and conduct a sensitive portrait session. The photographs are considered an important step in a family’s healing process and the service is provided free of charge. According to Brid Shine, a specialist bereavement midwife …

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The sad passing of county’s grave diggers

THE full implementation of new burial ground regulations will lead to the demise of the long established and cherished practice of grave digging, a local undertaker has warned. Clare County Council is preparing to engage in public consultation over its new draft burial ground bylaws containing controversial provisions, including a requirement to sink a grave to at least 8ft for a new interment, unless consent is obtained from the Health Service Executive (HSE). Anyone flouting the bylaws may be asked to pay a fixed payment of €75 as an alternative to prosecution. Any offender who is prosecuted could face fines of up to €1,905 on conviction in the district court and a fine of €127 per day if the offence continues. Miltown Malbay-based undertaker, James O’Friel said grave diggers will no longer be a feature of burials, particularly in rural areas, if the council proceeds to introduce these new regulations. Stating that 8ft is well over 2ft higher than most …

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Tracing a filmmaker’s West Clare roots

A DOCUMENTARY by renowned filmmaker Daisy Asquith, which explores the very personal story of her mother’s conception and subsequent adoption after a dance in the 1940s in West Clare, will be screened on Channel 4 on Sunday, March 29 at 8pm. Her grandmother had to run away and give birth to her baby in secret before handing the baby over to nuns. Daisy’s mother was eventually adopted by English Catholics from Stoke-on-Trent. Her grandmother returned to Ireland and kept her secret. The identity of Daisy’s grandfather remained a mystery for another 60 years until Daisy and her mother decided it was time to find out who he was. Their desperate need to know took them on a fascinating and moving adventure in social and sexual morality and the fear and shame that Catholicism has wrought on the Irish psyche for centuries, connecting them with a brand new family living an extraordinarily different life. “I was compelled to find out who …

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President’s St Patrick’s Day message

President Michael D. Higgins has extended good wishes for St Patrick’s Day to the people of Ireland and our global family and friends around the world. Today [St Patrick’s Day] is a day when we come together to celebrate and share our rich culture and heritage. It is also a day when we reflect on the life of St Patrick, our patron saint, a migrant who arrived on our shores some 1,600 years ago. His story was founded on hardship, destitution and great sorrow; but became a narrative of courage, vision and opportunity. It is a story that has been relived time and again by the many Irish people across the centuries who have left their native land to create new homes and communities in countries around the globe, and it is an experience we share with so many migrant populations all across the world, something we must never forget. This year also marks the anniversary of another of the early …

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Niamh McMahon

Niamh McMahon’s food diary

Tuesday March 3rd Breakfast 7:15 Two poached eggs on two slices of Brennans Be Good bread and a Weightwatchers yoghurt and a green tea. Mid Morning 10:00 A pear and a bottle of water. Lunch 13:00 Two Weightwatchers bread rolls cooked in the oven. I had them with ham and tomato and an orange with a pint of water. Dinner 17:00 30g of brown fusilli pasta with tomato, onion, pepper and mushrooms mixed with pesto followed by a pear and eaten with a pint of water. Snack 20:00 Two table spoons of natural yoghurt and three tablespoon of sugar free jelly and a green tea. Wednesday March 4th Breakfast 7:15 Two crumpets with Weightwatchers jam and a green tea. Mid Morning 11.45 A coffee and a Weightwatchers cup cake. Lunch 14:30 Two slices of porridge bread and a pear and an orange with a green tea. Dinner 18:30 Home made chips with a grilled turkey breast, mushrooms and a pint …

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