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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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High Fashion at Ennistymon Fair

The first camera that fashion photographer Ronan Gallagher ever owned was a Kodak disposable one. From these humble beginnings, he is now engaged by fashion labels such as Gucci, Nike, Burberry and Hugo Boss. He was also responsible for bringing a photoshoot for one of these massive fashion houses, Stella McCartney, to Ennistymon. Ronan’s passion for photography was ignited at the age of 17, when the Barefield native became inspired by images his brother Gavin took. Gavin, who now owns his own company, Dreamcatcher Productions, in Lahinch, would return from surf trips abroad and show Ronan pictures he had taken. “I just found the concept of capturing stuff in that way really interesting and so I went out and bought a load of Kodak disposable cameras and took pictures of my friends skateboarding out the back of Glór in Ennis. From there, my interest just grew and grew,” said Ronan. Eventually, he decided to move to London to try his …

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Blueprint for Safety against domestic violence

“THERE are women alive today who would otherwise have perished at the hands of an intimate partner, due to the success of the Blueprint for Safety.” This was the message from St Paul’s 39th Chief of Police John Mark Harrington to a public seminar in Ennis on Tuesday outlining the Blueprint system. He referred to a comprehensive, co-ordinated justice system response to domestic abuse crimes, developed in St Paul Minnesota and now being shared with the Irish Justice System. Between 1996 and 2016, six women were murdered by someone they knew intimately in County Clare. The hope is to pilot the Blueprint model in Ireland, and for County Clare to lead the way as a demonstration area. This week, the delegation from St Paul, Minnesota, met members of the Clare justice system and senior figures in An Garda Síochána and the justice system in Dublin. Leading the charge on this proposal is the Clare-based Irish domestic abuse research and development …

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Mulqueens say farewell to O’Connell Street

FOR 45 years, Mulqueens Florists has been synonymous with O’Connell Street in Ennis. Now, however, the family-run outlet has closed its town centre premises and is fully operating from Carmody Street, where the family have had a second store for 16 years. The Mulqueen link with the town centre goes back to the early1950s, when Margo and Frank Mulqueen opened a grocery shop in Abbey Street. Yet the reason for closing their O’Connell Street shop is a contemporary one and resonates with most people who live or work in Ennis. “A big deciding factor was parking. That’s a major thing,” Brian Mulqueen confirmed. “People are frustrated and the local authority hasn’t provided new parking. People quite often ordered in O’Connell Street and picked it up here in Carmody Street. Or alternatively they got their flowers delivered. We do a lot on our website. You could have people on the edge of town, who order on the website and get it …

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Eyes opened by West Clare town

THEY always envisaged ending up in a rural idyll, gazing contentedly across green fields and at big, empty skies. Instead, Pádraig and Julie Neylon, along with their now 19-month-old daughter Theola, pitched up in a near 200-year-old, six-bedroom house in Kilrush. Both are self-employed and Pádraig’s office is what was once the coal house in Kilrush House, which is located in Merchant’s Quay at the bottom of Frances Street. They sense that their decision to settle in Kilrush reflects a growing trend, where young families are opting to live in smaller towns, where the cost of living is manageable and the quality of life less hectic. For decades, towns like Kilrush have lost generations of young people, who either emigrated or settled elsewhere in Ireland, primarily for work-related reasons. Other friends and acquaintances are either living in, or considering moving to, the town. “I always had it in the head to move back home to Kilmurry McMahon, build a house …

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Lisdoonvarna hits the screen in Oz

LISDOONVARNA and other areas of North Clare featured in an episode of a popular Australian TV show, The Living Room last week. The show aired on Network Ten and included an interview with matchmaker Willie Daly, and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher Filming took place last autumn and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The Living Room is presented by Dr Chris Brown , an Australian veterinarian, TV personality and author, famously known as the ‘Bondi Vet’. Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia, said, “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Dr Chris and the team from The Living Room chose to film in County Clare. With an audience of about 700,000 viewers per episode, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lisdoonvarna and the county to a huge Australian audience. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel …

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Daisy enjoying her dogguccino after visiting the vet.

Keeping your dog in tail-wagging good health.

By Daisy Galvin It’s absolutely vital to keep an eye on your health, particularly when you’re a media star like me. I always make sure that I have regular checkups at the vet and insist that my innoculations are always up to date. The innoculations are especially important if you go on trips like I do. Most hotels will insist on seeing your medical records and I would be mortified if I was ever found wanting. It’s also vital for your passport if you want to go abroad. I’m not saying a visit to the vets is a particularly pleasant experience but it’s just something you have to do. I was very lucky to be looked after by the wonderful Charlie Kenny ever since I arrived in Ennis. He always had a kind word for me before doing any work and was always able to calm me down even when I was anxious about what was about to happen. Charlie …

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Children encouraged to write

CHILDREN aged from nine to 12 years of age are invited to take part in the inaugural Guaire Magazine Children’s Writing Competition. The theme for the inaugural competition is ‘The Loop’. Tonii Kelly, Guaire Magazine editor, said, “Gort is home to Coole Park, which, in the 20th century, was the cradle of the Irish Literary Revival and the foundation of the Abbey Theatre, through Lady Augusta Gregory. With such a history, it is only fitting that Gort should be home to the next generation of young writers and poets through the establishment of the children’s writing competition.” In order to encourage young authors to take part in the competition, Guaire Magazine and Gort Library, with sponsorship from the local Lions Club, will be running a number of creative writing workshops with internationally recognised children’s authors. The first workshop scheduled is for Saturday, October 7 at 3pm, with Debbie Thomas. Debbie is the writer-in-residence with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. She …

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