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Remembering the four who fell

ON a quiet Tuesday morning of November 16, 1920, a steamer docked at Williamstown Harbour in East Clare, after making the relatively short journey from Killaloe. Locals who caught sight of the Board of Works vessel though little of it, believing ‘The Shannon’ had arrived to carry out much-anticipated harbour dredging works. Most people would have returned to their daily routine. Some getting ready for the fair the following day in Killaloe. Everyone was anxious to live as normal a life as they could. The second year of the War of Independence was drawing to a close. Tensions were high and the rhythm of rural life was in chaos. An attack on the RIC barracks in Scariff two months previously had triggered raids and reprisals by Crown forces and a number of IRA volunteers were on the run in the locality. Three of them – Brud McMahon, Alfie Rogers and Martin Gildea, officers of the Fourth Battalion of the East Clare …

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Daisy starts out on her pawlitical career.

Time for a new Political Pawty

Well, what a week it’s been. I was down early on Saturday to vote as it’s important to exercise your right as a good doggy citizen. It was an amazing result although I didn’t make it up to the count in Ennistymon on Sunday. Not alone were no dogs allowed in the count centre but did you see the weather? I put my nose outside and decided it was a duvet day. That said, with all the uncertainty over choosing a new Taoiseach, I reckon there’s nothing to be lost by putting my paw in the ring. My Pawty promises more bones for every dog in the country, free access to pubs, restaurants and hotels by law and as many sausages as you can snaffle from the butchers. Surely that’s an enticing prospect and we could pay for it all by bringing in a tax on cats. Win win. I’d better sharpen up my negotiating skills a bit before I …

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Daisy featuring on an international travel website.

Putting my best paw forward

I know my friend Bev will forgive me for taking over the column at short notice but I got some very exciting news over the weekend. I’ve gone international! The Matador Group, a travel network based in San Francisco, chose the best dog-friendly hotels in the world and one of them was a favourite of mine, The Twelve Hotel, just outside Galway city. But whose photo did they use on the website? Why mine, of course. As if they’d choose anybody else. I’m already one of the Underdogs, the twelve dogs chosen as doggie ambassadors for The Twelve Hotel. My friend Boo is a fellow ambassador and it would have been nice if both of us could have appeared on the Matador website. I’m really chuffed though and can’t wait to re-visit the Twelve to meet Fergus and all the team and bask in their congratulations. I’ll be the centre of attention. I’ll tell you, all this adulation couldn’t have …

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Night falls in Bourton-on-the-Water with the Christmas tree in the background.

Cracking Christmas in the Cotswolds

Just before Christmas my humans took me for my regular Christmas trip to Dublin and I was excited to meet all my friends in Mutt Ugly doggy day care and to take a trip around town to see the lights. Although I didn’t get to see the moving crib this year, I was smuggled into a lovely pub off Grafton Street and when the barman finally spotted me, he came over with a bowl of water so I took it that I was in the clear. It helps to be cute. The following morning I got us all up very early as I had a surprise for my humans. On my trawls through the world wide woof, I’d come across a company called Pets Pyjamas, who specialise in doggy holidays and I’d used my bone allowance to book us all Christmas in the Cotswolds. I directed them through the dark streets of Dublin (one woof for left, two woofs for …

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Alfa Awakens Wonder and Awe

AS A journalist, one of the attractions of the job is getting to meet all kinds of interesting people in all sorts of locations and situations. It’s not often though, that your day-to-day work happens right in front of a classroom of teenagers. But then, the Alfa Project, based outside Scariff, is not your average secondary school and reporting on an extraordinary initiative should involve a departure from the norm. The Active Learning for Adolescents centre delivers Steiner education to teens. If offers creative and practical education and provides an alternative to the conventional Junior Cycle. When I arrive at the idyllic woodland setting in Raheen in the crisp December sunshine, notebook in hand, I am quickly roped into an English lesson by the school’s administrator, Alan Dickey, who spots an opportunity to answer my questions and help students learn about journalism in the process. My unexpected presence in the class room doesn’t phase any of the 14 senior students, …

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Advent at Glenstal Abbey

Advent at Glenstal Abbey – Back to the Future The 1986 blockbuster film, Back to the Future, is not about Advent, the four-week season preparing for Christmas. However, both the film and the season are focused on time. While the main character of the film moves backwards and then forwards in time, Advent invites us to consider Christ in history, Christ today and Christ in the future. The season is divided into two unequal parts. During the first part of the season until December 16, we prepare for the second coming of Christ, which has not yet happened. We train ourselves to expect Christ’s coming. Our hope for this second coming is not without foundation because we know that Christ has come already 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. Christians await in hope for Christ to come and establish peace and justice in our troubled world. Many recognise the need for genuine peace and wait in hope for Christ’s coming. The …

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Christmas in Ennis launches next Friday

SANTA Claus is coming to town on Friday, November 29, and will join Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Cllr. Johnny Flynn, for the official switching on of the Christmas Lights and the launch of the ‘Christmas in Ennis’ programme in O’Connell Square from 5pm. The Mayor will be joined by two Students from Senior Infants in the Holy Family Junior school, showcasing their design & creativity in the painting of the hoarding surrounding the Christmas Tree, as Winners of the Ennis MD Art Competition. Colum McGrath will MC and Eimear Considine, AKA “the Eimearnator”, will be a special guest in an event not to be missed. Santa Claus is excited to attend the event which will also feature children’s entertainment, carol singing, hot chocolate, face-painting and much more. In conjunction with the switch-on of the Christmas Lights at 6pm, the Lions Club of Ennis will launch their Remembrance Tree intiaitive in aid of Cahercalla Hospice at 5.25pm. Road closures will …

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Daisy getting into Hallowe'en mode as Hairy Potter.

Happy Howllowe’en from Daisy

Have you ever heard of a Howllowe’en Party? I must confess I hadn’t until my humans told me we were travelling to Dublin to attend one. It was organised by the Pawtrait Pack, a facebook group of dog lovers and we were all to meet up in a park near St Patrick’s Cathedral for a get to know you session – in other words sniffing bums! We arrived with plenty of time to spare so we went for a quick coffee at a lovely place called Queen of Tarts. I thought that was very appropriate as I’m a real queen. Even after our coffee, we were first to arrive at the park but in short order we were joined by a lovely group of new friends. There was Ozzie, an Australian Kelpie cross who came with Audrey, who organised the party. Monty, a black and white Collie, like Ozzie, has eyes in two different colours – perfect for a Howllowe’en …

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