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Lifestyle

A Canadian perspective on Clare

Canadian TV personality and travel writer, Frank Greco travelled to Ireland before Christmas to film for his popular show The Travel Guy. The special Ireland episode, which will be seen in millions of households in Canada and elsewhere around the world, will include footage from the Cliffs of Moher, Loop Head Lighthouse, the Music Makers of West Clare in Miltown Malbay, and a traditional Irish music session at McGann’s Pub in Doolin. During their time here, the crew stayed at Crotty’s Pub and B&B in Kilrush and Hotel Doolin. They were in Ireland as guests of Tourism Ireland in Toronto. The Travel Guy series is broadcast on many networks across the world including Discovery World HD (Canada), the Back9 Lifestyle Network (United States), Asia Television Network, Japan Television and U7 (Russia) – reaching millions of potential holidaymakers for Ireland. “We are delighted that Frank Greco has chosen to film in Ireland, giving potential visitors in Canada and elsewhere around the …

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A busy Christmas for Childline

Childline, the ISPCC’s listening service for all children and young people in Ireland was busy on Christmas Day. A total of 57 dedicated volunteers from across Ireland provided support to hundreds of children who needed to talk. Christmas Day saw ISPCC volunteers listening to and responding to 1,208 calls, texts and messages from children through Childline’s 24 hour telephone, text and online service, with over 73% of these coming from male contacts. Childline faced an unprecedented funding crisis in 2014, which threatened its ability to maintain the 24 hour nature of the service. Childline reached out to the general public through its emergency appeal and the people of Ireland responded wholeheartedly with donations of €400,000; a reflection of the place that Childline holds in the hearts and minds of the Irish public. Furthermore a recent agreement between Childline and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will greatly assist in maintaining the overnight service and ensuring that Childline remains open …

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Cutting through the red tape for companies

The new Companies Bill passed in the Houses of the Oireachtas last week will ease the burden of red tape for Clare business people and simplify many existing company law requirements, according to local TD, Joe Carey. The Bill, which is the largest substantive piece of legislation in the history of the State, has now been sent to the President for signing. “The passing of the new Companies Bill through the Oireachtas is great news for entrepreneurs and business owners in County Clare as it will significantly ease the burden of red tape on small business,” said Mr Carey. It is estimated that 200,000 SMEs and 12,000 start-ups every year will be able to substantially reduce the costs and time associated with establishing and running a company, as a result of this Bill. “The vast majority of companies in Ireland are private companies limited by shares and for that reason they will be placed at the centre of the legislation. …

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Childline remains open

A funding agreement, which will assist in ensuring that Childline stays open 24 hours a day, has been confirmed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and ISPCC/Childline. Recently thse ISPCC, which operates Childline, had warned that funding difficulties in the organisation could force the closure of overnight services. The agreement respects the desire of ISPCC/Childline to remain independent, while at the same time ISPCC has agreed to work with the department in supporting developments in the area of child protection. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly who completed the agreement with Mr Dan Flinter, chairman of the ISPCC, congratulated both sides on the successful discussions that have led to today’s announcement. The agreement will see funding provided over a two year period and is aimed at supporting the ISPCC to return to financial sustainability in respect of the Childline service. Dr Reilly has also strongly welcomed the ISPCC agreement involving his department and the …

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Breaking the mental illness taboo

WHEN Bernie McCarthy thinks about it, she knows that she has the unflinching support of her family and a wide network of friends. Still, her 14-year stand-off with bipolar disorder, manic depression, including bouts of self-harming and severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is an often isolating existence. Those close to her are well aware of the Quilty woman’s mental health issues but, for a passing acquaintance, it’s a shock. Bernie is not someone whom you would ever link with depression or its assorted impacts. In recent weeks, Bernie completed a 17-week counselling programme with Pieta House in Limerick. She found it trying and emotional but is delighted that she stuck with it. “You’d come out and, while it’s a relief, it’s also really draining. You’d be so tired after it. You’re like ‘did I just say all those things?’ Things came out that nobody knew, only me and my counsellor. But you feel better for it,” Bernie reflected candidly last …

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Jancinta’s Christmas in Haiti

A Corofin woman will spend this Christmas in Haiti volunteering with orphans, while on holidays from the NGO job she started this summer. In July, Jacinta McGuane took up her new role as general manager with Camara Education Ltd, an organisation dedicated to using technology to improve education and livelihood skills in disadvantaged communities around the world. In 2010, Jacinta decided to leave her teaching job in Dublin to volunteer in Dominican Republic, on the other side of the island of Hispañola. After a year as a special education volunteer with charity Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (our little brothers and sisters) she moved to the Haitian branch of the same organisation, Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs, in September 2011. Jacinta spent the past three years as a special education volunteer in St Helene. There, she developed and ran a special needs project with local staff, catering for children with learning, emotional, physical and behavioural difficulties. Alongside that, she was visitor and …

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Clare animal welfare groups to share €34,700

Six Clare animal welfare groups are to receive funding totalling €34,700 to assist them in their work next year. The announcement comes as Senator Tony Mulcahy appealed to parents and others to think responsibly when considering giving a pet as a present this Christmas. He also urged people to heed the warnings and advice offered by the animal welfare organisations in this regard. The Clare groups in line for payments include Clare SPCA, Newmarket on Fergus (€15,000); Second Chance Animal Welfare Ltd., Shannon (€9,800); Rover Rescue, Ennis (€3,600); An Cat Dubh Sanctuary, Clounlaheen East, Mullagh (€2,400); Burren Animal Rescue, Rockforest, Tubber (€2,100); and Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, Kilrush (€1,800). The ex-gratia payments form part of an allocation totalling €1,867,200 which is being distributed to 142 animal welfare bodies throughout Ireland to assist in their work during the coming year. Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy said this year’s County Clare allocation is almost €2,000 higher than the figure received in …

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Kilfenora singer joins WWI remembrance

A CENTURY on, the Christmas Truce on the Western Front in 1914 was remembered at a special event in Iveagh House in Dublin, where the keynote address was delivered by former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charles Flanagan hosted the remembrance, while the British Secretary of State, Philip Hammond, was also in attendance. Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen was also present. Jerry Lynch, from Kilfenora, sang a moving rendition of the Cormac Mac Connell-penned song, A Silent Night Christmas 1914, accompanied by the Island of Ireland Peace Choir. The Christmas Truce describes the extraordinary event on the Western Front 100 years ago, when the guns fell silent and when soldiers from all sides stepped out from their trenches, shook hands and took a break from hostilities. Deputy Breen said, “It is very important that we remember and reflect on the events that took place in the trenches on …

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