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Lifestyle

Clare to feature in The Evolution of Ireland

HISTORIAN and archaeologist Stephen Daly is working on an extremely ambitious book tracing the development of Ireland and he visited the Banner County last week as part of his project. Between 2001 and 2008, he completed a degree in history, a postgraduate qualification in archaeology and worked on some major civil engineering projects in the West and Mid-West. In 2009, he began working on this book and it has taken up nearly all his energy since. “I’ve been at it full-time for the last five years. I never intended for it to be so long but I decided to devote the time that it demanded. I said I’d do it right if I was going doing it at all.” Explaining what the book will cover, he says, “It’s called The Evolution of Ireland and it’s basically telling the complete story of Ireland, so it’s going back to the earliest human settlers of the island and even before that. It’ll go …

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On the road to retirement

A report from the Retirement Planning Council has revealed that more than half of those approaching retirement or recently retired did not feel ready for retirement prior to undertaking a retirement planning course. The new report is based on an extensive national survey of over 648 people, who are either approaching retirement or had recently retired in the last 12 months. Fiona Thornton, chairman of the Retirement Planning Council, said, “Retirement can be a time of great upheaval and change; not just financially but emotionally, psychologically and physically. It is vital that people take time to prepare themselves. Equipping themselves with the knowledge and skills to deal with the changes ahead makes for a smoother transition into retirement. “Over half of the participants in our survey did not feel properly prepared for their retirement. Taking the time to consider all the changes that retirement brings and making a personal plan to address them, goes a long way to helping retirees feel prepared. …

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Boston’s Breege knows good business

A North Clare woman was recognised for her business acumen and leadership at the 2014 IMAGE Business Woman of the Year Awards in Dublin this week. Primark’s board director Breege O’Donoghue, from Boston, was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. In accepting the award, Ms O’Donoghue (70) recalled her childhood on the Clare-Galway border, her “loving family” and especially her mother, Molly. “My mother had great influence on the family, independent, strong-minded and devoted to her husband and children, for whom she cooked, baked, knitted, made all our clothes and delighted in the joys of gardening and her beautiful flowers,” she said. Ms O’Donoghue described the farm where she grew up as both “idyllic and hard work”. “The trees were tall, the grass was green, the birds were chirping one to the other. There was no extravagance and money was always put aside for the rainy day. Christmas was magical, with all its preparations of making the plum puddings, plucking …

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Poisonous plants for pets

While there are thousands of species of plants and flowers, only a small percentage of plants are truly dangerous and poisonous to your pet. Make sure you know which plants are most deadly to avoid your dog or cat from getting ill. Autumn Crocus: There are two crocus plants, one that blooms in the spring (crocus species) and the other in the autumn (colchicum autumnale). The spring plants are more common and are part of the Iridaceae family. These ingestions can cause general gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhoea. They should not be mistaken for autumn crocus, part of the Liliaceae family, which contain colchicine. The autumn crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage and respiratory failure. If you are not sure what plant it is, bring your pet to their vet immediately for care. Signs may be seen immediately but can be delayed for days. Azalea: In the same family as …

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Write to Santa Claus

Santa Claus will soon be setting out from the North Pole with his reindeer and sleigh in the direction of Ireland and he wants to know what toys and treats to load up for the children of County Clare. He needs your list pretty soon, as the elves have to put the finishing touches to some of the toys, computer games, team jerseys and other surprises. Rather than run the risk of your letter not reaching Santa’s North Pole workshop, why not write to The Clare Champion and let us deliver it for you. After all, we have been delivering the news to the people of Clare and adjoining counties for over 120 years. Send your letter to Santa, C/O The Clare Champion, Barrack Street, Ennis, County Clare. It must reach us by Wednesday, December 3. All letters will be entered in a draw for a great prize, which will be revealed in our December 12 issue. Separately, this year, …

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Cusack Park development all knotted up

THE provision of a car park, as part of the re-development of Cusack Park in Ennis, cannot proceed for six years because of the presence of the invasive Japanese knotweed. This comes as a serious setback for Clare GAA, who had counted on a new 200-space car park as a major income-generating source and had reached agreement with Clare County Council in relation to this. The six-year treatment plan was considered to be the most cost-effective way to address the problem, the alternative being to clear the site to a considerable depth and store the contaminated soil and weeds in isolation. It’s understood that would have cost in the region of €150,000. Delegates at this week’s county board meeting were told that the first year’s treatment has been applied in accordance with guidelines and experts in the area of dealing with the problem had been engaged. Meanwhile, delegates were told at Tuesday’s meeting that clubs will have to pay a …

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New social housing fund

Clare County Council has been urged to apply, without delay, for its share of the €3.8billion social housing fund announced by Environment Minister, Alan Kelly. “We have a real social housing need in Clare, and today’s announcement by Minister Kelly to deliver 35,000 homes across the country over the next six years is greatly welcome,”commented Clare TD, Michael McNamara. “I am urging Clare County Council to submit applications to this fund, to address the social housing problem. New rules put in place by Minister Kelly mean that the county council will take a strong leading role in social housing provision in the county, where previously it was mainly the job of private operators,” he added.

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Journey of Hope begins

Over 4,500 Team Hope Christmas shoeboxes, filled with gifts for needy children in Ukraine, will be leaving Ennis this evening (Tuesday). Over the past three weeks schools, businesses, factories and individuals throughout the county have put together the shoeboxes which were packaged at Elevation Business Park, Clonroad, Ennis. “We have packed all these boxes into cartons to be loaded onto a lorry this evening. There will be 489 cartons to put onto the lorry, which are filled with 4,561 shoeboxes to get to needy children in Ukraine before Christmas,” said Margaret Angland, Clare coordinator for Team Hope.

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