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Harmonious weekend in Ennis

THE Irish Association of Barbershop Singers will be ‘United in Harmony’ in Ennis this weekend to celebrate their silver anniversary. With a packed programme of competition, and concerts open to the public, up to 400 barbershop singers will converge on Glór from this Friday to Sunday for the 25th Annual Convention of the Irish Association of Barbershop Singers (IABS). The event officially opens at 7pm this Friday with a gala competition and guest entertainment evening. This will by followed by a winners gala concert at 8pm on Saturday. Both of these events are open to members of the public ­ with 200 tickets available per night. Quartets and choruses will compete for the prestigious category prizes of National Male Quartet, National Female Quartet, Opened Mixed Quartets, National Female Chorus, International Quartet and International Chorus competitions over the weekend, with the convention and the competitions kicking off at 2pm. A team of international judges from all over Europe will preside over …

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Joint Oireachtas Committee to visit Shannon

A delegation from the the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions will travel to Shannon on this Thursday for a series of meetings on the US military use of the airport and Irish airspace. The delegation will meet with representatives from the Shannon Airport Authority, the local gardaí and Shannonwatch. The visit to Shannon follows a petition and presentation to the Committee in June by Dr Edward Horgan, Margaretta D’Arcy and Dr John Lannon of the Shannonwatch organisation. Chairman of the committee, Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said the visit to Shannon Airport is a valuable opportunity to follow up on the petition by Shannonwatch earlier this year. “Central to the petition by Shannonwatch is a call for the Government to investigate the use of Shannon Airport and Irish airspace for the transit of US armed troops, munitions and other war material, and for the refuelling of CIA-associated aircraft involved in extraordinary rendition,” he said.

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Volunteering to spread the sound of music

The Adult and Community Education Service in County Clare are continuing their community music project this autumn. Following a highly successful first year in 2013, it is hoped to spread the word and get as many people as possible involved in this volunteer project. An information evening will take place on this Wednesday from 7.30-8.30pm at the organisation’s centre on Clonroad Business Park, Ennis for people interested in both music teaching and music learning. The project aims to provide introductory music lessons for adults who have had little or no interaction with music and to share the satisfaction that participation in music can bring. The project enables and fosters new relationships between tutors and learners over a period of 12 weeks or so and gives learners the confidence to pursue further potential involvement in music. “We are interested in all types and aspects of music, song and dance from traditional Irish fiddle playing to a basic introduction to reading music to …

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Peter’s giant feat for Bóthar

BÓTHAR founder, Peter Ireton was thrilled to present a €22,000 cheque this week to his own charity, the proceeds of a 62km walk from Limerick to Killaloe and back. The funds that Peter and his fellow walkers raised will be going to fund Bóthar’s fourth African creamery in Rusizi, Rwanda. The creamery is now at the final stages of completion. Aideen O’Leary, from Cork, is currently on the ground in Rusizi, working with local community groups and getting the creamery ready to open later this year. Creameries are an important part of providing sustainable futures for the recipient families, who have received an Irish dairy cow through Bóthar. They become the lifeblood of the local community and start a positive economic cycle of growth and will have a tremendous impact on the lives of the entire community. “This was the third year the walk has taken place and every year it gets better and better. We start out early and …

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Sisters on top of the world

SCARIFF sisters, Joanne Treacy and Kate (Treacy) O’Donoghue recently climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, in aid of Raheen Hospital Support Services Ltd. Joanne is currently living and working in London and Kate is living in Clane, County Kildare, but both are originally from Cooleenbridge, Scariff, and their native parish is still very close to their hearts. This is why they chose to do the climb in aid of Raheen Hospital. So far, the siblings have raised nearly €1,000. They climbed Kilimanjaro through hail, rain, snow and shine over six days, reaching the summit on the morning of September 6. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and also the highest freestanding peak in the world. The Scariff sisters trekked the 64km up and down, a distance that equates to summiting Carrauntoohill six times over. Speaking about why they chose to raise funds for Raheen Hospital Support Services Ltd, Kate Treacy said, “The charity we have chosen is very close to …

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The swallows are off

THERE’S a definite change in the air. The days are shorter and there is a coolness around. The Hogsprickle swallows have left on their long flight to Africa and the warmer weather there. We were lucky enough to see two sets of fledglings and a lucky three chicks from another nest in Ennis that were adopted and successfully reared by over-worked parents. Now they are all gone and good luck to them. Now, it’s up to the adults and the youngsters to get ready for their first days of winter. Luckily, Mother Nature slowly introduces them to the hard times and turns down the temperature. She has provided our wildlife with bramble berries, fallen apples, sloe berries, hazelnuts, damsons and, as we all know, they also make delicious jams and jellies for us too. There are many insects still around but they are getting fewer as the days shorten and the cooler wet weather arrives. So, at this time of …

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Golden boots for Peter and Declan

TWO Clare players were among Ireland’s seven-a-side soccer team to take gold at the Special Olympics European Summer Games held in Antwerp, Belgium last weekend. Peter Kavanagh from Ennis and Declan O’Dwyer from Kilkishen performed extremely well, with Peter being named man of the match, having scored a hat-trick in the final against Israel. They won the game 4-0. This is the first time that Ireland has participated in the seven-a-side event. It previously participated in 11-a-side and five-a-side but this is the first time they have achieved gold at European or World Games. In addition to this, they also took a Fair Play Award in recognition of their exemplary conduct on the pitch. Declan participated in three games on the first two days of the championship but got injured and had to sit out the remaining games from Tuesday onwards. Nevertheless, he was an important cog playing in defence and also on the forward line during those games. Team …

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Ennis duo head for World Games in LA

Ennis Special Olympics Golf Club members, Paul Kirrane with his partner, Pat Rutherford , who compete in the nine-hole Alternate Shot Event, have been selected for the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles in 2015, as part of the Irish team. Paul and Pat, who won gold in this event at the National Games in Limerick in June, were absolutely thrilled with their selection. On hearing he was on the team for Los Angeles, Paul said, “There are no words to describe how happy I am”. The Irish squad will have 89 athletes across 13 sports. They will be supported by coaching, medical and management staff, bringing the total group to 128. The World Games are the flagship of the Special Olympics movement and, in Los Angeles, there will be 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators. The Special Olympics World Games, being staged from July 25 to August …

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