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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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Women make healthcare decisions

While nowadays there’s greater shared responsibility for both chores and children between males and females in Irish families, women are still the country’s key healthcare decision makers. New research from private healthcare search engine, WhatClinic.com, shows that almost three quarters (72%) of all healthcare traffic in Ireland comes from women, which is 5% above the global average (67%). Even for male-specific treatments, women still account for half, and often more, of all enquiries. Women make more than two thirds (69%) of all search traffic into male hair transplants, and more than half (52%) of all vasectomy traffic. Meanwhile, men account for very small portion of obstetrics and gynaecology (10%) or mammogram (18%) search traffic in Ireland. When it comes to treatments for all the family, women are still very much in the lead – accounting for the majority of traffic for dental braces (78%), allergy testing (78%), GP appointments (72%), vaccinations (72%), dental appointments (71%) and blood tests (65%).

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South Galway family’s American Odyssey

A Dublin City University professor has spent the past five years on the trail of an illustrious South Galway family. His journey, and that of the O’Shaughnessys, reaches from the ruins of the old homestead in Newhall to Illinois, Missouri and New York. In his new book, An Irish-American Odyssey: The Remarkable Rise of the O’Shaughnessy Brothers, Colum Kenny, journalist and DCU professor of communications, details the struggle and success of the family between 1860 and 1950. The O’Shaughnessys had been tenants of the Gregorys of Kiltartan. The father of the titular siblings was born in Newhall, outside Gort, within sight of Ballylee Tower, long before its Yeats’ association. He left for Boston during the Great Famine, settling eventually in Missouri, where he named his home Newhall. The extraordinary upward trajectory of the brothers’ fortunes saw one become the first CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies in New York, another establish himself as Chicago’s leading Gaelic Revival artist …

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Jenny devotes a lifetime to search and rescue

JENNY Carway has served as a marine rescue volunteer in Kilkee for 18 years. Living on the Carrigaholt side of Kilkee, she is the longest-serving member of the Irish Coastguard Unit but that’s not all what that distinguishes Jenny from her colleagues. Her accent is somewhat Irish but not completely. A simple question resulted in an intriguing response. “I’m a blow-in. I’m originally from Somalia,” Jenny replied. Her background is fascinating. “My grandparents were Irish. We lived in Uganda through Idi Amin’s time and we had to leave. My brothers were in boarding school in Ireland and my parents decided to give Ireland a go so we came here. We lived in Limerick and I’d come to Kilkee as a kid for summer holidays. So I just came down here and stayed here since. I came here diving. I enjoy it. It’s a great place to live,” she surmised. Jenny left Africa when she was 11. She has yet to …

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God answered Noah’s prayers with a cat

DOGS are the most diverse species on the planet. We manipulate their size, shape and behaviour to fit our needs. Everything from Chihuahuas to Great Danes, sheep dogs to greyhounds and a lot more in between. But what about our felines friends? Cats all look the same, their heads may be slightly differently shaped, their coats maybe be short, long hair or no hair at all. But basically a cat is a cat. Perhaps it’s because we can’t get them to work for us and as every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. All domestic cats, some scientists believe, descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris, which literally means “cat of the woods.” Cats were first domesticated in the Near East, and some studies speculate that this process began up to 12,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptian reverence for cats is well-known; scientists found a cat cemetery in Beni-Hassan with 300,000 cat mummies. Bastet, an Egyptian goddess of …

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Bond star ‘Jaws’ fondly remembered in Ennis

THE passing of actor Richard Kiel, best known to filmgoers as the steel-incisored villain “Jaws” in two 1970s James Bond films, has prompted a resident from the Bushy Park area of Ennis to recall his days on film sets with the Detroit -born 7’2″ colossus. David Coley, who spent his working life on film sets all over the world, met the late 74-year-old actor while working on the Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). David began his early career in construction before landing a job making sets and props at Pinewood Studios. He worked his way up the career ladder working on the film ‘stage’ and then going on location to build the sets and any props that were needed, before progressing to working with the camera crew as a stand-by ‘chippy’. “If they wanted a the camera on a roof it was your job to get it up there safely,” David explained David’s first …

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dancers sought for charity barn dance

Experienced dancers have been invited to showcase their talents at a charity barn dance in Rodger’s Bar, Scariff on this Saturday night at 8 pm. All age groups from teenagers up to pensioners are being urged to support this venture in aid of Crumlin Children’s Cardiac Unit. A number of spot prizes will be awarded on the night for those who display sublime dancing skills and for the best dressed male and female. It is being organised by the parents of Sophie O’Brien who was born on May 6 last with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a serious defect in the left side of her heart and died less than four weeks later on June 2 with her family in Ballina, Killaloe. While Darren O’Brien (31), Scariff, and his wife, Pamela (32), are still devastated over the loss of Baby Sophie, they are determined that something good will emerge from their personal tragedy. They have issued a fresh appeal for people …

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