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Lifestyle

Hectic times at The Hogsprickle

WE have had a busy couple of weeks at The Hogsprickle. One of the vets at Ceithre Cos Vets in Tulla phoned concerned about a fallow deer fawn that had been hit by a car. The driver rescued the fawn and took him to the vet to be checked. We picked up the fawn following rescue protocols, as dealing with deer is not an easy job. They are terrified of human contact and can sometime die with the stress of being handled, especially if injured. This little female was in such shock she stayed quiet and her head was covered while we transported her to The Hogsprickle to be stabilised, before transport to the specialist wildlife unit in Kildare. Their vet, who specialises in wildlife, confirmed a break in her pelvis. She is in the hands of the rehabilitators at Kildare and, paws crossed, she makes it back to the wild. The same week we got a call about a …

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A reflection on the early-morning beauty of Kilkee

It is between 8am and 9am, very early  by Kilkee standards. Sleep would appear to be the order of the day. Even the well laid-out houses, as viewed from my vantage point over by the boathouse, look eloquent in their sombre state. In my mind’s eye, I imagine each and every dwelling displaying a sign outside saying, ‘Do not disturb’. The only sound I am conscious of is that of the rivulets lazily lapping their aquatic way towards the golden, undisturbed sandy beach. One or two barefoot people skirt the water’s edge, rounding that famous tranquil horseshoe-shaped beach. Two white West Highland terriers frolic freely close by. This is their time to enjoy a short period of joyous liberation, as curfew will be set in place at 11am. Black crows and gulls have arrived just now, as they screech in their frantic, hungry way, in search of a morsel of food. Their sound, it seems, is an intricate part of this …

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Bergins make charity a family affair

A CLARECASTLE family has paid tribute to their local community, following their second successful educational mission to the heart of Africa. Pat and Frances Bergin and their adult children, Tim and student teacher, Laura, have expressed their appreciation to all those in the Clarecastle-Ballyea parish, who supported their month-long trip to Zambia in July. The Bergin family were accompanied by five student teachers from St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra for their lengthy stint at a school in the Linda compound, outside Lusaka, the capital of land-locked Zambia. The school was originally founded as a community school in 2003, with the help of Frances Bergin’s sister, Sr Claudia, a Mercy nun, who is now living in Trim, County Meath. Last year, Laura set up a society in St Patrick’s called ZOCS, Zambian Open Community Schools, and she and three other students, including Ennis trainee teacher, Ultan O’Brien, went to the Zambian school with Laura’s parents to begin the work. “It was …

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Ban animal circuses from public land plea

Clare county councillors have been asked to ban animal circuses from performing on public land. However, in a statement, the council said they do not issue permits to visiting circuses. In an open letter to the council, Mullagh resident Betty Fowler said councils in South Dublin, Monaghan, Wicklow, Waterford, Drogheda and Clonakilty have already banned animal circuses from performing locally. “Animals are being caged, transported and made to perform in unnatural ways for the fun and amusement of people. Animals are not on this planet for human entertainment. It distresses me to see circuses like this being given permission to tour this misery around Clare and Ireland,” her letter read. “I am calling on you, as our public representative, to put forward and vote to pass a motion to ban animal circuses on public land in Clare and I look forward to hearing back from you,” Ms Fowler wrote. Independent councillor Christy Curtin said councillors will consider Ms Fowler’s request. However, …

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Cillian shows leader skills for Burrenbeo

Earlier this year, Burrenbeo Trust put out a call looking for a ‘Young Burren Leader’ to represent the landscape charity at the world’s largest conservation conference in Australia. This week, the successful candidate for the role as a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) has been announced as New Quay’s Cillian Fahy. This is not the first award for Cillian, who became the only Irish person to receive a Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year, allowing him to pursue an M. Phil in European Literature and Culture at the university starting in October. After getting As across the board in his Leaving Cert in 2010, Cillian sold his notes online for €3,000 and subsequently was a regular columnist in the Irish Times education section. He holds a degree in English Literature from Trinity College, Dublin. After being named a global youth ambassador, Cillian will now represent the Burrenbeo Trust at the world’s largest conservation conference, the IUCN World Congress in Syndey, this November. …

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Sharon says ‘chip your dog’

September has been designated ‘National Chipping Month’ when dog owners can avail of free or reduced-price microchipping, as part of a nationwide campaign. Thousands of lost and stray dogs are destroyed in Irish pounds every year. But a simple microchip, no bigger than a grain of rice, can effect a successful reunification without delay and implantation is painless. “Alert to all dog lovers like myself: did you know that there are over 100,000 dogs out there with an incorrectly registered microchip? Were you to lose your pet it would be impossible to reunite you”, cautioned RTE news presenter, Sharon Ni Bheolain,who is backing the campaign. One in three dogs in Ireland is currently chipped but microchipping will be compulsory under the new Animal Health and Welfare Act by 2016. National Chipping Month is being promoted by veterinary practices, animal welfare organisations, re-homing centres, local authority pounds, pet retail outlets and charities around the country. Those with chipped pets are also …

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Schoolgoers get temporary bus tickets

Bus Éireann has announced that all students who have paid for tickets will be carried on school buses after a computer problem resulted in many Clare families not receiving their tickets on time. The company blamed “technical glitches” and late payments for the problems experienced by some families. This is the first year that tickets are being issued through a central reservation system and not by the 11 regional school transport offices. The company issued a statement on Tuesday apologising for “any inconvenience this has caused” and asked for patience “as we work through a small backlog, owing to the introduction of the new online school transport system last month complicated by the large proportion of late payments. There were some technical glitches with the new system that were promptly rectified and we extended the payment dateline by one week earlier this month, to alleviate any inconvenience this may have caused”. The company said it has issued the vast majority of …

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Dogs Trust workshops for schoolchildren

Dogs Trust, the dog welfare charity, is now available to visit primary and Montessori schools, along with community groups in Clare and Galway, offering free, curriculum-linked workshops, teaching children about responsible dog ownership. Dawn Kavanagh, a fully qualified secondary school teacher with a Masters in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, who just has taken the up the education officer role in Dogs Trust, will lead the programme in this region. “Dogs Trust’s philosophy of never putting a healthy dog down is something I really admire, and especially needed here in Ireland. I truly believe the key to improving welfare for all animals is education, and Dogs Trust education programme is doing just that. This really is a dream role for me, combining my education and animal welfare passions,” said Dawn. In underlining the importance of Dawn’s appointment to cover Clare and South Connacht, Dogs Trust executive director, Mark Beazley, said, “We have had a phenomenal response to our education programme and …

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