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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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Business booming at Doonbeg

JOE RUSSELL, general manager of Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg,  has said the five star west Clare resort is currently experiencing its busiest month since opening in 2006. Currently the golf club and lodge employees 230 full and part-time people. Acknowledging that early year uncertainty adversely affected trade in Doonbeg, following receivership and the winter storms, Joe Russell says that business has picked up considerably in recent months. “With the receivership it was slow to start off and obviously coming out of the storm, that had an impact on our golf business at the beginning of the year. But we have done a tremendous amount of work in the last number of months and August has been our best ever month since we opened. July was very strong, August is stronger and September will be strong. We’re also looking at a good October. While the early part of the year was tough going, giving everything that went …

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The cost of a pearly white smile

The average cost of teeth whitening in Clare is the fourth highest in the country, according to new research from private healthcare search engine, WhatClinic.com. Their survey has found, depending on where you live greatly affects how much you will pay for dental care in Ireland. According to its findings, the most expensive place for achieving pearly whites is one clinic in Sandycove, which charges patients more than €650 for the treatment. Across Ireland, the average cost of teeth whitening is €262, but for the best value for money people should head to Westmeath where it costs just €159. County Kerry, at €388, is the most expensive county for pearly whites, at more than double that of Westmeath. This is followed by Wicklow at €350 and Clare at €337. However, Clare fares reasonably well when compared to the average prices in Ireland for the five most common types of dental work. The average cost of getting dental fillings in Clare stands …

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John Cusack, Ian's father and organiser of the Ian's Trust To The Moon and Back cycle and run at Kilkee last Saturday, John Galvin, The Clare Champion and Gerry O'Brien, Hyundai Limerick (sponsors) awaiting the start of the 60 km cycle to Loop Head and back in aid of children with acquired brain injuries. Pic Munsterimages.ie

To the Moon and Back

I agreed to do the cycle before I even thought it through. A 60km cycle less than two weeks away was going to be a tall order, given that I haven’t done much on a bike for years. The To the Moon and Back cycle was in aid of Ian’s Trust, a charity set up to help children with acquired brain injuries, so I felt honour bound to give it a go. In the intervening fortnight, I managed to do a few 10km runs but I felt in no way properly prepared when I lined out in Kilkee last Saturday for the jaunt to Loop Head and back. I didn’t feel any better when I saw what surrounded me. Lycra-clad bodies on carbon fibre bikes were everywhere and I felt distinctly out of place on my vintage, 20 year old Raleigh racer, with its steel frame and only 12 gears. The day was dry and fortunately, not too warm. The …

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‘Celebrity’ duo seeking love in Lisdoon

An American “celebrity” mother and daughter will be hoping that cupid’s arrow strikes next month during the 157th Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. According to one of Ireland’s last traditional matchmakers, Willie Daly, the duo joked they would consider hooking up with an Irish father and son during the festival. Mr Daly insists the two Americans are quite “famous and well known in the acting industry” and would be regarded as a “celebrity” couple. However, he isn’t at liberty to disclose their identity at this point in time. He said the mother who was well off and married previously but was keen to find an Irish man who was willing to marry her. They will be part of two large separate groups of Americans travelling from NewYork, MIllapolios and Chicago who will be looking for love on from September 12 to 17 and September 20 to 20th. While Americans are frequent visitors to the Spa town for the matchmaking festival, the third …

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Time-travelling to Electric Picnic

Shannon artist Seamus Scullion will be bringing his installation The Old Octopus Medicine Show to the Electric Picnic festival which is on from August 29-31 in Stradbally, County Laois. His proposal won the Art Caravan Competition and organisers described his concept as “a quirky, eccentric time machine full of magic, mystery, fairy lights and trampoline teepee’s. It will be an area where Picnickers can chill out, listen to music and enjoy some crazy art and quirkiness. Not only can you expect a unique mind-blowing atmosphere, there will be shots of miraculous elixir distributed as a prize on our wheel of misfortune along with some torture (just to balance things out)” Seamus said he and a number of others worked on the project at his sisters house for about three months and he was quite happy with what they built. “There was an advertisement for a trailer park in Electric Picnic and I put a submission in. We won the first …

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