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Lions roar with An Post

The founding of Lions Clubs International, one hundred years ago, is celebrated on An Post’s new international postage stamp.   The €1.35 stamp, which covers standard letter postage anywhere in the world, was designed by Dublin company Red Dog and features a photograph from the annual Lions Holiday Project in 2016. The Lions Club is the world’s largest voluntary service organisation with a presence in over 200 countries and more than 1.4 million volunteers worldwide.  There are 2,700 members in 116 clubs across the island of Ireland, north and south. With their motto ‘We Serve’, they organise projects to help vulnerable and elderly people within their communities, and they undertake humanitarian work such as aiding street children, providing diabetic screening and preventing suicide and blindness. Paul Allen, District Governor of Lions Clubs International in Ireland, expressed his appreciation that the Lions Clubs work in serving their communities has been recognised by An Post with this special international stamp, reflecting the global reach of Lions …

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Public art gaining ground in Clare

Clare County Council’s Arts Office has announced of a four-year public art programme, entitled ‘Gaining Ground’. The aim of the council’s Public Art Programme 2017-2020 will be to utilise the pooled resources of the Per Cent for Art Schemes of the Local Authority and the Office of Public Works to maximise their potential. The programme comprises four strands taking place in North and West Clare, Shannon and Ennis. In North Clare, four six-month residency projects will be selected to take place over a two-year timeframe. A single residency project, entitled ‘Re-imagining the Rural’, will be selected to take place over a one-year timeframe in West Clare.  A single project, entitled ‘Dancing Together’ will be selected to take place over a one-year timeframe in Shannon.  ‘Reflections’, meanwhile, is the title of a publication and symposium in Ennis from 2019 to 2020. The launch of Gaining Ground will be held at Glór in Ennis on June 15 with guest speaker Annette Moloney, …

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18 submissions on Inis Cealtra plan

CLARE County Council has confirmed that it has received 18 written submissions to the Draft Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan. Submissions were made by members of the public and statutory authorities to the draft plan and the associated strategic environmental assessment, the habitats directive assessment and the strategic flood risk assessment. The process of reviewing and considering these submissions is underway. When it is complete, the draft plan will be amended to become the final plan. Brian McCarthy, senior planner, outlined the details on foot of a motion by Councillor Pat Burke. He asked the local authority to detail the number of submissions received from the public following the launch of the draft plan and to outline the next steps in the process. Mr McCarthy said, “It is intended that the Inis Cealtra Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan will be presented to the local community in July 2017, thus concluding the plan-making process”. Councillor …

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Dancing into the light

It has been three years since Ballynacally resident Pascal Kenny found himself in a very dark place but having sought out Pieta House, he said the welcome he received has led him to a place where he is now medication free after 20 months. “I struggled for many years with my mental health, mainly in the form of depression and anxiety. I was on medication and I had been treated by the mental health services for many years. I continued to do the best I could at the time and it was a huge challenge. There were times when things were a little bit better and there were times when things were really bad. When I visited Pieta House three years ago, the light had gone out in my head,” he said. Pascal said he doesn’t remember getting to Pieta House, he just remembers not being able to find it. “The hope I had was to find it. I was …

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Examining State bereavement support

AN Taoiseach Enda Kenny has launched Finite Lives Dying, Death and Bereavement: An Examination of State Services in Ireland, a report by Independent Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of end-of-life issues across all government departments outside health.  Commenting on the report, Senator O’Donnell said that death affects nearly 1,000 people every day between the estimated 80 people who die each day, and the 800 people directly affected by these deaths. Amongst the recommendations in the report is: The need for a whole-of-government strategy on end-of-life A national public consultation process. A socio-economic review of the costs of  death and bereavement An analysis of fuel and funeral poverty Regulation of the funeral services industry Further recommendations include the reinstatement of the Bereavement Grant and an audit to combat financial abuse of pensions of the elderly. In terms of communications, Senator O’Donnell has recommended that the State develops a dedicated website outlining all State services that are available to support …

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Ennis artist paints President’s portrait

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has completed an official portrait of President Michael D Higgins, which will hang in Leinster House throughout his time in office, before being moved to Áras an Uachtaráin after his departure from office. “The annual Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition will be opening on May 22 and I’m going to show the newly completed official portrait of President Higgins,” said Mick. While he has recently exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy and will have another painting in London’s Royal Academy over the summer, he said this is the most important one for him. “For a portrait painter, it is a big honour. I’m humbled to have been asked to do it.” In relation to where the official portrait will be on show, he explained. “It will hang in the Áras, along with the previous Presidential portraits, once he leaves office. I’ll be showing it in the RHA, which I’m currently president of, and when that exhibition …

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Shannon Estuary bird study

A year-long bird population and habitat survey will be carried out along the Shannon Estuary, taking in 1,220 hectares of land. The study is being undertaken by environmental consultants McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan, on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Strategic Infrastructure Framework Plan (SIFP) Steering Group, comprising stakeholders engaged in the development and management of Ireland’s largest and deepest estuary. The region’s local authorities in Clare, Kerry and Limerick have joined with Shannon Group and Shannon Foynes Port Company in promoting ‘Deep Water Marine Investment Opportunities’ on 1,220ha of land at six strategic locations deemed appropriate for marine-related investment. The sites include Moneypoint (280ha) and Innismurry/Cahericon (65ha) in Clare; Askeaton (98ha), Foynes Island (40ha) and Foynes Port and adjoining lands (186ha) in Limerick and Tarbert-Ballylongford landbank (550ha) in Kerry. The proposed bird usage survey area stretches from Limerick City to where the Shannon Estuary meets the Atlantic Ocean in West Clare and North Kerry. The survey will begin in May and is …

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Áine Mae inspires as she awaits transplants

DESCRIBED as an “inspiration” by broadcaster Ryan Tubridy during her appearance on The Late Late Show last November, a Lahinch woman is proving that blindness is no barrier to new challenges. Áine Mae O’Mahony, who is only one of 13 patients nationwide on a waiting list for a new pancreas and kidney, is manager of Kilkee-based Raidió Corca Baiscinn (RCB). Despite restrictions imposed by travelling to Galway for fours hours of dialysis three times a week and managing diabetes, the Fighting Blindness advocate lives life to the full and believes her glass is always half-full rather than half-empty. If Áine Mae is fortunate enough to receive a new pancreas, it would be life-changing, as she would no longer need to take injections four times a day or to check her sugar levels constantly. As there are serious health complications from having Type One diabetes since childhood, her doctor felt she would be eligible for a new pancreas. In November 2015, she …

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