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Kilkee woman’s HOPE for Kolkata

COMMUNITY is very important to Kilkee woman, Ann-Marie Murray. In particular, two communities, miles and worlds apart – Kilkee and Kolkata. Ann-Marie has been an integral part of The Hope Foundation’s work in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in West Bengal, India, for many years. The Hope Foundation (HOPE) was initially established in 1999 by Maureen Forrest, to raise funds to build a home for the girls from the streets and slums of Kolkata, subsequently called Panditya. Fifteen years on, HOPE now provide funding for over 60 projects, including education, primary healthcare, child protection, children’s shelters, vocational training and drugs rehabilitation. Ann-Marie volunteered with HOPE in 2003 for a six-month programme in the Panditya home. Eleven years on, Ann-Marie is now HOPE’s assistant overseas director and remains surrounded by teenagers in Panditya. They all share rooms and bathroom facilities, with Ann-Marie being on-call for the girls 24 hours a day. Part of the draw for Ann-Marie is living as the rest of …

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The fox is everywhere

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a highly adaptable species, found in nearly all habitats, from salt marshes and sand dunes, to the tops of mountains. It has reddish orange fur, small dog sized, with a thick bushy tail in winter. Foxes have also adapted to life in urban surroundings. Foxes hold territories, the size of which depends on habitat; they can be as small as 0.2 square kilometres in urban areas or up to 40 square kilometres in hill country. Each territory is occupied by a fox family group. These often consist of a pair – dog fox and vixen – and their cubs. However, in areas where foxes are not persecuted and where there is a plentiful supply of food, a family group may contain several adults. Foxes have a very wide and varied diet. On the seashore they eat crabs and dead seabirds, while in upland regions, carrion may be important, particularly during the winter months. In …

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Diocesan youth see life as a waltz

THE youth of the Diocese of Killaloe have adopted the acronym YOLO, but with a rider, for an upcoming mission. YOLO – Life Is A Waltz, Not A Race is the theme of a series of events lined up by Killaloe Diocesan Youth Council (KDYC), at a number of venues in the diocese at the end of the month. KDYC was established last November, following the faith gathering in Ennis. The group is made up of young people who come together to experience, share and explore their faith with other young people. The group members are aged 16 and upwards. This is the first time such a group has been established in the diocese. It follows a survey, which was carried out on young people during the listening process in the diocese. The survey highlighted that young people wanted new ways of experiencing and celebrating their faith, ways which were meaningful and worthwhile to them. Many of the young people …

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scattery island

Heritage Week ‘a fantastic success’

National Heritage Week 2014 has been hailed as a “fantastic success” with over 980 programme  organisers running events. In Clare, there were more than 80 events right across the county. “It is fantastic to see that 31% of those organizing events this year have been involved in Heritage Week for more than five years, while 25% were getting involved for the first time, remarked Michael Starrett, chief executive of the Heritage Council. “Heritage Week would not be the success it is if it wasn’t for the dedication and commitment of all those who get involved in organizing events and promoting their local heritage for people to enjoy,” he added. Event Organisers are being encouraged to enter their events in the 2014 Event Organiser Awards, which showcase the fantastic work by event organisers throughout the week. Entries can be made in the following categories – Best Overall Event, Best Event organised by a Community Group / NGO / Individual, Best Children’s Event …

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Clare IPSC to host Arab Jewish author

THE Clare branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign will have a public meeting next Tuesday with guest speaker Smadar Lavie. Ms Lavie is from Israel and is an anthropologist, professor and author whose mother’s family are Jewish Arabs from Yemen, while her fahter’s people are Jews from Lithuania. She is an ardent activist against racism towards Palestinians and Jews of Arab descent in Israel. Based at the University of California Berkeley, she has written or co-authored four books. Speaking in advance of her visit to Clare, Ms Lavie said that Israeli society is quite fractured between Jews of European descent, called Ashkenazi Jews, and Jews of Middle Eastern descent, or Mizrahi Jews. “Fifty per cent of the population are Jews from the Muslim and Arab world, from the margin of the Ottoman Empire, like Bulgaria or Turkey or the former Yugoslavia. Only 30% are Jews from Europe. However there are less than one per cent women professors who are of Mizrahi …

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Spend some hours in the 12 O’Clocks

THE official opening of the 12 O’Clock Hills Project which has developed looped walks in these scenic East Clare hills will take place on Sunday, September 14 at 1pm. The 12 O’Clock Hills recreational and heritage project is based at Knockanuarha hill, which is located 5km to the southeast of Kilkishen village. The main summit stands at 309 metres or 1,014 feet above mean sea level, and there is another peak about 10 metres lower and 400 metres away to the west/south west. From the 12 O’Clock Hills much of County Clare is on view including West Clare, the Burren and the Shannon Estuary while locally Kilkishen village, Cullaun Lake and Steele’s Turret are prominent. With a little effort, the town of Ennis and many of the villages of East Clare will reveal themselves. With so much on offer from this vantage point the committee felt it was something worth developing on to share with the public. The project was …

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Giant Spectacle in Treaty City

A GIANT granny comes to Munster this weekend as world renowned French based street theatre company Royal de Luxe bring their newest giant to Limerick as part of the city of culture line-up. Founded in France in 1979 by Jean-Luc Courcoult Royal de Luxe have performed in front of more than 18 million spectators across the world and this weekend they bring their 30 foot tall Grandmother to Limerick. From Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 7 they will be in Limerick where they will deliver a unique Irish urban tale, bringing their Giant’s Saga to Ireland for the first time. The Giant will tell a story while she is in the city over three days offering plenty of free family entertainment. Grandmother, which is being referred to locally as Granny, stands at 7.5metres tall, and is handled like a marionette by tens of Lilliputians, which have become a directly identifiable signature of the street theatre company. Speaking about the …

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Celebrating East Clare’s iron industry

EAST Clare is all set to  host the inaugural Sliabh Aughty Furnace Festival  celebrating the region’s rich history with the iron industry. Hidden on the western shores of Lough Derg, in the foothills of the Sliabh Aughty mountains are the remains of four blast furnaces. These furnaces are a witness to an industry that changed the landscape here forever. They were built 300 to 400 years ago to smelt rich local iron ores together with charcoal made from the oak woodlands there. These hidden gems have recently been brought into focus again, due to the efforts of local historian, Gerard Madden and Dr Paul Rondelez. The two have been working on a publication to publish a transcription of 80 hitherto unknown letters, written between 1693 and 1701, primarily on the iron works of Scariff and Woodford. The festival also follows a very successful visit to the area by the Historical Metallurgy Society earlier this year. The festival will take place on …

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