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Bird flies in for Scariff Harbour Festival

Broadcaster, journalist and documentary presenter, Charlie Bird  will mark the 20th anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire in Northern Ireland at the opening of the 2014 Waterways Ireland Scariff Harbour Festival this August Bank Holiday weekend. For over 10 years from the start of the peace process, Charlie Bird was RTÉ’s contact with leading republicans. “This was one of the big dates in the history of the peace process, leading to the Good Friday Agreement,” said Charlie Bird. “I was one of three journalists given the statement by the IRA and the only one to have been given an audio copy of an IRA member reading out the statement. They have now been given to the National Museum in Dublin and, in time to come, will be on display,” he added. The idea for the very first festival in Scariff in 2003 stemmed from the Good Friday Agreement and the foresight of the North South Ministerial Council and the Arts …

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Dooley leaves strong message on mobiles

Clare Fianna Fáil  Timmy Dooley has sharply criticised  mobile phone operators for “lacking any urgency” in repairing problems with poor coverage in East Clare. He commented, “Mobile phone operators in Ireland, including Vodafone, have been overseeing poor mobile phone coverage in many parts of East Clare. Areas like Mountshannon and Whitegate have extremely bad mobile phone coverage. It is part of a wider problem for mobile phone users in the county and it is not being tackled.” Deputy Dooley said it is not good enough to treat customers like this and it reflects extremely badly on these multi-national companies. “As a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, I intend seeking to bring Vodafone and other mobile phone operators before the Committee to explain why they have virtually ignored this problem,” he said.

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Miltown Mosaic with a musical theme

Members of the Mosaic Course 2013 at West Clare Resource Centre (WCRC) in Miltown Malbay will launch a unique bench on Thursday afternoon next. The Miltown Mosaic Bench, which was designed by Liscannor artist and teacher, Marie Connole, reflects the theme of music. It features musical notes floating across waves of coloured tiles and a piano keyboard, which acts as the seat. The bench was completed in late 2013 by local adult learners from the WCRC mosaic course and was facilitated by Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. Geraldine Cotter, who will launch the event, comes from a well-known musical family and many in Clare will remember her mother, Dympna Lernehan, who traveled on the West Clare Railway to teach music at St Joseph’s in Spanish Point. Cora O’Grady, co-ordinator at WCRC and chair of the community garden projects, initiated the mosaic course and encouraged locals to take part. The bench itself was constructed by Fred Hems using concrete and brick, while …

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Sarah Jane in Miss Ireland final

Sarah Jane Dunne, a daughter of the famous late Pecker Dunne from Killimer, has qualified for the Miss Ireland finals, which will take place on Saturday, July 19. She is the first member of the Travelling community to be selected as a finalist for Miss Ireland, a competition, which has a 67-year history. Speaking about her qualification for the finals, the 24-year-old said it came about after she entered a radio competition. “I was in a competition that Ryan Tubridy had on 2FM, Miss Personality, basically nobody knew what we looked like when we entered that competition. We just filled out application forms with all our details and then they picked eight finalists, who they thought were interesting. It went on for two days; we went on the radio, we were interviewed, there was a public vote online and the public decided who they wanted to be Miss Personality. “After that, I was asked to go forward for the semi-finals …

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Burren College of Art turns 20

The Dean of Colombia University’s School of Art, a twice nominated Turner Prize painter, a former Danish Minister for Culture and a leading art theorist from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago are among the confirmed participants in a programme of events marking the 20th anniversary of Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan. From July 17-20, works by some of its most successful and high profile alumni will go on show, with a symposium exploring alternative models of education, featuring contributions from groundbreaking Irish and overseas art education innovators. Irish-born American painter and printmaker and twice Turner Prize-nominee, Sean Scully will also receive an honorary doctorate. Located at Newtown Castle, the Burren College of Art specialises in delivering a range of contemporary fine art programmes including photography, sculpture, painting and digital media. Postgraduate programmes at the college have been accredited by National University of Ireland, Galway since 2002. Mary Hawkes Greene, president and founder of the Burren College of …

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Think carefully when getting a pup

Great – you’ve decided to get a dog. But first, you need to do some homework. Ask yourself these questions: • Can I afford the price of this pet and all the equipment I will need to make it happy in my home? • How much will routine worming, grooming, pet insurance, feeding, neutering and vet fees cost to keep my pet healthy? • Can your lifestyle make allowances for the time your puppy will take up? • Is my home suitable for my choice of breed? • Does everyone in the family agree with my choice? Do you know if your choice of breed is on the control of dogs list and what the law requires of you? • Does anyone in the family have an allergy that may be aggravated by my choice of dog? Choose the breed wisely. You have to take into consideration your lifestyle and where you live. Great Danes don’t do very well in …

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Clare archbishop’s portrait for auction

A portrait of a highly influential County Clare ecclesiastical figure is to be auctioned next week. It is that of Archbishop Joseph Clune of Perth, Western Australia, a native of Ruan. The portait, on canvas measuring 72 x 54 inches, is signed and dated on the lower left, Leo Whelan, 1913. It will go under the hammer on Wednesday next at 7pm at Sheppard’s Irish Auction House in Durrow, County Laois and, according to the auctioneers, is expected to fetch in the region of €1,500 – €2,500. Patrick Joseph Clune, DD CSsR, was born on January 6, 1864 in Ruan and died on May 24, 1935 in Perth. He was the fourth Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth and first Archbishop of Perth, serving continously in these roles from 1910 to 1935. Educated at the local national school and at St Flannan’s College in Ennis, in 1879 he entered the Catholic Missionary All Hallows College in Dublin to study for the priesthood. …

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Sean saddles up for 4,000km cycle

Kilmihil exile, Sean O’Neill  is preparing for a 4,000km cycle from Alaska to Vancouver. The 36-year-old has been based in Vancouver for around 12 years and, speaking from there , he outlined his plans for the cycle. “Basically, I’m going to head off in about four weeks from Vancouver on a ferry along the BC coast and that’ll take about four or five days,” he said. “I’ll get as far as Anchorage and fly from there on to Prudhoe Bay, which is at the very, very top of Alaska, way up there, right on the Arctic Ocean. That’s where I start and it’s all the way back to Vancouver. “It’s over 4,000 kilometres. It’ll probably take about two months or something. The first 500 miles of it should be fairly interesting, there isn’t a sinner really. It’s kind of like a gravel road for 500 miles and it’ll be about 10 or 12 days of just me, a bunch of …

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