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Two Clare areas in top 10 for food

LISDOONVARNA, ‘the Gateway to the Burren’ and the Loop Head Peninsula, were both named in the The Restaurants Association of Ireland, in association with Admailer.ie from An Post, 10 finalists in the search for the ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’. Both areas will be looking for public votes to win the competition which is run in conjunction with Irish Restaurant Awards. The top ten ‘Foodie Towns’ of Ireland were announced at the weekend and among them were Cork City, Kinsale, Dingle/Daingean Uí Chuis, Galway City, Sligo Town, Howth, Kilkenny and the Westport and Clew Bay area. The ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’ award recognises a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences. Each of the ten finalists will now receive a  visit to the town by a representative from the Restaurants Association of Ireland and a representative from An Post. Combined with a national public …

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Does your cat…..?

DOES your cat scratch the furniture or wood outside? Scratching is a complex behaviour which has multiple uses. Many people believe that the cats are sharpening their claws but they are actually getting rid of the outer nails to reveal the new sharp nail underneath. Cats ‘shed’ rather than sharpen their nails. This is also the cat’s way of exercising and strengthening the paws and sheaths that keep the nails covered and in prime condition. They are marking territory, too, using both the chemical signals from scent and sweat glands on the paws and also a visual signal displaying the scratch marks. Unfortunately, this can also happen indoors on the furniture and some walls. Does your cat spray urine? This is a deliberate attempt by the cat to mark territory by standing against a vertical surface and raising its tail to spray urine at nose height as a clear signal to other cats. Cats may do this indoors, as a …

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Teaming up with Special Olympics

THE IFA has unveiled its partnership with the 2014 Special Olympics Games Ireland. IFA is a bronze partner of the equestrian competition at the Games, which will be held in Limerick from June 12 to 15. IFA president Eddie Downey and the organisation’s national treasurer, Jer Bergin, said, “We’re proud to partner with 2014 Special Olympics Ireland Games and all that they represent. IFA chose to get involved with the Games to support participating Irish farm families and our members volunteering at the Games. With their drive, determination, commitment and passion, Special Olympic athletes are incredible role-models for all’. More than 1,500 athletes will compete in the Games and will be supported by 500 coaches, 3,000 volunteers and 3,000 family members. Meanwhile, a coach company owned by a West Clare man and which recently launched an Ennis-based service, has been appointed as official transport partner for the Games in Limerick. Dublin Coach have progressed through a lengthy tender process over …

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Donald Trump due in Doonbeg on May 12

DONALD J Trump will make his first visit to the Doonbeg Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland on Monday May 12. The billionaire businessman will touch down at Shannon Airport at approximately 7.30am that morning. The Trumps purchased the Doonbeg club for an estimated fee of €15m after it had gone into receivership in early 2014. Speaking to The Clare Champion in late February Donald Trump Senior said that his company intend to invest several million euro/dollars in the venture. “I’d say many, many millions of dollars. One of the things we’ll be doing, in conjunction with the council and with the town, is a ballroom. Ballrooms provide a lot of jobs. We’ll also be talking about a beautiful enhancement to the spa including an indoor swimming pool. We’ll be talking about many things like that. So we’re going to spend many millions of dollars before we have it at the level we want it at,” he Mr Trump …

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Gallagher’s named top restaurant in Clare

GALLAGHER’S of Bunratty is Clare’s best restaurant but Gregans Castle in Ballyvaughan and Dromoland Castle took two awards each at the Munster Regional Final of the 2014 Irish Restaurant Awards. Over 400 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards held in Limerick on Tuesday, which saw many well-known Munster restauranteurs turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards. Gallagher’s Seafood Restaurant in Bunratty was named Clare’s best restaurant but best chef in the county went to David Hurley of The Dining Room at Gregans Castle Hotel, a venue which was also named best hotel restaurant in Clare. The best casual dining award also went to Ballyvaughan, this time to L’Arco Italian Restaurant. Vaughan’s Anchor Inn in Liscannor was named Clare’s best gastro pub. The best wine experience was deemed to have been at the Earl of Thomond in Dromoland Castle Hotel, which also received an award for best customer …

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Pre-1901 census now on-line

MINISTER for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan this Monday evening launched the online Pre-1901 Census Survivals and Census Search forms for 1841 and 1851, at the National Archives. This marks the first online product of a partnership between the National Archives, FindMyPast.ie and FamilySearch.org. The records being launched feature surviving pre-1901 census fragments and census search forms for 1841 and 1851.The census search forms exist because people had to provide proof of age to qualify for the Old Age Pension, introduced in 1909. In many cases the early census records were the only way to prove that you were over 70, and people made application to the Public Record Office to search in the 1841 and 1851 census records. These search forms, where they exist, serve as substitutes for lost census records. Minister Deenihan commented, “Over the coming years, many millions of names from the Irish past will be made available online for the first time due to …

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The cost of not neutering

SPAYING a female cat or dog and neutering a male cat or dog is a veterinary procedure to ensure the animal can no longer breed. Some people think that this is cruel and that, perhaps, the female should have one litter first. Studies over many years have, however, proven that there are no beneficial effects on the female to have a litter. We all like to see puppies and kittens but some litters in dogs can be as large as 12, and it’s up to the owner to find loving, forever homes for all the offspring. Welfare and rescue centres all over Ireland are overflowing with unwanted cats, dogs and rabbits. Many of them are pure-bred and cross-bred and would have cost a few hundred euro to buy as a pup. One female cat can have between 60 and 100 kittens in her life. A male and one female and their offspring can be responsible for 11,606,077 cats in just …

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In a Foreign Field

By Jane O’Loughlin, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna Highly commended, junior Clare Champion Short Story Competition MARY poured the hot water out of the kettle slowly, took out the tea bag and started stirring in a spoon of sugar. With her left hand she turned the notch to turn up the volume of the radio. She listened carefully, “World War Two bomb found, the army have cleared the area and are attempting a controlled explosion.” She clenched the top of her wooden walking stick and as slow as a snail, walked over and sat down on her old armchair. She took a sip from her cup of tea and grimaced at its heat and sweetness. She placed it down on a small wooden tea table beside her armchair. She closed her eyes, rocked back and forth on her chair and started reminiscing about the past. She was 19 again, with long blond locks which she always had pinned up. She …

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