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Púca finds his stable in North Clare at Michael Cusack Centre

AFTER more than 15 months filled with controversy, debate, recrimination, appeals and public votes, the most notorious sculpture this side of Michelangelo’s David has settled into its forever home. The Púca, sculpted by Aidan Harte, and originally intended for the town of Ennistymon, was unveiled this afternoon at the Michael Cusack Centre, the birthplace of the founder of the GAA. The Burren community in North Clare gathered at the Carron facility for the official unveiling of the Púca, which has famously been rejected by Ennistymon, after a backlash in the town over what objectors said was a lack of public consultation. A public vote held online by Clare County Council ultimately led to Ennistymon saying no to the artwork, and the local authority seeking expressions of interests from other entities and communities in north Clare to give the Púca a home. Harte, who was commissioned by the Arts Office of Clare County Council to produce the artwork, said, “I want …

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Call for one-stop-shop to support Clare pyrite homeowners

A CALL has been made for the opening of a ‘one stop shop’ in Clare to support midwestern homeowners affected by pyrite.  Deputy Cathal Crowe is seeking the facility, which would be overseen by The Housing Agency and would support homeowners accessing the new defective concrete blocks grant scheme. The calls has been made in parallel with the progressing of the Remediation of Dwellings Damaged by Defective Concrete Blocks Bill 2022. Deputy Crowe said the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) is examining the option of opening regional support centres and he believes that the centre for the midwest should be located in Clare.  “The Housing Agency would oversee this,” he told The Champion. “It would provide an interface between the public and government staff and support homeowners in accessing the grant and getting remediation works done.” The new Bill, published last Tuesday evening (June 21), is a 62-page document outlining the revised blocks scheme. While Clare and …

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Official launch of Glenwood Ambush Centenary Book

THE Bunratty Manor hotel was the venue for the official launch of the 170-page Centenary Book of the ambush at Glenwood which took place on January 20, 1921.  This launch, which had previously been deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, was performed by the Mayor of Clare, Councillor PJ Ryan. The Council chairperson was assisted by Mr Flan McCarthy and Mr Mick Ryan, who are joint presidents of the Glenwood Ambush Memorial Committee.  The publication contains a number of different versions of what actually happened on ambush day in January 1921, and accounts of the later reprisals by the Black and Tans. There are some details too of a number of the participating volunteers, in as much as was possible for researchers to get the information. These include Martin ‘Neighbour’ McNamara, Joe Clancy, Tom McGrath, Mattie McGrath, James Hogan, Paddy McCarthy, Jackie Ryan, Jimmy McInerney, Miko Neville, Dinny Minogue, Mick Moloney, Mick Shaughnessy, Tom McInerney, Michael Cleary, Peter St Ledger, …

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Clare teacher over the moon with prestigious US scholarship

A South-East Clare primary school teacher has scooped a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to study in the USA. Eimear Millane has won the Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) scholarship to teach in the University of Connecticut for ten months. One of the 40  Fulbright Irish Awardees, Eimear was presented with her award at a ceremony in Iveagh House, Dublin, recently in recognition of the excellence of her study and research. In an interview with the Clare Champion, Eimear recalled she completed an interview for this scholarship last January, having applied the previous October. Under the Fulbright Programme, she will be teaching Irish as a minority language in the University of Connecticut for ten months, having opted to take a career break from her current job as a primary school teacher in Bunscoil Bhríde in Co. Kildare, where she oversees the Coiste Gaelach. The scholarship covers her flights and accommodation, while she will also be paid during her time as a teacher. …

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Fond memories recalled as Clare school closes after 143 years

THIS Friday will be a poignant day at Clohanbeg National School, as it closes its doors for the last time, after providing education to the people of the area since 1879. While the school had 12 pupils for the 2021/22 academic year, there would only have been four in September and it will be amalgamating with Cree.  Principal Pat Comber is retiring after 34 years at Clohanbeg and he said that numbers had been sliding in recent years. “There’s a lot of history in the school, it’s been open since 1879. Through thick and thin it stayed open, but for the last few years we have struggled with numbers. “We’re a standalone school out in the countryside and it’s hard to compete with other schools if you have only one or two coming in a year. “Children don’t want to be in a class on their own, and you wouldn’t blame their parents for not wanting it, it’s easy to …

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Leading Clare motor dealer has changed hands

A CLARE business that has been trading for nearly seven decades has been sold in one of the county’s most significant deals of 2022. Western Garages of Ennis has been operating as the main Volkswagen dealership in Clare for the last 66 years and has been acquired this week by Pierse Motors. The business has established itself as one of the region’s premier motor dealerships employing 20 staff members. Justin Wall and Brendan J Wall of Western Garages said, “We would like to sincerely thank our customers for their loyalty and custom over the past 66 years. The success of Western Garages would not have been possible without the loyalty of our customers. “We have a team of exceptional staff, who are trained to the highest standards and will continue to work with the Pierse Motor Group and be on hand to offer their expertise to customers from June 22. “We are confident that the Pierse Motor Group will continue …

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Killaloe Coast Guard Tasked To Tackle Speeding Jet Skis

    Jet ski operators, who drive at excessive speed on Lough Derg, are putting the lives of swimmers at risk, Killaloe Coast Guard has warned. Killaloe Coast Guard was tasked to assist local gardai deal with jet skis being operated at dangerous speeds near Killaloe Bridge on Monday and Tuesday. A number of vessels were requested to return to the relevant slipways and the owners were spoken to by Gardai. A Coast Guard spokesman told the Clare Champion that some jet ski operators were driving at speed of up to 60 kilometres an hour near Killaloe Bridge in a speed limit area of about five kilometres. He said some jet skis were doing “doughnuts”, which is akin to doing a hand break turn on the water, which in turn creates a backwash that causes issues for boats being knocked against jetties and swimmers. During periods of hot weather, he said large numbers of young teenagers are congregating and swimmers …

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Flood relief works will help Ennis reach ‘true potential’

THE delivery of flood protection defences for Ennis paves the way for the future development of the county capital into “the town it really has the potential to be”, Minister of State Pat O’Donovan said this week. The Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme, the final of three flood defence schemes in the town, was officially opened on Tuesday by the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works. This scheme provides protection from flooding to the residential areas of Ballybeg, Clareabbey and Toberteascáin as well as St Flannan’s College and the Quin Road Business Park. Minister O’Donovan said working in partnership with the OPW, Clare County Council has delivered peace of mind to 121 home owners and five businesses in the local community with this last phase. Speaking at the opening, Minister O’Donovan said the future growth potential of the town was dependent on flood defence works being carried out; that industrial, tourism, housing, commercial and retail …

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