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A reunion of the O’Gradys

‘WOUNDED but not defeated’, the words that adorn the O’Grady family crest and an appropriate motto for the man who would go on to become world heavyweight champion.It was an emotional day for three members of the O’Grady family in Ennis who not only were invited to attend the civic reception held in honour of Muhammad Ali’s visit, but they were all personally called on stage by Ali’s wife, Lonnie, to meet the champ.

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Corley’s vision realised this week

IT’S been seven years of a wait but this week saw the realisation of a vision long held by former Ennis Town Council chairman Michael Corley.Seven years ago, the former councillor first proposed that Muhammad Ali be invited to Ennis in light of the boxer’s family links with the town. And this week, Mr Corley was thrilled to sit amongst those invited to attend a civic reception held in the legendary boxer’s honour.

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Boxing fraternity pay homage

THE country’s boxing fraternity weighed in with their support for Muhammad Ali during the former heavy-weight boxing champion’s visit to Ennis this week.As well as local boxers, renowned Irish trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick was among those invited to attend the civic reception in which Muhammad Ali was honoured as the first Freeman of Ennis.

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Thousands gather at the Turnpike to meet The Greatest

THE sound of distant sirens stirred the approximate 2,500 people gathered in the Turnpike on Tuesday afternoon. An eclectic gathering surrounded the protective barriers, straining for optimum position, from where they hoped to acquire a view of Muhammad Ali. Gripped by excitement, dozens of children, most not tall enough to see over the barriers, peered through them. Many of their parents weren’t even born when Ali was king of the boxing world and a figure who spoke out on issues of race, war and religion. Yet the anticipation was sincere, regardless of age, race or home address of the people crammed together in Turnpike on September 1.   Decades removed from his peak, Muhammad Ali still has the capacity to unite and excite. As for the sirens, the first blast steered a tremor through the crowd. A minute or so later, a guard arrived on a motorbike, pursued by a BMW. Sensing that Ali was seated inside, a handful, including Kilfenora …

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Ali visit could have been a ‘disaster’

REPRESSIVE restrictions surrounding the visit of Muhammad Ali to the county town on Tuesday were lifted just hours before he was received at Waterpark House, where he was conferred with the Freedom of Ennis.Until a close family associate intervened on the morning of the event, Ennis town manager, Ger Dollard, admitted that Ennis Town Council had found it very difficult to organise the civic reception and the former world heavy-weight champion’s visit to Turnpike, where his great grandfather Abe Grady was born.

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Concern over rise of TB in Clare herds

CLARE IFA has called for the total removal of badgers from tuberculosis blackspots following the revelation that the county has the highest number of bovine reactors per 1,000 tests in Ireland.Official figures obtained by The Clare Champion reveal that tuberculosis (TB) is on the increase in Clare herds since 2006. Of the 6,361 herds in Clare in 2006, 173 had to be restricted from selling at marts or private sales, apart from slaughter, following 1,342 reactors. It breaks down to 3.58 reactors per 1,000 tests.

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O’Briensbridge publican reduces price of drink

A SOUTH-East Clare publican has vowed to drop the price of a pint to just €3, in a desperate bid to halt a dramatic 40% decline in business over the past year.The proprietor of The Mill Bar in O’Briensbridge, Kathleen Sciascia, actually closed her pub early at 10.30pm on Monday night because there were no customers.Concerned about the fall off in business over the summer months, Ms Sciacsia, who employs eight full-time and six part-time staff, has warned that if trade doesn’t improve she will be forced to curtail working hours for employees and rates of pay.

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Ireland for Europe group set about getting a yes to Lisbon

WITH a month left to go until the second Lisbon vote, it’s looking like the yes side will reverse last year’s result and this week, the Ireland for Europe group launched their Clare campaign. Former hurling star, Brian Lohan lent his support to the launch, which was held in Shannon on Wednesday but declined to speak about the upcoming poll. Scariff based Michael McNamara – who ran as an independent candidate in June’s European election – was also at the launch and he said the referendum hasn’t been won yet. “I’m very hopeful that it will pass but there’s no room for complacency. It is a very difficult document to sell and I think we have a large absence of trust in the country at the moment. There are no moral forces that are trusted any more. Politics is crumbling, the church has its problems and people are very reluctant to trust anybody. And people are very disenchanted, they’re unhappy …

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