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Snake in the grass at West Clare graveyard

GARDAÍ were called to apprehend an unexpected visitor in West Clare last week after a woman reported an unusual apparition while she prayed in Kilmihil Graveyard.The woman contacted gardaí at about lunchtime on Friday and reported seeing a snake in the cemetery.Upon arriving at the scene. the gardaí caught and detained the four-foot corn snake but not before calling the Clare branch of the Irish Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.“It is not an ideal situation for a person, who could maybe have a phobia, to go into a graveyard and see a snake,” said Frankie Coote, inspector with Clare ISPCA.“The gardaí got in touch with me and enquired about the protocol for dealing with a snake. I explained that the main thing is to exercise caution and take a photo so that we could identify him. We would then examine the photograph, take it to a pet shop or look on the internet to see what type it …

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Finding a voice

FATE often provides a helping hand when it comes to career guidance. In Claire O’Loughlin’s case, communication would become a cornerstone of her life when she found herself effectively voiceless while on holiday in France when she was a teenager.In the heart of Marseilles, Claire felt her communication skills were almost redundant because of the language barrier. One particular incident in a restaurant left Claire feeling like she had no voice of her own. Having to ask her sister what the waiter was saying and to relay her order, the waiter spoke only to her sister, effectively ignoring Claire.Having now opened a speech centre in Ennis, Claire had in fact never heard of speech and language therapy until her English teacher suggested it as a career option during her Leaving Certificate. At the time, Claire was considering civil engineering because she loved maths but once she started to research the area, she remembered the communication difficulties she experienced during her …

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