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Cumann na mBunscol raffle for two All Ireland tickets

As the race for All Ireland tickets reaches fever pitch, Cumann na mBunscol an Chláir are holding a draw for two coveted All-Ireland final stand tickets next week. The organisation, which supports thousands of Clare youngsters to enjoy Gaelic games every year, will host a draw next Wednesday evening, at 8pm, with two tickets up for grabs. Tickets for the draw can be purchased online from the idonate website with one ticket available for €10 and 3 tickets available for €20. “This draw is a vital fundraiser for us, as it helps to offset the significant costs associated with running Gaelic games for schools throughout the year,” said a spokesperson. “The funds raised will go directly towards the development and sustainability of our programmes, ensuring that young athletes across Clare have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from Gaelic sports.” Cumann na mBunscol an Chláir organise Gaelic Games and Cross Country Running competitions for all Primary Schools in County …

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Andy’s great walk for Autism

WHEN the final whistle blew last Saturday, Andy Moloney decided he was going to take on a major challenge, to walk from Shannon to Dublin for the All Ireland Final. Now based in Edinburgh, Andy will be taking on the challenge to raise funds for autism. “I’m going to start it on Wednesday, July 17, it’ll be Shannon to Nenagh on day one. I’ll finish in Dublin on the Saturday, day two is Nenagh to Mountrath, then it’s Mountrath to Portlaoise and Portlaoise to Croke Park,” he says. “There will be about ten to 12 hours of walking each day, and I should be there at around 5pm on the Saturday.” While the walk was on his mind prior to Saturday’s victory, it wouldn’t have happened if Kilkenny had won. “I had the idea, I was saying to family and friends that I’d love to do another fundraiser, and that a walk to Croke Park would be interesting,” he said. …

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Dooley defends voting record

Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) has outlined his commitments as Co-President of the ALDE Party as one of the reasons why he finished third from the bottom in a Seanad league table for the number of votes he cast for the first six months of the year. The Fianna Fáil Senator voted nine times, compared to 17 for Senator Roisín Garvey and 33 for Senator Martin Conway after 36 ballots, which were held in the Seanad this year. Senator Dooley pointed out a vote is not held every day in the Seanad where ten votes could be held one day, there may be no vote for three or four weeks, there could be two votes before a long break with seven or eight held on another day. “You could be off site attending another meeting. You always have the permission of the whip to be absent. For the past two and a half to three years, I have been Co-President of …

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I’m in my 50s – is there an age when it is too late to start a pension?

One of the most asked questions we get! Many people in Ireland wonder when is it too late to start a pension. The answer is not simple, as it depends on several factors, such as your current income, your desired retirement age, your expected lifestyle and expenses, and the type of pension plan you choose. However, some general guidelines can help you make an informed decision. 1. First of all, it is never too late to start saving for your retirement. Even if you are in your 50s or 60s, you can still benefit from the tax relief and compound interest that a pension offers. However, the later you start, the more you will have to save each month to achieve a comfortable income in retirement. For example, if you start saving at age 25, you will need to save about 15% of your salary to have a pension of 50% of your salary at age 65. If you start …

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Rejoicing in the minor moments

THIS week sees the third series of Ennis man Fergal O’Keeffe’s podcast GAA Minor Moments come to a conclusion, with the final interviewee being GAA president Jarlath Burns. While the podcasts do have a GAA theme, they are also of broader interest with those featured including several people who would not be primarily known for hurling or football. Included are stars of other sports such as Niall Quinn, Mick Galwey and Billy Walsh, and musicians Danny O’Reilly from The Coronas and Bressie, who all played minor for their county before going in different directions. A passionate Clare supporter, Fergal’s interviewees have also included Jamesie O’Connor, Anthony Daly and most recently, Tony Griffin. He clearly does extensive research on his subjects beforehand, something that shines through, while he possesses a wonderful voice for broadcasting. Another big part of what has made the series a success is his willingness to broaden discussion, to give the listener a real sense of the person …

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Vikings are set to invade Killaloe

A GROUP of medieval Vikings will engage in an eagerly-anticipated battle reenactment in memory of a former High King of Ireland during the 31st annual Féile Brian Ború festival, which runs until July 7. Lakes Vikings is a group of Viking age enthusiasts with 20 years experience sailing Viking longboats and organising fun festivals and events. Their longboats have featured in several TV series and documentaries. This is the first time that this group will participate in the Killaloe festival, and it is about ten years since Vikings made their presence felt in the twin communities. It all happened by chance when Féile Brian Ború committee member, Cillian O’Meara, met Paul Kavanagh of Lakes Vikings at a conference in Northern Ireland and invited them to Killaloe, which was taken up by one of their key people about a month ago. At the time of writing, the group had 60 members signed up for their trip to Killaloe including international participants. …

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Civil war in West Clare over road hedge cutting

A civil war has erupted in West Clare over the treatment of road verges and hedging, with half of the population insisting that they are cut and the other half determined that they be left alone. A number of councillors urged the local Clare County Council to increase the level of hedge cutting at this week’s first meeting of the newly elected West Clare Municipal District. However, councillor were warned that any attempt to cut hedging outside of the legal season would lead to a barrage of emails from constituents who would labelling the local authority as “environmental vandals”. It is currently illegal to cut or destroy hedges in Ireland between March 1 and August 31, to protect vulnerable nature such as nesting birds. However, exceptions are allowed in areas where the safety of motorists is in question. A spokesperson from Clare County Council also said that the ultimate responsibility for maintaining the hedges lay with the landowners and that …

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Tubber sculptor coaxing life from stone

A North Clare sculptor is taking the art world by storm as part of the 10th annual Ballymaloe House Outdoor Sculptor Exhibition. Tubber sculptor, Tommy Brennan, has two pieces included in this year’s exhibition which is curated by Richie Scott, owner of the RSSculpture gallery. His two pieces entitled ‘Earth’s Sorrow’ and ‘Woman’ are two contrasting figurative pieces made in Burren limestone by the Clare sculptor. ‘Earth’s Sorrow’ aims to highlight mankind’s changed relationship with the earth and depicts a Mother Earth Gaia-like figure in a defensive pose lamenting pollution, loss of habitats and biodiversity in the pursuit of short-term profit. “The harmful impact of human activities on the planet is something that I am both keenly interested in and concerned about, and I wanted to capture this in a piece of art,” said Mr Brennan about this piece. The second piece, which is entitled ‘Woman’, depicts a reclining female figure in a relaxed casual pose. “I’m absolutely delighted to …

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