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Clare Champion Obituaries

Tributes paid on passing of Tulla’s Cornelia Wahli

THE joy and enthusiasm brought by Swiss native, Cornelia Wahli, to her adopted home in Tulla, was remembered at her funeral mass last Sunday (June 12). A passionate environmentalist, Cornelia came to Ireland as an au pair, bidding farewell to her native Frauenfeld in Thurgau, Switzerland. She lived for a time in Dublin, and later on Tory Island, before moving to Clare and becoming deeply involved in community life and environmental activism. She was a prominent member of The Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) and the instigator of climate initiatives including ‘Operation Deplastification’ and ‘Slim Your Bin’. Cornelia had also made a major submission to the forthcoming Clare County Development Plan. In it, she urged people to work towards an organic and chemical-free Clare over the coming decades. She told The Champion, at the time, that the inspiration for this vision was her granddaughter and other children whom she hoped would grow up in a flourishing environment.  In Tulla, Cornelia …

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Late Hilary had true love of life and made time for everyone

A BAREFIELD teacher renowned for her love of languages has been remembered as an “inspiration” following her passing. Hilary Anne Niehues (nee Doyle) grew up in Dublin and spent several years in Germany before returning with her husband Wilhelm to Ireland and settling in Barefield. She taught in a number of Clare schools and has been fondly remembered by her many neighbours, colleagues and friends. Her good friend Marion Coughlan Flynn, former principal of St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart was recently moved to honour Hilary by gathering together a collection of moving tributes from those who knew her. She first met Hilary as a mature student of German in the ‘90s. “A real lady she was; kind, empathetic, selfless, good humoured – a real decent human being. Many an evening I returned from school to find a bag of scones, a tart, a carton of cream and of course home-made marmalade hanging on the back door. Birthdays were never …

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Scariff mourns passing of of a local legend

WARM tributes have been paid on the passing of Scariff’s Seán Brogan, described as “a man who did so much in the course of his life”. Mr Brogan, of Cappabane, was Chairperson of Scariff GAA Club. He was widely known and highly respected in sporting and political circles across the county and further afield. On Sunday last, in Cusack Park, ahead of the meeting of Clare and Waterford in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship, supporters showed their respect during a minute’s silence. At his funeral mass on Monday (May 23) in Scariff, mourners shared fond memories of Mr Brogan’s many achievements and the impact he made on his community.  Requiem mass was concelebrated by Parish Priest, Fr Joe McMahon and Fr Brendan Moloney. Fr McMahon spoke of Mr Brogan’s “preoccupation with the GAA” and remembered him as “a man who did so much for the young people of the parish”. Tributes brought to the altar included a Scariff Hurling jersey, …

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Tributes paid to innovative former Clare county manager

FORMER county manager Joe Boland passed away last week in his hundreth year and following his death, there have been many tributes paid to him and the contribution he made to Clare. Lissycasey’s PJ Kelly has been a county councillor since 1974 and for the first nine years of his career he dealt regularly with Mr Boland, who he said had been responsible for several great innovations, which improved the quality of life for many people in Clare. “He arrived in the 1960s and at that stage there were a lot of thatched houses in Ennis. He was involved in four major improvement schemes at the Turnpike, St Michael’s, Marian Avenue and Hermitage. “As far as rural Clare was concerned he was a step ahead of his time. He arranged a water scheme from Doolough Lake which served most of west Clare, it was one of the biggest schemes in the country at the time.” “Then in 1978 he brought …

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Tributes paid to late Dr Brían O’Rourke at funeral

“A GOOD man in every way,” was one neighbour’s description of the late Dr Brían O’Rourke, scholar, author, songwriter and linguist, who was laid to rest in Feakle this week.  Crowds thronged St Mary’s Church and the Angelus bell rang out, as the simple wicker coffin was carried in, adorned with carnations and roses – a nod to Brían’s famous comic ballad, ‘Chantal de Champignon’. Figures from the worlds of politics, literature, drama and broadcasting attended the funeral, as well as former colleagues from the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) where Dr O’Rourke had previously lectured in Heritage Studies.  Brían, a native of Ratheniska, County Laois, passed away, at the age of 73, at his home in Magherabaun on Friday, April 8. His funeral mass was concelebrated by his brother Fr Caoimhín. His broadcaster brother, Seán and sister Anne, brought up the offeratory gifts. Symbols were presented of Brían’s life. Among them was a copy of his book, Blas …

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Late Kilkee man was a fount of genealogical knowledge

“WHEN an old man dies, a library burns”. This saying was certainly true with the death on March, 21, 2002, at 12.30am, of Michael Falvey. Born on April 3, 1924, Michael spent most of his life working on the family farm in Kilkee. The Falveys ran a dairy, delivering milk to the people of Kilkee and surrounding areas.     He left Kilkee Lower for a short period to take up employment in the midlands with Bórd na Móna where Michael kept payment records for the workers. But he soon returned to his native place. In full health, Michael was a regular traveller by bus and ship to his brother Tommy and family in Birmingham. A proud father, he looked forward to visits and phone calls from his family at home and abroad and loved to follow their life journey and careers. A keen genealogist and founder member of Clare Roots Society, Michael had an exceptional brain for tracing families …

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Funeral hears of late Stephanie’s home of warmth and love

AT STEPHANIE Fitzpatrick’s funeral on Thursday, Father Robert McNamara paid tribute to the warmth of Stephanie’s family, writes Owen Ryan. Fr McNamara addressed a packed church in Lisdoonvarna, with many more listening outside to the homily. “When I was just in my first week here in Lisdoon, Marian asked me to drop in to see Biddy. I arrived, Biddy had the kettle on, and she asked Marian to put out the good jug for the priest. It was far I was reared from jugs! “Anyway, Biddy then produced this wonderful brown bread, for which I later discovered she was famous, and it was in the sharing of that bread that love and warmth and hospitality became really present, and God was there too undercover. “As the philosopher Wittgenstein had written over his doorway: ‘bidden or unbidden, God is present’. “That home of hospitality and love and welcome was the home that Stephanie came from, and it was a home of …

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Funeral details of victim of Clare crash announced

THE funeral Mass of the late Stephanie Fitzpatrick, who died in a fatal road traffic collision near Lahinch on Saturday, will take place this Thursday. Miss Fitzpatrick will be reposing in the Corpus Christi Church, Lisdoonvarna this Wednesday February 23 from 5pm with funeral prayers at 8pm. Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday February 24 at 11am, with burial afterwards in the Holy Rosary Cemetery Doolin. Those attending Stephanie’s funeral are kindly requested to adhere to HSE guidelines at all times. Stephanie was predeceased by her father Patrick (Pap) and is deeply regretted by her loving mother Biddy, brothers Pauric, Gerry, Noel, Kieran and Fintan, sisters Marian (Leneghan), Carole (Fitzpatrick), Tina (Meyler) and Eilish (Cosgrave), uncles Colie and Sean O’Loughlin, aunt Maura Roberts, brothers in law Brian Leneghan, Kevin Meyler, John Cosgrave and Philip Leahy, sisters in law Sarah Donegan, Danielle Festa, Sinead Byrne and Enara Agerri Leunda, nephews, nieces, relatives and a large circle of friends. May she …

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