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Scariff anti-mask protests strongly condemned

ANGER over the regular presence in Scariff of a number of people protesting about pandemic public health guidelines has prompted furious debate on social media and a rejection of the anti-mask agenda. Since the end of last year, a group of up to 10 people been gathering in the centre of the East Clare town at weekends, carrying placards with phrases including, ‘Breathe again, masks do nothing’ and ‘I am here for your freedom too’. It is understood the group operate under the name ‘Vigil for Freedom’. In recent days, The Champion has been contacted by a concerned senior citizen living locally. In a strongly-worded letter, the man said he was “angered and appalled” by the demonstrations and the “callous disregard” of those taking part. “At this time when hospitals are being overrun by the sick and dying it is just not acceptable to have this type of demonstration going on,” he said. “Doctors, nurses and other health workers are …

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Quirky challenge tests local knowledge of Clare’s postal staff

TWO Clare men have been keeping postal staff on their toes with a series of riddles designed to test their local knowledge. Gearóid Kelly from Feakle and Tony McTeigue from Kilnamona have exchanged Christmas cards over the last five years. Rather than simply writing a name and address on the envelope, the pair have taken to coming up with cryptic instructions that have, almost always, led to the successful delivery of their post. While Gearóid works in Dublin and Tony in Australia, the two have sent cards and letters to each other’s home address, in the hope that local ties will help postal staff to decipher their destinations. “We’ve known each other since going to college in NUI Galway,” Gearóid told The Champion. The Business Information Systems graduate, an accordion player, met fellow Clare native, Tony, who plays banjo, at the college’s Trad Soc. “We were always up for a laugh and a few practical jokes alright,” he said. Now …

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Remembering the Glenwood Ambush of 1921

PLANS to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Glenwood ambush on Wednesday next, January 20, have now been deferred to later in the year in compliance with Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions. A very scaled down commemorative event will take place on the anniversary, however, with the lighting of a memorial lamp and the flying of a tricolour. The mounting of a commemoration plaque aptly named ‘An Teach Sábháilte,’ the Safe House, will go ahead as planned, but the unveiling has deferred to a future date. The wall plaque is being sculptured and fitted by Michael McTigue, and will take the shape of a 1920-style house. It will include revolutionary figures, facilitated by the bravery of women including members of Cumann na mBan. They provided support including food and shelter to the volunteers while on the run during the War of Independence. Other items on the plaque will include the rising sun and a semi-completed harp to signify the dawn of …

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Scariff native appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait and Qatar

A SCARIFF native has been appointed by the Pope as the apostolic nuncio to the Middle Eastern states of Kuwait and Qatar. In recent days, Pope Francis conferred the role on Archbishop Eugene M Nugent who is originally from Scariff. The 62-year-old was previously the nuncio in Haiti where he worked for the last six years. He will transfer to Kuwait in the middle of February. A graduate in Celtic Studies from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Archbishop Nugent subsequently studied theology and canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome. He also studied diplomacy and international relations at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome. He was ordained a priest in Scariff on July 9, 1983 for the Diocese of Killaloe. Having entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1992 at the age of 33, he worked as secretary in the nunciatures in Turkey, Israel and Palestine and subsequently at the Holy See Study Mission in Hong …

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Icy weather prompts call for review of East Clare road gritting plan

GREATER efforts must be made to keep key local link roads passable during the current winter lockdown, according the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Pat Hayes made his remarks at this week’s meeting of the district committee noting that during the recent lengthy spell of sub-zero temperatures, there were particular issues around Flagmount and between Feakle and Scariff. In a motion calling for a review of the Winter Gritting Plan, the Fianna Fáil member noted that the Feakle-Scariff road and the Gort-Tulla road are among some key routes currently excluded from the plan. “These roads need to be included as a matter of urgency for the safety of motorists,” he said. “Now that people have to stay within 5km of their homes, it’s particularly important that they can safely access local services. If you take O’Meara’s in Flagmount, people have to be able to get there safety for essential food and supplies. I’m calling on the council to …

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Scariff community ‘keep her lit’ for January

SCARIFF is among the growing list of towns nationwide who have decided to leave festive public lighting in place over the dark days of January. The idea was mooted last week by members of the County Roscommon community of Elphin, and Scariff Community Council has responded to the call by deciding to leave the Christmas Tree lit up until the end of this month. Councillor Valerie Byrne, from Elphin, said up to 100 towns all over Ireland have already joined the movement to keep the festive cheer going for as long as possible in the face of the third wave of the pandemic. To-date, towns and village in Roscommon, Mayo, Kildare and Clare are taking part and Christmas lights will also stay on in Ennis until the end of January. Scariff Community Council said in a Facebook post, that “with the festive period cut short due to Level 5 restrictions, the lights are hoped to lift spirits and guide locals …

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New estate planned for Tulla

THIRTY-SIX new homes could be on the way for Tulla, with an application for a residential development being considered by planners for a site on the outskirts of the village. Rockfort Developments plan to build 14 detached homes as well as 16 semi-detached and six terraced houses off the L4078, with a pedestrian connection to the exiting footpath into town. The site, of just over 1.8 hectares, is located inside the 50kmph speed limit in an area zoned for low-density residential development under the Tulla Settlement Plan. It is currently a greenfield site, bounded to the north by the Cúirt na bhFiach estate, to the east by O’Halloran’s filling station, and to the west by a single private home. To the south, the site is delineated by the public road, with St Joseph’s Secondary School just opposite. A design statement, submitted as part of the application, outlines that eleven of the detached homes would have four bedrooms, while the remaining …

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Banner teams strive for title of Ireland’s fittest family

TWO ultra-fit Clare families will put their strength and stamina to the test on national television over the coming weeks in a bid to be crowned Ireland’s Fittest Family. The hit TV show, which already features Clare man and Wexford hurling boss, Davy Fitzgerald, will see the Kulczynski family from Ennis and the O’Halloran family from Newpark, Kilkishen go through extreme endurance challenges in settings from ski slopes to bogs. Over the course of the series, which started last Sunday on RTÉ One, a total of 16 families will be whittled down to four for a gruelling final contest, from which only one winning team can emerge. With highly impressive fitness credentials, the Kulczynski family are hotly tipped to stay in contention until the very end. Elite junior triathlete, Sabian has multiple national titles in triathlons, aquathons and duathlons and represents Ireland in competitions across Europe. He is a swimmer, mountain biker, road biker and used to run cross country. …

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