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East Clare

A rich legacy in local education

THE collaborative approach that resulted in a new school build, total refurbishment and upgrading of the old primary school in Meelick has been lauded by a retiring principal. Marie O’Looney has confirmed that she will be stepping down from the position of principal at Scoil Mhuire in Meelick, effective from August 31 of this year. In a letter to parents at the school, the Miltown Malbay native, who has been living between Miltown and Caherdavin in recent years, recalled that it has been a privilege to serve in the school since 1988, first as a teacher and latterly as a principal from 2012 onwards. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to each member of the school community for your unwavering support and kindness throughout my tenure,” she said. “Your dedication to the success and well-being of the school has been instrumental in our advancements and achievements, including a new school build, total refurbishment and upgrading of the old school, …

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Tearmann a sanctuary in Quin

A derelict unsafe inaccessible public space has been turned into a new multifunctional safe haven in front of Quin Friary, thanks to the hard work of the local tidy towns’ committee. An Tearmann, or The Sanctuary, will be officially opened by Evanne Canny, the daughter of the late Lizzie Clune, a trojan tidy towns’ worker and Clare County Council road sweeper, James Doherty, while master of ceremonies for the event will be Clare Rose, Aisling O’Connor on Saturday, June 15, at 3pm. Two years ago, Ms Clune switched on the Christmas Lights in the sanctuary and the group wanted to honour her memory by asking her daughter to do the official honours with Mr Doherty. Refreshments and food will be supplied to the entire village after the official opening, which are sponsored by local businesses. A showcase of local musicians, singers and storytellers organised by fiddle player, Maeve Donnelly will converge in the local hall, while the Ennis Brass Band …

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Timeline announced for Holy Island centre

Clare County Council are planning to open the new interpretative centre for Holy Island in Mountshannon in the first quarter of 2025. The local authority is working closely with utilities to put in place the necessary infrastructure to support the refurbishment of the old rectory. Theresa Lannon Hughes of Clare Tourism outlined at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting the refurbishment of the old rectory is continuing with the objective of opening it as a visitor centre in the first quarter of next year. It is expected plans for a Part Ten planning application will be completed for An Bord Pleanála in September , while a tender will be sought for the fit out of the interpretative centre in the coming weeks. The public realm works in Mountshannon are due to start in the second week in June and will involve 75 metres sections to avoid as much disruption as possible. One side of the street in Mountshannon will be …

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Special day for Derg as Killaloe club gets Olympic recognition

A new Special Olympics Athletics Club is on the right track in Killaloe following research and planning undertaken by a local disability activist. Derg AC Inclusive Athletics was unveiled as a Special Olympics Athletics Club at an official launch in Clarisford Park, Killaloe on Saturday. This ensures that children can enter Special Olympics competitions, while Derg AC can now cater for more young members with special needs who want to participate in these events. This is in addition to the inclusive one-hour training session hosted by Derg AC in Clarisford Park on Saturday mornings. Nicola Welford, who set up the Inclusive Athletics Club in Derg AC, recalled it has taken a year to get through a lot of hoops and put all the necessary arrangements in place for the new club. Last year, five or six children won medals in competitions run by the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA), which was a source of great pride to the club. However, it …

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Tennis brings hope to refugees

A KILLALOE tennis coach is serving up more free coaching sessions for underprivileged children and adults in memory of his parents in Romania from June 23 to 29. Wesley O’Brien is raising money to fund his latest overseas trip through his charity “Hit and Hope”. Mr O’Brien set up this charity to bring free tennis lessons and equipment to kids and youth affected by war and conflict. It has grown to provide tennis coaching in refugee camps, disadvantaged communities, underprivileged kids and special needs families from all over Europe. His latest venture will be done in memory of his parents who died within three weeks of each other earlier this year. Mary O’Brien, née Reddan, Crossroads, Killaloe, died on Christmas Eve, 2003 before her husband, Eddie on January 14, 2024. “I was doing these trips for a long time before my parents passed away. But these trips are particularly relevant to me now. I like to think that my parents’ …

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Hidden gem discovered on the road not taken

THE UPGRADING of an East Clare route into a new greenway could become a major tourist attraction, according to a local historian. Ger Madden believes there are few roads in the Sliabh Aughties as worthy of being kept in repair as the old road from Mountshannon to Flagmount linking Lough Derg and Lough Graney, which was built in 1841. Unfortunately, it is probably one of the worst roads in the country. Describing this as the “road less travelled” and a real “gem”, Mr Madden believes it should be developed into a greenway at a fraction of the millions of Euro being spent on developing other similar developments in the county. “It is a vital link if tourism is ever going to be developed in the Sliabh Aughties. It is a mystery in this age of greenways why it is so neglected,” he said. “This road and an off shoot to Woodford through the nearly deserted village of Derrygoolin has the …

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Undercover operation at Killaloe Ballina Tennis Club

Killaloe Ballina Tennis Club has served up a major volley after completing a state-of-the-art €1 million development with two permanently covered tennis courts, which are the first of its kind outside Dublin. More than a decade of countless hours planning and sourcing the best materials and facilities for a huge steel frame dome means that 700 members can book a slot to play tennis all year round regardless of weather conditions. Club chairman, Patrick Seymour pointed out the committee didn’t employ any overall contractor or site manager as various elements were broken down and managed using the expertise of committee and club members, which saved a lot of money. “Building on the project started in August 2021. It was a long construction project. During the project work had to be parked to allow us to plan for the next phase. “Construction of the dome started last October, which has just been completed. There were times during the project when we …

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Big step forward for walking route

Waterways Ireland has been urged to proactively engage with landowners once the preferred route for the proposed Limerick to Scariff Greenway is selected. This was stressed by Councillor Pat Burke (FG) following a presentation by Waterways Ireland, Western Regional Manager, Brian Treacy at a recent Killaloe Municipal District meeting. As a farmer working on the shores of Lough Derg near Dromann Harbour, Burke recalled he has received phone calls from land owners on the Limerick and Clare side of Lough Derg enquiring if the final route selection has been made. “If someone gets on a bike in Limerick and arrives in Scariff along the greenway and asks where is Iniscealtra or Holy Island and how do we get there, in my view, it should have continued to Mountshannon,” he said. “Even if the greenway went north of Scariff, it doesn’t have to run by the lakeshore. It should connect to Mountshannon in some form from the low or the high …

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