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East Clare

Call for clarity on Clare paths and trailways funding

CLARITY on a schedule of works for footpaths in East Clare has been sought by Councillor Joe Cooney. Addressing the most recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, the Fine Gael member called on the local authority to outline the footpaths programme for 2021. “We don’t know yet the housing developments which are to have their paths fixed this year,” he outlined. “In some cases, the estates are between 40 and 60 years old. Many of them have paths which need upgrading. I have previously invested my General Municipal Allocation (GMA) funding and I would have no problem doing it again. I’m thinking of the likes of Beechwood Lawn in Bodyke and areas in O’Callaghan’s Mills and Hillcrest Grove in Kilkishen.” Councillor Cooney also asked whether the walking trail from Killaloe will be connected to Tuamgraney. “Fantastic work has already been done,” he noted. “There is a section still to be done as you come down the hill from Raheen. …

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Nothing Can Stop Relay For Life Ennis

AS WE face into a second summer of restricted events, Relay for Life Ennis won’t let a pandemic stop them from keeping up the fight against cancer. Instead of gathering at Tim Smythe Park, Relay for Life Ennis will be gathering virtually again this year to help raise awareness and needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society. Auriol Considine, Relay for Life Ennis Chairperson, said: “Relay for Life Ennis has grown into an important community event, and we didn’t want that community spirit to lose momentum. We are challenging teams to collectively walk 240kms by June 19 sticking with the 24 [hour] theme of the actual event. We have some other enthusiastic teams that have decided to do their own events such as hiking Mullaghmore and Carrauntoohill or running in Lahinch. We’re thrilled with whatever way people want to get involved as it all helps to raise awareness and builds community spirit which is at the heart of Relay for …

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Pilgrimage planner diversifies into international matchmaking

A SCARIFF man, who runs pilgrimages to the Holy Land and other religious sites, is to diversify by offering what he describes as “dating tours” to the Ukraine. James Treacy has teamed up with an American tour operator, A Foreign Affair, which runs so-called “singles introduction tours” to Eastern Europe, South America and Asia. The professional photographer is hoping to bring 30 men to Kiev next year and told The Champion he has already had interest from Clare men looking for wives. Mr Treacy insisted everyone involved is genuinely looking for long-term love and that there is no question of sex tourism. “The men are vetted by me,” he outlined. “Some of them have never had a girlfriend. They are genuinely looking for wives. This is not a sex tour. The cost of the tour is too high for anyone who isn’t looking for a serious relationship.” As to the issue of potential exploitation, Mr Treacy said the women involved …

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Tulla students raise Barretstown funds in memory of Labhaoise

SCHOOLMATES of the late Tulla teenager, Labhaoise Fitzgerald, have raised €10,000 for one of her favourite charities, Barretstown. The 17-year-old passed away in January after a six-year battle with an aggressive brain tumour. The pandemic restrictions in place at the time of Labhaoise’s passing meant fellow students at St Joseph’s Secondary School were unable to fully pay their respects to someone who was hugely popular and highly regarded. When they returned to school in March, they set about a virtual mountain climb in her memory and to support a charity for which Labhaoise was a passionate advocate right up to her final days. “The whole school was involved and really wanted to carry on Labhaoise’s message,” explained class teacher, Donna Fitzgerald. “We set a target of €3,000 and it’s an incredible feeling to have raised more than three times that. Different classes and the staff chose a mountain and had to clock up the steps it would take to climb …

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Online meeting will probe Scariff water quality issues

IMPROVING the water quality of key waterways in East Clare is to be the subject of an online meeting next Wednesday, June 9 at 7.30pm. The community information event will focus on the role people can play in improving the Lower River Graney Catchment, which includes Lough O’Grady, flows through Scariff town, and along by Scariff Harbour and Reddan’s Quay in Tuamgraney, before entering Lough Derg. The catchment forms one of 190 Prioritised Areas for Action (PAA) for focused water quality improvements under the current River Basin Management Plan. The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) works to promote a healthy water environment by identifying water quality issues and seeking ways to improve them. LAWPRO will be visiting the Lower River Graney Catchment later this year and will work with the public, State agencies and the agricultural and forestry sectors to address water quality issues. LAWPRO encourages local people to get involved in the management of their local water bodies. Scariff …

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Dramatists explore impact of pandemic in new radio play

A RADIO play which prompts people to look at their lives before the Covid-19 pandemic will be broadcast this Saturday, June 5, with the support of Mountshannon Arts. To Myself; Before, will air on Scariff Bay Community Radio, and is a production of WayWord Theatre, founded by Clare-based artists Eavan Brennan, Siobhán Donnellan and Ruth Smith. As inspiration for the production, WayWord put out a call to members of the public inviting submissions in the form of letters asking what they would have told themselves had they known a global pandemic was on the horizon. According to the trio, the responses were as varied as they were surprising and encompassed a huge emotional spectrum. The radio play comprises pieces of text from the submissions and will air on Scariff Bay Community Radio on Saturday at 8pm. The special broadcast will include a live pre- and post-show discussion with the WayWord three. The work of WayWord Theatre is inspired by the …

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Radio online only pending licence

SCARIFF BAY COMMUNITY RADIO (SBCR) will be online only until it secures another licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). The highly popular weekend station, run by volunteers, had been operating under a 100-day licence which expired on Saturday, May 29. A statement from the board said: “As before, we now have to stop FM transmissions until, hopefully, we receive our ten-year FM licence, which we have applied for.” In the meantime, SBCR said it is to continue its normal schedule and produce shows, making them available online, on mobile players and as podcasts on Scariffbayradio.com. Eoin O’Hagan, PRO for the station, said the long-term plan is to operate under a 10-year licence, which could be secured by the autumn. The 100-day licence is due to be granted in advance of that. “We’re delighted that our roster of presenters has grown through the Covid lockdown,” Mr O’Hagan said. “We’ve increased the number of shows broadcast, including broadcasting Mass, our …

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Worry about Green Party ‘wobbly’ on crucial Clare road

AN EAST Clare councillor described himself as “a fraction nervous” over the Green transport minister’s commitment to progressing the Killaloe Bypass. After receiving a detailed update on the multimillion euro project at the May meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Burke expressed the hope that Minister Eamon Ryan would not have “a wobbly”. The Fine Gael member noted the Council hopes to proceed to tender, subject to ministerial approval, around mid-June. The official response described that stage in the project as a “milestone” in a time-frame that could see major works get underway early next year, with a possible completion date of 2025. Commenting on a written update from Seán Lenihan, Senior Engineer at the Council’s Projects Management Office (PMO), Councillor Burke commended the works. “Excellent progress has been made,” he remarked. “I am a fraction nervous about a section of the response which says that ‘all going well’ the minister will give approval for tendering. “I would …

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