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East Clare

Flagmount woman’s poetry raises funds for IKA

A FLAGMOUNT woman is using her new-found literary talent to express her gratitude to an organisation to that supported her to donate a kidney to her husband. Reah Higgins and her husband Aaron underwent surgery in January 2017 so that the couple could share the gift of life. For a number of years up to that point, Aaron had been on gruelling dialysis to manage his chronic kidney disease. “I was a live donor in this instance and fortunately it was a success,” said Reah, “We were blessed to be a match and it was a miracle really and life changing, in that we could make plans again. We had been very restricted before with Aaron on dialysis three times a week and often ill or fatigued. He now has lots more energy, less hospital appointments and his spark back.” Together with their sons Fionn (12) and Stephen (10), the couple have been enjoying greater freedom until the pandemic hit …

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Report finds evidence of attacks on Clare birds of prey

EIGHT incidents involving the killing of birds of prey have been recorded in Clare over a ten-year period, a new report on the unnatural deaths of raptors reveals. The study was carried out by the Raptor Protocol (Recording and Addressing Persecution and Threats to Our Raptors), which involves the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Veterinary Laboratory Service and State Laboratory and published earlier this month. Incidents in this county included the poisoning of a White Tailed Sea Eagle at Lough Derg in East Clare in October 2017. Some of the other incidents recorded in this county concern the killing of peregrine falcons in the Loop Head area. The findings have prompted government to announced the setting up of a new unit within the NPWS to address wildlife crime. Nationally, a wide range of causes of death for the raptors are listed. These include poisoning, persecution, fence, road and turbine collisions. Some of the incidents would have had …

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Carpe Diem challenge goes virtual in Eimear’s memory

A BURSARY in memory of a young Caher musician and teacher will be boosted this year by an online performance and fundraising challenge, running over the next fortnight. Eimear Noonan died tragically after a fall while out running in Annonay in the south of France, were she worked at Font Chevalier Primary School. The passing of talented musician in November 2017 prompted her family to set up The Eimear Noonan Music Bursary to support others in their musical studies. The Carpe Diem concert, also became an annual event, held in November, in Eimear’s memory. Covid-19 restrictions have meant that a formal gathering this November isn’t possible, so instead, Carpe Diem has gone virtual and singers and musicians across the county are being invited to share their performances on social media between November 1 and 15. Performers are asked to post a video of a performance to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok, using the hashtag #CarpeDiemSingAndPlay. They can then nominate others …

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Gardaí recover van from Broadford lake

GARDAÍ have linked a vehicle removed recently from a lake in Broadford to a crime that happened 22 years ago. A fisherman out on the water detected an image of the van on sonar equipment and alerted the authorities. After speaking to members of Killaloe Gardaí, who requested the support of the Garda Water Unit, the fisherman brought specialist officers to the location on the lake. Members of the unit launched a rib to pinpoint the exact location of the van which was brought to the surface and recovered from the water. During follow-up inquiries, Gardaí established that the vehicle had been reported stolen in 1998. Gardaí have confirmed that further enquiries are to be made.

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Broadband frustrations increase for East Clare residents working from home

FRUSTRATION at poor broadband across large sections of East Clare has intensified as more people try to work and study from home in response to the pandemic. One Tulla resident has told The Champion of her efforts to improve her family’s service which has involved contacting ten different providers, to no avail. The women, who lives just a few kilometres from the town, is a customer with Eir and uses a mobile broadband dongle. “I originally had broadband through the phone line and the service was very poor,” she explained. “The mobile device is supposed to provide wireless internet for up to ten devices, but if you have any more than two connected, it is a disaster. I’m working from home and my daughter was in Leaving Cert, so her studies had to take priority. At best, the service is okay, but that’s all. It is affected by bad weather too, which doesn’t help.” After trying ten different service providers …

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Tulla employer pioneers staff wellness projects

OVER 400 employees at Beckman Coulter in Tulla, can look forward to adding an extra spring in their step – the company just opened a beautiful 5k nature trail and walkway at its farmland site. The biomedical device maker is situated on an 85 hectare farm that includes a number of lakes and the ruins of an old castle can be viewed– as well as a walled garden and hardwood forest. The site is also home to bees, bats and a wormery that helps to recycle water. The walkway was completed in time for World Mental Health Day, last Saturday, and Mental Health Week. Commenting, Site Director Orlaith Lawler said, “Our engineering and facilities team worked with our Environmental Health and Safety officers to put this in place. It offers all our employees a stunning new amenity where they can enjoy some relaxation, exercise and mindfulness.” The trail is part of a range of innovative new measures designed to help …

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Quin residents say Knappogue and Craggaunowen have been ‘abandoned’

CONCERN in the Quin area over the ongoing closure of two local Shannon Heritage sites has prompted a call for an action committee to ensure their future. With the advent of the pandemic last March, five sites in Clare and Limerick faced an uncertain future, due to the collapse in overseas visitor numbers. Only Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle in Limerick have managed to stay open after intense campaigns involving staff, unions and politicians, and a promise of funding from government – the exact details of which are still being ironed out. Ger O’Halloran of Quin, a businessman and former local election candidate, has pleaded with those responsible not to abandon Knappogue Castle and Craggaunowen, and called for a local action committee to be established. “To look at Knappogue now, it is locked up and unkempt looking,” he remarked. “The longer it is closed, the more it will cost to get it open again. To maintain …

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Scariff links for writer who has made ‘novel’ debut

A FASCINATING novel on the fortunes of an Irish man who fought in World War One has just been published by a man with strong East Clare revolutionary roots. Dubliner Brendan Lynch is the son of a Scariff native and spent many happy summers in the Banner County. Brendan Lynch is the author of nine books to-date, and The Old Gunner and his Medals is his first novel, which he has published at the age of 80. A former racing cyclist and driver, railway clerk and journalist, Brendan was imprisoned in the 1960 for his activities with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). His books include City of Writers, inspired by his acquaintance with Brendan Behan and JP Dunleavy. Author Colum McCann said of the book that that it showed “the who, what, where, when, how and why of a place that is built on the intricacies of language”. Brendan’s interest in history is probably inspired in part by his …

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