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East Clare

Laura’s letter to the President

QUIN National School pupil, Lauren Wall took a persuasive writing exercise to great heights this year, when, instead of writing to her teacher like the rest of her class, she wrote to the President of Ireland. Fourth-class pupils at Scoil na Mainistreach were asked to write a letter to their teacher, Eleanor Gallagher, to try to persuade her where they would go on their school outing this summer. While the majority of the class did the task as assigned, 10-year-old Lauren took matters into her own hands and wrote to President Michael D Higgins, asking him if her class could visit him at the Áras. Her endeavour resulted in fourt- class students travelling to Dublin last Friday, for a tour of Áras an Uachtaráin. In her letter to President Higgins, which she sent on March 25 last the national school student wrote: “Hello, my name is Lauren Wall, I live in Quin, County Clare and I’m aware you are from …

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Lough Derg could benefit from National Park Status

LOUGH Derg could benefit if its status as a special protection area was upgraded to national park status in the future, according to a local white-tailed sea eagle conservation group. Chairman of the Mountshannon Eagle Group, Denis Minogue said he feels that Lough Derg, with its food source, has been a good attraction for the sea eagles, who have settled in Mountshannon, and have successfully bred another chick this season into the area. He said he would be encouraging the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to look at upgrading Lough Derg’s status in the future, if a few more pairs of sea eagles settle in East Clare. “If we had three or four pairs, they may even make Lough Derg a national park. They know they have a food source, you could deal with nine or 10 pairs there. That would be fantastic and everyone would benefit,” he said. Dr Allan …

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Tulla prepares for Cnoc na Gaoithe

The third annual  Féile Cnoc na Gaoithe gets underway in Tulla on the last weekend of this month. Celebrating fiddle music, with fiddle workshops, competitions and recitals, the cast is headed up by the legendary fiddle-player, Maurice Lennon, with Liam O’Connor, Anton MacGabhann, Bernadette Nic Gabhann and local legendary fiddle-player, Vincent Griffin. The festival highlights include a performance by Maurice Lennon. His father, Ben Lennon, is well-known as a master of the Leitrim style of traditional fiddle and his uncle, Charlie Lennon, is renowned as a composer, piano accompanist and fiddler. At 19, Maurice became the youngest person to win the Senior Fiddle Championship at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, held in Ennis in 1977. Shortly after this, he joined with three other All-Ireland champions to form Stockton’s Wing, with local Clare musicians, Kieran Hanrahan, Paul Roche and Tommy Hayes, with whom he composed, recorded and performed for the next 27 years. More recently, he has been composing and travelling the …

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Frank O’Meara is new Mayor of Tuamgraney

TUAMGRANEY’s community weekend attracted record numbers to the East Clare village this past bank holiday weekend, as the festival elected a new mayor, and celebrated the life and times of Brian Ború. After a hotly contested election campaign the new Mayor of Tuamgraney was announced as Frank O’Meara, representing Hassett’s Bar. A first time candidate, Frank beat off competition from Michael Daly representing Teach Uí Bhrian, Mary Hogan representing East Clare Equestrian Centre, and Louise Carey representing Ryans Fuels. With 2,200 votes cast across the whole weekend, it came down to 49 votes separating the mayor from his nearest rival, Louise Carey. The new mayor was announced at an event on Sunday night and the chain of office was presented to Frank O’Meara, by Councillor Joe Cooney, who knows a few things about poll topping, on Sunday night to a gathering of approximately 700 people in the Marquee at Hassetts. Frank’s first official duty as Mayor was on Monday when …

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Biodiversity event in Tuamgraney

CELT, the Centre for Environmental Living and Training is running three events as part of Biodiversity Week, which is focused on recording and identifying mosses, lichens and liverworts. On Wednesday they will hold a Raheen Oakwood event with students from the ALFA project, Active Learning for Adolescents, which is based in Tuamgraney. The surveying is being held to raise awareness of this microscopic world, which is part of our biodiversity. “Native woodlands are the richest land based habitat for biodiversity, Irelands authentic landscape is Western Atlantic temperate rainforest dominated by Oakwood, this habitat is rich in bryophytes and epiphytes (mosses, lichens, ferns, liverworts) due to the high moisture content and unique adaptability of the Oak woods through time,” Andrew St Ledger, native woodland specialist and CELT biodiversity co-ordinator outlined. The event involves recording mosses, lichens and liverworts in Irish oak woods, with separate identification sessions using a microscope as well as manuals the results will be compiled and then shared …

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Scariff youth club take time out to recreate Eden

A Scariff youth group were busy last weekend, helping their local Tidy Towns group and residents of the Connaught Road housing estate, create their very own Garden of Eden. Members of My Time Foróige Junior Youth Club joined with the Connaught Road Residents Association, Scariff Tidy Towns and the Irish Seedsavers Association to plant apple trees and fruit bushes provided by the Garden of Eden Project. In September 2013, the new Foróige youth club came into existence, catering for 10 to 12-year-olds, and has been going from strength to strength in the past eight months. Youth club leader, Tracey Doyle outlined how the group came about and what they have been involved in. “I’m involved with the older group, Scariff Foróige Youth Club, and they will be 10 years next year. This group is for 12 to 18-year-olds. My Time Foróige Youth Club was born out of many knocks at my front door, by people suggesting I start something for …

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McNamara not interested in Labour leadership

WHILE he was one of the most high profile and outspoken critics of Eamon Gilmore, Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara has no interest in seeking the job now that a new leader is required. Earlier this afternoon, around an hour before it emerged that Gilmore would fall in his sword, Mr McNamara said he wouldn’t be looking for a promotion;  “No, I don’t have the experience. Not that I think experience is everything, but I’d simply have no interest.” He didn’t offer a view on who should take over, but he said it’s time for a younger leader. “I think there has to be a generational change in the Labour party, which I indicated yesterday and it remains my position today.” Owen Ryan

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Mayor “disappointed” but not bitter

Mayor of Clare, Councillor Joe Arkins was “disappointed” but not bitter over his shock exit from the local authority in the early hours of Saturday night. Councillor Arkins was eliminated after the seventh count in the Killaloe Municipal District with 1,116 votes. In fact, the outgoing mayor showed he hadn’t lost his sharp wit and humour, despite being the highest profile casualty of the 2014 Local Election. “I think my wife is at home at the moment writing up a list of jobs for me to do that have not been attended to for the last 15 years,” he joked. Next week he plans to be busy with the Fleadh Cheoil and has other duties he hopes to catch up on over the coming months. The outgoing Fine Gael Councillor could have lashed out at the party hierarchy over its vote management in East Clare and its failure to carve up the area between their three candidates -poll topper, Joe Cooney …

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