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East Clare

Jane’s Efforts to Reach Out Recognised

TULLA resident Jane Halloran Ryan was presented with the Ireland Reaching Out Volunteer of the Year award at a ceremony held in Limerick at the weekend. Born and raised in Connecticut, Jane’s Irish ancestral connections are in Clare, Cork, Sligo and Antrim. Having always had a keen interest in genealogy and family history, she became involved in the Ireland Reaching Out project in 2011. Speaking about the award, Jane said, “It’s great. I am delighted to be acknowledged but, at the same time, I have to be honest, all of us are great volunteers. The organisation has terrific volunteers working for it. I’m also delighted for Tulla and we joked at the event about it being another All-Ireland. It’s been a great year for us in Tulla and Ireland Reaching Out is a terrific project on so many levels. I think it will go from strength to strength with not only the heritage work but with tourism and with business …

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Seed Savers hit by funding cuts

IRISH Seed Savers Association has had to implement three redundancies and cut staff hours by almost half, as a result of funding cuts it has sustained this year from a number of sources that used to fund the national charity. The organisation’s project manager Lisa Duncan confirmed to The Clare Champion that in recent weeks the charity had to cut staff and staff hours due to financial constraints. She explained the charity relies on grant aid to survive and as it had sustained cuts to grant aid this year from a number of different organisations, it had to implement the cuts. On the back of this, it has launched an appeal to ensure the survival of the organisation and to enable it to continue its conservation work. According to the organisation, it received grant aid from the Department of Agriculture for the past number of years to help support it in saving Ireland’s agricultural heritage. Projects such as the creation …

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Parkinsons health conference in Feakle commended

THE Parkinson’s Health Conference, which took place in Feakle this summer, has received a commendation at the Irish Medical Times Irish Healthcare Awards. The conference was announced as a commended award recipient at a ceremony held in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on Thursday last. The conference, which preceded the annual Feakle Festival of Traditional Music, was hugely successful this summer and saw a huge influx of people into the East Clare village eager to learn more about Parkinson’s and the beneficial effects that set dancing has on sufferers of the disease. Speaking about the win, Breda Collins, conference manager said, “There were nine shortlisted in our category and we got a commendation for the best patient education project (non-pharmaceutical). The judging panel gave it to us for focusing on improving patient care innovation and collaboration. We got a lovely certificate in a frame. “Crumlin got the award in our category. They did a project for children with cancer and …

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Quin footbridge most preferred option

A PETITION yielding 596 signatures lobbying for the construction of a footbridge in Quin has led a local councillor to call on the council to abandon plans to provide pedestrian access on the existing bridge in favour of developing a footbridge. Councillor Sonny Scanlan, who last week announced his intention to retire from local politics, said the last item he would like to secure for his community before he hangs up his boots is a footbridge. He explained that over the last two months, a petition calling for a footbridge to be constructed has been issued to locals and has secured 596 signatures. Although a part eight planning application has already been granted for works on the existing bridge, Councillor Scanlan is calling for this to be scrapped. “What I want them to do is to forget about that and to put in a part eight for a footbridge, instead of the footpath on top of the bridge. There would …

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Didi to develop super food project in Haiti

WHITEGATE resident and volunteer with NGO Amurtel, Didi Ananda Prama Driscoll returns to Haiti this December to help continue her work with those displaced by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Port Au Prince. This is Didi’s third year working with Amurtel in Haiti and on this trip she will spend two months in Port Au Prince, where she is hoping to develop a project growing spirulina, a super protein food. “There are still 250,000 people in camps. One and a half million lost their homes in Haiti during the earthquake. We work mainly with women and children and we still have schools and our children’s homes have expanded. We now have two children’s homes, one in Port Au Prince and also another on the border with the Dominican Republic. We still have programmes with women, where we do microfinance. That’s where we give them a little money and they see what they can do with it, for example if they …

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Andrew’s wish comes true

SEVEN-year-old Andrew Burke from Whitegate has had his wishes come true, as he received a number of special surprises on Saturday. The Make a Wish Foundation arranged for Andrew’s wish of owning a puppy to come true. Andrew suffers from neuphratic syndrome, a condition affecting the function of his kidneys. Andrew was put forward for the wish by his play specialist in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Olive Kenny. As part of this, Andrew had to fill out a wish book, which asked him things such as if he could be anyone in the world, who would he be or if he could meet anyone in the world, who would he meet, as well as other things such as his favourite restaurant, which he said is the Half Barrel in Whitegate. He filled out every bit of it himself and when it came to choosing his number one wish, he said he wanted a puppy. Mum, Leanne, explained what happened on …

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Plans Lodged for new Tulla school

ST Joseph’s Secondary School in Tulla is one step closer to moving to a new site. A planning application for their proposed 650-pupil school was lodged with Clare County Council last week. The secondary school, which has been educating young people from the heart of Tulla village since 1985, is set to move to a new green-field 10 acre site on Chapel Street, 700m south-west of the existing site. The project, which is part of a public-private partnership and is part of the school bundle four programme facilitated by the National Development Finance Agency, is expected to start in the last quarter of 2014. Construction is expected to take up to 18 months, with an outer completion date of March 2016. The capital value of the school bundle four programme, which covers the development of six schools, is €65 million excluding VAT. School principal Margaret O’Brien said the reality of what is to come is starting to sink in among …

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Fionn’s film attracts national attention

A NEW production company in East Clare is making waves on the media circuit. Having already featured on The Saturday Night Show, the father and son outfit even had to turn down an appearance on The Late Late Show. Fionnathan Productions is a not-for-profit collaboration between 17-year-old Fionn Crombie Angus and his father, Jonathan Angus, from Mountshannon. Fionn has a passion for filming, music, nature and a love for life. Over the last year the teenager, who has Down Syndrome, has been exploring his passions on video, as well as filming what others are passionate about. “We’ve been making videos for a couple of years just for fun. This summer the Tour de Munster was coming through and because they give their money to Down Syndrome, we wanted to do something. So we thought, let’s make a video. We talked about interviewing people around County Clare with Down Syndrome but Fionn came up with the brilliant question, ‘what do you …

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