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East Clare

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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Last seats secured in Killaloe

It was touch and go for sitting Councillor Pat Burke (FG) all day as early tallies indicated he could have been in trouble, but all three of the last seats in the Killaloe Electoral Area were filled together just before 1am. Tony O’Brien (FF), Pat Burke (FG) and newcomer Alan O’Callaghan (FF) all came in with seats following the distribution of eliminated candidate Liam Wiley’s (FF) votes. Councillor Burke said he was much happier coming to the count centre on Saturday night after early tallies proved to have been out by approximately a hundred votes. He said he is delighted to be returning to the council chamber for a new five year term. The Whitegate man added that he was disappointed with the Fine Gael performance after Clare’s outgoing mayor Joe Arkins (FG) lost his seat. However he said he was happy for his party colleague Joe Cooney who has topped the poll once more.

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Lack of Clonlara candidate helped Begley

Outgoing Clare County Councillor, Michael Begley became the third member of the local authority to secure re-election at around 11.10 pm with 1,799 votes. The Independent Councillor admitted the loss of 320 from nearby Parteen concentrated his mind and his supporters to get those votes back. Acknowledging the lack of competition from another Clonlara candidate was a big help in his re-election bid, he identified three pools of votes to secure some additional votes. These included votes left behind by outgoing Councillor Pascal Fitzgerald and Councillor Cathal Crowe, who moved from Killaloe to the Shannon Municipal District and the decision of former Fine Gael Councillor, John McInerney not to re-enter the race. While all these votes were party votes, he managed to get enough of them to eventually secure his re-election. His re-election bid was also helped by the fact he was the only independent candidate out of the starting line-up of ten. He pointed out there was no comparable …

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