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East Clare

First Interclub Junior Regatta at Cullaun Lake

CULLAUN Sailing Club, based in Kilkishen, hosted its first ever inter club junior regatta on Sunday last. Participating in the event were sailors from Cullaun Sailing Club, Killaloe Sailing Club and Foynes Yacht Club. Across the three clubs there were over 40 junior sailors represented on the water for the day ranging from 10 to 18 years of age. Commenting on the regatta Jim O’Sullivan of the Cullaun Sailing Club said, “this is the first time an event like this has been organised and judging by the skills and quality of the sailors it looks like it won’t be the last”. This was a mixed fleet of boats with a Portsmouth Handicap being used to calculate the overall winner. There were Lasers, Feva’s, Visions, Omegas and RS200 boats all competing for line honours at the event. Layla Benfredi of Cullaun Sailing Club came in first overall in her Laser and was closely followed by Sean Hynes and Mike O’Dea also …

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Bird flies in for Scariff Harbour Festival

Broadcaster, journalist and documentary presenter, Charlie Bird  will mark the 20th anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire in Northern Ireland at the opening of the 2014 Waterways Ireland Scariff Harbour Festival this August Bank Holiday weekend. For over 10 years from the start of the peace process, Charlie Bird was RTÉ’s contact with leading republicans. “This was one of the big dates in the history of the peace process, leading to the Good Friday Agreement,” said Charlie Bird. “I was one of three journalists given the statement by the IRA and the only one to have been given an audio copy of an IRA member reading out the statement. They have now been given to the National Museum in Dublin and, in time to come, will be on display,” he added. The idea for the very first festival in Scariff in 2003 stemmed from the Good Friday Agreement and the foresight of the North South Ministerial Council and the Arts …

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Bush priest on walkabout in Bodyke

He  is known as the Mandiago priest in his adopted home in The Gambia but for the next few months, Fr John (Jackie) Sharpe, CSSP, will be in Bodyke parish. He celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination over the weekend. He has already celebrated his 50 years of service in the Shrine Church he built at Kunkujang, The Gambia in March but his official golden jubilee date falls on July 5. A native of County Tipperary Fr Sharpe’s connection with East Clare goes back to 1965 when he first met Bodyke man, Bishop Michael Moloney, in The Gambia. Having been there since 1937, Bishop Moloney extended him a céad míle fáilte. Reflecting on his 49 years in Africa, Fr Sharpe sits in his Bodyke living room looking out at the beautiful view, content with what his retirement has to offer. He came home in 2009 on sabbatical, after spending nearly 45 years in The Gambia without a break. He was sent …

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Water leak leads to dry pub

We’re all familiar with the ditty, The pub with no Beer, but a  busy pub and restaurant in East Clare was without a proper water service last weekend, after a major leak occurred in Whitegate. Publican at the Half Barrel, Batt O’Riordan and his local representative, Councillor Pat Burke, were surprised that Irish Water did not consider the “major leak” to be an emergency. They were equally surprised when Irish Water said they could not come out until Monday and advised them to contact the local authority emergency number. The issue was reported on Saturday evening. A member of Clare County Council assessed the situation that day but was not in a position to repair the leak. Irish Water did come out on Monday morning and repaired the leak. In the meantime, the Half Barrel operated its business with the assistance of a neighbour who was able to run a hose to their water tank. Batt O’Riordan said Irish Water …

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Edna O’Brien’s Birthplace remains unsold

THE birthplace of renowned author Edna O’Brien has failed to sell at auction after the guiding price of €300,000 to €350,000 was not reached. The property went to public auction on Tuesday in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. The highest bid placed on the property was €200,000 and came after approximately six bids from two separate bidders. On this basis Noel Corcoran Auctioneers, of  Tipperary town withdrew the house from auction. They remain open to offers on the property and it has not been withdrawn from the market. By Carol Byrne

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A great fair at Spancilhill

AS usual, they came from far and near for the annual Fair of Spancilhill on Monday, and that was only the horses and ponies, as well as a number of donkeys for good measure. The glorious weather brought out a big number of dealers and buying and selling was brisk throughout the day.  The quality of the animals at the fair was described as being very good and this was reflected in the prices that were achieved. The fair also attracted quite a number of visitors, who were happy to observe  the time-honoured  traditions associated with showing the animals to prospective buyers and the bartering and hand slapping. Judging by the 2014 fair, the event famed in song by Robbie McMahon, has a strong future and will continue as an important part of the heritage of County Clare.

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Celeb Spotting in Quin

QUIN was where all the celebrities seemed to be hanging out in the last week, as locals got to meet with Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson and BBC chat show host, Graham Norton. Graham Norton clearly enjoyed the fun side of being in the village, tweeting that he was #lost and #hungover in Ireland, while posting pictures of a statue of a monk at Quin Abbey stating “Oh Brother where art thou? Any ideas? I’d really like to know”. He also included a second picture, one of a headstone which had Rice written on it, to which he commented, “It never stood a chance, [sic Long] live the potato”. Speaking about meeting the well-known television host, Ger O’Halloran, who runs Abbey Stores in Quin, said Graham came into the shop for a bottle of water. “I had an inkling when he walked into the shop of who it might be. He comes across as being much bigger on television …

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A new take on Mountshannon

Visitors to Mountshannon are to benefit from significant developments made by the local community council, in conjunction with the Aistear Field Committee, as the Aistear Tourist Office opened to the public this week. This is the first of a number of initiatives being rolled out by Mountshannon Community Council this month, which are all geared at increasing footfall in the village, as well as catering for tourism. The tourist office was officially opened on Monday, followed by the launch of the Mountshannon App on Thursday. The opening of an exhibition centre takes place on next Monday. Following the successful rollout of Mountshannon.com, a website featuring upcoming events, community pages, tourist information and historical details pertaining to the area, the local council decided to develop an app. This decision facilitated further discussion and out of this came the idea to provide a tourist office. Tom McNamara, supervisor of the CE scheme in Mountshannon, explained how it evolved from there. “We had …

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