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East Clare

Clash of the ash for Chinese VIP

  John Torpey’s hurleys are in such demand they are shipped to the Irish across the world but last weekend a specially crafted Torpey hurley was presented to a novice at Croke Park. Xi Jinping, vice-president of the People’s Republic of China, received a traditional hurley-making demonstration by Belvoir’s Torpey and, having been presented with some hurleys, the vice-president gave it a lash on the Croke Park field. Speaking about the experience, the former O’Callaghan’s Mills hurler said it was “amazing”.“I have done workshops in the museum in Croke Park for all the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals for the last five years now and I have my own video in the museum in Croke Park with all my old tools. Alan Gallagher, stadium manager, rang me on Wednesday last to know would I be able to do a workshop for the Chinese vice-president,” he said. “It was amazing, we were all standing around and the photographers were there and RTÉ, …

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Ray remembered with run and pub quiz

Scariff man, Ray McNamara died just a short few days after his 30th birthday in 2004. After his passing, the people of East Clare raised more than €10,000 to the cause of people with cystic fibrosis in Ray’s memory. “He was my older brother by two years. I suppose it is better to say he is my older brother. He had cystic fibrosis. Ray wasn’t diagnosed until he was 12 years old. Back in the ’80s, it was, at best, poor standards. Maybe I am being unfair, maybe I am not the best or most objective person to ask but I can picture my mum carrying my brother as a small child from doctor to doctor and all the while being told she was daft, that her child was ok but she knew something was wrong,” PJ said.The life of a CF carrier born in the ’70s wasn’t great in outlook and according to PJ, in the 1980s life expectancy …

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Community on the alert through text

Burglars beware, Flagmount/Killanena Community Alert Scheme is working together through a text initiative to ensure that no crime goes undetected. Although in existence since 2002, Flagmount/Killanena community alert has taken on new life after it began a networked text alert scheme that reaches out to more than 100 people in the locality. The group is the first in the East Clare area to adopt the scheme, which warns the community about suspicious callers, unusual activity and when community events are going on. The alert’s effectiveness is two-fold, not only do the community text their coordinator if they spot suspicious cars or callers but the gardaí also let the community know if they are tracking a suspect car or individual that may be in the area. The texts are coordinated by one person and feeding into the coordinator are a further 15 sub-coordinators, each based in a different townland in the Flagmount/Killanena area. A neighbour might text or tell their local …

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App-ealing Lough Derg trails

A smartphone application that uses GPS technology and Google Maps to guide tourists and outdoor enthusiasts around the trails of Lough Derg went live for the first time this week. The mobile app was launched by the Lough Derg Marketing Strategy Group (LDMG) and will feature over 20 types of trails from walking, cycling and water-based activities to heritage tours and driving routes, making it the most comprehensive mobile application for leisure trails ever launched in Ireland. Among the trails featured in the new app are looped walks like Portumna Forest Park Woodland Trails, Ballycroum Loop in East Clare and the Graves of the Leinstermen Loop in North Tipperary; the Lough Derg Way, the Keeper Hill Trek and Slí Eala near Dromineer.Also included are driving routes and heritage trails such as the Lough Derg Drive, the Killaloe Historic Town Trail, the Nenagh Medieval Food Tour, the North Tipperary Cycling Network, Lough Derg Cycleway, Lough Derg Cruising Trail and a Lough …

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Teachers bus up to Dublin protest

A bus load of East Clare teachers and concerned parents left the county last Wednesday for Leinster House, where they were among up to 1,800 others protesting against planned staff cuts in smaller schools and calling on the Government to “Save our Small Schools”.According to representatives from East Clare schools, teachers are looking for the Government to take a long-term approach to the proposed changes, which seek to alter the way teachers are allocated to smaller schools. The teachers and parents are calling on the Minister for Education to review enrolments over a five-year period and for a reversal in his proposal to apply the new figures retrospectively. Among four people who addressed the large gathering outside Leinster House was Whitegate parent Claire Quirke, who is a member of Lakyle National School’s Parents’ Association and board of management. Ms Quirke voiced her concerns with those present and shared her experience with the small rural school of Lakyle in Whitegate, which …

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Dismay over housing estate exemptions

There was confusion and dismay at a meeting of the Killaloe Electoral Area councillors after a list of unfinished housing estates exempt from the ­Government household charge in the East Clare area were given to the members. The estates exempt from this charge were outlined in a formal reply to a motion submitted by Councillor Cathal Crowe and include estates at Bodyke Road, Tuamgraney; Portumna Road, Whitegate; Scariff Road, Mountshannon; Bruach lán, Westbury; Churchfields, Newtown Road, Clonlara; Shantruad Woods, Clonlara Road, Killaloe and Carrig Midhe, Knockballynameath, Corbally.There were at least three housing estates that were not deemed to be exempt by the Department of Environment Community and Local Government and further estates which the councillors felt should have been included for consideration by the department. The three in question are estates at Arda na Deirge, Knockyclovaun, Killaloe, East Clare Golf Village, Coolreaghbeg, Bodyke and Killaloe Road, Tuamgraney. Councillor Crowe argued “while the list tells of the estates that are exempt …

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The only way is up

A 12-year-old Dromindoora girl is climbing the ladder of success in an unusual sport, rock climbing. Eleanor Lawrence is making waves on a national scale and has just won silver in an Irish competition where she was pitted against girls aged up to 16. Having spent her childhood living on the monkey bars and climbing frame in her local playground, it was no surprise to her parents that Eleanor was interested in the sport at an early age. Eleanor’s dad Steve was also a keen rock climber and encouraged her to develop her skill and compete. By the age of seven, she had competed in her first national competition. Having moved to Clare in 2007, Eleanor has taken part in a number of Irish climbing competitions and in the last week, she received a silver medal in the U-16 girls’ section of the Irish Bouldering League, held in Dingle. For the past three years, she has been a member of …

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Teresa flies the flag for East Clare Tourism

EAST Clare Tourism in conjunction with CANTATA was represented at the recent international tourism holiday show, which was held at CMT Stuttgart, Germany.   Teresa Browne of Clareville House, Tuamgraney attended the event for East Clare Tourism. Clare was showcased to German holiday makers as a county that had the best in walking, heritage, golf and music breaks with emphasis on value for money. A total of 91 countries were represented at the show and Tourism Ireland had a stand there to promote Ireland. The event attracted upwards of 70,000 people per day over the seven-day period. “There was huge interest in County Clare and I am optimistic that significant results will be achieved during the coming year,”  Teresa said after the event.Meanwhile, the Mayor of Clare Pat Hayes and Teresa, who is also secretary of the East Clare Walking Festival, attended the Dublin World Holiday Show last weekend. While there, the mayor actively promoted Clare as a holiday destination as …

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