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East Clare

Literary award for O’Brien

Tuamgraney-born author Edna O’Brien has scooped the top prize at one of the world’s largest international short story awards this week for her book Saints and Sinners. O’Brien’s publication came out on top from the six shortlisted authors for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award announced at a ceremony in the Metropole Hotel in Cork on Sunday. She is the first Irish author to scoop the €35,000 prize fund since it was established in 2005.The East Clare woman was one of two Irish authors shortlisted for the prestigious award, Colm Tóibín being the other, and she was up against American resident and Beijing-born Yiyun Li, Canadian debutante Alexander MacLeod, American debutante Suzanne Rivecca, and American author Valerie Trueblood. Born and raised in Tuamgraney, she has lived in London for many years.Since her debut novel The Country Girls, O’Brien has written over 20 works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She now adds …

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Seed Savers’ sales grow by 20%

Sales of vegetable seeds at a registered charity organisation in Scariff have grown by an impressive 20% in the last year, thanks to the recession.Chrys Gardener of Irish Seed Savers’ Association said the amount of vegetable seeds sold at their centre have jumped by 20% from January to July this year, compared to the same period last year. The group estimate that 10,000 packets of seeds are sold on an annual basis. Ms Gardener has noticed that there is now a lot more interest shown by people in starting their own vegetable patch in their back garden.The increased interest in gardening was reflected by the attendance at the first tour of six private gardens in East Clare last Saturday. The garden tour attracted 211 visits in total, ranging between 30 and 43 for each garden and some green-fingered enthusiasts also attended more than one garden.According to Ms Gardener, the feedback from the event was extremely positive, with participants commenting on …

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