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East Clare

Tulla teams strive for success with innovative BTYSE projects

HUMANITY’S interaction with the natural world is explored in two exciting projects from students of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Tulla, to be showcased at the BT Young Scientist and Technology (BTYSE) exhibition which takes place in a virtual format this year. Continuing their very successful participation in the annual event, the school has entries in the Chemical and Physical Science Category as well as in the Biological and Ecological Science Category, under the guidance and direction of Science and Maths teacher, Mairéad O’Brien. A team comprised of Róisín Sheedy and Saoirse Donnellan have created a piece of jewellery with the capacity to warn people about the dangers of high levels of UV light. The project, which aims to combat rising levels of skin cancer in Ireland, is entitled ‘Solar-powered chemistry: A study of chemical reaction rates in ultraviolet beads’. The work investigates how UV-responsive beads could be used to determine the levels of protection offered by products like sun …

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East Clare Community Response Group here to help

WITH the return of Level 5 restrictions, communities across East Clare are responding with the kindness and solidarity that they have shown throughout the last nine months of 2020. The East Clare Community Response group covers Flagmount, Killanena, Feakle, Scariff, Tuamgraney, Ogonnelloe, Bodyke, Mountshannon and Whitegate, and can be contacted on 085-8659889. Volunteers will respond to calls to that number, as well as texts or WhatsApp messages, and will support anyone who is elderly, vulnerable, or who has chosen to self-isolate. The response group will deploy Garda-vetted local volunteers in the relevant community area to ensure people have access to medicines and general supplies. Response group members work within strict medical protocols and in compliance with all public health guidelines. All requests for support are confidential and information is never held or shared. Anyone who wishes to volunteer is advised to contact their local community group.

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Tulla students show true colours to raise funds for Samaritans

AT the end of last year, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tulla, raised €625 for the Ennis branch of the Samaritans. Enterprising students held a ‘Colours Day’ as part of a Wellness Week initiative. Student Council presidents Aoife Kelly and Adam O Neill lead the initiative.

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Tractor lovers urged to light up for local charities

A TEAM of young East Clare men are hoping to provide a ray of hope this Christmas for families and individuals affected by the stress of cancer and mental heath issues. Tomás Meade from Quin has joined forces with five friends, all former pupils of St Flannan’s College, to get the Light the Way light photo competition under way in aid of Milford Hospice and Pieta House. The return to Level 5 restrictions put paid to plans to hold a tractor and truck run and the lads are now urging tractor and truck lovers around the county to light up and send them photos of decorated vehicles of all kinds. “This year has been really tough for so many people and very hard for people anyone going through cancer treatment,” said Tomás, an Automotive Engineering student at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). “Mental health is another issue that affects the whole community and a lot of people have been suffering …

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Scariff researcher scoops prestigious research funding award

A SCARIFF-born scientist has taken a prestigious funding award, for the second time, and has described the funding grant as “a dream come true”. Dr Pauline Scanlan has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society-Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) University Research Fellowship, which recognises her outstanding early career achievements, competing alongside the best for her research on microbial activity in the human gut. Dr Scanlan, who went to Scariff National School and then Scarriff Community College, is a role model and ambassador for careers in STEM.  She currently participates in many educational and public engagement activities such as hosting transition year and other students in their labs, primary school visits (which happened virtually in 2020). Her public activities involve her giving career talks, acting as mentors, providing guidance to students for BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSE) projects but also through her day-to-day interactions with students, and other trainee researchers. She is a firm believer in the adage, ‘If you can’t …

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Tributes pour in as Edna O’Brien turns 90

Tuamgraney-born author Edna O’Brien celebrated her 90th birthday this week to huge plaudits from the global literary world. President Michael D Higgins described the novelist as one of the finest chroniclers of Irish life. Widely regarded as Ireland’s greatest living writer, Ms O’Brien marked her birthday with the delivery of the TS Eliot lecture on Eliot and James Joyce for The Abbey Theatre. The piece was recorded at the Irish Embassy in London and broadcast on Tuesday evening (December 15). Ms O’Brien’s debut novel The County Girls convulsed 1960s Ireland with its honest representation of female sexuality and small town communities. Despite the reaction, Ms O’Brien in an interview in 1970 with RTÉ expressed warm feelings fro the county. “I would not want to have come from anywhere else despite certain inconveniences which I haven’t omitted to remember,” she said. In more recent years, The Country Girls trilogy has taken its rightful place in the canon of 20th century Irish …

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Tara’s play creates waves on air

IMAGINE a typical rural shopkeeper in the Ireland of yesteryear. “I picture him wearing a brown shop coat with ballpoint pens in his top pocket,” says actor and journalist, Jim O’Brien of Ogonnelloe. “He lives over the shop, and the shop is his life.” Now imagine that his merchandise is of a very specialised variety. This shopkeeper’s trade is not in groceries or other domestic essentials. His customers come from far and wide to purchase accoutrements of every kind, from small nuclear weapons to solar-powered chainsaws. All of them are tailored to the client’s exact needs. The only thing that links them is the fact they are all ‘plot unblocking devices’. This is the kind of shop – or rather ‘emporium’ – that is at the heart of an award-winning radio play recently produced and aired on Scariff Bay Community Radio. Its writer Tara Sparling devised the fantastical plot in a post on her popular blog (Tarasparling.com) and was encouraged …

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Mountshannon man leads the way in tackling problem plastics

A MOUNTSHANNON man’s cutting-edge research into positive uses for waste plastics, has secured more than a quarter of a million euro in backing from the Welsh government. Dr Alvin Orbaek White, who works at Swansea University, has pioneered a technology that changes waste plastic into valuable compounds for the energy industries, reducing plastics pollution in the process. The research will be instrumental in addressing the global transition to more efficient, cleaner energy resources and providing a new life for waste plastics, keeping them out of land and sea. A past pupil of Waldorf Steiner School in Raheen and later, Scariff Community College, he credits his inspirational work with the passion instilled in him by a number of his former teachers. “I had some great teachers. At Scariff Community College, TJ O’Halloran was really passionate about Science, and Pat Sweeney instilled a love of Maths.” His college years were spent at NUI Galway where he undertook his Bachelor’s degree, before obtaining …

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