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What’s the story with young people?

Claire Muireann Murphy is a performance storyteller from Galway who has brought her art to audiences all over the world, including last month’s Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado.This week, however, she has brought the stories of young people at Clare Youth Service to life and collaborated with them for a special performance at Cois na h-Abhna. Having secured a grant from Poetry Ireland’s Writers Scheme to extend their services to teenagers and early school leavers, Clare County Library embarked on a storytelling project involving young people at the Clare Youth Service.Over a series of eight workshops, Ms Murphy imparted the techniques of storytelling and provided examples from her own extensive repertoire. The participants also worked with Jackie Dermody O’Brien, library staff officer, who filmed the workshop sessions; Patricia Fitzgerald, who co-ordinated the project on behalf of Clare County Library and CYS literacy tutor, Fionnuala Tuohy.The film clips are posted to Clare County Library’s website with links to YouTube …

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Funds needed to restore Ballyalla Lake to swimming standard

Substantial funding needs to be secured to help restore Ballyalla Lake as a bathing amenity for Ennis and its surrounding areas, according to local town councillors.Concern about the rapid deterioration in the water quality of Ballalla Lake, which was once “a jewel in the crown” was expressed by councillors at an Ennis Town Council meeting on Wednesday.Leading the calls, Councillor Brian Meaney requested an explanation from Clare County Council why bathing waters in Ballyalla didn’t meet standards.Councillor Meaney called for a more proactive approach to improve water quality to facilitate the lake’s restoration as a bathing amenity for people in the town.He noted that the percentage of total coliforms and faecal coliforms higher than accepted guidelines had increased from 29% to 100% and from 7% to 37% respectively from 2005 to 2010.He was supported by Councillor Johnny Flynn, who recalled the lake was once a major asset for the town and proposed that money should be set aside for the …

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€1.7m of commercial rates still uncollected by town council

Ennis Town Council had  €1.7 million in uncollected commercial rates on December 31, 2009, according to the latest annual statement produced by the local authority.While town manager Ger Dollard expects that most of these outstanding rates bills will be collected, he admitted the amount of overdue rates was a matter of concern for the authority.Mr Dollard told councillors at a local authority meeting on Wednesday the council couldn’t provide services for people in the town unless it collected this money.The town authority’s accounts also showed there was €5.896m in total due for collection in 2010 after €1.065m was carried forward at the start of the year before deductions. The total amount collected at December 31, 2010 was €4.142m, the amount of irrecoverable rates was €528,930 while the total amount as a percentage of total for collection was 70%.While the council was offering traders deferred payments and other payment methods to make it easier to pay rates, Councillor Peter Considine warned …

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Top green award for Coláiste pupils

A group of pupils from Coláiste Muire have been named ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalists of the Year for their project All Washed Up that involved mobilising their community to clean up the coastline following a shipwreck. Young people from across Ireland were honoured at the 12th annual ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards showcase and ceremony attended by former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, in Dublin’s Mansion House.A total of 55 groups were selected for the finals from almost 4,000 young people throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland at regional Dragon’s Den-style ECO Dens. From carbon footprint apps to recycling awareness song It’s a (w)rap!, guerrilla gardening, a dam building project on the River Corrib, biodiversity trails and a climate change campaign involving polar bears made of recycled materials being placed around the capital city, it was all covered by this year’s talented group of Young Environmentalists.“It is inspiring to see the passion and talent of young people from every county on the island …

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Roots society to host genealogy conference

CLARE Roots Society is to host a major genealogy and family history conference at the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis this October.The conference, with the theme, The Future of our Past will be addressed by leading figures from the world of Genealogy and Family History and will take place on October 1. The keynote address will be given by Dr Nick Barratt, London, whose talk is entitled Family History and the Media in which he will examine the way genealogy has been transformed over the past five years by TV and the internet. He will go behind the scenes of programmes like Who Do You Think You Are to reveal how they are made and the impact the shows have had on the way people research. Nick Barratt is a TV presenter and commentator. He is editor in chief of Your Family History magazine and chief executive of Sticks Research Agency. He was the original genealogical consultant and lead researcher for …

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Gaelcholáiste teacher wins Kerry Rose

GAELCHOLÁISTE an Chláir and Ennis Community College continues a blooming relationship with the Rose of Tralee competition as art teacher Síle Ní Dheargain was named the Kerry Rose at the weekend.Former Gaelcholáiste pupil Blathnaid O’Donoghue did the county proud when she represented Clare in the competition 2005. While Síle will not be representing Clare in the competition, that honour going to Corofin’s Grace Cummins, she is sure to get plenty of support from her Ennis pupils and friends.Speaking to us after her win, Síle said, “I am completely shocked, this is just brilliant I’m over the moon. The support I have been getting has been unreal and I’m just thrilled.”The 26-year-old from Lispole, Kerry has been a member of Cumann Ramhíocht Corca Duibhne for 11 years and last year set up the first currach club in Ennis and Clarecastle. She has completed the Thames Great River Race and the Corks Ocean to City Race and recently taught boxer Bernard Dunne …

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