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Ennis

Reliving historic motor tour

A momentous occasion in the history of motoring in Ireland will be recalled in Ennis this month. Vintage cars will gather in the town on August 28 for a motor tour recalling the Great Motor Tour of Ireland, which passed through Clare in 1901, a time when a motor car would have indeed been a rare sight on the county’s roads.Earlier this week, a plaque commemorating the motor tour’s visit to the county was unveiled at the Half Way House on the Clare Road.Spearheading the plans to remember the event is Peadar White, a vintage car enthusiast who, along with Mary O’Donovan and the Bald Eagle group, has used their passion for classic cars to raise vital funds for local charities. This year, the group is raising money for the daycare centre in Clarecastle.Peadar explained that he became aware by chance that the Great Motor Tour of Ireland had come through Clare and getting the information that confirmed the event …

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Former Champion editor remembered on Skyride race

AS 2,000 cyclists descend on Ennis this Sunday for the start of the second Skyride Etape Hibernia race, among them will be the family and friends of the late Frank O’Dea, the popular former editor of The Clare Champion.The group of 18, dubbed ‘Team O’Dea’, have come together to tackle the gruelling 84-mile challenge from Ennis through North Clare and back again in order to raise funds for Carrigoran Day Care Centre.Dr John O’Dea, son of Frank, explained, “The idea for this arose when a group of us started getting into cycling at the start of the year. Both myself and my colleague Dr Terry Hennessy decided to put a team together, all related through family or friendship, in honour of Frank O’Dea and raise money as a team for Carrigoran. Of course, this is a way of raising not just money for Carrigoran, particularly for their day care facility, which includes services for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, but also …

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Louise puts the sweet in charity

THEY say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well one young Ennis girl has done just that in a bid to raise funds for TLC4CF, the regional charity dedicated to improving services for those with cystic fibrosis, after her little sister was diagnosed with the condition last Christmas.Nine-year-old Louise Cusack has decided to set up a lemonade stand outside her house at 27 Rathban on the Tulla Road this Saturday from 2pm. All funds raised from the stand will go towards helping people with cystic fibrosis.Louise’s mother, Nicola, said she is very proud of what her daughter is doing not only for her sister, Amy, but for others with the illness.“Louise got the idea for the lemonade stand when she and her aunt were trying to figure out things to do for the summer holidays. It was going to be to make some pocket money for herself but then she decided it would be nice to give the money …

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A business recipe still working after 50 years

HAVING spent 50 years at the helm of the family-run O’Connor’s Bakery, Pat and Mary O’Connor would be forgiven for taking it a little easy these days.However, when The Clare Champion visited the bakery on the Tulla Road to speak about their upcoming golden year celebrations, 78-year-old Pat was hard at work with his baker’s cap firmly on, while his wife, 75-year-old Mary, was up since 6am that morning making sure that everything was spick and span to her exacting standards of excellence.It is that hard work and attention to detail that has seen O’Connor’s grow from a small bakery in Parnell Street to a business with shops in Clare, Limerick and Galway as well as a large modern bakery. However, while the O’Connor’s brand has grown over the years, some things never change, with many of their 145 staff working there for over 40 years, while most of the breads and confectionary are still handcrafted like they were in …

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Island record-breaking bid for Ennis Brass Band

THE Ennis Brass Band are hoping to get themselves into the Guinness Book of World Records, as the first brass band to have ever played on all three Aran Islands in one day.The band, who this year celebrate 40 years in existence, recently visited Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr where they played for islanders and tourists. According to Darragh McAllister of the Ennis Brass Band, it is now hoped the venture will make it into the record books. “We are going to ring the Guinness Book of Records about this. And if they don’t have a record, we will try and get them to put us in. We have all the documentary evidence of us being on all the islands,” he said.He explained where the idea for the record attempt came from. “We often take trips away and it was decided that since we were celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, we would have to do something together. …

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Confusion on the coalface of the smoky fuel ban

THE introduction of the smoky fuel ban in the Ennis area last week has been marked with “considerable confusion” with claims that coal retailers are unsure about how and where the ban applies.Green Party Councillor Brian Meaney, who has welcomed the decision to ban smoky coal, has claimed there has been a “breakdown in the communication lines and the Department of the Environment have to be held accountable”.Meanwhile, local coal merchant, and Ennis Town Councillor Frankie Neylon has said that he has received no notification from the department about the ban.“I have not been contacted by anybody about this smoky fuel ban, I haven’t had any notification of anything. I don’t know if it’s come into effect, we haven’t been told anything.”Minister Phil Hogan announced in June plans to include Ennis on the list of towns and cities covered by the ban from August 1. Under the ban, it is illegal to market, sell or distribute bituminous, or ‘smoky’ coal.However, …

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Vandals target villages’ summer planting

EAST Clare Tidy Towns’ committees are battling vandalism and theft of recently planted flowers in the area. Cormac McGuinness of Quin Tidy Towns has reported that in the past few days, flowers have been taken up from displays in the village, despite this activity having been reported to gardaí in the past. “At Ard na Mainstreach we put up a new hanging pole with two baskets and they have been taken up within the last 24 hours. On July 13 last, more flowers were stolen from the Eircom beds in Quin Gardens where they took some lobelia and begonias from Quinville Hill. They were well organised and didn’t leave a footprint, would appear to be taking them for further use,” he said. The Tidy Towns’ group has been using universal clips to secure the hanging baskets to deter thieves but has said that this type of activity is to be condemned. He explained that in order to keep costs to …

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Waste plant needs urgent upgrade

THE capacity of the main Clonroadmore Waste Water Treatment Plant “urgently” needs to be upgraded if it is to provide for the future growth of commercial and industrial sectors in Ennis and its growing population, an oral hearing of An Bord Pleanála has heard.The hearing took place last week to discuss an application by Clare County Council to upgrade the treatment plant, serving Ennis town centre and the northern, eastern and western environs of Ennis. The existing wastewater treatment plant is designed for a load of 17,000 pe (population equivalent), and its current load is approximately 26,000. The proposed upgrade will have a designed capacity of 30,150. It is planned to upgrade the wastewater network on a phased basis, following a review of original proposals to build a new plant at the site. Senior officials from both Clare County Council and Ennis Town Council made the case for the upgrade, emphasising its importance to the future development of the town.Speaking …

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