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Ennis

Barefield man a driving force in Enterprise Evolution Programme

EOIN Conroy, from Barefield, is the driving force behind the successful Enterprise Evolution Programme (EEP), which last week announced 100 new places for jobseekers. EEP is a Springboard-funded programme designed to bridge the gap between education and entrepreneurship. It is a partnership between Innovo Training and Development, the Synergy Centre at the Institute of Technology in Tallaght and the business school at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and offers unemployed applicants the opportunity to upskill and develop new business ideas, while retaining their social welfare benefits.Eoin of Innovo Training and Development explains, “Our last two rotations have proven that this programme can really help people get a business off the ground, develop their careers and fulfil their potential. A firm focus on idea generation and entrepreneurship is exactly what the country needs at this time. We have the people and talent. We just need to foster, harness and support them,” he said.This year’s participants will be invited …

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New priest calls for ‘open and honest’ clergy

ENNIS’ newest priest has spoken about the “hurt” caused to people in the light of “terrible” recent reports into abuse allegations and has urged the clergy to be “open and honest”.Fr Ger Fitzgerald, who was ordained in June and has recently been appointed to Ennis Parish explained, “This is a worrying time, not only for myself as I am starting off here and wondering if I will be ok. But you’d also be worried about what’s happening in the church at the moment with all those terrible reports coming out, just being aware of how much the church has hurt people and our, almost lack of, response as well.”“We can’t be just up on the altar preaching. In my opinion, we have to do what our Lord did. He totally emptied himself of all that authority and all that power and he was there with the people when they needed him most. He was open with them and he was …

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Drink a cuppa in aid of Cahercalla hospice

With Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning fast approaching on September 15, the Clare Hospice Service at Cahercalla has appealed to the people of Clare to support their local hospice service over a cup of coffee. The service at Cahercalla began in the early ’80s with just one bed in the NURSING HOme but responding to current demands, it is now delivered in a state-of-the-art purpose built 19 bed unit. The cost per anum to fund one hospice bed exceeds €75,000 and even allowing for the HSE funding, there is still a shortfall of in excess of €400,000 per annum.Mary Maloney, fundraising manager at Cahercalla said, “We are very dependent on the funds raised through Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Community support is the backbone of our local service and is absolutely essential, particularly in this difficult economic climate. “Without public support and contributions, the hospice service would struggle to deliver the care, comfort and dignity that families require at the most vulnerable …

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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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