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Garden sculpture is vandalised

VANDALS have damaged the hands of a sculpture in the Remembrance Garden in Cloughleigh. Last Thursday, Anne McCullagh, who was one of the parents instrumental in establishing the garden 10 years ago, discovered the damage to the statue on a visit to the garden.The hands of the statue, which are joined in a prayer-like pose, were broken apart and knocked off. “This is so upsetting. Why would anyone do this? It’s not the first time vandals have damaged the statue, or got at other parts of the garden, including the plants. I’m sick to the teeth of this now. People have no respect,” she said. She said that people who work in stone-masonry have told her that it would have taken anybody a long time to cause this kind of damage to the statue. “Part of the hands have literally been hacked off. Surely somebody must have seen someone or a group up to no good in the garden,” she …

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World Cup excitement kicks off

ENNIS will host its own mini-World Cup this Sunday, with 12 multicultural teams from all over Clare vying for a place in the semi-final, which will be part of the county’s Intercultural Festival the following weekend.Alphonse Basogomba of the Clare Intercultural Festival explained that there has been a soccer tournament as part of the festival each year since the festival began six years ago. “It’s always a very popular part of the festival, but this year to capture some of the World Cup fever, we decided to make it into Clare’s own mini World Cup. So 12 teams will be narrowed down to four this Sunday, coinciding with the real World Cup Final,” he said.The mini-World Cup will be played this Sunday afternoon in the Ennis Leisure World on the Showgrounds Road. “Many different countries will be represented on teams including Nigeria, South Africa, France, Poland and Ireland as well as Travellers. Some teams will be of mixed nationalities, while …

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Councillors vote to end pedestrianisation

A SIX-month Saturday pedestrianisation plan for Ennis town centre has been abandoned after six weeks.At a meeting of the town council on Monday evening, which was attended by a large group of Ennis traders, councillors voted six to three against the continuation of the trial after the business community cited a reduction in business on Saturdays when the streets were closed for six hours to vehicles. Ennis town manager Ger Dollard said that it was “disappointing” that the council could not complete the trial, which would have “provided a solid base for delivering on one of the core objectives of the Ennis Town Development Plan 2008-2014, namely the pedestrianisation of O’Connell Street and Abbey Street”. He continued, “Review mechanisms had been put in place to assess the effects of the trial on trading and consumer attitudes. However, this review will now not be possible due to the discontinuation of the trial.”The town manager added that the council was not abandoning …

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Banner brains behind rugby wedding

AN Ennis businesswoman helped to make a dream wedding for Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll and actress Amy Huberman at the weekend.Wedding planner, Kate Deegan, landed the plum jobs of helping the celebrity couple plan their big day, in Lough Rynn, Leitrim on Friday.Kate runs wedding planning service Co-ordination Made Easy and was voted as wedding planner of the year in 2009 by Realweddings.ie and shortlisted as one of Ireland’s top 100 wedding suppliers in 2009 by weddingsonline.ie. Speaking after Brian and Amy’s wedding this week, Kate said that the wedding was amazing. “I worked very closely with the couple and listen to what they would like. They had some very clear idea of what they would like and then in some areas I was able to give direction and suggestions of which were taken on board.”On the morning of the wedding, Kate had intimate access with the bride helping Amy into her wedding dress.Kate said that Amy was “so …

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Making a big splash for the Clarecastle Regatta

THE Clarecastle Regatta, a popular annual summer event in years gone by, is being revitalised this year, bringing new life and activity to what was once the port for Ennis.Clarecastle GAA Club are organising a family fun day and regatta on the River Fergus and its banks to take place on Saturday, July 10. In the past two months, there has been an increased level of activity on the river in Clarecastle with the emergence of the Fergus Rowing Club, which has already attracted up to 70 members.Donal Carey of Clarecastle GAA Club and the Fergus Rowing Club, said all hands are on deck organising the first Clarecastle Regatta in 16 years. “We want to provide fun and healthy activities for the people of Clarecastle and surrounding areas and that’s where the idea for the rowing club grew from. With crews out in currachs seven nights a week now and beginner’s sessions on Saturday morning, there is a real buzz …

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Ghanaian community gets behind their team for World Cup game

WHILE Ireland’s absence has left most soccer followers in the Banner County as no more than interested World Cup spectators, excitement among the Ghanaian community in Ennis has been on the rise since mid-June and will reach a new level on Friday as the only remaining African side challenge Uruguay.No African side has ever lifted the World Cup. In fact, Ghana are only the third side from the continent to reach the quarter-finals and none has yet reached the last four. However, Comfort Ofei, who lives in Roslevan, says that will change on Friday. “We are the only African country left and now we have all the African support. We beat the United States and now we’re waiting for Uruguay. We know for sure we’re going to beat them.”There are around 50 natives of the West African country in Ennis, with more living in Limerick and other parts of the Mid-West. Comfort says that many people leave their homeland in …

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