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North Clare

Sharon Shannon partners with prestigious university music programme

ACCLAIMED Corofin musician Sharon Shannon is to open this year’s Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway, in advance of a partnership between the Clare woman and the university’s music degree programme. On Wednesday, February 17, the accordion player will feature, alongside guitarist Jim Murray, in a free online lunchtime concert. The event will be presented as the 2021 Jean Ritchie Lecture and will celebrate Sharon’s musical virtuosity as well as the future potential arising from her engagement with music students as the next generation of emerging artists. The partnership will see Sharon delivering a series of masterclasses that look at different facets of the creation, performance and production of traditional Irish music, along with her long-time collaborator, Irish-American fiddle player, Win Horan. These masterclasses will be used as part of the teaching of traditional music modules within the new BA in Music. Sharon and Win will follow up the masterclasses with six live workshops per year, in which they …

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Welcome progress with Ballyvaughan sewerage scheme plan

WORK on a new sewerage scheme for Ballyvaughan could begin next year, subject to planning permission, according to Irish Water. The utility outlined details in a response to a motion from Councillor Joe Killeen who asked for an update on schemes for Ballyvaughan and Kilfenora. In a reply sent ahead of the January meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Irish Water said it anticipated acquiring lands and making a planning application this year for the Ballyvaughan Waste Water Treatment Plant (WwTP). “Irish Water is progressing with plans to construct a new wastewater treatment plant (WwTP) in Ballyvaughan that will serve a population equivalent of 1055, as well as a new pumping station and associated sewer network infrastructure,” the writte response outlined. “We are planning to acquire lands and submit a planning application to Clare County Council in 2021 for this project. Once planning has been submitted, these plans will be available for the public to view in the planning …

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Pedestrian Crossing Sought for Corofin

PLANS to install a pedestrian crossing in the village of Corofin have made progress, after a motion was tabled by Councillor Joe Killeen at this month’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District. Calling for a new crossing, the Fianna Fáil members said it would be in the interests of the safety of all road users locally. “What we have is a cluster of facilities together – the GAA pitch and the playground – at the southern part of the village,” he explained. “Then, we have the medical centre just across the road. At the moment, we’re trying to encourage people to park in the car parking spaces adjacent to the GAA pitch and at the entrance to the play area. We’ve got Laghtagoona which has 100 houses and lots of the children from there come as part as the pitch and playground and we’re looking for a pedestrian crossing to try and facilitate those using the facility. It would …

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New Macra branch for Ennistymon

MACRA na Feirme, the rural youth organisation is to launch a new Ennistymon Macra branch this week (January 27). It has been more than 20 years since there was such a club in the town and the revival is seen as a major  progression for Macra in Clare which is 74 years old this year. Following on from the successful launch of the Kilrush club in 2019, the launch forms part of the Clare organisation’s five-year plan and will create a better geographical balance to the clubs in the county. While the new club will be based in Ennistymon, members from all different backgrounds across the surrounding areas of North Clare are welcome and people from non-farming backgrounds are also encouraged to join. On Wednesday, January 27, in an online launch, Clare Macra will make a short presentation outlining its activities and the  benefits of joining. National President Thomas Duffy will be in attendance. Guest speaker on the night will …

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Remote working drives Clare coastal property boom

DEMAND for property in coastal Clare continues to increase, to the point where the working from home phenomenon has been likened by a local businessman and public representative to a revolution. The potential for remote working created by digital technologies, and introduced out of necessity during the pandemic, is proving to be a game-changer for rural communities which up to last year had been facing the prospect of accelerating depopulation. Now, demand from city dwellers looking to relocate, as well as holiday home owners who have switched their primary residence has boosted the population of coastal communities. A property price survey conducted by The Sunday Times showed that while the median house price in Clare is down from €194,500 to €191,000, coastal property prices continue to rise. Demand for property in Kilkee and Lahinch was aid to be “insatiable” with a three-bedroom semi-detached home in the latter recently selling for €274,000, after multiple bids. “We are at a transition point,” …

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Inspiring hope through travel tales

Lahinch author Ruairí McKiernan writes about the challenges of writing his first book, overcoming initial rejection from publishers, and then launching what became a No.1 bestseller at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was never my dream to write a book, but it seemed life had other plans. The first call to write came when I was 23 and living in Canada. A publisher approached me after hearing me on the radio discussing globalisation. I was no expert on the subject, but I decided to give it a go. A third of the way through the first draft I gave up. Too hard, too time-consuming; the writing life not for me. “Never again,” I said. Fast forward a decade. I’m hitchhiking around Ireland on what I called a listening tour; seeking out hope for myself and my country. At that time I was burnt out, feeling lost and depressed, and so too was post-boom Ireland. I began meditating, bringing awareness to …

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Lahinch firm doubles workforce amid remote working boom

REMOTE working and other changes prompted by the pandemic have provided a business boost for a Lahinch-based tech company who is to double the size of its workforce. HRLocker, a specialist in the use of human resource (HR) solutions, is to create 50 new jobs such is the rise in demand for its services. The new roles, many of which will be in Sales and Marketing, are said to be a direct result of the huge shift to remote working prompted by Covid-19. The company automates the administrative elements of HR, such as performance management, absence management, continuous professional development and timesheets and also offers a range of tools to help manage remote teams. In response to demand from clients, over the course of 2020, HRLocker introduced a number of new features to support remote and blended working. These include geolocation logins, contactless clock-ins, employee self-service and digital noticeboards. Adam Coleman, CEO of HRLocker, said employers are now actively looking …

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Gort Foróige honoured for video promoting Covid awareness

GORT Foróige has been honoured for raising awareness of Covid-19, after scooping a prize at the prestigious national virtual festival. More than 450 short films about science and technology were entered into the ReelLIFE Science Video Competition by over 2,500 people from 130 schools and youth groups around Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including ‘Múinteoir Ray’ Cuddihy from RTÉ’s After School Hub; BBC Wildlife and Children’s presenter, Ferne Corrigan; and the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, from Coláiste Choilm in Cork. Foróige Youth Service in Gort took third place in the youth group project category. Before the current lockdown, the Junior Filmmaking Group came together to make a short video to raise awareness about the spread of Covid-19 in everyday environments. The group was involved in all aspects of the filmmaking project, from planning, directing, acting to editing and post production. The informative and creative piece …

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