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Slow Food Festival to celebrate the fertile rock of Clare’s Burren

A CELEBRATION of the rich food culture of the fertile rock of North Clare’s limestone landscape will be the focus of this year’s Burren Slow food Festival. The virtual event which begins this Thursday, April 29, will see producers and chefs come together in a series of online pairings with events streamed online up to May 5 at 7pm and hosted by Tina O’Dwyer of The Tourism Space. Over the course of the festival, viewers will have the opportunity to see the region’s spectacular landscapes, as the events will be hosted by different members of the Burren Ecotourism network in their own home venue. Festival regular John McKenna of McKenna Guides, will set the scene with a short introduction, which will be followed by lively discussions between producers and chefs, along with food tastings. Each event will be wrapped up with traditional Irish music performed by some of the Burren’s finest local musicians. Geologist Eamon Doyle from the Burren and …

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Park revamp planned in Lisdoonvarna

AN AMBITIOUS reimagining of the North Clare Sports and Amenity Park could see the popular facility transformed. Since 2020, there has been intensive collaborative work involving local schools, artists, clubs, businesses and organisations in the community and local catchment area in creating a new vision for the amenity. Brian Gaynor of Green Pine Consultants presented the initial draft plans to the North clare Community and stakeholders on this week, via Zoom. “We feel these themes will be a very special development for the community of North Clare and our local areas with particular benefit in tourism, education, cultural/heritage and sports fields,” said Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Director, Councillor Joe Garrihy. “The collective and shared commitment of our groups align very much with the concept and proposal under development and we are delighted to share the planning stages with the community now at this early stage for comment, observation and input.” Significant funding support to the tune of €210,000 has been secured towards delivering …

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Promotional video series puts Burren folk in spotlight

A RARE insight into the people who live and work in the Burren will be revealed in a series of 60 short films being launched by the Burren Ecotourism Network. The series entitled ‘The People of the Burren’ will give potential visitors a chance to experience the diverse history, geology, archaeology, food and music of the area through the unique perspective of the people who live there. As well as interviews, the films also showcase the stunning landscapes of the Burren. Over the next few months, the films will be released on a regular basis and will be available to view on the network’s social media channels and on Burren.ie. The video stories are part of an ongoing marketing campaign to encourage visitors to the area, once restrictions are lifted. “This campaign will be directed towards the domestic and Northern Irish Markets, both of whom we hope will be able to travel to Clare this summer,” said Jarlath O’Dwyer, CEO …

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Tourism businesses in North Clare hit back over Facebook furore

BUSINESSES in Doolin have sought to distance themselves from a tourism website that caused anger with an ill-judged April Fools Facebook post on the topic of suicide. A co-operative of local businesses called Doolin Tourism has stated it has nothing to do with the Visit Doolin website which caused an outcry on social media that has grown over two days. The group also outlined how several attempts to have Facebook take the Visit Doolin site down have fallen on deaf ears. In a statement Doolin Tourism said it was the only official organisation that promotes Doolin as a destination and has no connection with the Visit Doolin page whatsoever. “Doolin Tourism is the only page that represents Doolin and its businesses and strongly condemns the words and actions of the imposter,” the statement read. “It has been a long, continuous battle for Doolin Tourism and our community to get the offending page and its other associated pages removed permanently, as …

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Pat Finds His Wings On The West Coast

A MILTOWN Malbay resident who swapped his native Kildare for the banner county has described how the move opened up a whole new life for him. Pat Ryan, originally from Kildare town, has lived in Clare for four years with his wife, Geraldine. Now in his early sixties, Pat says life on the west coast has given him a new lease of life and has led to the creation of new business enterprises and an unexpected venture into the world of songwriting. “I’ve been coming to Clare since I was about 17. I loved it, and through the years, despite travelling a fair bit, I was always drawn back to Clare. We have had a journey over the years by virtue of life’s ups and downs. Since we married, we have moved 11 times. “We moved to Ennistymon in October 2017 then in February 2020, we moved to Miltown Malbay to a house with a bit more room.” Pat says …

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Susan shares message of hope and inner strength

LAHINCH-based singer-songwriter Susan Quirke has shared a new single ‘To the Bone’, which features on her eagerly-anticipated debut album Into the Sea, due out next month. The single is described as “a timely, soothing, and uplifting song” about drawing on our personal reserves of strength in times of trouble. “Many people are experiencing deep pain, grief, loneliness and isolation as a result of the pandemic,” Susan said. “In many ways suffering is part of the human journey, as is the tremendous courage, resilience and strength people can often demonstrate during tough times.” Susan’s reasons for writing the song are deeply personal, but speak to the universal struggles created by Covid-19. “I wrote this song for someone in my life who was going through a difficult time,” she said. “It was written as an invocation for them, calling on them to remember their power and strength. It’s also written as a balm to soothe people’s hearts and minds. It starts off …

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Drama shot in North Clare to air from Sunday night

NORTH Clare is to feature prominently in one of the year’s most eagerly awaited home-grown drama series, Smother, which will air on RTÉ One next Sunday night. Shot on location in Lahinch, Liscannor, Spanish Point, Fanore, Ennistymon and Lisdoonvarna, the six-part drama is described as a “domestic noir thriller,” and is a co-production with BBC. It was filmed last year in adherence with pandemic guidelines. The high-end production featured a number of locals as crew members and extras. Writer Kate O’Riordan, who worked on the hit series Mr Selfridge, created the family thriller which sees her tight-knit family of characters gradually unearth deeply buried secrets and live with their unintended consequences. The all-star cast is headed up by Dervla Kirwan who plays matriarch Val – a devoted mother who is determined to protect her family and particularly her three daughters Jenny, Anna, and Grace, at any cost. Jenny (played by Niamh Walsh of Good Omens and Jamestown is a doctor, facing …

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Better off singing than crying, says 67-year-old Clare Insta star

APPROACHING his 68th birthday, Padraig Howley is a late starter as an Instagram influencer, but in less than a fortnight his journey to veganism has seen him gain over 66,000 followers. On his account you can watch Padraig discuss the vegan foods he is choosing and preparing, while he frequently gives the viewers a song. A self employed welder and farmer, he says that going vegan hasn’t been easy, but he is seeing the benefits already. “Look it, it’s tough, there’s no point in saying it isn’t, but I’m going to stick with it a while and see how I get on. I’m learning and I’m getting a lot of help. “Anything new like that is tough but I have to do it for health reasons. I was told to give up dairy, but my daughter said why don’t you go vegan, so I’m doing it. “I think it’s going to get easier because a lot of people are contacting …

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