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North Clare

Thomas raises the Barr in Ennistymon

This week, Enistymon CBS students started working with Sky Sports ambassador Thomas Barr, who is hoping to represent Ireland in the 400m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing later this year and at the Olympics in Rio in 2016. The Barr family, who are from Ferrybank in Waterford, could have double representation in Rio if Thomas’s sister Jesse also makes it. Jesse is already an Olympian, having represented Ireland at the London Olympics in the 400m hurdles. Thomas, who is studying for a Masters in Sports Performance at UL, will seek to help the Ennistymon pupils in sporting and academic terms during his visits to the school. “We’re using sport as a model. We do this thing called the Six Keys To Success. We go through all of the different attributes of an athlete and what it takes to get to the top. You can apply that to anywhere in life, no matter what you’re doing. It could …

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Kayleigh takes to the ring for Ireland

Kilfenora welterweight Kayleigh McCormack, a recent silver medalist in the Ladies Elite National Boxing Championships, makes a second international appearance against Ukraine on Saturday night. McCormack, who is a second year student in Thurles IT, boxed against Sweden on Saturday week last and although she lost out on points to Agnes Alexiusson, she was outstanding in the final round of a torrid four-round battle. Kayleigh feels the experience garnered against the Swede will bolster her chances against Nila Lupska, the reigning Ukranian welterweight champion. Ennis club coach, Sean Carrig, was a judge in the 2013 European Championships in Budapest and remembers the Ukranian boxing there. He was impressed with her ringcraft and skill but he feels the power-punching Kilfenora girl will push Lupska all the way. The Ukranian team will box in Edenderry and in the National Stadium on this tour, which they are using as a warm-up for the upcoming world championships to be held in Kazakstan in September. …

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Corofin’s top young artists

Corofin boys, Ronan Cahill and Conor Farrell have been chosen as two of the best young artists in Ireland at Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year Awards 2015. Ronan and Conor, both aged 10, attend Scoil Mhuire National School. Ronan’s painting entitled ‘I want you to see my portable house’ and Conor’s painting entitled ‘I want you to see Morgan, my crazy elephant’ were inspired by this year’s competition theme, ‘I want you to see…’ and were regional winners in the special needs and 3rd and 4th class categories respectively. With thousands of entries from over 200 primary schools nationwide, Ronan and Conor are two of the 15 finalists that will have their paintings displayed at an awards ceremony in Dublin in March where the overall national winners will be selected. They will receive a special regional prize in recognition of their amazing achievement. The Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year Awards is designed to inspire Irish children to express …

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Some progress on Blake’s Corner controversy

Clare County Council has said today (Tuesday) some progress has been made following its engagement with a committee of residents and local representatives relating to traffic management proposals at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon. Two three-hour meetings have been held, during which detailed discussions took place in relation to the environmental, conservation and traffic requirements that require to be met for any proposal. The appointed project consultants have outlined the range of options explored to date to address the serious safety issues at Blake’s Corner and have presented the variants of different options to the committee. Following discussion and assessment of the options, one of the parties previously affected by land acquisition has been removed from the proposal as an alternative has been identified.

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Apology over Blake’s Corner ‘fiasco’

The chief executive and a director of services of Clare County Council have apologised to the three families affected by what has been described as the “fiasco” of the council’s handling of proposals on Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon. Council CEO Tom Coughlan has privately delivered an apology to the families whose homes and businesses could face demolition if a new bridge, aimed at alleviating traffic problems at Blake’s Corner, goes ahead. Councillor Richard Nagle raised the matter at Monday’s meeting of the council in a motion that called for a protocol to be put in place that would outline clearly how individuals and communities are to be consulted concerning any proposals that directly affect them. “I put down this motion because I believe that it is important that we, as a council, have clear guidelines in place for projects that have a major impact on individual members and the communities in which they are to take place,” Councillor Nagle stated. …

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Great times ahead for Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna looks set to attract even more visitors to its annual matchmaking festival this September after its most famous son featured in the New York Times recently. The North Clare Spa town, by all accounts, attracted record tourist numbers during the five-week festival last year. However, one local hotelier says interest is already surging, from the United States in particular, following Willie Daly’s extensive coverage in the well-known paper. “This article appearing in the New York Times certainly is a bonus for us. Usually, interest in the festival really gets going in May and June but this is worldwide coverage and getting into something like the New York Times, a well established and world-famous paper, is amazing. That type of press coverage will definitely help Lisdoonvarna this year,” said Marcus White of the White Hotel Group, of which the Hydro Hotel, the Imperial Hotel and the Burren Castle Hotel are all part. The socio-economic demographic of NY Times readers increases …

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Big Apple or Ennistymon dilemma for Willie

North Clare matchmaker, Willie Daly has been invited to New York for St Patrick’s Day, following the recent publication of an interview with him in one of the best-known newspapers in the United States. The Lisdoonvarna man was invited to the city by a group of publicans in Brooklyn, to conduct a matchmaking weekend there, after an article about him appeared in the New York Times on February 3. “I was invited off the back of the article but, really, I always have St Patrick’s Day at home with my grandchildren and we always participate in the Ennistymon parade, so I have to weight it up against that,” he said. Last year, following national headlines made by whistleblowers, Willie and his family entered the parade as the tin whistle blowers. “I have suggested to the people who have invited me that maybe April 1 or May Day might be alternative times for a matchmaking weekend. St Patrick’s Day is busy …

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Residents to meet council over Blake’s plan

A committee set up in opposition to the route of a proposed new inner relief road in Ennistymon will meet with senior Clare County Council officials again later this month. The group, made up of residents and local representatives, met with officials from the local authority on Monday and had “a full and frank exchange of views”, according to committee chairman, Senator Martin Conway. The committee was set up at a large public meeting on January 23, after it emerged that the council’s “preferred solution” to congestion at Blake’s Corner would likely result in the demolition of three homes, including one belonging to a young family and another to an elderly couple. “Following our mandate from the public meeting, I have been in regular contact with senior officials in Clare County Council, regarding the threat to family homes and businesses as a result of the proposed inner relief road. These discussions culminated in a meeting between the committee and council …

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