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North Clare

A lotto luck for North Clare syndicate

A  North Clare group collected their prize of €556,194 in National Lottery offices in Dublin on Tuesday (November 4). The “Rum for Me” syndicate, so-called as spiced rum is their drink of choice, raised a glass to celebrate their big win after matching five numbers and one lucky star number in last Tuesday’s EuroMillions draw. The lucky group comprises seven winners, aged 26 to 55, who live and work in the Lisdoonvarna, Corofin and Doolin areas. The group members have decided not to release their names. “We started this syndicate just six weeks ago”, said a member of the group. “Each week, we won small amounts and today’s winning ticket was bought with the money we’d won the week before.” The winners have lots of interesting plans for the win. “I’m going to pay for the damage I did to my father’s car this summer’, said one; another said he intends to pursue a career in 3-D animation; another member …

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Rita is one in a million at Cliffs Visitor Centre

The one millionth visitor to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in 2014 was recorded on Monday, October 20. Rita Shaw from Niceville, Florida, USA, became the one millionth visitor when she arrived at the Cliffs at 11am. Rita, who is on holiday in Ireland with her husband Stephen, was greeted onsite with music and a champagne reception before being presented with a certificate marking the occasion, as well as a €5,000 prize return holiday to County Clare. 2014 marks the fourth successive year of increased visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, with figures for the year so far up 12% on 2013. The Clare County Council owned visitor centre has also seen substantial investment in product and facilities in 2014, with a spend of over €600,000 on additional coach parking facilities, new exhibition content, restoration works in O’Brien’s Tower and a redesign of the foyer at the visitor centre. Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County …

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Awards showered upon Cliffs and Burren

The plaudits seemed endless for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Burren Ecotourism Network at this year’s Responsible Travel & Tourism Awards, the Irish hospitality sector’s only environmental accreditation programme. Network members and the Geopark itself claimed the overall prize in 9 of 24 categories in the competition, which is designed to identify and celebrate businesses that are committed to implementing responsible business practices to reduce their environmental impact. The awards, which were judged by a panel of experts, led by GHP chairperson, Duncan Stewart, were open to any business that operates within the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The winners were announced by Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport at the Green Hospitality Programme (GHP) National Conference in Dublin. The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark claimed the Best Destination and Best Responsible Travel & Tourism Business awards, while The Burren Ecotourism Network was named Best Green Group. There was also success for individual Burren …

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TV cop reveals Crusheen roots

AN Bronntanas is a new five-part contemporary thriller, set in a fictional village in the West of Ireland, which is under pressure. Featuring John Finn, an actor with strong Clare links, the show is told in the style of a Celtic Noir, with elements of the Coen brothers’ influence thrown in. It tells the story of the village’s struggle as the economy crashes and unemployment runs high. The main employer is the local fish factory and that, too, is beginning to go under and many will be broke. When a rescue crew receives a distress call on a stormy night, to discover an abandoned fishing boat with a cargo of over a €1 million worth of drugs, the crew is faced with a moral dilemma. Do they hand the drugs to the authorities or sell the drugs and save their struggling village? An Bronntanas stars Dara Devaney (Na Cloigne) and Owen McDonnell (Single Handed), alongside veteran American-Irish TV and theatre …

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Keelan claims scholarship for academic excellence

A North Clare student was presented with a €20,000 scholarship rewarding academic excellence at a ceremony recently. Keelan McMahon received the Naughton Foundation Academic Scholarship, after accepting a place at University College Cork to study Mathematical Science. Keelan will receive the scholarship over the duration of his third-level course and not only does the award benefit him, it also means his alma mater, Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna, will benefit. The scholarship includes a payment of €1,000 to the school. The Naughton Foundation is a private family foundation, established by Martin and Carmel Naughton in 1994, to support worthwhile causes in the arts and education. In 2008, the scholarship programme was set up to increase support for Leaving Certificate students, who would like to study engineering, science and technology at third level in Ireland. Originally, the programme only applied to students from counties Louth, Meath and Monaghan. However, it has now expanded to cover 20 counties and continues to …

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Clare in the vanguard of tourism drive

A number of Clare tourism enterprises were in the vanguard of a major tourism sales drive when the Irish tourism sector met with top overseas travel buyers this week. The second in a series of targeted 2015 sales drive of international tourism workshops focused on the British coach tour sector, with Clare businesses such as The Armada Hotel, the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin2 Aran Ferries pitching directly to agents from the British market. The workshop saw a total of 86 Irish tourism trade meet with 18 GB Coach and Group Operators who were very keen to develop business contacts and business relationships with Ireland. Martina Bromley, head of sales with Fáilte Ireland, stressed the importance of hosting events like these and the benefits for the Irish trade involved. “We are delighted to welcome these important GB Coach and Group Operators to our shore as they plan their 2015 packages. These overseas agents have the capacity to deliver significant amounts …

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Lisdoonvarna pub shortlisted for Bar of the Year

The Wild Honey Inn has been shortlisted as the only Clare finalist in this year’s Bar of the Year Awards. The bar has been nominated in two categories; Munster Bar of the Year and Best Modern Irish Cooking in a Bar. The Bar of the Year Awards celebrate excellence in the industry and are dedicated to raising the profile of pubs and reminding consumers of the service and quality that exists within the licensed trade. The gastro-pub has won a range of awards in recent years including ones from Georgina Campbell and John and Sally McKenna and the Michelin Bib Gourmand. An expert panel of industry professionals, training and service experts and food and tourism representatives judge the competition. Award winners will be announced at an event in Dublin on Tuesday, October 28 from 6.30pm. Open to all licensed premises in Ireland, the Bar Of The Year Awards received a 36% increase in entries this year. Bars across Ireland were selected across a range of categories including Bar Food of the Year, Best Modern …

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