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North Clare

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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Miles of Memories in the Burren

THE Miles of Memories charity walk, which will take place in the Burren next month, was officially launched by musician Chris Droney this week. The walk will take place on the Caher Way on Sunday, October 12 at 1pm and is an important fundraiser for Cuimhneamh an Chláir, the Clare oral history and folklore group. The organisation has amassed a significant archive since it was established in 2009, with over 540 of Clare’s most elderly citizens recorded. The walk will include talks on the heritage of the Burren, using interviews from the archive, as well as speakers on the day, covering topics like botany, geology, local history and archaeology. Walk co-ordinator Linda Quinn explained, “The walk will take place on Sunday, October 12 with registration from 12pm at the Fanore Beach car park. The walk will follow the scenic Caher Way, with stunning views across the Burren and Atlantic Ocean. We are inviting people to come and join us for …

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Janet Street Porter proves a match in Lisdoon

APPROXIMATELY 40,000 people are expected to attend the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival this month, one local hotelier has claimed. The renowned festival began last week and among the first guests looking to meet her match was television presenter and journalist, Janet Street Porter. Ms Street Porter was in the North Clare village on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and her experience was discussed on ITV’s Loose Women on Monday. She also wrote about her trip looking for love in Lisdoonvarna in her column in the Daily Mail. Ms Street Porter introduced the festival, and the art of traditional matchmaking, to a British audience. The four-time divorcee was matched with John Richardson, who she described as “a very attractive, single, professional man”. Marcus White of the Hydro Hotel believes her visit is already having repercussions for businesses in the area and for the festival itself. “It was fantastic to get someone as high-profile as Janet Street Porter come to the matchmaking festival. …

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Jim White, Hydro Hotel, Lisdoonvarna

Tributes paid to Lisdoonvarna hotelier

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to the former Fine Gael TD Jim White who died in hospital on Tuesday night aged 76. Although born and reared in Ballyshannon in County Donegal, Mr White had strong links with Clare having bought the Hyrdo Hotel in Lisdoonvarna in 1974. This was the foundation for the development of Whites Hotel Group which now owns the Imperial Hotel, the King Thomond and the Burren Castle Hotel in North Clare as well as hotels in Tralee and Donegal. According to his son Marcus, Jim was involved in the running of the businesses up to his admission to hospital five weeks ago. Marcus described his father’s passing as ‘dignified’ and paid tribute to the staff of the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin for the care they provided. He visited Lisdoonvarna before his mobility was reduced last year. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny recalled Jim as “a man of enormous positivity and generosity with huge credibility in …

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Commemorative coin for John P Holland

The Central Bank of Ireland has  launched a €15 limited edition silver proof collector coin to commemorate John Philip Holland [1841 – 1914], the Liscannor-born inventor of the modern submarine. The coin features a representative image of the inventor’s hand poised to place the final stroke of a technical drawing of the USS Holland, complete with a decorative nautilus spiral with the obverse bearing the traditional representation of the Irish harp. The coin, which was designed by Mary Gregory, is part of the Irish Science and Inventions coin series, and has an issue limit of 10,000 units. Speaking at the launch at the Marine Institute in Oranmore, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe said, “This commemorative coin provides a lasting tribute to an individual whose achievements are celebrated throughout the world. John Philip Holland’s design of the first working submarine has had a huge impact on marine research, warfare and engineering. It is fitting that this coin is being launched …

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