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North Clare

The Burren tourism story

TOURISM is one of the main drivers of the Clare economy and in the North Clare region the Burren plays a pivotal role in this sector. Next Wednesday night, an information and network event will be held to showcase the activities, adventures, food and heritage of the Burren Region. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, in conjunction with the Burren Ecotourism Network, will host The Burren Tourism Story 2014, at the Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. The event will feature information stands, food tastings, the launch of the Burren’s first adventure and activities trail, and guest presentations from author and green business lecturer Prof. Finbarr Bradley; head of programmes and delivery Fáilte Ireland, Fiona Monaghan and award-winning travel writer and journalist, Pól O’Conghaile. Tina O’Dwyer, sustainable tourism co-ordinator, Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark explained that the primary purpose of the upcoming event will be to highlight the variety and quality of visitor attractions and activities on offer …

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Conway back community courts initiative

CLARE  Senator, Martin Conway has said that the roll out of community courts across the country could revolutionise our justice system and would provide a local solution to local problems. Senator Conway’s comments coincide with a Private Members’ Motion on the subject tabled by him in the Seanad this Tuesday. “I will be using the time during my Private Members’ Motion in the Seanad to call on Minister Shatter to establish a community court in Dublin as a pilot project, with the hope that if successful, the model could be rolled out on a regional basis,” the Fine Seanad Spokesperson on Justice said. Continuing, he said, “I am convinced that we need to change how we deal with low-level crime at a local level. By placing the court at the heart of the community and approaching problems in their local context, community courts can offer a pragmatic approach that deals effectively with low level crime. “We need greater community engagement …

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No place to spend a penny in Ennistymon

Nicola Corless PROPOSALS to buy a derelict building in Ennistymon, install public toilets in it and hire a year-round caretaker to maintain it have been ruled out because Clare County Council is not flush with money. Fine Gael Councillor Bill Slattery told a recent area meeting that business people are not happy with people doing their business without spending a penny. Council Slattery asked Clare County Council to provide public toilets in Ennistymon “as a matter of urgency, either by upgrading the existing toilets, which are closed, or alternatively provide new toilets at a different location”. He said, “Certain publicans are annoyed that some people were going into the pub, doing their business and walking out and saying ‘thank you very much’ or in many cases not saying it”. Councillor Richard Nagle recalled, “A Superloo was sanctioned for the town 12 or 13 years ago but it proved impossible to find a suitable site that was accessible but a solution …

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Art groups to exhibit in Ennistymon

TWO North Clare groups have come together for a special exhibition, which will open in Ennistymon Public Library on Tuesday next. A Sunbeam To Warm You is a joint exhibition by the Tubber/Boston Women’s Art Group and the Ennistymon Art Group. It will open on Monday and mark Adult Learners’ Week. Both groups are run as part of the Clare Adult Basic Education Service, Adult and Community Education, Limerick and Clare ETB. Tubber/Boston Women’s Art Group was started after a local group approached Clare VEC in 2011 looking for a funded art course. Since then, there have been three courses held at the local community hall under the direction of art tutor, Marie Connole. The exhibition features work from the most recent TBWAG course, which ran in the winter of 2013. Ten women from the area met for two hours each week to learn the basics of oil painting. During the course, they experimented with colour theory and developed individual …

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Amber kicks off acting career for Lauryn

LAURYN Canny rose to fame in the recent RTÉ drama Amber but many people in Clare already knew her. Born and reared in Dublin, she spends many holidays with her aunts, uncles and cousins in Corofin and Newmarket-on-Fergus. Lauryn’s path into acting didn’t bring her through formal training. Hers started instead as many other journeys do. “I was walking down the road one day when a casting director pulled up. It was for something completely different – I didn’t end up getting it – she asked me if I wanted to audition for a film. It was kind of strange. My mam [Nickki] started Googling to make sure it was ok to go for the audition and she found the audition for Amber and she asked me if I wanted to do the audition for that and I did. I did the audition on a Tuesday, got the part on Wednesday and was filming by Monday.” It is three years …

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Councillors call for staff and services to stay in Ennistymon

Public representatives and council officials have praised the communities of North Clare and council staff for their efforts following recent storms which caused extensive damage to infrastructure in the area. One local councillor has called for the ban on the hiring of public servants to be removed, claiming that “recent events show the need for the embargo on frontline staff to be lifted.” Fears about the future of services at the council’s Ennistymon Area Office were also raised as part of a discussion at the first North Clare area meeting of the year on Monday. Councillors and officials were united in their commendations of staff from the office and voluntary groups who helped in the clean ups following the series of storms so far this year. Mayor of Clare, Councillor Joe Arkins paid tribute to communities and in particular, the council’s administration and outdoor staff for their efforts in the wake of destruction by the storms. “People were out working …

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Peter in Belfast with Macbeth

By Nicola Corless BALLYVAUGHAN-born singer Peter O’Donohue will be appearing at Belfast’s Grand Opera House next weekend, alongside some of the best opera singers in Europe, in  NI Opera’s new production of Verdi’s masterpiece, Macbeth. Peter will be singing in the 40-strong chorus, one of the most geographically-representative opera choruses ever assembled in Ireland, with members drawn from Derry  in the north, Wexford in the south, Ballyvaughan in the west, and Newtownards in the east, plus many places in between. “Macbeth is an opera that has it all – a well-known story, drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat and incredibly beautiful music. The chorus is sounding amazing and it’s great fun to be singing with people from all over Ireland,” he acknowledged. Shakespeare’s tale of murder, madness and all-consuming lust for power, which is well known to generations of English students, inspired Verdi to write some of his finest, most gripping music. In this new production, director Oliver …

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Mixed traditions in Burren burials

EXCAVATIONS at Caherconnell are revealing some interesting practices undertaken by Ireland’s early Christians, according to Dr Michelle Comber, director of The Caherconnell Archaeological Field School at Carron. “It is traditionally accepted that Christianity arrived in Ireland some time before the middle of the fifth century AD. You might be forgiven, then, for assuming that Christianity and Christian practices could be found throughout Ireland within a century or two of this date,” she said revealing that recent excavations by the Caherconnell Archaeology Field School are proving otherwise. “It was discovered in the summer of 2013 that Caherconnell cashel or ‘caher’ (a circular drystone enclosure containing dwelling houses and other domestic structures) had been deliberately constructed over the top of an earlier burial mound. This small mound covered two limestone cists. Although disturbed at one end, their contents were still present. The smaller of the two cists contained the remains of a young child, between one and two years of age, and …

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