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North Clare

Miraculous escape for surfer in treacherous conditions

A SURFER had a miraculous escape in North Clare after he made it safely ashore in storm force winds and dangerous seas. Doolin Coast Guard team was called to the incident in Lahinch on Thursday evening at 5 o’clock when a member of the public reported what they thought was possibly a person in the water. The sea was rough at the time, according to Station Officer Mattie Shannon, and Doolin Coast Guard unit team members went to the location and searched the area. They found no evidence of anyone in the water until a surfer reported that another surfer was overdue. Against the odds, in darkness and difficult sea conditions, the surfer made it back to shore at approximately 6.50pm. He was assisted and treated for hypothermia by Coast Guard members until the HSE Ambulance arrived. He was then taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

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Cliffs of Moher closed to public due to strong winds

MANAGEMENT  at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre in North Clare have announced that the tourist attraction was  closed to the public from 1pm on Wednesday, December 18 due to expected strong winds. Katherine Webster,  director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, said, “We appeal to people not to visit the Cliffs of Moher from 1pm today as it will be unsafe to do so and the visitor centre will not be open.” Met Eireann has issued a National Status Red Weather Warning predicting extreme gale force winds from 3pm onwards and continuing through the night.  Gusts of up to 150km/ph are forecast. This weather warning runs until 3am Thursday. Visitors intending to visit tomorrow should check the website or call ahead to check if the centre is open.  

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Opposition to fish farm reinforced

Slow Food International has reiterated its position on fish farms, stating that the organisation “does not consider open net pen fish farms an environmentally sound practice”. The group made the statement ahead of any decision by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on whether or not to grant a license to Bord Iascaigh Mhara for a giant salmon farm off the North Clare Coast. The movement said it wished to “reiterate its opposition to intensive open pen fish farms, correcting any misconception resulting from the mention of Slow Food in the Environmental Impact Statement published by BIM”. Piero Sardo, president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, confirms, “Open net pen aquaculture is not a solution to the problem of overfishing: It damages natural ecosystems on a local and a global level, including wild stocks, habitats and water quality. Feeding carnivorous salmon in farms means other wild species must also be harvested, resulting in a larger carbon footprint …

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Burren Visitors urged to Leave No Trace

VISITORS to the Burren are being urged to ‘Leave No Trace’ as a new responsible tourism policy is launched in the area. The graffiti incident at the Cliffs of Moher earlier this year is one example of  the environmental vandalism that the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is seeking to minimise in the future through its involvement in a responsible tourism initiative. The Geopark has teamed up with Leave No Trace Ireland, an Irish-based charitable network of organisations and individuals promoting responsible outdoor recreation. During the coming weeks and throughout 2014, more than 50 tourism operators and influencers in the Burren will undergo awareness training aimed at encouraging visitors to the Burren to enjoy the world-famous karst region responsibly. The pilot project between the Geopark and Leave No Trace Ireland is being run by the GeoparkLIFE programme. Tina O’Dwyer, Sustainable Tourism Co-ordinator, Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark explained that the adoption of the Leave No Trace policy complements …

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Festival of Cribs in Liscannor

THE annual Festival of Christmas Cribs will be held at Liscannor Church from Saturday to Monday next. More than 550 cribs, representing the traditions of over 50 countries around the world, will be on display. According to parish priest, Fr Denis Crosby, this is a great opportunity to see the variation of interpretations of the Christmas story in different cultures. The display should be of particular interest to young children, so families are being encouraged to visit the church over the weekend. The festival will be open each day from 10am to 6pm.

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Principal pleads for Traveller family

AN Ennistymon school principal has intervened in a bid to secure emergency accommodation for a local Traveller family living in “sub-human living conditions”. Ennistymon National School principal, Helen Sheridan has expressed grave concern for the physical and mental health of Caroline Sherlock and her seven children as a result of living in a small caravan on the side of the road near Cregg beach, on the outskirts of Lahinch. In a letter to county manager, Tom Coughlan, Ms Sheridan stated five of Caroline’s children were “visibly shaken” by their ongoing accommodation crisis, when they returned to school in September, despite the best efforts of their teachers to help them settle back. The principal noted that her five children are good attendees and are all doing well at school. However, she said, “The children are pale and anxious and frequently tell teachers they are suffering from stomach pains.” The council stated there is one vacant family home in Traveller accommodation in …

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Air force experience prepared veteran for cancer battle

TONY Petty returned from Oklahoma recently to his native North Clare. Here, the Ennistymon ex-pat recalls getting in on the ground floor of the computer industry and how his experience in the United States Air Force helped him in his most recent battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In 1957 Tony Petty took a leap of faith, unusual among his peers. The 20-year-old walked out of a permanent job as a bus conductor in London, to return home to meet an uncle returning to Ireland on holidays for the first time in 50 years. Seventy-year-old Mikey Petty left Ennistymon for America in 1907. For the following five decades, he remained in contact with his family, among them his brother Joseph, Tony’s father. Now, he was coming home from Worchester, Massachusetts for two weeks holidays but in London, Tony couldn’t get time off to return home. “I gave it up [the job] because they would not give me a holiday and I wanted …

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Tanzanian maternity placement for Fiona

CRUSHEEN nurse Fiona Curtin will celebrate New Year’s Day in East Africa sharing her medical skills in the overcrowded maternity unit of Arusha’s main hospital in Tanzania. The Drumbonniv woman is currently studying for her post graduate degree in midwifery studies at Queens University, Belfast. Having qualified as a nurse at NUIG, Fiona spent two years working in Reading, near London, before moving to Belfast. “As part of the course I have the amazing opportunity to travel to Tanzania for a four-week placement to work with women and children in dire need of obstetric and midwifery care,” Fiona explained. “There is a link between Malawi and Queens University and that is where a lot of people go to volunteer. I wanted to go to go to a different country, not where everyone else is going. I did some research and Tanzania has one of the fastest growing populations in the world and also has high levels of poverty. I found …

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