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Ennistymon mum, Brianna enjoys the sweet taste of success

ENNISTYMON mum, Brianna Turner is enjoying the ‘sweet’ taste of success having been chosen a top winner in the recent nationwide search by banana importer Fyffes to find a new mouth-watering dessert that has a banana as its key ingredient. Responding to the invitation fronted by celebrity cook, Donal Skehan, Brianna was amongst a large group of what the popular television presenter called ‘creative and inventive meal-makers’ who accepted his challenge to design a desert that could become a meal-topping choice on tables around Ireland and abroad. A graduate of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Brianna has had a passion for food and cooking from a young age when she used to make scones and apple tarts with her grandmother Pauline. Over the years she has honed her skills working as a chef in the Michelin Star Bluehill Restaurant in Manhattan and more recently in Chez Panisse, California. Brianna is now a full-time mum to 15-month old son Alo, while her partner …

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Matchmaking festival film puts Clare on centre stage

HOT on the heels of the huge publicity boost for North Clare created by the TV show ‘Smother’ and the two-part documentary ‘The Burren: Heart of Stone,’ Lisdoonvarna is set for a visitor boost this summer after inspiring a movie on the world-famous matchmaking festival. Entitled, ‘As Luck Would Have It,’ the movie premiered on the Hallmark Channel last week. It stars Irish actor Allen Leech, who played Tom Branson in the hugely popular ‘Downton Abbey,’ and US actress JoAnne Garcia Swisher from the Netflix series ‘Sweet Magnolia’. The film’s plot revolves around JoAnne’s character, Lindsey, who travels to Ireland to acquire land to build a resort. She decides to enter the local matchmaking festival to prove her investment and win over a handsome local. The film is one of two major television productions to reference the festival in recent years. The multi-award winning ‘Schitt’s Creek’ features a Singles Week in the series four finale, with a serious nod to …

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Public consultation starts on Cliffs Of Moher 2040 strategy

AN extensive public consultation process has commenced as part of the development of a sustainable long-term masterplan for the Cliffs of Moher. Clare County Council is working, with consultancy firm Haley Sharpe Design, to prepare the Cliffs of Moher Strategy 2040. The focus of the work to date has been on preliminary research, on-site investigations, and desk-top studies to understand the challenges facing the Cliffs of Moher and to identify potential opportunities for helping to realise future aspirations. A four-month consultation process involving local communities, organisations, businesses, and residents, to facilitate participation in this listening process commenced this week. The process includes online workshops, feedback sessions, focus groups, written submission and surveys. “The consultation phase of the strategy is a key stage of the process,” explained Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council. “Initial meetings have taken place this week with a series of other meetings and workshops to follow over the next three to four months,” he …

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Tom up to scratch as he collects national coding award

A NORTH Clare student is proving he is up to scratch when it comes to computer technology. Tom Dandoy, a third year coding student at CBS Ennistymon has been presented with an award in the National Scratch Coding Competition after developing his very own computer game. Tom’s game Spaceship Battles 3 is the final game in a trilogy that he has developed using Scratch programming which he has been learning in school. He was one of 34 finalists from 215 entrants in the competition which is being held as part of Technology Week, a nationwide festival of technology driven events aimed at students, parents and the public. On Wednesday the winners of the competition were announced, with Tom receiving an award for ‘Best Technical Sophistication” after impressing the judges with his game. Tom has been learning Scratch programming for game design at Ennistymon CBS since first year in his coding class with teacher Sean Murphy. All Junior Cycle students in …

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Burren Ecotourism Network encourage local clean ups for Earth Day

EARTH Day is celebrated each year on April 22. Established in 1970, the objective of this global campaign is to highlight environmental issues around the world, and how local communities are getting involved to provide solutions. So what does Earth Day mean to the Burren? The Burren Ecotourism Network has joined forces with other community groups in the region to tackle head-on the crisis of litter management. “We have taken inspiration from Earth Day to launch an awareness campaign to better manage and ultimately prevent litter in the Burren,” states Jarlath O’Dwyer, CEO of the Burren Ecotourism Network. “We are looking at a variety of approaches including organised clean-ups, pro-active social media campaigns as well as working with Clare County Council and established networks such as Clean Coasts and Leave No Trace.” The members of the Burren Ecotourism Network have been focused on keeping their local patches litter free over the years through the Adopt a Hedge Row and this …

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Lyrical new Burren documentary to air on RTÉ

HEART of Stone is the title of a visually stunning two-part series to air on RTÉ One at 6.30pm next Sunday. The Burren is a place full of intrigue and mystery to Lahinch-based film-maker Katrina Costello, who has been working there for over 13 years. “It is not a landscape that gives up her secrets easily, but in every fold of rock and around every corner there is always a new surprise,” she remarked. Heart of Stone captures the raw and complicated beauty of the Burren using intimate natural history photography and the spontaneous insights of a cast of local contributors. Narrated by Brendan Gleeson, the piece takes audiences on a journey through the ages, tracing the genetic story of the Irish people. It tells the story of the Irish hunter-gatherers and reveals what became of them. It asks if prehistoric farmers irreversibly altered this landscape and if modern Irish society is descended from those who first lived here over …

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Sam sharpens focus on starting knife making school in Clare

“I CAME over to Dublin from Ghana for what was meant to be six months, to help my friends set up a restaurant and plan a menu, then I blinked and found five years had gone by.” Sam Gleeson is reflecting on the road that has led him to Ennistymon and how he has come to set up a knife making business that last week won him a prestigious national craft award with a €10,000 bursary. Using metal and woodworking techniques, and using found and reclaimed materials, even washed-up ocean plastics, he creates beautiful, distinctive knives for culinary use. The plan now is to open a teaching facility in Ennistymon to share his bladesmith craft with others and Sam plans to use his bursary to attend a forge-welding course in the US and take his own skills to the next level. “Reclaimed wood and plastic goes in the handles,” he says, “but what I’m becoming known for is making my …

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Thriller stars share love of North Clare landscape

STARS of RTÉ’s hit drama Smother have shared their impressions of the rugged North Clare coastline, and its role in creating the atmosphere for what has been described as a ‘Celtic Noir’ thriller. Thomas Levin and Hazel Doupe, who play father and daughter Carl and Ingrid Jensen, were among the stellar cast involved in RTÉ’S Smother which was shot last year in the Lahinch area. The six-part series follows the fortunes of the Ahern family in the aftermath of the suspicious death of patriarch Denis. His wife Val (Dervla Kirwan) is in a new relationship with Carl, but Denis seems to be able to keep his grudge against them going from beyond the grave. After being cast as Carl, Thomas, whose TV credits include the Danish hit Borgen and Channel 4’s Norskov, travelled to Ireland to join the cast. “It was my first time in Ireland and North Clare and it was fantastic waking up and going to work there …

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