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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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Flooding labeled a ‘mental health’ issue

A local representative is warning that living under threat of flooding is having a negative impact on the mental health of people in South Galway. County councillor, Joe Byrne is calling on the Government to seek a derogation from Europe in relation to the Habitats Directive, in order to allow flood prevention works to take place. The Kinvara man wrote to the Office of Public Works last week, after it emerged that a representative of the OPW, who had been invited, would not be attending the September meeting of Galway County Council on Monday. “In fairness to the OPW, I think their hands are tied because they will come back to us and say the Habitats Directive prevents us from doing X, Y and Z. So, unless the Irish Government goes to Europe and gets a win-win situation, whereby they agree some sort of derogation on the Habitats Directive, we won’t be able to do this work, a lot of …

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Sisters on top of the world

SCARIFF sisters, Joanne Treacy and Kate (Treacy) O’Donoghue recently climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, in aid of Raheen Hospital Support Services Ltd. Joanne is currently living and working in London and Kate is living in Clane, County Kildare, but both are originally from Cooleenbridge, Scariff, and their native parish is still very close to their hearts. This is why they chose to do the climb in aid of Raheen Hospital. So far, the siblings have raised nearly €1,000. They climbed Kilimanjaro through hail, rain, snow and shine over six days, reaching the summit on the morning of September 6. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and also the highest freestanding peak in the world. The Scariff sisters trekked the 64km up and down, a distance that equates to summiting Carrauntoohill six times over. Speaking about why they chose to raise funds for Raheen Hospital Support Services Ltd, Kate Treacy said, “The charity we have chosen is very close to …

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Scariff Central School at 40

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Scariff Central National School and last week Scariff National School invited all past and present pupils, parents and staff to attend an event to celebrate this milestone. Principal, Brídann O’Callaghan said, “September 1974 was a milestone in the history of education in the parish of Scariff. It marked the opening of a brand new, modern school, Scariff Central National School at Fossabeg catering for a large number of pupils in the Scariff catchment area. “As we celebrate the schools 40th anniversary it is interesting to look back at the history of education in the locality. Like most areas in Ireland, there were hedge schools in the Scariff area, with records showing schools in Inis Caltra, Aughrim, Moynoe and Tuamgraney. “Due to the restrictions imposed by the Penal Laws, Catholic schools in the 18th century were illegal. Nevertheless hedge schools abounded though these were temporary and therefore no physical traces of them remain,” she said. …

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Bring the Fleadh to Ennis in 2016

ENNIS councillor Pat Daly has called on the Clare branch of Comhaltas to mount a major campaign in bringing Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to Ennis in 2016. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the biggest traditional Irish music festival on the planet, a week-long jamboree of music, song and dance. And the Fianna Fail councillor has asked his colleagues on the council to back the bid that would bring thousands of visitors and millions of euro to the town in two years time. “We just missed out by two votes on securing the Fleadh in 2014 and Sligo is hosting it again next year, but Ennis is the ideal centre for the Fleadh, as we emerge slowly from recession,” Cllr Daly told the Ennis Municipal district meeting. Cllr Daly outlined the work carried out by Sligo whose county councillors were to the fore in lobbying for the Fleadh at the Comhaltas Congress and pursued their interest by lobbying people all over …

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Jenny devotes a lifetime to search and rescue

JENNY Carway has served as a marine rescue volunteer in Kilkee for 18 years. Living on the Carrigaholt side of Kilkee, she is the longest-serving member of the Irish Coastguard Unit but that’s not all what that distinguishes Jenny from her colleagues. Her accent is somewhat Irish but not completely. A simple question resulted in an intriguing response. “I’m a blow-in. I’m originally from Somalia,” Jenny replied. Her background is fascinating. “My grandparents were Irish. We lived in Uganda through Idi Amin’s time and we had to leave. My brothers were in boarding school in Ireland and my parents decided to give Ireland a go so we came here. We lived in Limerick and I’d come to Kilkee as a kid for summer holidays. So I just came down here and stayed here since. I came here diving. I enjoy it. It’s a great place to live,” she surmised. Jenny left Africa when she was 11. She has yet to …

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Feakle unlikely to get GP

AS the HSE seeks to fill the vacancy for a GP in Feakle for a third time, the president of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), Dr Conor McGee, says, as things stand, he does not expect a successful outcome. Dr McGee, who is based in Scariff, was commenting on the latest advertisement of the Feakle doctor’s position, which has opened the vacancy up to GPs based in other practices, as well as new doctors. “Since the job in Feakle became vacant, it had been advertised twice but it is worth noting that it has received a total of no applications. That’s not a comment on Feakle, that’s just people looking at the figures and saying I won’t be able to make a living out of this, and that’s what it is. There is something very tragic about it, though, because there has been a doctor in Feakle for 50 years. It is a great service to have locally …

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Bond star ‘Jaws’ fondly remembered in Ennis

THE passing of actor Richard Kiel, best known to filmgoers as the steel-incisored villain “Jaws” in two 1970s James Bond films, has prompted a resident from the Bushy Park area of Ennis to recall his days on film sets with the Detroit -born 7’2″ colossus. David Coley, who spent his working life on film sets all over the world, met the late 74-year-old actor while working on the Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). David began his early career in construction before landing a job making sets and props at Pinewood Studios. He worked his way up the career ladder working on the film ‘stage’ and then going on location to build the sets and any props that were needed, before progressing to working with the camera crew as a stand-by ‘chippy’. “If they wanted a the camera on a roof it was your job to get it up there safely,” David explained David’s first …

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