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Tennis for Ukrainian refugees in Shannon

A TENNIS programme is being run throughout July for Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Shannon. It started last week and is being run by Wesley O’Brien, who said it came to Shannon after something similar began in Meelick a few weeks earlier. “About three weeks ago I started a similar programme at the Radisson Hotel for the families there,” Wesley told The Champion. “A lady called Siobhán Boyd reached out to me, who’s with a group in Shannon, and she asked if I’d do something for the families in Shannon so I said no problem.” He was very pleased with how it had begun. “It went very well, we had good numbers considering it was the first day. We broke it into different age groups, there were five to ten-year-olds from half two to half three, 11 to 17 from half three to half four and then 18 and over from 4.30 to 5.30pm. Considering it was the first …

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Oatfield bids farewell to Canon Dan after 11 year stint

AFTER more than 11 years of celebrating the fortnightly mass at the famous Barn Church in Oatfield, Canon Dan Spaight bade the local community a fond farewell last Saturday night. Retired for some years, after his ministry in Middlesborough in the UK, and now living in Ennis, Canon Spaight is a native of Cratloe and was ordained in 1959. “There were a total of 437 priests ordained across Ireland that year,” he recalled. “That was some number.” Canon Spaight enjoyed his ministry and his retirement to Ennis has proven to be an active one. He was approached more than a decade ago by sacristan Noreen Brandon and Parish Council member, the late Geraldine Crehan, to say mass in Oatfield. “It was round two weeks before Christmas in 2009 and I agreed,” he said. “The weather was very bad and I wondered if things continued, if I’d ever get there. I was told not to worry because there were people with …

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New electric bike share scheme in Shannon

SHANNON is to benefit from a new electric bike share scheme across the town and the Free Zone. The scheme is operated by an Irish start-up CoMotion Mobility Solutions Ltd which has established a base at the Future Mobility Campus in Shannon. The free-floating scheme which is accessible via the CoMotion App will see 50 bikes deployed across the region. Bikes will be located on-street 24-7 and can be rented by paying a €1 unlocking fee and then just 1c per minute thereafter. The scheme is unique as it is sponsored by local businesses and elected members of the Shannon Municipal District. Sponsors include Shannon Group, EI Electronics, Clare County Council, Zagg International, Fine Grain Properties, Shannon Springs Hotel, Shannon Leisure Centre, Shannon Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Skillnet and Future Mobility Campus Ireland. According to Emma Dobbyn of CoMotion, “The scheme is made viable by the support of all the sponsors. “Their willingness to back the scheme and provide additional …

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Shannon benefits from Dublin charter woes but could do more

A US-BASED aircraft charter company has sent some flights through Shannon due to issues at Dublin, but is disappointed that even more can’t be accommodated at the Clare airport. Peter Le Bas, the CEO of California-based Le Bas International, was himself based in Shannon for a number of years. He said that while some planes that had been due to go through Dublin are going to Shannon, he is disappointed that even more can’t use the airport. “We’ve got a couple of flights coming into Shannon this Saturday, we would have had six into Shannon if we could, but they could only handle two of the six, which was a shame really. Kerry Airport handled the majority of them. “It was a bit of a shock for us that we couldn’t get into Dublin originally, it was the first time in 32 years to book a flight into the handling of an airport in advance and you just don’t get …

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Clare volunteer joins board of Youth Work Ireland

A CLARE man has been appointed to the board of Ireland’s largest youth organisation. Kilnaboy’s Seán Roche moves to the top table of Youth Work Ireland after 43 years of voluntary service to Clare Youth Service and Kilnaboy Youth Club. Youth Work Ireland comprises nationwide youth services from Donegal to Cork and a national office that works together to support, empower and educate young people through the delivery of best practice youth work services.  Seán has represented the voice and experience of rural youth clubs within Clare for many years and CEO of Clare Youth Service Margaret Slattery said his move to the national forum will be very positive. “This is a significant appointment for Clare. Seán is a strong voice representing the experience and challenges of rural youth services  and their importance to the health of the community and wellbeing of young people especially those who are rurally or socially isolated,” said Ms Slattery. “I know that he will bring …

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Clare whiskey to be matured in casks at Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher Experience has announced a partnership with J.J. Corry Irish Whiskey to create a new series of Irish whiskeys finished in sherry casks in the iconic O’Brien’s Tower. Clare-based J.J. Corry has selected single malt, pot still and single grain whiskeys from around the island of Ireland to mature within the tower, which was built by Sir Cornelius O’Brien on the edge of the world-famous cliffs in 1835. Working with partner Cooper Casknolia and Bodegas in Montilla & Jerez, the casks have been seasoned for over 18 months before being filled with J. J. Corry whiskey. They will end their maturation process with the wild Atlantic Ocean breeze in O Brien’s Tower and the whiskeys will be released as a series of bottlings later this year. “As custodians of the Cliffs of Moher we are proud to continue the longstanding tradition of supporting local suppliers, dispersing economic benefit and meeting our sustainability goals” explained Geraldine Enright, Director …

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Clare campaigner honoured for diabetes work

AN Ennis patient advocate has won a MACE Unsung Heroes Sports, Health and Wellbeing Award in recognition of her tireless work on behalf of the diabetes community in the Mid-West. In total, MACE presented five category Unsung Heroes Community awards, including the award to Gráinne Flynn, with each individual category winner being rewarded with cheques for €1,000. Each winner was contacted personally by Johnny Sexton to inform them of their win. Ms Flynn runs a number of peer support groups, to allow those with diabetes to chat to another person going through the same issues. She has also campaigned tirelessly for better services for those with diabetes. She is thrilled with the award and so humbled to have been nominated by her friend Aisling White from the Midwest Diabetes Group. “I have been volunteering with Diabetes Ireland since 2007 and the Midwest Diabetes Advocacy Group formed through this when members of the community based in Clare and Limerick reached out …

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South Galway community set for festival fun next weekend

A SOUTH Galway community is set to revive its Showband heritage next weekend with a festival that will help raise funds for the local GAA club. In the 1950s and 60s, the village of Ballinderreen in Galway was a firm fixture on touring maps for the showbands who travelled the length and breadth of the country. The inaugural South Galway Bay Music Festival aims to revive that spirit over the weekend of July 22-24. Organisers are inviting one and all to gather together to celebrate music and dance at the festival hosted by Ballinderreen GAA Club with fully licenced bar and food stalls to run over three days. Anyone worried about missing the All-Ireland final can rest easy as the match will be shown on the big screen the all Ireland match can be viewed on a big screen… and celebrations (hopefully) will take place with Galway man Mike Denver on stage at 5. Headline acts include the very biggest …

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