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Inspiring hope through travel tales

Lahinch author Ruairí McKiernan writes about the challenges of writing his first book, overcoming initial rejection from publishers, and then launching what became a No.1 bestseller at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was never my dream to write a book, but it seemed life had other plans. The first call to write came when I was 23 and living in Canada. A publisher approached me after hearing me on the radio discussing globalisation. I was no expert on the subject, but I decided to give it a go. A third of the way through the first draft I gave up. Too hard, too time-consuming; the writing life not for me. “Never again,” I said. Fast forward a decade. I’m hitchhiking around Ireland on what I called a listening tour; seeking out hope for myself and my country. At that time I was burnt out, feeling lost and depressed, and so too was post-boom Ireland. I began meditating, bringing awareness to …

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Lahinch firm doubles workforce amid remote working boom

REMOTE working and other changes prompted by the pandemic have provided a business boost for a Lahinch-based tech company who is to double the size of its workforce. HRLocker, a specialist in the use of human resource (HR) solutions, is to create 50 new jobs such is the rise in demand for its services. The new roles, many of which will be in Sales and Marketing, are said to be a direct result of the huge shift to remote working prompted by Covid-19. The company automates the administrative elements of HR, such as performance management, absence management, continuous professional development and timesheets and also offers a range of tools to help manage remote teams. In response to demand from clients, over the course of 2020, HRLocker introduced a number of new features to support remote and blended working. These include geolocation logins, contactless clock-ins, employee self-service and digital noticeboards. Adam Coleman, CEO of HRLocker, said employers are now actively looking …

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Scariff community ‘keep her lit’ for January

SCARIFF is among the growing list of towns nationwide who have decided to leave festive public lighting in place over the dark days of January. The idea was mooted last week by members of the County Roscommon community of Elphin, and Scariff Community Council has responded to the call by deciding to leave the Christmas Tree lit up until the end of this month. Councillor Valerie Byrne, from Elphin, said up to 100 towns all over Ireland have already joined the movement to keep the festive cheer going for as long as possible in the face of the third wave of the pandemic. To-date, towns and village in Roscommon, Mayo, Kildare and Clare are taking part and Christmas lights will also stay on in Ennis until the end of January. Scariff Community Council said in a Facebook post, that “with the festive period cut short due to Level 5 restrictions, the lights are hoped to lift spirits and guide locals …

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New estate planned for Tulla

THIRTY-SIX new homes could be on the way for Tulla, with an application for a residential development being considered by planners for a site on the outskirts of the village. Rockfort Developments plan to build 14 detached homes as well as 16 semi-detached and six terraced houses off the L4078, with a pedestrian connection to the exiting footpath into town. The site, of just over 1.8 hectares, is located inside the 50kmph speed limit in an area zoned for low-density residential development under the Tulla Settlement Plan. It is currently a greenfield site, bounded to the north by the Cúirt na bhFiach estate, to the east by O’Halloran’s filling station, and to the west by a single private home. To the south, the site is delineated by the public road, with St Joseph’s Secondary School just opposite. A design statement, submitted as part of the application, outlines that eleven of the detached homes would have four bedrooms, while the remaining …

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Gort Foróige honoured for video promoting Covid awareness

GORT Foróige has been honoured for raising awareness of Covid-19, after scooping a prize at the prestigious national virtual festival. More than 450 short films about science and technology were entered into the ReelLIFE Science Video Competition by over 2,500 people from 130 schools and youth groups around Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including ‘Múinteoir Ray’ Cuddihy from RTÉ’s After School Hub; BBC Wildlife and Children’s presenter, Ferne Corrigan; and the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, from Coláiste Choilm in Cork. Foróige Youth Service in Gort took third place in the youth group project category. Before the current lockdown, the Junior Filmmaking Group came together to make a short video to raise awareness about the spread of Covid-19 in everyday environments. The group was involved in all aspects of the filmmaking project, from planning, directing, acting to editing and post production. The informative and creative piece …

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Banner teams strive for title of Ireland’s fittest family

TWO ultra-fit Clare families will put their strength and stamina to the test on national television over the coming weeks in a bid to be crowned Ireland’s Fittest Family. The hit TV show, which already features Clare man and Wexford hurling boss, Davy Fitzgerald, will see the Kulczynski family from Ennis and the O’Halloran family from Newpark, Kilkishen go through extreme endurance challenges in settings from ski slopes to bogs. Over the course of the series, which started last Sunday on RTÉ One, a total of 16 families will be whittled down to four for a gruelling final contest, from which only one winning team can emerge. With highly impressive fitness credentials, the Kulczynski family are hotly tipped to stay in contention until the very end. Elite junior triathlete, Sabian has multiple national titles in triathlons, aquathons and duathlons and represents Ireland in competitions across Europe. He is a swimmer, mountain biker, road biker and used to run cross country. …

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Ennis gym sources €3,000 donations for local food drive

UP TO €3,000 worth of food and other essential supplies have been donated by members of an Ennis gym to families in need in the community over Christmas. In the run-up to the festive season, Mike Hogan of Ozone Health and Fitness asked members to donate whatever non-perishable products they could to support local families who need extra help at this time of year. “We did it for the first time in 2019 and collected around 150 kilos of food and other products,” said Mike. “This year, everyone was so conscious of how tough things have been for so many and we were delighted to reach 500 kilos of food and other basic supplies. I’m awful proud of everyone. We have fantastic members. Sometimes, there can be a bit of scepticism about charities and where the money goes, but we proved that what we are doing is supporting genuine people in our own community. People are really fantastic when they’re …

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Waterways Ireland plan new Lough Derg mooring points

THREE new ‘tranquillity moorings’ are being proposed for sites along Lough Derg’s Clare shoreline. Waterways Ireland has lodged applications with Clare County Council to build the moorings at Castle Bawn Bay, Ogonnelloe; at the mouth of the Scariff River; and on another site North West of Inis Cealtra, close to Knockaphort Jetty, around 130m from the lakeshore. Consultants who worked on the application noted that the lake is currently used for recreational boating, mainly during the summer months. “Casual boat mooring occurs within quieter inlets outside of the existing navigational markers, with boats dropping anchor near parts of the shoreline,” they note. “The proposed development aims to formalise mooring facilities in these areas, but discourage more casual mooring closer to the lake shore.” If granted permission, the development off Knockaphort Jetty would involve a new floating mooring buoy anchored by a concrete weight, sitting on the lake bed connected by a galvanised steel chain. That proposed mooring would only be …

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