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‘Clarescapes’ show returns to Scariff

SCARIFF Library Gallery is to host an exhibition of watercolours that were first hung in early 2020, but never seen by the public because of the pandemic. In conjunction with Clare Arts Office the Library Gallery welcomes back ‘Clarescapes’ – an exhibition of watercolours by Philip Brennan. Following its initial showing in Ennis in late 2019, part of this exhibition was then toured to Kilkee and Scariff. The paintings were hung in the Scariff Library Gallery in March 2020, but the showing never happened due to the Covid-19 outbreak a few days later. This exhibition features a selection of paintings from around the county and Philip’s fascination with so many aspects of his native county is reflected in the many themes on display. There are seascapes and landscapes, with inspiration from Clare’s rivers, coast, weather, history, wildlife, old stories, and music. Each painting tries to capture a moment in the Clare year, everything including the Tau cross at Kilnaboy, Skylarks having a territorial …

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Jackie has an eye for all things equestrian

AN EAST Clare-based artist has swapped the reins for a set of artist’s pencils, as she heads to the Dublin Horse Show next month. Jackie O’Donoghue, a Cork native, is a pet portrait artist based in Tulla, and is looking forward to heading to the world-famous horse show in August to showcase a stunning array of character portraits of family pets and wildlife. With an eye of all things equine, Jackie captures the power and majesty of the horse. She also has a talent for capturing the traits and personality quirks of other livestock, pets and wildlife. Her collection includes expert images of horses and riders, faithful hounds, beloved donkeys, charming piglets and more. She is also regularly commissioned to capture portraits that help to ensure that cherished pets always stay close to the heart. With a keen eye for the natural world, Jackie grew up on a rural family farm in County Cork. This instilled in her a love …

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Writer Mary O'Donoghue. Photo: James McNaughton.

Tales of transit in ‘The Hour After Happy Hour’

A HANDWRITTEN message from one Clare author to another has proven to be both a mystery and an inspiration for writer, Mary O’Donoghue. The North Clare woman, who is to launch a new collection of short stories in the coming days, met Tuamgraney’s Edna O’Brien in Boston at a public reading event in 2011. More than a decade later, Mary is an established writer herself, and still fondly wonders about a message from Edna which remains undeciphered. “Edna was just marvellous and she signed my book, and, to this day, there’s one little part of her message to me that I can’t read,” Mary explained. “She has lovely copperplate handwriting and I’ve shown it to a number of people, but there’s one little part that we’re never sure what that says. I kind of like not knowing what that is. The book has an even more mysterious quality for that reason. I’m an ardent fan of Edna and of her …

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All the fun of the fair at Spancilhill

HORSE buyers, sellers and visitors from all over the world descended on the cross of Spancilhill on Friday last (June 23) to partake a tradition 400-year tradition that was recently included in Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. A huge turnout – believed to be as large as ever seen at the venue – meant there was plenty of trading done, with big prices being mentioned for some of the classiest animals on show. Well-known horse dealers – such as Ned Cash and Jim Derwin – were busy buying ponies and cobs as were many others in what was described as “a brisk trade” In recent years, showing classes have been added to the bill of fare and these proved very popular. The standard in these classes was exceptionally high, with strong numbers and some beautiful animals on view. MC, Pat Hannon, gave a very informative commentary on proceedings, while local men Jimmy Flynn, John Lynch and Grand National-winning jockey …

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Ballyvaughan plans for low carbon future

A LOW carbon plan is to be developed for the community of Ballyvaughan, thanks to a project spearheaded by An Taisce. The blueprint will be drawn up over the course of the next three months and will see the An Taisce Legacy4LIFE working intensively with the community. John Sweeney, Emeritus Professor of Geography at Maynooth University, is director of the Legacy4LIFE project and regular visitor to Ballyvaughan. “This is a great opportunity for the people of Ballyvaughan to plan the climate action they want,” he said. “To have their say in how they decarbonise their community; brainstorm the jobs that will be needed as they decarbonise their economy; figure out what changes will be most effective in decarbonising their energy systems, buildings, transport, agriculture, land use, industry and waste. They can explore ways to build a circular economy and ensure a Just Transition for everyone so that nobody is worse off having played their part in the greatest challenge of our time.” An example of the challenges faced in coastal areas is rising sea levels. …

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Quin team on Scandinavian motorbike escapade

QUIN adventurer, Declan McEvoy has successfully lead four co-riders on a Scandinavian odyssey, covering close to 6,000 kilometres over three weeks. After a solo polar adventure at the start of this year, Declan returned, this month, to Norkdapp in Northern Norway to recover the faithful motorbike that took him there. This time, he was accompanied by his wife, Jacinta and their friends Dave Barry and PJ and Hazel O’Gorman, all from Quin. Declan is no stranger to extreme conditions and arduous challenges, having biked up the west coast of Africa and, previously, set a new Guinness World Record for riding the length of a frozen Lake Baikal. His most recent voyage marked another first as he guided a group of relative novices on a journey from high above the Arctic Circle, at the most northerly point of the European continent, through seven countries in snow, rain and baking sun.  In contrast to his winter journey, which involved camping out in temperatures …

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Ennis 2040 DAC Appoints Design Team to Develop Master Plan for Francis Street development

ENNIS 2040 Designated Activity Company has announced the appointment of a collaborative design team to develop a Master Plan for a “much-needed high-quality mixed-use sustainable development” for Francis Street in Ennis’ Town Centre. This will be managed under an agreed Service Level Agreement with Clare County Council. Vincent Hannon Architects (VHA) in collaboration with Cundall Consulting Engineers and Ian Douglas Environmental Consultants have been successful in the tender process to prepare the Master Plan for the site. According to Ennis 2040 DAC the development has the potential to include up to 45 housing units, aiming to “redefine urban community while embracing sustainability and modern design principles in line with the ambitions set out in the approved Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy”. Master planning will commence immediately with the aim of launching a comprehensive public consultation process in four to five months’ time to give the public an opportunity to view and comment on the proposed designs.  Subject to a successful planning …

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Sunflowers to bloom in Tulla

TULLA County Market is inviting patrons to enter a sunflower-growing competition over the summer. The market runs every second Saturday at the Courthouse, from 10am to 2pm. The next market takes place on Saturday, May 20 and those attending on that date and on June 3 will receive a free sunflower plant whey they spend €10 or more. “Bring it home and take good care of it!,” a spokesperson said. “In September, we will invite you to send us a photo of your spectacular sunflower and visit our special  Harvest Market where we will have prizes for our best sunflowers  and homemade treats for all competitors. So get your gardening gloves out and come and see us soon. Let’s get growing!” More details are available on Facebook, Instagram and by checking out our posters around the village of Tulla.

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