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Regional

Foróige ‘beebombs’ create colourful wildflower bed in Scariff

THE fine weather has been put to good use on the Connaught Road in Scariff, with the creation of a wild flower bed by junior residents. The activity combined social distancing with some lessons in gardening, and involved the planting of over 100 ‘bee bombs’ created by members of Scariff Foróige Youth Club. The bombs were made, as part of a community project, by combining pollinator-friendly flower seeds with compost, soil and water. “Every year, the club takes part in the Foróige Citizenship Awards in Dublin, so members pick a project that will be of benefit to the local community and this time around, it was the bee bombs,” explained Tracey Doyle, one of the leaders with Scariff Foróige Youth Club. “We thought we’d get together with Tidy Towns and the Community Council to distribute them, but Covid-19 had a different agenda.” When Anne Culloo from the Connaught Road decided to start a wild flower bed at the front of …

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Loophead phone coverage ‘virtually non-existent’

THE plight of the farming community in accessing mobile phone and broadband services in West Clare has been highlighted by a Loop Head man who estimates that his family have paid more than €1,000 over a six-month period when they have virtually no coverage. John Keane, who lives half way between Cross and Kilbaha, is a dairy farmer, milking over 200 cows a day. He outlined how, since last November, five members of his family have had worsening problems in accessing a phone signal, and said the issue is also affecting the wider community. The situation is now so bad that Mr Keane fears that in the event of him having an accident or a heart attack in his milking parlour, he would be unable to use his phone to raise the alarm. “I would die in the milking parlour, if, God forbid, I had a heart attack,” he said. “As a farmer, the mobile phone is a safety net. …

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Anger in Tulla after ‘heartless’ graveyard theft

THE Parish Priest of Tulla has made an appeal to people to be vigilant, after what he described as “heartless” thefts from a number of graves in the town. The incidents were reported to Gardaí last Friday after a visitor to the graveyard, which is on the Hill of Tulla, discovered that freshly-bought plants had been stolen from a grave. It is understood that a number of other graves were tampered with and that rose bushes were among the items stolen from two of them. The incidents have caused considerable distress locally and Gardaí are appealing for information. “People are so upset,” said Fr Brendan Quinlivan. “First and foremost, it’s very distressing that this should have happened in a place that is so scared to so many people. Something like this has a profound effect on everyone, but particularly on those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and are already carrying that very heavy burden. To do …

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Crowe and colleagues raise Clare Bus issue in Dáil Éireann

THE issue of Clare Bus has been raised in Dáil Éireann, with three of the constituency’s TDs appealing directly to Minister Shane Ross to intervene in the dispute with the National Transport Authority (NTA), which resulted in new contractors being appointed to the rural transport service in March. Deputy Cathal Crowe outlined the importance of the service saying, “We are not a leafy suburb with DARTs and Luas trams going down through it. We rely very much on rural transport.” The Fianna Fáil TD described the dispute over funding as “shambolic” and, referring to the staff of Clare bus said, “They are the only group of workers I can think of in the State at present who have been made redundant, not by the Covid crisis but by Government body hard-balling.” In her maiden speech in Dáil Éireann, Sinn Féin TD, Violet-Anne Wynne asked, “Will the Minister also step up and engage an independent mediator to resolve contractual issues between …

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Mystery yarn bomber lifts spirits in Whitegate

A MYSTERY yarn-bomber is being thanked for their colourful attempts to lift the spirits of the Whitegate community over the course of the lock-down. Residents were intrigued to wake up to a riot of colourful knitted and crocheted items festooning poles and signage over the last three weekends. Messages of hope and encouragement were emblazoned in the vibrant displays, some of which were in the Whitegate club colours. Among the phrases bedecking the town was ‘What’s the Craic?’, placed outside Mike Treacy’s shop and ‘Smile’, and ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy!’ on signs at McDermott’s Post Office. Expressing disappointment at the ongoing closure of licensed premises, the yarn-bomber put the words ‘Ah Feck’ outside O’Riordan’s Half Barrel pub. A reference to the 1980s Bon Jovi anthem, ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’, prompted local suspicions as to the age-group of the anonymous crafts enthusiast, but, for the moment, despite the best efforts of the community, their identity remains unknown. Local resident Sadie Monks …

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East Clare businesses take first steps on the road to re-opening

ADAPTING to challenging times is nothing new for the East Clare business community and, as some sectors of the local economy begin to re-open, the goal is to survive and thrive as the ‘new normal’ becomes apparent. In Tuamgraney, Nuala’s Bar and Restaurant occupies a premises that dates back over 150 years. It has had three different licensees over that time, and was formerly McCormac’s Bar and later Durack’s. A thriving food business began in 1999 and, in order to cater for her loyal customers, Nuala O’Brien began to offer a takeaway service once the restrictions kicked in. “I was aware very quickly that small-scale operations would not be viable, so it was a case of scaling up or shutting down,” she explained. “I’m taking on-line orders now and that works really well. Between 1 and 8pm, customers can order in advance, then pull up in the car park where I will drop the food straight into the boot, they …

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Feakle man’s ‘Covid cut’ head shave to raise funds for The Mater

AS hair salons and barber shops remain closed until July 20, some people have been going to extreme lengths while others have opted for a so-called ‘Covid cut’ – and choosing to do some fund-raising in the process. Among them is Feakle native Trevor Collins who will have his head saved live on Facebook on Friday night, to raise funds for The Mater Foundation. The organisation is very close to the hearts of Trevor and his family, as his dad Michael had a life-saving lung transplant at the hospital in 2017 and is currently receiving treatment there after contracting a rare form of meningitis. “We will be forever in their debt,” said Trevor. “There’s a doctor there for everything and when dad took ill first, we were nearly looking at palliative care for dad, but for the fact that we did our own research and got him treated at the Mater.” Almost a decade ago, Michael was diagnosed with pulmonary …

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East Clare angling competitions ‘unlikely’ in 2020

DESPITE the phased re-opening of inland fisheries around the region, some in the Clare angling community believe that it could be 2021 before any major competitions can go ahead. Last week, on advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) re-opened their facilities, with the exception of those in Galway and on the Moy. The ESB also re-opened fisheries, including those on the Shannon. In line with the NPHET road map for the reopening of the country, anglers can currently access waterways with 5km of their homes. From next Monday, angling in groups of up to four will be permitted. From June 8, subject to targets that underpin the road map, people will be allowed to travel 20km. At all stages of the re-opening, people must comply with social distance guidelines. In the east of the county, Anthony Weir of the Tulla and District Angling Club, said that while the re-opening of fisheries was a …

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