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Outpouring of grief at passing of Clare Special Olympics Champion

WARM tributes have been made to an East Clare native whose charm and generosity touched all who knew her, and whose sporting abilities earned her a medal at the Special Olympics World Games last year. Mairéad Moroney of Gort Road, Ennis, and formerly of Kealderra, O’Callaghan’s Mills, passed away earlier this month, just a few weeks before her 71st birthday. A champion golfer, Mairéad made history last year, as the oldest contestant – and medal winner – at the World Games in Abu Dhabi. Along with her playing partner Jean Molony, she took picked up silver medals in the Level 2 Alternate Shot Team Play in March of last year. Despite the fact that she had only a few years of play under her belt, Mairéad earned a place on Team Ireland, and was unfazed when she discovered she was the oldest of an estimated 7,500 global competitors. She and Jean were among four high-achieving athletes honoured with a Civic …

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Clarecastle group spreading positivity

A LOCAL organisation are endeavouring to bring some positivity into the lives of others in these uncertain times. The Clarecastle Heritage and Wildlife Group have issued a call for uplifting stories of how people are coping with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. They aim to share these stories on their recently launched website with the aim of highlighting the goodness in the world in these uncertain times. It is hoped that these positive messages will bring comfort to others. Eric Shaw of the Clarecastle group explains, “Clarecastle Heritage & Wildlife Group feel that in the midst of this unprecedented public health emergency, there are so many positive responses that deserve to be recorded and shared so as to give the community an uplift. Clarecastle has set up a Covid-19 Support Network involving groups such as St Vincent de Paul, GAA, Men’s Shed, Daycare Centre, Tidy Towns, Clarecastle Community Development Company linked to Clare County Council to provide support to the community. Many of the older …

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Councillor Cooney receives assurances over Tulla social housing concerns

RESIDENTS of Tulla have been commended for highlighting issues of concern with a proposed social housing development which has just secured permission for a site at Doonaun on the outskirts of the village. The 25-home development, represents an investment of around €6 million, and was approved at this month’s meeting of Clare County Council. The proposals were the subject of 17 local objections – one of which included a petition signed by 45 local residents. Speaking to The Champion, Councillor Joe Cooney paid tribute to the efforts of the residents to work with elected representatives on identifying issues and said he believed these had now been addressed. “I am aware that residents had concerns and I met with them to hear their views,” Councillor Cooney said. “I would like to compliment residents on making their views known so that we, as local representatives, could refer these back to the local authority and have them addressed.” Among the issues raised was …

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East Clare retailers hope for ‘shop local’ business boost

BUSINESSES across rural East Clare have been pulling out all of the stops to support their customer base in a time of crisis, and are determined to keep services going in the midst of the Covid-19 restrictions. Even before the Coronavirus hit, many communities in the east of the county struggled with social isolation, meaning local businesses are a lifeline. But, with long commutes to work another facet of rural life, small retailers can find themselves overlooked and losing out to the big multiples in larger towns. Against the backdrop of the lock-down and strict controls on travel and social distancing, some smaller outlets have experienced a boost to their business and are hopeful that shopping locally could become more popular in the long-term. In Tulla, Kate Murphy who runs the popular Holly Tree Café on Church Road in Tulla, was facing into the prospect of long-term closure as the lock-down took effect. Now, with a little imagination, creativity and …

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Ennis man released from Vietnamese quarantine campus

A CLARE man, who was detained in mandatory quarantine in South East Asia, has voiced his relief at getting out of the Coronavirus control centre. English teacher Darragh Collins from Ennis, and was taken by Vietnamese health authorities from his home to an isolation facility, after he attended a bar which was believed to be the source of a Covid-19 cluster in Ho Chi Min city. After being detained for a fortnight in quarantine at the Hoc Mon University campus, with up to 100 other Irish nationals, Mr Collins was released last weekend. He previously told The Champion that while the detention wasn’t a violation of his human rights, there were concerns over hygiene and access to accurate information about the quarantine period. This week, he told The Champion he was delighted to have been released and to be able to return to his apartment, to the huge relief of friends and family. “Home and safe now, I got out …

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Death of man in Ennis stabbing

THE death of a man in Ennis following a stabbing this afternoon is under investigation. Just after 5pm this evening part of Childers Road in Clougleigh was closed off, while a large amount of people were milling around on the footpaths nearby. This evening a Garda spokesman confirmed that the death of a man is now under investigation.

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Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Michael Begley. Photograph by John Kelly.

council prepare application for Springfield Flood Embankment

CLARE County Council are on target to lodge an application for a long-awaited flood embankment on the outskirts of Clonlara in mid to late April, according to a local councillor. Councillor Michael Begley has told the Clare Champion the council are on track to lodge a Part Eight application for the Springfield Flood Embankment, which is estimated to cost in excess of €1.2 million. This follows a video conference meeting between council officials and the Office of Public Works last week following a submission of the final report by consultants employed by the local authority to assess issues concerning the flood embankment. While flood waters have disappeared, and residents who were evacuated have returned to their homes, sandbags still remain outside some dwellings. Councillor Begley said some residents have to undertake a major clean up operation due to overflows in septic tanks and other remedial works. One of the main access roads going through Springfield was damaged by flood water …

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Love still blooming in a time of lock-down

LOVE in a time of lock-down is still continuing to flourish, with many prospective couples using old-fashioned methods to get acquainted, according to match-maker Willie Daly. The Lisdoonvarna love guru told The Champion that the extraordinary times we are living through have seen a surge in the number of people putting romance to the top of their post lock-down priority lists. “Certainly, the restrictions are making life difficult. So many people have lost their jobs and the lack of social opportunities is making people very lonely,” he said. “It’s very hard on people living alone in small apartments at this time. In the last two to three weeks, I’ve had a definite increase in the number of people coming forward to ask for help in finding a partner and there’s a greater urgency too in their calls and letters.” Mr Daly, who claims credit for around 3,000 marriages over his half-a-century of match-making, said the unprecedented change in people’s lifestyles …

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