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Youth Club Cook up a Storm for Christmas

CHRISTMAS comes but once a year but in the lakeside community of Flagmount, young people get to celebrate it twice, as each year they create from scratch their own Christmas dinner, complete with turkey, Brussels sprouts and carols. The Lough Graney Youth Club members, from the ages of 12 to 20, design the three-course menu and prepare starters, cook a turkey and bake desserts for up to 25 people. As team leaders, Rebecca Smyth from Killanena, Louise O’Connell from Flagmount and Ella MacNamara from Caher, explain, this is the one time of the year when the whole group comes together. “We’ve been doing this for six or seven years, since we all went into secondary school,” Louise said. “It’s nice we all make the food together and we all have different parts we look after. Some people will be on the apple crumble and some people will be on the turkey and then we all come together to eat it …

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Monster fundraiser for Tulla music exchange

Cnoc na Gaoithe in Tulla is to hold a monster Christmas fundraiser next Saturday December 8 to support a dance and music exchange to France next year.  The event, which takes place at Treacy’s West County Hotel in Ennis at 8.30pm sharp, expects to draw a large crowd.  The proceeds raised on the night will be used to fund 15 musicians and dancers from Cnoc na Gaoithe who will travel to the South of France in the New Year. The exchange programme already saw a group of French musicians come to Tulla in July 2018. The programme has facilitated not only an exchange of music and culture but has also developed ties between both groups.  Booking details can be obtained from Cnoc na Gaoithe, Tulla Post Office and Tulla Pharmacy.  All are welcome to attend.

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Musician Heidi relishing the trip east

Eoghan Moloney HEIDI Talbot has toured the world with ultra-popular musicians, including all-female group Cherish The Ladies – renowned worldwide for their Celtic sound – and she is very excited to perform at Feakle’s 31st International Festival of Traditional Irish Music next week. Heidi will perform alongside her husband, John McCusker, an award-winning multi-instrumentalist; much-acclaimed musician Breanndán Ó Beaglaíoch and renowned guitarist Paul Meehan. Heidi said, “We’re really looking forward to our visit to Feakle. We’re coming to the end of a 50-date run of gigs. Myself and John started in May, touring all around Ireland in a tour organised by Network Ireland, with Breanndán and Paul, and then continuing as a duo all over the UK and finishing in gorgeous Feakle. We saved the best for last.” Even though they have been touring since May, Heidi says that the group are still a bundle of energy, “ I feel very lucky that I get to play music for my …

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Satefy petition over Kilkishen NS

IMPROVEMENT works and safety measures are to be considered and put in place to slow down traffic at Kilkishen National School, after a petition was submitted to members of the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Alan O’Callaghan called on Clare County Council to carry out works at the school to slow traffic, in the interest of the health and safety of children. At last week’s meeting of the municipal district, a petition with approximately 80 signatures was handed in on behalf of locals who were confirming these concerns. Responding, Hugh McGrath, senior executive engineer, said, “It is accepted that there are safety concerns at this location relating to traffic in the vicinity of the school. We are to carry out improvement works to the road surface at this location in the coming months.” In advance of the works, Mr McGrath said the local authority will give consideration to any measures that may improve road safety at this location in consultation with …

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Housing and jobs key to survival of shops in East Clare

THE lack of housing and employment have emerged as key issues to safeguard the future viability of rural shops in East Clare. O’Meara’s grocery and agri-business supplier is the only retail outlet in Flagmont village, operating out of the same premises since 1897. It was all started by John O’Meara. His great grandson, Thomas O’Meara, has been managing the shop since 2010, with valuable assistance from his mother, Annette. It provides a valuable service to people in East Clare from 9am to 8pm, six days a week and 9am to 1pm on Sunday. The key to its success is it provides, in the words of Thomas, a “bit of everything”, grocery, fuel, convenience goods and a large variety of agricultural supplies. The long hours in a rural shop mean it is very much a “vocation” for this family-run business. Asked if there is a magic wand solution to keep rural shops alive, Thomas says there is no quick-fix solution, but …

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Contractor withdraws from Ennis flood relief scheme

AN €8.6 million flood relief scheme that will protect more than 120 homes, along with businesses and St Flannan’s College, in Ennis is being delayed as a result of a “contractural issue”. Clare County Council has confirmed that the preferred contractor for the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme has formally withdrawn their tender and works are now not expected to begin until next year at the earliest. It had been anticipated that the project would get underway this summer. The scheme now has to be re-tendered “at the earliest juncture” and “works on the ground will most likely not commence until the spring of 2019,” the local authority stated. Councillor Johnny Flynn expressed disappointment at the delay in “this crucial piece of infrastructure”. The scheme represents the final phase of flood defence works in the town and includes the townlands of Clonroadmore, Ballybeg and Clareabbey, which suffered badly during the floods of 2009. Minister of State Pat Breen assured that …

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hannon gets the country’s first Starbucks drive-thru

The Shannon Free Zone has become home of the country’s first drive-thru Starbucks as the US coffee house chain opened the doors of its latest outlet to the public. The 204sq metre unit developed by Shannon Group subsidiary, Shannon Commercial Properties, will employ 15 people as it becomes the latest page to turn in the evolving story of the Shannon Free Zone. The US based giant, which is among the world’s largest coffee companies and coffee house chains, operates over 20,000 outlets globally but this is the very first drive-thru in the Republic of Ireland. Starbucks opened its first Irish store in 2005. Located in Shannon Free Zone ‘West’, the single storey unit will include outdoor – as well as indoor – seating, ideal for the heatwave currently gripping the nation. Given its location in one of the country’s largest industrial parks, the unit also, appropriately, comprise a coffee dock/meeting hub that will service the entire industrial estate and prove …

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At the School Cycle at Ennis Fire Station on Wednesday were, from left, Clare Champion managing director John Galvin; Clare hurler and advertising sales representative of The Clare Champion, David Reidy, CBS pupil Mark Glynn and his dad, Darragh and organiser, Róisín Garvey.

Biggest gathering ever of young cyclists in Ennis

Last Wednesday, to celebrate National Bike Week, almost 700 children from Ennis and surrounds, along with 100 adults, took part in a 3km cycle around Ennis to promote the benefits of cycling to school. Starting from behind the Fire Station on new road, the peleton took a tour around the town, taking over the streets for almost an hour. At the finish at The Fair Green, the children were organised into groups to make up a giant   ‘1.5’ on the playing field to remind motorists to leave at least 1.5m space around cyclists on the road.                    

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