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Clare Haven founder to lead St Patrick’s Day parade in Ennis

THE founder of Clare Haven, Mary Fitzgerald, has been chosen to lead this year’s Ennis St Patrick’s Day parade. Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of the Clare county capital on Sunday, March 17 for the 2019 Ennis St Patrick’s Day Parade. Clare County Council is once again seeking to make the Ennis parade a countywide affair with artistic, cultural and sporting groups together with schools, scouts and a range of community groups from all over Clare taking part. Application forms are available on the Clare County Council website. In excess of 10,000 people lined the streets of town during last year’s parade, which featured 40 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare. This year there will be prizes awarded for the entrants that provide the “Most Musical & Colourful Spectacle”. The parade commences at 11am from Clare County Council’s headquarters at Áras Contae an Chláir before proceeding via New Road, Newbridge …

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2018 REVIEW: A Perfect Match In Every Way

EAST Clare couple Reah and Aaron Higgins this year told of their amazing organ donation story this year, as the two revealed how they were the perfect match in every way. When Reah Hedrich met Aaron Higgins for the first time 20 years ago and he asked for a kiss she shied away from him, however little did she know the two would reunite in 2006. The couple were more of a match than they originally thought as when Aaron’s health took a dramatic turn resulting in him going on dialysis, Reah stepped up immediately offering him a kidney. More than a year on from a successful transplant procedure the couple and their two children, Fionn and Stephen, continue to enjoy a new lease of life the procedure has given their family. Aaron has a condition known as Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), which causes scar tissue to develop in the kidneys which limits the filtration process and can lead to …

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Trotting for cancer support in Kilbeacanty

IF you want to ruffle a few feathers, or shake off the excesses of the Christmas food fest, the Kilbeacanty 8K turkey run is for you. The ninth annual event, it has, to date, raised in excessive of €30,000 for Galway Hospice and the Gort Cancer Support Centre. “Last year, over 400 people ran, jogged and walk and some even pushed babies in prams and it was really fun,” said Pat Regan, adding, “It was for two great causes.” “Again, this year we encourage you to round up a group of lads from your parish and try to win the Pride of the Parish section with the first four from each parish to score. This was won last year by Kilbeacanty,” Pat said. Registration will be at McCarthys Lounge from 11.30am. This is also a 1k race for national school children and this will start at 1pm. The main event starts at 1.30pm.

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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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