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Shannon Firm Keep School Meals Coming in Time of Crisis

SCHOOL may be out for the foreseeable future, but, thanks to the efforts of a major Shannon food plant, school meals will now be delivered to the doors of families who need them most. Freshtoday, which had a staff of more than 30 in Shannon, was forced to cut around two-thirds of its local workforce when school closures were announced in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The company, which employs up to 240 staff nationwide, has now begun to hire some of its workers back to ensure that households in need are provided for. “As soon as schools closed, we knew that the demand from families and schools to supply food would be staggering”, said Tony Mulcahy, Managing Director of Freshtoday Clare. “We immediately set about implementing an alternative delivery method and ensuring that we could meet demand. We are pleased to say that we can offer a fortnightly delivery of groceries for each child, ensuring children have all the …

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Clare mourns a musical and broadcasting legend

BROADCASTING and music circles in Clare, and well beyond, are in mourning after the death was announced of Clare FM presenter, Pat Costello. A long-time Shannon resident, he was a native of Moycarkey in County Tipperary. Mr Costello was a member, for many years, of the acclaimed traditional group Shaskeen, playing banjo, bouzouki and guitar. He was also an expert music producer and sound-recording enthusiast. For more than two decades, he presented music shows on Clare FM, most recently the hugely popular ‘Gentle Folk’ on Sunday nights. Managing Director of the station, Liam O’Shea, who was a long-time friend as well as a colleague, described Mr Costello as a genius. “Pat, to me, was one of the most talented people I’ve ever known,” he said. “He was a genius. He was absolutely brilliant when it came to technology. Pat was a fantastic musician. He spent a lot of time with me when I worked in the RTÉ studios, late into …

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Milan's Duomo

Bridgetown woman sends stark warning from Milan

By Fiona McGarry A SOUTH-East Clare woman, living in Northern Italy, has pleaded with the Irish people to take Government guidelines on social distancing seriously in order to contain the spread of Covid-19. Rachel Turner, originally from Bridgetown, has been living in Milan for more than a decade and said people here should be taking every possible precaution to avoid contracting and spreading the coronavirus. As the death toll in Italy surpasses that of China, Rachel told The Clare Champion the mood is very low and people are desperately missing their normal lifestyles, after more than a month of severe restrictions on movement. Earlier this month, Italy put around 16 million people into lockdown. Under the measures, people are forbidden to enter or leave the region of Lombardy, where Milan is the main city. “We had a neighbour taken away in an ambulance this morning and the apartment block disinfected,” Ruth said. “The death toll is very high for Milan …

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Fundraising dance to make wishes come true

MAKING wishes come true for terminally ill patients is the focus of a fund-raiser taking place in Ennis later this month. Sixmilebridge woman, Vicky Ward, has organised the Dance for Wishes event to thank the Limerick-based charity, Clare’s Wish, who helped to make her late sister’s final wish a reality. The organisation was founded by Kevin Clancy following the loss of his own father. “My dad passed away in 2011, after a six months battle with his illness and he had a wish at the time that we couldn’t really do. He wants to be on plugged basically and brought home. We couldn’t do that because he was too sick. When he finally passed away, it was a small bit of research to see who and I know we’re granting wishes for the likes of my dad and I was shocked to find there was nobody out there.” A few years later, Kevin set about addressing this deficiency and set …

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Tulla school unlocks history as time capsule is opened

THERE was plenty of nostalgia in the air on Wednesday last when past and present school pupils got together in Tulla to open a time capsule that had been under lock and key for a quarter of a century. The capsule had been stored away in Bank of Ireland since February 1996 as part of the 20-20 Vision project to mark the European Nature Conservation Year 1995. Past pupils of fifth and sixth classes who attended the Convent of Mercy in the ‘90s, and put the capsule together under the guidance of Sr Eileen Callinan, gathered at St Mochulla’s this week to revisit their childhood visions for the Tulla of 2020. As anticipation grew in the packed hall at St Mochulla’s Principal Brian Culloo set the scene with a description of the key moments of 1995. He raised a cheer among current day pupils for his references to the beginning of the comedy ‘Fr Ted’ and Clare’s All-Ireland hurling victory. Coincidentally, two …

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O’Callaghan’s Mills Hall leaps into new era

ON Saturday February 29, the village of O’Callaghan’s Mills will be putting the Leap Day to good use, by holding a community celebration to launch their refurbished community hall. The building has served as a gathering place for nearly 50 years – and before that housed the local national school, which dates back to the 1840s. The get-together will mark the culmination of community work by generations of dedicated local people. In 1974, when the school moved to a new building, a Community Development took over the premises, and now a recently reinvigorated community council has taken the helm. Chairperson Eamon Cooney and PRO Pat O’Brien, who both attended national school in the old building, are part of a dedicated committee who have driven fund-raising efforts over the last seven years and upgraded facilities significantly. With much change in the village over the years, the modernised hall is an invaluable asset. “Many of those who were on the Development Association …

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Ennis man appointed  Assistant Chief of Staff

Ennis native, Brigadier General Adrian Ó Murchú has taken up his appointment as Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) following the retirement of previous ACOS, Brigadier General Peter O’Halloran. Brigadier General Ó Murchú joined the Permanent Defence Forces in 1982 as a member of the 59thCadet Class and was commissioned as an officer into the infantry corps in 1984. Prior to joining the Defence Forces, Brigadier General Ó Murchú spent several years in the Army Reserve (22ndInfantry Battalion FCA) in his home town of Ennis. On commissioning, Brigadier General Ó Murchú served in the 6thInfantry Battalion, the Army Ranger Wing (Ireland’s Special Operations unit), Military Intelligence and the Military College’s Infantry School. Later appointments included Company Commander and Second in Command of the 5thInfantry Battalion, Chief Instructor of the Cadet School, Head of European Security Section in Operations and Plans Branch Defence Forces Headquarters (DFHQ), School Commandant of the UN Training School Ireland and Commanding Officer of the Defence Force’s Central Medical …

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Two Shannon Flights Cancelled Due To Worsening Weather

TWO Aer Lingus flights between Shannon Airport and London Heathrow have been cancelled tomorrow as weather conditions worsen due to Storm Ciara. EI384 from Shannon to Heathrow, and EI385 from Heathrow to Shannon have been cancelled due to “London weather impact,” Shannon Airport have announced. The airport have advised passengers to check with their airlines for updates on flight information as weather warnings will move from status yellow to orange tomorrow as winds are set to intensify. Winds of up to 130km/h are expected tomorrow and a nationwide orange weather warning will come into effect from 5am Sunday morning. Aer Lingus will be in contact with passengers directly regarding refunds or alternative flight options.

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