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‘Huge hurt’ caused by ongoing Tulla graveyard thefts

HUGE hurt is being caused to families in Tulla because of an ongoing spate of thefts from the graves of their loved ones, according to Councillor Pat Hayes. Seven incidents have been reported to Gardaí in recent months, with the latest taking place between 10am on Thursday, September 16 and 5pm last Friday, September 18. It is understood, locally, that up to 20 thefts or disturbances may have taken place, many of which people have considered to minor to report. “This is a disturbing and sensitive issue,” said Councillor Hayes. “In some cases, the families affected have suffered very sad losses and the last thing you would want is for the graves of their loved ones to be disturbed.” The Fianna Fáil member, who is chairperson of the county council’s Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) which has responsibility for burial grounds, said every possible means of preventing a reoccurrence was being examined. “Burial grounds should be kept safe and …

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Oatfield Church restoration continues with installation of new altar

FURTHER restoration work has been undertaken in recent days at what is believed to be the oldest church in use in the Diocese of Killaloe. A replica of the historical altar, which was removed from the St Vincent de Paul Barn Church in Oatfield, in the 1960s, has made by local man Donal Ryan. The beautifully crafted piece was this week installed and blessed by Bishop Fintan Monahan. Donal’s daughter is to get married later this month at the church and in advance of the ceremony, he approached the Pastoral Council with a view to installing the altar. “It was a conincidence that we happened to draw down a grant that enabled us to the preparatory work, just at the right time,” said Michael Tynan, Pastoral Council representative and Oatfield church project co-ordinator. “Donal has great skill and we are delighted now to have the altar in place. The restoration of the church has involved an amazing community effort and …

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Big strides made on Tuamgraney to Ogonnelloe walking trail

A NEW walking trail between Tuamgraney and Ogonnelloe has been hailed as a fantastic asset for East Clare. At this week’s meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Joe Cooney sought an update on the amenity path which is to run from Tuamgraney to Bealkelly and which will ultimately provide greater connectivity between Scariff and Killaloe. Councillor Cooney noted there had been extensive cooperation between Tuamgraney Development Association (TDA) the Ogonnelloe Community Group and the local authority and capitalised on the funding from the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. “It’s very positive to see funds being secured and the groups involved are very appreciative.” The Fine Gael member asked the executive if there were any plans to widen the trail and how much of it would be paved with ‘blacktop’ over the coming months. Councillor Tony O’Brien seconded Councillor Cooney’s motion, saying the tail was “a fantastic selling point”. “With all of the spurs that will link to this route,” he …

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Dramatic lighting installation for Culture Night in Tulla

A DRAMATIC lighting installation will create a blaze of colour on the windswept hill of Tulla for Culture Night this Friday. Locally-based artist Tim Humphries is the mastermind behind the LightsUP installation, which will be live-streamed on Tulla Tidy Towns Facebook page and on culturenight.ie, from 8-9pm. It will involve random LED lights illuminating the high crosses in the graveyard and creating what Tim describes as “a connection between heavens and earth”. “I’ve been working with light installations for over 20 years,” Tim explained. “For one of those, I projected light onto the outside of the old Carlton Cinema building in Limerick. In others, for the EVA International, I would have created words through light in public places.” This time, there are no words involved, but a dramatic illumination of Tulla graveyard’s striking high crosses. “I have been transfixed by the location,” Tim said. “I have put in around 30 LED lights and will have six or seven LED torches …

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Plaque will remember site of The Feakle Ambush

AN AMBUSH in the village of Feakle in 1920 is to be commemorated with the unveiling of a plaque at the place where it happened. The ambush, which took place on October 7, almost 100 years ago, involved members of the Sixth Battalion of the East Clare Brigade of the IRA. The attack on six members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) led to the burning of a number of homes and business premises in Feakle by way of reprisal. Local historian and Chairperson of the Feakle Commemorative Group Pat Flynn has researched the event in detail, combing military archives and consulting secondary sources, and says the ambush is a significant incident in The War of Independence in Clare. “Tommo Tuohy was the man in charge of the ambush, having been deeply involved in the republican struggle, even as far back as 1916,” said Mr Flynn. “The East Clare Brigade were very strong and determined to make a stand for …

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Stage set for inaugural Michael Cusack Day in Carron

THE significant contribution to Irish culture by the founder of the GAA will be celebrated next Sunday, with the inaugural Michael Cusack Day in Carron. A Shane Gilmore sculpture representing the central role of gaelic games in communities across the island of Ireland will be unveiled, exactly 173 years on from Cusack’s birth in Carron. A tree for each county will also be unveiled, along the Burren Fairy Trail and GAA Trail near the Michael Cusack Cottage, thanks to the support of the TOMAR Trust. Sunday’s event also will feature the launch of Going WeLL, a national wellness experience programme being developed nationally by the GAA to encourage people to take better care of their mental and physical health, and by so doing, to reconnect with their communities. Going WeLL is being rolled out on a pilot outreach basis to a range of communities, schools and FET (Further Education and Training) Centres from the Michael Cusack Centre this winter. It …

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An icon of traditional music is mourned in Clare

INTERNATIONAL tributes have been paid following the passing of the acclaimed Bellharbour concerntina player, Chris Droney, who passed away on September 9, at the age of 95. Broadcaster, teacher and musician Kieran Hanrahan, who spoke at Chris’s funeral on Saturday last, said, “He was a chieftain in Clare. Some called him a druid and leader.” The Ennis man credited Chris Droney with inspiring a blossoming of traditional music in the county town and across Clare. “When Chris would come to Ennis for the Fleadhs, he was really what I would call a mega figure,” Mr Hanrahan said. “He was a national figure in the ‘60s and ‘70s and yet he was still so accessible. He always had a word of encouragement, especially for the youth of Ennis in those days. He took a delight in young people playing music. He was always so lovely and so decent. As a person, he was unassuming and an absolutely gorgeous character.” In one …

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Martyrs remembered as Scariff hurlers take on Killaloe

HISTORY, culture, sport and memory were combined in Sixmilebridge last weekend, when both Scariff and Smith O’Brien’s intermediate hurlers wore black armbands to mark the centenary of the Scariff Martyrs, who were murdered by British Crown Forces on Killaloe Bridge in November 1920. The idea was proposed by the East Clare Memorial Committee, as part of their Scariff Martyrs 100 programme of commemorative events. The group have been commemorating the Scariff Martyrs, Alphie Rodgers, Michael ‘Brud’ McMahon, Martin Gildea and Michael Egan for many decades and are currently finalising plans for the 100th anniversary. According to the historian, Tomás Mac Conmara, who is part of the Memorial Committee, the unique encounter between Scariff and Killaloe, both areas so closely related to the story, presented a unique opportunity. “Our aim is to create as much awareness as possible of the Scariff Martyr’s story and its context in the War of Independence,” Dr MacConmara said. “It was unique that Killaloe and Scariff …

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