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Lough Cutra stay for Royals

Lough Cutra Castle hosted the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on their recent official visit to Ireland. The couple attended a private dinner with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the South Galway castle where they were staying on Tuesday night. The couple returned to the venue after their programme of engagements on Wednesday, before flying to the North from Shannon Airport on Thursday morning for the second leg of their four-day Ireland visit. President Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina arrived at Lough Cutra Castle estate shortly after 8pm on Tuesday. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall had arrived at the well-known South Galway estate earlier in the evening, after an exhausting schedule of events as part of the couple’s first official visit together to the Republic of Ireland. The President and Mrs Higgins were greeted by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla in the tiled hallway of the privately-owned castle in …

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Stone mad for farming prince

Burren farmers are a breed apart; a fact the Prince of Wales learned for himself during his jovial visit to the area on Tuesday. The heir to the British throne visited the lands of father-and-son farmers, Pat and Oliver Nagle, at Pullaghcarron and while there, tried his hand at the unusual form of dry stone walling undertaken in the Burren. It involves standing the stone upright rather than laying them flat. His Royal Highness needs more practice if he is to become as adept as Oliver and Pat, who have been upgrading the walls on their farm for the past five years, as part of the Burren Life Farming for Conservation Programme. One Burrenbeo conservation volunteer, Richard Morrison was particularly charitable in relation to the Prince’s efforts: “I think we could have prepared him a bit better by giving him a better stone and a better place.” Richard might be right. Tuition was brief before Prince Charles laid a flat …

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Pupils well up to scratch

PRIMARY-school pupils from South Galway and North Clare were among the award winners at the National Scratch programming finals held in Dublin Castle recently. CreativeComputerLab in Gort; Coder Dojo, Kinvara and New Quay National School were each represented in the final 25, out of more than 800 entries from across the country. The national competition is run by the Irish Computer Society and Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, Lero. Scratch is a visual programming language and online community developed by MIT, where people can create their own interactive stories, games and animations. It encourages children to learn computer programming and share their projects online on the Scratch server. The Scratch finals are held in conjunction with TechWeekIRL, which is a week-long technology festival held in Dublin Castle. CoderDojo, Kinvara was a finalist in the after-school section in the junior infants to first class category. Ariel Gorman developed an animated storybook of Dr Seuss’ book, entitled Oh The Places You’ll Go, in …

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Ennistymon students hone their skills

TRANSITION-Year students from Ennistymon joined more than 200 secondary-school students from Galway, Mayo and Roscommon at GMIT recently to participate in the Future Skills project, supported by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Access Service. The group from Ennistymon Vocational School was the only one from Clare to take part in the project this year. During the project, the students completed workshops with the assistance of business volunteers from companies including Hewlett Packard, Electronic Arts, AVAYA, SAP, Cambus Medical, AIB, Supermac’s and Top Oil. They explored employment opportunities based on their own interests and examined ways to access these opportunities through their education. Deirdre O’Connor, access officer at GMIT, informed the students of the courses available at GMIT and also advised them of the support that the access office provides for them on the campus. GMIT’s Future Skills is now in its sixth year and comprises three phases. The project begins with a local business volunteer visiting the students and teaching a …

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Cultural heritage key for development

The role of cultural heritage in regional and local development was outlined by international expert, Professor Claude Dubé at a seminar in Galway City this week The seminar also included the Irish launch of an innovative €1.6 million cultural tourism project called Craft Reach, funded by the EU Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) programme. Teagasc are the Irish project partner and are calling for artisan producers in Atlantic seaboard counties of Ireland who have an interest in joining this innovative network to make contact with Dr Kevin Heanue in Teagasc, Athenry. The Craft Reach project is built around the Économusée concept. An Économusée is an artisan business that opens its doors to the public to provide a learning and interpretive experience for visitors. The Économusée concept originated 25 years ago in Quebec, Canada. In recent years, in a series of projects, the concept was brought to Northern Europe, including Ireland. Internationally, there is now a network of 95 Économusées; 64 …

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A comprehensive project from St Pat’s

ST Patrick’s Comprehensive were represented at PE Expo 2015 at Trinity Comprehensive, Ballymun and took the prize for best overall project. The school was represented by fourth-year students, Lauryn Dooley, Elora McFall, Cliodhna McNeilis, Clara Moore and Jenny Power with their project entitled Skill Components of Fitness in Rugby and Gaelic Football, Specifically Co-ordination and Punting. The study initially involved an analysis of video-recorded matches to identify the use of the six skill-related components of fitness in both rugby and Gaelic football. Its second phase required the students to use their knowledge of PE theory and applied maths, as they used mathematical formulae to calculate the range and velocity of punts taken using the knowledge that the ideal angle of projection for such a skill is 45o. The findings illustrated that both sports require the use of all skill components of fitness and that the ideal 45o angle of projection elicits the punt with the greatest distance. The girls received …

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Money lending cases for circuit court

FIVE people who are facing charges arising from an investigation into money-lending in Kilrush are set to have their cases heard in the circuit court. Diana Casey, 12 Wood Road, Kilrush; Patrick Casey, Beverley Hills View, Kilkee Road, Kilrush; Ann Marie O’Brien, 12 Sycamore Drive, Kilrush; James O’Brien, Chapel Drive, Kilrush and Bernie O’Grady of Wood Road, Kilrush were all before Ennis District Court this week, where Judge Patrick Durcan refused jurisdiction in the matters. Giving evidence at Wednesday’s court sitting, Detective Donal Corkery said a number of people had been identified following what was called Operation Payday and that observation had been carried out over a lengthy period of time. He also said that people using money-lenders had been identified and some complaints had been made. Detective Corkery said he understood loans involved had ranged from €50 to €8,000. Regarding rates of interest, he said in the case of someone who was borrowing €100, €150 would have to be …

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A SURE thing for creating jobs

THE new Government scheme to encourage entrepreneurs to set up new businesses has been given a broad welcome by Shannon Chamber. The SURE scheme, which aims to encourage people in PAYE employment, unemployed people and retired people to start their own business, will operate as a refund of income tax paid by the person starting the business in the six years prior to the business being started. All income tax paid in those six years can be claimed as a refund under the scheme, subject to anoverall limit of 41% of the total investment in the business. Acknowledging that Ireland has an entrepreneurial spirit, Shannon Chamber chief executive, Helen Downes said, “We cannot underestimate the value of investing in new start-ups. There are so many talented people in this country and we need to retain them not train them for export. Initiatives of this nature, and the ideas that flowed from the recent Action Plan for Jobs stakeholder forum, all …

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