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Boat-building project group looking for participants

Building on the success of their recent traditional currach project, Seol Sionna, a group that has grown out of the Kilkee-based West Clare Currach Club, is preparing to reintroduce classic wooden sailing boats to the Shannon Estuary. They are seeking people who are interested in becoming involved in the project. The training programme will be led by local shipwright Steve Morris.The Seol Sionna project is an ambitious training project to build, a 24ft wooden sailing boat, evoking the small-to-medium class Shannon hooker that once sailed in the estuary. It is to be built for sail training purposes. The project draws on the extensive boat-building, boat-handling skills and local knowledge inherent in Seol Sionna membership. The project will be guided by expert advice in relation to Department of the Marine guidelines in boat design and safety.“Along with currach building, we have been digging out old boats from the mud in Poulnasherry and recording local stories regarding boats and sailing on the …

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What does the future hold for flood victims?

LAST November, flood waters cascaded down Gort’s Crowe Street and into a number of homes and business premises in the town and in its hinterland.Six months on and the town is finding its feet but some South Galway residents remain out of their homes and wondering whether to return in the face of possible future flooding. There were particularly dramatic scenes in Beagh where on November 20 last, Hughie O’Donnell and his family, including his two teenage children and his 86-year-old mother, were airlifted to safety after floodwaters breached their home and rose to in excess of four feet.“I’m not back at home yet. We live in a rented house in town,” Hughie outlines. “There was a lot of damage done but it could be reparable. The real question for us is whether or not to spend the money on a house that could be flooded again next winter,” he reflects. “I am out of pocket and out of my …

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Gort could be isolated without second entrance say locals

A SECOND entrance from the bypass to Gort must be provided in order to safeguard business in the town, it was claimed this week.While the campaign to have a second entrance began some years ago, a number of local people including public and business representatives this week urged for the construction of a second entrance now while work is still being carried out on the upgrade of the N18 from Crusheen to Gort. An entrance to the bypass is planned for the Galway side of the town but local businesses claim this will not be enough to maintain businesses in the town. As far back as 2007, local campaigners claim they were assured that there would be a second route linking the new road to Gort, however, this is not now being planned.“The second entrance is vital,” said local Fianna Fáil councillor Gerry Finnerty. “After the flooding of large sections of the N18 last November at Crowe Street and further …

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Bell to speak at Slow Food Festival

This year’s Burren Slow Food Festival will feature a public talk from Alexander Bell, former BBC journalist and author of Peak Water: Civilisation and the World’s Water Crisis.Mr Bell is one of the world’s leading advocates on water issues and will speak on the importance of Ireland’s water resource to the future success and sustainability of food production.“We hope that this event will attract a lot of public interest and highlight the important relationship between food and water,” explained one of the festival organisers.The foundation of Mr Bell’s talk is that all food contains one common ingredient, water and that this critical ingredient is becoming increasingly hard to get.Water scarcity affects 44% of the world’s population and Ireland has one of the richest water resources in the world, which combined with the climate and fertile soil makes it one of the best food-producing regions in the world. In areas short of water, the water needed for food production competes with …

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Ennistymon residents encouraged to GIY

A group of North Clare residents have decided to swap DIY for GIY in an effort to cultivate food production in the area.The first meeting of Ennistymon Grow It Yourself organisation will take place in the Vocational School in Ennistymon on Thursday, May 27 at 7pm. The group is aimed at people interested in growing or rearing their own food but who are not sure where to start, or for those who have started, who want to learn more and get in touch with fellow foodies. People with excess produce who want to barter or exchange with others in the area and those with an interest in food security and rising food costs are also invited to attend. Grow It Yourself is a national non-profit organisation with branches in every county in Ireland.”Some of us were members of the Ennis branch but believe there is enough interest around here. The concept is to swap ideas, seeds, plants and problems with …

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Burren-Tolkien link found

THE close link between the Burren and the Lord of the Rings – ranked as one of the most highly acclaimed works of the 20th century – has been confirmed at local level by Lisdoonvara businessman, Peter Curtin.From his investigations, he is satisfied that the imagery and imagination for JRR Tolkien’s three-volume novel were inspired by the breathtaking landscapes of the Burren. From what he has learned, Mr Curtin of the Roadside Tavern and Burren Smokehouse is in no doubt that one of Clare’s finest tourist attractions did in fact provide the inspiration for the Oxford University professor to write the novel, which was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during Word War II.The Lord of the Rings was published in 1954-1955 and it has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many languages.The Burren link was discovered through a chance meeting Mr Curtin had in a Galway bar while he was living in the …

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Councillor can’t fathom fenceless decision

LOCAL councillors are confused about why An Bord Pleanála ruled that there should not be a fence at a “dangerous location” beside a river in Quin, when there are “clearly health and safety issues”.At this week’s meeting of the Ennis East Electoral Area of Clare County Council, Councillor Sonny Scanlan requested the council to erect a fence by the river at Duan na Manach, Quin, for safety reasons. In a written response from John Bradley, acting senior executive officer, it was explained that the council’s original planning application (P04/1999) provided for the development of a security fence along the river frontage of the development. “An Bord Pleanála in their decision (PL 03.208132) specifically conditioned that such proposed fence be omitted from the development in the interests of amenity and public safety. The council is thus precluded from installing the said fencing in terms of the An Bord Pleanála decision,” the council official explained.Councillor Scanlan said that this decision made “no …

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Headshop information seminar at Scariff Community College

THE board of management and parents’ council of Scariff Community College have organised a seminar to inform the public about headshops and their products.The event, which is entitled The Rise of the Headshop Phenomenon in Ireland, will include speakers Rionach Power of the Mid-West Regional Task Force, Anne O’Neill of the Community Drug and Alcohol Service, HSE and Detective Garda Seamus McMahon of the Clare Garda Drugs Unit. The seminar will be held at the community college in Scariff on Wednesday from 8pm to 9.30pm.The meeting comes in a week when Minister for Health, Mary Harney announced new measures ro criminalise the sale of legal highsParents’ council chairperson Regine Roskam said there is “genuine concern in the area” and she outlined that this meeting is being put forward to raise awareness and educate the public on the headshop phenomenon. The idea would be that people would recognise what a headshop drug is and what its stated effects are. Chairman of …

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