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Workshop set to push the boat out at SkyCourt

A CURRACH-BUILDING workshop will be taking place in SkyCourt from this Monday until October 2. Shoppers will be able to watch progress being made on the construction of a three-hand West Clare fishing currach as it takes place in a unit within the shopping centre.The workshop is part of a skills-sharing initiative to keep traditional currach building skills alive in the county. Greg Duff is chairperson of local heritage group Dúchas na Sionna, which is backing the project. “It’s part of a West Clare Currach Club initiative to build 10 currachs throughout Clare. We have facilitated the building of one in Shannon with the co-operation of Pat Kelly of SkyCourt.“People might remember where the Paddy Power outlet was in SkyCourt, it’ll be built in there.”He said that Kilrush man James Madigan would be leading the project and showing how a currach should be built. “There is a lot of skill involved. James had the skills passed down to him from …

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New playground for Kinvara community

CHILDREN in Kinvara were given something to cheer about recently when a new playground was opened on the grounds of St Joseph’s National School in the village.“It has made a huge difference to Kinvara as a whole not just the school. As well as being something fun for the children, it is a great new social point for young parents meeting up with each other while the children are playing,” Dominic Gallagher, principal of St Joseph’s told The Clare Champion.With more than 180 pupils in the school, the playground has certainly been busy since its opening at the end of August.A feature of the playground is that it caters for all ages, with specially designated junior and senior areas. A benefit of the equipment installed in the school is that some of the pieces could also be incorporated into the children’s PE lessons.“It is designed in such a way that it is almost an outdoor gym. There are different circuits …

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Cleaning up with cigarette initiative

NOWHERE in Galway has ever scooped the overall Tidy Towns Award. While Kinvara is not in a position to challenge for the title just yet, a small group of people are already working towards the day when the village will at least take part.Kinvara has not taken part in the national competition since 2002. Two years ago, there was renewed interest.“We had an organisation years ago but that stopped. Then two years ago we started again. One of the main things we do is a litter collection every second Saturday morning for an hour. We started that last year around February or March and it’s going well,” said Maria Hannigan, chairperson of the community council.On their regular clean-ups, the group noticed two recurring problems.“In the course of last year, we identified two areas that were very difficult and we wanted to tackle. One was cigarette butts on the ground outside pubs and the other was litter at bottle banks,” Maria …

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Stars come out in force for Burren party

A FORMER NASA scientist will be among those keeping a close eye on the skies over north Clare this weekend. Over the years, Ireland’s premier astronomy gathering has been the Whirlpool Star Party, which was usually held in Offaly, but this year the venue will be Clare and it has been renamed the Burren Starparty.The event is organised by the Shannonside Astronomy Club, in conjunction with Shannon Development, and takes place this Saturday. It is set to be a one-day and one night astronomy extravaganza.There will be public astronomical lectures, a telescope workshop and a night sky presentation in preparation for an evening observation session. The Burren is extremely suitable for this, as it has so little light pollution, ensuring some of the darkest skies in Europe.The location for the event will be the Burren Coast Hotel in Ballyvaughan and it will be split into two sections; morning/afternoon and evening/night time. Weather permitting, night-time viewing will be based at the …

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