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Gort’s answer to the marathon man

DONAL Walsh is becoming a familiar figure on the roads of South Galway as he tunes up for the Dublin City Marathon, on October 26. Donal who is manager of Rosemount Nursing Home in Gort will be covering the 26.2 mile course to raise money for the Samaritans and he has been in training all year.

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No more blues for top dog Mickey

A TOUCHING tale of doggy determination has resulted in Clarecastle pooch Mickey Blue reaching the final stages in a nationwide search for Ireland’s best-loved dog and cat. Proud pet owners from all over the country entered the Pedigree and Whiskas competition and Mickey Blue has been named a finalist. He is up against seven other dogs to win the title and the people of Clare are being urged to show their support by voting online to help Mickey Blue win. Mickey Blue’s owner, Annette O’Shea, found her beloved dog seven years ago at an animal shelter in Australia where she was living at the time. He had been in the shelter for 11 months and according to Annette he had “completely shut down, physically and emotionally”. However, after much hard work, Mickey Blue has learned to trust again and it is this inspirational story that has led the Lhasa Apso to the finals of the competition.Annette spent years living in …

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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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