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Alternative to Lough Derg abstraction proposed

A plan to take water from the Comeragh Mountains to deal with water shortages in the Dublin region would eliminate the need for the controversial Lough Derg water abstraction project, a retired Cork businessman has claimed. William K Loftus, who previously ran a plant hire and civil engineering business, has drafted proposals for what he described as an “elaborate plan to utilise the southern side of the Comeragh Mountains for freshwater storage and a hydro electric scheme by seawater in the lower lakes”. Mr Loftus maintains it can be achieved without interfering with the scenic aspect of the mountains on the Mahon Falls side. He has sent his proposal to Irish Water (IW), who hadn’t responded to a number of Clare Champion at the time of going to print. A Department of Environment spokesman stated the matter is for IW, while Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s private secretary acknowledged press queries from The Clare Champion but didn’t respond with a comment …

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Tom never misses Birmingham parade

TOM Cunningham, a Kildysart-born great-grandfather who has lived in the UK Midlands since 1952, has told his local newspaper, the Birmingham Mail, how he has never missed Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Day parade since attending the first event more than 60 years ago. Tom, 91, has become such a regular visitor to the festival that he cannot walk a few yards without being recognised among the crowds. The pensioner arrived in Britain in 1952, worked on the roads and settled in Handsworth. Mr Cunningham said, “I’ve been to every single one since it started, when it was very small. I enjoy getting out and meeting people. It’s nice for the Irish to get out and have a few drinks and have the craic.” Mr Cunningham added that he “always, always” enjoys catching up with friends over a few drinks. His daughter, Lucy Casey, from Great Barr, said, “Tom never, ever forgot his Irish roots. He still speaks with an Irish accent …

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Fleadh could cost €850,000

Clare Comhaltas is expecting it will cost between €800,000 and €850,000 to run Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016, Fleadh could cost €850,000pending official confirmation of the official budget. They are hopeful that Clare County Council will contribute about €60,000, based on its proposed financial contribution, which was contained in previous bids, subject to the approval of councilors. An emphasis on innovation was also a key factor in the success of the application. One key proposal is a commitment to staging the first ever ‘Totally Accessible Fleadh’, so that people with disabilities will be able to participate fully in all events including competitions, concerts and classes. In addition, the iFleadh will make the most of new media and social networking technology to enhance the festival-going experience. Although Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 will be centered in Ennis, it will also create an ideal opportunity to showcase all that the county has to offer. The Sharing Clare initiative, contained in the bid, …

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Tracing a filmmaker’s West Clare roots

A DOCUMENTARY by renowned filmmaker Daisy Asquith, which explores the very personal story of her mother’s conception and subsequent adoption after a dance in the 1940s in West Clare, will be screened on Channel 4 on Sunday, March 29 at 8pm. Her grandmother had to run away and give birth to her baby in secret before handing the baby over to nuns. Daisy’s mother was eventually adopted by English Catholics from Stoke-on-Trent. Her grandmother returned to Ireland and kept her secret. The identity of Daisy’s grandfather remained a mystery for another 60 years until Daisy and her mother decided it was time to find out who he was. Their desperate need to know took them on a fascinating and moving adventure in social and sexual morality and the fear and shame that Catholicism has wrought on the Irish psyche for centuries, connecting them with a brand new family living an extraordinarily different life. “I was compelled to find out who …

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Ennis awaits €60m Fleadh

THE economic spin-off for Ennis, as the host town for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016, could be worth up to €60 million. The figure has been arrived at based on independent assessments conducted after recent Fleadh events. Hundreds of Clare businesses are already tuning up to receive a windfall ranging from €40m to €60m, when Ennis stages the Fleadh in August 2016, according to the findings of economic evaluations compiled by Fáilte Ireland and independent consultants. While Ennis will be the main economic beneficiary, most towns and villages around the county will also benefit from Fleadh dividends, as Irish musical events are held in traditional strongholds, such as Tulla, Kilfenora, Feakle, Corofin, Ennistymon, Doolin, Miltown Malbay and Kilrush, as well as Shannon and Sixmilebridge. Ennis hosted the festival in 1956 and 1977 and hopes are high that it will secure it for a second successive year, following another presentation to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Ard Comhairle in March 2016, when a decision …

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Cratloe PO to stay open

Cratloe Post Office is to remain open for at least another 18 months it has been announced. Senator Tony Mulcahy said he has received confirmation from An Post that the contract for the operation of the post office, which was due to end this month, has been extended until September 2016. He said An Post’s decision is a credit to the work of the local community and the Cratloe Post Office Action Group which have “campaigned vigorously” against the closure during recent months.” He described the extension of the Post Office contract as “a victory for community action.” “I attended a number of meetings in Cratloe and at the GPO in Dublin at which the people of Cratloe outlined the many reasons why the post office should remain open and how its closure would potentially impact the village and surrounding areas. This community approach worked and has served to convince An Post that its plan to not renew the Post …

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Lissycasey girl’s perfect day

Aine Kelly from Lissycasey has qualified as one of the top 75 contestants overall in the Doodle 4 Google Competition 2015. A fifth year student of St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil, Aine is the only nominee across all categories from County Clare. The theme for this year’s competition is My Perfect Day. Aine’s doodle represents the following: “My perfect day would involve being surrounded by family and friends and I feel their importance in life is emphasised in my doodle. My drawing portrays my appreciation of family, while also illustrating the beauty of nature. This shows perfection lies in the simple things which are taken for granted”. Aine’s doodle is now online open to public vote. Everybody can vote by going onto Doodle 4 Google Ireland website http://www.google.ie/doodle4google/ and clicking on Group 5 where you will find Aine’s drawing. You simply click on her image and click vote for this doodle. Voting allows for everyone to cast at least one vote …

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Bóthar na Trócaire

A road sign for the newly renamed Bóthar na Trócaire (formerly Friars Walk) in Ennis, was put in place this afternoon (Tuesday).  This reflective of the fact that the location has an association with the Sisters of Mercy, as well as the Franciscans. The renaming proposal was put forward by elected members of the Ennis Municipal District and was approved at the March meeting following a public consultation process.  

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