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Success for Kate Purcell on The Voice of Ireland

East Clare’s Kate Purcell has made it through to the battle stages on the popular television series The Voice of Ireland. The talented folk singer appeared on Sunday’s episode of the programme where she sang her own version of Rihanna’s hit song We Found Love for the blind audition. She won over two of the four judges on the contest as Kian Egan and Rachael Stevens both turned around to offer the Tulla resident a place on their team. Complemented for stripping the song back by judge Kian Egan, Kate chose to go with the former Westlife singer and will now progress on his team to the battle stages. Kate is the second East Clare contestant to make it through to these stages of the competition, as Scariff resident Sarah McTernan will compete on Rachael Stevens team. By Carol Byrne  

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

Lahinch man new Bishop of Waterford and Lismore

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Lahinch native, Fr Alphonsus Cullinan as the new Bishop of Waterford & Lismore. Fifty-five-year-old, Fr Cullinan is a son of Christy and Rita and has four sisters and five brothers. He is parish priest in Rathkeale, County Limerick His family moved to Limerick city where he attended the Salesians for early education, John F Kennedy National School and the Crescent College Comprehensive (SJ) for his secondary education. From 1978-1981 he attended Mary Immaculate College of Education Limerick and qualified as a primary teacher and taught for six years in Castleconnell, County Limerick. He worked part-time during that time for four years with the Bunratty Castle Entertainers before going to Spain where he taught English for two years in a school in Valladolid. Fr Cullinan studied at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth from 1989-95 where he completed an STL (Licentiate in Theology). He was ordained by Bishop Jeremiah Newman in 1994 in Saint John’s Cathedral, Limerick, …

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Search for St Michael’s Villas photos

LOCAL historian, Cora (Hahessy) McNulty is working on a history of St Michael’s Villas, in association with the Clare Roots Society. The book will be launched on June 18 next. Cora is putting out an appeal for the names of the children in the photograph above and is seeking two photographs, which must be included in the book. One is a photograph of the St Michael’s Grotto Committee. This committee was formed in 1958 to raise funds for the construction for the iconic grotto in St Michael’s. A photograph appeared in The Clare Champion of the blessing of the grotto in March 1960. Cora has a very poor copy of this photograph and is confident that someone out there has an original. The committee members were as follows: PJ McGarry (chairman); P Considine (designer); M Ryan; M Coleman; J Lynch; P Sheehan; J McGuane; M Kinnane; T Coffey; M Culligan and R O’Brien. The second photograph being sought is of …

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Two gardaí for Kilmihil station

FOLLOWING the closure of Lissycasey Garda Station, Clare Garda Chief Superintendent John Kerin has said that he intends having two gardaí stationed at the re-opened Kilmihil station, which will be up and running on March 1. “There is going to be a full-time garda back there and, hopefully, a second one. That’s what Kilrush Superintendent Seamus Nolan wants to do and it’s something that I’ve said to him. If he can spare a garda from somewhere else and reallocate to Kilmihil to have two gardaí there, it certainly would be something I’d be in favour of,” Chief Superintendent Kerin confirmed. He said Kilmihil needs a full-time garda presence in the village. “Up to a couple of years ago, you had a garda station in Kilmihil, Doonbeg and Lissycasey. We’d see Kilmihil as being a central location for the three places and of the three centres, from a garda perspective, it would be by far the busiest. Perhaps there are more …

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Parking problems at Mullaghmore

A CLARE County Council official has acknowledged that if there are issues with road safety at Mullaghmore that he will do anything within his role to “push any measures” that are required through. Senior executive engineer, Hugh McGrath made these comments at a recent Killaloe Electoral Area meeting, which covers the Mullaghmore area of North Clare, following a motion tabled by Councillor Pat Hayes. Councillor Hayes proposed that a review of the parking facilities at Mullaghmore be carried out in the interest of traffic movements and safety for road users and walkers. The Fianna Fáil councillor said that, particularly during the summer months, parking is a significant problem, with “cars parking all over the place”. He said there are issues surrounding public safety, as a result of having no traffic management plan at the popular location. Councillor Hayes said he was not aware whether parking issues were the full responsibility of the National Parks and Wildlife Service or not and …

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March 17 deadline for Aldi planning decision

A decision on whether or not a discount supermarket can be built on the site of Ennistymon Mart is due to be made before St Patrick’s Day. Clare County Council received an application in the past week from John Spain Associates, on behalf of Aldi Stores, for a proposed shop with 82 car-parking spaces on the mart site at Church Hill and Circular Road. The site has been the subject of controversy in recent years, with local farmers fighting to keep the mart open. In December 2014, officers of the Ennistymon branch of Irish Farmers’ Association, in an unprecedented move in the county, resigned their positions. They took the decision to give up their roles in protest over the sale of the mart to Aldi and what they saw as a lack of support from Clare IFA on the matter. The branch committee members took the united action “to highlight our frustration with the IFA on their approach to the …

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Vandalism at Shannon Church

SHANNON’S Ss John & Paul Church was attacked by vandals late on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday. A large rock was thrown through a window and this morning Gardai began an examination of the scene, while an area of the church has been sealed off. Seating has been restricted for masses today, but they are still going ahead at 10am and 12.15pm. Gardai are appealing for any information on the incident and can be contacted at 061 365900.

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Martin’s Clonea to Cooraclare fundraising cycle

COORACLARE man, Martin Donnelly, who lives in Meath, has revealed details of a fundraising cycle on June 20 and 21. All proceeds from the two-day cycle, which will start in Clonea and conclude in Cooraclare, will be split between the West Clare Mini Marathon Cancer Fund and St Francis Hospice in Dublin 15. “This cycle is something that has been in my mind for a while,” Martin Donnelly told The Clare Champion. “You’re not going to cycle all that way without having a purpose to it. So I came up with the idea of calling it a Cycle In Remembrance. So people will do this in memory of somebody close to them who has passed away and, at the same time, raise much-needed funds for West Clare Cancer Care and St Francis Hospice in Blanchardstown, which is very close to Clonea. There are 60,000 to 80,000 people living in Dublin 15 and they have opened a six-bed hospice. They all …

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