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Allotment fosters community spirit

THE success of Clare County Council’s allotment scheme in Shannon has fostered great community spirit among gardening enthusiasts and the council is now being urged to replicate the feel-good factor in other parts of the county.The provision of about 44 public plots at the rear of Illaunmanagh Cemetery has taken on something of a cosmopolitan flavour as green-fingered people from China, South Africa and Spain mingle with locals who thoroughly enjoy watching a wide variety of fruit and vegetables blossom.Now in its fourth year, the 150m2 plots are available for rent from the council for an annual fee of €45.Stephen Danaher, who lives in Fearnóg across from Shannon Town Centre, believes the social interaction between growers is one of the project’s positive spin-offs.“There is a great social side to growing your own food. There is a great mix of people in Shannon, including people who are willing to share their experience and give advice. There is a nice mixture of …

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Stepping back in time at Hastings farmhouse

WHILE Shannon is a new town, there is plenty of heritage in the adjoining area and a major amount of work has been taking place on preserving Hastings farmhouse, close to Illaunmanagh Graveyard. It will be opened to the public on two occasions in the coming weeks.The house in question was the setting for drama during the War of Independence, as the IRA held the British Army’s Brigadier General Lucas there.

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John swims to masters glory

SHANNON-born swimmer John Cunningham was again a gold medallist at the FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, held in Riccione, Italy, in June. John was taking part in the 40-44 age group and successfully defended his 100m butterfly title, while he also took the gold in the 50m butterfly race.Speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday, John, who lives near Potters Barn in Hertfordshire, close to London, said he is very pleased with the performances.“I defended the 100m and won the 50m so I was pretty pleased with that. The performances were quite good, not as quick as two years ago but maybe the years are catching up,” he joked.John said he was given an awful lot of confidence after winning the 50m gold. “After that, I went in with a lot of confidence and I really felt that I could control the event and I did.”He said he won the 100m by a full second, which is quite a substantial …

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