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South Clare

Uncertain future for Cratloe shop and post office

Fears have been expressed over the future viability of the only shop in Cratloe, if the adjoining post office is closed. Cratloe Community Council has urged everyone in the village and surrounding areas to voice their support for the retention of the post office by attending a public meeting next Monday in the community hall at 8.30pm. Acting community council chairperson, Josefa McElligott said a community response is required as quickly as possible to safeguard the future of the shop and post office. In a recent letter to the community council, Dermot O’Brien, who operates the post office in Ashling’s Foodstore, warned that like all small retail businesses, the shop has been hit hard by the recession. “Sales have decreased year-on-year. Turnover is down by almost 50% from six years ago. I regret to say that without the second source of income from the post office, the shop would simply not be viable,” he stated. Councillor PJ Ryan said he …

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Radisson hotel sold for €3.5m

A well-known South East  Clare hotel has been purchased by an Irish hotel investment company, iNua Hospitality, for €3.5 million. The sale of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, which was made on behalf of joint receivers, Kieran Wallace and Niall Macklin, highlights the appeal investors currently see in the hospitality sector. Headed up by financier Noel Creedon, iNua Hospitality’s acquisition of the hotel is an addition to the company’s expanding portfolio of Radisson Blu Hotels, given their recent purchase of Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa in Little Island, Cork. “We are very pleased with this second acquisition, which has significant synergies with our Little Island property. We are excited about the development potential for this asset and we look forward to working with the staff and team in Limerick,” said Noel Creedon. iNua Hospitality CFO, John O’Brien, said, “We have now established iNua Hospitality as a key player in the industry. The purchase of both Radisson Blu Hotels in …

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Lough Derg swim challenge

Former Irish Ladies rugby star, Rosie Foley and an Ogonnelloe TG4 presentation director will bid to make history by becoming the first two to swim the full 38 kilometre length of Lough Derg from Portumna to Killaloe this Saturday. James Lynch and Rosie Foley estimate it will take them 15 hours of continuous swimming to make the lake crossing depending on weather conditions and other factors. While Mr Lynch will be wearing a wetsuit for the event, Ms Foley, plans to swim without the wetsuit as she hopes to qualify for an attempt at the English Channel in the future. Up to now the pair have been training in pools since January and from late April they have been swimming long distances in the open water, to help them prepare for the event. The two swimmers and their support crews will be leaving Portumna on Saturday morning around 7am will subsequently make their way south along the lake to Killaloe. …

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Cratloe Researcher wins top award

A Cratloe man has won a national award for his work on walking and cycling routes. Richard Manton from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway is the inaugural winner of the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) Postgraduate Researcher of the Year Competition 2014. Richard is in the write-up stages of his PhD, working on a multi-disciplinary project, entitled Route Selection and Design of Greenways: Guidance for the Irish National Cycle Network, which combines civil engineering and social science. Many people recognise Ireland’s over reliance on the private car and a shift to walking and cycling has the potential to dramatically improve the environmental, economic and health implications of Irish transport. “In the context of the unsustainability of Irish transport and restrictions on public space, a major shift to walking, cycling and public transport is needed. Although we need to curb car use and make our roads safer, the growing number of greenways represents a step in the right direction. …

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Baby Sophie’s legacy lives on

A hearbroken mother has spoken out her frantic efforts to resuscitate her newborn baby daughter before she died from suspected heart failure at their home in Ballina-Killaloe. Sophie O’Brien, who was born on May 6 last with a serious defect in the left side of her heart, died less than four weeks later on June 2 with her family. Despite the best efforts of Darren O’Brien (31), Scariff, and his wife, Pamela (32), Sophie was pronounced dead within a short period of time at the University Hospital, Limerick. In an emotional interview, Pamela recalled how her husband, Darren, sought her assistance after noticing a change in the colour of Sophie’s face around 11am. “I held her in my arms, looked at her and thought she is not fine. I put her on her lovely fleecy blanket on her changing unit. I tapped the end of her feet. I called her name, she didn’t open her eyes. I knew there was …

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Killaloe hero sparks interest in Great Dane pups

THE life-saving exploits of an award-winning Killaloe Great Dane has sparked a run of requests for young puppies from prospective buyers, according to his owner, Arabella Scanlan. Charlie, a gentle giant, made international headlines last year, when The Clare Champion revealed how he could detect when three year-old Brianna Lynch was going to have an epileptic fit, about 20 minutes before each episode. Arabella, Brianna’s mother, is still effusive in her praise concerning the uncanny bond, which has developed between Charlie and Brianna since he came to live in their home on the outskirts of Killaloe when he was just six months old. The Irish Kennel Club celebrated the special relationship between humans and their dogs at an awards ceremony hosted in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin recently. Following thousands of entries, Charlie was shortlised in the final 15 and was awarded his Golden Paw Hero certificate, after being highly commended in the Exemplary Companion/Life-Changing Dog category. His amazing …

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Amy’s essay wins Austrian trip

AMY McLoughlin, a senior-cycle student at St Patrick’s Comprehensive School in Shannon, has won a two-week scholarship to Salzburg, Austria. Along with her classmates, Amy entered a German essay-writing competition, organised annually by the Irish Austrian Society. This competition is open to all secondary schools in Ireland. From over 300 applicants, Amy won the senior category of the competition. Her essay was selected by university lecturers and commended for its originality and its high standard of German. Amy received her scholarship at a reception hosted by the Austrian Ambassador, Dr Thomas Nader, at the Austrian Embassy in Dublin. In attendance with Amy at the ceremony were her family andher German teacher, Ms Siobhan Hickey, who stood in for St Patrick’s headmaster, Mr Morgan Heaphy. The scholarship comprises of air travel, tuition in German and board and accommodation for two weeks in July 2014 in the ISK (Internationale Sprachkurse) in Salzburg. The ISK is a well-known centre for students of German, …

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Micro-chip call to halt Clare cattle rustling

A Clare county councillor has called for the micro-chipping of livestock, as a measure to reduce the risk of theft, following yet another cattle rustling incident in the South East Clare area. Independent Cratloe councillor, PJ Ryan said that in light of the number of livestock thefts, the Department of Agriculture should consider micro-chipping all animals in preference to the tagging system currently in operation. “It’s way too easy to remove tags with the result that stolen animals are rarely, if ever, traced. Dogs and cats can be micro-chipped; maybe it is time cattle were also. Certainly, it would be a more foolproof system,” he added. Councillor Ryan was commenting as gardaí are investigating the lifting of livestock from lands at Woodcock Hill in Meelick during the past week. In the latest incident of cattle rustling, two cows and six calves were stolen and gardaí are investigating. Similar incidents of livestock thefts have occurred in Sixmilebridge and Quin.

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