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South Clare

World tennis ace backs Killaloe man’s fund-raising campaign

RAFAEL Nadal is among the international sports stars supporting a Killaloe man to raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece. Tennis coach Wesley O’Brien is a regular volunteer at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, north of Athens. Two years ago, he started up a programme for residents, thanks to donations of rackets, balls and nets from clubs around the region, including his own in Killaloe-Ballina. As part of a bid to raise funds for a defibrillator for the camp, which is now home to 4000 people, Wesley has secured jerseys signed by some high profile individuals and teams. To-date, these include Nadal, the Munster Rugby Team, Usain Bolt, Rory McIlroy and Franz Beckenbaur. Wesley, who volunteers with Lighthouse Relief, now hopes to be able to sell these rare items in order to generate vital funding support for refugees. “I had raised funds for a defibrillator for the Killaloe-Ballina Tennis Club, so I decided to do the same again for Ritsona …

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Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Michael Begley. Photograph by John Kelly.

council prepare application for Springfield Flood Embankment

CLARE County Council are on target to lodge an application for a long-awaited flood embankment on the outskirts of Clonlara in mid to late April, according to a local councillor. Councillor Michael Begley has told the Clare Champion the council are on track to lodge a Part Eight application for the Springfield Flood Embankment, which is estimated to cost in excess of €1.2 million. This follows a video conference meeting between council officials and the Office of Public Works last week following a submission of the final report by consultants employed by the local authority to assess issues concerning the flood embankment. While flood waters have disappeared, and residents who were evacuated have returned to their homes, sandbags still remain outside some dwellings. Councillor Begley said some residents have to undertake a major clean up operation due to overflows in septic tanks and other remedial works. One of the main access roads going through Springfield was damaged by flood water …

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Post-Covid ‘staycation’ hopes for East Clare tourism

TOURISM operators in East Clare have said they remain cautiously optimistic in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 lock-down, which has brought the sector to a standstill for now. The season would normally begin around Easter, and tourism providers are currently coping with a raft of cancelled tour bookings, as well as the shelving of key events and activities. Hope is being drawn, however, from the anticipated demand for ‘staycation’ breaks once the restrictions on movement are lifted, and from the development of key projects including the River Shannon Tourism Master Plan 2020-2030, which is currently in draft form and open for public submissions. “A good season in East Clare would be starting around Easter,” noted Arlene White, Chairperson of Tourism East Clare. “What we are now seeing instead is the cancellation of bookings for months ahead. It’s very tough for everyone, but we understand the need for the restrictions and we are hoping that 2020 won’t be a complete …

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Ogonnello comes together ‘virtually’ to remember 1916

THE community of Ogonnelloe have vowed not to be beaten in their efforts to celebrate the anniversary of the 1916 Rising this weekend. While the ongoing lock-down means that a production of a commemorative show entitled ‘O’Gonnelloe Remembers’ could not be publicly performed, the feast of music, song and poetry will now be released on Facebook next Sunday night at 8pm. The show sees people from around the parish taking on the roles of leading revolutionary figures in what is described as an “emotionally-charged” remembrance of the Rising. All week long, amateur actors have been getting into costume and capturing themselves on camera phone. Their performances are now being edited alongside archival and drone footage by Tubber man Brian Ruane, a professional videographer and editor. Sunday night’s release is eagerly anticipated locally and is set to bring back happy memories of a major commemorative event which took place locally in 2016 to mark the Rising’s centenary. Director Louise Donnellan said …

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Killaloe Tennis club serves up €740,000 development

A LOCAL tennis club look set to make their own piece of history by becoming the first committee outside of Dublin to provide a permanent covered tennis courts as part of a major development estimated to cost in excess of €740,000. Killaloe Ballina Tennis Club has served up an impressive volley in terms of new facilities with a plan that will make them the envy of clubs throughout Munster once they come to fruition. Officers have already won a number of key matches, having secured planning permission as well as raising a massive €480,00 through fundraising, grants, club funds and donations. The club currently has four tennis courts and this will be increased by another two courts. The club currently has about 250 memberships, which includes a lot of family memberships that allows two adults and two children to use facilities. Club chairman, Patrick Seymour told the Clare Champion once the development is fully completed, it will provide the only …

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‘Shock and Disbelief’ at Sixmilebridge Shooting

THE shooting of two men last outside a pub in Sixmilebridge last night has brought “a sense of shock and disbelief’ to the village, according to TD Joe Carey. Two men, aged 21 and 66, were treated on site for apparent gunshot wounds, before being removed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for further treatment. Their injuries are not thought be life threatening. Gardaí have made no arrests and are appealing for information. The scene has been preserved for a forensic examination to take place and an incident room has been established at Shannon Garda Station. Deputy Carey has said the local community are outraged that something like this could happen in their village. He said he has been in contact with local councillors and they will aid the case in any way possible. He also joined the garda call for anyone with information to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact Shannon Garda Station 061-365900 or the …

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Thomond Community College opens

A NEW second level school to serve a catchment area of north Limerick city and into Clare, opened yesterday (Thursday). Thomond Community College is located in the state-of-the-art, former St Nessan’s Community College facility off the Old Cratloe Road.  The college is an amalgamation of Salesian Secondary School and St Nessan’s Community College that will be run under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB). Its initial intake of 96 first years walked through the doors on Thursday starting out their five year second level education. In addition to the new first year intake, fifth year and second year students from Salesian Secondary School have today (Friday) transferred to the Thomond Community College, with all set to retain the teachers for the various subjects they had in the 2015/2016 school year at the Salesians. The First Year intake at the college is up 50% from three years ago when the amalgamation was announced. Overall numbers …

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Parteen scientist leads €2m MS research

A PARTEEN scientist is leading a new €2.39 million research programme at Queen’s University Belfast to investigate reversing the damage caused by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr Denise Fitzgerald from the Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s is working with a team of international scientists on the ground-breaking MS research project to develop a new class of treatment for MS, which could restore lost functions in patients and significantly improve their quality of life. The research programme, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aims to understand how myelin, the insulating layer that surrounds nerves in the central nervous system, can be repaired. Thousands of people in Ireland are affected by MS, with Northern Ireland having the second-highest incidence of MS in the world. Dr Fitzgerald was paralysed by a condition similar to MS when she was 21 but has fully recovered. Dr Fitzgerald, who graduated from UCD, has been in the Queen’s …

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