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Book-binder Eilís crafts ‘Words About Words’

COROFIN-based artists and book binder, Éilís Murphy continues to fly the flag for an age-old and fascinating craft, with her latest handcrafted book Words about Words. The beautifully handmade, limited-edition work of art is a kind of illustrated dictionary of rare words, many of which have fallen out of use. It explores the language of lexicography, using 26 collages to bring to life esoteric terms, from ‘abecedarian’ to ‘zeugma’. “I love resurrecting obscure words, giving them a new life through illustration,” Éilís said, describing Words about Words as “an ABC picture book for adults”. Earlier this year, Éilís’s expertise and creativity were rewarded with a €10,000 RDS Craft Awards bursary. She was one of five emerging Irish craftspeople awarded a bursary for the development of their craft. “Each book is unique by virtue of hand-painted paste paper, which gives the cover the chalky texture of a painted canvas. This paper decoration technique has been used by bookbinders since the middle …

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Major award for Lahinch-based videographer

A TALENTED Lahinch-based film-maker has scooped a top national award from the Irish Professional Photographers and Videographers Association (IPPVA). Gavin Gallagher, from Barefield, and the founder of Dreamcatcher Films, had the honour of taking the title of Wedding Videographer of the Year, fighting off stiff competition from all over the country. “We won the award for a six-minute film and another for a 60-second Instagram edit,” Gavin told The Champion. “We have an amazing team here and we just can’t believe it, we’re delighted with the win.” The honours are all the sweeter because they come at the end of a very difficult year for everyone who provides wedding services. “We lost 70 weddings this year,” Gavin said. “It has been a crazy year and the award means so much with everything that’s happened. It’s really rejuvenated us and we’re looking forward to 2021. Couples who had have to defer their weddings and cope with so much uncertainty have been …

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Shock for Quilty fishing crew after historic catch

A QUILTY fishing crew got a shock last month when they caught the first ever confirmed electric ray in Irish Waters. Skipper of the MFV Emma Elizabeth, Tommy Galvin, was out with a crew including his son Thomas, fishing crayfish at the back of Mutton Island when the rare Marbled Electric Ray – otherwise known as a Torpedo Marmorata – turned up in their nets. “We knew straight away it was something you wouldn’t see every day,” Tommy told The Champion. “It was a brownsih colour, around two feet long and weighed around five kilos or so. Thomas got a bit of a shock from it, but strangely I didn’t. We were very cautious with it. Of course, we wear boots and gloves so that would cut limit the charge.” A keen watcher of sea life, Tommy got some expert advice to help identify what his unusual catch might be. “I got in touch with marine biologist Kevin Flannery, who …

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Schools urged to remember Cumann na mBan

THE MID-Clare Commemoration Committee has unveiled plans to commemorate the role of the women of Cumann na mBan in Ireland’s revolutionary struggle. The committee, which has been instrumental in marking historic events since it was established a decade ago, believes that the pivotal role of women in events like the War of Independence has been largely neglected. Given the restrictions around Covid-19, it has initiated a school’s project designed to recognise the role of women, including the children’s own relatives. All schools in Mid-Clare Brigade area are invited to participate in the project, and to select Cumann na mBan members and document their contribution to national Independence. Schools and students may use any medium they see fit, including displays, posters, articles, reports, etc, and may return one or more projects. Participating schools will be presented with a specially commissioned Cumann na mBan Centenary Certificate. A presentation ceremony will take place in 2021, subject to restriction. A centenary commemorative booklet of …

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Scholarship success for Kilmihil’s Anna Marie

A FORMER student of St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil, has secured a college scholarship worth €20,000. Last week, Dr Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel announced the winners of the 2020 Naughton Foundation Scholarship Awards giving Anna Marie Meaney a welcome boost for her third-level studies. Anna Marie has accepted a place at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), where she is currently studying Biomedical Science. The West Clare woman joins 35 exceptional Irish students who were awarded third-level scholarships in the areas of engineering, science, technology and maths. Anna Marie will receive her funding award in tranches of €5,000, over the four years of her studies. As part of the awards scheme, St Michael’s Community College will also receive €1,000 to support science education. Clare has a proven track record in the awards competition, with Caitríona Ní Riordáin from Colaiste Mhuire, Ennis, taking last year’s top prize. Traditionally the awards are presented by founding patrons, Dr and Mrs Naughton, …

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Doonbeg marks centenary of double gold Olympian

OLYMPIAN Pat McDonald is being warmly remembered in his native Doonbeg, 100 years after he earned a place in the annals of sporting history, by winning a second gold medal. The Amsterdam Olympics of 1920 saw him reach the pinnacle of a long and illustrious sporting career. At over 40 years of age, when he took part in the world games in Holland, Pat McDonald still holds the honour of being the oldest Olympic track and field champion. Against rivals half his age, the towering 6’ 4’’ West Clare man was capable of throwing a weight of 56 pounds a distance of 11.26 metres, considerably further than his younger competitors. Former teacher Joe Hurley has a huge interest in Pat McDonald’s achievements and legacy, and has researched the story in great detail. The path the young Clare man followed was a well-worn one that took him from the rural west coast to the bustling and brash metropolis of New York, …

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Miltown volunteer on call to help during Level 5 restrictions

A FLEET of volunteer vans will be back out on the roads in West Clare supporting those who may need extra help as Level 5 restrictions return in an effort to control Covid-19. Miltown Malbay man Stephen Downes ran the initiative last March, and said that he hopes once again to support the community over the dark winter evenings. “People face new challenges this time around because we’re hearing into the long nights and cold days,” Mr Downes said. “There’s a lot of fear around and some people don’t like going out if they’re elderly or at risk. Once again, we’re offering to collect shopping for people and deliver it to their doors. We’ll drop around and pick up a list and do our best to help ensure that people are looked after.” The decision to go back out on the roads was prompted by news of the return to Level 5 restrictions. “We really need to try to pull together again,” he said. “People are feeling …

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Migraine suffers offered online support

THE devastating impact of migraine has prompted a West Clare woman to appeal to the public and the medical community to educate themselves about the condition, and to highlight the situation of those on public waiting lists who can face waiting up to two years to access diagnostic tests. Michelle is 36 years of age and has suffered debilitating migraines since her late teens. Her condition is so severe that she can have migraines for up to 25 days a month. She also experiences what are known as hemiplegic migraines. These cause symptoms similar to stroke and can involve inability to speak, loss of vision and partial paralysis. She has urged fellow sufferers to seek support from the likes of the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) and to advocate for treatment in cases where their GP or other medical professionals write off their symptoms as ‘just a headache’. Over the years, Michelle has been prescribed multiple kinds of treatments, none …

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