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West Clare

John Cusack, Ian's father and organiser of the Ian's Trust To The Moon and Back cycle and run at Kilkee last Saturday, John Galvin, The Clare Champion and Gerry O'Brien, Hyundai Limerick (sponsors) awaiting the start of the 60 km cycle to Loop Head and back in aid of children with acquired brain injuries. Pic Munsterimages.ie

To the Moon and Back

I agreed to do the cycle before I even thought it through. A 60km cycle less than two weeks away was going to be a tall order, given that I haven’t done much on a bike for years. The To the Moon and Back cycle was in aid of Ian’s Trust, a charity set up to help children with acquired brain injuries, so I felt honour bound to give it a go. In the intervening fortnight, I managed to do a few 10km runs but I felt in no way properly prepared when I lined out in Kilkee last Saturday for the jaunt to Loop Head and back. I didn’t feel any better when I saw what surrounded me. Lycra-clad bodies on carbon fibre bikes were everywhere and I felt distinctly out of place on my vintage, 20 year old Raleigh racer, with its steel frame and only 12 gears. The day was dry and fortunately, not too warm. The …

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Finnish blogger in Lahinch

Hundreds of thousands of people in Scandinavia, and elsewhere around the world, are set to read all about County Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way. Finnish travel blogger, Satu Vänskä-Westgarth is taking on the “challenge of her lifetime” – cycling the entire Wild Atlantic Way, or some 2,500 kms along Ireland’s western seaboard over a five-week period. Satu arrived in Lahinch on Tuesday and will spend the next few days exploring and then blogging about what the area has to offer. She will then travel along the coast to Kilkee before continuing to the South West. Tourism Ireland invited Satu to undertake the marathon cycle, to experience our newest visitor attraction and then inspire her readers and followers to come and discover it for themselves. A self-confessed “total newbie when it comes to bike touring or biking”, she has named her adventure, Ride Wild 2014. Her plan is to cycle approximately 100 kms each day, five days a week, and …

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Unravelling the Loop Head code

A group of amateur ham radio operators will wind back the clock at Loop Head Lighthouse this weekend, when they attempt to communicate via radio and Morse code with hundreds of radio clubs throughout the world. The Limerick Radio Club, which features members from Clare, Kerry, Limerick and Tipperary, will broadcast non-stop for 48 hours from the West Clare lighthouse as part of the 17th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW). During the broadcast, from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday, visitors to the popular tourism landmark will be able to listen into communications with some of the other participating ham radio operators, broadcasting from 400 other lighthouses and lightships in 65 countries. Last year, the Limerick Radio Club successfully made contact with lighthouses and lightships as far away as Brazil, Australia, Tonga, French Guiana, Asiatic Russia, Ecuador, The Azores and The US Virgin Islands. The majority of all radio contacts were made with operators in the United States …

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Tributes paid to Clare woman hit by train

The National Council for the Blind Ireland has paid tribute to a West Clare woman who died after she was hit by a train in Dublin on Thursday. Patricia Brennan, who is orginally from Cappagh in Kilrush, was waiting on the platform at Raheny DART station when she fell into the path of a train at about 1.45pm. Ms Brennan lived locally and was waiting for a northbound DART service when she fell  onto the track as the 1.30pm train from Pearse to Drogheda was approaching. This service does not stop at Raheny and while the driver applied the emergency brake, the train did not stop on time and hit the 57-year-old visually impaired woman. Emergency services were called and she was taken to nearby Beaumont Hospital but died later that day. Elaine Howley, CEO of NCBI services extended sympathy to Ms Brennan’s family and to all her friends in the Iona Day Activity Centre where she had been taking …

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Planning extension for West Clare windfarm

CLARE County Council has granted an extension of planning permission for the construction of a windfarm with 11 turbines, access roads, cabling and a substation compound at Glenmore, Bollynamweel, Sorrel island in West Clare. The planning report stated the development had been delayed, due to circumstances beyond the control of the applicant, Clare Winds Ltd. The report says, “A cover letter, as submitted by McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan Planning Consultants, states that further works at this site have been restricted due to the delay in the required improvements to the local transmission networks, including the extension of the Eirgrid Booltiagh Substation, which has a scheduled completion of 2016. “The letter from McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan Planning Consultants goes on to state that further works on-site have been restricted, due to the delay in the required improvements to the local transmission networks, including the extension of the Eirgrid Booltiagh substation and the applicant has progressed the project in so far as is possible.” …

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Clohanes NS celebrates 125th anniversary

CLOHANES National School in Doonbeg will mark its 125th anniversary on the weekend of August 15 to 17. The 44-pupil, two-teacher school also has a resource teacher, along with a special needs assistant and a school secretary. The committee established to mark the milestone, and chaired by Mick Carrick, has produced a very informative 160-page book, which details the long history of the school. School principal Aideen O’Mahoney is a past pupil and, intriguingly, was her mother’s boss when she was appointed to her current post in 1993. “My mother (Marie Shanahan) taught me in the junior classroom for four years. Then, when I came back in 1993 as principal, I was my mother’s principal for nine years,” Aideen said. So how did that work out? “We got on well. As I often said, I was the principal, she was the boss. She showed me the ropes. She knew everybody, knew the locality and knew all of the families. It …

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Geological trips to Loop Head on the increase

LOOP HEAD Tourism chairman, Cillian Murphy says that a recent LEADER-sponsored study has calculated that geological group visits to the peninsula are worth up to €1.5m to the West Clare economy. He says that geological visits have increased by approximately 30% this year. “We had a study done with the help of LEADER funding to look at putting a geology centre on the peninsula. Part of the study looked at where the companies were coming from and how much they spent. The estimate was that each trip is worth somewhere in the region of €50,000. That’s direct spend in here. That’s not left in an office in Houston. That’s bills paid on the peninsula. Definitely we have seen between 20 and 25 trips this summer,” Cillian Murphy revealed. “Anecdotally, I would think that we’re up about 30% this year. That’s group visits. Loop Head is now a very attractive proposition for the petro-chemical industry to come and look at the …

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West Clare windfarm faces High Court challenge

NEW windfarm developments in Clare may be blown off course by High Court challenges, after a group of West Clare residents became the first local opposition group to secure leave for a Judicial Review to overturn planning approval for a local windfarm. High Court Judge Marie Bake has granted members of the Coore/Shanaway Residents Group, represented by Kathleen Connelly, leave to seek a judicial teview of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for four 85m wind turbines in the Miltown Malbay area, on 10 grounds. The successful application for a Judicial Review was taken by resident Kathleen Connelly, the respondent was An Bord Pleanála, while the notice parties were Clare County Council and McMahon Finn Wind Acquisitions Limited. A spokesman for An Bord Pleanála said the board received the legal papers on Tuesday and has begun work on its response but it is only at the initial stages as yet. Efforts by The Clare Champion to obtain a …

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