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West Clare

Lahinch regains Blue Flag

The prestigious International Blue Flag has been awarded to seven of County Clare’s beaches, including Lahinch which lost its Blue Flag status in 2013. Despite the extensive storm damage caused along Clare’s coastline earlier this year, Blue Flags have been awarded to Fanore, Kilkee, Cappa, White Strand (near Doonbeg), Ballycuggeran, Mountshannon and Lahinch. The flag is awarded to hundreds of beaches and a small number of marinas across Europe each year. The award challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four main categories of water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Anne Haugh, Director of Services for Transportation, Environment and Emergency Services with Clare County Council expressed confidence that Clare could increase its complement of Blue Flag beaches from 7 to 8 in 2015. “White Strand near Miltown Malbay was not considered for a Blue Flag this year due to the ongoing construction of a new community-based Lifeguard Training Centre by Irish Water Safety. …

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Hair erasing experience for Kilmihil students

ELEVEN St Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil, fifth-year LCVP pupils, guided by their LCVP teacher, Claire Davoren, recently decided to organise a Shave Or Dye event in their school to raise awareness and funds for the Donal Walsh Livelife Foundation. Forty-eight students took part in the Shave Or Dye. Earlier this month, Elma Walsh, mother of Donal, visited St Michael’s Community College to be presented with a cheque for €1,400. She spoke to the students about the work the foundation does, trying to improve hospice care for teenagers. The fun started in January, when students brainstormed various ideas and, through a group discussion, decided on the Shave Or Dye fundraiser. “Jobs were allocated to all members and a time schedule was agreed on. Every week, we checked our progress against our plan and, if someone was finding it difficult to complete their task, as a group, we discussed other options to help them achieve their aim. “It was a team effort …

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Marital mayhem ahead as Kilmurry prepares for Mr and Mrs night

AS Kilmurry McMahon prepares to stage a fundraising Mr and Mrs night on Friday, Martin Keogh, who will present the evening along with Debbie O’Shea, has offered some sound advice on how a man can keep his wife or partner happy. “Always say ‘yes’ anyway,” Mr Keogh, a former Shannon Gaels, Clare and Munster footballer, advised. The Tullycrine man’s words of wisdom didn’t cease there.  “Agree to everything and make sure to give them breakfast in bed once a year, for the first year of marriage,” he added. Mr Keogh even has a strategy for putting off jobs that his wife, Mary, feels he should be immediately seeing to. “Tell them what they want to hear, especially when jobs have to be done. But at the same time, try to put things on hold for as long as you can. When you are getting all picture and no sound, it’s time to get it done. Or make some shape anyway,” …

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Teachers learn about Loop Head

The Department of Education, in conjunction with Clare Education Centre, has approved two summer courses specifically designed for primary school teachers to run at the Loop Head Hedge School during July and August. Each programme is designed around the Loop Head natural environment and consists of a suite of ICT related workshops,  covering the Loop Head coastline, pathways into folklore writing and a combination of creativity workshops designed to incorporate literacy, numeracy and ICT across all curricula areas. The programme has been developed and approved in response to requests from primary teachers,who have attended the Loop Head Summer Hedge School modules over the past two years. The programmes are delivered by artist, author and habitat researcher, Carmel Madigan together with author and masters graduate in writing, Patricia Byrne.  

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Drugs are part of Kilrush life

A KILRUSH mother of a former drug addict has told The Clare Champion that drugs have been available in the town for as long as she can remember. “Drugs have been in this town since I’ve been a kid, starting from LSD to ecstasy. That’s going back to when I was 11. I could see it then. When I got into my teens, it became more prominent, as my brother had got into it. I remember passing a comment to a then councillor, who is no longer there. I said ‘you’d want to start doing something about drugs in the town.’ I was told back then, ‘will you go away and stop talking rubbish. There’s no such thing as drugs in Kilrush’,” she recalled. Aside from her son, the mother has other younger children whom she is trying to ensure do not take drugs. “You can’t be there holding their hands all the time. The one thing I instil into …

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Obstacles to treatment for heroin addicts

By Peter O’Connell A Kilrush mother thinks people who seek treatment, locally, for heroin addiction have obstacles placed in their way. “There isn’t a methadone programme in Kilrush. Kilkee is only a small seaside town and they’re getting methadone up there,” she said, before detailing what is involved, locally, in the programme. The woman, whose son has received treatment for drug addiction, said, “It’s normally a two-year programme. To get you off the heroin, they’ll put you on a dosage of methadone and, over a period of two years, they’ll lower the dosage. Once a week, you’ll pick up your prescription. I think you take it in liquid form on the premises. Then you have the after-care, which is in Limerick. “So if you’re on heroin and you want to go on the programme, you can’t get the methadone or the after-care in Kilrush. “While you’re doing the programme, you have no facility in Kilrush to help you to come …

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Kelly makes it eight in a row

Lissycasey county councillor PJ Kelly (FF) won his eighth successive election to Clare County Council when he was elected on the eleventh count. “It was good I got elected. I’m delighted. It was awful cheeky to go for eight in a row but I made it. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this. If we were to have predicted who would win or lose, the bookies would have been in for a good day,” he said of a day of twists and turns in the west Clare race. Meanwhile Bill Chambers (FF) was equally relived to have pulled through at the same stage of the day long count. “It feels great and I’m delighted with the result but I’m really sorry too that we’ve lost two marvellous colleagues in Oliver Garry and Patrick Keane. Two thorough gentleman,” he commented. He described the new west Clare constituency as a challenging one geographically. “It has proved we were …

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Signs of resurgence for Fianna Fáil in the West

There are signs of a Fianna Fáil resurgence in West Clare as party men will occupy four out of the eight council seats in the electoral area for the next five years. Sitting councillor Michael Hillery (FF) was elected in the 11th count. He puts part of his vote down to the elimination of Fine Gael’s Corofin-based candidate Gerry Kennedy. “When the tally came in yesterday and I had almost 1400 votes I thought I was in fourth position so I thought I was quite safe. Looking at the overall tally I knew there were a lot of candidates in the Southern section of the area and when they would be eliminated I wouldn’t get many votes from that particular area and that is what would happen but when Gerry Kennedy was eliminated that is when the thing changed around and it looked good from there on in and I’m delighted that it resulted in me being elected in Clare,” …

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