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Tag Archives: Australia

Quirky challenge tests local knowledge of Clare’s postal staff

TWO Clare men have been keeping postal staff on their toes with a series of riddles designed to test their local knowledge. Gearóid Kelly from Feakle and Tony McTeigue from Kilnamona have exchanged Christmas cards over the last five years. Rather than simply writing a name and address on the envelope, the pair have taken to coming up with cryptic instructions that have, almost always, led to the successful delivery of their post. While Gearóid works in Dublin and Tony in Australia, the two have sent cards and letters to each other’s home address, in the hope that local ties will help postal staff to decipher their destinations. “We’ve known each other since going to college in NUI Galway,” Gearóid told The Champion. The Business Information Systems graduate, an accordion player, met fellow Clare native, Tony, who plays banjo, at the college’s Trad Soc. “We were always up for a laugh and a few practical jokes alright,” he said. Now …

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Ennis connection to award winning Covid-19 research

THE son of an Ennis couple is among a team of academics that have won an international Covid-19 data science competition. Oisin Fitzgerald is a research officer and phD scholar at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia. He is part of a group team from UNSW’s Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH) in collaboration with the South Western Sydney Clinic School (SWSCS) which has won CovidR, a global competition assessing the contributions of the R software platform to the Covid-19 pandemic. Oisin’s parents are Michael Fitzgerald from the Turnpike and Grainne Hogan, formerly from O’Connell Street and Ardlea Road in Ennis. Oisin, lecturer Dr Mark Hanly and Senior Research Fellow at South Western Sydney Clinical School Dr Tim Churches were awarded for their open-source COVOID software built to model Covid-19 transmission and intervention strategies. “Widespread social distancing and lock-downs have been remarkably effective in containing the spread of Covid-19, but they are blunt tools that come …

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Back home for Christmas

“CHRISTMAS is definitely my favourite time of year to come home; there’s a different atmosphere, it’s really family-oriented,” said Aileen Griffin on Wednesday afternoon, just after arriving in Shannon Airport. The Kilmaley woman was one of the thousands of emigrants returning to Ireland this week, mainly from the UK, the US and Australia. Aileen was greeted by her father, Joe, in Shannon. “He’s very diligent. He always does the airport pick-ups and he carries the luggage as well,” she joked. Peggy Hennessy had come in from Kilkee to pick up her son, Patrick, who is based in New York, where he works for an airline and is part-owner of a bar. Unlike many Irish people in America, he has legal status there. Peggy was very pleased to see him. “Of course, it’s brilliant to get him home. He shouldn’t have had to go in the first place, they shouldn’t have to emigrate in the first place. So many youngsters are …

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Lisdoonvarna hits the screen in Oz

LISDOONVARNA and other areas of North Clare featured in an episode of a popular Australian TV show, The Living Room last week. The show aired on Network Ten and included an interview with matchmaker Willie Daly, and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher Filming took place last autumn and was supported by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland. The Living Room is presented by Dr Chris Brown , an Australian veterinarian, TV personality and author, famously known as the ‘Bondi Vet’. Sofia Hansson, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Australia, said, “Tourism Ireland is delighted that Dr Chris and the team from The Living Room chose to film in County Clare. With an audience of about 700,000 viewers per episode, it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase Lisdoonvarna and the county to a huge Australian audience. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on prospective visitors and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of travel …

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Tracing descendants of ‘bride ship’ girls

IN 1852, Winifred Ward left Ennis and boarded a ship, along with other workhouse orphans, with the hope of starting a new life in Australia. Efforts are now being made to find her descendants here in Clare so that they can connect with their overseas relations. Plans are also underway to make a documentary about the orphan girls who travelled to Australia on these so called ‘bride-ships’, and to celebrate their lives with a remembrance service next year. The Mountbellew Workhouse Orphan Girls Project has been working on bringing the descendants of these girls together and to ensure that their legacies are not forgotten. Genealogist Paula Kennedy explains that one of the descendants of Winifred, who may have spelt her surname Warde, has been in contact with the project team and is eager to make a connection with her Clare cousins. “We are currently working on a project, tracing the descendants of the immigrants of the Palestine Ship, which left …

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Hitting the road ‘Down Under’

Tourism Ireland, together with 13 Irish tourism companies, including Dromoland Castle, is preparing to undertake a week-long sales mission to Australia and New Zealand next month – to grow tourism from both markets. The sales mission, which takes place from November 14-21, will target some 300 influential travel agents, tour operators, airlines and travel journalists in the key cities of Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The objective is to engage with travel professionals in the four cities who are currently selling the island of Ireland, or who have strong potential to sell the destination – and to encourage them to extend their Ireland offering, or to include Ireland for the first time, in their future brochures and programmes. Business links between the tourism companies from Ireland and the influential travel professionals in these markets will be strengthened during the sales mission. The island of Ireland has seen very good growth in visitors from Australia and New Zealand over the past …

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Home for the holidays

AROUND 57,000 passengers are set to arrive into the country through Shannon for Christmas, sparking countless emotional scenes and moments at the airport. On Tuesday afternoon, Paddy Fitzgerald from Corofin was waiting for his daughter Catherine and her husband to arrive from London. He said his daughter had been born in England and after coming back to live in Ireland, had returned to London again. “Catherine was born there, Richard is an Englishman. Catherine would have been home and then went back in the early 1980s. They’re staying for a week and going back for New Year’s.” Frances and Seamus Cahill from Galway were waiting for their daughter, Rowena, son-in-law and one-year-old grand-daughter, Celia.This will be their first time to have a grandchild in the house for Christmas. “We’re looking forward to it. We’ve pushed the boat out and we’re hoping everything will be good,” said Seamus. There was much excitement when Rowena arrived with her daughter Celia walking beside …

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Celebrity chef showcases Clare down under

Images of Ireland, including the west coast of Clare, have been beamed into the homes of more than one million Australians – in a brand new cookery series fronted by Dublin-born chef and restaurateur Colin Fassnidge. My Ireland with Colin is a new two-part cookery series which sees Fassnidge return home to discover the changing face of food in Ireland. Channel 7 in Australia – working with Tourism Ireland in Sydney – produced the new series which has aired to an audience of more than one million viewers. In the show, viewers see Colin learns to surf off the west coast of Clare! Fassnidge, who has become a celebrity chef in his adopted Australia, runs two successful restaurants in Sydney and is a guest judge on a popular cooking game show called My Kitchen Rules, which airs in Australia (also on Channel 7). Last autumn, he rode a Ducati 1200 around Ireland, followed closely by his film crew capturing footage …

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