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Tag Archives: Ballynacally

Walking in the footsteps of giants

His heart begins to lighten as the cart turns and finally faces south-west towards Ballynacally. A man of many homes and none, the tiny village on the Shannon Estuary is one of his very favourites. As the horse brings him clopping along, the familiar taste of sea-salt on his teeth, his belly tingles with anticipation and excitement. The old faces and the new, the tunes to remember and to share, his famous stone, sat outside what was once George Chambers’ house. The excited chatter of the locals is already building as Johnny Doran pulls his horse to a stop and searches the cart for his uillean pipes. A traveller and a Traveller, for the next few days, Johnny is home. Dublin musician, Steo Wall, has every reason to call Clare home. When he moved west around 12 years ago, he was unintentionally travelling in the footsteps of his ancestors, the famous musicians Johnny and Felix Doran. Originally from Wexford, the …

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Clare designer taking circular fashion to the next level

MENTION milk buttons to most people and they will think of the white chocolate version of the much-loved children’s confectionary. But a Clare-based designer with a focus on sustainability in fashion has given us a different take. Sandra Murphy’s women’s wear brand Afore After’s ethical production techniques and use of low-impact materials goes so far as to make the buttons on her clothes out of milk. The buttons are a biodegradable material made of at least 96% milk casein. The milk, a by-product coming from overproduction or productions that are unfit for human consumption, is brought to a factory where it is transformed into a bioplastic raw material. “When I say that my collection is sustainable, I’m not just talking about the fabrics,” says the Ballynacally native. “Everything from the thread to the buttons to the labels has gone through rigorous certification processes.” The brand’s first collection features 27 versatile pieces, including dresses, tops, skirts and face coverings, in three …

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Family devastated after fire guts home

A WEST Clare family are struggling to come to terms with the devastating loss of their home, after it was completely gutted by fire on St Patrick’s night. The blaze broke out at the home of Dympna Devereux of Clonmore, Ballynacally, shortly after 8pm on March 17. Despite the valiant efforts of family, neighbours and the fire service, the house was completely destroyed, with the loss of all of Dympna’s belongings including many items of sentimental value to the family. Dympna’s niece, Karen Dinan, has now started a fundraising campaign to contribute to the rebuilding effort. “Thank God nobody was injured,” said Dympna’s son Damien. “We are so thankful for that, because it could have been so much worse and we’re really do realise that not everyone is so lucky in these situations. The house belonged to my grandparents originally. My father was born there, so there’s a huge sentimental value for all of us, but especially my mother. Myself …

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New Ballynacally café at heart of the community

THE heartbeat of Ballynacally is strong, thanks to the recent opening, in the scenic village, of a new community café. The Estuary Way Café, which has to-date been catering for socially distanced chats, pop-up music sessions and high quality food and beverages, is credited with brining a new vibrancy to the village. “It’s been just amazing, everyone is delighted and the feedback we’re been getting is so positive,” said Dorothy Madden, Secretary of the Ballynacally Development Association. The project dates back to 2018 and, after securing funding from sources including the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and Leader, through Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), opened in July. “There has been a massive amount of work by everyone in the development association, with support coming from right across the community of Ballynacally,” Dorothy said. “Deirdre Mulpeter who leads the team at the café is doing a great job and there are two full-time and at least three part-time staff there, so …

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Jimmy makes his last delivery

ON Saturday morning, Jimmy Guinnane will leave his home at Toonagh around 5.30am and travel to Annacotty to pick up hundreds of loaves of Brennan’s bread, before spending the next 13 hours or so distributing them around Ennis and West Clare. He has spent thousands of days doing the same routine but Saturday will be the last time, as he finishes a job he has really enjoyed since beginning it 32 years ago. “I was working for Michael O’Sullivan before that in Corofin. I used to do a run up in North Clare and I did a run in Galway for him for six months with Kiely’s Bread. Then I started in West Clare in 1987 with Brennan’s bread.” He says he is very grateful to all the customers and the friends he has made on the route over the years. “I love meeting the people, meeting so many people every day. You’d have the craic with everybody. When I …

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Kilmurry should shade intriguing final

HAVING never played a senior championship game against each other, 14-times champions Kilmurry-Ibrickane will face Clondegad in the 2017 Clare County Championship final at 3pm, with the Ballynacally-based men in black and red seeking their first title. Kilmurry won the 2015 Cusack Cup final when the clubs met, while their last championship meeting was the 2011 intermediate final, when Clondegad beat Kilmurry’s second team to achieve senior status. Clondegad have played seven games in reaching Sunday’s final, including replays against Lissycasey and Doonbeg. In total they have played 380 minutes of football, with 14 players contributing to their 5-75 tally. Podge McMahon, with 2-20 (0-11f), is marginally their top scorer ahead of Gary Brennan with 1-22 (1-13f), while Tony Kelly has put over 0-10 from play, followed by Eoin Donnellan on 0-9. Clondegad have conceded 4-55. The only games they did not concede a goal in was against Kilkee in the first round and Doonbeg in the quarter-final replay. Sixteen …

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Golden glow for Ennis and Kilrush in Tidy Towns

Ennis has been named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre in the 59h annual National Tidy Towns Competition, while Kilrush has joined the counjty town in being awarded a Gold Medal in its category. The result was announced at the 2017 National SuperValu TidyTowns Awards Ceremony at the Helix in Dublin. Ennis was marked against strict adjudication criteria and beat off stiff competition from other large urban centres throughout the country. It’s the seventh time that Ennis has been designated Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre, having won the award in 2006, 2008 and 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2016. Ennis was named overall winner of the ‘Gum Litter Task Force’ and ‘Can it’ awards, while the County Capital also picked up a County Award along with Kilrush and Mountshannon. Lisdoonvarna won an Endeavour Award and Bronze Medals were awarded to Quin, Ballynacally, Ballyvaughan and Tuamgraney. The other main competition winners are Birdhill, County Tipperary (Tidiest Village and overall winner), Westport, County Mayo (Tidiest Large Town), and Clonakilty, County …

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Bruni returns home after a year

BALLYNACALLY woman Maretta O’Hehir, who lives in the townland of Ballycorick, was stunned last week to discover that her missing cat, Bruni, had returned home after 54 weeks on the missing list. The seven-year-old black cat went missing on December 4, 2015 when he escaped from a cage while on a trip to Ennis. “He flew across the road, climbed a seven foot wall and into somebody’s garden. He was traumatised after getting an injection. I searched every place. I tried that evening and for several days afterwards. He wasn’t used to traffic and had no road sense whatsoever,” Maretta said of Bruni, one of two cats she again keeps at home. “I got them around the time Nicolas Sarkozy became president of France. His wife was Carla Bruni, so I called the female Carla and I called him Bruni,” she explained. Maretta, one of Ireland’s most celebrated sopranos, was about to feed Carla when she discovered that Bruni was …

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