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New book captures history and life of Ennis Military Barracks

A FASCINATING new book detailing the history of Ennis Barracks and life therein is available to purchase. The Old Military Barracks has been written by William Crowley, who recounts his own experience of growing up there, and presents a collection of articles on military history, residents, sport, maps and photographs associated with the the Barracks on the Kilrush Road. “We had a massive big playground within the walls, also loyal neighbours and great friendship,” he said. “We  had our own sports field, our very own handball alley, our own boxing club which we utilized whenever youngsters from other parts of the town tried to overtake our territory and all disputes were handled in McGuane’s Field across from the front gate of the Barracks”. In her introduction to the book, the Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District, Councillor Ann Norton noted the huge history associated with the facility. “It is so important that the history of the Military Barracks is in print …

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The many sides to Morrissey

Reluctant autobiographer Marty Morrissey tells Owen Ryan once he began his memoir, the words just flowed WHEN one looks at the great moments from Clare’s sporting history, Marty Morrissey keeps popping up. Famously quipping that a cow wouldn’t be milked in the county for a week in 1992, the ‘We’re going to do it” moment with Loughnane in ‘95, roaring ‘Holy Moses’ as Domhnall O’Donovan levelled the 2013 drawn All-Ireland. Now 62, Marty has penned an autobiography ‘It’s Marty’, and given that he has made his name as a sports broadcaster there is plenty of that sort of material, but he says it’s really for the wider audience. “It’s not really a sports book, there’s obviously GAA in it, but there’s more than that, it has a broad spectrum I would like to think. I would hope that people enjoy the stories, enjoy my journey to where I am, have a few laughs along the way.” A Marty autobiography was …

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The Irish Diaspora: Tales of Emigration, Exile and Imperialism

In his new book, The Irish Diaspora, Turtle Bunbury explores the lives of men and women whose pioneering journeys beyond the Irish shore played a profound role in world history. Here, he shines a spotlight on figures from County Clare. COUNTY Clare contributes some of the earliest stories to ‘The Irish Diaspora’ through the story of St Donat (Donagh), also known as Donatus of Fiesole, who is said to have both studied and taught at the monastic island school of Inis Cealtra in Lough Derg. “Donat and St Andrew Scotus, a fellow Irishman, were returning from a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles in Rome,” writes Bunbury. “They called into Fiesole, a town north of Florence, where the citizens were just preparing to elect a new bishop. As Donat entered the cathedral, all the bells began ringing and the lamps and candles burst into light. The congregation, not unreasonably, deduced that the intrepid Irishman should become their bishop. Given …

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Full programme for 15th Ennis Book Club Festival launched

THE full programme for the 15th Ennis Book Club Festival was announced this week. This year’s festival will be a hybrid of online events in March with live events taking place in April and September. As always Ennis Book Club Festival 2021 will offer opportunities to engage with favourite authors and features an additional programme of events for younger readers. While the festival cannot welcome book lovers to Ennis this March as ever, it will provide plenty of events to stimulate discussion and inspire reading, from the comfort of the couch. Commenting on the programme for the 2021 Ennis Book Club Festival, Artistic Director Dani Gill, says, “We have had to re-imagine the festival several times this year with the changing circumstances, and while people are having to remain at home, we hope that at least, there have been some good books on the go, and that people will engage with our online offerings next month. “A lot of work …

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Clare woman inspires Nursing Home Bake Off recipe book

A CLARE woman is flavour of the month after becoming the inspiration behind a new recipe book backed by celebrity chef Darina Allen. The time-perfected desserts created by the residents of Mowlam Healthcare will be remembered forever in the ‘Nursing Home Bake Off’ publication. But the idea to gather a collection of residents’ favourite recipes from across Ireland was inspired by the trailblazing baking skills of a 91-year-old woman in Ennis Nursing Home. Ardent hurling fan and Liverpool FC supporter, Cissie Collins, bakes scones and apple cakes for fellow residents during baking demonstrations hosted by her every Wednesday. It soon became evident that there was a large group of enthusiastic bakers throughout the group – sowing the seed of a book with recipes from bygone days. Cissie is one of the 51 kitchen-savvy pensioners living in Mowlam Healthcare nursing homes across Ireland who contributed recipes ­– some dating back three generations – and features on its front cover. “I haven’t …

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“The new normal cannot be the old normal”

IF there is one thing to take from this pandemic, according to Father Harry Bohan, it’s that we cannot return to what was ‘normal’, the future has to be different from the past. Rearing The Future: Is The Future Our Responsibility? Reflections on Irish Society and its Institutions During And Post Pandemic is the title of a new publication from Fr Bohan. A distinguished observer of Irish society for many years, he feels that Covid-19 has thrown the country off the path it was on, and that it was necessary. “Covid-19 was an unwelcome visitor in the spring of this year. This long later it looks like it’s going to continue for some time to come. Any attempt to fully interpret it is premature, but something that struck me straight away is that our post Covid world should be very different to what we came from. I think most people would agree that the future has to be different from …

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Appeal for information on Old Military Barracks

AN Ennis man who has been soldiering on with the compilation of a history of the Old Military Barracks is making a final appeal for information to be included in the publication. William Crowley has been working on the publication since 2016 and it is hoped to be complete later this summer. He has already been inundated with information, as people from all over the world have got in touch with stories about growing up in the area on the Kilrush Road. With the book now nearing completion, William is putting out a last call to anyone who may have photographs, stories or any information they would like to see included in the publication. “I’ve got a good bit of detail over the last few years and I’m just putting the last details together. At this stage I wanted to make a final push for those who may have been sitting on the fence about getting involved to get in …

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O’Malley has plenty to say in autobiography

A MINISTER for Justice who slept with a gun under his pillow, the very nemesis of Charles Haughey and the founder of a political party that exercised influence way beyond its size throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Des O’Malley wasn’t struggling for material for his book Conduct Unbecoming: A Memoir. Much of O’Malley’s career was defined by his enmity with a certain former taoiseach, an era that was revisited in the recent RTÉ mini-series, Haughey. O’Malley feels it was a relatively fair exploration of the time. “You have to take it as a drama, rather than a factual documentary, but a great deal of it is factual. It is of course based on fact but, for dramatic purposes, certain things are written into it and the chronology of some of the things changes, they happened in a different order. But I thought it was a fair enough representation of the atmosphere at the time, the atmosphere of fear and intimidation.” …

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