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Tag Archives: Burren

Sheepdogs demonstrate social distancing in the Burren

WITH strict Covid-19 social distancing guidelines still in place, John Davoren has trained his famous sheepdogs at Caherconnell cashel fort in the Burren to demonstrate the concept. It makes for interesting viewing in an online Facebook video for those who might be contemplating visiting the award-winning visitor attraction after it reopens next week. The Border collies separate the sheep into small groups and get them to stay there no matter what distractions there might be. Farming in an area where his family has lived for centuries, John began training dogs, teaching a variety of dogs to work with both sheep and cattle when he was a teenager. Unable to open for 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic put the country into lockdown, John now has everything at the ready to allow visitors walk through the ancient stone fort and see the sheepdog demonstrations without any worries of being too close to anybody else but family members. His unique enterprise attracts people …

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Facing a quiet weekend at Aillwee Cave

  UPWARDS of 2,000 visitors would usually head to the Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre over a June bank holiday but it remains closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Around half of the visitors to the famous attraction are overseas, so owner Nuala Mulqueeney is facing a big financial hit for the season. “Our annual figures are about 120,000 visitors. When extended travel is allowed in Ireland, we can expect some recovery, but you can forget about visitors from the US or countries; they won’t fly,” she said. Only a handful of maintenance workers and two falconers who feed and exercise the birds have been at Aillwee since the lockdown in March. “St Patrick’s weekend is always good for us and we lost out on that,” said owner Nuala Mulqueeney. While very disappointed that the facility is still closed, she said they have plans to ensure the safety of visitors when they do reopen on July 20. “We …

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Burren Lowlands gets funding boost

BURREN Lowlands CLG was, has been approved funding of €182,786 for an enterprise development initiative which will create a focal point for activities to develop and attract additional jobs to the area of South Galway and North Clare. The allocation comes under the Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Development Funds and will allow for a number of priority projects to advance in 2019. The Burren Lowlands vision is to make the region a better place to live, work and visit by focussing on three key pillars, community, enterprise and tourism. “This is the enterprise element of our strategy which we will be building on over the next three years with the expertise of a full time manager based in Gort, working with entrepreneurs and companies around the region” said Teresa Butler, voluntary project manager. Burren Lowlands CLG and the new manager will be focussing on a number of key areas; the development of a co-working space in Gort, an associate centre …

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Hundreds gather to celebrate Burren farming traditions

Hundreds of people from the Burren and further afield gathered over the recent October Bank Holiday Weekend to join in the Burren Winterage Weekend, a celebration of the Burren’s unique farming heritage. For thousands of years, Burren farmers have marked the end of summer by herding their cattle up onto winter pastures in the limestone uplands, in the tradition known as winterage and the Burren is one of the only places in the world where it still occurs. Winterage has been integral to shaping today’s familiar Burren landscape. With coordination support by local landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust, community members put on an amazing range of events including a community gathering, herdsman walk, heritage walks in Ballyvaughan and Fanore, farmers market and farming innovation fair. The weekend culminated in the community cattle drive where the community followed a herd of cattle into the Burren hills where they will spend the winter. The weekend was a great celebration of this rich tradition …

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BurrenLIFE receives ‘Best Ever’ award

THE BurrenLIFE project has just received a special “Best-Ever” award from the European Commission, recognising it as the best ever LIFE project in the 25-year history of the programme. The prize was awarded in the Nature and Biodiversity Category. The awards are being presented in Green Week to exceptional LIFE projects over the past 25 years, at the Green Awards ceremony in Brussels. A special edition of the annual LIFE awards, the Green Awards singled out projects that have had remarkable effects on the EU’s natural environment and in creating green jobs and boosting green growth over the past quarter century. The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said at the ceremony, “A quarter century is a long time, and over that time LIFE has funded more than 4,000 projects to the tune of over €3 billion.” He told attendees that the awards symbolise the Commission’s “appreciation for the efforts of thousands, the hard work and …

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It’s almost tea time, Ted

THERE will be a welcome on the mat for all this Sunday at Fr Ted’s House in the heart of the Burren. The hosts, Cheryl and Patrick McCormack, will be on hand to offer tea and scones. Visitors to the house made famous as the ‘parochial house’ for Fr Ted Crilly in the award-winning TV series Father Ted, between 6pm and 9pm on Sunday evening will be asked to part with €10, as a fundraiser for the RNLI. John and Shelly Galvin of The Clare Champion are promoting the event in recognition of the outstanding work being carried out by the RNLI lifeboat personnel all over the country. John lauded the bravery of crew members in facing into very difficult situations to deal with emergencies on sea and inland waterways

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New Year's Eve at St Enda's Well, Slieve Elva, Fanore. Tom Doherty of Doolin Coastguard lights a torch to leave inside the well chamber, in memory of all who have lost their lives at sea over the past year, Looking on are, Celina Kennedy, David Courtney, former Coastguard helicopter pilot, John Galvin, MD Clare Champion and Joe Queally of the RNLI. Photograph by John Kelly.

New Year’s wonder on Slieve Elva

Once you reach a certain age, New Year’s Eve should be spent in front of the telly, watching whatever rubbish is on, but sometimes you want to do something completely different. This New Year’s Eve, I found myself in a car, heading for Fanore in the company of Joe Queally, RNLI stalwart and Dave Courtney, a former Coastguard helicopter pilot. Our mission was to climb Sliebh Elva and light candles for the souls lost at sea and for our own families. Even leaving Ennis, the rain was coming down but by the time we hit Fanore and joined Doolin Coastguard, Tom Doherty and his partner Celine Kennedy, it was coming down like stair rods. I confess, I wasn’t well prepared. I forgot to bring my waterproof trousers and had to borrow a pair from Tom. My boots weren’t best suited to the conditions either. I really needed wellies to properly deal with the lakes of water that flooded the trail. …

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Broadening the Wild Atlantic Way

Two new touring routes, branching off the Wild Atlantic Way, have been launched by Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan, as part of a new pilot scheme from Fáilte Ireland to encourage visitors to discover the variety of inland visitor experiences as they travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. The Shannon Estuary Drive and the Burren Drive are the first in a series of drives to be developed adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way with additional routes planned for later next year. Welcoming the initiative to broaden visitor activity in the west, Minister O’Donovan said, “As the Wild Atlantic Way continues to grow three years since its launch, we can now start to develop additional experiences for visitors to enjoy and, vitally, through initiatives like this we can start to plan for a more even spread of visitors across the West of Ireland.” These new touring routes will incorporate existing sites in the wider geography adjacent to the Wild …

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