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Tag Archives: christmas

GALLERY: Joyful reunions at bustling Shannon Airport

FLIGHTS from the UK and America to Shannon this week are leading to hundreds of reunions in the airport’s arrivals area. On Wednesday morning Michael Doyle, who previously lived in Doonbeg before moving to Co Limerick, was waiting to see his daughter Lauren, who is a social worker in London. “She hasn’t been back for about six months now, so we’re looking forward to getting her home,” Michael told The Champion. As he was speaking, Lauren arrived and embraced her father. “I’m going to relax for the week really. It was a packed flight, but it was nice and quick,” she smiled. Alice O’Connell was there with her two sons, as they waited to greet Alice’s sister and grandnephew, who are now based in London – “I’m delighted, I can’t wait to see them.” When Alice’s sister Jacqui Moloney arrived, she had 14-month-old KJ with her, and Jacqui said it was the little boy’s fifth flight of his short life. …

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Santa pays early visit to Clare Crusaders sensory-friendly grotto

CLARE Crusaders Children’s Clinic had a very special visitor recently when Santa Claus himself paid an early visit. The big man in red arrived in Barefield earlier this month for the clinic’s first ever sensory-friendly Santa Grotto with Fiona Norton of Clare Crusaders describing the event as a fantastic success with plans already in place for its return next year. The families who visited got a chance to meet Santa who gave every child their very own present, and a volunteer photographer was on hand to capture the moment. For some, this was their first time getting a family picture with Santa. Before meeting Santa, the children and young people had an opportunity to make reindeer food and decorate Christmas cookies to put out for Santa on Christmas Eve. They also wrote their Santa letters and coloured pictures which were posted to the North Pole. The coffee corner was also well stocked with delicious treats and nibbles, homemade hot chocolate, …

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St Nicholas to bring Christmas cheer to Ukrainian kids in Ennis

SAINT Nicholas will pay a visit to Ennis this weekend as part of an interactive theatre production which aims to bring joy to Ukrainian children in Clare. On Sunday, December 18 the Feast of St Nicholas, the Civic Room of the Buttermarket Building in Drumbiggle will be transformed by Ennis drama club “Ptashka” and Clare Local Development Company for their ‘St Nicholas Workshop’ performance. The event will feature workshops, sweets, gifts and, of course, a meeting with your favourite saint Saint Nicholas. The first performance of the Ptashka drama group is the Saint Nicholas holiday. St Nicholas, Sviatyij Mykolai, comes to Ukraine on December 19 in the Orthodox Julian calendar. The night before, December 18 is often called “Magic Night”.  It is seen as a universal children’s festival, when the saint leaves sweets or games for children.  It is also a Ukrainian tradition for children to perform a play in honour of Saint Nicholas. “We believe that it will be a …

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Local support means Keanes’ Christmas light show can go on

AN Ennis family’s home is set to make things merry and bright this festive season – and all in the name of a very worthy cause. For the seventh year in a row the home of Gerry and Carmel Keane in Ashfield Park has been donned from top to toe with a dazzling array of Christmas lights to raise money for charity. Over the years the Keane family’s stunning festive displays have raised funds for a variety of organisations, with people who visit encouraged to leave a donation in a secure box outside of the home on the Gort Road. This year the family have chosen the Samaritans as their chosen charity with all funds raised going to the worthy cause. The Christmas lights will be officially lit this Friday at 6pm with Gerry telling us he is really looking forward helping to bring some festive cheer. He reveals that the energy crisis and rising electricity costs meant that this …

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Lights out early this Christmas but lots of festive fun planned

IT will be lights out early in the county capital this festive season in response to the ongoing energy crisis. The Ennis Municipal District has confirmed that while the town will have its traditional Christmas lights, the festive display will shine for a reduced number of hours each evening. Details of this year’s Christmas in Ennis programme were released at the monthly meeting of the local authority this week with plans including free parking initiatives, pedestrianisation, street radio, a Christmas village and the return of retro drive-in movies. The official turning on of Ennis’ Christmas lights will take place on Friday, November 25 in Abbey Street Carpark, with the lights to stay on for 12 hours from 3pm to 3am every day. The move to reduce the time of the lights in a bid to conserve energy was welcomed by councillors at the meeting, with Deputy Mayor Mary Howard quipping, “We do our best to be on the nice list …

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Coast Guard And RNLI Issue Festive Safety Appeal

  The Coast Guard and RNLI are appealing to Clare people to exercise caution when participating in any activity on or near the water during the Christmas and New Year period. People who wish to engage in recreational activities are advised to be mindful of the restrictions in place to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. With many traditional Christmas and New Year swims cancelled, anybody planning this activity should check on the up-to-date guidance and ensure that they have made the appropriate safety arrangements. Both organisations have thanked the public for their cooperation during the past year and in particular to the positive response in adhering with severe weather warnings. 2021 proved to be a busy year with an almost 20% increase in callouts, placing extra demand on search and rescue providers, including Coast Guard and RNLI volunteer crews.   With the increased levels of open water swimming, both organisations are highlighting the risks of cold water shock, which is …

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Council urges householders to think green this Christmas

People in Clare are being urged to play their part in preventing the amount of waste generated leading up to and during the Christmas period. Christmas time is a time of year that generates a lot of waste. By managing our waste responsibly and taking steps to prevent, reduce and reuse this Christmas, we can reduce our carbon footprint and help preserve our earth’s limited natural resources, according to Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare County Council. Ms Foley explains, “Where packaging cannot be reused or upcycled much of this packaging can be recycled. When uncertain what can or cannot be recycled, make sure to visit “Recyclables can also be brought to one of County Clare’s five recycling centres and transfer stations. A carload of recyclable waste brought to Ballyduffbeg, Lisdeen, Shannon, Scariff and Ennis costs as little as €5. Our recycling centre locations, opening times and recycling costs are available at “Householders can also bring bottles and …

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ShannonDoc prepares for festive rush

SHANNONDOC has predicted patient numbers across the Christmas period this year will be double normal operating levels. Looking ahead to the busiest period of the year for the service, which provides non-emergency GP care outside of normal surgery hours, ShannonDoc Chair Dr Ailish Kenny urged the public to be patient as staff try to deal with the huge increase in calls. “We normally deal with about 2,500 patients per week but that will more or less double over Christmas when GP practices will, of course, be closed for public holidays as well as weekends. Over the course of the Christmas and New Year period, we could care for approx 10,000 patients in total. “That’s a huge throughput and a credit to all our staff. Every year the organisation rises to the challenge and our staff have been incredible over the past 20 months with Covid-19, while the public, too, have been understanding and supportive in light of the challenges facing …

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