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Tag Archives: christmas

Ennis NS students craft some Christmas fun

IT isn’t pine needles that make up a very special Christmas tree which has gone on display in Ennis recently. Ennis National School’s knitting and crafting club ‘The Crafty Crew’ have been busy using their knitting needles to create a community Christmas tree over the past few months. The tree and accompanying festive display is made of hundreds of squares of knitting created by the young students along with members of their families. It is now standing proudly in the window of Insomnia in the Ennis Shopping Centre on Francis Street for all to see. Teacher Ciara Harding explains that the club for third to sixth class pupils had been meeting during their lunch-time breaks for the past two years. “Due to Covid restrictions our club cannot go ahead as normal so we have tried to encourage the children to continue in a new way. This year from lock-down in March up to last week children, parents and grandparents have …

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Shoeboxes send much needed message of hope

WEST Clare mother Josipa Akinradewo knows only too well the joy that the Team Hope annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal can bring. As a young girl living in Croatia while her father fought in its War of Independence she was one of those to receive a precious gift from a stranger overseas. That experience stayed with her, and now preparing a shoebox for others has become an annual tradition she shares with her own children. This year because of Covid-19 the experience will be very different, with people being asked to build a ‘virtual box’ online to be given to children in need in Africa and Eastern Europe. However, this has not taken away the spirit of the initiative which has brightened the lives of so many, and Josipa is encouraging others to get involved. Josipa, her husband and two children have been living in Ireland for five years. A year after their arrival her son brought home a leaflet about …

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Call for communities to be allowed to attend mass under level 3 restrictions

BALANCING physical health with the viability of the economy may be the challenge facing the government at the moment, but a call has been made by an East Clare priest for the emotional and spiritual health of the nation to be factored in too. Parish Priest of Tulla, and Communications Officer for the Diocese, Fr Brendan Quinlivan, said he is hopeful that, even under the current level 3 restrictions, consideration may be given to allowing masses to resume. Since the guidelines ramped up a gear last week, religious ceremonies have moved online and the four Catholic archbishops have sought a meeting with the Taoiseach over what are seen as inconsistencies in the level 3 guidelines. “The guidelines would seem to suggest that while it’s fine for 15 people to go training or to a gym, 15 people wearing masks and social distancing can’t attend a mass,” Fr Quinlivan said. “There is a concern that religious observance is being treated as …

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Night falls in Bourton-on-the-Water with the Christmas tree in the background.

Cracking Christmas in the Cotswolds

Just before Christmas my humans took me for my regular Christmas trip to Dublin and I was excited to meet all my friends in Mutt Ugly doggy day care and to take a trip around town to see the lights. Although I didn’t get to see the moving crib this year, I was smuggled into a lovely pub off Grafton Street and when the barman finally spotted me, he came over with a bowl of water so I took it that I was in the clear. It helps to be cute. The following morning I got us all up very early as I had a surprise for my humans. On my trawls through the world wide woof, I’d come across a company called Pets Pyjamas, who specialise in doggy holidays and I’d used my bone allowance to book us all Christmas in the Cotswolds. I directed them through the dark streets of Dublin (one woof for left, two woofs for …

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‘Unprecedented’ number of patients presenting to Shannondoc

SHANNONDOC, the out of hours GP service for Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, has asked the public for understanding over the Christmas period due to anticipated and unprecedented volumes of patients presenting to the service. Last weekend alone, a record 1,900 patients presented to Shannondoc and while additional resources have been put in place, Shannondoc has said that it expects patient numbers to increase considerably again over the Christmas period.  This will, it said, put pressure on the out-of-hours service and it warned the public of potential lengthy delays at peak times. It also asked the public to remember that it is an urgent care only service, that routine matters should be presented GPs during normal day time hours and that any patients who have concerns about potential life-threatening illnesses should present immediately to emergency services. Shannondoc Chairman Dr Pat Morrissey said:  “Christmas is the busiest time of the year for the Shannondoc service but we are already in the midst …

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Advent at Glenstal Abbey

Advent at Glenstal Abbey – Back to the Future The 1986 blockbuster film, Back to the Future, is not about Advent, the four-week season preparing for Christmas. However, both the film and the season are focused on time. While the main character of the film moves backwards and then forwards in time, Advent invites us to consider Christ in history, Christ today and Christ in the future. The season is divided into two unequal parts. During the first part of the season until December 16, we prepare for the second coming of Christ, which has not yet happened. We train ourselves to expect Christ’s coming. Our hope for this second coming is not without foundation because we know that Christ has come already 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. Christians await in hope for Christ to come and establish peace and justice in our troubled world. Many recognise the need for genuine peace and wait in hope for Christ’s coming. The …

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Daisy posts her Christmas letter to Santa.

A Dog’s Christmas in Dublin

Now that Christmas is finally over it’s time to reflect on how my holidays went. Christmas is for dogs too and we should never be forgotten. My humans were invited by BMW to the National Concert Hall in Dublin for lunch and a Christmas concert featuring the Snowman film and a live orchestra. Despite my loud protests, dogs weren’t invited so where would I be left while the concert was on? Well, I needn’t have worried. After we parked the car at the hotel we took a short walk along the canal. It’s really lovely along there with all the swans and ducks. The ducks seemed friendly but I have a healthy respect for swans so I kept my distance. We arrived at a lovely place called Mutt Ugly, a dog groomers and crèche. Once I got over the shock at the name – surely I’m not an ugly mutt – we went inside and I got a great welcome. …

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“Everyone likes to see them coming home”

MANY tears of happiness have been shed in the terminal of Shannon Airport over the last week, as loved ones are welcomed home for Christmas. People whose journeys began in Australia, America, the UK and many other countries are all being welcomed back into their families, with almost 73,000 expected to come through the airport over the festive period. George Egan from Inagh was waiting expectantly outside arrivals on Wednesday morning for his London-based son, also called George. Making his way to Shannon to pick up his son had been no chore. “I’m delighted, it’ll be great to see him. The rest of the family are coming tomorrow too.” Young George works in finance in the UK and was glad to be home. “I’m back for a couple of weeks, so I’m delighted with that. It’s good to see him [his father], it’s been a few months since I’ve been back. I didn’t think he’d set this up!” he joked, …

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