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International connections zoom from Clare to India

WHILE many of us were using Zoom to do quizzes during lock-down, advocates with a learning disability supported by Brothers of Charity were using the technology to develop international connections. The local advocates have been linking up with Indian charity Families for Children, a non profit, non-sectarian organisation that exists to fulfill the needs of children and young adults with disabilities. Resulting from this, both groups are coming together to host a Wellbeing Zoom event on Thursday, September 16 to raise funds for Indian children and Families for Children’s work. Labasheeda advocate Orla McMahon explains how the connection with Families for Children began back in April when the country was in the grip of record breaking cases of Covid-19. “When I saw the news on TV, families getting turned away from hospitals in India it was desperate. I said, we should do something about this. Let’s do a fundraiser. We’re all meeting up on Zoom nowadays so we looked up …

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Clare councillors on fence over railings

Ennis councillors to further discuss reinstating railings around restored O’Connell monument in the county town MEMBERS of the Ennis Municipal District have remained on the fence when it comes to the possibility of reinstating wrought-iron railings around the O’Connell monument. Councillor Johnny Flynn has urged the municipal district to start a public consultation process on the potential of reinstating a portion of the railings at the Height. Workers have had “unpleasant dealings with people who occupy the area” around the Height, and railings would help prevent litter in the area, he told the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. Councillor Flynn said the work would “complement and enhance” planned public realm works in O’Connell Square and Bank Place as well as the conservation works on the O’Connell monument. “Such works could also be seen to be complementary to proposals incorporated in the current Part 8 planning application for welcome public realm upgrades to O’Connell Street and Barrack Street,” said …

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Students vault Covid hurdles

Resilient Leaving Cert Class of ’21 post ‘exemplary’ results in the face of huge challenges presented by pandemic MILTOWN Malbay’s Alison O’Loughlin told The Champion she is “still in shock” at receiving one of the highest grades in the country in her Leaving Certificate. Alison, a student of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Spanish Point, achieved an impressive eight H1 grades. She was among more than 1,300 Clare students who received their results last Friday. While most students got their grades online due to Covid-19 restrictions, Alison was thrilled to have the chance to receive hers in person at the school. “The school gave us an opportunity to go in and physically get the results, we were all given time slots so we weren’t all in together. I was glad we could go into the school because it made it all a bit more real.” Recalling when she first saw her grades the 19-year-old said, “I was shocked, I couldn’t …

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Pedestrianisation confusion

THE easing of pedestrianisation in Ennis’ town centre has been labelled as a “mess” with calls for an alert system to be put in place to warn people when traffic is about to be let back on the streets. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed by the Ennis Municipal District that the public is to be asked its views on pedestrianisation next month. A survey to “capture the public’s mindset” on car-free streets is set to be launched by the local authority in mid October. Full details have to be finalised but it is anticipated that the public consultation process will be open for up to two weeks. Since August 30 restrictions on traffic in Ennis town centre have been lifted except for Monday to Friday from 11am to 2pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 6pm and Lower Parnell Street where the current road closure applies until the end of September. Councillor Mary Howard insists this has led to …

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Shannon Development photographic archive to be made available worldwide

A PHOTOGRAPHIC archive chronicling the evolution of Shannon town and the broader region is set to be made available globally. The Special Collections and Archives Department at University of Limerick’s Glucksman Library has been awarded significant funding to digitise the Shannon Development photographic archive. UL’s Special Collections has been awarded around €125,000 (£107,365) in funding from the Wellcome Trust to catalogue, conserve, digitise and increase accessibility to the key photographic archive, which boasts around 25,000–36,000 original photographic negatives. The funding is part of an overall award of almost €500,000 (£427,809) granted by Wellcome to the collaborative project ‘The New Jerusalems: post-war New Town archives in Britain and Ireland’, granted to a network of archives services to catalogue and conserve eleven post-war new town collections. This funding award from the global charitable foundation is significant for UL, as it will allow the Glucksman Library to hire dedicated project staff and to purchase the necessary materials to catalogue, digitise and rehouse the …

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Funding boost for outdoor dining in Ennis town centre

FUNDING of €186,975 has been allocated to Clare County Council to transform parts of Ennis to facilitate permanent outdoor dining. Francis Street, Lower Parnell Street, Abbey Street Car Park and the Temple Gate Plaza are set to benefit from the funding announced under Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme. Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland announced the locations of 38 permanent Outdoor Dining facilities to be developed in 19 counties nationwide, including Clare. Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme opened for applications in March 2021 and comprises two parts. Wednesday’s announcement relates to Part Two of the scheme. All local authorities were invited to apply to Fáilte Ireland for funding under Part Two – Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme – to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining in urban tourism centres.  Part One of the Scheme – Outdoor Seating and Accessories – supports individual hospitality businesses with grants of …

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End of an era for Larkin’s of Miltown Malbay

THE doors of Larkin’s newsagents in Miltown Malbay closed its doors for the last time at the weekend, marking the end of an era. After 22 years serving the local community Michael Larkin describes the final days at the store as “very emotional” as customers dropped in to wish him well. The Kilkee native and his late wife Anne took over the shop from the Hurley family back in 1999, a few years after the couple had returned to Clare after living in New York. “We came back from the States in 1995 and we had a bar for four years, The Lark’s Nest. We decided we had enough, I was in the bar game in New York and if I was going to make money from it I would have there. We took over from the Hurleys in 1999, we bought the shop because it was a little goldmine. There were no supermarkets around at that time and Hurley’s …

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Magic back on Lees Road fairy trail as new post box is delivered

FAIRY magic is returning to Ennis thanks to local efforts to restore a beloved children’s attraction recently destroyed by vandals. Last week The Clare Champion detailed how a fairy post box, part of the popular Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Lees Road fairy trail was smashed beyond repair in an act described as “heartbreaking”. We can now reveal that a brand new fairy post box has been installed along the trail, and is now open for children to write their letters to the magical folk who live along the woodland looped walk. The pretty new post box featuring images of fairies, dragonflies and butterflies has been created by Ennis’ Martin Tuohy. Councillor Mary Howard, who initiated the idea for the fairy trail said she is delighted that Martin stepped in to build a new post box for the children. “On foot of the publicity regarding the fairy post box being destroyed a local man, a neighbour of mine Martin Tuohy offered …

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