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Tag Archives: lisdoonvarna

Park revamp planned in Lisdoonvarna

AN AMBITIOUS reimagining of the North Clare Sports and Amenity Park could see the popular facility transformed. Since 2020, there has been intensive collaborative work involving local schools, artists, clubs, businesses and organisations in the community and local catchment area in creating a new vision for the amenity. Brian Gaynor of Green Pine Consultants presented the initial draft plans to the North clare Community and stakeholders on this week, via Zoom. “We feel these themes will be a very special development for the community of North Clare and our local areas with particular benefit in tourism, education, cultural/heritage and sports fields,” said Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Director, Councillor Joe Garrihy. “The collective and shared commitment of our groups align very much with the concept and proposal under development and we are delighted to share the planning stages with the community now at this early stage for comment, observation and input.” Significant funding support to the tune of €210,000 has been secured towards delivering …

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Matchmaking festival film puts Clare on centre stage

HOT on the heels of the huge publicity boost for North Clare created by the TV show ‘Smother’ and the two-part documentary ‘The Burren: Heart of Stone,’ Lisdoonvarna is set for a visitor boost this summer after inspiring a movie on the world-famous matchmaking festival. Entitled, ‘As Luck Would Have It,’ the movie premiered on the Hallmark Channel last week. It stars Irish actor Allen Leech, who played Tom Branson in the hugely popular ‘Downton Abbey,’ and US actress JoAnne Garcia Swisher from the Netflix series ‘Sweet Magnolia’. The film’s plot revolves around JoAnne’s character, Lindsey, who travels to Ireland to acquire land to build a resort. She decides to enter the local matchmaking festival to prove her investment and win over a handsome local. The film is one of two major television productions to reference the festival in recent years. The multi-award winning ‘Schitt’s Creek’ features a Singles Week in the series four finale, with a serious nod to …

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Lockdown dampens St Valentine’s Day Romance

LOOKING for love, without the pub has been described as “a threatening and scary prospect” by legendary Lisdoonvarna matchmaker Willie Daly. Ahead of a Valentine’s Day like no other, the love guru said Irish society remains without a key social and romantic outlet, as Level 5 restrictions mean pubs and restaurants must remain closed. “Irish men in particular are feeling alone and isolated,” he said. “They’re looking for love without the pub and while I’m not advocating abusing drink, Arthur Guinness was always a marvellous back-up and a source of energy for fellas who might have been on the sensitive and conservative side. They came into their own with a few social drinks in the pub and that’s not available now. The Irish man feels very naked at the moment. His mind, body and soul are in a different place. Love without the pub is a strange situation. I’ve seen it at the [matchmaking] festival. Fellas are shy at 7 …

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Young Scientist success for Lisdoonvarna students

STUDENTS of Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna scooped four awards at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition. Oisín Jackson won the second prize in the Junior Individual category of the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences. His project was entitled “An investigation into the differences in height of adjoining clints in limestone pavement in the Burren”. In this project he looked in detail at the difference in height of adjoining clints and seeing if prevailing wind may contribute to their formation. As well as getting this award he also got the Geological Survey Ireland special award. Ciara McDonnell was awarded highly commended for her project entitled “House searching by hermit crabs” This project was in the Junior Individual Biological and Ecological Sciences category. In this project Ciara was looking to see if the choice of shell by hermit crabs is related to shell size and their size and shell availability. Anna Mae O’Driscoll was awarded highly commended for …

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‘He never gave up hope of finding love’ – Time runs out for bachelor farmer

A 97 year old bachelor farmer who attended the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival for 72 years has passed away without finding his soul mate. Mick Bourke from County Tipperary began attending the festival in 1946 when he was 23 years old and never missed a year until his health began to fade a few years ago. His death caused by pneumonia was announced last week. “Mick was well known and loved by many in Lisdoonvarna and messages of sympathy have been pouring in all week to us, via social media. People are speaking of his warmth, his sense of fun and his razor-sharp dancing skills. He was a legend in Lisdoonvarna and he never gave up hope of finding love in over 70 years, attending”, said Julie Carr, Marketing Manager of Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. Back in 2016, a party was organised for Mick at the Spa Wells in the village, where he was presented with a cake by Matchmaker Willie Daly. …

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Lisdoonvarna playground reopening restores vital community amenity

HUGE community efforts have been credited for the reopening last Friday of the playground in Lisdoonvarna. The venue, which is popular with kids and their extended families, has been described as one of the jewels in the crown of the facilities available for the town and a network of other centres in North Clare. The playground, which is next to the popular Cois Céim Childcare Centre, and part of a wider community amenity park, was closed as part of the nationwide response to the pandemic. An inspection discovered that in order to continue to meet standards set out by insurers, a significant – and costly – schedule of repairs was needed. “Fundraising during Covid-19 was difficult for everyone involved and they deserve huge credit, as do those who contributed so generously,” said Councillor Joe Garrihy, Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District and a board member of the community development association, Lisdoonvarna Fáilte. “Friday’s event was actually the first official …

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Harsh realities inspire jailers’ tales

PRISON might seem an unlikely environment to inspire a creative career. For Lisdoonvarna’s Bill Bradshaw, however, working in that tense, high-pressure environment did exactly that. The Rathkeale native is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist, and credits a long career as a prison officer with his unique writing style, as well as some of his subject matter. Bill has just published his third book, Delphine, which draws on influences such as horror writer Stephen King and explores moral taboos and family dynamics. Two more novels are in the pipeline and Bill is actively fundraising to turn Delphine into a six-part Netflix series. He is also part of a Clare-based publishing initiative, backed by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and bringing together a number of other creative minds. While his work in the Irish Prison Service is partly responsible for Bill’s approach to his writing, it is a career that has taken a heavy toll. “There is a raw reality in a …

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Greywater project a winner for Lisdoonvarna students

TWO students from Mary Immaculate Secondary School have, quite literally, shown that you can muddy the waters and be rewarded for your efforts. The Grey Area Within Greywater is the title of a project by Alice Davoren and Emily Cullinan that has won the Junior Water Category at the national Young Environmentalist Awards, which were. Now in its 21st year, the awards, hosted by ECO-UNESCO, recognise the efforts made by young people aged 10 to 18 years old across Ireland who have worked towards improving the environment. Alice and Emily’s project looked at the effects of using greywater on the chemistry and the earthworm population in soil. Having found that it had a negative effect on the population of earthworms, they created an awareness campaign to highlight the damaging effects of greywater on biodiversity in the soil. Both second year students, who come from the Kilfenora are, had entered a project in the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition in …

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