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High radon gas levels in Clare

RADON gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and Clare has one of the highest rates of radon in the country, with 18% of monitored houses in the county recording high levels of the gas. On foot of an awareness campaign, the EPA is encouraging householders to check the levels of radon in their homes and take measures to reduce their exposure to the silent killer. Senior scientist with the EPA and manager of the radon and radiation measurements services, David Fenton, said acceptable levels of radon within the home are anything up to 200 units but, in the last 12 months, a recording 10 times that was found in Ennis. “In County Clare, the highest level we found was 3,500 units near Lisdoonvarna in a private house in 2010. The radiation dose that people in that house were receiving would be the equivalent of 12 chest x-rays a day. The more we measure, the more …

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70 years looking for love in Lisdoon

A BACHELOR farmer, who has been coming to Lisdoonvarna for the past 70 years, is still hopeful he will meet “the one”. Ninety-two-year-old Mick Burke, a sheep farmer from Borrislea in County Tipperary, first came to Lisdoonvarna with his mother in 1946. Mick, who was 23 at the time, said, “I fell in love with the atmosphere, the music and the dancing and, of course, the women. After that I was hooked and have been coming back every year since, still hopeful I will meet someone. “I never married. I had a lot of lucky escapes. I fell in love with several women I met in Lisdoonvarna,” he said. A pocket-full of phone numbers he picked up on his visits to the Spa town in September was, he said, “ my fodder for the winter”. He had no shortage of dates and would go dances but had no notion of getting married. “I had a few girlfriends over the years; …

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Looking for Lisdoon Love

Forget about Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Grinder, Clare’s resident matchmaker says when it comes to dating, nothing beats the real thing. As preparations get underway for the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Willie Daly says, “I know a lot of people have gone computerised on things like Plenty of Fish but there’s nothing like the real thing. When these guys are out dancing and they have an arm around a woman and feel the lovely softness of a woman and hold her hand, there’s a saying that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. It is very hard to beat the real thing.” The festival kicks off a little later than usual on September 3 but with it running until October 9, there will be plenty of opportunities for those looking for love. The festival is attracting a lot attention from the US and the matchmaker says men and women are flocking to Lisdoonvarna to find an …

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Drink driver to seek ‘nice woman’ in Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaker Willie Daly could be facing an unusual challenge in September. A Kerry bachelor farmer, convicted of driving with excess alcohol, will not be put off the road until he has an opportunity to “find a nice woman” at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, who could drive him around. John O’Shea, aged 60, of Derrinadin, Mastergeeha, had previously pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Tarmons, Waterville, on July 25, 2014. Mr O’Shea’s  solicitor John O’Dwyer, son of the famous Mick O’Dwyer, reminded the court in Cahersiveen that “football had been his downfall on the day.” On the date of the offence, he had gone to Waterville for animal feed for his cows and ended up talking about Kerry’s performance in the Munster Final, forgetting to eat and drinking too much, hitting the ditch on the way home in what was a single vehicle accident. The blood-alcohol reading was 198mg so the offence carried a three-year penalty, the court …

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British Empire Medal for Mary

A NORTH Clare woman was awarded an Honorary British Empire Medal recently for her contribution to her adopted home in the UK. Mary Daly from Lisdoonvarna was conferred with the award from the Queen of England in recognition of her voluntary services to the Ashford Community and the Kent Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. Mary was told she was being considered for the honour in July and asked if she would accept it, if she was selected. “I had to keep it quiet, which was the hardest thing ever,” she recalled, adding that she was dying to let the secret out but “I could only tell Michael, my husband”. Official confirmation of her award came from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by letter in recent weeks. It cited her services to the Butterfly Appeal Campaign for Multiple Sclerosis Therapy, in which she raised more than £1.6 million for the opening of a state-of-the-art MS centre. Mary emigrated from Clare in 1989 …

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‘The Outing 2015’ online film

Tourism Ireland has launched a new online film, ‘The Outing 2015’, specially created to target LGBT couples around the world. The organisation is encouraging them to come and celebrate their weddings and honeymoons in Ireland. The video was filmed last weekend at The Outing, the world’s first-ever LGBT matchmaking festival and an offshoot of the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, which saw thousands of people descend on the North Clare town. It also features footage of the spectacular scenery in the area. To view the film, click here<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2SREnibYGM&feature=youtu.be>. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “Research unveiled at World Travel Market last year showed the annual spend on travel by LGBT people exceeded US$200 billion for the first time in 2014. Ireland’s ‘yes’ vote in May also delivered a strong message of tolerance, respect and open-mindedness, positioning Ireland as a welcoming destination for LGBT travellers. We are delighted to unveil our latest online film, highlighting The Outing and promoting Ireland to LGBT …

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Patients sought for RTÉ medical series

A new RTÉ medical series is making its final call for people to book free doctors’ appointments in North Clare this weekend. You Should Really See a Doctor has travelled around the country with its mobile clinic over the summer and the final show in the series will be filmed in Lisdoonvarna on Saturday (September 19). Dr Pixie McKenna and Dr Phil Kieran will be at the Matchmaking Festival, offering on-the-spot consultations and health checks. “We are particularly interested in hearing from people who have researched their symptoms online and would like a real doctor’s advice. “Most of us have been there; you feel a mild pain in the head and next thing you’re reading an internet article about a rare tropical disease that you think you might have. From stomach problems to sleep issues to skin problems – the real doctors want to hear from you,” a spokesperson for the show stated. The doctors are happy to hear from …

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Jobs boost at Smokehouse

SEVEN full-time jobs will be created in Lisdoonvarna, along with 10 seasonal ones, it has been announced. The Burren Smokehouse has signed a contract with global logistics company UPS, as part of plans to broaden its overseas footprint. The deal coincides with an announcement by the producer of Burren smoked salmon, trout and mackerel products to invest €150,000 in its existing operations and to create new jobs at its production facility in Lisdoonvarna. The collaboration with UPS will mean The Burren Smokehouse products sold online can be delivered around the world. As well as restructuring its e-commerce activity, The Burren Smokehouse is also expanding operations at its production facility and will be launching a new brand inspired by the Wild Atlantic Way later this year. Owner Birgitta Hedin-Curtin said, “We are investing in our integrated systems, allowing for greater e-commerce activity and higher efficiencies in terms of customer care and our global customer footprint. At our production facility in County …

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