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Tag Archives: Spancilhill

Bad vibrations: Clare community seeks anti-speeding measures

RESIDENTS living at Spancilhill Cross can “almost feel the vibrations of traffic coming at top speed” heading towards Ennis, writes Jessica Quinn. A meeting of Ennis Municipal District councillors heard calls were made for more garda patrols of the route. The Council has agreed to monitor traffic speeds on the R352 and the findings will be reported to An Garda Siochana. The concerns of residents were raised by Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy who sought a review of the cross for low-cost safety scheme design. She outlined the “serious health and safety concerns” with traffic at the Spancilhill Cross and the “ongoing speeding” on this section of the Tulla Road. She recalled a collision had been reported just days before the meeting of councillors. In light of that she suggested a series of measures to address the community’s serious concerns about speeding on this section of road. The councillor stated Ennis Municipal District should coordinate with the Gardaí to patrol this …

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Spancilhill recognised for contribution to cultural heritage

SPANCILHILL International Horse Fair is to be recognised at the highest level for its contribution to Ireland’s cultural heritage. Minister Catherine Martin announced that the renowned fair is to be among eight practices to be added to the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Theo other activities are Beekeeping, Clones Crochet Lace Making, Headford Lace Making, Irish Traditional Travelling Circus and Funfair, Lá an Dreoilín/Wren Day, Native Irish Cattle Breeding, and Traditional Seine Boat Building, Fishing and Racing. Speaking on behalf of the Spancilhill Fair Association, Michael Duggan said there is great local pride in the horse fair. “I am delighted that the Tradition of the Spancilhill International Horse Fair will be included as part of the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” he said. “I want to thank the Minister that she saw fit to include this tradition that is over 400 years old as part of the recognised cultural heritage of Ireland. We are very proud of the …

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Photographer and musician Christy McNamara. Photograph by John Kelly.

Christy turns to his art and finds response to absence of the Fair

THE Spancilhill Fair would have taken place this Wednesday, but, due to Covid-19 has been cancelled for the second year in a row. Crusheen’s Christy McNamara has come up with a mixed media piece as an artistic response to the absence of the Fair, drawing on his experience of photographing it for more than 30 years and attending it for even longer. Having grown up just a few miles from the site of the Fair, it was one of the highlights of the year for him as a boy, and he has always had a great fondness for it. “I love it. I’ve been going to it since I was a young fella. When we were growing up our house was on the way to Spancilhill for a lot of people. “One of the things I remember vividly was the Travelling people on their way to Spancilhill passing our house in convoy, with horsedrawn barrel tents and flat cars. “It …

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Clooney-Spancilhill to create Community Energy Plan

AN AMBITIOUS project to boost the production and use of renewable energy is being pioneered by the Clooney Spancilhill Community Development Association. The group is one of three in Clare to enter a partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) with a view to creating an energy masterplan for the area. The blueprint will also offer potential to generate revenue for the area and will draw inspiration from a highly successful community of Templederry, outside Nenagh, who are now raising €1.1m annual for their locality. “We set up a steering group on the environment,” outlined Tom Larkin, Chairperson of the association. “That lead us to applying to the SEAI for funding. We succeeded in securing €10,000 and that involves us signing a three-year agreement with SEAI. We have mentoring from SEAI and Clare Local Development Company (CLDC).” After a tender process, the Tipperary Energy Agency was chosen and a contract signed before Christmas for the creation of a …

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Major cocaine and cannabis seizure in Spancilhill

GARDAI arrested three people and seized over €100,000 of suspected drugs in Spancilhill on Wednesday night. As part of an ongoing operation Gardaí from the Divisional Drugs Unit, assisted by the Armed Support Unit, executed a search warrant at a house in Spancilhill shortly before midnight. During the course of the search Gardaí seized €100,000 of cocaine and a quantity of cannabis herb. €1,600 of cannabis plants were also seized from a small grow house that had been set up inside the house. All of the suspected drugs will now be sent to Forensic Science Ireland for analysis. Two men, aged in their 20s and 40s, and a woman in her 30s were arrested at the scene and are currently detained at Garda Stations in Co. Clare under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996. Speaking at Ennis Garda Station today, Chief Superintendent Sean Colleran said “This is a significant seizure of suspected drugs by our Drugs …

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Historic bridges restored in Clooney

THE recently-formed Clooney Spancilhill Community Development Group have been making major strides lately in enhancing amenities in their area. A subcommittee, tasked with looking after local heritage, have completed the restoration of two stone bridges at Carrahan and Rylane, and are already planning future projects. The aim of the Heritage Group, which has around ten members, is to record and protect the history and heritage of Clooney-Spancilhill, and the bridge restoration project got under way after Clare County Council engineers conducted a survey and gave the green light. “People living locally could see one side of each bridge only because of the amount of vegetation that had grown over them,” explained Betty Murphy, a member of the Heritage Group. “There used to be a slipway at the bridge in Carrahan but that was completely overgrown and there had been a problem with dumping in that area too. There was a lot of hard physical work involved in uncovering the stone …

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Spancilhill Fair Called Off Over Covid Concerns

THE world famous Spancilhill Horse Fair has been cancelled for the second time ever in its 400-year history. Restrictions associated with Covid-19 have prompted organisers to make the decision, even before the revised government guidelines banning large gatherings until the end of August. They said they still maintain hope that the fair can run in 2021 to celebrate four centuries of horse-trading and equestrian competition since the event received its royal charter from King Charles in 1621. The fair, which had been due to take place on Tuesday, June 23, would simply not have been possible given the risk of Coronavirus transmissions said Chairperson Brian Clune. “It was inevitable and I suppose that given the risk to public health, it’s just one of those things,” he said. “The last time it was called off was in 2001 and that was because of the Foot and Mouth crisis.” Mr Clune said that because of the famous nature of the date of …

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App helps farmers prepare for the rainy day

A PART-time farmer from Spancilhill has developed a unique weather app, which provides farmers with on-farm alerts, included weather alerts, which aids them in planning their agricultural work. Dr John Garvey, senior lecturer in risk management and insurance at the University of Limerick, created FarmHedge, a free smart-phone app. “The weather alerts are specific to the farm location and they relate short-term forecasts to the 10-year normal for that location to provide information on grass growth, animal health risks and other farm activities,” he explained. John’s experience on the family farm in Spancilhill encouraged him to think about how farmers could use better weather information to help them plan their work. The very cold spring of 2013 and subsequent fodder crisis led John to think about better risk-management systems that could be made available to farmers. He began developing the app in UL, with funding from Enterprise Ireland. “I wanted farmers to have highly local and accurate weather information that …

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