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Tag Archives: Tuamgraney

Funds boost for five Clare areas under Town and Village scheme

FIVE Clare towns and villages have received just under €115,000 as part of a new Government scheme to help them adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. They are among 106 towns and villages across the country that will benefit immediately from €2.8 million in funding under the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The local areas that will benefit from the initial tranche of €114,274 in funding are: Tulla: Social distancing community meeting space (€13.050) Tuamgraney: Improvements to East Clare Memorial Park, including footpaths, seating and boundary wall (€25,000) Kilkee: Reconfiguration of playground layout to allow for social distancing (€22,295) Carrigaholt: Provision of outdoor tables and seating with temporary awnings (€24,229) Killaloe: Provision of measures to promote social distancing in main pedestrian areas (€29,700) Welcoming the funding, Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said the money will help communities to shop, socialise and work safely as they adapt to the post-Covid reality. “It is vitally important that we see an increase in …

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Historic Tuamgraney lime kiln set for face-lift

IT IS hoped that a long-dormant lime kiln in Tuamgraney may be fired up once again, over 100 years after the structure at Ballyquin was built. Trojan efforts by the Tuamgraney Development Association (TDA) have seen the gradual restoration of the structure, which is understood to date back to the 1910s when it was constructed by Dr Edward McLysaght to provide lime for his Raheen Estate and for local farmers. The structure has been restored gradually by the community over the last 30 years, with the East Clare Heritage Group identifying its potential. It is one of the many historical attractions in the village and located on the road to Reddan’s Quay, a spot that is popular with anglers and those cruising on Lough Derg. “The kiln was in a state of dereliction in the 1990s,” explained Paul Brooks of the TDA. “East Clare Heritage Group did some work then, because there was a large tree growing out of the structure. TDA then …

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Council urged to ‘give confidence back’ to East Clare businesses

AN appeal has been made for support for the East Clare business community, as Ireland moves into the second phase of the re-opening of the economy. Addressing the May meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes asked that the local authority might look to the example set in County Cork where a plan had been devised to support 28 towns in re-opening for business. “We depend on rate payers,” the Fianna Fáil member pointed out, “and they depend on public services. Almost every business has had to close and they’re now slowly re-opening. I would ask that the council officials speak to the business community in East Clare to see what they need to get them back on track, with so many restrictions continuing around public health.” The Caher-based councillor noted that Cork County Council had been making strong efforts in supporting its urban centres to resume economic activity after the lockdown. “When you look around the country, …

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‘I am not that person’ – Edna O’Brien rejects New Yorker profile

EDNA O’Brien has broken her silence on an interview with The New Yorker magazine, published at the end of last year and described by some literary experts as “a hatchet job”. The profile of the Tuamgraney-born author generated considerable controversy and prompted a number of critics and academics here to reject the profile as unflattering, sexist and overly critical. Last weekend, in an interview with RTÉ, Ms O’Brien said the article, by Ian Parker, had hurt and outraged her. The acclaimed writer joined broadcaster Brendan O’Connor to discuss an award for the latest novel Girl. “I was hurt and I was outraged,” she said of the piece. “I was hurt because it is not a truthful piece. If the tapes were taken of the three-and-a-half days I spent with that journalist. I don’t think the tapes and what I spoke into them would tally with what appeared in those 9,000 words. They would not. They would be a big contradiction. I …

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Féile Brían Ború called off as Covid-19 restrictions continue

THE latest East Clare festival to fall foul of the Covid-19 restrictions is the hugely popular Féile Brían Ború, which organisers have decided to call off in the interests of public health and safety. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism and member of the organising committee, Arlene White, said that while the decision had been a tough one to make, hopes had been gradually fading over the last couple of weeks. The 2019 festival took place on the second week in July, and in the context of the roadmap for re-opening the economy, organisers couldn’t envisage a similar gathering on the shores of Lough Derg in just over five week’s time. “Last year, we had 2,000 people for the fireworks display, and we just couldn’t have crowds of that size in the context of the coronavirus restrictions,” Ms White explained. “Our organising committee also arranges the Killaloe St Patrick’s Day parade, and once we had to call that off, we started …

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East Clare businesses take first steps on the road to re-opening

ADAPTING to challenging times is nothing new for the East Clare business community and, as some sectors of the local economy begin to re-open, the goal is to survive and thrive as the ‘new normal’ becomes apparent. In Tuamgraney, Nuala’s Bar and Restaurant occupies a premises that dates back over 150 years. It has had three different licensees over that time, and was formerly McCormac’s Bar and later Durack’s. A thriving food business began in 1999 and, in order to cater for her loyal customers, Nuala O’Brien began to offer a takeaway service once the restrictions kicked in. “I was aware very quickly that small-scale operations would not be viable, so it was a case of scaling up or shutting down,” she explained. “I’m taking on-line orders now and that works really well. Between 1 and 8pm, customers can order in advance, then pull up in the car park where I will drop the food straight into the boot, they …

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East Clare inspiration for ‘Normal People’ actor Frank Blake

FOR a young actor, being in lock-down while some of your highest-profile work graces screens around the world, must be something of an anti-climax. For Frank Blake, the enforced isolation in his native Tuamgraney, during the height of the buzz around Normal People, is not without its advantages, however. Frank, who plays the complex character of Alan in the adaptation of the award-nominated novel by Sally Rooney, has been using the time to explore his own screen-writing abilities. Given that his great aunt, Edna O’Brien, is one of the country’s greatest living authors, it’s probably a safe bet that he has more than a little literary talent. Now based in Dublin, the actor has been clocking up significant screen and stage roles, including a part in Druid’s landmark production of Richard III. He returned to East Clare shortly before the lock-down was announced, and just as the BBC3’s Normal People, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, was set for a stratospheric launch. …

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Tuamgraney man takes lead role in hit TV drama

THE Banner county is well represented in a new television series which has taken audiences by storm since it was unveiled at the end of last month. The BBC3 adaptation of Sally Rooney’s award nominated novel ‘Normal People’ stars Paul Mescal whose father comes from Cree and whose late grandfather Michael was a prominent figure in the local drama scene in West Clare. The show, which is directed by Oscar nominee Lenny Abrahamson also features Tuamgraney actor Frank Blake in the prominent role of Alan, brother of the lead character, Marianne. Frank is the son of Michael and Mary Blake of East Clare Equestrian Training Centre at Drewboro. Since graduating from the prestigious Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art, which runs in association with RADA and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Frank has been quick to be selected for hit productions including ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Frankenstein Chronicles’. His theatrical work includes the stage adaptation of ‘Asking for It’ from …

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