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Tag Archives: Tuamgraney

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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Anna clocking up 100km in fund-raising lock-down run

A YOUNG Whitegate woman is determined to show her support for East Clare’s older citizens during the lock-down, by pledging to run 100km before May 5. Through her challenge, Anna Madden, who lives in Galway City, has raised over €3,000 to-date for Raheen Community Hospital. The 28-year-old is meeting her goal, while sticking to public health guidelines of exercising within a 2km radius of home, and undertook the fundraising challenge after fearing that the Community Hospital was being forgotten about in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. “I found it a bit upsetting and sad to find that nothing was being done by way of fundraising,” said Anna. “All of the focus at the moment seems to be on the big hospitals and their facilities. My mum works at Raheen Community Hospital and almost everyone in Whitegate area has some kind of connection. They do such wonderful work and there’s an amazing atmosphere there.” Anna admits that her fundraising ambitions …

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Sam Represents Ireland at World MMA Championship

AN avid sportsman in his formative years, Sam Slater tried every sport available to him in the small-town rural setting, where he grew up in East Clare. He tried traditional sports, like hurling, rugby and soccer, which was his main sport, but having discovered mixed martial arts by playing a computer game, he thought this sport was too good to be true. “We were on a holiday in the UK for three weeks and me and my brother were playing UFC 2009 Undisputed on X-Box and we were loving it. There were loads of little real video clips but we were saying that it couldn’t be real – it’s probably like pro wrestling, it’s not real. We did a bit of research and we realised this sport is actually real, so, from then, I had to try it. I was just 15 at the time and living in East Clare so there was nowhere to try mixed martial arts (MMA),” …

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Memorial to legendary Dr Tommy Daly

THE 80th anniversary of the death of the legendary Dr Tommy Daly from Tulla was recalled last weekend, when a memorial was unveiled in Tuamgraney at the spot where he was tragically killed in 1936. According to the inquest, he died following a single vehicle collision, after he swerved to avoid a cyclist on the road between Tuamgraney and Scariff. Harry O’Meara, the winner of two senior championship medals with Scariff, came on the scene of the accident. He was 10 years of age at the time and he was present on Saturday when the unveiling took place. Speaking at the unveiling, Denis Corry (Tulla), who wrote a detailed article on the great goalkeeper for the Tulla GAA history book, The Claret and Gold, recalled the achievements of the man after whom the GAA park in Tulla is named. An All-Ireland junior medal winner with Clare in 1914, Dr Daly won three championships with Collegians in Dublin and six Fitzgibbon …

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CELT’s funding for job creation

East Clare based charity CELT, has received €14,000 in funding for a project which aims to provide skills and create employment in the local community. An environmental organisation located in Tuamgraney, CELT were approved for the financial aid to fund their woodland management and skills training programme. Part of  a £2.5million Skills & Opportunities Fund from Ulster Bank, RBS and NatWest, €14,000 was awarded to five Irish organisations, including CELT, to enable them support disadvantaged communities by helping people to learn new skills, get into the world of work or set up their own business. Organisations were required to submit a project proposal which had a special emphasis on helping their communities to develop new skills. CELT’s Woodland Management Skills Training programme will run over a six month period providing eight one-day workshops which will each cater for 25 participants. Speaking about the organisations success, Bob Wilson of CELT said: “With the help of Ulster Bank’s Skills and Opportunity fund …

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Edna’s birthplace ideal as writer’s retreat

CLARE TD Michael McNamara has called on the State to acquire Drewsboro House, the birthplace of acclaimed author Edna O’Brien, with a view to turning it into a writer’s retreat and museum. In a letter to the newly appointed Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD, Deputy McNamara highlighted the cultural significance of the house, which is located in Tuamgraney. The property, which consists of 7.025acres, failed to sell at auction earlier this month and the Clare TD believes if the State were to acquire the property it would represent “good value for the State”. “The primary importance of Drewsboro is cultural. Readers of The Country Girls and many other Edna O’Brien novels are very familiar with the house. In her memoir Edna describes her childhood home as ‘a large two storey house with bay windows, and could be approached by two avenues an old and a new’,” he stated in his letter to Minister Humphreys. He …

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