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Tag Archives: Tuamgraney

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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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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