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Tag Archives: Whitegate

Teamwork conserves Clare monastic site

HISTORIC church ruins at Clonrush, Whitegate, have been conserved thanks to an initiative between the local community, the council and the National Monuments Service. A socially distanced review of the works was facilitated in recent weeks between members of Whitegate Community Council and the local authority, at the 12th century monastic complex which is dedicated to St Colmán. Restoration works were carried out to safeguard the historic church ruins, which were at risk of collapse and had deteriorated in recent years. The main focus of the conservation works was the ruins of the stone church, but the site also contains many interesting remnants of its ecclesiastical past, including the monks’ house (Tig na mBráthar), original arched entrance gate and a little, stone-roofed oratory known as Poll Cholmáin (St Colmán’s Cave). The churchyard also contains many fine examples of carved memorials and ironwork from the 18th and 19th centuries. The works on the church and the archway gate were carried out …

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Housing director issues assurance on vacant social homes

THE council’s director of housing has issued an assurance that turning around vacant local authority housing is a top priority.  Anne Haugh made her comments following concerns raised by Councillor Pat Burke over two properties in Whitegate that have been vacant for up to 12 months. Councillor Burke told the November meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District that frustration over the delay in getting new tenants in, in the middle of a housing crisis, had prompted him to table the motion.  “We are all aware of the housing crisis,” he said. “It seems the process is so slow if a house can remain vacant for 12 months. I understand that there are energy retrofit schemes and that type of thing undertaken, but 12 months to leave a house vacant when we’re in a housing crisis drove me to put down the motion. This is not particularly anyone’s fault, but I’m wondering if the delay is down to funding or the …

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Whitegate commemorates The Scariff Martyrs

WHITEGATE marked the legacy of the Scariff Martyrs on the 100th anniversary of their capture at Williamstown House on the shores of Lough Derg. A wreath was laid last Sunday at the house of Michael Egan, the caretaker of the stately home who, despite being tortured by British forces, steadfastly refused to give away the hiding place of Brud McMahon, Alphie Rodgers and Martin Gildea. The three has been on the run since an attack on the Scariff RIC Barracks that September and sought shelter at the secluded house. Another wreath was laid on the grounds of the house itself, which now stands in ruins, with short orations from local historian Tommy Holland and from Dr Tomás Mac Conmara. On Monday, the centenary of the martyr’s capture, the church bell rang out in Whitegate at 9.30am, the exact time the men were discovered and taken to Killaloe for questioning. Children from Lakyle National School were present for a socially-distanced ceremony …

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Scariff students get set to contribute to new plan for Clare

LOCAL geography has come to life for second years at Scariff Community College, where students are making a submission to a review of the County Development Plan. Under the guidance of teacher Darina Sheridan and with support from Carmel Brislane, a planner with the council, the students are making their voices heard on the future of the school’s catchment area of Scariff, Mountshannon and Whitegate. Geography teacher Darina sees the call for submissions to the plan, which will cover 2022-2028, as an opportunity for some real-world learning. “I had looked that the plan previously with a Transition Year (TY) group and realised that there was potential here for the students to look at their own areas and to get to know then and what kind of amenities they would like to see,” she explained. Working with Clare County Council, Darina began to develop practical exercises built around the submission. “We have had Zoom calls with Carmel, which were great,” she …

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Mystery yarn-bomber returns to Whitegate

AS LOCKDOWN returns, so too has one of the most talked-about mysteries to grip East Clare this year. After an interval of several months, a person, or persons unknown, has once strewn almost every spare inch of Main Street in Whitegate – and a bit of neighbouring Mountshannon – with colourful knitted and crocheted items. Working under cover of darkness, the mystery yarn-bomber(s), have put their considerable craft expertise to use to try to brighten the dark days of Level 5 restrictions, and lift the spirits of the locality. Last week, in a coded message, the covert crocheter contacted The Champion to alert us to their activities. While swearing us to secrecy as to their identity, the yarn-bomber has pledged to leave their colourful handiwork in place until after Hallowe’en. This time around, the deer statue in Mountshannon has had his iconic antlers festooned in knitwear, while in Whitegate, there are colourful crocheted items on poles, with signs outside the …

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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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Crafty Whitegate ladies turn talents to fundraising masks

TWO crafty Whitegate ladies are putting their skills to good use by producing a range of handmade fabric face masks, and raising funds for Raheen Community Hospital in the process. Mum and daughter Geraldine and Aoife Burke, who have both studied textile design, have made over 150 masks to-date and the items, which are machine washable and have a slot for filters, are available in local shops. Once the road map for reopening Ireland was announced, and guidance provided recommending the wearing of face coverings in settings like shops and public transport, Geraldine and Aoife drew on their design and crafting skills and began to get creative. Raheen Community Hospital is a facility that is close to the hearts of everyone in East Clare and for the Burkes, it is particularly special. “My father-in-law, Billy Burke, was in Raheen for nine years,” Geraldine explained. “He was a wonderful man, with a larger than life personality. The care he received at …

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Mystery yarn bomber lifts spirits in Whitegate

A MYSTERY yarn-bomber is being thanked for their colourful attempts to lift the spirits of the Whitegate community over the course of the lock-down. Residents were intrigued to wake up to a riot of colourful knitted and crocheted items festooning poles and signage over the last three weekends. Messages of hope and encouragement were emblazoned in the vibrant displays, some of which were in the Whitegate club colours. Among the phrases bedecking the town was ‘What’s the Craic?’, placed outside Mike Treacy’s shop and ‘Smile’, and ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy!’ on signs at McDermott’s Post Office. Expressing disappointment at the ongoing closure of licensed premises, the yarn-bomber put the words ‘Ah Feck’ outside O’Riordan’s Half Barrel pub. A reference to the 1980s Bon Jovi anthem, ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’, prompted local suspicions as to the age-group of the anonymous crafts enthusiast, but, for the moment, despite the best efforts of the community, their identity remains unknown. Local resident Sadie Monks …

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