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Election race has begun ELECTION bells are ringing with February 8th confirmed as polling day. For the first time since 1918, a General Election will take place on a Saturday. The campaign trail is to heat up over the coming days as candidates began their canvass of a constituency which will give a key indication as to the make up of the next Government. At the time of going to print, there are ten confirmed candidates in Clare. Pat Breen (FG), Joe Carey (FG), Martin Conway (FG), Cathal Crowe (FF), Timmy Dooley (FF), Roisin Garvey (Greens), Rita McInerney (FF), Michael McNamara (IND), Theresa O’Donohoe (PBP) and Joseph Woulfe (IND) will appear on the ballot paper. Sinn Féin are to announce their candidate later this week. Labour are unlikely to select a prospective TD in Clare with the Social Democrats confirming they will not contest in the constituency. Kilrush councillor Ian Lynch is contemplating whether or not to join the race. The Independent representative feels a strong voice is needed to fight for the issues that matter for rural Clare. Cooraclare resident, David Barrett is considering running as an Independent candidate.

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editor@clareecho.ie

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16 Jan 2020

FERG RISES FROM PAIN OF LOSING PARENTS PÁRAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

I

N a bid to break down stigmas surrounding mental health and help others, Fearghal Lawlor has shared his story with The Clare Echo. A native of Newmarket-on-Fergus, Fearghal who is a successful self-employed personal trainer in Shannon highlighted the need for people to incorporate physical and mental health as a daily bodily function “like going to the toilet”. Talking more and seeking professional help are ways he saw improvements within himself and has urged people to do likewise. Personal tragedy is something he has unfortunately become familiar with. At the age of seven, his mother died after an illness and in February 2017 his father passed away suddenly meaning that before turning

thirty, he and his younger sister Áine had to bury both of their parents. After sustaining a serious back injury which restricted his mobility, Fearghal began to put on weight and hit his heaviest at nineteen stone. Not alone did he endure physical pain but Lawlor admitted to being in a very dark place then and again subsequent to his father’s death. Since overcoming the injury and transforming his body, the Shannon based personal trainer has dealt with over 200 clients and set up his own business, Your Body’s Solution. “I’ve done a lot of work to be in the position I’m in both physically and mentally especially mentally. Keen to point out that there are people worse off and every person goes through their difficulties, Lawlor is hopeful that by sharing his story he will be able to help others.

Full story Page 14

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2 NEWS

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

Index

TAKING IT ALL IN McNamara

bids to win Dáil seat

2-17

NEWS

TOONAGH PICS

18

SHANNON NEWS

19

ENTERTAINMENT

20

COMMUNITY

22

MOTORING

25-35

SPORT

42-43

CLASSIFIEDS

44-45

F

36C Abbey Street, Ennis, County Clare Telephone: 065 671 9021

NEWSDESK

Email: editor@clareecho.ie or news@clareecho.ie

SALES

Email: ger.naughton@clareecho.ie or niall@clareecho.ie

l SWEET VICTORY: ​Evan Barrett with the 2019 Clare Intermediate Football Trophy at the St Breckans GAA Victory Social at Hotel Doolin last Friday

Photo by Willie O’Reilly

ormer Labour TD, Michael McNamara has entered the General Election race as an Independent candidate. In 2011, Michael became the first Clare Labour TD since Moosajee Bhamjee. He confirmed to The Clare Echo that his name will be appearing on the ballot paper as voters decide who will be representing the county in Dáil Éireann. “If we want to have a sustainable environment we need to have a sustainable economy and one that sustains both the environments and communities, farmers are being driven in a particular direction by huge retailer groups, the

processors and if we’re serious about creating a sustainable environment then that needs to be addressed”. 2016 saw him unsuccessfully attempt to retain his seat in Dáil Éireann, McNamara lost 4,100 votes. This he maintained was for several factors, among them other “attractive candidates” and Labour being the junior coalition partner. Winning back a seat is the ambition and Michael admitted he is willing to support any future Government. “I don’t see Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil coming back with a huge majority or any majority, if I can agree with Government policy I would support it”.

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4 NEWS

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

‘Unbelievable’ damage at Coamhaltas Doonbeg following Storm Brendan want to rebrand PÁRAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

“U

NBELIEVABLE” damage affected sand dunes in Doonbeg with several flights cancelled at Shannon Airport and power outages this week all as a result of Storm Brendan. An orange weather warning was issued by Met Éireann for Co Clare and the entire country on Monday from 5am until 9pm due to the arrival of Storm Brendan. High crosswinds forced the cancellation of several inbound and outbound flights at Shannon Airport. Six Aer Lingues services to and from London, Edinburgh and Birmingham were affected with Ryanair flights from London Stansted and Manchester diverted to Cork. Dromore Woods was closed by the National Parks & Wildlife Services. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre (CoMVC) was also off limits for the public. Gusts of 100km/h were recorded in Clare with 3,000 ESB customers affected by a power outage in Cooraclare. Electricity was lost in Clonlara, Kilmaley and Tulla for a spell but returned after ESB crews made repairs within hours. Storm Brendan also left its mark on

Doughmore Beach in Doonbeg. “The damage that has been done is unbelievable, we won’t have dunes in the very near future if something isn’t done, we’ll be looking at ditches, they will be that small and that low,” PRO of Doughmore Coastal Protection Group, Liam Ryan told The Clare Echo. “In places there was over two metres of dunes taken last night, you can see where the top soil and the earth has fallen. Some people say it will recover itself but that will never come back, never. I know sand washes in and washes out, I’ve been watching it since the 1980s with the wind and tides but when the topsoil is washed away and it falls down, it is natural that is going to disappear,” he said having walked the beach on Tuesday morning. Hay bales protecting the golf course at Trump Doonbeg were still in place following the storm. “They are there to protect the greens and whatever, they were put up along the edge to stop the salt of the sea going onto the greens, in front there is a big section of the sand dunes and the sand has disappeared in front of them, if you were to walk along the beach you would see they are barely handling some of them on the sand dunes”. Liam stressed the need for coastal protection work which is currently before An Bord Pléanana be given the green light. “I know people object and they are entitled to object but before people object they should come down and see,

Fleadh Nua

lDESTRUCTION: Storm Brendan leaves unbelievable effects on Doonbeg Photo by Paraic McMahon if you walk the beach today you could walk it in two days time and see a totally different picture. Our most important issue is to get the dunes and the beach protected and saved, when you have 300 people employed during the summer and it is down to maybe 50 to 70 in the winter but the possibility of a new development keeping close to that 300 all the time. I’ve been up there quite a bit over the Christmas period with visitors or having a drink, it’s a five star facility that treats people so well, you just wouldn’t believe it and you’d be very proud of the people working there and the impression they give of the region, we want that to continue, it won’t cost the people of Clare a penny”.

Comhaltas are proposing to rebrand the Fleadh Nua festival. Since 1974 Fleadh Nua has developed from a three day event to a festival spanning eight days with more than 120 separate events. Dublin hosted the first Fleadh Nua with Ennis welcoming the festival to the county town in 1974. A proposal has been put before the Tourism Department of Clare County Council by Comhaltas to rebrand the Fleadh Nua festival as ‘The Fleadh Down in Ennis’. As well as the name change, it is intended to move the event from May to the June bank holiday weekend. Speaking at Monday’s meeting of the local authority, Cllr Mark Nestor (FF) reminded the Chamber that the Fleadh Nua has been providing a constant boost to the town in recent decades. “There is no getting away from the success that has been in the town of Ennis with Comhaltas, not alone has it hosted two Fleadh Cheoil but also the Munster Fleadh. “I would be very cautious that we don’t forget what has gone before, for years in this town the Fleadh Nua has been very successful, it was originally up in Dublin but came to Ennis for one reason because they knew our love of music would sustain it. My one regret is that the hosting of the big Fleadh has hindered the Fleadh Nua. When there was nothing happening in town, there was members of Comhaltas putting their shoulder to the wheel making sure something successful was happening in the town with the Fleadh Nua”. ADVERTORIAL

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business is a testament to the professional, friendly approach by management and staff and the excellent quality and choice available in store. The Closing Renovation Sale is now on and Sale must end this Sunday 19th January at 5pm. With many clearance lines, ex display models and with up to 60% off, early attendance will guarantee massive savings. This Sale is an excellent opportunity for those wanting to redecorate their house or rental property or add that something

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6 NEWS

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

Harty predicts Garvey or McNamara will take a seat PÁRAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

O

UTGOING Clare TD, Dr Michael Harty has predicted either Michael McNamara (IND) or Cllr Roisin Garvey (Greens) will be elected to Dáil Éireann with one Fine Gael casualty. Elected as the second TD in 2016 with 8,629 first preference votes, Dr Harty this week called time on his political career in order to focus on his GP practice at Kilmihil. Speaking to The Clare Echo, he gave his prediction on what the make-up of Clare TDs will be following the February 8th election. “I was elected second, very nearly first so there is absolutely a quota in Clare for an independent voice or a voice from a smaller party independent of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael who have dominated politics in Clare with the exception of an Independent or Labour candidate from time to time. There is potential and Clare is a very interesting county politically in that they are not afraid to elect somebody outside the main political parties”. He said, “I know Michael McNamara has declared to run as an Independent, I have a lot but not complete acceptance of Green policies, either of Michael McNamara

or Roisin Garvey would be capable of winning a seat. I think it will be two Fianna Fáil, one Fine Gael and the last seat will be a fight between the second Fine Gael candidate, Michael McNamara and Roisin Garvey”. Were his name to appear on the ballot paper, Michael was of the view he would be in the fight for the third seat. “If I had been standing I don’t think I would have commanded the same vote I got first time around but I think there was sufficient votes for me to be in with a chance, one side of me would love to have tested but I’m not trying to build a career, I’m at the latter end of my career medically not to mind politically, it was never my intention to be a TD who sought to be continually re-elected. It will be an interesting battle and there is the possibility of a non Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil candidate getting elected and I hope that will be the case”. Adding further detail to the prediction, Harty was of the view Timmy Dooley and Cathal Crowe would get in ahead of Rita McInerney on the Fianna Fáil ticket. “Two of them are close together in East Clare and then you’ve Rita McInerney in West Clare. Population is probably against Rita McInerney, if you drew a line between Ballyvaughan and Kildysart everything west of that there is a population of maybe 25,000, there is 95,000 east of that. I did so well in the last election because I had a GP in every

parish canvassing for me, I had a machine which was better than any political machine, it didn’t have the sustainability of a political machine but I had the magic formula of having someone advocating for me in every parish, that probably won’t be available to Rita McInerney. “Fianna Fáil should have got two seats the last time, I prevented them getting a second seat, this time they probably will get two seats, you’d have to say Cathal Crowe and Timmy Dooley would be the front-runners but who knows, Rita is a female candidate and will

attract a female vote, she is a very articulate woman and has a reasonably high profile so I wouldn’t write her off by any means”. Picking the Fine Gael candidate that will lose out is “very difficult”, he admitted. “They got two seats from 26 percent of the vote the last time which was a fantastic achievement, it is very hard to say, I couldn’t call that one. Sitting Tds have an advantage but Martin Conway is a high profile Senator, there is definitely a Fine Gael seat but I don’t know who is going to get it”.

lPREDICTION: Mchael McNamara and Roisin Garvey predicted to e elected to Dáil Éireann

150 properties now being assessed for social housing PÁRAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

UP TO 150 dwellings in six different parts of Clare are being investigated for ownership to determine future uses. An update was sought on the work of Clare County Council's Vacant Homes Officer during 2019 by Fianna Fáil councillors Shane Talty, Pat McMahon and Pat Hayes (pictured right) at the December sitting of the local authority. Prepared by the Social Development Directorate of the Council, a Vacant Homes Action Plan for the county was submitted to the Department in 2017. This report considered vacancy rates from the Central Statistics Office, (CSO) and the An Post administered Geo-Directory database. 2016 Census figures from the CSO indicated there were 10,925

vacant homes in the county, the figure reduces to 6,104 once holiday homes were excluded. For the same period, 2,700 unoccupied dwellings were noted by An Post. The disparity between the two is still being examined by the Council. Senior executive officer, Siobhán McNulty outlined that an assessment of current vacancy levels is "ongoing". 2019 saw Ennis, Shannon, Sixmilebridge, Tulla, Broadford and Tuamgraney's vacant houses examined. "Following inspections approximately 150 houses in these villages are being investigated for ownership and where the owners' details can be obtained from Land Direct, they are being contacted by Clare County Council and requested to bring their properties back in to use as social housing". 38 houses in Clare have been registered on the vacant homes website by members of the public. McNulty advised, "Of these, there is one imminent acquisition for social hous-

ing and a small number of potential acquisitions once legal issues are resolved and/or receivers are in a position to proceed with disposal. Others have been ruled out for reasons such as insufficient address to identify property, locations are in a rural area where there is insufficient demand and properties are tied up in the 'Fair deal' scheme". She described assessing owners of vacant properties as "labour intensive", "difficult" and a "slow process". "All of us are aware towns and villages are dotted with vacant and derelict houses," Cllr Talty stated. He acknowledged that the work is "resource intensive". He added, "There are two groups looking at this, you have the thousands on the property list and the neigh-

bours who are worried about their area coming into dereliction". Cllr McMahon agreed that it was "a complex area". He felt the biggest challenge was how to bring the process of taking houses back "more up-to-date". Dereliction is regularly discussed in the Killaloe Municipal District, Cllr Pat Hayes told the meeting. "There is no magic wand but I refer you to the statement from one crowd in Castleblaney who said, 'if we do nothing our town will go into disrepair'". He added, "The reality is when times were difficult we were building houses and cottages out the country for people, there isn't much benefit in building social housing if you're pulling people from rural areas".

Gardaí seek public assistance with Kilrush fatalty GARDAÍ are appealing for the public’s assistance as they carry out an investigation into a crash which claimed the life of a woman in Kilrush on Friday. A collision between a car and a truck at Ballycurtin on the N68 Kilrush to Ennis Rd claimed the life of a woman in her seventies on Friday evening. The woman was driving the car and was pronounced dead at the scene, her body was later taken to University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem. The truck driver was uninjured. Anyone with information, particularly any road users travelling in the area at the time of the collision who may have camera footage are asked to contact Kilrush Garda station on 065 9080550, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

Father of drowning victim loses his life A MAN whose own son lost his life in quarry swimming incident less than two years ago has died. Fran Harding got into difficulty while swimming in Lahinch on Sunday morning at approximately 10:45. A surfer then raised the alarm with several others rushing into the sea to help locate the Tipperary native. His wife Sarah Jane was on shore and witnessed the tragedy unfold. Doolin and Kilkee units of the Irish Coast Guard were alerted as were Rescue 115 to respond to the scene. Contact was also made with An Garda Síochána and the National Ambulance Service. The helicopter crew conducted a detailed search of the area, it is believed that after a quarter of an hour they located Mr Harding. Paramedics then began attempts to resuscitate the man before he was airlifted from Lahinch to University Hospital Limerick where he was pronounced dead after a short while. In May 2018, Fran's son Shay Moloney was one of two victims in a heartbreaking accident. The fifteen year old had been swimming with friends at a disused quarry at Knockanean and drowned while trying to save his best friend, Jack Kenneally (15). They had been rising stars within the ranks of Ennis RFC.


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8 NEWS

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

‘I found politics very frustrating’ - Dr Michael Harty PÁRAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

H

E was the standout story from the 2016 General Election in Clare but Dr Michael Harty has confirmed he will not be seeking re-election to Dáil

Éireann. Elected under the ‘No Doctor No Village’ platform, the Independent TD announced on Monday that he was leaving Leinster House for good. Politics was not what he expected, Michael told The Clare Echo. “I wasn’t prepared for the inertia within the political system, it is very hard to change not only the way Ministers think but also their civil servants, I found it very frustrating. “It was invigorating to be in the buzz of Leinster House being at the centre of where change was possible, when you looked at how difficult it was to bring change it was very frustrating. I did support Enda Kenny in the first two years of this Government but when there was a change of leadership, access to Government became much more difficult, I’m partially responsible to that because I didn’t vote for Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach I abstained, I did vote against Simon Harris out of complete frustration at the way the health service was going and I did vote against Eoghan Murphy in relation to housing, that has political consequences because if you’re outside the tent it is very hard to get access and that was one of the disappointing things once you came with a good idea or a good suggestion you didn’t get a fair hearing”. Struggling to find full-time locum cover for his practice in Kilmihil prompted the GP to withdraw his name from the ballot paper. “When an election was looming it became obvious I couldn’t stand for re-election knowing if, which was a big if, I was elected, that I couldn’t continue and I would have to make a choice between being a TD and giving up the practice, I couldn’t do both. Because I came from a no doctor no village background and the sustainability of medical services in rural Ireland even though it expanded into many issues in relation to the sustainability of rural Ireland if I was to choose politics over my practice it would be betraying the principle of standing for election to maintain election to maintain medical services. The likelihood of a doctor coming to Kilmihil under present circumstances of contractual arrangements was going to be small, the choice was stark either full-time politics and abandon the practice or go back into practice, I chose to go back into practice”. Though content with the decision, Michael is adamant “I still felt I had a lot to offer in politics, there was a lot of unfinished business that I had started but hadn’t completed”. He would have liked to continue pushing the promotion of Sláintecare, ad-

vocating for a European hub for Shannon Airport in Frankfurt or Amsterdam, pushing proposals he made on rural resettlement and trying to tackle regional development. Close to 700 GPs are “within touching distance of retirement”, he is critical Health Minister Simon Harris “never accepted there was a problem, consequently the problem still exists thereby my necessity to return to practice”. He added, “One of the regrets I did have was that I didn’t convince the Minister for Health that there is a huge difficulty in rural practices and their sustainability, it’s not just rural anymore when you look at what has happened in Newmarket-on-Fergus, that is replicated right across the country in large towns that are having difficulty recruiting GPs to replace those who retire, emigrate or unfortunately pass away”. Approaches were made by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party for Harty to join their ranks in the last two years, the invitation from the Greens being the one he considered most. “I’ve seen people who joined parties from the Independent ranks and they tend to be seen as poster boys parachuted into an organisation that really isn’t accepting of them but would love to win their seat. I wouldn’t have been elected to the Dáil in 2016 if I was a Fianna Fáil or a Fine Gael candidate, I was elected because I was an Independent and I was betraying those voters if mid-stream I jumped ship and became a party member for the sake of enhancing my chances of getting re-elected, I felt it was an obligation of me to remain Independent”. “If I knew what I know now in 2016 I would have acted differently, I would be more forceful on this occasion, I have a lot to offer particularly in the health sector and I would seek to be in Government because I realise now outside Government you can talk, propose and suggest but unless you get a receptive ear you are really struggling to have your point of view implemented”. By the time the February 8th election comes around, Michael will return to the his practice in Kilmihil which has 1,500 patients. “It was a great privilege and an honour to be a TD, I never underestimated that honour and I hope by not standing I haven’t let anyone down”.


NEWS 9

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

‘They’re gunning for you’ - US & Iran conflict last of Doonbeg locals worries PÁRAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

T

RUMP Doonbeg and Shannon Airport are not potential targets amid the growing conflict between the US and Iran, the Iranian Ambassador to Ireland has confirmed. Speaking earlier this week, Masoud Eslami wished to reassure the people of Clare that they were in no immediate danger as tensions ramp up between the United States of America and Iran following last week’s assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a figure the Ambassador compared to Michael Collins. On the prospect of an attack on Shannon Airport, Eslami stated, “I would rule that out for the time being. This is a very far speculation. We

are very far from such a situation”. He urged the Irish Government to reconsider the use of Shannon by US military. Launching an attack on properties owned by US President Donald Trump and his family such as Trump Doonbeg is not on Iran’s agenda, the Ambassador added. “I can assure you targeting personal properties of Trump or places like Shannon Airport are not considered to be targeted in Iran’s retaliations or measures that are going to be taken against the deliberate attacks by the United States,” Talk of a low target as implied by tweets from Hesameddin Ashena, a top adviser to Iran’s president did not cause too much concern in Doonbeg. “There is such much conflict in the world that we just take it that it’s not going to happen, we are a peace loving country in a peace loving area, I think it would be the last of our worries,” Liam Ryan told The Clare Echo. A native of Limerick but living in

Doonbeg since 1980, Liam is the PRO of Doughmore Coastal Protection Group. He said of the local reaction to the talk of threats, “People would say you better watch out, they’re gunning for you, I know it’s not a joke but it was a sense of humour between people, ‘you better get inside the door before 8pm and make sure you’re not seen’. I don’t think it’s an issue for us here”.

General Election race kicks off in Clare It began earlier than expected but the battle is on as candidates from all over the county begin their campaign to be elected to Dáil Éireann. For the first time since 1918, the General Election will take place on a Saturday as the people of Ireland head to the polls on February 8th. Clare candidates have upped the ante on the campaign trail since President Michael D. Higgins dissolved the 32nd Dáil on Tuesday. At the time of going to print, there are nine confirmed candidates in Clare. Pat Breen (FG), Joe Carey (FG), Martin Conway (FG), Cathal

Crowe (FF), Timmy Dooley (FF), Roisin Garvey (Greens), Rita McInerney (FF), Michael McNamara (IND), Theresa O’Donohoe (PBP) and Joseph Woulfe (IND) will appear on the ballot paper. Sinn Féin are to announce their candidate later this week with Noeleen Moran and Violet Anne Wynne believed to be in the running for the party nomination. Labour are unlikely to select a prospective TD in Clare with the Social Democrats confirming they will not contest in the constituency. Kilrush councillor Ian Lynch is to

contemplating whether or not to join the race. The Independent representative feels a strong voice is needed to fight for the issues that matter for rural Clare. Cooraclare resident, David Barrett is considering running as an Independent candidate. The Australian born engineer founded The Moderate Party last February, however the party is not registered so he is unable to run under their banner. Outgoing TD, Dr. Michael Harty confirmed earlier this week he would not be seeking re-election.

Calls for Center Parcs or Cat Laughs type tourism products for Clare FEASIBILITY studies are to be carried out for the provision of nice tourism products and an annual festival in Co Clare. Both the Economic and Tourism Development sections of Clare County Council were requested by Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) at Monday’s sitting to conduct a series of feasibility studies for large scale tourism products and festivals in the county. In his motion, the Mayor referred to Center Parcs and Kildare Village as examples of products with a nod given to Galway Arts Festival, Kilkenomics, Limerick’s Riverfest and Cat Laughs as successful festivals that they could be inspired by. Clare’s Tourism Strategy will be available for public consultation during the first week of February with a finalised version expected in Spring, Director of Service Leonard Cleary confirmed. “This strategy will identify a comprehensive assessment of the current situation providing the context for its strategic direction to include evolving niche sectors and products”. He said consideration would be given to the examples listed by Crowe. Primarily aimed at Ennis, Cllr Crowe noted that “Munster’s largest town” in recent years “has demonstrated it can successfully host huge events. Hosting an annual festival gives an adrenaline shot to the entire county”. The primary school teacher had researched the economic impact of various festivals and said Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was worth €50m to the local economy, Galway Arts Festival was €21m, Cat Laughs Festival brings €8m to Kilkenny every year with River Fest seeing a €7m benefit in Limerick. Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) seconded the motion but highlighted his concern with the reference to Kildare Village, “I know you are not proposing to build an alternative shopping centre”. “Most hotels are busy during the tourist season,” he said of the accommodation levels in Ennis, “any new event needs to be pitched for the off-season”. Cllr Flynn acknowledged the “very successful” Christmas in Ennis programme which brought 10,000 people to the town. “There are many successful festivals in Ennis, the reason for that is the narrow streets and the river in between,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) commented. He called for attempts to be made to bring the Fleadh Cheoil back to Clare in the next decade, “It is something we should aim for in the next five to ten years”. Cllr Mark Nestor added, “Anything that brings people into the county and supports the county is very welcome”. Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) spoke of a 2000 study on Lisdoonvarna carried out by Shannon Development which discussed the possibility of a Center Parcs or a Kildare Village coming to North Clare. “What is different now is we have a Rural Development Directorate. We don’t have to come up with something new, we can put our weight and support behind something we have”. ADVERTORIAL

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ables individuals and families to choose a care plan that is right for them whether on a short-term or long-term basis. Kay Leahy, Director of Bluebird Care in Clare says, “The appeal of Bluebird Care is that we provide a fully tailored nurse-led and person-centred service that puts the customer and their family firmly in the driving seat when it comes to the care we provide, in doing this we can make a real and positive contribution to people’s lives and their daily lived experience. “Often people hesitate when it comes to making vital decisions about home care, but there is nothing to fear. Our years of experience show that it has very positive outcomes and dramatically improves an individual’s quality of life. In providing care to our customers we also aim to provide support and respite to the family or to the primary carer” “Home care is also a realistic and cost-effective alternative to nursing home care as there are significant tax

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12 NEWS

Dermot calls out Clare dog owners PÁRAIC McMAHON

T

paraic@clareecho.ie

ODAY FM presenter Dermot Whelan (inset) visited Co Clare recently and called out dog owners who failed to pick up their animals' faeces during the trip. Over the first weekend of January, the Limerick native was walking along Lahinch Beach with his wife Aisling and dog Buddy. "I'm new to this dog thing and I'm noticing things about dog owners, a lot of different things," he said while recounting the tale on the Dermot and Dave Show. Dermot described Lahinch as "a beautiful strand with golden sands". The comedian spotted a couple walking a hundred yards ahead with two "big golden retrievers". "So I'm walking behind and I notice that one of their dogs goes into that dog position where you know something bad is going

to happen, he has a hunched back and I'm like 'that dog is doing a big crap on the sand, ah the owners are looking over, it's registering with them and they'll pick it up', they look at the dog and look away then continue walking. I said to my wife did you see that, we should go up there. "Then the second golden retriever hunches its back and assumes the position, this dog starts and they just kept walking. I said enough is enough and for once I'm going to say something, this is a beautiful beach but these people are the problem these, dog owners who pretend not to see their dogs going to the jacks, it always happens". At this point, the former Republic of Telly presenter decided to confront the pair and began running against a strong breeze to catch up to them. "I started waving

my poo bag in the air. I said 'do you need a poo bag because I noticed your two dogs did big craps on the sand and you didn't pick it up. 'Oh God we didn't even notice. No we're grand for poo bags, thanks a million' and they turned away and started walking away. "So I said 'do I pick up your dog crap is that how it is', 'oh we didn't see where they did it so we can't pick it up', 'I'll show you where, I'll walk you to them'. I was engaging with the female in the partnership, the guy looked like he would rather be talking to anyone else than me. We had this weird, casual conversation as I walked her to her dogs' individual poos which at this stage were hundreds of yards back down the beach" They soon located the dog poo but Whelan was keen to remind dog owners across the country to clean up after their animals.

THURSDAY, JAN 16, 2020

WEST WINS BEST

lFARM SAFETY: Maria Kilmartin from ABP Food Group, with students Abbey Hehir and Rebecca Murphy from St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart, winners of the ABP Farm Safety Award at the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Abbey, Rebecca and Ryley Cantrell impressed judges with their innovative project, the Slurry Pit Saver. It is designed to prevent accidental deaths in slurry pits on Irish farms. The device is powered by solar energy and uses infrared sensors that detect if a large object has entered the slurry pit. The device then sends an alert to a list of mobile phones via an app

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NEWS 13

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

‘Veganuary is all about leaning into it. Don’t go cold turkey’ CIAN O’BROIN

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cianobroin@clareecho.ie

HIS January hundreds of thousands of Irish people are looking to cut meat out of their diets, either periodically or entirely. Veganuary is the perfect platform to adopt what on the surface layer appears to be a trendy and fashionable vegan lifestyle. Looking closer, we see a complex and colourful system with deep ethical ties to the environment. Not only that, the nutritional density and variety of flavour contained in a vegan diet embodies healthy living. Thinking of making the transition to a plant-based diet this year in Clare, but don’t know where to start? Vegan connoisseur, chef and teacher Ciara Brennan talks us through her personal journey and the ins and outs of transitioning to a plant-based diet in County Clare. Last January 375,000 Irish people participated in Veganuary and this year the numbers are only expected to rise. Ciara’s transition came from a very young age, recalling how stereotypical household meals like spa-

ghetti Bolognese found its way from her plate into the dog’s bowl. This disinterest in meat manifested itself further after Ciara completed her studies in Hotel Management in Shannon, running kitchens in places like Sydney and London, “I had to cook so much meat and I absolutely hated it. I decided to go into HR, training and development and teaching. Three and a half years ago I got breast cancer and in that period, I asked my daughter, ‘should we go vegan?’ It’s a lifestyle and not just a diet. So, we did.” Like many others, Ciara’s transition comes from an ethical point of view. A distaste for the meat industries unprincipled mechanisation of the lives of animals. Ciara wishes to

use her skills and knowledge to spread the positive message of veganism. “I’m not an angry vegan. I don’t have on my website how badly animals are being treated. People just get turned off, whereas if you tantalize the flavours and encourage them to eat a different type of diet, they just get a lot more interested in it. The only way I can make a difference in my own little world is affecting the economy through supply and demand.” On January 29th, Ciara Brennan and Rebecca Steele will be running a Veganuary workshop from 7-9pm at the Community centre, Chapel Lane, Ennis. This workshop will demonstrate how to cook meatless balls out of kidney beans and walnuts and four appropriate uses for this unique vegan dish. Rebecca Steele will then talk about the nutritional value. Ciara feels this is an excellent opportunity for those in Clare looking to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle, “It’s all about access to my knowledge on a one to one basis, how to make it cheap and how to prolong it. We will be talking about the quality of the ingredients and the nutritional value that goes into it. For everyone doing Veganuary, keep it simple and don’t go cold turkey. There is loads of information online and on Instagram. “

'Communities split' by masts PÁRAIC McMAHON

paraic@clareecho.ie

CAUTION has been issued by elected representatives with consideration for 'the health of future generations' and that 'communities could be split' if masts are to be erected in parts of the county. A joint motion from Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF), Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) and Cllr Cathal Crowe (FF) was tabled at the December meeting of Clare County Council. "In light of the increasing amount of planning applications for large scale telecommunications" and "widespread public concerns to the possible consequences" they proposed the local authority's planning department develop a planning policy document "to ensure communities have been furnished with appropriate levels of public consultation before any applications are made". Director of Service, Liam Conneally highlighted that developers have two means of seeking consent for telecommunications infrastructure. These include a planning application on private lands under Section 34 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 or through a licence application on public or local authority lands/road verges/footpaths under Section 254 of the Act. Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) later commented that the guidelines were from the 1990s, "they are miles out of place and out of date". Conneally acknowledged "there are significant implications and differences between both processes". Applications under Section 34 "requires site and press notices notifying the public of the intention of the applicant" whereas those under Section 254 "provides for a Local Authority to grant a licence to persons for a range of installations on public footpaths, roads, laneways". Two applications have been made to the County Council in the latter category.

Concerns with how the public are currently consulted by Cllr Murphy as he predicted "more and more" such applications would be made. He highlighted how developers were placing notices in national newspapers as opposed to local equivalents, "while that complies with the letter of the law it doesn't fit with the right spirit". Cathaoirleach of the Council, Cllr Cathal Crowe outlined they were approached by Doonbeg and Quilty residents who shared their concerns. "The public are astounded that you need a sign at the crossroads if you're opening a B&B but not for this. You've to look for planning for basically everything but slowly we're moving away from that sphere of planning as far as telecommunications is concerned". Mr Conneally took on board the comments from the trio. "The absence of public input leaves a void in the process. We have brought it to the attention of the Department, members can bring it to the attention of various legislators". Garvey (FG) believed as she compared them to wind farms and solar farms. "This Council needs to become very informed with what is allowed. We need to get a proper plan in place here". She warned, "This is the beginning of a bed of thorns". Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) issued a word of caution to the meeting, “A lot of countries and cities have banned 5G due to health implications, we need to be very careful going forward. We need to be very careful because we are dicing with people’s future, health implications for the next generation”. Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) suggested experts from Maynooth University address the Council. Concluding the debate, Cllr Murphy remarked, "Wording in our Development Plan is very forceful in the favour of planning application. History of windfarms is peppered with communities split because of no consultation".

l YES WE VE-CAN: Ciara Brennan and Rebecca Steele are championing going vegan in CLare and (pictured left) a super tasty puy lentil and roast pumpkin salad

Clare may be used as pilot in Sport Ireland facilities audit CLARE is in line to be trialled as a pilot in an audit of facilities to be carried out by Sport Ireland, writes Paraic McMahon. A meeting of the Clare Sports Partnership (CSP) at the end of November heard that Clare is to be put forward as a potential pilot in the National Database of Sports & Recreation Amenities' which is being led by Sport Ireland. Selected areas will be assessed in 2020. At the December meeting of Clare County Council, a joint motion from Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG), Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) and Cllr Ann Norton (IND) urged the local authority to partner with CSP to boost the county's chances of being chosen for the facilities audit. Directors of Service, Leonard Cleary and Anne Haugh were in favour of the proposal. "A partnership between bodies will demonstrate commitment and willingness to lead and to identify and catalogue all sport and recreation amenities in the County. This database will potentially identify gaps in opportunity for participation in sport due to lack of local amenities and will facilitate a more focused approach to groups/clubs in the pursuit of grant aid for projects". Cllr Garrihy said he was "glad" with the Council's

response, the Lisdoonvarna representative in October called for a financial audit of all sporting facilities in the county to be conducted. "An audit of facilities is certainly needed because in some cases there is a duplication of facilities in certain areas. Clare Panthers Hockey Club are looking for a hall," Cllr Killeen highlighted. "It would point out a deficiency and where things could be improved," he said of the audit. It opened up "a very good opportunity", Cllr Norton felt. "I'm not surprised because Clare County Council has worked very well with Clare Sports Partnershop over the years. This is an opportunity for Clare to see what facilities are available on the ground and to showcase the facilities and see who is using them". Chief Executive, Pat Dowling told the meeting that he was once involved in working with the previous Sports Council alongside John Treacy twenty years ago. "Clare County Council is a very welcoming family and I would encourage all these groups to come join our family into the future so we're operating together and not in separate ways".


14

NEWS

'I'm not out of the woods

PĂ RAIC McMAHON news@clareecho.ie

W

HAT doesn't kill you makes you stronger, three shuddering blows at different phases of his life certainly shook Fearghal Lawlor to the core but made him the man that he is today. Speaking openly and honestly for the first time about family tragedies, injury woes, dietary struggles and mental health challenges, the personal trainer highlighted that physical and mental health needs to be worked on daily "like going to the toilet" in order to see results. By sharing his story, Fearghal wants to help people realise that talking, seeking professional help and physical exercise such as going to the gym will be of benefit to people struggling with their mental health. Ordinarily when one reflects on their childhood, laughter is one of the first memories that spring to mind. However darkness descends with Fearghal's predominant recollection. "Childhood was gone when my mother passed away when I was seven, I remember being young and then growing up very quickly. My childhood while it was great, my father did everything for me and my sister as a child, I feel like I missed out

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

on a lot of that innocent stuff ". While Patricia had been sick, her death rocked the Lawlor family home in Ballycar. The moment of his father coming in the gate and cars beginning to gather as they were informed of her passing is a vivid memory to this day, "I knew straight away that it was it," he reflected of being brought into the sitting room. Counselling sessions that in recent years brought him back in time to deal with the grief, something he was previously unable to do. "I tried to be a protector of my sister and my father at that young age, not that I was running around the place cutting lawns and stuff being the man of the house, I wasn't but it just hit me that I needed to be everything at once. Being the bold kid in school, I supposed I lashed out, I would have ate a lot of bad foods as a kid, in fairness to my father we always had good food on the table but you'd always be looking for sweets at a younger age". "Diabolical" eating habits developed as the years progressed. Typically he didn't have breakfasts during secondary school but would consume "a big chicken roll at lunchtime", the next meal would be dinner with regular visits to the shop "eating crisps, biscuits or chocolate, no care in the world about it". Sometimes after dinners, Lawlor might visit a friend and have a second dinner. "I wasn't worried about it back then and

l HOPING TO HELP: Fearghal shares his story

Pic Joe Buckley

didn't portray that I cared about my weight teen minutes to get up, I couldn't stand up but I obviously did, I had this front of hap- straight". piness and confidence which was all fake, I Following a visit to the doctor and latplayed up that happy jolly guy, I never er hospital, it was confirmed as two bulgfelt I was fully true to myself for a long ing discs in his back. "I was only nineteen time". or twenty, at that point I would have been Playing as a hooker with St Senans heavy anyway but I was fit. That ruined RFC, the standard weight for some- everything for me, I couldn't sit on a seat one in the position was in the mid- upright for more than twenty seconds so I teens. On the outside, he lived up to couldn't attend college, drive into college, the stereotype but inside he was hurt- the only comfort I had was lying on the floor ing. "You'd be sitting at home, I felt and looked like shit. Not many of BEFORE my friends would have been overweight, playing rugby it's fine to be big but going on nights out or seeing the lads buy nice clothes and I'm thinking 'I can't wear that', you get on with it but it hurts you. I see that in clients nowadays of a younger age, I see me in them and I understand it". Collisions are commonplace on the field but one knock in a league game in Cork left Lawlor with a crippling year long recovery. "I was in a scrum in the front row, my back was set flat and the second rows whatever it was something gave way, I felt a pinch in my back, being in a game with adrenaline and everything I thought nothing of it, the following day I was lying on the couch went to get up and I couldn't, it took me half an hour to get up, when I finally did I fell to the floor and it took me another fif-


NEWS 15

yet' - Fearghal opens up

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

so when you're in that state you're not exercising, I couldn't play sport, you fall into this deep hole where you go from being so active to doing absolutely nothing, before I knew it I had a stone and a half put on, from there I reached my heaviest which was eighteen and a half to nineteen stone, that wasn't a good time because I developed this horrible mental state". For six to eight months he was "laid out properly" and unable to do many tasks that people take for granted. "My father used to put my shoes and socks on for me, when I was getting dressed I would have to give him a call to come in to throw the pants up to me or whatever". "My mental state suffered massively at that point, I got further and further into a hole, then my childhood trauma started to kick in". Having found a love for sport and going to the gym, not being able to do either because of injury was "soul-destroying and heart breaking". Actively seeking a solution, he attended several medical professionals with varying methods, the words of a physiotherapist 'there comes a point when you have to grit the teeth, get at it and start stretching' led to a breakthrough. Stretching as painful as it was became more frequent and at this stage weighing nineteen stone, the then LIT student began watching his diet, the first step being to stop having tomato ketchup. "It was such a small thing and it was really hard. I started stretching through the pain, coming off the pain medication some bit because it doesn't help your head, started to walk, watch the food and notice I was feeling a bit lighter and a bit better with my mobility and movement, then my head started to improve because I was able to do a little bit more, then it just

AFTER

clicked and everything started to work for me, I guess it just snowballed from there". A constant supporter throughout the recovery was his father Ger who was "the biggest part" in the transformation. The kettle would regularly be on the boil in the Lawlor house, more significant than the ketchup, Ferg stopped putting sugar in his tea, step by step he became a new and much lighter man, now weighing between 86 and 89 kg. Work ethic and positive fitness examples were given by his father who cycled 500km in aid of Crumlin Children's Hospital. Fuelled by momentum, Fearghal became a personal trainer and for the past five years has been self-employed catering for over 200 clients assisting them to achieve their goals, shed weight and feel better about themselves through Fergs Fitness Your Body's Solution. In 2013, he began a relationship with Leanne Boyle, one that has brought immense joy. Everything in his life was good until February 16th 2017 when he lost the man that supported him through thick and thin. "It was a normal night, I came home from training so there was nothing different. I walked past him with a cup of tea at twenty to eleven, came back out and twenty past eleven and found him dead on the chair, that was definitely the hardest thing I've been through in my entire life. I performed CPR on him for 20 minutes straight while waiting for the ambulance to come. That was the biggest shock, it was like being hit by a bus". Ger's death meant that before Fearghal turned thirty, he and his younger sister Áine had buried both of their parents at Fenloe Cemetery. "Being so young you were protected, twenty nine years of age you're going 'what the hell', I thought there would be another twenty years in my father. He'll never get to see a grandchild if someday I have kids, if I get married he won't be there. It will be three years this February, people say 'has it been that long' but it doesn't feel like anything to me. Unless you've lost someone that close, people don't understand they can't because they've never been through it". Not long after the bereavement, he found himself in a very dark place. "My mental health took a hammering, I won't lie, I felt suicidal, that's how dark it got for me. I didn't do anything because I knew what I had, I had Leanne, my sister, all my mates, my family that I knew were there and cared for me, I knew there was more to life and I owed it to my parents to live it to the full and give myself every opportunity". After the months mind mass, Fearghal and Leanne went travelling to places such as Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. "When I came back things got very tough, whatever I had ran away from was all coming into me then, I suffered for a long time. I remember the day I came home, I could feel it building in my stom-

ach, the moment I walked in the door home I just broke down and completely lost it, that kicked off a year and a half period of having to really work on myself, that's when I decided I needed a counsellor". Seeking help was of enormous benefit but the gym in Shannon remained his sanctuary. "The gym taught me a lot about self-disciple, work ethic, that made me want to work on my own mental health to get better for the people around me, I could see myself taking it on Leanne to a point and that wasn't fair on her, I wanted to work on myself to become a better person for the future for the people like Leanne, my mates and family. The gym was a constant, go in and get a workout in, you know you're going to work hard for it and that helped me, if I had been overweight I don't know what I would have done". Physical and mental health both require effort, to make the mind stronger he turned to counselling, the same effects for it are to be felt as what the body experiences after a strenuous session. "I've done a lot of work to be in the position I'm in both physically and

mentally especially mentally, Christmas and birthdays are hard, you just get days that are hard too. I could be walking down the Town Centre and I see a man that has a similar shape or colour hair to Dad and it would hit you, before that would have had in my tears now I smile. "I'm nowhere out of the woods don't get me wrong I still have to work and I don't think I'll ever be right but you have to learn how to live with these things, you can't just stop". He is well aware everyone in life has their own hardship and pointed out that many are worse off but Lawlor is grateful to his support network of friends and family. Some days are more difficult than others, the road ahead for Fearghal Lawlor is uncertain but those who love and adore him are glad to see him standing strong and tall. If you have been affected by any of the contents in this article, please contact Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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16 THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

Ronan Scully

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK Author spreading the word of positivity

Do the right thing

D

ID you know that even the apostle Paul struggled with doing the right thing? Yes, this is the same Paul who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament. Paul was very transparent about His struggle in Romans 7:15- "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate." I can relate. How about you? Paul is talking about how his actions were not lining up with his will and on many occasions didn't do the right thing. Martin Luther King said, 'On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question, "Is it right?" The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in mo-

ments of convenience, but where they stand in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy and moments when they are called upon to do the right thing.

An Inspiring Story of Kindness "Two boys walked down a road that led through a field. The younger of the two noticed a man toiling in the fields of his farm, his good clothes stacked neatly off to the side. The boy looked at his older friend and said, "Let's hide his shoes so when he comes from the field, he won't be able to find them. His expression will be priceless!" The boy laughed. The older of the two boys thought for a moment and said, "The man looks poor. See his clothes? Let's do this instead: Let's hide a €5 note in each shoe and then we'll hide in these bushes and see how he reacts to that, instead." The younger companion agreed to the

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plan and they placed a €5 note in each shoe and hid behind the bushes. It wasn't long before the farmer came in from the field, tired and worn. He reached down and pulled on a shoe, immediately feeling the money under his foot. With the €5 note now between his fingers, he looked around to see who could have put it in his shoe. But no one was there. He held the €5 note in his hand and stared at it in disbelief. Confused, he slid his other foot into his other shoe and felt the second €5 note. This time, the man was overwhelmed when he removed the second €5 note from his shoe. Thinking he was alone, he dropped to his knees and offered a verbal prayer that the boys could easily hear from their hiding place. They heard the poor farmer cry tears of relief and gratitude. He spoke of his sick wife and his boys in need of food. He expressed gratitude for this unexpected bounty from unknown hands. After a time, the boys came out from their hiding place and slowly started their long walk home. They felt good inside, warm, changed somehow knowing the good they had done to a poor farmer in dire straits. A smile crept across their souls. We all have "poor farmers" toiling in the fields of their trials and difficulties along the roads of our lives. Their challenges might not be known to us. But their countenances often tell a story of pain. We have opportunities to hide shoes or hide "€5 notes" in them. When I hear of stories of kindness being done to others, I'm inspired to do the same. I think most of us are like that. We need each other's inspiration as we travel life's highways, trying to figure it all out.

Thought for the week As your thought for the week, make it your goal and habit to do the right thing and to be actively looking for opportunities to show kindness and "Do Good" to one another and to others when it is possible and needed. Practice genuine kindness as much as you can in your daily life and 'plant flowers' and 'warm people's hearts' wherever you can! Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. No act of kindness is ever wasted. And always remember that compassion has no limit and kindness has no enemy. Be kind and "Do The Right Thing" always, or as much as you can. My prayer for you this week is that you may play more, laugh more, love more, live more, give more, receive more, and celebrate more! May you open to the vast possibilities and boundless love and wisdom of your transcendent truer self. May the doors to your brightest futures swing wide open. May you know the full extent of your worth and deserving and open to receive all that your heart desires. May gifts, synchronicities, serendipities and successes dawn effortlessly in your world. May you connect to and experience more of the love, beauty and light that you are. May you sparkle and glow with joy and magic. May your laughter refresh the world daily, brightening all those around you including yourself. May you always do the right thing when faced with life's situations and may you know that you are loved, loving and loveable, ever and always. Amen.


GREEN CLARE

Supported by

Time to tackle single use plastics CIAN O BROIN cianobroin@clareecho.ie

C

LARECASTLE Tidy Towns came back together in 2009, in an effort to combat the onslaught of single use plastics and the incessant proliferation of fly-tip-

ping in the Clare Abbey region. Chairperson Christy Leyden is leading the charge with a new mantra in mind, to enhance Clarecastle and make it a better place to live, work and visit. In an audit conducted by Clarecastle Tidy Towns in December of 2019, a total of 322 pieces of litter were picked up on a small stretch of road leading from Clareabbey Roundabout to Clare GAA HQ. Mr.

THE WASTE-LESS LIST

VISIT MYWASTE.IE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Leyden pins this to a throw away culture, a new phenomenon gripping our landscape. The culprit, single use plastics. The crux, an inability to address the source of the issue. Here’s what we have to do. Getting to the source of the issue is of the utmost importance, tells Mr. Leyden, “the food and beverage industry is the cause and I think the focus must be in addressing this problem at source. Irish Business’ Against Litter publish reports on a quarterly basis. They get An Taisce to do audits around the country. All these single use plastics are coming from shops. Why can’t they put the same effort in working with the businesspeople and shopkeepers in stopping the issue at source. We are all trying to take individual actions like refusing to purchase coffee or tea without a reusable cup. There needs to be a considerable discount for this, and a tariff put on the person that wishes to purchase a single use cup.” In an effort to liaise with local business’ in Clarecastle, Mr. Leyden does not want to cut into the limited profitability of shops but wishes to implement a zero-waste policy which looks to ban single use plastics altogether. Mr. Leyden stresses the misconstrued notion of compostable cups being harmless to the environment and considers them to be the same as single use plastics. Compostable items still have to be picked up and oftentimes take a substantial amount of time to decompose, making them extremely harmful to the environment, much like single use plastics. Compostable items are not a solution, they are a very last resort, his assertion contends. Mr. Leyden and Clarecastle Tidy Towns wish to push the boundaries in the coming year and have teamed up with Green Festivals within the county, offering a training module with the hope of completely diminishing the carbon footprint of large-scale events such as the Fleadh. “In Clarecastle, we successfully did it a few years ago, where we completely eliminated single use items. With the exception we used compostable cups and we need to go further next year. All those festivals need to be using utensils that can be washed and reused. A very good example of that is the Irish Open last year. If you went around Lahinch at midnight you were ankle deep in a sea of plas-

tic. If each of those punters, as they entered were given a glass that could be washed and returned at the end of the day for a small reimbursement, there would have been no waste in Lahinch the next morning. We are very proud of our involvement in that festival. Clare County Council are backing it as well. In my opinion, grants for festivals need to be linked to carbon footprint. That would immediately make a huge impact.” Mr. Leyden referenced the Young Scientist Exhibition of 2020, which highlights the increase in environmental projects, totalling 60 percent of the overall entries. Despite this fact, Mr. Leyden admits that he has seen no reduction in the amount of plastic being picked up monthly by Clarecastle Tidy Towns. Mr. Leyden feels that quantifying our results on a yearly basis would provide an answer and establish imminent accountability on behalf of the public. “If yearly targets were set and quantified there is no way we couldn’t reduce our single use plastic waste by 25-30 percent.” As a final note, Mr. Leyden expressed his abhorrence at the perpetual fly-tipping take place at Clare Abbey over the last ten years, “We are absolutely demented with rubbish and fly-tipping. It’s week in, week out. We are beginning to report it via the See it, Say it app. You take a picture, send it away mentioning fly-tipping, it takes the GPS co-ordinates and reports it. Using this, we can get a more honest report on what’s happening with litter in Ireland and single use plastics. I feel like the two are practically related.” Pic courtesy of Christy Leyden


18 OUT & ABOUT

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

TOONAGH CHARITY WALK

Karen, Colm & Keenan Whelan

Francis & Frankie Lyons

l CHARITY WALK: People gathered in Toonagh last Sunday for a charity walk to raise money for Huntington's Diseases and Motor Neurone disease

Sophie Haugh, Cliona Jones & Lily Mae Lyons

Lorna Downes & Rosemary Foudy

Aoife Glass, Kevin Tierney & Niamh Glass

Photos by Liam Jones


€4.5 million driverless vehicle testing facility for Free Zone PÁRAIC McMAHON

A

news@clareecho.ie

13KM private road testing facility for driverless vehicles is to be constructed in the Shannon Free Zone. An allocation of €4,723,197 from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund is to finance the Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) project. The ‘state of the art’ facility is to provide technology companies and researchers with the ability to assess and enhance their innovations. Interconnected sensing and telecommunication technologies will be retrofitted along the private road network which will be operated by a dedicated control centre. Deputy Joe Carey (FG) in a statement to

The Clare Echo believed the funding would enable the Shannon Free Zone become one of the leading research centres for Autonomous Connected Electric Shared Vehicles (ACES) “not just in Ireland but also in the European Union”. Leading international companies in the ACES sector such as Jaguar Land Rover, Cisco, AMAX Engineering, Taoglas, Mergon International, General Motors, Analog Devices, Valeo, SGS, PiPiper, Transpoco, Arralis and Arup will have the facility made available to them for rental purposes. Carey explained, “The target users of the Shannon test centre include national and international automotive and technology providers that are interested in testing their innovations in real-world settings before the product release phase. “This investment underlines the Government’s commitment to enhancing the Shannon Free Zone as the region’s prime asset for future job creation.

lLOOK, NO HANDS: A state of the art driverless car testing facility is to be developed at Shannon Free Zone Photo by Arthur Ellis

Tourism Ireland ‘lines out’ with Aer Lingus and Racing 92 to push Ireland in France

lALLEZ LES BLEUS: Fiona Dunne, Tourism Ireland; and Declan Power, Shannon Airport at the Paris La Défense Arena in Paris

TOURISM Ireland has joined forces with Aer Lingus and Paris rugby club Racing 92 – in a new promotion to encourage French holidaymakers to come and discover the Wild Atlantic Way this year. The partnership kicked off during the match in Paris between Munster and Racing 92 at the weekend. The new promotion involves a high impact ad running pitch-side during the game – highlighting the new Aer Lingus flight from Paris to Shannon, which will operate four times weekly from the end of March. It also includes Tourism Ireland’s TV ad, broadcasting inside the Paris La Défense Arena, as well as on the giant screens outside; as well as online ads on the Racing 92 digital platforms. The ads will also run during two upcoming games at the Racing 92 stadium in Paris – in mid-February when Racing 92 takes on Toulouse and at the end of February, during the match against La Rochelle.

“We know that the Wild Atlantic Way holds a special appeal for French holidaymakers – so this partnership is an ideal opportunity to promote the new Aer Lingus flight, bringing them directly to Shannon and the heart of the West of Ireland,” said Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for Southern Europe. “France is one of the top four markets for tourism to the island of Ireland. “Tourism Ireland will roll out an extensive and targeted programme of promotional activity again in 2020, to continue to grow French visitor numbers and, in particular, to encourage more of them to come and explore our regions and less-visited attractions during the off-peak season.” The news was less positive for the Munster squad however, as they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Racing 92. Munster looked to secure a win with a two point lead and 71 minutes on the clock, but a three try turnaround meant Racing 92 romped home with a 39-22 victory.


20 Arts & Entertainment

K

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

INSANITY

EITH Barry, the world’s leading TV hypnotist, mentalist and brain hacker returns with his brand-new show, Insanity. Insanity is Keith’s most daring and audacious show

to date. Featuring crazy and insane mind-reading, escapology and magic experiments designed to shock, amuse and amaze blurring the lines between sanity and insanity. Insanity will push boundaries and astonish even the most sceptical audience members. Parental discretion and no unaccompanied minors. Keith Barry has been blazing a trail across the globe for many years. His mind-blowing skills have been showcased in over forty international television shows, with Keith’s series ‘Hypnotize Me’ currently airing on the CW network in the US. Based on the smash ITV hit ‘You’re Back in The Room’, ‘Hypnotize Me’ is going down a storm with the American audience. Barry’s very successful RTÉ series ‘The Keith Barry Experience’ aired on RTÉ One in September. As well as his own hugely successful US TV series, including ‘Deception with Keith Barry’, Keith has appeared many times on some of the most prestigious US shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Jimmy Kimmel Show and The Conan O’Brien Show. He has also brain-hacked many celebrities including Woody Harrelson, Bono, Nicole Scherzinger, Morgan Freeman and many more. Keith has written, produced and performed many of his own stage shows in the last fifteen years and has sold out venues in the US, Australia, Canada, Spain, South Africa, the UK and of course his native Ireland. He has also recently presented his keynote speech ‘Mind Magic’ at places such as The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, The Pendulum Summit and The Dublin Tech Summit. Keith’s TED Talk has been in the top twenty-five TED Talks since 2008 and it currently boasts over twenty-five million views.

Catch Keith Barry in glór on Friday 31 January at 8:00pm. Tickets cost €32. Visit glor.ie for more information.

lDISTURBIA: Keith Barry brings his new show to glór

TREADING THE BOARDS IN CLOUGHLEIGH

lIF LOOKS COULD KILL: Cloughleigh Drama Club are putting the finishing touches to Tommy Marron’s hilarious comedy Nobody’s Talking to Me. The action takes place in the kitchen of Mattie and Maggie Conway on the day of their 50th wedding anniversary. However, what should be a day of great celebration is anything but! The ‘happy couple’ haven’t spoken a single word to one another for 10 years and when the parish priest decides to surprise them by dropping in to renew their marriage vows all hell breaks loose! The show will run for four nights (Friday, January 24, Saturday January 25, Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1) at Cloughleigh Community Centre. The play will start at 8pm each night. Tickets on sale at O’Brien’s Gala, Cloughleigh, or from any committee member. Check out Cloughleigh Drama Club on Facebook for more information.


Community 22 COMMUNITY

EAST CLARE

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

CONTACT NEWSDESK

065 671 9021 news@clareecho.ie

ENNIS

TULLA COFFEE DAY A seventh annual coffee day fundraiser is to be held on Saturday January 25th at Tulla Utd’s clubhouse and grounds between 10am and 4pm. Fergus Barrett of Inward Bound Mindfulness will speak about the benefits of mindfulness and demonstrate techniques that can be incorporated into everyday life. East Clare Fitness will run a Charity Boot Camp on Wednesday January 22nd at 7:30pm in Kilkishen with monies raised going towards the Coffee Day. Organised by Ellen Solon and Nicola Murphy, the Coffee Day this year will benefit Mountain a Month for Mental Health.

COUNTYWIDE MEN’S SHEDS FUNDING Men’s Sheds groups in Clare have received €11,782 from the latest round of the Community Enhancement Programme to carry out minor improvements to their premises. Announcing details of the funding, Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said that grants ranging from €1,299 to €838 had been approved for men’s sheds in Ennis, Ennis West, Clarecastle, Cora Caitlin, Shannon, Parteen, Sixmilebridge/Kilmurry, Doonbeg, Ennistymon and Mountshannon.

ENNIS TOONAGH ENROLEMENT Toonagh National School is now open for Enrolment of Junior Infants September 2020. Please contact the school on 065-6820143 or at toonaghschool@gmail.com for an application form. Application forms can also be downloaded from the school website toonaghns.com. Closing date for applications is February 28th. Toonagh NS is located 5km from Ennis. CLARE TYPE 2 DIABETES GROUP The next meet up of the Clare Type 2 Diabetes Group will take place on Tuesday 21st January at 8pm in The Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis. The meetings are free to attend, open to anyone who wants to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes and an excellent opportunity to meet others. Newcomers always welcome! If you would like more information about our support group call Grainne at 087 654 8320 or email Claresupport@diabetes.ie. CRS JANUARY MEETING Clare Roots Society will hold their January meeting at the Maguire Suite, Old Ground Hotel, Ennis at 8 pm Thursday, 16 January 2020. Dr Joe Power will give a lecture on Guerrilla War in Clare (War of Independence in Clare 1919-1921).

WEST CLARE

l END OF AN ERA: Moneypoint staff Mick Flaherty. Brian Moynihan, John Dalton, John Gavin, Kieran Ryan, Liam Moody and John Power wish their two colleagues Brian Honan and Pat Brennan the best of luck on their Vss retirement after working together for more than 30 years

l IN MEMORY: Slainte an Chlair Treasurer Tony Finnucane accepts a cheque for €17,000 from Tracy Guilfoyle and Aaron Burke (Tommy Guilfoyle ‘s son). The money was raised from events organised following Tommy’s sudden death. Events included the Love2run Summer BBQ, Team Tommy running the Dublin City marathon and Tommy’s night in Steele’s Bar organised by Grace Brooks with entertainment from Stephen Hanrahan and friends and Adrian Walsh as DJ.

WEST CLARE CLOTHING COLLECTION Kilrush Missionary are holding a Final Clothing Collection as a fundraiser for next few weeks. They are looking for the following items; Mens/Womens/Childrens Clothing, Curtains, Towels, Paired Shoes, Belts, Handbags, Blankets. Please place them in Black plastic bags and drop them to the Kilrush Community School [Hall] on Wednesday afternoons where they will be stored until collection day. Please contact Pat Kelly, 5 Moyne Court ,Kilrush[ 0872922874] or Patricia O’Shaughnessy ,Kilrush Community School. Thanking you for your Support always.


THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

NEWS 23

BURREN ECOTOURISM NETWORK MEMBERS WIN GEOPARK AWARDS

ADVERTORIAL

lCONSERVATION: Members of the Burren Ecotourism Network with their Code of Practice Certificates presented by Tim Madden of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and Deirdre O’Shea of Clare County Council. The Burren Ecotourism Network is a group that has been centre stage in relation to sustainable tourism, working in conjunction with The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. Since its inception in 2011, the Burren Ecotourism Network has been a leading light in conservation. It has a tangible commitment to a code of sustainable tourism practices. The model has been copied and upheld throughout Ireland as an example for collaboration and destination development. The Burren Eco Tourism Network is comprised of 65 businesses right around North Clare, and as quoted in the Irish Examiner recently “Flying the Banner Green - Nowhere in Ireland has pioneered sustainable tourism like the Burren in County Clare”. This accolade is due to the commitment to conservation and the Code of Practice by the tourism businesses in the Burren region. “The Code of Practice is a comprehensive business management tool that enables us not only to reduce waste, save energy and water but at the same time to enhance the visitor experience and benefit from collaboration between businesses and communities in the area.” said Burren Ecotourism Network CEO Jarlath O’Dwyer

LCFE - Come and see what we can do LIMERICK College of Further Education has been opening its doors to the people of the Mid-West for over 60 years, serving the community through learning and self-development. We provide a quality education and training experience to every learner. We strive to be progressive and adaptable in the courses we offer and constantly monitor changes in the employment market to ensure that we are delivering the appropriate skills and knowledge necessary. Our range for the coming year features new courses in Medical Administration, Property Services Administration, Interior Design, Horticultural Studies and Pre-Physiotherapy to name but a few. Undertaking a course at LCFE (pictured right) opens many doors for the learner providing many choices for the future, be it progressing to higher education or gaining entry to the work place, up-skilling or personal development. As an educational institution, we strive to provide relevant, dynamic and exciting programmes to all our learners while adhering to our core values of Professionalism, Innovation, Creativity and Inclusiveness.

We will help you open the door to your next future.Success at LCFE opens many doors. We have many direct links with third level institutions around the country. These direct links allow a successful LCFE Graduate to use their QQI Qualification to progress within the education sector and continue on to complete their studies at Levels 7, 8 and 9 as they so wish. LCFE is also excited to announce a new “Pathways to Apprenticeship” initiative in the following four areas: Hairdressing, Culinary Skills, Accounting and Construction commencing in March. The best way to find out about all we have to offer at LCFE is to visit our Open Day on Thursday 23 January 2020. Come along and meet with academic staff and existing learners and enjoy viewing our learner exhibitions.

open day 2020 23rd January 2020 10am - 4pm Mulgrave Street Limerick For further information visit www.lcfe.ie

Come and See What We Can do together 2533319 LCETB January 2020 Open Day Campaign_Limerick Chronicle 265x170mm.indd 1

07/11/2019 13:51


24 COLUMNISTS

REELING IN THE YEARS

with Cian O’Broin

1999

FAIRY BUSH GAINS INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION Folklore, fairy tales and good old Irish superstitions governed our society over previous millennia. From waving at magpies to evading the tortured cries of the ever so translucent Banshee, the Irish do it like no other. Fitting then, that in the final year of the millennium, a viral news story broke from a roadside near the Newmarket on Fergus bypass at Latoon, Co. Clare, about the serious repercussions of cutting a hedge that was deemed to be a ‘fairy bush’. The proposal of a new motorway meant that the hedge would have to be destroyed. This prompted renowned storyteller and Irish seanchaí Eddie Lenihan to get involved. Speaking with a local farmer, Mr. Lenihan learned that the bush has a long-established history with fairies and that, “lumps of green stuff” had been spotted on the hedge which meant that there had been fairy battles the night before. The farmer put the importance of the bush into context, “The bush was significant for them and it was a meeting point for Munster fairies to battle with Connaught fairies.” Mr. Lenihan wrote to the Clare Champion and Clare FM, warning of the consequences associated with provoking the paranormal. Tragedy would strike if any disruption to the fairies were to take place, he warned. Lenihan’s letter to the Irish Times was published and later made its way into the New York Times, sparking an international frenzy surrounding the superstitions of the Irish people. Major news outlets such as CNN, the BBC, French and Swedish media all began to chime in on the fun. The bush now remains a comical tourist attraction, with people coming from far and wide to rub shoulders with some good old Irish superstition. Unfortunately, the fairies did not offer any comment on the whole situation, however; Eddie Lenihan put the entire escapade to bed with one final adage on the matter, “If you move or destroy a fairy fort or Celtic ringfort, you’ll be in trouble and you’re creating trouble. Never shift a fairy bush.” THE BLACK-IRISH OF MONTSERRAT Deemed the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean”, the West Indies island of Montserrat has close ties to the Irish people, with a band of Irish settlers taking up residence there in the seventeenth century. In 1995, the Soufrière Hills volcano became active, decimating much of the South of the Island and the capital of Plymouth. The destruction left a mere 1,200 inhabitants remaining on the island. Until 1831, due to the vast number of Irish settlers, the Irish language was spoken widely on the island by both black and white inhabitants. These ties led the Irish nation to offer aid to the people of Montserrat in their time of need. The Irish league of Credit Unions donated 100,000 dollars to the St. Patrick’s Union on the island in 1995, enabling the nation to get back on its feet amongst turmoil. To celebrate the charitable hearts of the Irish people, citizens of Montserrat gathered in Feakle, County Clare in August 1999, collectively cavorting at a countryside crossroads much to the amusement of local bystanders. Chief Minister of Montserrat stated that although the sum may seem small to the Irish, it remains a substantial amount, to the tune of millions in their eyes. Montserrat’s national day like ours, falls on March 17th and settlers coming from a tiny island on the west of Europe to the West Indies adored their old homeland, naming some of the villages in their new homestead Cork, Galway and Kinsale.

CLARE BANS ‘OUTSIDERS’ In 1999, a new trend in the private property market in Clare was forcing up prices and staving off outsiders. Newly wed couples looking to set up residency on the West of Ireland found great dismay upon arriving in County Clare, where they were warned of a controversial rule prohibiting non-locals from building a house in areas considered to be of high and medium development pressure and visually vulnerable areas. The highly coveted Clare coastline as well as many of the major towns in the county fell privy to these new guidelines. Locals were given precedence over ‘outsiders.’ A local could mean anyone born in the area, with immediate relatives living there or anyone living there or with parents living there for at least a minimum of ten years. The policy was put into place by the Clare County Council in 1999. Planning refusals were said to have quadrupled in number in the year 1999 due to the onset of locals looking to set up shop and ship off to non-locals, much to the frustration of the council. At the end of the year, councillors called for a review of the terms of the policy, claiming it was ‘too rigid.’

Check out the Clare Echo next week as we kick start our journey into the twenty-first century. Until then, take care.

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

Eoin Neylon

An inside look at Clare’s political spectrum

General Election campaign will be an intense fanfare

I

T’S no mystery that sports fans are often people with a keen interest in politics. There is a large similarity between the two at times. You have various teams that people support, often despite their inherent flaws. Family tradition comes into play when it comes to who one supports. You celebrate wins as a group and suffer defeats the same way. Yes, politics is a team sport, but it’s also a blood sport. At the time of writing, Leo Varadkar officially fire the starting gun for General Election 2020 on Tuesday but that hadn’t stopped absolutely everyone jumping the starting orders and getting the electoral race underway over the weekend. With a General Election in Ireland every 3 years on average, it makes for a fanfare build up akin to a World Cup for those of a political persuasion. Given the protracted build up to this election, expect for there to be an intense fanfare, despite it being a short campaign between now and Saturday, February 8th. As of this moment, given Michael McNamara’s announcement of his candidature as an independent, People Before Profit entering the race, and Dr. Michael Marty’s shock decision to stand down there are ten confirmed candidates in County Clare. McNamara had hinted at his announcement as early as last June, but given his relative silence since then, some had hypothesised whether he would follow through on this. With only Timmy Dooley running from the Killaloe LEA prior this far, the Scarriff native’s announcement may not be as much a surprise as some would make it out. That said, even with a relatively small number of candidates from the East of the County, it is a tall ask for the former Labour TD to hope to win the hearts and minds over such a short election campaign, especially now that he hasn’t the luxury of counting on what diehard Labour members that remain in Clare for support on the ground. He’ll be hoping to retain an Independent voice in the Dáil for Clare following Dr. Harty’s retirement, as will Joseph Wolfe of course.

Harty’s decision for both personal and professional reasons did catch many by surprise. His seat was a target of many other candidates though, so with mounting pressure, and the inability to source a locum to cover the GP practise in Kilmihil, Dr. Harty has decided to focus on the immediate medical needs of his locality over the political needs. It is a principled stance in line with his “No Doctor, No Village” platform from 2016. His voice relaying the concerns of rural communities all over the country had been an important one in the Dáil. It’s a message that a number of his would be replacements are keen to echo. The “No Doctor, No Village” campaign group haven’t yet ruled out running a replacement candidate in Clare, however. The Labour Party do not yet have a candidate in the field, nor, in my opinion, should they. The party hasn’t appealed to Clare voters on any stage since the 2011 General Election and to run in 2020 would simply be a waste of resources. They need to seriously reorganise and rebuild in Clare and some time away from the cut and thrust of elections is paramount in gaining perspective on this task. Similarly, as stated here previously, I do not see any point in the Social Democrats running a candidate in Clare. They won’t feature in the shake up and with 4 year to go until the next local elections, there would be no use in trying to run someone to boost their profile. If a week is a long time in politics, 4 years is an epoch. Relatively no one would remember who their GE candidate was by the time 2024 rolls around. By contrast, Sinn Féin are set to run a candidate, likely to be Donna McGettigan. She looks likely to fill the County Council seat now vacant since the tragic passing of local party stalwart Mike McKee. McGettigan lives in Shannon, even though she ran in Ennis last year, and would be a natural choice to provide continuity to the SF organisation in the county’s second largest town. A General Election run would afford her the ability to bed into the new role and introduce her formally to the

electorate the SF Ard Chomhairle member would represent on the Council. The left wing candidate field also now includes Lisdoonvarna’s Theresa O’Donohoe running on behalf of People Before Profit. She’s best known as a climate change activist and was among the first An Taisce Climate Change Ambassadors appointed in the country 2 years ago. This brings the total number of candidates to 11. So far, the breakdown of these by local electoral area is 2 in each of Shannon and Killaloe and 3 from the Kilrush and Ennistymon areas and just the one, Clarecastle’s Joe Carey, coming from the Ennis LEA. We may yet see one or two independents throw their hat into the ring but at this juncture, it’s not expected that any further big names will announce. With just 3 weeks of a campaign ahead, it is a major task for a new candidate to capture the public’s imagination in such a short timeframe. The geographic spread of candidates will make transfer patterns more interesting come the count. For instance, will the transfers between Conway and Garvey fall more towards geography than ideology? Only time, and what promises to be one of the most intense political battles of this generation, will determine that. The game is afoot and within the next week, expect to see lots of happy faces smiling down on you from telegraphs poles across the county. Best of luck to everyone that does put themselves forward, however. It’s no small task and takes great courage. And please, be courteous to canvassers that may call to your door. They are but volunteers at the end of the day. You might not agree with them but that’s no excuse to roar and bawl at them either. And they certainly aren’t out on cold, dark, wet February evenings for the fun of it either. They’re the real heroes of Irish democracy. Bless them!


2020 Motoring


2020 Motoring MOTORING EXPERT NEIL BRISCOE GIVES HIS VIEWS

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED A CONVENTIONAL FAMILY SALOON? YES, BUT THE SKODA SUPERB IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT TOO…

T

SKODA SUPERB 1.5 TSI SPORTLINE

HERE is an unavoidable conclusion to reach when first you clap eyes on the updated Skoda Superb. That it’s powered by diesel. I mean, it must be, right? It’s a big, comfy, family (and business)-friendly four-door saloon, and ever since 2008, that means diesel, right? Historically, yes, you’d be right. In fact, as many as 90 per cent of Superb sales right now feature diesel power, but this one is a little different. This Sportline-spec Superb actually uses VW Group’s 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol engine. There is no hybrid, no battery assistance, no second turbocharger — just a 1.5 engine hauling around one of the biggest saloons on the market. Too much car for too little engine, perhaps? Once again, prepare to have your expectations subverted. The 1.5 TSI has 150hp and 250Nm of torque, which may not be exactly supercar-like figures, but they’re entirely healthy, and the engine proves sturdy enough to shove the big Skoda around with more than a little enthusiasm. In fact, it’s one of those engine and car combos that seems tailor made for one another. There’s just enough power to have fun, and to enjoy proper performance, but not so much that you feel as if you’re going to get into trouble. Ah, but you’ll be expecting this now to be a tale of ruinous fuel economy and an abiding thirst for unleaded, right? A small petrol engine in a big car inevitably leads to lousy

economy, doesn’t it? Again; expectations, and subversion. Actually, in our hands, the Superb 1.5 TSI managed to return really rather impressive economy figures. Over 2,500km of driving it, we managed to squeeze an average of 6.4-litres per 100km, or 44.1mpg. Better still, on some gently-driven runs, we managed to get some properly diesel-like economy numbers out of it — as good as 5.8-litres per 100km on more than one occasion. There are a couple of nifty tricks that the Superb pulls to reach those sorts of figures. On a light throttle opening, the 1.5 TSI engine actually shuts down two of its cylinders, which helps to save fuel, and in Eco mode, the seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox disengages when it can to allow the car to coast for a few seconds at a time, with the engine in tickover, which helps to save ditto. Combine that with a large fuel tank and you should be able to put better than 1,000km between fuel-ups of this supposedly thirsty Skoda. Remember; this is being done with no recourse to electric assistance nor hybrid power, and that overall economy figure tallies rather nicely with what we achieved in economy terms with a rival Toyota Camry Hybrid not so long ago. For that 90 per cent of Superb buyers who just automatically go for diesel — you may be missing out. You’re certainly missing out when it comes to refinement and smoothness, things that the 1.5 TSI is notably good at. You’ll also save yourself a few Euro. Our Sportline test car clocked in with a slightly stiff on the road price of €41,471 but that compares to the same model with a 150hp diesel TDI engine, retailing at €43,100

when fitted with the same DSG gearbox (and without the few options — nicer alloys, adaptive cruise control, digital instruments fitted to our test car). Sportline standard spec includes LED Matrix headlights (which do a phenomenal job of lighting up the countryside without dazzling oncoming traffic), ambient lighting, a big eight-inch touchscreen, keyless entry (on all doors, now) and ignition, and three-zone climate control. You also get front and rear parking sensors (a godsend in Cork’s tight multi-storey car parks), heated front seats, and some sporty styling add-ons which include an all-black grille and a neat little ‘Gurney Flap’ style carbon-fibre boot lip spoiler. Trying to make a Superb look sporty sounds like a wasted effort, but actually the overall effect is very pleasing. Thankfully, Skoda hasn’t tried to make the Sportline Superb sporty to drive, because that really would have been a waste of time. The whole purpose of this car is that it should comfortably transport you and your loved ones (and loved things) from place to place in comfort and quietness, and this it does with aplomb. That’s not to say it’s a total plank on a twisty road — it’s fine, actually. It has accurate steering, reasonable body control, and a well-mannered chassis, but if you’re looking for fun and driving involvement then you’ll find the steering is too light and the front suspension too soft for the needs of a true enthusiast. Then again, the Superb’s strengths lie elsewhere. Mostly, they lie in its vast size. Rear seat legroom is properly limo-like with stretching-out space for even the tallest passengers. It’s the only car I’ve driven

FACTS & FIGURES Model tested: Skoda Superb 1.5 TSI DSG Sportline Pricing: €41,471 as tested; Superb starts at €30,750 Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive Body style: five-door, five-seat hatchback CO2 emissions: 123g/km (Band B1 €270 per annum) Combined economy: 52.3mpg (5.4 litres/100km) Top speed: 216km/h 0-100km/h: 8.9 seconds Power: 150hp at 5,000rpm Torque: 250Nm at 1,500rpm Boot space: 625-1,760 litres Safety Euro NCAP rating for Skoda Superb: Five-stars: 86 per cent adult; 86 per cent child; 71 per cent pedestrian; 76 per cent safety assist

of late where my kids didn’t complain about going on long runs down to West Cork, so as you can imagine that endeared it to me a great deal. The boot is even better — with 625-litres (!) of loadspace, the Superb made an ideal stand-in for Santa’s sleigh over the festive period, effortlessly hauling suitcases and bags of presents too and from various grandparents’ houses. It’s that youdon’t-have-to-think-about-how-to-pack versatility that makes the Superb a truly great car. Is truly great a little too far? I don’t think so, to be honest. We’ve all become so obsessed with SUVs of late that we’ve forgotten just what a good thing, and what a great all-rounder, a family saloon can be. The Superb proves that point, and then underlines it in bold.


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2020 Motoring NEW NISSAN FACELIFT THE NEW NISSAN MICRA GETS A REVAMP FOR 2020

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HE Nissan Micra has thrown aside the tame image of its predecessor with a sharp and sporty design, and this latest model is able to compete with rivals thanks to its new turbocharged 1.0-litre engine. The Micra is stylish and good to drive, and features loads of kit and safety features. Packed with the essential features like air conditioning, hill start assist, led day time running light and much more makes the Nissan Micra a great car to purchase. The Nissan Micra has taken a dramatic turn in styling the past couple of years towards a car that now looks as good as it drives. Available in several eye catching colours the Micra can be pur-

chased from just €17,345. Highlights as standard include • LED daytime running lights • 60/40 split rear seats with 2 headrests • E S P + A B S + BA + H i l l start assist • Isofix on front and rear seats • Radio with 2 speakers • Manual airconditioning All cars get Bluetooth as standard, as well as automatic emergency braking and a lane departure warning system. Air-con and stop-start tech feature on Visia+ cars, while alloy wheels, smartphone connectivity and a seven-inch touchscreen make an appearance on the mid-range Acenta and above.

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2020 Motoring MOTORING EXPERT NEIL BRISCOE GIVES HIS VIEWS

NISSAN WANTS TO MAXIMISE BATTERY USE AND RE-USE CAR MAKER ISSUES ‘ROADMAP’ TO GREATER SUSTAINABILITY

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Continental Tyres say enforcement of laws is too lax A new penalty point regime for tyre safety came into force in May 2016 – and research examined by Continental Tyres since then shows only 3,260 tyre penalty notices have been issued, an average of just 90 per month. Compare this with nearly 5,000 notices for mobile phone use in just the first two months of 2019 and the safety implications for road users are concerning. Commenting on the figures, Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland, said: “Given the crucial impact on safety that tyre condition can have, it is very concerning to see the low level of enforcement of tyre-related penalty points across the country.” Particularly worrying are the statistics for the number of drivers penalised for having tyres with less than the legal limit of 1.6mm tread depth. Over the three years, a total of 450 drivers have received penalty points for driving on tyres that have less than 1.6mm of tread depth, that is an average of 13 cars per month. Mr. Dennigan continued: “Continental Tyres own studies of tread depth levels consistently show that on average one in six cars on Irish roads are driving on at least one tyre with a tread depth below the minimum legal level of 1.6mm. That would equate to approximately 350,000 cars that are illegally driving on dangerously worn tyres. This is backed up by what we are hearing from our tyre dealer customers around the country.” John Whelan who runs JW Tyres in Carlow town, said: “Day in, day out, we are seeing cars at our depot on seriously damaged or worn tyres below the legal 1.6mm of tread depth. We do our best to explain to the driver how unsafe bald or damaged tyres can be – you don’t know when one will cause a blowout. But sometimes the driver is adamant that they do not want to or can’t afford to replace the tyre. Bottom line is that there are many, many more cars out there on illegal tyres than reflected in the penalty point statistics.” At the other end of the country, Barry Monaghan of Donegal Tyres in Donegal town also commented on the number of dangerous tyres that he sees on cars coming into his depot: “We are also seeing a high number of cars on tyres that would fall foul of the tyre-related penalty points if a Garda checked them. On occasion a driver will ask for a puncture repair on one tyre while two or three of the tyres on the car could be below the 1.6mm legal tread depth and, in spite of us pointing out the danger of driving on such dangerous tyres, in many cases the driver opts to take their chances. Such cars, to me, are ticking time bombs, you don’t know when or where a seriously worn or damaged tyre will fail”. Continental Tyres analysis of the tyre-related penalty point regime was carried out as part of Continental Tyre Group’s commitment to its Vision Zero strategy, a long term initiative to reduce accidents through tyre technologies and innovative automotive systems. Mr. Dennigan concluded: “In common with road safety campaigners across the country, we welcomed the introduction of the tyre safety penalty point regime. However, if the measures are not enforced, we are missing a huge opportunity to improve road safety.”

ISSAN has issued what it’s calling both a ‘white paper’ and a ‘roadmap’ to encourage European governments to increase electric vehicle sales and expand the e-economy. The car maker says that increasing electric vehicle sales and usage is critical if Europe wants to meet is ambition of being c ar b on - n e ut r a l by 2050. It says that its proposals are not merely about increasing the sales of electric vehicles (which, of course, Nissan builds — its Leaf has been one of the best-selling electric cars in the world this year) but also about integrating those vehicles seamlessly with national electric grids, and ensuring that their valuable, expensive-to-make batteries are re-used at the end of the car’s life. Friederike Kienitz, Nissan Europe’s vice president for communications, legal, external & government affairs, said: “To meet the challenges Europe faces we need a fundamental rethink on how mobility and energy policies are designed. While Nissan brought mass battery technology to Europe when it pioneered the Nissan Leaf 10 years ago, it is clear from this paper that this is about more than just Nissan or electric vehicles. There is much work to be done if Europe is to achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and this white paper sets out how to get there at the national, regional and municipal level.” The white paper wants governments to ramp-up purchase incen-

tives for mid-market electric models (again, not coincidentally, precisely the sorts of cars that Nissan builds) as that should increase take-up of electric cars in the mass-market, and with middle class families. Currently, most incentives are a flat-rate across the board, no matter how cheap or expensive the car being purchased is. The paper further wants to see an increase in the use of low-or-zero emissions zones in cities, to encourage people into electric cars, and it wants public authorities, state agencies, and semi-state bodies to be seen to take the lead by expanding their fleets of electric buses, cars and vans. The ESB in Ireland seems to have cottoned onto this already — just this week it announced that it will be adding 70 electric vans to its national vehicle fleet. Interestingly, the paper also calls for ‘integrating policy making between mobility and energy, rather than dealing with both in isolation’ — in other words, recognising at a cabinet level that the electrical energy we produce is, increasingly, going to be used by the vehicles we drive, so that efforts to introduce green and renewable energy sources are going to be ever more important. Nissan in Ireland has been critical recently of what it sees as half-hearted efforts by the Irish Government to push forward the electric car agenda. “We are playing our part to clean up the national car fleet and to support motorists who want to take green action, to drive green miles, to reduce their carbon footprint and to become more sustainable” Nissan Ireland’s chief executive, James McCarthy told The Cork Independent. Mr McCarthy said that Nissan had introduced its own ‘scrappage’ scheme to try and tempt owners of older cars into buying a new electric vehicle because: “The Government failed to use Budget 2020 to deliver a green scrappage scheme to incentivise motorists to switch out of older polluting cars into cleaner, zero emission cars as part of its policy to put one million electric vehicles onto Irish roads by 2030.”


2020 Motoring MOTORING EXPERT NEIL BRISCOE GIVES HIS VIEWS

FORD SHOWS OFF NEW TRANSIT CAMPER

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HE Ford Transit Custom Nugget is officially on sale now (although Irish prices are not yet confirmed) following its public debut at The Motorhome and Caravan Show in

2019. Transit Custom Nugget creates a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices, enabling campers to stream a movie, catch up with work online and keep the kids amused with their favourite TV shows, thanks to the Ford Pass Connect on-board modem providing Wi-Fi availability up to 15 metres. “The connected Transit Custom Nugget enables people to roam and relax while staying in touch with friends, family or work when – or if – they choose,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. The onboard Wi-Fi is good news for a growing tribe of “digital nomads” - those who travel and work online full-time, while the rise of the hashtag #vanlife has reflected the increasing popularity of life on the road. According to the Caravanning Industry Association, a record 125,000 motorcaravans were sold in Europe in 2018, with sales

of the more compact one-tonne campers growing 13 per cent, according to Ford data. Booming sales are forecast to continue well into the next decade. The onboard modem is introduced as part of a package of enhancements to the latest Transit Custom Nugget that improve performance, fuel efficiency and driver comfort. The Nugget’s three-room layout includes a kitchen area separated from the rear seating, which combined with the rear-tilting roof creates a wider space with more headroom. Dual side-opening doors and the ability to walk-through from front to back contribute towards easy access around the airy cabin, which sleeps up to four people. The Transit Custom Nugget is powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. The EcoBlue diesel has been further optimised to deliver fuel efficiency improvements of up to nine per cent, according to Ford engineering data based on a real-world driving cycle. The new Nugget features further advanced driver assistance technologies that include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Aid and Blind Spot Informa-

tion System with Trailer Tow. Active Park Assist helps steer the Transit Custom Nugget into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, while the driver controls acceleration and braking. As before, drivers can access their music on the road using Ford’s available SYNC

3 connectivity and entertainment system. SYNC 3 allows drivers to control audio and navigation functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands. The Ford Transit van has been a popular vehicle for camper conversions since its launch in 1965.

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2020 Motoring MOTORING EXPERT NEIL BRISCOE GIVES HIS VIEWS

TOYOTA SAYS IT WILL DESIGN A CITY OF THE FUTURE ‘WOVEN CITY’ TO BE BUILT IN JAPAN, FULLY POWERED BY HYDROGEN

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OYOTA revealed plans to build a prototype “city” of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Envisioned as a “living laboratory,” the Woven City will serve as a home to fulltime residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment. “Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure. With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology... in both the virtual and the physical realms... maximising its potential,” said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota. This state-of-the-art facility is representative of Toyota’s ‘Built for a Better World’ brand promise, where innovation and technology converge to improve the future of our precious planet. Commenting on the Woven City, Steve Tormey Toyota Ireland CEO said: “The Woven City is an incredible and totally unique opportunity for Toyota and the world at large. Innovation is at the heart of Toyota and the cornerstone of the brand’s DNA and our plans for the Woven City is a real testament of that. By creating a fully connected ecosystem powered through hydrogen fuel cells we are cementing Toyota’s place as being a leader not only in the motoring field but also in additional technologies including robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence. We look forward to the creation of the Woven City and to continue to play our part in creating a better world for our children’s children.” Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come work on their own projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator. “We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” said Toyoda. For the design of Woven City, Toyota has commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His team at BIG have designed many high-profile projects: from 2 World Trade Center in New York and Lego House in Denmark, to Google’s Mountain View and London headquar-

ters. “A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life. With the breadth of technologies and industries that we have been able to access and collaborate with from the Toyota ecosystem of companies, we believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG. The masterplan of the city includes the designations for street usage into three types: for faster vehicles only, for a mix of lower speed, personal mobility and pedestrians, and for a park-like promenade for pedestrians only. These three street types weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomous cars. The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimise the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics. Residences will be equipped with the latest in human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. The homes will use sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively. To move residents through the city, only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries, as well as for changeable mobile retail. Both neighbourhood parks and a large central park for recreation, as well as a central plaza for social gatherings, are designed to bring the community together. Toyota believes that encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience. Toyota plans to populate Woven City with Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. The plan is for 2000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves. The groundbreaking for the site is planned for early 2021.


2020 Motoring IRELANDS TOP SELLING CARS IN 2019 Make

Model

2019 Units

2018 Units

% Change

2019 % Share

2018 % Share

1

TOYOTA

COROLLA

4,406

1,988

121.63

3.76%

1.58%

2

HYUNDAI

TUCSON

3,828

4,026

-4.92

3.27%

3.20%

3

NISSAN

QASHQAI

3,748

3,995

-6.18

3.20%

3.18%

4

VOLKSWAGEN

TIGUAN

3,201

2,875

11.34

2.73%

2.29%

5

SKODA

OCTAVIA

3,199

3,357

-4.71

2.73%

2.67%

6

HYUNDAI

KONA

2,939

1,956

50.26

2.51%

1.56%

7

VOLKSWAGEN

GOLF

2,823

3,760

-24.92

2.41%

2.99%

8

FORD

FOCUS

2,766

3,777

-26.77

2.36%

3.01%

9

TOYOTA

YARIS

2,554

2,855

-10.54

2.18%

2.27%

10

TOYOTA

C-HR

2,509

2,505

0.16

2.14%

1.99%

11

FORD

FIESTA

2,478

2,724

-9.03

2.12%

2.17%

12

NISSAN

MICRA

2,443

2,186

11.76

2.09%

1.74%

13

KIA

SPORTAGE

2,437

2,875

-15.23

2.08%

2.29%

Rank

*statistics courtesy of https://stats.beepbeep.ie/

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Old Mill Road, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. T 065 684 9961 | M 086 839 6182 | E service@mcenery.ie www.charliemcenery.com


2020 Motoring MOTORING EXPERT NEIL BRISCOE GIVES HIS VIEWS

NEW CAPTUR

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ENAULT’S new Captur wants to claim a pretty big prize for itself. Once, when it was first introduced in 2013, it was the best selling small crossover in the country. That was quite the boast, but perhaps a less impressive one when you realise that, as one of the first small SUVs to be introduced to the Irish market, you could count its competition on the fingers of one hand. Today, in 2020, the situation is rather different. If it wants the top spot, the Captur is going to have to elbow aside not a mere handful of competitors, but so many that if you count them on both your fingers and your toes, you’ll run out of digits before you get to the end. The small crossover market has simply exploded in the past few years, and shows no signs of slowing down. To reach the top once again, Renault has played a very, very safe game indeed. We mean that in a couple of ways, but the most obvious one is styling. The new Captur looks very much like the old one, in a manner that is clearly intended to create some customer loyalty. At the front, you can tell them apart

only by arcane knowledge of Renault headlights — the new Captur has full LED lighting at the front, and the c-shaped daytime running lights are now incorporated into the main units, rather than despatched down to the bottom of the bumper, as used to be the case.

In profile, the two cars are almost indistinguishable, aside from the fact that this new Captur is some 110mm longer than before. At the back you’ll find the clearest distinction — the new Captur has ultra-slim, wraparound, c-shaped brake lights

that are very distinctive, and which give the rear end of the car a touch more class than once it had. If it’s class you’re looking for, though, you’d best look inside. Until very recently, we had become rather wearily used to Renault interiors looking a little dark, and more than a little cheap, and that was most definitely a shortcoming (one that Renault now acknowledges) of the old Captur. The new Captur’s cabin could not be more different. It’s lifted more or less directly from the new Clio and that is no bad thing — quality levels are exceptionally high, arguably up to direct comparison with the likes of Volkswagen and Seat, and that is simply not a thing you could have said of the old Captur. In fact, I’d say this new Captur’s cabin actually steps ahead of that of the Volkswagen T-Cross, so slick is its interior. OK, so it’s worth pointing out that our test car was a top-spec S-Edition Captur, so it came with all of the shiny bits included. That means it had a the biggest 9.3inch, portrait-style, touchscreen in the centre of the

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SUV Range Fuel Consumption l/100km (max-min): combined 9.5–4.9. CO2 emissions g/km (max-min): 214-129. Increased weight of a vehicle, such as the addition of optional extras may have an effect on the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions produced. Typical Finance Example: Arona 1.0TSI 115HP SE ROTRP €22,940. Deposit / Part Exchange €6,856.58. 36 monthly payments of €209. Optional Final Payment €9,541.70. Total hire purchase price €24,072.28 Total Cost of Credit €1,132.28 including Acceptance (€75) and Completion Fee (€75). APR 2.9% Fixed. No minimum deposit required. Subject to lending criteria. This offer is made under a hire purchase agreement. SEAT Finance is a trading style of Volkswagen Bank GmbH Branch Ireland, authorised by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Discount Voucher must be presented to the SEAT dealer up front. Service Plans at a discounted rate of €399, full price €599. 0% PCP Finance is available across the Tarraco, Arona and Ateca Xcellence and FR models only. Discount Voucher, 0% PCP Finance & reduced price Service Plans are all compatible offers. Offers are for retail customers only. Offers are only available on retail orders taken between 01/01/2020and 31/01/2020. Car must be registered by 30/04/2020. Discount Voucher is only available to retail customers. Discounts per model are as stated in the voucher above. Recipient must present voucher to SEAT retailer up front. Voucher offer is available on retail orders taken between 01/01/2020 and 31/01/2020. Car must be registered by 30/04/2020. SEAT-201-JamesBarry-260x157.indd 1

14/01/2020 14:36


2020 Motoring MOTORING EXPERT NEIL BRISCOE GIVES HIS VIEWS

AIMS BIG dash, as well as the biggest ten-inch digital instrument pack, plus leather everything. So clearly, this is the Captur’s cabin putting its best foot forward. Mind you, we had a chance to poke around in a basic-spec version too, and while it makes do with old-fashioned analogue dials and a much smaller seven-inch touchscreen, it’s still a pretty decent cabin, and still feels well-made. It’s roomy, too. Renault has scraped out an extra 17mm of rear legroom, which upgrades the Captur’s rear seat accommodation from adequate to decent. There’s better news in the boot. The minimum boot space on offer is a decent 422-litres, but if you slide that back seat forward (it’s on a 160mm runner) you can expand that to a very healthy 536-litre boot, bigger than what you’d find in the back of a posh Audi A4 Avant. The thing is, that makes the Captur large enough on the inside to potentially be able to poach sales from the Megane hatchback. While there will always be those who would prefer the more conventional charms of the

Megane, many motor industry insiders are now admitting that the market for family hatchbacks (with a new notable exceptions) is collapsing, as buyers increasingly rush to small crossovers such as these. Will the Captur out-sell the Megane in 2020? It’s quite likely. Engine-wise, so far we’ve only been able to test the 130hp version of the 1.3 TCe petrol engine, and while it’s a decent unit, we can see why it won’t be the best-selling version of the Captur (mostly because it’ll be pricey to buy). The big seller will actually be the 95hp 1.5 dCi diesel (yes, diesel!) but we reckon that the 100hp version of the peppy 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TCe petrol engine will actually be the best version of the Captur, and well suited to the car’s languid, agreeable handling balance. Sales in Ireland will start in February, and prices should kick off from around €22,000. Will buyers flock to the new Captur? Undoubtedly, and with that impressive new cabin, they’ll be getting a much, much better car than the old one.

FACTS & FIGURES Model tested: Renault Captur 1.3 TCe 130 S-Edition Pricing: TBA as tested; Captur starts at €21,995 (approx) Engine: 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive Body style: five-door compact crossover CO2 emissions: 127g/km (Band B1 - €270 per annum) Combined economy: 44.1mpg (6.4 litres/100km) Top speed: 202km/h 0-100km/h: 10.6 seconds Power: 130hp at 5,000rpm Torque: 240Nm at 1,600rpm Boot space: 536-1,334 litres Safety: Euro NCAP rating for Renault Captur not yet tested

VOLVO XC40 NOW AVAILABLE IN PLUG-IN HYBRID WITH ONE YEAR OF FREE ELECTRICITY* At Volvo, we know every journey counts. Our award-winning compact SUV is now available in plug-in hybrid. With lower CO² emissions, it means that every journey you make counts even more. That’s why we are offering one year of free electricity with every Volvo XC40 Plug-In Hybrid.* So you can move freely, safely and more sustainably. For a better future, for the world we share. CONTACT LYONS OF LIMERICK TO ARRANGE A TEST DRIVE.

Offer applies to all Volvo XC40 Plug-In Hybrid orders placed from 16th of October 2019 to 16th of March 2020. Terms and conditions apply. Model is shown for illustrative purposes only. Official WLTP Fuel consumption for the Volvo Range in l/100km: Combined 1.7 – 7.5 CO 2 emissions 39 – 195g/km. All new Volvo cars come with a 3-year warranty and 3 years’ roadside assistance (standard with Volvo on Call). Visit Volvocars.ie for terms and conditions.

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36 BUSINESS

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

BUSINESS

CONTACT US WE’RE ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM #CE

Tierney’s tops ISO security standards ENNIS based Tierney's Office Automation Ltd have attained ISO standard which its founder maintained recognises its "high security standards", writes Paraic McMahon. A provider of IT solutions within the hospitality and SME sector across Ireland and the UK, Tierney's Office Automation Ltd was established in 1993. This standard indicates that Tierney's has proved to an independent third-party that it has developed and implemented a best in class information security management system (ISMS) to include IT Managed Services, IT Se-

curity, Cloud Services and Hospitality Solutions to its clients from its offices in Ennis including remote staff in Ireland and the UK. Extensive preparation, evaluation and documentation of processes across all company departments is a requirement to become ISO certified. Managing Director, Andy Tierney explained to The Clare Echo, "As a provider of computer management and IT solutions that are delivered as service (SaaS), this certification is an important demonstration of our commitment to the highest standards of internal security,

not only does the ISO certification recognise our high security standards, but it lets our customers, partners and prospects know that we take the protection of their data extremely seriously and brings a further peace of mind to their organisations operation. "We are very proud that our high standards of Information security management have been recognised and rewarded with ISO 27001:2013 certification and it will remain an ongoing process that requires dayto-day commitment and expertise from the entire Tierney's team".

Falls Hotel pioneers in hydro power STUART HOLLY

T

editor@clareecho.ie

HE Falls Hotel and Spa in Ennistymon has become the first and only hotel in the country to generate power from its own hydroelectricity plant. Originally owned and operated by Dan McCarthy and now run by his sons Michael and John, the popular venue is reaping the benefits of a large-scale hydro turbine project that took two years to complete and which harnesses energy from the adjacent River Inagh to create a sustainable power source that will serve the hotel for many years to come. Falls General Manager Michael McCarthy said: “We’re so excited to be able to share this good news story with the world and are incredibly proud that our efforts are showing such positive results”. The family run property has reduced its electricity consumption by 830,000 kWh in the 12 months since the turbine was commissioned. This counteracts the emission of an estimated 550 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of offsetting three return trips, by car, to the moon. The landmark project kicked off in 2016

and reached completion in late 2018. The water turbine has been powering the hotel ever since and in the 12 months since it was first activated in its new-and-improved state, it has assisted the property hugely in significantly lessening its reliance on carbon fuels and subsequently reducing its carbon footprint. Located in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, the 140-bedroom hotel prides itself on being an actively eco-friendly property, with many initiatives in place to support and promote sustainability and a green ethos. The property boasts numerous wildflower areas, which provide integral pollination for the occupants of the two beehives that are located on site. The team are also proud members of the Burren Ecotourism Network, which focuses on promoting responsible tourism for the nearby Cliffs of Moher and Burren UNESCO Geopark. They also adopt green initiatives in-house to benefit guests and the environment, with a ban on the use of plastic straws and cups, chemical-free cleaning products in use throughout the hotel, and an electric car charging point available for guests’ use. Michael continued: “Our location in one of the most scenic, unspoiled parts of the country has certainly made an impact on our operational policies, as we are keen to do everything in our power to preserve the natural beauty for generations to come.”

Want to join a great team? We’re looking for an experienced Chef & a Kitchen Porter to join us here in Henry’s Email or call in with your C.V. phone: 065 6899393 email: info@henrysbistroandwinebar.ie website: www.henrysbistroanswinebar.ie location: Market street, Ennis

l TOWER POWER: Pictured inside The Falls Hotel & Spa’s water tower is Isabella (8), Sophia (6) and Daniel McCarthy (4), with Michael and John McCarthy Photo by Arthur Ellis


BUSINESS 37

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

BUSINESS

CONTACT US WE’RE ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM #CE

Four per cent rise in Enterprise Ireland supported jobs in Clare

STUART HOLLY

E

editor@clareecho.ie

NTERPRISE Ireland, the Government agency responsible for developing Irish business globally has reported an increase of over four percent in the number of Clare based jobs created by Enterprise Ireland supported companies in 2019. Clare now has 4,325 people employed in companies supported by the agency. Welcoming the results, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD (inset) said, “The net increase in 2019 of almost 180 jobs by Enterprise Ireland supported companies reflects the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the economic success we have achieved in recent years is enjoyed by all regions. “It is telling that almost two-thirds of jobs created by Enterprise Ireland supported companies are outside Dublin.”

Minister Breen added, “The strong performance of Clare-based companies in the past twelve months reflects the ability and ambition of our local exporters to trade internationally and compete at a global level. “In doing so, they make an enormous contribution to the local economy which helps to support regional development and prosperity. “Enterprise Ireland has been hugely supportive of Clare enterprise over many years and I would encourage all ambitious businesses in the county to check out the fantastic suite of supports that they offer.” In terms of the future, Minister Breen said: “Generating growth in the number of sustainable regional jobs is a core

part of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland framework and our focus remains on encouraging Irish businesses to embrace innovation with an aim of creating an even greater rate of regional employment.” Enterprise Ireland Regional Director in the Mid-West, Jerry Moloney added, “This growth in local employment by Enterprise Ireland backed companies is positive news and supports our continuing work in attracting investment in the range of industries performing well in the county. “Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund, the Technology Clustering Fund and Research and Development funding for businesses are essential in boosting the creation of jobs and subsequent investment in the locality. “Regional development is a strategic priority for Enterprise Ireland and while the next twelve months may be worrying for some businesses, our message is clear, our team is on hand to support their business and enhance their growth.”

Kilrush set to launch new tourism strategy

A NEW Tourism Strategy and Development Plan set to grow visitor numbers to the waterside heritage town of Kilrush will be launched next Monday January 20th at 6pm at the Digital Hub in the Market Square, Kilrush. The town is strategically located on the Wild Atlantic Way and this new tourism plan has been developed to build on the town’s maritime history and heritage town status. Kilrush has enjoyed significant growth in tourist numbers in recent years, through the development of its many visitor attractions. The picturesque market town benefits from a range of natural assets like the Vandeleur

Walled Gardens and Scattery Island Tours and Visitor Centre and facilities like Kilrush Marina. The addition of the West Coast Aqua Park in 2019 has offered an additional draw for visitors. Funding was announced in 2019 for the further development of the Vandeleur Walled Gardens in addition to a heritage-led regeneration project for the development of the Terret Lodge as a genealogy and exhibition space. The development of the Tourism Strategy forms part of plans developed under the Market Town Initiative funded by LEADER and Clare Local Development Company. Commenting on the plan, CEO of CLDC Doreen Graham said, “The Board of CLDC

l PICTURE PERFECT: A stunning aerial view of Kilrush

are delighted with the progress by the Kilrush Town Team and in particular the energy they have brought to the tourism development of this West Clare market town. CLDC are delighted to support both the overall development plan for Kilrush and the tourism development plan through LEADER funds and look forward to continuing to support Charlie and his team in further projects over the coming months.” The town has ambitions of becoming Ireland’s most sustainable town following the roll out the its Sustainability Plan which was developed by Kilrush Tidy Towns committee last year. This will feed into the tourism strategy for the town in the coming years as

tourists become more sustainability-conscious. Tourism Lead with Kilrush Town Team, Irene Hamilton said “Tourism presents a fantastic opportunity to deliver positive economic and sustainable growth within the town and we’ve been delighted to work with Tourism Consultant Katherine Webster on this plan.” The launch of the strategy is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. Kilrush is also due to launch a new town brand and website, www.kilrush.ie in the coming months. Once live, the Tourism Development Strategy will be publicly available online.


Local Enterprise Office Clare Schedule of Training & Workshops

On


Grants Available for Qualifying Businesses


Property

Beautiful homes all over the County

OPEN VIEWING SATURDAY 11.30 AM - 12 NOON, 18TH JANUARY 2020.

31 THE PARK, QUIN, CO. CLARE

T

MONANOE, QUIN, ENNIS, CO. CLARE

â‚Ź165,000

his fine four bedroomed home is ideally located in the heart of the popular village of Quin. 31 The Park, is a corner end of terrace home within a few yards of the local amenities. The park enjoys a lovely, large open space surrounded by the river. Accommodation on the ground floor of No.31 comprises entrance hall, open plan kitchen/ dining with french doors to the rear garden and double doors to a spacious living room. The accommodation is completed on the first floor with 4 bedrooms and a family bathroom. Contact: Helen Gallery, 68 Parnell Street, Ennis. Tel: 065 6829481 & 086 250 4671 PSL 002433

M

â‚Ź300,000

ONANOE, Quin – Detached Bungalow with large storage shed (105sq.m.) Monanoe is ideally located on an elevated landscaped site on the Quin Road within a five minute drive of Ennis, Quin and the M17 & M18. The home itself offers bright spacious, modern, family accommodation with top class finishes throughout. The property has a large storage shed and a separate garage and subject to the necessary planning permission being granted this could be an ideal premises for those wishing to work from home. The property backs onto St Josephs Doora Barefield GAA grounds and also has a tennis court in the back garden area.

OPEN VIEWING SATURDAY 12.30PM TO 1.00PM. 18TH JANUARY 2020.

39 LISSANISKA, CLAUREEN, ENNIS, CO. CLARE

H

â‚Ź170,000

ELEN Gallery Auctioneers and Valuers are delighted to bring 39 Lissaniska to the market. Lissaniska is ideally located just off the Lahinch Road. The development is within minutes drive of the M17 & M18 and very close to the recreational park at Lees Road. No. 39 is a bright, spacious, modern three bedroomed home ideally located in the development overlooking a large green open area and the river to the front and is not overlooked to the rear.

Contact: Helen Gallery, 68 Parnell Street, Ennis. Tel: 065 6829481 & 086 250 4671 PSL 002433

Contact: Helen Gallery, 68 Parnell Street, Ennis. Tel: 065 6829481 & 086 250 4671 PSL 002433

FORT VIEW



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the final phase of these homes in Creggaun na Hilla in Clarecastle.

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Price: â‚Ź232,500 113.5 sq.m (1,220 sq.ft.)

stunning open countryside views. ď Ź Similar Homes now released in Ballymacaula View, Cahercalla, Ennis, Co Clare.

68 Parnell Street, Ennis, Co Clare


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KILKEE

CLARECASTLE

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MILTOWN MALBAY

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RUAN

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BAREFIELD

9 MOYARD, LAHINCH ROAD

20 THE LINKS

26 ABHAINN SLEIBHE

3 MARINE PARADE

FREAGH VALLEN

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GLENCREE HOUSE

18 VICTORIA COURT

68 CREGAUN, TOBARTEASCAIN

COLLEGE ROAD

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89 THE HAWTHORNS, LIMERICK ROAD

FERNHILL

STONEPARK, BALLYALLA,

THINKING OF SELLING THIS YEAR? CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE MARKET APPRAISAL T: 065 686 7866 PSRA No. 001212

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EchoSport

Shannon Hibs knocked out of FAI Cup FAI CUP LAST 64 Tolka Rovers 3 Shannon Hibs 1 Venue: Riverside Park, Shannon

DESPITE having home advantage, Shannon Hibs were the underdogs in this tie. Tolka did possess the more balanced outfit but nonetheless the first half sending off of Mikey Wall was detrimental to the hosts’ cause, the absence of the eleventh man was particularly felt in the second half when the bodies were beginning to tire. Reaching the fifth round of the national competition is a feat that was not expected of Shannon Hibs and one they are rightly proud of. Such an occasion brought with it a degree of nerves as was evident by their patchy start and early efforts. One such mistake saw right full-back Jamie Egan clumsily clip Joseph McDonnell with Mark Rellis having little choice but to award a penalty. McDonnell powered his shot to the right hand side of the goal with Damien Casey going the other way giving the visitors the lead with six minutes on the clock. They soon settled and were almost on level terms eight minutes later. A cross from Nathan Walsh fell to the feet of Darragh Leahy who would have struck the net only for a vital deflection off Eamonn Moylan. Leahy had a tame shot with his next attempt but it proved to be third time lucky as he banged home the equaliser on 24 minutes. Jack Kelly was denied by Callum Atkinson but he managed to force a second rebound for which Leahy rose highest to header home.

Tensions rose after a Nathan Walsh cross was fetched in the air by Atkinson, the drama out the field resulting in Mikey Wall being sent for an early shower and Shannon Hibs reduced to ten men on 32 minutes.For the remainder of the half it was all Tolka Rovers with the Finglas side controlling possession as their opponents tried to regain their focus. Casey was on alert to make four saves, some far more easier than others in the final five minutes of the half to leave the teams level at one goal apiece at the break. Gary Leahy came close to putting Hibs ahead on the restart while a Liam Delaney effort sailed over the crossbar. Arguably their best chance to sneak a goal fell to Egan on sixty two minutes who failed to pull the trigger despite two chances of doing so. No such mistake was made at the other end two minutes later with substitute Conor McCarthy left with only Damien Casey to beat and he duly obliged by passing the ball to the net and putting Tolka back in front. Hibs let another vital opportunity go abegging with Nathan Walsh trying to turn the ball onto his left foot instead of having a cut off his right when Dion Khetan teed him up with time running out. McDonnell made it 3-1 on 79 minutes only for the officials to correctly pull the striker for being offside. The resulting Hibs clearance was lost allowing Tolka to put together a move which saw McCarthy put the ball to Owen Humphrey who ricocheted it to the roof of the net, sealing their place in the last

32 of the competition. More will be needed from the Dublin team if they are to progress further in the FAI Junior Cup. Tolka’s second string did enough to progress which was their objective when making the journey to Clare but for the amount of possession they had in patches they didn’t maximise their return. Eamonn Moylan, Owen Humphrey, Dean Brady and Conor McCarthy when introduced impressed for the winners. Currently mid-table in the Premier Division, this Cup l CELEBRATIONS: Darragh Leahy gave the Shannon side hope run brought plenty of excitement to Shan- when he scored the equaliser on 24 minutes Photo by Joe Buckley non Hibs. Tracking minder Damien Casey did well given the back and general work rate seems to be amount of traffic down his way. one reason why Hibs are not further up in Shannon Hibernians: Damien Casey; Jamie the Clare League. Dion Khetan and Jamie Egan, Darragh Leahy, Alex Cole, Pa Devanney; O’Shea contributed well when brought on Mikey Wall; Liam Delaney, Andy Fitzgerald, Jack and may have added more if they were put Kelly, Nathan Walsh; Gary Leahy. Subs: Dion Khetan for Delaney (67), Jamie on the field sooner. Elsewhere, Jack Kelly got for Egan (75), Jimmy Houlihan for Fitzthrough trojan work in midfield with Alex O’Shea gerald (82). Cole putting in a solid game at defence, netReferee: Mark Rellis

Kelly’s header keeps Newmarket Celtic on top

SOCCER

Newmarket Celtic 1 Shannon Town 0 Venue: Lynch Park, Shannon

N

EWMARKET Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division with Alan Kelly’s second half goal the difference in a tame Sunday morning affair, writes Páraic McMahon. Brothers were in opposite camps as the allegiance of the O’Connell family from Shannon was split. Gary lined out in midfield for Shannon Town with Daithí up front for Newmarket Celtic. In truth, it is more likely that any disputes had between them and their brother Brian growing up were more rowdy than this encounter which lacked some bite that had accompanied their recent clashes. Shannon Town were the more dominant side in the opening half but failed to put together enough shots, any of those that went on target didn’t test Shane Cusack. Coming up against the league leaders, it was these opportunities that fell their way that needed to be capitalised on if they were to collect the three points. On thirty four minutes, Newmarket had their best chance when a diving save from Darren Whelan was needed to prevent Callum McNamara’s effort from hitting the net. Moments before the half-time whistle sounded, Whelan found himself needlessly picking up a yellow card for mouthing at

the referee. Early efforts from Brian Monaghan and Kieran Hackett missed the target as Shannon Town started the second half in search of a goal. However a corner earned through the hard work of Daithí O’Connell was swung in by Ronan McCormack and met the head of Alan Kelly at the front post to see Celtic nudge in front on forty nine minutes. Set pieces from McCormack showed Celtic at their most threatening with centre-half Paddy Purcell coming close to doubling their lead less than ten minutes after Kelly’s goal. Although substitutes Rob Wall and Chris Dunning found themselves picking up yellow cards, Shannon Town’s focus was getting stronger as the game wore on. Without question, they finished the contest the better of the two teams. Crucially despite having three decent chances in the five minutes of additional time, they failed to rattle the net. Cusack was called on to fetch two crosses from the air while Daniel Kotsulyak’s shot was inches above the crossbar. Fortunately for the visitors, the final whistle sounded after the teenager’s attempt to extend their gap to two points at the top of the Premier Division. Being their first outing of the year, a flat display is excusable from both clubs as they go about dusting off the cobwebs. Although they got away with it today, such an exhibition from Celtic in the Munster Junior Cup later this month will not suffice. For a finish, they were lucky to come out with three points but the key difference being that Newmarket

raided for goal when the chance arose. Though the youngest player in their lineup, Callum McNamara was the most industrious with Stephen Kelly a reliable anchor in defence. Sixth place is Shannon Town’s current league standing, with some extra games to be played they can easily climb the ranks but their present bottom half position offers some time for them to reflect. At times they got caught out in defence offering up chances for their opponents but more worryingly was a lack of spirit in their showing. Steve Carroll and Jack Carrig did well over ninety minutes, further up the field they didn’t have standout performers which tells its own story. Also on Sunday, Sporting Ennistymon recorded a 4-1 win over Shannon Olympic in Lahinch with Avenue Utd collecting a 4-2 against Kilrush Rangers to stay two points adrift of Celtic. Newmarket Celtic: Shane Cusack; David O’Grady, Paddy Purcell, Stephen Kelly, Eoin O’Brien; Alan Kelly; Callum McNamara; Ian Collins, Ronan McCormack, Kieran Mahony; Daithí O’Connell. Subs: Eoin Hayes for Mahony (64), Cathal Hayes for McCormack (75). Shannon Town: Darren Whelan; Steve Carroll, Aidan Leahy, Nathaniel Nyakujana, Jack Carrig; Evan Glynn; Brian O’Connor, Gary O’Connell, Brian Monaghan; Colin Scanlan, Kieran Hackett. Subs: Robert Wall for Glynn (68), Chris Dunning for O’Connor (74), Daniel Kotsulyak for Monaghan (84). Referee: Shane Hayes


SPORT

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

43

LAHINCH & TULLA SUCCESS IN GALWAY TWO Clare dogs had reason to celebrate at Galway Greyhound Stadium on Saturday night. Fresh from their victory over Connacht in the Champions Cup, Toulouse supporters that gathered in the Greyhound Stadium were in fine form as they soaked up the exciting racing. Lahinch’s Siobhan Garrahy was quite content following the concluding A2 graded contest which saw Cloneyogan Dazl take the spoils. Cloneyogan Dazl ,Pat Helpmeout and Gunner Robin were all prominent approaching the opening bend and as the field turned down the back straight Gunner Robin just about struck the front on the wide outside. Approaching the penultimate bend Gunner Robin led Cloneyogan Dazl by two lengths with Palmtree Star in third place but off the home

bend the Clare dog came through to strike the front and defeat the dead-heating pair Gunner Robin and Palmtree Star by a length and three parts in 29.64. Having found trouble in both his outings thus far the Madeline Walsh owned Doorus Jet made no mistake in race six at the third time of asking. Trained by Donal Duggan from Tulla, he proved five and a quarter lengths too good for Allgoodthings in 29.27. In the early strides Beslow Alaska led on the run towards the opening bend from Allgoodthings and Baylin Tiger. Turning down the back Beslow Alaska and Allgoodthings kicked three lengths clear but passing halfway the winner began to find his stride and sweeping through along the inner leaving the back straight Doorus Jet drew right away for an impressive success.

DESERVED NIGHT OUT: Jack Sheedy, Shannon McCormack, Alan Sweeney, Conor Shannon & Corina McMahon at the St Breckans GAA Victory Social and medal presentation from the Doolin Hotel on Friday Photo by Willie O’Reilly

Find your optimum grip pressure...

I

T IS amazing how much of an important role grip pressure plays in the golf swing. Simply gripping a golf club with a tighter or lighter pressure, changes so many aspects of the golf swing, therefore understanding the best pressure that will optimise your golf swing is hugely important. Grip pressure can also vary with different shots you’re trying to play. If I’m trying to hit a draw or achieve a higher ball flight I will lighten the pressure I use, where as if I want to achieve a fade shape or a lower flight I tend to grip the club slightly firmer. A firm grip pressure delays the releasing of the clubhead, where as a lighter pressure releases the clubhead earlier in the downswing. A common theme I’m seeing with a lot of my clients is most of them are gripping their clubs too tight. Gripping the club too tight generally causes the golfer to lunge their body forward early towards the golf ball on the downswing, rather than just rotating the body. If you grip something tight it is like when you clinch your fist, your forearms tighten and this stiffness continues towards your chest. Basically your body isn’t relaxed, it is uptight and tense and it is impossible to now swing a golf club correctly in a relaxed free flowing movement. Therefore understanding the importance of grip pressure is vital to optimise your golf swing. You can’t achieve a free flowing swing if you begin by gripping the club tightly. I also hear from clients that their grip pressure changes throughout the swing and tightens as they strike the ball. Keeping the same relaxed pressure throughout the swing is important to achieve a consistent rhythm. Try relaxing your own grip and focus on freely swinging the club towards your target with no tension. The only point of contact you have with the club is with your hands, therefore having the optimum pressure is vital to achieve freedom in your swing and to optimise your clubhead speed.

Start paying attention to your own grip pressure and don’t be afraid to experiment with it and see if you can improve your rhythm by changing it. Sometimes it is the basic things that can make all the difference in improving your timing and rhythm. Using the correct size grips to suit the size of your hands is also crucial to allow you to grip the club with the right pressure. Make sure the grip size you are currently using is the right size and they suit the size of your hands, in order to help you to achieve a golf swing that helps you to maximize your golfing ability. A drill you can do to help you to achieve the right grip pressure is to hold a club straight out in front of you, pointing the club straight ahead with the shaft parallel to the ground, as seen in the image. Then try make small circular movements with the clubhead about the size of the circle seen in this attached image. If you are gripping the club too tight you will notice you are struggling to make small circular movements. Alter your grip pressure until you can achieve the right size circular movements and once you find it pay attention to this pressure. This is also the pressure that will help you to achieve a nice free flowing golf swing with no stress or tension.

PGA Golf Professional

#PadraigKnowsGolf

Padraig McGrath

GOLF ANALYSIS

The Scorecard in association with

EAST CLARE GOLF CLUB Friday Scramble 1st Terry Coughlan,Mary Farrell, Willie Hayes 2nd Noreen Skehan, Willie Roche, Pat McNamara, Siobhan Shanahan 3rd Martin Quinn,Breda Reid, Steve Symes

Jan 8 Senior Ladies Scramble 1 Agnes Shannon, Margaret Clancy, Imy Kerrigan, L Maher 39.08 2 Marie Bartlett Loretta Browne, Rebecca Brew, Margaret Hehir 39.25 3 Clair Pyne, Ann McMahon, Freda Moran 49.08

ENNIS GOLF CLUB Gent’s 4 Ball B/B(9/10hdc) 14 Holes Sun. 12th January 2020 1st Ml Kearney(8) & Fergus O’ Brien(16) 38pts 2nd Liam Pyne(6) & Eamonn Kelly(21) 37pts 3rd Seamus Mann(20) & John Mc Carthy(17) 35pts 4th David Rushe(13) & Adrian Rushe(14) 35pts 5th Ken Morrissey(13) & Fintan Mc Evoy(21) 34pts

SPANISH POINT GOLF CLUB 14th January - Ladies Weekly Singles 13-Hole S/F 1st Carol Akroyd 24 pts 2nd Valerie Shannon 22 pts 3rd Yvonne O’Keeffe 22 pts

KILRUSH GOLF CLUB Jan 6 / Jan 12 KGC Men’s Singles Weekly Singles Mon 6 / Sun 12 1 John McGrath (13) 30 2 PW Glynn (32) 28 Back 6 3 John Saunders (13) 28 Back 9

9th January - Actively Aging Group 13-Hole Scramble Winners David Eastham, Pat Cooke, Geraldine Reddan and Kathleen Haugh 2nd Les Seal, Len Wilson, Berna Eastham and Michael Waters 3rd John O Brien, Michael O Connor, Karen White and John Daly 7th January - Seniors’ Open Singles 18-Hole S/F 1st Dermot Hammond 35 pts 2nd Pat Lorigan 30 pts 3rd Paul Moloney 27 pts


Classifieds 44 CLASSIFIEDS

ACCOUNTANCY

CAR REPAIRS

CHIMNEY REPAIRS

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

CONTACT SALES

065 671 9021 sales@clareecho.ie

PAINTING

FRESH LooK PAINTING DECORATING

085 110 2001

- Indoor and exterior Fully insured - high quality only - spraying and traditional painting

Residential & Commercial

www.freshlookpaintinglandscaping.com

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PLANNING 45

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

PLANNING CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL KILLARD/ CAHERLEAN, DOONBEG CO. CLARE

Take notice that M & A Haugh of Doonbeg Holiday Cottages, intend to apply to the Planning Authority for retention permission/permission for the following: 1. To retain re-located games room, semi-detached structure containing 2 holiday homes with part basement store, plus 1 No. detached holiday home, and 2. For permission to upgrade and extend existing sewer system to service same, plus all ancillary site works at the above address. The Planning Application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority, Clare County Council, Aras Contae and Chlair, New Road,

Ennis, Co. Clare during its public opening hours and that a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission.

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL CAHILLY, LISCANNOR, CO. CLARE

Take notice that Paul Conway Architects, Knockbrack, Ennistymon intend to apply to the Planning Authority of Clare County Council on behalf of Debbie Kelly for planning permission for development at Cahilly, Liscannor, Co Clare. The development will consist

RUBBISH REMOVAL

of changes to the approved Planning Permission P15385, being the deletion of the approved front extension, relocation of approved chimney and reconfiguration of approved windows, with alterations to site works and services. That the planning application may be inspected, or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours and that a submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application

National School, intends to apply to Clare County Council for Planning Permission to demolish existing boiler house and learning support room and to construct a single classroom extension to include the provision of a new sewage treatment system and decommissioning of existing septic tank with all necessary ancillary works at the above address. The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the Planning Authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed CLARE COUNTY fee, â‚Ź20, within the period COUNCIL of five weeks beginning on BOSTON, the date of receipt by the TUBBER, authority of the application CO. CLARE. and such submissions Take note that the Board or observations will be of Management of Boston considered by the planning

SITUATIONS VACANT Person required to work with horses. Previous experience required. Newmarket-on-Fergus area. Telephone 087 8100045

STORAGE

authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning Authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission.

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL KNOCK TLD, KNOCK, KILRUSH

Take notice that P & N O’Malley, intend to apply to the Planning Authority for permission to construct agricultural slatted unit, plus machinery/storage shed, silage slab, concrete yard plus all ancillary site works at the above address. The Planning Application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority, Clare County Council, Aras Contae and Chlair, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare during its public opening hours and that a submission or

CONTACT SALES

065 671 9021 sales@clareecho.ie

observation in relation to the application may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions or may refuse to grant permission.

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL LIOS ARD, DRUMQUIN, TEERMACLANE, ENNIS, CO. CLARE.

Take notice that Pat Keane & Meave Plunkett intend to apply to Clare County Council for full permission to retain and complete dwelling house as constructed to date and construct garage. Connect to existing proprietary waste water treatment system. Connect to Lissycasey Group Water Scheme and public services and carry out all ancillary

site works at the above address. The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy at the offices of the Planning Authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made to the Authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Authority of the application.


› Word › Best Daily Word Se… (http://puzzles.bestforpuzzles.com/category/word/)

Game (http://puzzles.bestforpuzzles.com)

46 PUZZLEPAGE

LEARN MOREJAN 16 2020 THURSDAY,

Best Daily Word Search

THIS WEEKS PUZZLES JAN 16 Best Daily Word Search: 9 January 2020

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The Clare Echo Crossword ACROSS                       1 Jason’s ship (4) 3 Begin (8)               JAN 9 Lingered (7) 10 Homer Simpson’s                         wife (5) 11 Fracture (5)         9  January: C-   Solve  (/games/best-daily-word-search/? 12 Very dirty (6) now puzzleDate=20200109) C                      14 Conan Doyle’s detective (6)           16 Threefold (6) More Puzzles . Cadillac () 19 Saw eye to eye (6)                         21 Make sure (5) . Cambric () 24 Tarka, for example  . Catholic   ()       (5) . Caustic     ()                   25 Get better (7) 26 Shortened (8) . Celtic ()              27 Colouring substancC i () es (4)                        

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QUIZ 47

THURSDAY, JAN 16 2020

The Clare Echo Quiz

2

The first farmers practiced crop cultivation in which age? a. Mesolithic b. Neolithic c. Stone Age

3

Field systems emerged on Clare farms in from which century onwards? a. 14th and 15thc b. 16th and 17thc c. 18th and 19thc

What ancient farming apparatus 4 is located at Caherconnel? a. Stone Fort b. Well c. Castle

How many ringforts are located in 5 Ireland? a. 30,000 b. 45,000 c. 65,000

Over 226 _______ have been re7 corded in County Clare? a. Fairy Forts b. Holy Wells c. Castles

Basin and Blanket are two types 8 of _____ which reside in County Clare? a. Rock Formations b. Rivers c. Peats

Teagasc’s head office in Clare is 9 located in? a. Kilrush b. Shannon c. Ennis

10

Clare contains over ________ lakes. a. 100 b. 300 c. 500

By Cian O’Broin

A fulachta fiadh was used for? 6 a. Hiding b. Cooking

Spot the Difference Can you spot the difference? Spot the 7 differences. The answers will be revealed in next weeks edition.

PJ Meere taking part in the 9th annual Christmass Tree Throwing Championships at Tim Smyth Park, Ennis on Sunday Photograph by Eamon Ward

l QUESTION 10 : Clare contains over ________ lakes.

6. Cooking 7. Holy Wells 8. Peats 9. Ennis 10. 300

b. 4,000 c. 6,000

c. Living

Photo by Patrick Bolger

ANSWERS 1. 6,000 2. Neolithic 3. 18th and 19thc 4. Stone Fort 5. 45,000

The first farmers settled in Clare 1a. 3,000 over how many years ago.

Last weeks Answers . Van missing . Womans jacket different colour . Mans tie different colour (right) . Line on ground missing (centre)

. Strap on person’s bag missing (left) . Bottom of mans tie missing (left) . Director clapper board line is now white


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