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DEC 17 2020

‘THE KINDEST PERSON YOU COULD MEET’

Mick Ryan’s wife accepts award on his behalf PÁRAIC McMAHON

A

news@clareecho.ie

CLARE hero has been honoured with a posthumous award. Micheál ‘Mick’ Ryan was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Irish Red Cross at Tuesday’s ceremony in recognition of his dedication to improving the lives of others overseas. In March of last year, Mick died alongside seven colleagues when a Boeing 737 Max crashed six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in March of last year. All 157 people on board were killed. Some of the Lahinch native’s past projects

include creating safe ground for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in preparation for the monsoon season and assessing the damage to rural roads in Nepal caused by landslides. “This award means so much to us and my only regret is that Mick isn’t here to accept it himself, I know he would be so humbled by it. To me it’s recognition of the person that he was, he was a humanitarian in every sense of the word,” his wife Naoise said at the ceremony. She has been steadfast in her efforts to obtain further answers from Boeing on how the aircraft that led to his death was deemed safe to fly and said her quest is inspired by their two children, Saorlaith and Macdara aged five and two. CONTINUES PAGE 12


2 NEWS

Index NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT GREENER CLARE EAST CLARE CLICK FOR CLARE

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

JUNE TAKES THE PLUNGE FOR SIMON

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l GIVING BACK: June Curtin has set herself a challenge to complete 60 swims in 21 days to raise funds for the Simon Community

UNE Curtin is completing 60 swims in 21 days for the Simon Community, writes Cian O’Broin. Swimming three times per day at Spanish Point, June hopes to raise funds for many who have lost their homes or may do so in the coming months. Heading out for her first swim at 10am each morning, June is regularly joined by between 10 to 100 other individuals. June is the founder of Snamhaí Sasta which comprises of a community of swimmers that take to the ocean 365 days per year, at exactly 9:15 every morning. June understands the spiritual prowess of the surrounding sea: "I lost my husband to suicide in August 2013 and I started swimming a year and half ago. I was suffering very badly from stress and anxiety. I found the healing power of the sea to be great. People nowadays need to mind their mental health. It's important to talk about how they are feeling. Open up and speak. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Owning your own story is the bravest thing you can do." June has set up a GoFundMe on her Instagram page, where donations can be made to the Simon Community. In addition, she designed a desktop positivity calendar over a five-month period. The idea here was each day, to provide someone with uplifting quotes. All proceeds associated with the calendar will also go to the Simon Community. Passionate about the homeless and those less fortunate, June has set her sights on raising €10,000 euro by the end of the 21 days. "It's good to give back this time of year. I'm looking forward to handing over my cheque to the Simon Community. There are so many people struggling right now in Ireland, with over 10,000 people homeless in the country. It's very important that we support and look after our own," June states. Donations can be made on Instagram on June's page @snamhaísasta.


4 NEWS

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Student nurse speaks out CIAN O’BROIN

B

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

ALLYNACALLY native Ă ine Murphy (inset) is a third-year general nursing student at the University of Limerick. Since September, she has been working as an unpaid nurse on placement at University Hospital Limerick. Like many student nurses, Ă ine is dismayed at the Solidarity-People Before Profit motion on paying student nurses that was defeated in the DĂĄil Chamber by 77 votes to 72, on Wednesday December 5th. Sharing sentiments with many placed in hospitals and nursing homes around the country Ă ine states, “The DĂĄil don’t see us as medical professionals worthy of the right of payment.â€? A graduate of St. Flannan’s College, Ă ine admits that she always had an interest in caring for people. Her grandmother, after who she was named, worked as a nurse in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis and Ă ine feels, “It seemed fitting that I carry on her legacy.â€? Student nurses are required to complete 35 hours of work per week, over a three-tofour-day period. The day starts at 7:30am for handover, where students get patients out of bed and take their vital signs. The rest of the day includes making beds, dressing patients, washing them and assisting them to the toilet.

“We sit with the patients and talk to them, being in hospital is daunting enough let alone being in hospital during a pandemic where their family members can’t come in to visit them.â€? Since the pandemic, many student nurses have had to cover for qualified full-time staff that are out sick or are forced to isolate. Ă ine says that student nurses are left to their own devices and given twice the number of patients to look after. Adding that it wasn’t until the pandemic hit and nurses became the ‘superhero’s of 2020’ that the issue has intensified so much. She states: “We are out on the front line. We are there every morning at the crack of dawn making sure your loved one is okay. We are risking ourselves with the possibility of getting COVID-19. Some of us have had to move away from home for work and don’t go home or see our elderly relatives for fear that we may have it and pass it on. “We sacrifice our weekend jobs to complete our mandatory placement. For some, this could be the only income we have for the week.â€? Ă ine feels that it is un-

                  Â Â? 

    

fair that student nurse’s placement is seen as simply educational. She opines that it is sad that it has taken a global pandemic to recognise the work that they do and that a two-minute clap of appreciation is not going to change anything. “It is a tough job to begin with. It will always be upsetting, in some cases from the first day to the last. It does take a toll on you personally especially when a patient passes away. It is a frustrating job; you have to do what is right for the patient at all times and have to abide by their wishes constantly. Right now, the student nurses are upset because we feel taken advantage of.� The Clare Echo reached out to Clare TDs for comment. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne (SF) states: “I voted to give a fair wage to student nurses, I voted this way because I know that nurses are doing one of the hardest jobs and always have been but in particular,

now, due to the extreme conditions that they are working under.â€? Deputy Cathal Crowe (FF), taking a different approach says: “I voted against the motion. The motion had no statutory basis to it and had no bearing on student nurse pay. All pay deals are done via negotiation, not a 90-minute DĂĄil debate.â€? Deputy Michael McNamara (IND) voted in favour of student nurses being paid, adding: “Not only has the Government refused to pay student nurses, it has also reduced the pay of intern nurses and midwives from â‚Ź14 euro to â‚Ź10.72.â€? Joe Carey TD (FG) commented: “Regarding the debate in the DĂĄil, I’m concerned about some of the comments that were made, including some on social media, which were very inaccurate. “At the start of the first wave of Covid-19, placements for student nurses were suspended. Student nurses were asked to become healthcare assistants and were paid for their work.â€? On a possible solution, Ă ine states, “Even if the hospitals gave us our meals for free it would be something. I think that we would settle for just about anything at this rate just to be recognized as front line workers and just as people working full time hours like any other profession who are working for free with no recognition. That is probably not going to happen either, but we can dream it will someday for the future student nurses.â€?


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8 NEWS

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Home dialysis helps Dermot bounce back from health scare PÁRAIC MCMAHON

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paraic@clareecho.ie

MPROVEMENTS in medical technology have been hailed by a Clare man who is now availing of dialysis treatment from his Ennis home. Since July, Dermot Hayes has been receiving dialysis. He was admitted to hospital in May as his kidney function was below ten percent, however a day after having a peritoneal line inserted to his abdomen, he suffered “a mini heart attack” forcing a trip to the Mater Hospital to get an angiogram where it was revealed that he had “up to eighty percent blockages” forcing the need for two stints. After this, a shunt was put in his shoulder to enable dialysis from University Hospital Limerick. “You’re in the hospital and they take all the blood out of your system so it cleans it and you’re on the couch for four and a half hours, it is quite extensive and you would be knackered after it,” Hayes recalled of the treatment. UHL is home to one of Ireland’s busiest haemodialysis services and home-based dialysis has been promoted by their Department of Renal Medicine “as the best option for pa-

tients requiring the treatment”. Corofin native Dermot was “determined” to be able to avail of such an option. “On the first of October we set it up and we did seven days training, everything is all about hygiene. You’ve the machine, two large bags of fluid and a small bag of fluid to hook you to the machine, you do it at night and it takes eight hours to drain the fluid which is all drained out through the shower unit. I feel way better after that type of dialysis, my energy is better, my head is clearer and I can do a lot more things, I’m not as tired so it has been a great addition”. Shelving units were installed to facilitate the treatment from his bedroom and to store the dozen boxes of fluids from Baxter, these are replaced every fortnight. The amount of waste is pinpointed by the three-time local election candidate as a downside but he admitted his sleep is not overly disrupted, apart from an occasional beep from the machine to indicate the line may be crossed. Dermot noted that he is one of twelve people in Clare availing of home dialysis. Professor Austin Stack, the consultant kidney specialist has expressed his enthusiasm about the positive impacts on patients’ lives from improvements in dialysis technology. “The first guy that did dialysis was in 1945, he did it in a coffin type of thing with ma-

chinery and he was covered off, it took a day. Technology has moved dramatically on, I’ve great faith in this guy, Professor Stack was saying he can see a day where there will be artificial kidneys like pacemakers. The pace of technology has moved a long way, they can monitor me from Limerick while I’m here at night, if I’ve an issue they can see in the machine, the level of technology is incredible,” Hayes stated. He is reminded of his first time in hospital,

lPATIENT: Dermot Hayes at home with his dog, Dory

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then aged 13 and vividly feels the “horrific” pain of a knee injury from the time. “Nobody came to visit me, that was part of the culture, nobody came to visit people in hospital, I don’t remember any visitors coming to hospital for anybody, it wasn’t the culture, you went in and got better,” the Clare Leader Forum member recalled. “I reckon I am way past my lifetime. You can get a good life if you get exercise, the key thing is the diet, you have to peel the potatoes twice, you can’t have chocolate. I would have liked the bit of chocolate, the ice-cream and the choc-ice, you can’t have Chinese at will, you have to be fussy. Since last week I’m allowed it a burger a week, salt, potassium and phosphate are the big three enemies for kidney issues. I meet a dietician once every two months and she lays out the whole thing, she gave me a lot of stuff and I’m still getting used to it. I can only have a litre a day, the average person takes about two litres a day”. Health problems have been common for Dermot throughout his lifetime, nonetheless he maintains “I’ve done very well for myself ” and remarked that the three women in his life, his wife Marie-Anne, daughters Amy and Marese are keeping a constant eye on him while Ennistymon activist Denis Vaughan described him as “a colossus in our midst”.

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NEWS 9

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Time runs out for bachelor farmer STUART HOLLY

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editor@clareecho.ie

97 year old bachelor farmer who attended the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival for 72 years has passed away without finding his soul mate. Mick Bourke from Co Tipperary began attending the festival in 1946 when he was 23 years old and never missed a year until his health began to fade a few years ago. His death caused by pneumonia was announced last week. “Mick was well known and loved by many in Lisdoonvarna and messages of sympathy have been pouring in all week to us, via social media. People are speaking of his warmth, his sense of fun and his razor-sharp dancing skills. He was a legend in Lisdoonvarna and he never gave up hope of finding love in over 70 years attending”, said Julie Carr, Marketing Manager of Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. Back in 2016, a party was organised for Mick at the Spa Wells in the village, where he was presented with a cake by Matchmaker Willie Daly. This event was attended by friends and regulars and marked his 70 years continuous attendance at the festival – thought to be a record by festival organisers. “He never married, the problem was he too good looking, all the girls liked him and it wasn’t easy to choose one and leave the rest,” commented Willie Daly. His niece Catherine Bourke, who lives in the US said that although he missed the last few years of his pilgrimage to the festival, those were: “the happiest times of his life. He loved dancing and would often go two to three times a week.”

She told of how Mick had mentioned immediately falling in love with the atmosphere, the music, the dancing – and of course the women at the festival. He said: “After that I was hooked, and have been coming back every year since, still hopeful I will meet someone. I never married. I had a lot of lucky escapes. I used to go home with a pocketful of phone numbers – this was my fodder for the winter. “I had a few girlfriends over the years; once I was going out with a girl at home but I broke it off before I went to Lisdoonvarna – when I came back that was the end of that relationship.” Mick recounted “Once I was dating a woman from Dublin and she came to visit me on the farm, it was particularly bad winter and we got snowed in for a few days. After the snow thawed she got straight on a train back to Dublin and that was the end of that.”

lRECORD: The late Mick Burke with matchmaker Willie Daly

Cusack Hub brings remote working to North Clare A SIXTH digital hub owned by Clare County Council was officially opened this week, writes Páraic McMahon. Carron is now home to a digital hub facility following the opening of the Cusack Hub and Broadband Connection Point at the Michael Cusack Centre. It is a partnership between the local authority, the Michael Cusack Visitor Centre and the Government of Ireland and has been delivered through the Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) initiative. Part of the Council's DigiClare.ie initiative, the digital hub facility is set to support rural social enterprises and the wider community through the provision of hot desks, video conferencing and printing facilities, all supported by high-speed broadband. Remote workers and students are the targeted users of the hub along with groups and organisations requiring use for community purposes such as meetings and presentations. Progress in delivering "high-speed

connectivity" in the county was welcomed by Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan (GP). In line with Covid-19 restrictions, the official launch of the Cusack Hub took place virtually on Wednesday, 9th December, and was addressed by the Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard (FG), Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; Flan Garvey, Chairperson, Michael Cusack Centre Ltd; Dr Stjohn O'Connor, Principal Officer, Department of Rural and Community Development; and Urban McMahon, Head of IS – Digital Transformation and Broadband, Clare County Council. "The opening of the Cusack Hub brings a welcome new resource to the local community and will support rural social enterprises in the area. The addition of another facility to the network of digital hubs in County Clare underscores our commitment to supporting rural, community and economic development," Pat Dowling outlined.

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10 NEWS

CIAN O’BROIN

K

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

ay Morrissey from Ennis celebrated her 80th Birthday this year. Her days now consist of reading, knitting, playing cards on the computer and speaking to family members through her smartphone. Moving to Clare in 2006 after the sudden death of her husband, Kay joined the Active Retirement Ennis and hasn't looked back since. This Christmas she is looking forward to meeting some family members, but due to Covid-19, it won't look anything like previous years. "I knew nobody here except for my daughter in Quin," she explains. Up until March, her weekly schedule would include meeting other members every Tuesday for

‘This lockdown has been much worse’ lunch, calling down to her sister in a nursing home in Cork, attending a knitting group on Thursday, mass on a Friday and socialising with some friends on a weekend. "All of a sudden you have nothing. This lockdown has been much worse," she concedes. Since restrictions, Kay has only been able to meet up with two other members of Active Retirement, stating that many do not feel comfortable, in spite of the introduction of social bubbles. Once a week her daughter Niamh would visit but doesn't always come into the house, taking precautions due to her own children attending a large public school in Clare. "I've one particular friend, the same age as myself and we are very close. She would often call down, but she wouldn't put her foot inside the door. The phone on the other hand, is brilliant," she states. At the start of the second lock-

down, Kay took to knitting for Bumbleance, which transports sick children to hospital in Dublin. Coincidentally, the Children's National Ambulance Service had just recently transported her young grandson Theo, who has a number of health complications. She was delighted to raise over €900 in support. "It took up ages of time which was grand," she states. For Kay, the hardest thing throughout the pandemic was not being able to visit her sister in a nursing home in Cork. The pair are very close but due to travel restrictions she has been unable to drive down, take the bus or gain access to the nursing home. She states: "I'm afraid now that when I get there, she probably won't recognise me. That to me, is nearly the worst part of my Christmas. She has Alzheimer's. Her family are all away and are not able to get down. I would ring the nursing home, but she wouldn't understand. Buying her a present, just isn't the same. It's very tough. It's heart-breaking when you think about the Christmas' you had before." This Christmas, Kay will be

joined by her son, his wife and their child. Normally, she would head out to Quin to her daughter and to Cork, Dublin and Bray to visit other family over the Christmas period, but won't be able to this year. Most of all, she misses heading over to Thomond Park on St. Stephen's Day to watch Munster play. "I miss it dearly. I love going into the rugby matches, I love it. There is a great atmosphere." Some people are selfish, and some people thank god, do everything right, Kay says. "That's what would drive you mad is that if you do everything right and others don't. The way I look at it is, I have obeyed all the rules. If I got it, well then, they can't come along and say well mom, you shouldn't have gone out. I'll stay here playing my solitaire, reading and doing my knitting. I am dying to see my grandson and family this Christmas. The little ones are great, they keep you up to date with everything," she states.

l KEEPING BUSY: (above left)

Kay Morrissey at her home in Ennis Photo by Cian O’Broin

‘We need to realise the virus is bigger than us’ CIAN O’BROIN

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

THOMAS Tubridy from Kilrush works for the London Ambulance Service as a Paramedic based out of Camden Ambulance Station. Living with his partner in Islington, North Central London, Tom has experienced the pandemic at its worst in London working as a frontline paramedic. This will be his first year spending Christmas abroad, away from his mam, dad and two brothers. Admitting that they have always been a close family, Tom states: "It wouldn't be fair on my family or friends to jump ship for a few days to see them. As a healthcare professional, we need to lead by example. When this is all over or calmed down, I'll get back to see my family and friends." Tom says that he has had the privilege to walk into people's lives on their worst days and provide clinical treatment and make a difference to their prognosis and outcome. He has also witnessed the mental and physical effects it has had on friends and colleagues and the depths they will go to support and care for those around them. He explains that: "The nature of the job we do is life and death a lot of the time. I feel very privileged to be given this responsibility." Typically, Tom would return to Ireland to see his family and friends every few months. Due to Covid-19 and his line of work, he

has not been home since January 2020. "I'm on the phone with mam and dad most days checking in on them and vice versa. A five-minute chat always cheers me up. I'd have loved to get back home to Kilrush this Christmas but it's going to be my first one on in London without them," he states. On what a typical Christmas would look like, he adds: "The last three years, Dad or a friend would pick me up at Shannon on Christmas eve. We'd head back to Kilrush early and I'd catch up with the lads for a coffee and lunch. Since 18, we've all headed to the pub on Christmas eve to catchup and get merry. Christmas at home has always been special to me, normally we head to Kilrush woods in the morning for a walk with luna, the family's most loved dog and head home for drinks and far too much food." This year, like many emigrants deciding not to return for Christmas, Tom will be spending the festive days with his partner from Australia, who will also be away from family. WWe have each other, will enjoy the day and give both families a call, he tells. "Things could be much worse; we are lucky we are in good health and have each other to celebrate the day. I'm sure they are sad they won't see me, but I know how proud of me they are," he states. Despite wearing adequate PPE each day, Tom contracted Covid-19 in November. Having a high exposure to Covid patients

made it inevitable, he feels. This has strengthened his reasoning in not coming home to Kilrush this Christmas, as he feels it would not be fair on family, friends and Irish nationals, despite being back to full health and work once again. As a final note, Tom leaves some imparting advice for would be travellers in the lead up to Christmas, "For anyone heading home, I hope everyone follows the

guidelines and rules, we need to realise this virus is bigger than us and every decision we make, will affect those around us. “Having seen the mental and physical affects daily this has had on friends, family and patients, we are far from the end. Lastly, for those feeling alone and isolated, you are not alone, pick up the phone and speak to friends, family or a wider support network. Stay safe and have a merry Christmas."

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Clare praised for Covid-19 efforts A QUARTER of all COVID-19 cases over the past two months in the Mid-West have occurred in individuals aged between 15 to 24 while Co Clare has been praised for doing “a remarkable job”, writes Páraic McMahon. Over the six week period from October 25th to December 5th there have been 1,641 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the MidWest. Of these, 338 are in Clare, 209 are in North Tipperary and 1,094 are in Limerick. Broken down by age demographic, 405 of cases occurred in individuals aged between (15-24), 245 (25-34), 221 (45-54), 212 (3544), 150 (5-14), 142 (55-64), 99 (65-74), 69 (75-84), 60 (0-4), 38 (85+). Speaking in glór on Monday, Dr Mai Mannix said “outbreaks associated with third level colleges, mostly related to the socialising that happens as opposed to the colleges itself” were the reason for the 15-24 age-group having the highest rate. She stated, “Clare has done a remarkable job. The numbers in Clare have been fantastic over the last few weeks and are down to single figures”. On Tuesday evening, the county had the lowest 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population, in the country. Chief Officer with Mid-West Community Healthcare, Maria Bridgeman cautioned that the easing of restrictions will lead to a possibility that numbers will increase again. “Those of us in community services need to start responding now and be ready”. Bridgeman outlined that “a military-like operation” would be followed when it comes to the roll-out and staffing surrounding the vaccine for the virus. She acknowledged that the recruitment and retention of staff was “a particular challenge”. Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Pat Burke (FG) urged the Clare public to continue to follow public health advice over the Christmas period which “remains the same”. He stated, “We must remind people when they are going out or wherever they are going to follow the guidelines”.

l LONDON TOWN: Kilrush native Thomas Tubridy is staying in the UK for Christmas this year

l HSE: Maria Bridgeman


12 NEWS

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Humanitarian of the Year award for late Mick Ryan PÁRAIC MCMAHON

C

paraic@clareecho.ie

LARE’S Micheál (Mick) Ryan has been posthumously named the Humanitarian of the Year by the Irish Red Cross. At Tuesday’s virtual Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards, Mick was named as Humanitarian of the Year. His wife, Naoise Connolly Ryan accepted the award on his behalf. Mick was one of 157 passengers who died tragically in a plane crash in Ethiopia last year. As reported by The Clare Echo this month, his family are continuing to obtain answers from Boeing to determine how the aircraft was deemed safe to fly. A native of Lahinch, he dedicated his life to humanitarian work overseas. Mick worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable people in remote parts of the world had access to food and were protected from flooding and other disasters. Speaking at the ceremony, Naoise said, “This award means so much to us and my

only regret is that Mick isn’t here to accept it himself, I know he would be so humbled by it. “To me it’s recognition of the person that he was, he was a humanitarian in every sense of the word”. She added, “Mick believed that engineering was about people and people were at the heart of everything that he did. “From the time we met at college he really believed he could make a difference in the world and he had the skills and talent to make that happen. “But really, the reason that Mick was able to achieve all that he did was because he was intuitive about people, he was able to motivate them and have them share his enthusiasm and he did it all with such fun and laughter. “He had a cheeky sense of humour and he was the kindest person you could meet and I know he would be blown away by this award and probably a little bit embarrassed too because he never liked to be the centre of attention”.

lKIND: (pictured right) Humanitarian aid worker Micheál Ryan


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14 NEWS

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Brave Keeva switches on Gort Christmas lights TADHG HOLLAND

A

news@clareecho.ie

BRAVE five-year-old girl was given the honour of turning on the Christmas lights in Gort this year after coming through 36 weeks of chemotherapy. Keeva, who is from Peterswell Co. Galway, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2019 when she was just four years old . Keeva’s father Joe Lynskey told The Clare Echo that while she is still on the road to recovery, Keeva continues to make progress and has already returned to Montessori. “Around April 2019 there was a couple of things we noticed with Keeva. Her balance wasn’t great, her coordination wasn’t great and one of her eyes had turned slightly. We brought her to see a couple of specialists to get the eye checked and to get a few things checked with a physio as she was complaining of a sore neck. We decided we’d get it checked as best we can and nothing showed up so we went on holiday in Spain in the end of May. “A few weeks after we started noticing a few

things. Her symptoms became a lot more obvious. She was reluctant to go up and down steps without holding someone’s hand and you know this was like a girl who was pretty vivacious and pretty active up until that point and she sort of withdrew into herself. “We came back from holidays then and the following week we took it further and we ended up being sent by our own GP into A&E and that’s when a tumour was seen in her CT scan. As you can imagine that was a pretty awful time,” said Joe. “It was quite scary it’s not what any parent would want to hear but I suppose we very much put the head down and talked to the experts, heard their views and took all of their suggestions. As long as they had a plan, which they did, it makes it more bearable for any parent.” Once Keeva received her diagnosis she was brought by ambulance to Temple Street children’s hospital where she remained for 23 days in which time she had emergency surgery to the tumour. From there she went abroad to get specialist treatment. “We went from there then directly into the treatment phase of follow up radiotherapy. So that then brought us to Essen in Germany for proton radiotherapy,” said Joe .

“Keeva was relatively well at that time because she had recovered well from the surgery and she was building back up her strength. She was able to do a lot of things that a fouryear-old coming on five-year-old should be doing, she was able to play on the swings and stuff. [It] was daily treatments. She had to fast Monday to Friday for her treatment, so she was having a full anesthetic every day, it was an hour and a half to two hours of sedation every day so that was challenging for her at her age to manage that. It was 40 degree heat and we weren’t allowed to give her water at certain times of the day.” Once she had returned from Germany Keeva almost immediately entered into a 36-week course of chemotherapy. “Chemotherapy was quite a challenge for her and for us” recounted Joe. “I’m not sure we were prepared for it. She had lost a lot of weight and it had a very significant change on her physically.” Keeva has now finished chemotherapy. “She’s doing really well” Said Joe “She’s back in Montessori a few days a week and she’s certainly building up her strength and she’s recovering her lust for activities and that’s great. She’s still on a road but I suppose we’re in a better place than we were last year.”

lTHUMBS UP: Keeva is pictured with her parents Ciara & Joe together with her sister Síofra and brother Evan

Photo by Darren Hardiman


16 NEWS

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Student project aims to include care residents CIAN O’BROIN

S

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

T PATRICK'S Comprehensive School in Shannon have launched a new initiative which uses digital technology to allow nursing home residents to experience activities like walking, cooking and playing with pets again. COMPanionship looks to make a difference in the local community and boost the morale of older people cocooning within the area. The project started with TY students, fusing together with the LCA's and photography club run by teacher Jacquie Murphy. On the lookout for a submission to the Digital Champion Project with her TY students, Jacquie explains that the project came together after Love Shannon got in touch. Linking up with Carrigoran Nursing Home, the students wanted to deliver something special for close to 100 residents this Christmas. "We had the idea that the digital media class would take care of the website. The TY's and LCA's would look after the crafting. Then the photography club produced images of the local area. We thought this would work really well for the website," Jacquie states. She adds: "We have a real mixed bag of videos. Originally, we had thought that we would take videos of the local area like the Town Park. We have some videos of people reading poems and others reading short stories As Gaeilge. We have videos of local points as well as some filmed down by the sea, at Lahinch. My own sister in-law is a zookeeper in Dublin Zoo. She has sent in videos of elephants and we have lots more of going for walks with pets. The idea here is to cheer somebody up, who might be missing this."

Jacquie says that reliving such activities virtually through the COMPanionship website means a lot for the residents of Carrigoran. Many of them can take a stroll through the never-before-seen Town Park, having taken up residence before it was constructed. The videos filmed by students do not feature people in them, so that residents can"imagine that it's them walking along with their loved ones." Each year, students from St. Patrick's Comprehensive follow tradition by choir singing at Carrigoran. This year, due to Covid-19, the event has been cancelled. In response to the good will of the students, residents came together to send a personal thank you message, where they were filmed together singing a Merry Christmas song, Jacquie informs. Adding: "This means a lot to the residents. The work is being done by young people that have so many other things that they could be doing, and they are out there in their spare time, helping them. They are taking photos and videos, making them feel like they have a real connection. It's important that we are trying to connect generations. We hope that as the project goes on, that the residents will tell their own stories. This way we will have both generations contributing to it." Jacquie hopes that once the website has enough content, that a link can be made with a local company to produce a DVD version, for those elderly residents that may be less tech savvy. Adding to this, Jacquie feels that the project could be an important model for other schools around the nation and could be rolled out in other communities outside of Clare. She states, "It would be lovely if it was a standard that it could be used by other schools or organisations. It would be lovely to see it go further than simply a small school in County Clare."

l TECH SAVVY: Shannon students Orlaith Ahern, Cian O’Connor, Roux Gannon, Clodagh Chaplin, Katie McCann and Davin Dalton


18 NEWS

Ruan investment to be rewarded with new street light installation PÁRAIC MCMAHON

A

paraic@clareecho.ie

BUSINESS owner has been hailed for bringing “positive investment” into Ruan. XL opened in Ruan at the end of August resulting in increased footfall and activity in the area. The Clare Echo can confirm that boxes of matches are available to purchase in the shop following complaints in March of this year from one local representative who stated, “you can’t buy a box of matches in Ruan”. Its opening will also lead to the addition of lightning between the village and the school. Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) had issued a request at the November meeting of the West Clare Municipal District for lighting to be installed “to enhance a safe walk area”. Senior executive engineer, Enda MacNamara in written reply stated a cost estimate would be prepared with sources of funding to be investigated. Speaking at the meeting, Director of Service, Leonard Cleary referenced the opening of the

new store. “It is great to see a rural village where a shop has reopened, it is a real sign of positive investment in the community”. He stated that as an act to commend the business owners and private investment in Ruan that the lighting installation would be carried out. Close proximity of the school to the village heightened the need for lighting, Cllr Killeen outlined. He remarked that the village was very well maintained courtesy of a social scheme. The nearby Dromore Woods was also “a special walk,” he noted. “Lights along the footpath would be of huge benefit,” Killeen added.

lPOSITIVE: The XL shop in Ruan

Slattery & Partners are Accountants, Tax Consultants, Business and Financial Advisors to many Businesses, Companies and Individuals in the area. We have the experience and expertise to turn your plans into profits.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

from Slattery & Partners Chartered Accountants For advice in relation to any of the above areas please contact Donie Neylon, Gerry Kelly or Austin Slattery

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Support for People Bereaved by Suicide this Christmas CHRISTMAS can be a period of joy for many people. For others, it is a time of sadness and memories. This is particularly so for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one who died by suicide. When you’ve lost a loved one to suicide, it can rip your world apart. Disbelief, sadness, loss, anger, confusion - the feelings of grief can seem harder to handle than any other bereavement. There is a need to come to terms with it and the endless questions.Your confusion and pain can be overwhelming. There may be days when it is especially difficult to deal with what has happened, like the birthday of the person who died – and your own birthday; the anniversary of the day they died – and maybe of the funeral; Father’s Day or Mother’s Day; and occasions like Christmas. COVID may have added to your hurt. Your supports may not be available to you. People cannot travel easily to be with you, and you miss their healing presence.

You may feel very lonely and isolated. Where there is loss and particularly loss by suicide there is an empty space, memories, sadness and pain. Sharing our feelings with another family member or friend helps to ease the pain and confusion. This is not always easy, as the other person is also in pain, needs to talk and share their feelings too. There may be a fear of creating more pain for each other by talking. Clare Suicide Bereavement Support volunteers are available to offer help and support. Help is only a phone call or text away. When you ring or text, you will speak to a coordinator, who will support you, and arrange for you to meet one of our volunteer befrienders, should you wish, at a time and place that suits you. The person you meet is trained for this work, and is aware that coping with feelings, following the death of a loved one, can be difficult. We believe and know that talking about these feelings can help. At present we are

also providing support by phone; and we have meeting rooms in Roslevan Shopping Centre, where COVID safety procedures are in place. We look forward to holding our monthly support group meetings at our Centre. The meetings take place on the FIRST WEDNESDAY OF EACH MONTH, at 8pm, and no appointment is necessary. This is an opportunity for the bereaved to support each other. Clare Suicide Bereavement also provides a Healing Programme – This is an 8-week structured series of group meetings available for people bereaved by suicide. We advertise this on Clare FM, parish newsletters and on local papers. We support children and young people who have been bereaved by suicide by providing a safe, caring and confidential opportunity to talk through your grief. Clare Suicide Bereavement Support can be contacted at 087 3698315 or 0860565373. Visit www. claresuicidebereavementsupport.com


Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year Fianna Fáil Councillors would like to wish all readers a happy and prosperous Christmas and New Year

Cllr Bill Chambers

Molloy

Cllr Pat Hayes

Cllr Cillian Murphy

Cllr Pat O’Gorman

Cllr Clare Colleran

Cllr Pat McMahon

Cllr Joe Killeen

Cllr PJ Kelly

Cllr Mark Nestor

Cllr Pat Daly

Cllr Tony O’Brien

Cllr Alan O’Callaghan

Nollaig Shona Duit

Cllr Shane Talty


20 NEWS

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Ennis animation company to feature on RTÉ TV CIAN O’BROIN

A

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

N ENNIS based animation company will feature an animated short on RTÉjr and RTÉ2 this

Christmas. Magpie 6 Media's short 'Christmas Eve Eve' tells the story of two exhausted parents who must get their children to bed but the thought of opening a present tomorrow has the youngsters overly excited and so, they come up with a new family tradition: Christmas Eve Eve, where they will each get to open one really small present. The company was founded in 2009 by wife and husband teamChristina O'Shea and Clifford Parrott. Each morning Cliff and Christina can't wait to get up and start working. “I wanted to work in animation my whole life, Cliff admits.” Adding: "We are fortunate to work at something we truly enjoy. Even if I wasn't getting paid, I would still be doing it." Cliff exclaims that the anima-

tion industry in Ireland is booming, stating: "It really is the golden age of animation in Ireland at the moment." The pair create concepts and write children's books, with many of these turning into television series. They employ a skeleton crew, with a couple of people working freelance in the likes of Kildare and Limerick. Cliff hopes that in the future, the studio can employ 60 to 65 people, with a core crew of 12 to 15 on site here in Ennis. The pair have ran a number of successful projects, with commissioned work from Disney and Warner Brothers.

RTÉjr put out the call for 10 Christmas shorts this year, Cliff explains. Each short is two minutes in length and it took approximately five weeks to produce. "It was a nice little project, and it is nice to be picked amongst several other prestigious animation studios. We worked with local artists and some guys up in Spiddal did a great job on the postproduction for us," Cliff states. 'Christmas Eve Eve' will feature on RTÉ2 on 22 December @ 11.25, and 29 December @ 11.05. Visit www.magpie6media.com or their YouTube channel Magpie 6 Media for more information.

l SNOW STORY: A Magpie 6 Media short will air at Christmas

Mullagh brings Christmas spirit with online concerts TADHG HOLLAND

news@clareecho.ie

MULLAGH parish office have been running a Christmas Festival of Hope all this week in aid of St Vincent de Paul and The Lighthouse Peer Support Centre Kilrush. The festival features acts of all kinds performing in St Mary's Church, Mullagh. Attendance at the event in person is not possible but the festival is available to stream online at www.kibparish.ie/ webcam. Edel Greene one of the organisers of the event from Mullagh parish office spoke to The Clare Echo about the importance of the causes the festival is raising money for, “We just want 5,000 people to tune in and donate €10. Our aim is €50,000, €25,000 per charity. The lighthouse in Kilrush is a service that’s available for people that on the recovery journey of metal health and they really need a boost because it’s a new organisation.” In the three evenings the festival has run already they have had over 20 performances. It was headlined with a performance on Monday night from Socks in the Frying Pan, a popular traditional music trio probably best known for their tune ‘The Track for the Craic’ which has over 500,000 streams on Spotify. There was also a performance from famed traditional musician Michael Falsey, who was given an award at last night’s event.

The festival has two more nights left, tonight (Thursday, December 17) there will be performances from 5 until 7pm with Irish dancing from Ellie Talty and The Eugene Donnellan Dancers, as well as trad music from The Griffin Family, The Shannon Sisters and PJ Murrihy & Family. There will also be an interview with all-Ireland winning hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald. Tomorrow night, (Friday, December 18) at the same time there will be seven acts. Mary Kate Clancy, Eoin Shanahan, Karen McInerney, Maura Killeen, Zara McCarthy, Cormac Byrne, Josephine Marsh and The Turf Shed Members will all feature. An appearance will also be made at the end by Santa and his elves. At Tomorrow’s event, the final night of the festival there will also be a raffle with a huge amount of prizes on offer including 4 hotel stays with 2 nights bed and breakfast at Harvey’s Point Hotel, Donegal, The Croke Park Hotel, Galway Bay Hotel and Strand Hotel, Limerick. A €100 voucher for Old Ground Hotel, Afternoon Tea for 2 in Dromoland Castle, a selection of Hampers and much more will also be up for grabs. Entry into the raffle is given with each donation as well, raffle lines are also available at Pascal O’Dwyer’s shop and filling station, XL O’Dwyers, SuperValu, Londis and the Parish Office in Mullagh. If you wish to donate to the cause you can do so at www.ifundraise.ie/ christmasofhope.


NEWS 21

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Three new appointments to Shannon Chamber Board PĂ RAIC MCMAHON

T

paraic@clareecho.ie

HREE new appointments have been made to Shannon Chamber’s board of directors. CEO of Modular Automation, Vivian Farrell, Siobhan Roche General Manager of Precision Tool Group and Órlaith Borthwick, Manager of the Careers and Employability Service at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) were appointed at the 24th annual general meeting of Shannon Chamber held last week. Helen Downes, CEO of Shannon Chamber detailed the key strengths each individual will bring to the table.

lINNOVATIVE: Modular Automation CEO Vivian Farrell

“Leading a highly innovative and successful indigenous company delivering complete automation integration solutions to customers in Europe, North America and beyond, Vivian brings an expansive understanding of what it takes to create an operation of scale in the Mid-West, always mindful of delivering customer value through exceptional teamwork. “Siobhan has significant experience of the challenges and opportunities of running manufacturing companies in the Mid-West and is keen to ensure companies can remain competitive in the region and encourage business growth and economic development for the future. â€œĂ“rlaith brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise including effective relationship development and management, building and managing successful collaborations, and

balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders in complex environments, gained from her experience over 20 years across the public and private sector,� Downes added. They now join a board which already includes, Stephen Keogh (President), Managing Partner, Sellors LLP, Eoin Gavin (Vice President), Managing Director, Eoin Gavin Transport, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group plc, Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber, Kevin Thompstone, Managing Director, the Thompstone Group, Claude Costelloe, General Manager, Zimmer Biomet Ireland, Damian Gleeson, Partner, Audit and Assurance, Grant Thornton, Mark Nolan, Managing Director, Dromoland Castle Hotel, Ian Barrett, Managing Director, Care You Ltd, David Brown, Self Employed Owner/Manager and Edmund Jennings, Managing Director, CREGG Group.

Pandemic inspired art competition showcases student talent PĂ RAIC MCMAHON paraic@clareecho.ie

A COVID-19 themed Christmas was the inspiration for Shannon students who partook in a drawing competition. Finished products are now on display at SkyCourt Shopping Centre. The competition was organised by the community policing unit of Shannon Garda Station who liaised with secondary school art teachers Ann Whitty (St Caimin's Community School), Clodagh O'Hara and Mary Shannon (both of St Patricks Comprehensive) to get their respective art classes to put together their views on the theme. Over 140 pieces of art were submitted and then assessed by the judging panel of Inspector Paul Slattery, Sergeant Seamus Mulligan and Shannon Fire Station officer Gerard Aylmer. They selected a top six with a further

twelve students receiving honourable mentions. Allanah Molkey, Lethabo Bokako, Leanne Murphy, Faith Canty, Elise Murphy and Tagoda Lupa were selected as the top six. They received a ₏20 Easons gift voucher, this was partially funded by Eoin Hoctor of Easons in SkyCourt. A selection box sponsored by Geoff Hayes, manager of Dunnes Stores in Shannon was the prize for the twelve students getting an honourable mention. Following agreement with Dan O’Flynn, Manager of SkyCourt Shopping Centre, all submissions will now be on display in the shopping centre. "Everyone can see the huge talent pool of artists within the Shannon area," a spokesperson for Shannon Garda Station told The Clare Echo. lTOUGH DECISION: (right) Inspector Paul Slattery, Gerard Aylmer & Sergeant Seamus Mulligan with the array of entries Photo by Joe Buckley

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22 COLUMNIST

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THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

ebecca O’Neill

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Christmas gift guide Columnist Rebecca O’Neill offers some advice on getting the right gift for your significant other this Christmas.

URPRISINGLY, people tend to struggle with what gifts to give the person that means the most to them for Christmas. Making sure that they will be ultimately satisfied with what you get them can be a massive challenge. Here I have made a Christmas Gift Guide to inspire you on what to get for your significant other, for both his and hers. For her: Without a doubt, we can all safely say that women love makeup. The latest sets I would highly recommend for her, exclusively in Boots stores are: Benefit Bigtime Beauty savings Holiday kit. Filled with a primer and mascara, the two best benefit products. Price: €22.50. Becca Cosmetics Light Up The Party kit contains a primer, highlighting powder and lip gloss. This kit is an all rounder covering all areas of the face! Price: €45.00. Perfume sets that will have her smelling divine are: Giorgio Armani Discovery Miniature set for women contains four mini scents and are ideal for a stocking filler. Price: €34.50. So...? Mini Galore Body Fragrance consists of four body sprays, all for only €6.50! Toiletry sets are always a must for women. The most affordable yet luxurious sets from

GIFT

CAR

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boots are: Ted Baker Ted’s Daring Duo Toiletries Christmas Gift set will most definitely put a smile on her face. This set contains a scented duo of Body Wash and Body Spray. All for only €11.00. Soap and Glory Birthday Wishes Body Gift set is my per-

TREAT: A gift set for your loved one

sonal favourite! This set is on offer currently, containing Body Butter and Body Wash at only €4.87. For him: I can talk for many women and say, it is a slight struggle to know what to get for him. But luckily I have made a list of reliable gifts that are affordable. All in your local Boots. Michael Kors Men Extreme Sky Eau de Toilette. At a price of €33.00. Champneys CBD Post Workout Reward gift set contains a wooden massage tool, CBD bath soak and CBD cooling gel. This is for all kinds of post workout needs. Price: €26.00. Tommy Eau de Toilette and Shower gel gift sets are definitely more on the luxurious side. Price: €37.00. Next up is Paco Rabanne 1 Million Eau de Toilette 50ml gift set consisting of Eau de Toilette 1 Million 50ml, Deo spray and a travel spray. Price: €62.50. If you are looking to shop as local as possible this Christmas, here is a list of menswear shops in Ennis. Mannix Menswear, Patrick Bourke Menswear, McCannons, Club Dangan and Denis Moran and Co. These are just a few shops that Ennis has to offer. I would highly recommend considering shopping local as much as possible this year to help support our businesses. Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!


Arts & Entertainment 23

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Enjoy the 12 Acts of Christmas with glór ELAINE TUBRIDY

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elaine.tubridy@clareecho.ie

HILST glór’s doors may be closed, the venue has been working behind the scenes to redevelop its winter programme in a digital format, presenting lots of festive online shows for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own sitting rooms. Kick off the Christmas spirit with performances for schools and families from Branar Theatre and The WhistleBlast Quartet. Seán Keane returns (digitally) with his annual Christmas show, Christmas by the Hearth, and acclaimed vocalist Eimear Quinn brings us a beautiful seasonal performance in Solace. The 12 Acts of Christmas is glór’s festive gift in the countdown to Christmas. Every day from 13th December glór will share a specially recorded short three minute act by a diverse range of artists and local performers on its social media channels and website. Whilst glór can’t welcome audiences in person this year, 12 Acts of Christmas will capture a flavour of its festive fare.

Acts include Ballet Ireland; 15 years old pianist Sean Shannon; the Kilfenora Céilí Band, one of Ireland’s brightest emerging talents Susan O’Neill with award winning multi - instrumentalist, singer and dancer Tara Howley; singer Sarah McTernan with well-loved Pantaloons characters; Clare Youth Theatre; The Speks; Nóta Stóta, comprising renowned traditional musicians Conal Ó Gráda and Benny McCarthy alongside inimitable

puppeteer Des Dillon; Nuala Kennedy & Jack Talty; Branar Theatre; Clare Youth Trad Orchestra and Jacinta Sheerin with Steo Wall. The 12 Acts of Christmas will premiere on glór’s Facebook page each morning at 9am until the 24th and has been filmed by Ennistymon based film makers Alex Gill and Maeve Stone. For further information and booking please see www.glor.ie or call 065 6843103.

Doireann ‘overjoyed with spectaular award PÁRAIC MCMAHON

paraic@clareecho.ie

CLARE’S Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s prose debut continues to earn rapturous applause. A native of Galway but reared in Kilnamona, Doireann’s book ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ was named as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020. She was nominated alongside 13 other category winners from the Book Awards but was announced as the winner by Miriam O’Callaghan last week. The 39 year old fended off Graham Norton, Donal Ryan and Louise O’Neill to scoop the respected honour. Ní Ghríofa said she was “overjoyed with this spectacular award” as she paid tribute to all readers. “A Ghost in the Throat is a telling of my story, but it also tells the story of Eibhlín

Dubh Ní Chonaill”. Described by publisher Tramp Press as “a true original” that is a “fluid hybrid of essay and autofiction,” A Ghost in The Throat weaves together two complementary stories, that of the narrator’s own experience with pregnancy and motherhood and the life of 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill. The book was also recently named as Foyles Bookshops non-fiction book of the year and Ireland’s oldest bookstore Hodges Figgis named it their Irish book of the year. Doireann had been more known for her poetry work both in the Irish and English language prior to the release of what has been hailed “a stunning” prose debut. She has won several awards for her poetry including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2016 which is awarded to young writers whose body of work is deemed to show exceptional promise.

lSPOILED FOR CHOICE: Well loved Pantaloons characters will take part in glór’s series

Welcome in the winter with Susan LAHINCH based singer, songwriter, and musician Susan Quirke presents a stunning seasonal song and video that offer a balm for the system during these cold winter days. Winter's Here is her fourth release, and it features some of Ireland's leading musicians including acclaimed violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire, ex Lír guitarist Colm

Quearney, Justin Carroll on keyboard, Graham Hopkins on drums, and Rob Malone on bass, mastered by David Odlum. Susan wrote the song about winter as a time for rest, reflection and renewal. She is also a meditation teacher and has performed at leading festivals including Electric Picnic and Body&Soul. She has more releases in the pipeline over the

coming months. You can find Winter's Here and previous releases on Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube and on Susan's website at www.susanquirke.com "I wrote this song as a reminder to myself to stay in tune with the cycles of nature. Winter is meant to be a time of hibernation, quiet, stillness and rest. I've found that resisting these natural cycles can create stress and suffer-

ing. Too often we put immense pressure on ourselves in winter to push forward. “There is a huge rest deficit in society, something I see many people struggle with as part of my work as a meditation teacher. So this song is also an invitation to rest and let go. You could say it's a kind of meditation to help people drop back the gears," says Susan.

lDEBUT: Doireann Ní Ghriofa’s ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ was named as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020

Photo by Clare Keogh


24 COLUMNIST

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Eoin Neylon

An inside look at Clare’s political spectrum With



With With

  Clare Echo farming columnist Joe Melody believes that making a livelihood off the land can help to heal it.

W

E CAN do well by doing good. This statement is something generations of Clare farmers are a testament to. Through my work as a farmer, I meet some of the most incredible people making their livelihood off the land. Many of these people, depending on their farm enterprise would be better remunerated in other industries considering their skill set and wide range of competencies. Why do they persevere against all odds? Their perseverance is not derived from pure financial gain. These men and women are practitioners of a craft that not only creates wealth for our nation but also helps heal our lands. They keep the Emerald Isle just that, green and healthy. If we look to the areas of our country that have seen a continued expansion in livestock farming especially around Munster. Munster has just over 59% of the national cow herd, Connacht has a little over 5% of the national herd. Which one has more water courses according to the EPA in the high water quality status? Munster has, it also has less watercourses in the bad water quality status category. This should be shouted from the roof tops. Where you have healthy soils you have ruminants whether it be cows or sheep, they create a healthy top soil that holds onto nutrients. Where the buffalo and bison roamed the plains of North America here was some of the world’s deepest top soils, in their absence and with the introduction of large scale mono culture tillage followed soil erosion of a catastrophic scale. Our farmers continue to build soil with their cattle and sheep just as their ancestors before them have done, by this they are doing good.

By having their soils healthy it will also help sustain a healthy farm business where a good lifestyle and family income can be generated, thus the farmer can do well. This is a positive cycle of healthy soil through well managed livestock farming leading to healthy water courses and ecosystems that results in a resilient and prosperous rural Ireland. This week we are housing some of the dry cows that were out grazing covers of grass on our drier fields. With the rainfall we have been getting, body condition could start to slip so we will house them. We have already received our yearly rainfall average by the start of this month so we have to be flexible with this winter grazing system. Being a purist when it comes to cost cutting cannot come at the cost of a cow calving down fit but not fat. In the next week we will batch our cows in sheds according to calving date, this makes for very easy monitoring of cows as they come close to calving. Scanning in September revealed an empty rate of 5.9% with a lot of the cows calving in the first month so space for calving cows will be at a premium and the system will be well tested.

ď ŹGREEN: Joe Melody

2020, who knew?

T

HERE has been a joke going around social media for months now that the 2020 episode of “Reeling In The Yearsâ€?, will have to be a mini-series. The political world seems like a never-ending roller coaster. Where does one start? The General Election or the events that led up to it? The US elections? The pandemic and its continuing effect on the nation? Or how about that almost half a decade long migraine that is Brexit? The daily highlights section of the Wikipedia article on Ireland in 2020 is already over 23,000 words long and counting. It’s alien to think that 11 months ago, we were slowly rumbling to a general election that was then framed as FF v FG from the outset. The first opinion poll released after the election was formally called showed FF on 32%, FG on 20% and SF on 19%. Only 3 weeks later, this had transpired into election results of 22%, 21% and 24% respectively. Not only did SF greatly improve their standing but the SocDems and Independents too. Record length Government formation talks later, and we now have an FF led Government with FG and the Greens. The big 3 parties now polling at FF 17%, FG 28% and SF 28% according to the latest poll. If a week is a long time in politics, 11 months is a veritable epoch. FF’s poll average sees it at less than half its yearly peak. MĂ­chĂŠal Martin must be cursing his luck that, even in coming out on top with the most seats in the election, and subsequently becoming Tao-

iseach, he still finds himself on the backfoot, chasing the pack. If 2021 doesn’t improve dramatically for his party’s fortunes, one wonders will he even want to continue on as party leader. If he’s to do so, they’ll need quick returns on the policies enacted in Budget 2021, especially in health and housing along with a good Brexit result for Ireland. SF’s dramatic 9 month turn around between a disastrous Local Elections and the General Election was the standout shock of the year. No one, not least SF themselves, expected them to pull in almost a quarter of the votes. Now comes the harder part for Mary Lou McDonald: managing expectation. SF find themselves as the lead opposition party after the ‘grand-coalition’ formation. After a rip roasting, social media focused first 6 months in that role, the party needs to begin to be mindful of the next election. Promising the Earth, Moon and Stars is well and good from the Opposition benches, but what happens if you’ve to cross the aisle. We’ve seen this before in Ireland and very recently in Greece, where friends of SF, Syriza, came to power on the back of a radical programme they simply could not deliver. There, the promises made over the course of a decade leading up to the 2015 elections saw the left-wing coalition of parties rise from 6 seats to a whopping 149. Failure to deliver though has seen that number shrink back to 86 since. This should serve as a stark warning to McDonald and her frontbench that over promising, as Labour

did here before 2011, has dire consequences. In January, FG were in a spot of crisis. Their poll numbers were plummeting, and no confidence motions were flying in thick and fast as the previous Confidence and Supply deal keeping its minority Government in office unravelled. With only a week to go to the election, one poll had the party at just 17% and set to lose a large cohort of TD’s. Fast forward to St. Patrick’s Day and still Taoiseach Varadkar was addressing the nation from Washington DC at the outset of the Covid crisis hitting these shores. Polished media performances by him and Simon Harris, in whom a no confidence motion ultimately had triggered the election, saw the party’s poll share skyrocket into the mid to high 30’s for much of 2020, although these have retreated back again in recent weeks. Looking into 2021, FG will certainly need to stop the list of scandals emanating about their previous 9 years in Government, especially seeing as Leo is carefully eyeing up a triumphant second stint as Taoiseach once Martin vacates the office. After that, it’s simply a case of getting on the work and getting any good media they can muster. Clare’s Oireachtas members know that their fortune is tied in with their party leaders’ public image, but they cannot rely on that alone. More on their performance from the 2020 election through to Christmas in another issue of The Clare Echo. Merry Christmas to everyone. Here’s wishing you all a safe one.


26 FEATURES

Rudolph's story RONAN SCULLY

Thought for the week

R

ECENTLY I was asked a question by my daughters Mia and Sophie: "What should we leave for Santa as a gift?" Mia answered the question she had just finished asking by saying: "Water and pasta and don’t forget a carrot for Rudolph, he must not be left out just because he looks different." "Wow," I thought, what a statement and she was right. We should not leave people out at Christmas or anytime no matter how different they are or no matter what culture they are. It made me think of the true story about Rudolph the Rednosed reindeer which would be known to DJ’s on the radio as the song was a huge hit for Johnny Mark’s in 1949 who adapted it from the author of the story of Rudolf, Bob May. The following is the true story of how the special song came about. Don’t you just love true life stories.

The True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and broken hearted, stared out of his draughty apartment window into the chilling December night. His four-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob's wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked: “Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?” Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. Bob completed secondary school, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at a newspaper firm during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-roomed apartment in the slum area. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined to make one - a story book. Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there. The gen-

eral manager of a newspaper firm caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of the newspaper firm returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a bestseller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of White Christmas. The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad.

Thought for The week

As your thought for the week, don’t be afraid to stand up for what is right and truthful and always try to have an open door for people in genuine need, no matter who they are or what shape or size they may be or what culture they may be from. The following is a Christmas prayer I always pray and try to enact it all during the following year. "May you always know in your heart and soul this Christmas and always that Love is all there is. May you at this time of the year be more mindful of giving more peace, compassion, acceptance and love towards yourself and others. May you find beautiful serenity, peace and tranquility in a world that you may not always understand. May you always know that you are beautiful, wonderful, creative, strong and capable, a true gift from God. May you realise that you are loved, needed and are here on this beautiful planet Earth for a reason. "May the pain you have known and conflict you have experienced, give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with love, courage and optimism. May you know internally and externally that Kindness always changes everything. May you always comprehend that you are stronger than you think. May you always remember this Christmas and always, Love is all there is. Amen." Happy Christmas to one and all and especially to you the reader.

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020


FEATURES 27

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020



GREEN CLARE

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas CIAN O’BROIN

C

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

LARE Animal Welfare (CAW) have a special message for the people of Clare this Christmas, asking the community not to purchase dogs from unscrupulous breeders and to recognise that, “Dogs don’t come with a receipt.â€? A registered charity that operates on a foster home system, CAW places all their animals in foster homes with private families. Director Judy Beck feels that this gives a good picture of how dogs will behave in the home setting. CAW works closely with volunteer members to approve applications for animals and carries out thorough house checks. Judy says: “We go through every application before a dog is placed. We don’t have a shelter or kennel. These private families are all experienced dog owners and they would receive training before they become a foster home for the dogs. “This works very well for us. It shows everything, from how they get on with other dogs in the home, their house training, what level of socialisation they have had. We obtain a lot of information on them so when the person comes to adopt them, we are able to check whether they will be a suitable family.â€? People are buying more dogs than ever, Judy tells. She posits that prices have risen to new unseen heights, with dogs fetching up to â‚Ź1,000 each, where previously they would have cost â‚Ź500. “A lot of unscrupulous breeders are cashing in on this. Many dogs are overbred. Parents are kept in poor positions and often this is on illegal puppy farms. “The only reason the mother is there is to breed,â€? she asserts. These dogs, she explains, receive the least amount of veterinary care, are being fed low quality food and are being sold as quickly as possible, so as to make as much money as possible. She adds: “Most people aren’t aware of this. They meet a guy in the car park. The dog is taken out of the boot and cash will change hands. “After getting home with their new puppy, they find out it is quite sick. They then head straight to the vet, where they rack up a large amount of bills. Dogs don’t come with a receipt. It’s not like you can take it back to the store.â€? Although breeders may not take dogs back, a rescue will. Through this system and service offered by CAW, you do not pay for the dog, but simply for the adoption fee. This covers the cost of neutering, vaccinations and a micro-chip. Judy also points out that many puppies purchased from breeders are not even

wormed. Her advice is to really take your time, a dog is a 15-year commitment. Approach a rescue, which can find a suitable dog for the family, both in breed and in temperament. Judy states: “Most dogs are given back at nine months of age, when they are teenagers. At this time, they become very active and won’t listen to any commands. They are poorly socialised and the family doesn’t have any time. “If you can’t get the right dog, just wait. It’s too big of a commitment and a rush at Christmas time. Consider fostering a dog if possible. Most people have more time to do this at Christmas. “If you are definitely going to purchase a dog this Christmas, then do your homework. Know where the dog is coming from. See the parents of the dog if possible. It’s often the case that the mother could be back breeding more, all year-round.�

COULD YOU GIVE SIMBA A GOOD HOME?

Visit Clare Animal Welfare’s Facebook page for more information on adopting this Christmas. You can also access their website at: www.clareanimalwelfare.ie

lNEW BFF: Simba is a five year old German Shepherd who is looking for a home. When he came to CAW he had a problem with his spine and had to undergo extensive surgery. He is fully recovered now and enjoys his walks. Simba would suit a family with older children. He is a very affectionate boy and loves being in the heart of the home.

NOTICE TO DOG OWNERS Clean Up After Your Dog And Stop

MESS • SMELL • DISEASE

ďƒź Always carry a bag to clean up ďƒź Bag it and bin it ďƒź Control your dog at all times @greenerclare |

@greenerclare |

@greenerclare

Anti-litter Hotline No.: 1800 606 706 Email: enviroff@clarecoco.ie


28 COMMUNITY

Community LISDOONVARNA More than 5,000 Christmas lights will be switched on this Friday evening (December 18th) in Lisdoonvarna as part of a major community initiative, writes Páraic McMahon. Light Up Lisdoon 2020 is organised by Lisdoonvarna Fáilte CLG in collaboration with LINKS and artist Leight O'Connell and runs from this Friday to 3rd January 2021. All local schools, artists, clubs, businesses and organisations in the community and local catchment area have taken on a display project to create a winter wonderland of lights and festive fun. Lisdoonvarna's community park will be divided into themed sections ranging from the North Pole to Candyland and an exhibit of the Wren Boys Christmas traditions, all of which will be decorated to celebrate the festive season. The main street of Lisdoonvarna has also been shaped into the festive spirit by the Tidy Towns Committee Chairperson of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte CLG, Marie Urquhart shared the level of excitement that is building in North Clare ahead of the event. "From the littlest acorn planted in late September, a themed park walk for the kids for Halloween, Light up Lisdoon

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

CONTACT

NEWSDESK 065 671 9021 news@clareecho.ie

CLONLARA has grown before our very eyes from the enthusiasm, love and support shown by every man, woman, child, school, groups and clubs in the community. We cannot wait to see out 2020 with our little part of the world shining brightly, le chéile". Director and Sales Manager with White's Hotels and Group Travel, Megan White pinpointed the "magical park walk" as a particular highlight of the planned project. Chairman of St Breckan's GAA, Paul O'Loughlin lauded the "innovative community initiative" for strengthening the spirit in the area. Members of the Board of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte CLG also singled out the efforts of local representative, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) for adding to "a wonderful experience". A limited number of outdoor Christmas markets will be running this Sunday (December 20th) from 11am to 3pm. Organisers have stressed that the activities will all adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. All funds raised will go directly towards St Vincent de Paul in Ennistymon. Gold ribbons can be purchased in local shops and a message can be written on them to a loved one and tied on the main Christmas tree at the Pavilion.

GOAL MILE

For nearly 40 years the GOAL Mile has seen people come together to run or walk a mile to raise funds for GOAL at Christmas & in Clonlara we would have been heading into our 4th GOAL mile event this year. However this year's tradition has to change. We are asking everyone to run or walk their own Mile wherever they safely can over the Christmas period. You can register on http://www.GoalGlobal.org or donate directly to the Clonlara Mile by searching ClonlaraGoalMile on http://www.justgiving.com. Share your Mile using the #ClonlaraGoalMile!

ENNIS

lSTAR BRIGHT: (left) A Christmas Tree

at the Town Square in Lisdoonvarna and (above) Eithne O’Driscoll, Eilidh McNamara, Olwyn Egan, Tina O’Connell and Leigh O’Connell preparing for Light up Lisdoonvarna

COUNTYWIDE SAMARITANS

Samaritans Ennis and Clare are reminding those in need that their helpline will be open during their darkest hours if they are lonely or struggling to cope this Christmas. Volunteers on the 24-hour-helpline answered almost 40,000 calls in Ireland in December last year, with more than 50 volunteers answering over 1,150 calls and written contacts on Christmas Day alone. Landmarks across Ireland and Ennis and Clare are also lighting up in green to mark the Longest Night, to show people Samaritans are here for them during the long dark nights. The Clare County Council building and Samaritans Centre Sunville are among those turning green on Monday, December 21st - the winter solstice – to support Samaritan's Christmas campaign. The Samaritans are calling on local businesses and others to do the same. Margaret MacMahon Director of Ennis Samaritans, said: "It has been an unprecedented year with the pandemic affecting so many people's health and wellbeing and this will be a very different Christmas for many people. We know that people struggle more at Christmas, as it's a time when loneliness can really hit home. We want people to know that we are available 24/7 for everyone on freephone 116 123 or email jo@ samaritans.ie. We also want to thank Clare County Council and other businesses/premises for supporting us on the Longest Night and helping to get the message out that we're there for everyone during the long dark winter nights." Clare Samaritans volunteers will be on duty Christmas day. "I find it very rewarding to volunteer on Christmas Day," said Mary, who joined Samaritans over 10 years ago. Samaritans in Ennis and Clare are also appealing for funds to support its branch this Christmas. Donations can be made directly to your local branch, Samaritans Ennis and Clare Sunville Kilrush Road Ennis V95V004 on the webpage https://www.samaritans.org/ ireland/branches/ennis/ or via the donate link at https://www.idonate.ie/5275_samaritansennis---clare.html

lSURPRISE It's been a year of loneliness for many and at the Irish wheelchair association it has been no different. The staff of the Resource and Outreach Centre on Francis street in Ennis decided that all their service users needed some much needed Christmas cheer brought to them. Last week Santa (Gerry Murray) and his Elf (Linda O Grady) started their journey around Clare. Pictured here with Santa and his elf are Orla Platten, Nicole Norton, Connie Commane and Fiona Hanrahan.


COMMUNITY 29

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

CLOONEY

ENNIS

SEAI PARTNERSHIP

The Clooney Spancilhill Community Development (Environment) Group have entered a three year partnership with the SEAI. The community of Clooney, Spancilhill and Maghera have signed up as a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) and have been successful in obtaining funding to carry out an energy master plan. The is to be energy efficient, achieve financial and energy savings, leverage funding and contribute to energy reduction. The first part of the partnership is to carry out surveys and audits in the area. Mentors from the SEAI and CLDC have been approved. Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA) are the company that have been appointed to carry out this work. The energy master plan is expected to be completed by 21st June 2021. This will provide the foundation and road-map for projects (retrofit, energy projects - community, residential, business etc) and release funding.

NEWMARKET ON FERGUS TRADRAÍ ANNUAL

A global pandemic was not enough to deter a GAA annual from coming up trumps yet again, writes Páraic McMahon. Tradraí, the McNamee award winning publication produced by Newmarket-on-Fergus GAA is back on shelves once again. The 38th edition of the annual serves as a recap of the year gone by but places a strong emphasis on the life of the late Jim 'Puddin' Cullinan who died in February of this year. In an interview with The Clare Echo at the time, two time All-Star Johnny McMahon said of Cullinan, "I have no doubt in saying he was the greatest Clare hurler of all time" . Published author Colm Liddy now finds himself in the hotseat as Editor of Tradraí. He described their 14 page feature on Puddin as "the definitive article" about his career. Chosen as the best centre back in Ireland in 1967 with the distinction of a Cú Chulainn Award, a dozen of Cullinan's contemporaries were interviewed for the tribute. Colm pinpointed the tribute as a particular highlight along with a profile of former Clare dual-player Edel Arthur who now resides in

Dublin. "Achievements of women in sport are only beginning to be properly acknowledged and Edel's career was definitely worthy of note. She won senior county titles in both camogie and Ladies Football as well as All-Irelands in both codes as well," he said. "Putting a magazine together was a great distraction from Covid. I interviewed two dozen people for the various articles, so with social distancing I got to sit in quite a few conservatories and sunrooms," Colm quipped. Other features include a profile on John Ryan, captain of the Clare SHC winning side in 1981 and an article on the history of the Tradaree building by Mary Grogan. Colm confirmed the process of recording all the memories of the conquering 1960s generation is underway. An update and expansion to 'A Proud Past', an early history of the club is also being undertaken by popular clubman Pat Corry. Tradraí is available to purchase in Newmarket-on-Fergus at Halpins Garage, Newmarket-on-Fergus Family Butchers and Varden's Pharmacy. Alternatively it can be ordered via nofgaa.com or call Colm on 086-8035-319.

lROW YOUR BOAT: Kayak4 Dads an eight week course at Scoil Chríost Rí, Cloughleigh

in conjunction with LCETB concluded on Tuesday. The four week course followed a four week introductory course and saw six Dads complete the initiative. Front row: Joe Garry, Ger Cullen, Maria Lynch, Paul Crehan. Back Row: Alan Fairweather, Carmel Broderick, Noel McDonagh, Martin McDonagh, Davy McDonagh, John McDonagh Photo by John Mangan

WEST CLARE TALK CAMPAIGN

On Friday night December 18th West Clare Mental Health Association will be launching our TALK Campaign from Mullagh Festival of Hope .The campaign will involve placement of a poster in prominentlocations throughout the communities of West Clare.The aim of the campaign is to reach out to people in crisis who are considering suicide and to encourage them to talk to someone.The communites of West Clare have been hugely affected by suicide and we are asking local business to assist with the display by contacting us. We will be recording a flash mob choir carol this weekend and the TALK messages will be delivered through this mefium too.Only by working together can we Turn The Tide on Suicide. For more information contact: 086 6043473.


30 ADVERTISING

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COLUMNIST 31

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

NAUGHTY BISCUIT CAKE PUD Kearney Cooks

S

O I had intended on doing an alternative smoked salmon starter recipe for my final column before Christmas, but I thought, feck it, I want to do something naughty. So instead, I am bringing you my chocolate biscuit cake pudding recipe. It’s full of everything thats not good for you. For this recipe you will need A half pint pudding mould Cake part: • 200g Milk Chocolate • 100g butter • 1 tbsp golden syrup • Whatever sweeties or biscuits you want, i used a pack of maltesers, some marshmallows and about 8 rich tea biscuits For the glaze: • 200g cream • 200g milk chocolate • (if you want a thicker glaze use less cream) To decorate: I used ready to roll white icing, but you can use melted white chocolate over the top if you prefer

Step 1 Melt your chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a microwave or over a pot of boiling water until they are combined. Step 2 Line your pudding bowl with clingfilm and fill it up with marshmallows, maltesers and biscuits. This will let you know how many you need. Put these into a seperate bowl and stir half of your melted chocolate mix through them. Step 3 Spoon a couple of large blobs of your melted chocolate into your lined pudding mould. This should make sure that you have a good flat top. Now horse your chocolate covered sweetie mix into your pudding mould until its full. Now gently pour any remaining melted chocolate mix into the full mould. This should seep down through the gaps between the biscuits and sweeties. Leave this into the fridge overnight to chill. Step 4 Demould your pudding the next day and place it on a wire rack over a bowl. Boil 200ml of cream and pour it over 200g chocolate, and stir the shit out of it until it forms a light ganache or sauce.

Leave it cool but dont let it go hard. Pour it over your pudding to glaze it. You might need to pour your ganache over your pudding more than once. Step 5 Leave your now glazed pudding in the fridge to chill, and roll out some ready to roll icing and cut a snow splat shape out. Drape this over your biscuit cake pudding and if you like put a holly decoration on top. Or a shiny red bow like I did. Step 6 Make an absolute pig of yourself eating chocolate biscuit cake pudding This is a great recipe to make with the kids, and is a great crowdpleaser as most people like biscuit cake. Also it looks fantastic and tastes great. Enjoy

Steve K


32

DEC 17 2020

Edna not slowing down at 90 ‘Safety plan can LOCAL LEGEND: Tuamgraney’s Edna O’Brien celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday

STUART HOLLY editor@clareecho.ie

EAST Clare author Edna O’Brien announced that The Country Girls is set to be made into a television series, as she celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday. The Tuamgraney native spoke to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny on Tuesday as she marked her milestone birthday. Recognised as one of Ireland’s greatest writers, Edna - who recently won the South Bank Sky Arts award for literature for her novel Girl - spoke about her groundbreaking Country Girls trilogy which were banned by the Irish censorship board in the 1960s and have since been acclaimed among the most influencial works of the 20th century.

“I’m so glad The Country Girls, that little foundling, is still in print and still exists – they’re actually going to do a television series on it,� she reflected. “It has retained its vigour and kept in print. Ireland is a freer country now [than when it was first published] and hopefully less judgemental, but ultimately passion stays. The spirit of a nation doesn’t vanish overnight. Sure, there’s more modernity and less censorship and many good things have happened, but also a few we could have lived without. “Irish people are more passionate and more open and dramatic with their feelings than English people. and that has been the case and will be the case forever.� Edna also hinted that another book might be in the works, confirming that age is but a number for one of Clare’s finest.

solve deficiencies at Dromindoora’

‘Deficiencies’ in Dromindoora can be dealt with by the completion of a comprehensive safety plan, according to the Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, writes PĂĄraic McMahon. An appeal for the organisation of a “comprehensive safety planâ€? for the village of Dromindoora was tabled by Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) at a recent sitting of the Killaloe MD. He believed this would help to link the village together should it include traffic calming measures, a new footpath, adequate lighting and the removal of “dangerous obstaclesâ€?. Funding should be applied for when the plan is completed, Cllr Hayes stated. “This is a very busy regional road and extremely dangerous for both pedestrians, children of the school and users of the GAA pitchâ€?. The proposal was seconded by Cllr Pat Burke (FG). Completing such a safety plan is not currently on the agenda of Clare County Council, senior engineer Tom Mellett advised. All resources in the MD are focused on the completion of the 2020 schedule of works. He committed to adding the suggestion to a list of projects to be considered for future development. Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Hayes detailed that the road links East Clare to South Galway. He cautioned that people are travelling to the post office but no footpath or lighting is to be found. “It is a community that is growing the whole time. We need a traffic management plan around it. People are speeding to make it to Gort or Scariff and using this road,â€? he commented. Several “Eircom polesâ€? are leaning out along the road but were never removed, he highlighted. “There are a number of deficiencies in the area in terms of infrastructure, it is my hope that a comprehensive plan would be done. Land can be made available and residents are very interested in having an element of safety,â€? the Maghera native stated.

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Support elderly in community and shop local - Hayes CIAN O’BROIN

C

cian@clareecho.ie

ATHAOIRLEACH of Killaloe Municipal District, Councillor Pat Hayes (FF) would like to thank the East Clare community for their great support and work throughout a very difficult year. Speaking to The Clare Echo, the Feakle native encouraged locals of East Clare to support the elderly people within the community. He states: “I would encourage people to shop local and support their local businesses. Now more than ever we need to make sure that our small businesses across East Clare are supported.” Cllr. Hayes says that a lot of money has been spent in rural communities but that the challenge ahead is to continue to spend it and support rural communities in Clare. On the elderly within the community, he says that they have seen it all before. They have gone through difficult times, through wars and through a whole other part of our history. “I would encourage people to try and

support the elderly within their community, whether that be making a phonecall or sending a Christmas card. “Small things mean a lot to rural communities and in particular to older people. It makes a difference for them when they know someone is thinking about them and watching their back as well,” he adds. He stresses that a number of people in rural areas do not have a large extended family and that with the closure of pubs and other social outlets, Christmas can be quite a lonely time. Cllr. Hayes states: “We have to be positive. We have done extremely well in terms of Covid in East Clare. At the same time, we need to plan for the future. “A lot of people have been able to look back on the past year and say, we learned a lot about our own area and community.” He would also like to express his gratitude to the people of East Clare for their continued support, citing his wish to continue serving the people of East Clare, as was his motivation when becoming a councillor 20 years ago. He states: “On behalf of the community and district, I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.”

DEC 17 2020

33


34

DEC 17 2020

Keenan releases debut album Humours of Scariff STUART HOLLY

S

editor@clareecho.ie

CARIFF musician John Keenan has released his debut album The Humours of Scariff. The fiddle player, who grew up in Lough Cutra, learned his trade from Feakle fiddler Vincent Griffin in the 1970s. Since moving with his family to Scariff in 2002 he is a fixture on the music circuit in the East Clare area and regularly plays in sessions in Scariff, Tuamgraney, Mountshannon, Ballina, Terryglass and in Kilclaren as well as at Festivals in Louisburgh, Milltown, Corofin, Gort among others. In recent years John has composed many tunes and in his debut album includes three of his compositions; Eimear’s Hornpipe, which is dedicated to the memory of his niece

Eimear Noonan who died tragically in France in November 2017; Lament for Barry was composed in memory of his young neighbour Barry Nash who died following a car accident in January 2014 and the third tune is a jig called The Blue Chicken, so named after an Oral Irish exam which yielded that response from a student who was encountering

some long pauses in trying to respond to the examiner’s questions. John was influenced by the music of De Danann, The Bothy Band, The Chieftains and many others as his brothers bought the latest cassette tapes at every opportunity. He was lucky enough to get to hear many of these wonderful musicians up close at The Clare Folk Club in Crusheen, which was run by Joe Galligan in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. The album features Derek Hickey on accordion (formerly of De Danann and Arcady), Ciara O Sullivan from Ennis, Willie Kilkenny from Mountshannon and John’s sister Mary Noonan from Caher. It is available now from Custys in Ennis, and various local outlets in Scariff and online at www. johnkeehanmusic.com. ​

Speeding a ‘huge issue’ in Kilkishen PÁRAIC MCMAHON paraic@clareecho.ie

SPEEDING in Kilkishen has been described as “a huge issue”. Three locations in the village of Kilkishen have been examined by speed surveys in recent weeks. Potential works are now being considered by Clare County Council “on the basis” of the results, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett confirmed. No funding currently exists within the local authority to implement traffic calming or speeding measures approaching the East Clare village. A further survey and plan will be developed “when resources are available,” Mellett advised. Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) had issued the plea for speeding approaching both ends of Kilkishen village to be addressed. He asked that the findings from the speed surveys be made available to allow further conclusions be drawn and detailed that he has urged

locals to report instances to An Garda Síochána. “It is a huge issue out there, the accident figures from the survey would be interesting to see on the approach from both sides. The approach into the village is a concern for the people of Kilkishen. Numerous people have been onto me about the speed,” Cllr O’Callaghan stated at a recent meeting of the Killaloe Municipal District. Numerous visits to assess the problem have been carried out by the Council, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) acknowledged. “A lot has been achieved in Kilkishen. My belief is that in order to slow the traffic we need to put speed ramps in place coming up and down to the school and from both sides of the village. It is a long stretch through the village and there is people speeding through, there is no point saying otherwise. When people in cars see the lights are green, they are inclined to stick down the boot”. Further support was voiced by Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) who recalled that a traffic management plan had been called for “several times”.


DEC 17 2020

35

‘Dream come true’ for Scariff’s Pauline as she secures second fellowship PÁRAIC MCMAHON

A

paraic@clareecho.ie

SCARIFF woman has been awarded a prestigious Royal Society-SFI University Research Fellowship for the second time. Dr Pauline Scanlan who is based out of the APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre in UCC has been recognised for outstanding early career success in the area of deep-tech data storage. She has been lauded as an ambassador and role model for careers in STEM. As part of the fellowship, recipients will be given a generous timeframe to develop their own research field and build their careers at a time when many are often also starting their families. This is especially pertinent for fe-

male researchers. According to a US study, more than 40% of women with full-time jobs in science leave the sector or choose part time work after having their first child. Only 23% of fathers make similar changes. Pauline studies the ecology and evolution of microbial populations in the human gut. Her fellowship is focused on understanding how bacteriophages (viruses that kill bacteria) shape the evolution of their bacterial hosts and aims to provide a fundamental insight into the origins of microbial diversity in the human gut. Securing the fellowship was “a dream come true”, Pauline said. “The grant has provided me with complete intellectual freedom and independence to pursue my research goals. It is a dream come true for me. Most grants for early stage researchers are for 2-3 years and it often takes considerably lon-

ger than this to collect samples and generate data suitable for publication. The prestige associated with the fellowship award helps with

Killaloe Municipal District and Clare County Council wish all retailers, service providers and members of the community across East Clare a prosperous and safe Christmas.

We would like to remind everyone in the East Clare community to:

Shop local this Christmas Shop safely this Christmas

CV building and was key to me securing a permanent lectureship that I can take up in the School of Microbiology at UCC after my fel-

lowship.” Of the Royal Society, the past pupil of Scariff National School and Scariff Community College added, that it “pays special attention to individual researchers and their careers; they have invested in us and thus they want to see us do well and are willing to support us any way they can. Whether this is facilitating maternity leave, flexible working hours or working part-time when your family are young, the Royal Society ensures fellow’s host institutions provide the appropriate support and infrastructure for early career researchers to achieve work-life balance”. According to Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Pauline’s early career achievements have seen her compete “alongside the best in the world”.


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Mullagh's Sexton among 23 advisers earning combined €2m PÁRAIC MCMAHON

C

paraic@clareecho.ie

LARE woman Colette Sexton is among the special advisers to Government ministers in Ireland pocketing a combined €3m. Mullagh native Colette has been a special adviser to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (FF) since August. Prior to this she worked as a news correspondent with The Sunday Business Post, a political correspondent with The Times Ireland and as an associate director with the public affairs division of Edelman. She holds a first class honours BA in History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies from University of Limerick and a first class honours MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Combined yearly earnings relating to 23

media and policy advisers will top €2m, with eight of these appointees on salaries of over €100,000, according to figures first reported by The Irish Examiner on Friday. Members of the Dáil appointed as ministers and ministers of State may make a number of personal appointments to support them with their enhanced workload, under the latest guidelines for the Appointments for the 33rd Dáil from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform issued in August. Within the staffing limits indicated in the guidelines, a minister, may appoint two special advisers. In September, the Government announced that an unprecedented amount of special advisers to deal with media and guide policy decisions were to be hired. In total, the Government has taken on 64 special advisers which will cost the taxpayer more than €3m a year. The pay scale for advisers starts at €87,325 and goes up to €101,114 excluding pension and other entitlements. However, salaries above this have

been sanctioned and, in the past, granted when specific cases were made. Sexton is earning €94,487 for her role as a special adviser to Minister Donnelly along with former Sunday Business Post health correspondent Susan Mitchell. Eight special advisers are on the maximum fee of €101,114 per annum. This includes former journalists Chris Donoghue, Susan Mitchell and Paul Melia plus Deborah Sweeney and Ed Brophy who advise Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (FG), Paul Kenny who was appointed by Minister for Transport and Climate Change, Eamon Ryan (GP), Kevin Barrett the adviser to Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath (FF) and Pauric McPhillip who works for Minister for Social Protection, Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys (FG).

l EXPERT: (right) Colette Sexton

'Quick thinking' Fiddle & Bow Yard proves to be an instant hit PÁRAIC MCMAHON

paraic@clareecho.ie

AN ENNIS enterprise born in the second COVID-19 lockdown has proven to be an instant hit with the people of Clare. Adaptation and quick thinking led to the arrival of the Fiddle & Bow Yard on the Lahinch Rd in Ennis. The pop up located at the site of the former One Mile Inn has a strong emphasis placed on local produce among its artisan hand glazed doughnuts, sourdough toasties, coffee and as of this weekend a hot chocolate bar. Homemade fish, chips and scampi are also served from the Russell's Food Truck while the Armada Pantry will have a stand in operation this weekend. Corofin native Gerry Quinn is the managing director of the yard, he alongside John Burke is the co-founder of the Fiddle and Bow Collection which is also based in Doolin. Speaking to The Clare Echo, Gerry recounted that "a quick turnaround" led to the birth of the Yard which employs 12 people. In October when a second lockdown was announced, he returned home

in a positive mood which raised eyebrows "my wife thought I was bananas and lost the plot. Action was needed and the sparkle of inspiration was provided in the form of the Yard, previous examples of which he had observed in London. "It started off as a small project, it started with a €5k budget and ended up about ten times that, all our projects tend to evolve, we don't want to half do things. "It started off with a container and a small kit-out and then the electrics cost more than our initial budget. Starting a business in this environment, it had to be outdoors and close to an urban population, Ennis has 20,000 people so we knew if we were going anywhere in Clare it would have to be there," he outlined. Russell's Fish Shop was another enterprise opened by the Fiddle and Bow Collection in July of this year. Whatever the aspect of their business, the same values remain, Quinn said. "The central pillar of everything we're doing is quality. When we're doing potatoes we do it the traditional way, we buy in the potato, we peel and cut them, the fish is sourced locally. Sustainable is one of our main things, we really try to get across a local message and do things properly, a lot

of places would buy in the potatoes which would come in a bag already peeled and chopped, that is the easiest way to do it but we decided we would go the extra mile to try get our quality side across and we try bring it across the whole business". Given their preference of Clare

artisan products, it is fitting that the people of the county have made their latest venture a success. "The value of community to all of our businesses is crucial, community is everything, if you don't have the locals on your side you have nothing and we feel by creating a quality workplace and qual-

l PICTURESQUE: The Fiddle & Bow Yard in Ennis

ity in what we do we will build a brand that people will trust and enjoy coming to. That is our central message and what I work towards everyday". Nominated for two All-Stars, the ex Clare hurler's first business was Gerry Quinn's Bar in Corofin followed by The Library Bar in Ennis. "When the recession kicked in back in 2008 I decided to go back to college and specialise in hospitality," he recalled. During his five year studies, he worked in The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland and Dromoland Castle. "I got my first break in 2014 when we leased out 15 holiday homes in Doolin, the business has grown from there, it has been completely organic growth". His latest venture which runs for another three weeks has been very satisfactory. "We're really enjoying it, we're working really hard at it and trying to make it better every week, we're very happy with it. Our quality is very good. "We put a huge amount of work into the fish shop in July of this year when it opened, we have lobster rolls but our emphasis is on quality. I can see what we're putting out in the Fiddle & Bow Yard and I'm very proud to put my name behind it".


THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

BUSINESS

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

Westland Ennis offer Covid-19 antigen testing

CIAN O’BROIN

W

cianobroin@clareecho.ie

ESTLAND Health are operating a Covid-19 Antigen testing service for €35 per appointment in Carmody Street Business

Park in Ennis. This 15 min HPRA approved test will identify Covid-19 with a 98 percent success rate, explains Westland Health Founder Stephen Murphy. A registered nurse, Mr. Murphy worked as General Manager at Cahercalla Hospital for the past three years before setting up Westland Health. Throughout the previous eight months, Mr. Murphy was responsible for testing all staff and visitors who entered the hospital. Having trained to conduct the standard HSE swab test, Stephen hopes to provide County Clare with a fast and efficient testing system that could make the difference in the run up to the vaccine next year. "If somebody wanted to go to a wedding or a funeral, they could get an antigen test done. If they were after a night out and felt there was a bit too many people there and they are heading for a Christmas dinner, then they can get tested. It's different to the anti-body test, which shows if you've had it before. This antigen test detects the viral load present in the body," he explains. The benefits, he adds, are that it is quick

and cheap, as opposed to the testing in airports which can cost up to €200 per test. He concedes that the only downside is that there can be a degree of error of between two and three percent. "If you test 10 people and you get nine right, it's better than not getting tested at all," he opines. Stephen identified a specific antigen test that is HPRA approved, affirming that many people are purchasing test kits but are not qualified to administer a proper test. Anyone can book online or by calling the Westland Health phoneline. Referral by a GP or the presence of symptoms in not a requirement, Stephen says. The test is carried out by Stephen or a number of registered nurses that have been hired to come on board if necessary. After arriving, a swab will be taken and then you will be asked to wait outside or in your car. Fifteen minutes later you will receive a text or call with your result. Stephen recommends that if you test positive at Westland Health, to go and receive an official HSE test and follow the guidelines correctly. He also hopes that the service can be rolled out commercially after Christmas, whereby businesses looking to mass test can do so efficiently through 15 min antigen tests. Westland Health will be open until December 24, 2020 from 8am to 9pm each day. Doors will reopen then on December 28, 2020. For more information or to book a test, visit https://www.westlandhealth.ie/ or phone (065)-670 3014.

lRAPID: It takes just 15 minutes to get a test result

BUSINESS 37


38 CLICK FOR CLARE

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Anchor Crafts website ‘kept wolf from door’ CIAN O’BROIN

P

cian@clareecho.ie

AULINE Dunleavy set up Anchor Crafts Kilrush 20 years ago. Operating the shop all on her own, Pauline exclaims that each day brings about a different challenge, supported by a great customer base in Kilrush. Stocking a full range of jewellery, candles, handbags, household goods and paintings, Pauline has found Anchor Crafts as a great way to showcase her handmade jewellery and artwork. Pauline took up painting alongside her late mom, something her mother had always wanted to do, “In her twilight years,” Pauline states. Since then, Pauline (pictured) has

been showcasing her own personal seascapes and landscapes in store. Also available in Anchor Crafts, is handmade jewellery made from clay. “It’s good to sit down with slabs of clay and you have to literally design the piece and go from there. When you are finished the piece, you have to bake it, to harden it. It starts out as mála, like you use when you are in school. Then you condition it and make a design. It’s pretty intricate but a great medium to work on,” she states. Like many businesses, Pauline had to close down in March and again for the second lockdown. I used to take it for granted, she opines. Adding that, now she really appreciates her workplace. Anchor Crafts went online throughout Level 5 restrictions, with the site containing a full catalogue of items in store. Pauline admits that online trading, “kept the wolf from the door”, during the

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have a chat. The level of co-operation I got was unbelievable.” Pauline has noted a largely positive return to business at Anchor Crafts. On the first day of re-opening there were people waiting outside, just like Christmas Eve, she tells. Despite the popularity of her online store, Pauline feels that little compares to the in-store experience felt within Anchor Crafts. “I always have unique pieces here. I do a lot of research into my products. No other shops in West Clare or Clare stock the same items. You get value for money; great service and I am there to meet everyone. Let’s hope we all come up safe by the end of Christmas,” she concludes.

difficulty of Covid-19. She urges anyone thinking of setting up online or simply looking to upgrade their website, to contact the Local Enterprise Office (LEO). She states: “I got in contact with Declan Meaney in the LEO. He had amazing patience with me and

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CLICK FOR CLARE 39

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Blackbird soars high in e-commerce world STUART HOLLY

K

editor@clareecho.ie

ATIE Rogers’ business journey has been intriguing to follow. Since opening the doors to her boutique jewellery store in September 2019, she has turned Blackbird into an instantly recognisable brand through extensive online marketing while acquiring a name for fantastic customer service at the sparkling premises at Bank Place in Ennis. The Quin native had been preparing for a rollercoaster first year in business and looking in from the outside, she was passing with flying colours. However nothing could have readied Katie for what would transpire in March when Government restrictions forced retail shops to close their doors. “Blackbird got off to a great start, it was busy from Day One and we had a great Christmas,” begins the Business & Event management graduate. “I was expecting the first year to be really tough. Everybody had said to me it will be a year before you find your feet so I was kind of ready for things to go wrong in one sense, and obviously I didn’t imagine being closed for four or five months. What happened in March, we didn’t see it coming. You never imagine having to run your business with the

doors closed, especially around a time when you’d expect it to pick up for Mother’s Day and St Patrick’s Day when you’d get the American tourists, so we were fully stocked and ready for a busy spell.” Despite the jarring setback, Katie allowed herself to see the silver lining of Lockdown and energised by her early success, endeavoured to make a move online. “You kind of had no choice,” she ponders. “To be honest we had been so busy in the shop that we couldn’t even imagine setting up a website. So in a way there’s an opportnity in that challenge becuase we got ourselves online and now we have both doing very well.” Having secured some funding through Local Enterprise Office Clare’s Trading Online Voucher to build an e-commerce website, blackbirdennis.ie went live in early May. Admitting that she was nervous about investing money when the business was closed, Katie reserves praise for LEO Clare in their support. “It really took off from the day it went live, the sales started coming through so it was great. People had previously been contacting us on Instagram every day enquiring about birthday or anniversary presents but it’s nothing like having a website, which is so much easier for people to buy off instead of contacting you, and us taking payment over the phone.” While Blackbird’s online busi-

ness continued to soar with huge interest from Dublin customers, her bricks-and-mortar business endured a stop-start year. Katie acknowledges the people of Clare for supporting local. “People were great, I think everybody was consious that the business was closed and the local people were making an effort, I felt nearly going out of their way to support us which was lovely.” Since reopening again on December 1, Katie’s greatest current concern is dealing with demand. “At the moment it’s challenging because both the website and shop are incredibly busy but we’re definietly not complaining, it’s just a matter of having enough time and stock.” While Blackbird continues to thrive via its online offering, Katie is optimistic for the future of her local physical retail operation. “Women love to come into shops, it’s kind of a hobby and they like to try things on. I definitely think the last lockdown, people who had never shopped online started to shop online so I think they can both work very well hand in hand.” Ready for the final rush of Christmas shoppers, Katie is revelling in the festive atmosphere that’s been created in Ennis town centre this year. With deliveries at the mercy of postal services, she is encouraging customers to visit the shop to ensure they get their hands on Christmas presents prior to December 25.

FEATHER IN HER CAP: Katie Rodgers of Blackbird Jewellery Ennis launched her online store this year just six months after going into business Photo by John Mangan

SCAN WITH PHONE CAMERA TO SHOP AT BLACKBIRD

CLARE BUSINESSES CAPITALISE ON ONLINE SPEND STUART HOLLY editor@clareecho.ie

LOCAL SMEs are capitalising on Ireland’s €16bn annual online spend, according to research by IE Domain Registry, with consumers admitting to finding Irish SMEs more reliable than international retailers. The research which was conducted in partnership with Digital Business Ireland, concludes that the advent of the Covid-19 crisis has sparked a swing in online retail sales away from international

retailers, to Irish SMEs. According to the research, Irish consumers estimate that they have done most of their online shopping with Irish SMEs (53%) versus international retailers (47%). This represents a reversal of trends pre-Covid which showed 52% for international purchases compared to 48% Irish. These findings were presented despite IE Domain Registry noting that only 25% of all SMEs sell online. County Clare businesses which have experienced a noted increase in online sales this year have spoken to The Clare Echo in recent weeks as part of our Click For Clare initiative, supported by Local

Enterprise Office Clare. Discussing the upsurge in online sales, many spoke of recently availing of the LEO Clare’s Trading Online Voucher which supports small businesses in setting up an e-commerce website. Patricia Farrell of Wilde Irish Chocolates, based in Tuamgraney, estimated that while her retail offering has suffered significantly this year, she has seen a 500 per cent increase in online sales. Airmid in North Clare say their online sales increased by 80 per cent. This sentiment was echoed by Ciara Lynch of Brass Boutique in Ennis, who noticed a “massive boost” in online visitors during Level 5 restrictions. Mean-

while Julie Neylon of Wild Atlantic Living in Kilrush last week revealed that she was able to increase her staff base this year due to her newly-launched website, despite being forced to close the doors to her opticians business earlier this year during lockdown. Among consumers who have done most of their online shopping with Irish SMEs since the Covid-19 crisis, 67% say they have done so out of a sense of solidarity and a need to support Irish businesses. Some 48% said Irish SMEs are more reliable than international retailers while 41% said they are more trustworthy. Among SMEs with an online

store, 88% said they had noticed a change in their volume of sales since the Covid-19 crisis with 77% saying this has been a positive change. It comes as Two in five people stay they began shopping online for the first time at the start of the pandemic. The five most popular online purchases are clothing, food for take-out and delivery, footwear, consumer electronics and home entertainment. According to data from the Central Statistics Office, online sales as a share of retail spend dropped from a high of 15.3% in April when retail shops were allowed to reopen, to 4.3% in September.


40

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Sport Clare Echo THE

Chaplin elected Clare GAA chairperson

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RATLOE’S Jack Chaplin has been elected as the new Chairperson of Clare GAA. At Tuesday’s County Convention, Chaplin was announced as the successor to Joe Cooney. The current county board delegate of the Cratloe club defeated PJ McGuane in the vote. 183 votes were cast with Chaplin receiving 116 compared to the 67 obtained by the outgoing Vice Chairman. Kieran Keating whose term as a Munster Council delegate expired was chosen by clubs as the new Vice Chairman of Clare GAA. For this post, 182 votes were submitted. The Naomh Eoin clubman got the backing of 92 delegates fending off the challenge of Neil O’Brien (62), Niall Romer (16) and Michael Maher (12). Ex Treasurer Bernard Keane was elected to the role of Munster Council delegate alongside John Fawl.

CLARE GAA OFFICERS: Joint Presidents: Michael Lee (Tubber) & Naoise Jordan (Parteen) Chairman: Jack Chaplin (Cratloe) Vice Chair: Kieran Keating (Naomh Eoin) Secretary: Pat Fitzgerald (Sixmilebridge) Asst Secretary: Anne Hayes (Lissycasey) Treasurer: Michael Gallagher (Doonbeg) Asst Treasurer: Tony Brohan (Éire Óg) PRO: Michael O’Connor (Crusheen) Irish & Cultural Officer: Flann O’Reilly (Cratloe) Games Development Officer: Sean O’Halloran (Bodyke) Central Council Delegate: Simon Moroney (Éire Óg) Munster Council Delegate: Bernard Keane (St Josephs Doora/Barefield) Munster Council Delegate: John Fawl (Ennistymon) Congress Delegate: Michael O’Connor (Crusheen) “ Delegate: John Fawl (Ennistymon) “ Delegate: Gabriel Keating (Naomh Eoin) Munster Convention Delegate: Bernard Keane (St Josephs Doora/Barefield) Munster Convention Delegate: Michael Gallagher (Doonbeg) Munster Convention Delegate: Noel Crowe (Ennistymon) Munster Convention Delegate: Neil O’Brien (O’Callaghans Mills)

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Strong Clare contingent help guide Limerick to All-Ireland PÁRAIC MCMAHON paraic@clareecho.ie

LIMERICK claimed the All-Ireland SHC for the second time in three years on Sunday evening with a comprehensive victory over Waterford with strong Clare connections to the Treaty County management. Shannon’s Alan Cunningham has been involved with the Limerick senior hurlers since fellow secondary school principal John Kiely became manager in 2017. A former Clare hurler, Alan was coach of the Na Piarsaigh side that won the Caherdavin outfit’s first and only All-Ireland club title in 2016. He was previously selector and coach to Anthony Daly and Mike McNamara during their respective tenures with Clare. Aonghus O’Brien who was part

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of the Clare management in 2016 when the county were crowned National League champions was added to Kiely’s management in 2019. The Broadford man who lined out at intermediate level for his county previously coached Limerick to the Munster minor hurling title in 2013. A key member of the Limerick coaching ticket is Paul Kinnerk (right). A native of Limerick, Paul was coach to the Clare senior hurlers that tasted All-Ireland glory in 2013, he was also to the fore for the sides that won three Munster and All-Ireland U21 titles from 2012 to 2014. He was absent from the Banner senior management in 2015 before returning in 2016 to assist in their National League glory. Kinnerk’s mother hails from Kilkee and his father from Doonbeg, in recent years they have lived in Cratloe and the former St Caim-

in’s secondary school teacher has now guided Limerick to a second All-Ireland championship at senior level. Paul now holds a distinction of coaching senior sides to three All-Ireland championships. Limerick proved too strong for Waterford in Sunday’s final which finished 0-30 0-19. Earlier on, there was no such joy for Kerry in the Joe McDonagh Cup Final. Sixmilebridge’s Brian Culbert was a coach and selector with the Kingdom side who lost 0-22 1-17 to Antrim.

Clarecastle see off ‘Bridge on the track

TWO nights worth of weekend racing returned to Galway last weekend with a Clarecastle win over Sixmilebridge among the Clare highlights. In the opening A7 graded contest in Galway on Friday last, it was a case of Clarecastle defeating Sixmilebridge. Lillies Joy and Aulton Ken disputed the lead along the inside range towards the opening bend with Inherowntime also prominent towards the outside. Turning down the back Lillies Joy led by over a length to Inherowntime and racing past halfway the Stephen Murray of Sixmilebridge trained leader was closely attended to by both Inherowntime and Aulton Ken but the Michael Corry and Michael Daly of Clarecastle owned daughter of Ballymac Vic and Brookville Dash saw off the dual challenge by a length and a quarter in 29.61. Rockmount Dizzee made no mistake in race three, an S6 graded contest. Owned by Ennis’ Shane Flanagan, he came in as a reserve in trap four and made all to defeat Curious Sean by three lengths in 19.10. As the traps rose for the

A1 graded 11th contest both Tradesman along the rails and Fast Fit Limit in the centre were away well until Tradesman took two lengths out of his rival on the opening bend. Racing down the back Tradesman continued to hold the call but rounding the home bend Fast Fit Limit got in the clear and sweeping down the centre of the track he claimed the prize by two lengths in 28.81. The concluding contest of the night was an A4 graded contest and from traps Campclone Blaze led in the centre but rounding the opening bend the Michael Costello of Ballyvaughan owned Pinnacle Abbie was her usual rail hugging self and she joined issue entering the back straight as Lakeside Model gave chase to the leading pair. Along the back straight the leading pair raced stride for stride but beginning the swing for home Pinnacle Abbie again saved ground as she eased on to defeat Ollys Rodick by a length and a half in 29.32. Saturday night’s card featured three heats of the Tom Qualter Unraced Novice 525 Sweepstake. In the opening heat Jet Streak led on the

outside towards the opening bend. A bunching towards the inner allowed the Declan McDonagh of Liscannor trained son of Droopys Jet & Double Clever kick four lengths clear of his rivals. Racing along the back straight Jet Streak drew further clear with every stride as the PJ Reynolds and Kathryn Comber of Ennistymon owned runner cruised home nine lengths clear of Maree Mystery in 29.74. In the second heat, Cloneyogan Zippy and Ballycroy Sky were away smartly on the outside and towards the halfway were three lengths clear of their rivals. The Siobhan Garrahy of Lahinch owned Cloneyogan Zippy was limit like again the rails as she stayed on well to win by over two lengths in 29.95. Race 7, which was an S5 graded contest, saw the Gerry Manley of Cratloe owned Confused Fitzy take command of the contest early. Rounding the crown of the bend the son of Confident Rankin and Confused Breda led Cillowen Appeal by over two lengths and he maintained the advantage to the line to score by two and three quarter lengths in 19.24.


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MUNSTER MINOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: QUARTER FINAL Compiled by Seamus Hayes

Marvelous Clare advance to semis Tipperary 1-04 Clare 1-24 Venue: Semple Stadium, Thurles TIPPERARY Frees For: 13 (6/7) Wides: 5 (4/1) Own kickouts won:10 from 39 (26%) Yellow cards: 3 (Ciaran Condon x2 and Tom Downey) Red Card: 1 (Ciaran Condron)

CLARE Frees For: 22(10/12) Wides: 14 (8/6) Own kickouts won: 8 from 9 (89%) Yellow Cards: 1 (Brendan Rouine) 45s: 2

DERMOT COUGHLAN, CLARE MANAGER “It’s been seventeen months and we were waiting to get our here tonight and to turn on a display like that makes it all worthwhile. It was grand open football and it’s what we train for and we are delighted with the result. They moved the ball well, they took it on, they pushed up, no one was sitting back. Tipperary dropped a man alright so it forced us to sit Mark O’Loughlin in front and he swept up every ball. There were some tremendous footballers out there, sixteen or seventeen years of age. That’s a copy of how we should play football, play on the front football and have a go and that’s what they did tonight”. “We had a lot done pre the first lockdown, we had a lot of games played and we were playing good football at that

stage. Even at the second time I thought we had come back to that level. I was afraid we had slipped a small bit in the lead up to this but I knew the talent was there, the attacking ability was there. They are an athletic team, they are great athletes. Their football was good and they are making the right runs. After about five minutes when they settled into it I knew they were going to have a good night. We said to them at the water break, which normally breaks momentum, not to let the momentum go, it will be hard to get it back if Tipperary get on top we will struggle until half time. After the second water break Brian Mac(McNamara) took over again and we drove on. The lads didn’t drop the heads after the Tipperary goal. That was the main thing that they didn’t drop the heads”.

SCAN HERE FOR QUARTER FINAL V TIPPERARY

SCAN HERE FOR LAST NIGHT’S SEMI FINAL V LIMERICK

(clockwise from above) Captain Brendan Rouine leads an attack; Diarmuid Fahy gets away from the Tipp defence; Fionn Kelleher wins the aerial ball as Brendan Rouine hits the floor Photos by Gerard O’Neill


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Murrihy management step down from intermediates JAMES Murrihy and all members of the Clare intermediate ladies football management have stepped down from their roles. Appointed manager in November 2017, James announced his decision to step down in recent days. He informed county secretary Monica Callinan and panellists last week. Murrihy was joined on his management team by ex Clare footballers Ger Keane and Martin McMahon, Kilmihil’s Enda O’Halloran, fellow Kilmurry Ibrickane clubmate Evan Talty, analyst Diarmuid Whelan and sport scientist Conor Shannon from Lisdoonvarna. “I would like to say thanks to the players, my backroom team and everyone within Clare ladies circles for their time and effort over the last three years and I really enjoyed my time working with everyone involved. I would like to wish everyone in Clare ladies football all the very best in the future,” James said in a statement following his departure. An intermediate championship winning manager

Neylon stays on as U20 manager SEAMUS HAYES

Enda O’Halloran, Ger Keane & James Murrihy are departing the ladies intermediate set-up after three years Photo by BurrenEye Photography

with Corofin, James’ tenure ended following Clare’s comprehensive All-Ireland semi-final 4-13 0-04 defeat to Meath. This year saw the intermediates reach the last

four for the first time since 2016, Clare exited at the quarter-final stage in both 2018 and 2019 losing to Meath and Tipperary. A spokesperson for the

Clare LGFA paid tribute to James and his backroom team “for their time and commitment and wish them every success in the years ahead”.

MICHAEL Neylon is to stay on as manager of the Clare U20 footballers while he has also returned to the hotseat in St Josephs Miltown. Following a meeting with members of the Clare GAA executive last week, Neylon has confirmed that he will again manage the Clare under 20 squad in the coming year. “We are ready to go once we get details of when the championship will take place. The GAA has yet to confirm whether it will be club or county first in 2021 and I expect that a decision will be made following meetings in the coming weeks”, the Miltown Malbay native told The Clare Echo this week. It promises to be a busy 2021 for Neylon who is also to take charge of his club side, returning to a role he filled three years ago when he led St Josephs Miltown to the Clare title. Having lost their grip on the Clare title this year, Miltown are keen to return to the top and with Neylon at the helm club members are confident that they have a strong chance of winning back the Jack Daly cup. In charge of the county U20 side in 2020, he saw his charges narrowly defeated by Cork in the provincial semi-final after they had overcome Waterford. “Players and management have the ambition to succeed. We need to be ahead of Cork rather than a point behind. It takes a lot of work to get ahead but we all believe that there is enough talent in the county to take that step”, the Spanish Point secondary school teacher said. The manager can call on “quite a number of last year’s panel. We are looking at nine or ten of the team that played against Cork. Hopefully they will all have benefited from that experience.” Michael’s backroom team will include David Geaney (Dingle), Eoin Murray (O’Currys), Martin Guerin (Liscannor), Sean O’Brien as goalkeeping coach, (St Josephs Miltown) plus strength and conditioning coach Oscar O’Dwyer (Arravale Rovers, Tipperary).

Paula calls time on role of Clare Handball officer PÁRAIC MCMAHON paraic@clareecho.ie

PAULA Carr Whelan has called time on her six year stint as a Clare Handball Officer. Delegates from across the county expressed their sadness at the decision of the Newmarket-on-Fergus woman but also spoke of their gratitude for her “tireless work” in promoting handball in Clare at Thursday’s virtual AGM. Awarded with a GAA Handball All-Star award in 2018 for her promotion of the game on a local and national level. Paula told the AGM that she would not be continuing as secretary, a post she took on in 2018 having served as PRO from 2014, prior of this she was PRO of Newmarket-on-Fergus Handball Club since 2010. Clubs were requested by Chairman Eoghan Hynes to provide nominations for the post of secretary and development officer before the next Clare Handball Board meeting which is due to take place on the

first week of January. No nomination was submitted for either role on the night of the AGM. Long-serving officers Tommy Hegarty and Pat Donnellan will continue in their roles along with Eoghan Hynes, Cathal Hannon and Pat Nolan. Chairperson: Eoghan Hynes Vice Chairperson: Pat Donnellan Secretary: Vacant Juvenile Secretary: Cathal Hannon Treasurer: Tommy Hegarty PRO: Pat Nolan Development Officer: Vacant

Pictured: Paula Carr Whelan with her husband Donal


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CDSL AGM is O’Dea signs new contract postponed again with Galway United

T

HE Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) have announced the deferral of their Annual General Meeting, for the third time, writes Páraic McMahon. Clubs were informed within the past week that the AGM would not be held before Christmas. With plans for a September, November and December AGM already scuppered, the CDSL committee have announced that they are hopeful the meeting will be held “early in the New Year”. Current registrar Jason Ryan who is the sole nominee for Chairperson in his

correspondence to clubs expressed the hope that teams would be “back on the field in early 2021”. The Kilrush man said the AGM would be deferred until early in the New Year “when it is safe” to hold the meeting. Their equivalents in the GAA, Handball, Camogie and Ladies Football have all held their Annual General Meetings virtually. No Chairman or Secretary has been in place since September following the resignations of Oliver Fitzpatrick and Michael Lydon. Both men stated that the enjoyment was being taken out of the game due to off-the-field antics within the CDSL.

PÁRAIC MCMAHON paraic@clareecho.ie

MULLAGH’S Caoilfhionn O’Dea has put pen to paper on a new contract with Galway Utd. O’Dea’s contract is understood to cover the entire 2021 season with the Tribesmen. He joined the club in 2018 from Newmarket Celtic and starred in their Academy over the past three years. He played a key role in United’s run to the final of the under-19 league in 2019, and his form earned a first team contract, and he made his debut in a 3-2 win against Limerick at Eamonn Deacy Park. The former Kilmurry Ibrickane footballer turned twenty last week. Caoilfhionn is hopeful he will

meet the challenge head on and be rewarded with increased game time under manager John Caulfield. “I was brought into the first team squad in 2019 after helping the club to reach the under-19 final, it was a big step up, but a great experience for me. I feel like I’m coping well with it and John will help guide me next season as well. “Obviously the hope is to play more next season, but I know I have to be patient and put the work in. Last season I signed just before lockdown, I’m hoping that John will have confidence in me, all he expects is hard work and honesty, and I’ll certainly give him that. I’m very excited to sign for the first team, I learned a lot from John even in the short time I worked with him last season and I’m eager to keep progressing”.


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GOLF

Walsh swims into Hall of Fame Top scoring PÁRAIC MCMAHON

paraic@clareecho.ie

A

KILRUSH woman is to be inducted into the Irish Long Distance Swimming Hall of Fame. Fionnuala Walsh will be among four swimmers and six individuals in total honoured in the hall of fame next year. She grew up swimming at Cappa and later became the first Irish female and 89th individual in the world to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming by successfully completing the English Channel 2012, Catalina Channel 2013 and Manhattan Island Swim 2014. She is the only swimmer to have completed an English Channel crossing in October. In August of 2012, an event unprecedented in English Channel swimming history saw Fionnuala swim the Channel and was roughly 200 metres from the finish at Wissant beach when her swim was aborted on safety grounds. A dense fog had covered the English

Channel that night and it was unsafe to proceed, her swim would never be certified or recognised. Walsh returned on October 9 that year but in a cruel twist of fate mother nature was again unkind. Her determined nature shone through and she completed an official crossing in 15 hours 26 minutes. In 2015 she set a new Irish record for the Strait of Gibraltar in 3hr30m. Together with International Marathon Hall of Famers Ned Denison and Liz Fry in 2016 they completed the first ever group marathon, anticlockwise around Anacapa Island, Santa Barbara, California 18km. Other Marathon swims include: Cork to Cobh 16km 2010, Galway Bay Swim 2011, Swim Round the Pier Brighton 10km 2012 and Lough Erne 25km Ladies Champion 2013. In 2012 Fionnuala was Irish Long Distance Swimming Association Female swimmer of the year and won the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation JLDSC award for the most successful swim against all odds. She was Swim Ireland Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2015.

Barry Ryan joins Strike Sports coaching team STRIKE Sports have enlisted the services of one of Ireland’s most renowned League of Ireland goalkeepers of the last two decades. Barry Ryan is a former league of Ireland legend with over 430 caps for various teams including St Pats, UCD, Galway and Limerick. He has played in Europe several times in UEFA competitions. He is coming on board as goalkeeping coach and will be doing weekly classes as well as workshops for all aspiring young goalkeepers in the county. According to Kieran Ryan, “Most kids should try goalkeeping as it gives you a different viewpoint of the game and also your hand eye coordination, agility, balance and coordination is worked on to create the all-round player.” Strike Sports are selling vouchers which are available for purchase. These can be used in accordance with their Christmas camp which will take place at Lees Road on December 28, 29 and 30, running from 10am to 1pm each day. The camp will cost a total of €50 per person and will accommodate children up to 12 years of age.

For more information on purchasing a voucher, booking a camp or to simply make an enquiry, contact Kieran at 087-805 5306 or email: Kieran@strikesports.ie. Visit the website at strikesports.ie.

in Shannon

SINCE golf courses re-opened over a week ago, Shannon has hosted a number of 9 hole competitions which resulted in impressive scoring, writes Seamus Hayes. Last week’s competition was won by Patrick Madden (14) with 27 points from Alan Small (13) with 26 points. In third spot was Nigel Bourke (24) with 24 points followed by Liam Markham (24) with 24 points and David Ryan (6) with 24 points. Lewy Halpin Junior (2) won the gross with 19 points. This week’s 9 hole competition on course 1 was won by Darragh Griffin (22) from Ryan Hodge (13), both returning 22 points. A similar competition on course 2 was won by Oliver Nevin (16) with 19 points Woodstock Woodstock seniors held a team stableford event last week when the winners were Martin White, Willie Thompson and Matt Power with 50 points.


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‘Money the crunch word’ when it comes to improving Clare GAA

New Chairman Chaplin admits proposals require money which isn’t available

SEAMUS HAYES

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LARE GAA’s new Chairman has indicated that progress for the organisation will be dictated by the availability of finances. Newly elected chairman of Clare GAA, Jack Chaplin says “it is a great honour to have been elected to the position. I have got a great mandate from the clubs and I want to thank them sincerely. All clubs were very courteous and I regard my election as recognition of my club and my involvement in the club” The Cratloe clubman was a 116 to 67 winner over outgoing vice chairman P.J. McGuane of Cooraclare.

Speaking to The Clare Echo on Wednesday morning he said, “I am only just barely in the door and I haven’t yet spoken to the other members of the executive to get an overall view. There is a big job to be done and I am there to carry out the wishes of the clubs. They have the say”. Responding to a motion to set up an independent committee to examine Clare GAA structures, Chaplin stated, “There is a lot of merit in these proposals but it all comes back to the crunch word money. All these proposals require money and clubs are as strapped for money as the county board is. Last year was an awful year and it was very hard to do fundraising during the lockdown. Hopefully things will improve.” On the question of improvements at Caherlohan, he said “one of the main aims it to get it up to

The issue of appointing more coaches to Clare GAA as highlighted in recent weeks will also be dictated by finance, the club referee felt. “All of these proposals will come back to the crunch word, money”. As a member of a dual-club, Jack acknowledged that the drawing up of a fixtures plan is “an issue every year”. He added, “There are more and more dual clubs, 90% of clubs have dual issues now. It’s a big headache with people looking for space between games”. “All the issues needed to be highlighted and I will do my best and hopefully things will go well,” Chaplin concluded. Jack Chaplin in 2013 presenting the Jack Daly to Cratloe’s Martin Óige Murphy

the required standard. The outgoing chairman said that there might

be a bit of money coming through towards this project”.

Clare GAA shows loss of €478k for 2020 SEAMUS HAYES CLARE GAA had a total income of €799,785.00 in 2020 which was down from €2,267,270.00 in 2019. The expenditure for the year was €1,082,569.00 down from €2,009,993 in 2019. This resulted in a loss of €282,784.00 for the year under review. These figures were revealed in a detailed financial statement presented to the annual convention of the Clare board which took place online on Tuesday evening. With a loss of €195,575.00 on the sale of land at Caherlohan, listed in the report as an ‘exceptional item’, the loss for the season comes to €478,359.00. In treasurer Michael Gallagher’s report the main items of income are listed as income from associated bodies (€331,184.00), commercial income (€157,722.00)), gate receipts (€69,435.00) National league share (€30,702.00) and other in-

come (€210,722.00). Under the heading ‘other income’, summer camp coaching realised €75,797.00, match streaming €39,124.00, club levies €60,000, club entry fees €16,832.00, and a Clare Co. Council grant of €10,841.00. Income from associated bodies included team expenses of €25,985.00 from Central Council and €5,000 from Provincial council, a Central Council grant of €80,000.00 for media rights and €82,030.00 in Government funding while the Provincial Council provided €89,660.00 in coaching and development grants and €44,968.00 in field rent. Administration expenses for the year came to €151,260.00 of which €58,285.00 went to wages, salaries and taxes, €9,912.00 for printing, stationery and advertising, €10,409.00 for postage, telephone and website costs while depreciation was listed at €62,859.00. Players’ travel expenses for the year amounted to €210,358.00 which was down from €379,486.00

in 2019. Catering and overnights cost stood at €96,487.00, Medical, physiotherapy and masseurs cost €62,754.00, sportsgear, equipment and laundry cost €112,616.00 while training facilities cost €22,770.00 bringing the total team expenses to €519,332.00, down from €862,258.00 in the previous year. Upkeep and maintenance of grounds cost €135,109,00. Speaking at the meeting the treasurer focussed on the comments of the board’s accountant, Tony Fitzpatrick who noted that “the big losers on the income side are gate receipts, down 58%, National league shares down 77%, commercial income down 59%, other income down 50% including a huge drop in summer camp and coaching of 73% income from associated bodies down 53% while overall revenue declined by 65%”. Continuing to quote the board’s auditor, Gallagher said “the decline in income was arrested to some degree through the efforts of the board’s officers in obtaining Government fund-

Michael Gallagher, Clare County Board treasurer

Photo by John Mangan

ing grants of €82,030.00, a Clare County Council grant of €10,341, Revenue Covid schemes of €101,453.00 and match streaming which realised €39,124.00.” The treasurer went on to acknowledge the contribution of the board’s main sponsor Pat O’Donnell. Referring to the loss of €195,575.00 on the sale of land at Caherlohan, the treasurer said “this figure obviously contributes hugely to the negative income for

our accounts. In April 2005 agreement was reached to purchase approximately 47 acres of land at Caherlohan, 50% of which was located on the right hand side of the road as one travels from Ennis towards Scariff. The other 50%, located on the left hand side of the road and is a much poorer quality of land. At the time we were at the height of the Celtic Tiger and land prices were at a premium. The whole property was being sold as one unit. The land on the left hand side was on sale for quite a number of years before it was purchased”. Streaming games via Clare GAA TV allowed patrons who could not attend games enjoy the action, the Doonbeg man noted. He recalled the June meeting of the County Board where he issued a note of warning. “At that time two options jumped out at us and they still do, team expenses and fundraising. It is true to say that Clare County Board did not undertake a formal fundraising activity in 2020 which has been well documented in the press.

However, some fundraising initiatives have taken place and I am referring to our two supporters clubs. Both the hurling and football supporters clubs have undertaken fundraising initiatives in the past year and while this fundraising doesn’t take place under the auspices of the Clare County Board, I am assured by both clubs that the funds raised go to defray costs that might otherwise accrue to the board”. “Fundraising is obviously a priority in 2021 but, of course, this is not solely in the hands of the executive. Yes, we must lead but the clubs must play a part in this discussion and I know a lot of clubs are experiencing their own pressures,” he added. Before concluding the Treasurer paid tribute to the board’s audit committee, the gate checkers and his fellow officers and he had a special word of thanks for the board’s president, Padraic MacMathuna who completed his term of office at Tuesday’s meeting.


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Clare clubs query duration of county secretary contract PÁRAIC MCMAHON

paraic@clareecho.ie

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LARE clubs have queried the duration of the contract for county secretary Pat Fitzgerald. Tulla GAA club had submitted a motion seeking that “a full list of current positions including names and reasons if any why any particular position may not be nominated” with all future nomination papers issued prior to County Convention. The proposal was seconded by Clarecastle’s Martin McNamara. Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, Tulla delegate Brian Torpey stated, “The secretary’s position was not on the list this year” and expressed a desire among the club to know “why this arose”. County Chairman Joe Cooney outlined that other non-elected roles such as that of Child Welfare Officer and Development Officer were not included in the list. Confusion surrounded Fitz-

gerald’s contract, Torpey felt. He commented that one year he was informed the secretary was nominated every year and the subsequent year “I was told he had to stay on until Cusack Park was completed. Can we clarify what Pat’s position is. Sorry, it is not so much Pat’s but the secretary’s position”. In response, Fitzgerald stated he had “no problem whatsoever” in clarifying the matter. He said he addressed the matter at Convention two years ago in the Auburn Lodge. “I became secretary a number of years ago. I worked voluntary until 2009 which went to 2016 when I got a further contract and that is the position. Everyone knows I am a full-time secretary”. Later in the meeting, Éire Óg delegate Rory Hickey stated that he had tried to join the discussion but was unable. He sought clarification on when the current contract of the secretary expires. “I know of some people that are interested in taking on the role down the line,” the ex referee said in explaining his reason for questioning the matter. Fitzgerald commented that

Hickey must not have taken note of the discussion earlier in the meeting. “My first contract was in

‘Clare GAA is at worst regressing’ Éire Óg stress need for strategic plan

ABSENCE of a roadmap for the future of Clare GAA was voiced in a critique of the County Board by delegates at Tuesday’s County Convention, writes Páraic McMahon. Establishment of an independent five person group to develop a five year strategic plan for Clare GAA formed a motion tabled by Éire Óg. The Ennis club wished that individuals from business and commercial interests “with a strong record of commitment and involvement in the GAA” would be selected. Recommendations would be issued within six months for Clare GAA on finance, fundraising, optimisation of Caherlohan and key facilities, coaching, games development, governance, public relations, marketing and social me-

dia. A discussion on the recommendations would take place at the 2021 Convention, the motion read. Speaking at Tuesday’s Convention, Éire Óg’s Niall O’Connor said that no voting should be held at next year’s Convention until recommendations from the independent group were received. “It is my belief that Clare GAA is falling well behind guidelines,” he said in urging better structures to be implemented. “I fear Clare is at best standing still and at worst regressing. We need all clubs at this meeting to come together and demand Clare GAA immediately establish this committee”. O’Connor referred to the strides made in Limerick hurling over the past decade as an example to follow. He believed

“at least” two more fulltime coaching officers are needed in the county plus an athletic manager. “I am speaking about positive change tonight. We now need people to bring energy and electricity to what we do”. County Chairman, Joe Cooney informed the Éire Óg representative that he exceeded the four minutes allocated for proposers of a motion under standing orders. He insisted that coaches in the county “have done trojan work” and added, “it is important to appreciate what people are doing voluntarily. “It is almost definite a large fund will be coming to do upgrading work at Caherlohan which is badly needed. Our aim is to improve facilities, help coaches and help Clare GAA.” The outgoing Chair-

man told O’Connor that if he had names of people willing to draft the strategy to forward them to Clare GAA. He cautioned that “an awful lot of work” would be involved in the compilation of the statutory report. O’Connor queried if the motion would be voted on at the Convention and he was informed by Cooney that the standing orders were passed at the beginning of the meeting which detailed that motions requiring a vote would have to be returned to Clare GAA via 12pm on Wednesday. Rory Hickey stated he was “perplexed” no vote could take place. He questioned when the discussion on the results of a vote would be held and was informed the January County Board meeting would allow further views.

2009 and the second one was in 2016. That will answer your question, you are an intelligent guy”.

Pictured: Pat Fitzgerald at Cusack Park

Photo by Burren Eye Photography

Time to ‘bite the bullet’ and complete Caherlohan work

CLARE GAA must “bite the bullet” and complete necessary improvement works at Cahelohan, an East Clare delegate stated at Tuesday’s County Convention, writes Páraic McMahon. An independent report was sought by Tulla “to examine the cost effectiveness of county teams hiring other venues as opposed to using Caherlohan and that this body also report on what is required to bring Caherlohan to the required level so that all county teams can train adequately”. Pat Fitzgerald in his report to Convention outlined his “ambition and intention” to have the Centre of Excellence “capable of facilitating all players playing our games both football and hurling from development squad stage right up to our adult teams within the next two years”. These comments were referenced by Tulla’s Brian Torpey when speaking on the motion. He noted that between €22,000 to €23,500 was spent each year hiring pitches. Approaches were made by personnel involved in the county minor, U20 and senior hurling teams to train in Dr Daly Park in recent months, he outlined. “That doesn’t make sense we have a six field facility in Caherlohan. It does require a lot of work. We need to bite the bullet and get the work done”. Outgoing Chairman, Joe Cooney confirmed that a large infrastructural grant has been applied for. “We are hopeful it will be approved and if it is it will go a long way to bring the Centre of Excellence to a proper standard. If it does come through, it will solve a lot of problems”. Earlier in the meeting, Cooney said it was “almost definite” that a large fund would be given for “badly needed” upgrades at Caherlohan.


CLASSIFIEDS 51

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52

PLANNING

PLANNING NOTICES Clare County Council Further Information/Revised Plans Applicant: Fionna Power Planning Reference: P20/665 Development Description: a) The retention of the 2 no. velux windows to the front of the property and the garage roof as constructed including all ancillary site works and site works at; Location: 50 Kincora Park, Ennis, Co. Clare Take notice that Fionna Power has lodged significant further information/revised plans in respect of Planning Application P20/665. This information and 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 of Clare County Council, Planning Department, Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the further information/ revised plans may be made in writing to the Planning Authority on payment of the prescribed fee, not later than 2 weeks after receipt of the newspaper notice and site notice by the Planning Authority.

Clare County Council Newtown, Doonbeg, Co. Clare Take notice that P. Honan intends to apply to the Planning Authority for permission to erect proposed dwelling house, to connect to County Council ancillary services and for new site entrance 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 fee, €20, within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning 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 Clonloghan, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare Take notice that F. Connaire intends to apply to the Planning Authority for permission to retain workshop at the above address.

CLASSIFIEDS

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 fee, €20, within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning 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 Dough, Spanish Point, Co. Clare Take notice that “Spanish Point Golf Club” intends to apply to Clare County Council for planning permission to construct an extension to rear of existing clubhouse at 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 planning department, Aras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare 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.

authority of the application and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning 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 Vaughan’s Service Station, Ennistymon Road, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, V95 PWK1 We, Euronet 360 Finance Ltd. (Irish Branch) intend to apply for permission for development at this site Vaughan’s Service Station, Ennistymon Road, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, V95 PWK1. The Development will consist of the installation of an ATM machine to the West elevation and a single door to the South elevation of the existing outbuilding (Garage). 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 fee, €20, within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the

Clare County Council Cluain Na Laoi, Kilkishen, Co. Clare We, Cuán Construction Ltd, intend to apply for permission for the change of design of previously permitted House Type F/F1 blocks from 2 no. semi-detached 5 bedroom dwellings per block to 3 no. terraced 2/3 bedroom dwellings per block on the same original block footprint along with all associated site development works and connections to services at Cluain Na Laoi, Kilkishen, Co. Clare. Permission for completion of these houses was previously permitted under planning reference number 19/282. 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. Clare County Council, Armada House, Spanish Point, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Take notice that P. & M. Irwin intend to apply to the Planning Authority for permission to construct a private garage/shed along with ancillary site works at the above address. 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. Clare County Council, Fintra More, Miltown Malbay Co. Clare. Take notice that J. Cleary intends to apply to the Planning Authority for permission to increase the size of two windows on the existing front elevation of his dwelling house at the above address. 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. Clare County Council, Cronogort East, Doolin, Co. Clare

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

Take notice that G. & J. Lodges Ltd. intend to apply to the Planning Authority for retention permission for the following a) the side and rear extensions to the existing house as constructed b) change of use from an existing house to commercial that allows for shortterm accommodation c) the wastewater treatment system and polishing filter d) modifications to the site entrance, front boundary walls and internal roads along with associated site works at the above address. 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. Clare County Council, 2 Four Seasons Drive, Roslevan, Ennis, Co. Clare Take notice that P. Ward & A. Barry intend to apply to the Planning Authority for permission to retain their existing garage and rear timber structure as constructed along with associated site works at the above address. 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. CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL FURTHER INFORMATION/ REVISED PLANS BALLYMURPHY, NOUGHAVAL. Planning Ref: P20/585 Development Description: Permission for development, the development consists of the construction of a slatted unit and associated site works Location: Ballymurphy, Noughaval. Take notice that Gerry Howley has lodged significant further information in respect of planning application P20/585. This information and 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 of Clare County Council, Planning Department. Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the further information or revised plans may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed fee, not later than 2 weeks after the receipt of the newspaper notice and site notice by the planning authority or in the case of the planning application accompanied by an EIS within 5 weeks of receipt of such notices by the planning authority.


PLANNING 53

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

PUBLIC NOTICES AN CHUIRT DUICHE THE DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT COURT AREA OF KILRUSH DISTRICT NO 12 CONFIRMATION OF TRANSFER APPLICATION OF DSC Central Bar Limited of Central Bar, O’Curry Street, Kilkee in the County of Clare TAKE NOTICE that application will be made to the Judge of the District Court sitting at Kilrush District Court, sitting at Ennis District Court within the District Court Area aforesaid on the occasion of the adjourned Annual Licensing District Court to be held on the adjourned date of 19th day of January 2021 on behalf of DSC Central Bar Limited of Central Bar, O’Curry Street, Kilkee in the County of Clare for a Certificate of confirmation of Transfer of the ordinary seven day publican’s Licence attached to the premises known as Central Bar, O’Curry Street, Kilkee Co. Clare and District Court Area aforesaid. AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that Application will be made at the same time in accordance with the provisions of Section 30 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1927 for transfer of the said Licence freed and discharged from any indorsements against, or records of offences committed by the former Licencee. Dated the 16th 2020

day of

December

Signed Joseph A Chambers, Solicitor for the Applicants, Frances Street, Kilrush, Co Clare. TO: District Court Clerk, The Courthouse, Ennis, Co.Clare Superintendents Office Garda Siochana Kilrush, Co.Clare The Fire Officer, Clare County Council New Road Ennis Co. Clare

AN CHUIRT DUICHE THE DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT COURT AREA OF KILRUSH DISTRICT NO 12 CONFIRMATION OF TRANSFER APPLICATION OF MARIA KEOGH AND MOLLY KEOGH of Clancy’s Bar” Moyasta, Kilrush, Co. Clare. TAKE NOTICE that application will be made to the Judge of the District Court sitting at Kilrush District Court, sitting at Ennis District Court within the District Court Area aforesaid on the occasion of the adjourned Annual Licensing District Court to be held on the adjourned date of 19th day of January 2021 on behalf of “Clancy’s Bar” Moyasta, Kilrush, Co. Clare for a Certificate of confirmation of Transfer of the ordinary seven day publican’s Licence attached to the premises known as “Clancy’s Bar” Moyasta, Kilrush, Co. Clare and District Court Area aforesaid. AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that Application will be made at the same time in accordance with the provisions of Section 30 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1927 for transfer of the said Licence freed and discharged from any indorsements against, or records of offences committed by the former Licencee.

AN CHUIRT DUICHE THE DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT COURT AREA OF KILRUSH DISTRICT NO 12 CONFIRMATION OF TRANSFER APPLICATION OF Shane McMahon of Murty Browne’s Bar, Tullycrine in the County of Clare TAKE NOTICE that application will be made to the Judge of the District Court sitting at Kilrush District Court, sitting at Ennis District Court within the District Court Area aforesaid on the occasion of the adjourned Annual Licensing District Court to be held on the adjourned date of 19th day of January 2021 on behalf of Shane McMahon of Murty Browne’s Bar, Tullycrine in the County of Clare for a Certificate of confirmation of Transfer of the ordinary seven day publican’s Licence attached to the premises known as Murty Browne’s Tullycrine Co. Clare and District Court Area aforesaid. AND FURTHER TAKE NOTICE that Application will be made at the same time in accordance with the provisions of Section 30 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act, 1927 for transfer of the said Licence freed and discharged from any indorsements against, or records of offences committed by the former Licencee.

Dated the 16th 2020

Dated the 16th 2020

day of

December

day of

December

Signed Joseph A Chambers, Solicitor for the Applicants, Frances Street, Kilrush, Co Clare.

Signed Joseph A Chambers, Solicitor for the Applicants, Frances Street, Kilrush, Co Clare.

TO: District Court Clerk, The Courthouse, Ennis, Co.Clare

TO: District Court Clerk, The Courthouse, Ennis, Co.Clare

Superintendents Office Garda Siochana Kilrush, Co.Clare

Superintendents Office Garda Siochana Kilrush, Co.Clare

The Fire Officer, Clare County Council New Road Ennis Co. Clare

The Fire Officer, Clare County Council New Road Ennis Co. Clare

The Property Registration Authority, Cork Road Waterford TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN In the Matter of the Registration of Title Act, 1964 and an Application for First Registration Reference D2014LR103632E TAKE NOTICE that Patrick Mc Mahon and Anne Mc Mahon of Gowerhass, Kilrush, County Clare have lodged an application to be registered as full owners in fee simple with an absolute title of lands located at Tullabrack, Clooncoorha, Kilrush, County Clare. All persons objecting to such registration are hereby required to file their objection in writing only and signed by the writer within one calendar month from the date of publication of this notice. Any objections may be forwarded to the applicants’ solicitor for their consideration. Any objection should quote the above reference number and be marked for the attention of the undersigned. In the absence of objection, or an objection not being sustained, registration may be effected. Dated the 15th day of December 2020 Ann Fetton Examiner of Titles Property Registration Authority

THANKSGIVING THANKSGIVING. ST. JUDE. Most Holy Apostle St. Jude faithful servant & friend of Jesus. The Church honours & invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases, of matters almost despaired of. Pray for me I am so helpless & alone. Make use I implore you of that particular privilege given to you, to bring speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation & help of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations & sufferings & that I may praise God with you & all the Elect forever. I promise O Blessed St. Jude to be ever mindful of this great favour to always honour you as my special & powerful patron & to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen. This prayer must be said for 9 consecutive days & published immediately & in 3 days the favour will be granted.


54 PUZZLEPAGE

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

THIS WEEKS PUZZLES DEC 17

Best Daily Word Search: 10 December 2020

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U E S B G W R E D N E T S E E

HOW TO PLAY

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ANSWERS

Sudoku is a logic puzzle where you have to populate the grid with numbers. A number can appear only once in each row, column and house. Each puzzle can be solved using logic from the given information and requires no guesswork.

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How to play

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ACROSS

1 Tongue (8) 6 Rotter (3) Best Daily Search     Word         players       also     enjoy: 9 Enticed (5) 10 Small waves (7)             ber 2020 11 Car frame (7)                         13 Possessed (5)             14 Shout loudly (6) 15 Vast desert of North https://puzzles.bestforpuzzles.com/games/best-daily-word-search                         Africa (6)             18 Religious observances                         (5)             20 Chic (7) 21 Make better (7)                         22 Strap (5)               23 Utter (3)                       24 Ponder (4,4) 8

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12/10/2020

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DOWN

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QUIZ 55

THURSDAY, DEC 17 2020

The Clare Echo Quiz

On July 4th which American rapOn August 9th protests were 1States per announced his 2020 United 6 sparked after long-time dictator Presidential campaign? Alexander Lukashenko claimed he Jay Z Kanye West Drake

On the 25th of July actress Olivia 2 de Havilland died at age 104. Which of the following films did she NOT appear in?

The Adventures of Robin Hood Gone with the Wind A Star is Born

won 80% of the vote in the election in what country? Belarus Latvia Lithuania

On august 11th who did Joe 7 Biden announce as his running mate? Kemala Harris Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders

On August 1st Egypt told which On August 20th Alexie Navalny 3 prominent American business8 fell into a coma after being poiman that the pyramids were not built soned. He is an opposition leader in

4

On August 4th the accidental detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium Nitrate killed 190 and injured thousands in which middle eastern country? Lebanon Egypt Tunisia

5

On August 7th strict covid-19 restrictions were returned to which three counties? Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford Dublin, Louth, Wexford Laois, Offaly, Kildare

Belarus Russia Ukraine

On August 28th actor Chadwick 9 Boseman died of colon cancer at age 43. He was well known for playing which Marvel superhero? Iron man Black Panther Captain America

On September 24th which 10 celebrity broke Jennifer Aniston’s record as the fastest person to reach 1 million followers on Instagram. Courtney Cox Catherine Zeta-Jones David Attenborough

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

l PYRAMIDS: On August 1st Egypt told which prominent American business-

man that the pyramids were not built by aliens after he tweeted his support for the conspiracy theory?

ANSWERS

6. Belarus 7. Kemala Harris 8. Russia 9. Black Panther 10. David Attenborough

Bill Gates Jeff Bezos Elon Musk

which Eastern European country?

1. Kanye West 2. A Star is Born 3. Elon Musk 4. Lebanon 5. Laois, Offaly, Kildare

by aliens after he tweeted his support for the conspiracy theory?

Last weeks Answers . Hole in the ‘A’ in Top Part missing . Hing missing near door . Handle missing on van . Line on missing (left)

. Hole missing in ‘P’ (right) . Line missing on building . Security alarm missing

Julie Neylon Wild Atlantic Living


Profile for The Clare Echo

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