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CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS STOCK THIS WEEKEND STOCK
‘It’s not Christmas unitil You’ve Been to Home Gallery’
Open Monday to sat, 9.30 to 6, sun 1 to 5 | Kilrush Road, Ennis Ph: 065 6797040
CHRISTMAS IN CLARE
ELCOME to part two of The Clare Echo’s comprehensive Christmas In Clare Guide, which brings Christmas shoppers bundles of information on planning your festive spend, along with some quirky news stories thrown in along the way. This week we’re concentrating on shopping in three of Clare’s foremost shopping destinations; Ennis, Kilrush and Shannon, with each town having its own dedicated section relating to Christmas shopping and activities. Whether you’re shopping for a significant other, parent, sibling, child or friend, there are an abundance of valuable and meaningful gifts available to purchase locally. Most importantly, our Christmas In Clare Guide is a platform for local businesses to promote their own great wares and deals for their most important time of the year. With Black Friday done and dusted, the shopping flurry in the coming weeks will provide local business people room to breathe as the streets quieten in January. Here at The Clare Echo, we’re all about shopping local and promoting local business, and getting everything you need for the week when everybody comes home to spend quality time with their family couldn’t be easier in Clare. All that’s left now is to plan the fitness kick and New Year’s resolutions. Stuart Holly Editor
Contents 3-7: CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN ENNIS (Photo by John Mangan)
8-11: CHRISTMAS IN KILRUSH
12-16: CHRISTMAS IN SHANNON
CHRISTMAS IN CLARE
Book ideas for xmas CHILDREN: WONKY DONKEY
This book sold over a million copies when a clip of a Scottish Granny reading this book to her grandchild went viral on the Internet. ‘The Wonky Donkey’ is a hilarious tale told in rhyme for three to five year olds!
HUMOUR: A TO Z OF BEING IRISH
This handy A to Z is packed with insider knowledge and quirky Irishisms for locals and blow-ins alike. Read it or we’ll tell your Mammy you left the immersion on!
COOK: FLAVOUR OF KYLMORE ABBEY
The Benedictine nuns in Kylemore Abbey are renowned for their delicious home-baking and wholesome food in the Abbey restaurant and tea rooms. As well as offering a range of Kylemore’s unique recipes, this book gives an exclusive glimpse into one of Ireland’s most intriguing estates.
SPORT: PLAY IT AGAIN, DES
Des Cahill is one of Ireland’s best known and most loved broadcasters. In his autobiography he lifts the lid on many entertaining stories behind his remarkable career and reveals the heartache behind a secret family tragedy.
NON FICTION: TIME TO TALK
Michael Healy- Rae recounts events and incidents in his own family’s life that include the humorous, the poignant and the heart-breaking.
Great Christmas Offer ................................
€5 VOUCHER when you SPEND €50
CHRISTMAS IN CLARE
Making it personal lHAVE A BALL: Personalised Christmas baubles are a brilliant and simple gift
HERE is nothing more festive than going the extra mile when it comes to a Christmas present, and personalisation is the perfect way to show you care this year. Ennis-based company Wowwee.ie are industry leaders when it comes to personalisation and you can order your bespoke ad from them online or even pay them a visit at Westgate Business Park if you’re looking for some advice or inspiration. Here Wowwee.ie give us their Top 5 gift ideas.
CHRISTMAS TREE SKIRTS: A TOUCH OF RUSTIC REFINEMENT
These beautiful Tailored Luxury Tree Skirts light up the tree and stars under your tree. Envelop your tree with warmth this holiday season with our exclusive Reindeer and faux Fur Tree Skirt. Make Great Gifts for your own home, Family and Friends. Picture Martin Connolly.
PERSONALISED CHRISTMAS BAUBLES: SIMPLY HEARTFELT
Exclusive to WowWee.ie Personalised Baubles (pictured above) make great gifts. Browse through our large collection of Personalised Christmas Baubles at WowWee.ie. Great Colour combinations. They are all personalised and presented in a beautiful Gift Box.
CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES: ALL THE TREND The trend for Christmas Eve Boxes is rapidly increasing. Parents are starting the festivities with Christmas Eve boxes filled with sweet treats, PJs, books and DVDs and Santa’s Magic Key.
BABY’S FIRST ORNAMENT: FOR THE NEWBORN
Personalised Baby’s First Christmas Ornaments make great gifts for new borns. Browse through our full selection of Ornaments for all types of individuals, couples and families.
PERSONALISED STOCKINGS: PUT A SOCK IN IT
WowWee.ie have been specialists embroidering Personalised Christmas Stockings for 15 years now. Christmas Stockings become more valuable as the years go by. We ship all our Christmas Gifts anywhere in the world.
CHRISTMAS IN CLARE
Shop local Households urged to direct their €3k spend to local shops this Christmas
S THE Christmas lights were turned on in Ennis, Mayor Clare Colleran Molloy (inset) urged those in attendance to shop local. The Fianna Fáil councillor made the call as it was revealed Irish households will spend an average of €2,690 in shops this December, €866 more than any other month this year and three per cent more than 2017. Research showed that the grocery spend is a significant portion of this and local shopping areas such as the Turnpike in Ennis - which boasts a fishmonger, Spar, health food shop, butcher, fruit&veg shop rely on a boost at this time of year. Shopping locally supports local employment and businesses which are vital to sustaining a community.
According to Retail Ireland’s Christmas Retail Monitor 2018, published this week, the group predicts an increase in total sales of over €150 million, with sales over Christmas expected to top €4.65 billion, up from €4.5 billion in 2017. “Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work, and falling prices have all combined to give cons u m e r s greater spending power than ever be-
fore and will raise consumer spirts and enable greater spending power at Christmas,” said Thomas Burke, Retail Ireland Director. “There is no doubt the spending power is there, the challenge now for retailers is to best position themselves to convince consumers to part with that h a r d earned cash."
SHOP LOCAL AT THE TURNPIKE
When you spend €70 or more
Voucher valid from 07 - 31 December 2018
Free entry to our
Christmas raffle for a fabulous
festive health hamper for all customers who visit our shop on Friday December 7th.
www.thehealthconnection.ie The Health Connection, Walnut House, Turnpike Road, Ennis | 065 686 6597
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CHRISTMAS IN CLARE
Bright light of Kilrush
John Fennell’s light show goes national
ILRUSH man John Fennell famous for turning his home into a winter wonderland every Christmas - has taken a starring role in a new advertising campaign for Woodies DIY. People come from across the county to witness the West Clare man’s incredible lighting display every year. This year, his display will be seen across the country as people settle down in front of the telly each evening. Speaking in the campaign, John speaks about his light show while images are shown of his home, on the Cooraclare Rd. “I was born here back in 1966. I’ve lived here all my life, re-renovated the house, and it’s my home. I love the area, I love the place and I love the people that come here. “The Christmas lights started about 20 years back. I went to see somebody else’s house and loved what he had done and I said ‘I’m going to start that in the coming year’ and we have built it up every year since then to what it is today.
“Every year people, without fail, people are waiting [to see] ‘when is he putting on the lights?’ Come the 14th or 15th of December the queues are down and they’re waiting for the switch to be hit. “Everybody is looking out the window and taking photographs. Children are absolutely gobsmacked, they get blown away by it. The sight is just eye-catching.” John adds, “Christmas to me, is the most important time of the year because it’s the one chance everybody has that, whatever wrong was done during the year, you’ve a chance of putting things right at Christmas.”
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Santa rides into Kilrush T HIS year, Santa’s Den will be bigger and better than ever before!
The public are being wel-
comed to visit Santa in his new workshop and meet Mrs Claus and Santa’s busy little elves. Continuing a Kilrush tradition, visitors will en-
joy a free train ride around the town on Santa’s special Christmas Express! While Santa’s Den is now fully booked for this year due to high demand, anyone who didn’t manage to secure a space can email kilrushsanta@gmail. com and organisers will be in touch if any spaces come available. The big man himself is arriving in Kilrush on December 8 at midday. The SANTA EXPRESS is available to ALL children whether they are booked with santa or not so please do come along on the day and join us for some fun and enjoy a spin on Santa’s Express!
Christmas Farmers Market KILRUSH Farmers Christmas Market will take place on December 20, 2018 at the Walled Vandeleur Gardens. The farmers market will be holding
a raffle in aid of Happy Feet, Happy Minds, and raffle tickets will be on sale throughout December along with lots of goodies for the Christmas.
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l SHIP SHAPE: Irene Hamilton and Martina Keynon, Scattery Island Tours, Kilrush attending the Clare Business Excellence Awards night at Treacyâ€™s West County last month Photo by Mike Mulcaire
CHRISTMAS IN CLARE
Kilrush idea on the cards D ESPITE not coming away with a prize at the recent announcement of the Bank Of Ireland National Enterprise Awards, Kilrush businesses are looking at a new way to promote the town following the town’s presentation earlier this year. Julie Moore Neylon of Wild Atlantic Opticians who themselves celebrated their second birthday recently told The Clare Echo of an app’s potential to open Kilrush businesses to a wider audience. “There’s no brochure about what the businesses are in Kilrush and that’s something we were saying, it might be worth having a town app so that you could go into Kilrush Town and you could see the different shop fronts and have an internal view into the different businesses so people are aware if they’re at home or living abroad that they can shop local internationally, so we’re keen to get that developed down the road”. More than 85 local businesses were present for the Enterprise Town Event which heard from different speakers such as Patrick Bourke, Irene Hamilton, Marty Mor-
lPRESENTATION: Kilrush enterprise town presentation earlier in the year
rissey, Rita McInerney and John Burke. Children from St Senan’s Primary School and Gaelscoil Uí Choimín also pitched ideas to the crowd, the most impressive of which was a walking stick for the blind which contained an inbuilt GPS.
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Skycourt’s a festive feast
T’S the most magical time of the year, and Skycourt Shannon Town has everything you need this Christmas. Santa has arrived at Skycourt Shannon Town, and is waiting for all of his lovely visitors. Come and visit Santa and get your photo taken with him for free at his grotto this December! Santa will be at his grotto until Christmas Eve, before he sets off to deliver wonderful gifts to everyone who has been well behaved this year. While you’re with us, why not hop on board the Skycourt Festive Train
Santa arrives in style to Shannon for €1.00 per child, and take a festive filled journey around the Centre. Skycourt Shannon Town are even giving one lucky family the chance to win an amazing trip to visit Santa in Lapland in 2019. For the chance to win this magical experience, and make a Christmas wish come true, find the competition boxes located outside Iceland and Dunnes and complete your entry form. You’ve got to be in it, to win it!
Don’t forget, Dunnes Stores, Iceland Foods, Lidl and Dealz will open late during the Christmas period to help take the stress out of your Christmas shopping! Pick up the Christmas dinner essentials and festive party favourites. Skycourt Shannon Town has everything you need this festive season, for more details follow Skycourt Shannon Town on Facebook. Your Christmas, covered.
T S MAS I R H C
And a peaceful New Year from all of us at AIB Shannon
lMAKING MEMORIES: Seven-month-old Jack Farrell, O’Callaghans Mills meets Santa at Skycourt on Saturday Photo by Eamon Ward
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Make Christmas glitter
Rita Gleeson of Gleeson Jewellers in Skycourt Shopping Centre suggests four sparkling gifts to make it a Christmas to remember
LEESON Jewellers are getting in the festive mood by offering 4 Christmas gift ideas to Clare Echo readers. It’s well known that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. However with so many options out
lCLASSY: Citizen watches
there, it can be difficult to get it right. The longest-running retailer at Skycourt Shopping Centre in Shannon (31 years to be precise), Gleeson Jewellers are stockists of a wide range of producers including Newbridge, Galway Crystal, Paul Costelloe, Diamonfire, Cross and many many more. Popular items around Christmas include Waterford Crystal pieces which retail up to €1,500, along with diamond and engagement rings while at the lower pricepoint are English Lady figurines and Cross pens. Gleeson Jewellers pride themselves on
top-class customer service - however if you can’t make it into the showroom the website (gleesonjewellers. com) is easily navigated and an easy place to shop. Gleeson’s also take deposits all year round. With that in mind, proprieter Rita Gleeson breaks down four simple, classy Christmas gift ideas to suit all budgets.
S E C R I D M I N I WA L L E T (€60) Based on the Secrid Cardprotector, the Miniwallet is both a compact and secure wallet. In addition to the cards in the Cardprotector, the interior offers space for a few cards, paper money, re-
ceipts, business cards and some coins. The Miniwallet is compact and, because of the press stud closure, easy to carry.
HOUSE OF LOR (€149-€298) Exclusively sourced and mined in Omagh, Co Tyrone and delicately fashioned into each individual piece of jewellery, House Of Lor’s ‘Rare Irish Gold At Heart’ range offers that something special for
a Christmas gift when it comes to a pendant or earrings. Go ahead and spoil her!
C I T I Z E N WATCH (€150€825) Whether you’re shopping for him or her, watches are a classic present which can be cherished all year round. A practical and beautiful gift.
E N G A G E MENT RING (PRICES ON ENQUIRY) Planning a pro-
posal this Christmas? Gleeson Jewellers have a large selection of engagement rings for you to choose from - call in and enquire for a bespoke engagement ring.
For more information, call Rita Gleeson on (061) 363 447 or visit gleesonjewellers.com.
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‘I’ll be back in a few weeks with presents’ - Santa MALONEY HARDWARE UNIT 56/57, SKYCOURT, SHANNON TEL: 061-362263 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.maloneyhardware.ie
Up To 30% Off Christmas Lights & Trees
Christmas Trees From €29.00
LED Lights From €9.00
Candlebridges Battery & Mains
Large Selection of Decorations
Lots of Great Gift Ideas
HRISTMAS festivities got off to a flying start over the weekend for over 2000 lucky children and their parents who scooped the Shannon Airport lottery to meet Santa 15,000 ft above sea-level off the West coast of Ireland. Spirits soared and the cheers were deafening as Santa jetted in, out and around Shannon for his sixth successful Shannon flights pre-Christmas extravaganza. The annual Santa Flights have become very much an annual fixture and one of Ireland’s bestloved, unique and sought-after tickets for the big season. The two-day affair sent children away delighted and Santa, his troupe of elves, not to mind Shannon Airport’s volunteers, exhausted but uplifted by the experience. The children were entertained by dancing elves and festive fun and games in the transit lounge to while away the minutes and manage the excitement in the hour or so before they boarded their flights. Then onboard – many of the children getting on their first flight - there were screams of delight when Santa landed midflight on the roof of the aircraft. Demand for places on the flights was only bettered by letters to Santa, with applications for tickets multiples of the 2,000
available. The much sought-after tickets allocated through a lottery system. A €1 per seat lottery application fee was applied for entry with a flat €1.50 booking fee and all profits from the day are going to Shannon Group’s designated charities for 2018, the Share a Dream Foundation and the Clare Crusaders. As expected, the flights were a magical experience for the children and their parents, including young Kai and Callan Urkuhart and their mother Theresa from Ennis. “It was fantastic. It was our first time and the airport and the staff put on an amazing experience for the children. They had a blast. They had great fun beforehand, got onto a flight and got to meet Santa. We didn’t tell the kids until yesterday so it was a huge surprise for them.” As for Santa himself, the big man said he wouldn’t dream of missing his annual trip to Shannon to meet all the boys and girls. “I love coming to Shannon and meeting all the lovely Irish children before Christmas. I heard they were especially good this year and we had such a lovely time together. “I’ll be back in a few weeks with presents for them all, and I can’t wait to go home and tell Mrs Claus about what a wonderful time I had.”
View Our Full Range of Berg Go-Karts at
Maloney Garden Machinery Main Road, Smithstown, Shannon. Tel: 061-364300 Website: www.maloneygm.ie
Deposits Taken. Can Be Stored Till Christmas. l HIGH HOPES: Pictured is Santa’s Elf Nina leading Elizabeth Forde, Barefield, Co Clare and her daughter Brooke (5) to their flight Photo by Arthur Ellis
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Confess your sins at Mercy on the Mall
ISHOP Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe, will be among the 16 Priests present in Skycourt Shopping Centre, Shannon, for the fourth Mercy on The Mall day on Friday December 7 next. From 1pm to 5pm, 16 Priests will make themselves available to shoppers and people in Skycourt who would like to avail of the opportunity for Confession, a chat or a blessing. Mercy on The Mall first took place in Skycourt Shopping Centre in Shannon for the first time in 2015 at the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The
day proved so successful, that both Management and Priests were requested to organise a day again the following year. The same demand has continued with last year proving
another success from both shoppers and management who have received requests from shoppers for Confessions on the Mall for Christmas. The initiative comes from the call of Pope Fran-
cis for Priests to bring the gospel to the market place and for Priests to make themselves available to people who wish to avail of the sacrament or to make a connection with the Church. For the past three years, all priests were kept engaged w i t h s h o p pers. One w o m an who availed of the sacrament described her experience as “liberating”, another remarked that it was a “new beginning”. Priests will be located at different locations in the Mall if people wish to engage with them.
l BEST IN MARKET: Michelle Lambert, Sinead Kelly, Trina Alford, Linda O Connell and Gillian Carrigh, committee members helping at the annual Shannon Christmas Market being held in St Senans School Photo by Joe Buckley
OPENING HOURS SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2PM – 4PM
SUNDAY 16TH DECEMBER 1PM – 4PM
SUNDAY 2ND DECEMBER 1PM – 4PM
THURSDAY 20TH DECEMBER 1PM – 5PM
FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER 1PM – 4PM
FRIDAY 21ST DECEMBER 1PM – 5PM
SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER 1PM – 4PM SUNDAY 9TH DECEMBER 1PM – 4PM FRIDAY 14TH DECEMBER 1PM – 4PM SATURDAY 15TH DECEMBER 12NOON – 4PM
VISIT SANTA FOR FREE
SATURDAY 22ND DECEMBER 12NOON – 5PM SUNDAY 23RD DECEMBER 1PM – 5PM CHRISTMAS EVE 11AM – 1.30PM
Christmas feature 2