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Dancing into the light

It has been three years since Ballynacally resident Pascal Kenny found himself in a very dark place but having sought out Pieta House, he said the welcome he received has led him to a place where he is now medication free after 20 months. “I struggled for many years with my mental health, mainly in the form of depression and anxiety. I was on medication and I had been treated by the mental health services for many years. I continued to do the best I could at the time and it was a huge challenge. There were times when things were a little bit better and there were times when things were really bad. When I visited Pieta House three years ago, the light had gone out in my head,” he said. Pascal said he doesn’t remember getting to Pieta House, he just remembers not being able to find it. “The hope I had was to find it. I was …

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Examining State bereavement support

AN Taoiseach Enda Kenny has launched Finite Lives Dying, Death and Bereavement: An Examination of State Services in Ireland, a report by Independent Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of end-of-life issues across all government departments outside health.  Commenting on the report, Senator O’Donnell said that death affects nearly 1,000 people every day between the estimated 80 people who die each day, and the 800 people directly affected by these deaths. Amongst the recommendations in the report is: The need for a whole-of-government strategy on end-of-life A national public consultation process. A socio-economic review of the costs of  death and bereavement An analysis of fuel and funeral poverty Regulation of the funeral services industry Further recommendations include the reinstatement of the Bereavement Grant and an audit to combat financial abuse of pensions of the elderly. In terms of communications, Senator O’Donnell has recommended that the State develops a dedicated website outlining all State services that are available to support …

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Ennis artist paints President’s portrait

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has completed an official portrait of President Michael D Higgins, which will hang in Leinster House throughout his time in office, before being moved to Áras an Uachtaráin after his departure from office. “The annual Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition will be opening on May 22 and I’m going to show the newly completed official portrait of President Higgins,” said Mick. While he has recently exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy and will have another painting in London’s Royal Academy over the summer, he said this is the most important one for him. “For a portrait painter, it is a big honour. I’m humbled to have been asked to do it.” In relation to where the official portrait will be on show, he explained. “It will hang in the Áras, along with the previous Presidential portraits, once he leaves office. I’ll be showing it in the RHA, which I’m currently president of, and when that exhibition …

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Clare’s wait for All-Ireland honours goes on

Galway 4-14 Clare 0-6 Clare’s wait for an All-Ireland minor camogie title goes on. Their latest final defeat, their fourth in ten years, came at the hands of Galway at McDonagh park in Nenagh on this Saturday afternoon and while the final scoreline is somewhat harsh on Clare, there is no denying the merit of Galway’s win. In capturing the title, Galway repeated their success of 2010 when they also proved too strong for Clare, in a replay on that occasion. From an early stage in today’s final, Galway looked the stronger side but there was nothing to suggest throughout the opening half that the final scoreline would be as one sided. There was only one team in this tie in the second half when Galway dictated matters throughout and, indeed, were it not for goalkeeper Ciara McCarthy who made a number of impressive saves, Clare’s defeat would surely have been much heavier. Galway attacked from the throw in and …

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Happy Easter from Daisy

Chocolate is harmful to dogs

CHOCOLATE is made with cocoa beans, and cocoa beans contain methylxanthine alkaloids in the form of theobromine and caffeinea, which are toxic to dogs. Chocolate can also contain high amounts of fat, which can put your dog’s health in jeopardy as well. How much is too much? Different dogs react differently to the methylxanthines and reactions can vary according to the age, size and overall health of the dog. The smaller the dog, the smaller the dose needed to produce an effect. If your dog’s health is already weakened by other medical conditions, they are more susceptible. The same holds for older dogs. Theobromine is present in differing amounts in chocolate: white chocolate has 1mg/oz, hot chocolate 12 mg/oz, milk chocolate 44-66mg/oz, semi-sweet chocolate 260mg/oz, dark chocolate 450mg/oz, while baking/bitter chocolate or cocoa powder varies as much as 150-600 mg/oz. A potentially lethal dose in a 16-pound dog is only one pound of milk chocolate. Only two ounces of baking …

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Waterford’s strong finish leaves Clare facing relegation

Waterford 2-21 Clare 1-22 A disappointing two point loss to Waterford in round 5 of the Allianz hurling league at Cusack Park this afternoon means that Clare must play Dublin in a relegation play off next weekend. Understandably, the result left Clare players and management very disappointed as this was a contest they had enough chances to win. While they can point to the fact that they played some great hurling in what was a very entertaining contest, their failure to emerge with victory left the home side’s followers in the attendance of 6,640, leave a sunny Cusack park in a very disappointed mood. The visitors started as if they were going to record a big win, racing into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just six minutes when they had the aid of a fresh wind. Then, in the space of six minutes, Clare hit 1-6 without reply, the goal coming from Podge Collins who caused a lot of …

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Newmarket man going green in Finland

Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative, to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick, has begun in earnest – kicking off the organisation’s major first half promotional drive to grow overseas tourism in 2017. The annual initiative sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day. In Tampere in Finland, James Lenihan, originally from Newmarket-on-Fergus, joined the ‘greening’ fun, when he and his friends took part in the first ever ‘greened’ Irish-Finnish fishing championship. The Siilinkari lighthouse and Näsinneula observation tower provided the green backdrop.  

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Bishop Eamonn Casey laid to rest

The funeral mass for Bishop Eamonn Casey took place in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Haven and St Nicholas this afternoon (Thursday). The attendance included President Michael D Higgins, members of Galway City and County Councils, representatives of Trocáire and other organisations he lead, as well as people from all walks of society. The principal celebrant was the Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby, former chairman of Trocáire, while the preacher was Bishop of Achonry Brendan Kelly, a former priest of the Diocese of Galway. Also at the altar were bishops and priests from dioceses across the country and the UK, where he ministered. In his homily, Bishop Kirby said, “Eamonn Casey, whose mortal remains are with us today in this cathedral, had a long life as priest and bishop. He did much good. As a young priest with the Emigrant Mission in London, he enabled many young couples to acquire their first home, to rise out of tenements …

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Ballyea dreaming of glory

Croke Park is usually the preserve of  hurling, football, camogie and ladies football county teams.  However, that all changes for St Patrick’s Day, when local hurling and football teams enjoy their moment under the spotlight for the All-Ireland Club finals. This Friday, Ballyea, lining out in black and amber, will face Cuala from Dublin, in red and white, in the final of this year’s series. For those who will never don their county colours at Croke Park, pulling on the club jersey there is every bit as good. It will be a dream fulfilled for any group of lads who have been a unit from under-age right up to senior. To mark Ballyea’s march to Croke Park, this week’s Clare Champion includes a special supplement  – Dreaming of Glory – with features, interviews and commentary.

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Valentine’s Special: How Sixmilebridge Couple Found Love Online

A LITTLE over three years ago, Aileen O’Connor and Ronan Shiels began messaging each other on Plenty of Fish and now they are married, living in Sixmilebridge with their two children. Unsurprisingly, both of them are advocates of online dating and Ronan says he knows several others who have found love on the web. “It’s definitely a good avenue. Three of my friends are married through online dating.” The couple had actually met each other socially long before they got together, says 33-year-old Aileen. “I actually had met him through mutual friends years ago and then I had lost touch with that friend. To my knowledge, he was in a long-term relationship or married, then he appeared on this Plenty of Fish thing. I kind of knew he was a decent and good guy. He messaged me to say ‘hey, fancy meeting you here’ kind of thing and we chatted fairly fluidly because we had been in each other’s company …

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