Schoolboys back in action next weekend

THE Clare People Schoolboys/Girls soccer season officially gets under- way next weekend.

In all, 13 games are set to be played across five divisions in both the un- der 11 and under 12 leagues.

The matches will be the first to be played since the CPSSL league made the decision to switch the soccer schedule from summer to winter.

The action gets underway this Thursday (June 28) with three games down for decision in the Michael Woods Perpetual under 11 division oy iter

The new crop of players from Ennis Town and Avenue United get their first taste of an Ennis derby when the sides meet on Thursday evening.

Elsewhere Lifford A take on the club who finished runners up in the division last year when west Clare side Moneypoint AFC make their first trip to Lees road.

Last year’s division two title was narrowly won by Avenue United B after a thrilling duel with Tulla United.

Avenue B face east Clare opposi- tion in their opening encounter with a tough away test to Bridge United.

In the same division Corofin Harps have a home tie on Thursday against Fern Celtic A and Ennis Town B host Mountshannon Celtic at the Ennis

National. Burren United make their debut in the schoolboy league with a home tie

against Avenue United C. Lifford B take on Cratloe Celtic in Lees Road also on Thursday. Fern Celtic, the

club who clinched last season’s di- vision three championship, will be hoping for more success this year.

They get their campaign underway with an away tie to another rising club, St Pats.

On Saturday the action moves up a division when the under 12 league swings into action.

And the first meeting of the season brings together the two clubs who pushed each other all the way for last season’s league title.

Avenue eventually edged out Ennis Town to finish top. The clubs re-con- vene at the Ennis National at llam on Saturday.

Two clubs who will be looking to make up the ground are Lifford and Moneypoint who meet later that same day in Lees Road.

There’s a strong east Clare flavour to the opening games in division two of the under 12 league.

In Sixmilebridge, Bridge United face Tulla United while in the newly re-developed McDonough Memorial Park Newmarket Celtic take on Crat- loe Celtic.


SVT ee re (oe rerererer Ce ter:

THE call has gone out for coaches interested in taking a role with the FAI’s emerging talent programme in Clare.

The Clare People Schoolboys/Girls soccer league (CPSSL) are inviting applicants for a number of volun- tary coaching and management po- sitions that need to be filled for the 2007/2008 season.

Two head coaching positions are needed for the under 11 squad made up of players born in 1996. One head coaching position with the under 12 squad (players born in 1995) must be filled. Two head coaches are needed for the under 13 squad (players born in 1994). The league committee are also inviting applications for the po- sition of Kennedy Cup manager.

Interested applicants must hold the

minimum Kick Start | coach educa- tion qualification and must be will- ing to work alongside the CPSSL and the FAI Regional Development Officer with regard to his/her coach- ing position.

New coaches and managers will also be required to report to the CPSSL committee at intervals and must be willing to meet FAI emerging talent programme criteria, 1n particular to hold 34 sessions from August 2007 to June 2008 at the Lees Road sports complex.

The aim of the Emerging Talent programme is to identify, monitor, and develop players from age 11 to 16 that are capable of reaching their full potential.

Through the programme for under- age talent in Clare aged from 11 to 16, the FAI are seeking to develop the game outside the traditional ur-

ban centres of Cork and Dublin.

The programme has been developed along similar guidelines to many of the European Countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Holland. The major difference between those pro- erammes and the FAI’s 1s that each Emerging Talent Squad is coached and administrated by qualified lo- cal people in each of the 33 school- boys/girls leagues in the country. The CPSSL agreed to join the FAI’s emerging talent programme last Sep- tember.

The coaching sessions are designed and implemented in line with an age appropriate syllabus to try and pro- duce all round players.

FAI Regional Development Officer Denis Hynes said, “One of the ma- jor differences in the programme is that the players are not exposed to “competitive” football as often. The

priority is the development of the in- dividual players and their all round OL EO) ITU OLS CSE

“With this in mind we have found that too much competitive football and the atmosphere around it is re- strictive to the development of play- ee

Eventually it is hoped, the players will be able to have the confidence and talent to express themselves in competitive situations such as Kennedy Cup and Umbro Cup. Each League Emerging Talent Squad has to meet strict set criteria during and at the end of year in order to receive funding from the FAI. All coaching and management positions a re re- viewed at the end of the season.

Any persons interested should reply in writing, by July 10, to Clive Slater, Secretary of CPSSL, Ballymalone, Tuamgraney.


Clare conquers Royal Ascot

CLARE racing is on high this week following the exploits of Elletelle for the Jesse Club Syndicate at Royal Ascot and Kieren Fallon’s continued rehabilitation as the best jockey in the business.

Elletelle, a 20/1 shot owned by Jack Heaslip, his son Sean, former Clare hurler Enda O’Connor and Steven McCarthy, won the Queen Mary Stakes over five furlongs with John- ny Murtagh in the saddle.

Returning to scenes of celebra- tion more akin to Cheltenham than Royal Ascot, the Ger Lyons trained filly stayed on gamely under a strong Murtagh drive to record a dramatic half-length success in the Group Two Cone

Meanwhile, Kieren Fallon returned to racing action following his six- month riding ban but the Ballin- ruan man continued his impressive comeback with big-race successes in France and Ireland last weekend.

The Ballydoyle number one scored a Surprise win at Saint-Cloud on Sun-

day when the Michael Stoute trained Mountain High upset the hot favour- ite, Mandesha, in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint Cloud.

This Group One success will serve as a timely confidence boost for Fal- lon who is expected to partner the ante-post favourite, Eagle Mountain, in the Budweiser Irish Derby next Sunday.

The 42 year-old confirmed why he is the best in the business at Limerick on Friday when producing a brilliant ride on Honolulu (11/4f) to win the Listed Martin Molony Stakes.

The Ballinruan maestro was record- ing his third success since returning to Irish racecourses when steering Aidan O’Brien’s inexperienced three- year old to a one and half-length vic-

tory in the feature race of the evening at Greenmount Park.

After being pushed along at half- way, the well-backed son of Montjeu responded well to Fallon’s urgings to strike the front at the two furlong pole where he assumed control from the John Oxx trained Athenian Way.

Fallon almost scooped a hat-trick of big-race wins at Down Royal on Sat- urday when narrowly beaten on Song Of Hiawatha in the Ulster Derby.

Looking ahead to Sunday Irish Derby, Fallon revealed that Eagle Mountain’s “form is solid and, when he won the Beresford Stakes, we knew he was our Derby horse.”

“His run in the Derby was great and he was beaten by one of the best winners we’ve seen for a while. Af- ter Authorized went on, he was rid- den for second and that run will have stood him in good stead,” he added.


Curragrove is Py UPN a ter IDLE to the county

ENNIS-based financial advisors, Curragrove Mortgage and Financial Services are handling the country’s first specialist commercial lending programme, provided by Start Mort- eee

Start Mortgages has announced a new commercial mortgage program specifically designed for those cus- tomers who have difficulty obtaining commercial mortgages from tradi- tional banks and building societies. Start is the first lender in Ireland to develop such a programme which aims to satisfy a large segment of customers and property types ex- cluded from traditional lending pro- erammes.

Since commencement, Start has of- fered mortgages to more than 10,000 residential customers who have dif- ficulty getting a mortgage due to factors such as poor credit history, employment profile or other personal APKC SereeDeeoe

The main characteristics of this new program include semi-commercial and commercial properties includ-

ing pubs, restaurants, retail shops, guest houses and other commercial units. In addition, the program will include Start’s established lending features such as self certification of income, whole of term interest only and terms up to 40 years. Customers will be provided with facility levels up to €2.5 million.

Paul Murphy, head of sales and marketing at Start said, “The Spe- cialist commercial mortgage market has been totally unserved up to now. We estimate that the potential of this segment will be in excess of €2 bil- lion per annum.

“Since commencement of business operations in 2004 we have received a significant level of enquiries from our broker partners. In addition, Ire- land have seen significant growth in the SME sector in recent years.

“We have worked closely with our intermediary relationships to devel- op this commercial program.

“We are delighted to be the first specialist lender to launch such a product and believe it represents a significant enhancement to current proposition.”


Ready, steady, go…

LEES Road is only a couple of years on the road, but in its short history it al- ready has a few stories to tell.

One constant is that the facility put in place by Ennis Town Council on the edge of the old town is a haven for in- creasing numbers of people who find and seek recreation.

The soccer pitches see action every week; youth wing of Ennis Rugby club are other patrons, while GAA teams from county to club are wont to use the all-weather facility in mid winter when they’re thinking of high summer.

There was another story on Saturday when Lees Road played host to an ath- letic event, the like of which has never been seen before in Clare. The Clare 1OK — it’s second ever running when over 1100 took to the Lees Road grass and then to the roads around Ennis.

“It has certainly captured the imagi- nation,’ noted master of ceremonies James Sexton, himself an athlete of some note who has done so much to promote his sport on radio and in print down the years.

The Kilmurry Ibrickane athlete was one of an army of volunteers who made the day possible. Tommy McCarthy was another — his lifelong dedication to athletics shining through on this day, as it does everyday there’s an event in town or country.

Sexton and McCarthy were just two, among many, who made the day possi- ble. There were many more, most of all the athletes who turned out in sport and support of an event that looks set to go from strength to strength.


‘Suicide a tragedy for all’ says bishop

THE Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh, said last night that incidence of suicide within the Traveller com- munity were “not some dark afflic- tion” affecting Travellers but were “part and parcel of humanity”’.

At a special Mass at the Cathedral in Ennis last night in memory of three young travellers that recently took their own lives, Dr Walsh said: “God never visits tragedy on any particular community. We can never understand what leads someone to ending one’s own life.

“Each one of us is different, has

their own story of life. | don’t know your story, you don’t know my story and for that reason, we must never judge or condemn who has chosen to end their own life.”

He said: “Because of the recent tragedies that have occurred in our community, I think all of us are con- fused and even afraid.

“We are confused that we don’t know why these things have hap- pened and we are afraid, certainly some parents are afraid, perhaps ‘could it be my child next?’ …

“Many of you in recent weeks have asked why these terrible things have been happening in our Travelling

community and I suppose the short answer to that is that I don’t know, but in a way I would love if we could have a Mass like this, not just for the Travelling community but for the whole community for both traveller and settled…

“The tragedy of suicide has affect- ed everyone, has affected Traveller and settled, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the healthy and Wo (O@

“It has affected people of deep faith and of no faith,” said the bishop.

“We just don’t understand what may have driven them to that, so let’s try this evening to ask for calm and

peace among all of us and try to put away the hurts that may cause fric- tion between us and let us not appor- tion blame to anyone.

“Let’s rather talk gently to each other and let those involved in the caring area let us support and co-op- erate with each other.

“We ask Christ to remove our fear and shed light on our confusion and give us the courage and generosity to Support and encourage each other at this time,” concluded Bishop Walsh.

“We ask Jesus to come among us and to help to remove our fear and our confusion and guide us through these sad times,’ he said.


CCTV cameras for Ennis litter

CCTV cameras are among new fre- sources Ennis Town Council will use as part of a major community driven environmental initiative.

The Ennis Environmental Chal- lenge will feature a range of waste prevention initiatives including the introduction of litter free zones, the employment of extra resources and the use of mobile CCTV cameras.

The first phase of the campaign involves the designation of Abbey Street, O’Connell Street, Parnell Street and High Street as a pilot area, within which litter free status will be Neel tol 0B

Other town centre locations will be designated as target litter free zones in the second phase. An independent verification and audit of the initiative is planned for August. The second phase will get underway in October with further review and assessment to take place in November.

Additional staff resources will be assigned to support the initial stages of the initiative which was launched at Waterpark House on Friday. Rep- resentatives from Shannon Develop- ment, Ennis Chamber of Commerce, local sports clubs and organisations, national and secondary school rep- resentatives, Ennis Tidy Towns Committee, An Garda Siochana, waste service providers, residents associations, local authority officials and elected members, tourism sector representatives and members of the

business community attended the event.

Other measures being introduced by Ennis Town Council include the operation of a revised cleaning schedule, the provision of colourful

floral displays and hanging baskets throughout the town, the hosting of an awareness campaign in national and secondary schools, and the pro- duction of a promotional/educational video on the Ennis Environmental

Challenge. Meanwhile, the council will use mobile closed circuit televi- sion in designated areas, housing es- tates and public areas as an enforce- ment measure to combat littering and indiscriminate dumping.

Eddie Power, Ennis Town Clerk, explained that the litter initiatives would be closely monitored through- out the challenge.

“A log or record including photo- graphic evidence of the condition of streets will be complied twice daily to monitor progress. An independent audit will also be conducted in the designated areas to verify progress and determine ‘litter free status’. ‘Litter Free Zone’ signs will then be erected following the successful completion of the verification proc- ess,” he said.

“Ennis Town Council will be launching measures aimed at further improving the existing community- wide and shared approach to com- bating litter in the town. For exam- ple, the local authority will organise cleaning days across the town’s hous- ing estates. Financial support will be provided through the council’s Prim- ing Grants Scheme for Residents As- sociations while an additional Bonus Grant will be presented to the Best Kept Estate. We will also be taking action on derelict sites and asking the owners of certain buildings and sites to carry out maintenance work where necessary,’ he said.


‘Community must keep town clean’

A NEW PLAN to make the streets of Ennis litter free can only work if there is community wide responsibil- ity according to the mayor of Ennis.

Joe Reidy was speaking at the launch of the Ennis Environmental Challenge, a new initiative by Ennis SKodW sim Oxelttitere

The Fianna Fail councillor said the input of community and voluntary eroups was critical to the success of the programme.

“The main objective of this pro-

gramme is to generate a community wide responsibility for and owner- ship of the appearance and tidiness of Ennis.

“We are confident that this ap- proach will help develop a positive public attitude towards litter preven- tion and will lead to a lasting change in behaviour,” he said.

Cllr Reidy said the programme aimed to challenge communities, businesses and other stakeholders to improve litter standards in the town. He said the programme was being introduced to capitalise on Ennis’ re-

cent success in the national tidy town competitions.

‘The use of the word challenge in the title is deliberate. We want to challenge people to do their best.

“It is supposed to be a positive mo- tivating influence so that people will respond to that challenge.

“It is a challenge to everybody, the council, local businesses, commu- nity and voluntary groups. Ennis has achieved so much and now it’s time to go that extra mile,” he said.

Welcoming the launch of the envi- ronmental campaign, Tom Cough-

lan, Ennis Town Manager stated that a successful campaign could maxim- ise the national and international ap- peal of Ennis.

“The challenge will help the town build on its success and achieve- ments in the annual National Tidy Town’s competition.

“IT am especially confident that it will enhance the image and profile of Ennis locally, nationally and interna- tionally. In doing so, the town will become an attractive place to live, work, invest in and visit,’ added Mr So eaNE Te


meUNee meer) ikem eATED

IT RAINED like it was never going to end over the weekend. But under dark skies, the Spancilhill fair roared with life. The annual horse fair is synonymous with good, often rowdy times and this year’s installment was no less different.

Buyers and sellers from across Ire- land and beyond convened at one of the most famous traditional horse fairs in the world.

The crowds were steady all day Saturday. Some to buy, others to sell. Many were there just to have a look and find out for themselves what makes Spancilhill such a treasured date in the summer calendar.

There were the professionals who know the place and its customs all too well. They come from Mayo, Roscommon, Tipperary. Some from further afield. Nothing new in Span-

cilhill. When it was first held in 1600, such was its reputation that Spancul- hill drew the armies of Napoleon, in search of horses, sheep and other supplies, and no doubt a bit of dev- ilment. The army that marched on Spancilhill over the weekend came mainly to bargain and trade horses. But this being Spancilhill everything had its price.

There were days when it didn’t look too good for Spancilhill. During the eighties the festival’s future looked bleak. Numbers declined, an element of lawlessness crept in. All of a sud- den Spancilhill wasn’t the place to


But thanks to men like Paddy Has- sett, the fair was saved and ultimate- ly revived. The only thing bleak on Saturday was the weather. And that didn’t matter one bit.


Hla le lRGo ep elke et TMK mem: Mecplael ey

THE important contribution made by Samaritans volunteers to com- munity life in Ennis was recognised at a civic reception hosted by Ennis Town Council last week.

The reception was organised to mark the 25th anniversary of the En- nis and Clare branch of the Samari- tans. The service started in Ennis on June 7, 1982, and in its first year han- dled 500 calls. Originally based at premises on O’Connell Street in the town centre, the Samaritans moved to a new location at Sunville on the Kilrush Road in 1984.

Last year the centre handled 30,000 calls reflecting the expansion and growing demand for the service.

53 worked at the centre in 1982. The number of volunteers currently involved with the Samaritans now stands at 100.

Director Mary Lynch told repre- sentatives of Ennis Town Council that the decline in the number of people volunteering meant organisa- tions like the Samaritans were more important than ever.

She said, “In times in which the role of community is more and more compromised, in which the time to devote to volunteering is less and

less, but in which the importance of community trust, cohesion and social capital is more and more recognised, the importance of organisations like Samaritans has never been greater.

“We commit ourselves to honour the trust that has been placed in us over the years and to continue to serve the people of Ennis and Clare for the next 25 years”.

She highlighted the strong bonds that existed between the Samaritans and the people of Ennis and how that relationship ensured the survival of the service.

“Ennis was initially established as an outreach centre of the Limerick

branch, but within about a year had thrown off the shackles of our near neighbours and declared independ- Cieen

‘Since that time the branch has been loyally supported by the communi- ties of Ennis and Clare. This sup- port has been of many kinds. Many have provided the financial resources that we need to carry on our activi- ties; many families have given us the time of their sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, and partners, to act as volunteers in our centre; a variety of individuals & or- ganisations have held events to sup- port us and to promote our work.”