East Clare has become a hive of activity in recent weeks. As businesses reopen their doors to their loyal customers, the excitement builds within the community as the world returns to some sense of normality.
Family and friends have been reunited, hair has been cut, plans are being made for the weeks and months ahead and bookings are beginning to come in for the summer season.
We take a look at some of the stories and achievements of the past number of weeks before looking ahead at what is to come.
Heritage grants awarded
Earlier this month, twelve projects across County Clare were awarded funding under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme. Sharing a total of €76,030, these grants will help boost tourism for community groups and not for profit organisations.
Among those to have received funding was the Irish Seed Savers Association. This funding will be used to develop a digital heritage resource in the form of a Virtual Reality 360 Experience. Two virtual reality experiences will be made available on the Irish Seed Savers Association website once complete.
The Orchard Experience will encompass footage of the National Irish Heritage Apple Tree Collection. While the Seed Experience will capture footage of native Irish vegetable varieties, growing and developing seed in their gardens as well as giving an insight into the seed saving process used within the organisation.
Scariff Community Council were awarded €12,000 to carry out a conservation/condition report on the Water Workhouse Tower. Quin Tidy Towns and Lough Graney Nature Sanctuary have also been awarded funding under this scheme.
Currachs launch on Lough Derg
Typically associated with the west coast of Ireland, four magnificent currachs were launched into the waters of Lough Derg. Currachs are largely regarded as being one of history's earliest craft. It is believed they were first used in Ireland in Mesolithic times (7,000-5,000BCE).
These four currachs are now moored at Derg Isle Adventure Centre. There, a group of children are learning how to row them.
Their maiden Lough Derg voyage took place on Tuesday, which saw them being rowed along the River Graney before heading out into Scariff Bay.
St. Cronan's Church reopens
The historic 10th century St. Cronan's Church in Tuamgraney is now open from 10am to 5pm every day.
This is largely regarded as being one of Ireland's most historic buildings. It is also the oldest church in continuous use in Ireland. The last High King of Ireland, Brian Ború, is recorded to have repaired St. Cronan's Church.
Walk in the footsteps of Brian Ború and watch a short audiovisual presentation that depicts the history of this beautiful site from the 6th century.
The church is free to visit, but donations to help maintain the building are accepted.
Clare Ramblers is back
Clare Ramblers will be starting back with their guided walks on the last Thursday in June at 11am. These guided looped walks are between 5km & 9km and take place on various sections of the East Clare Way and the Mid Clare Way walking routes.
All walks are free of charge with an optional donation. All money raised will go towards the future maintenance and upkeep of the East Clare Way & the Mid Clare Way walking routes. These walks are primarily for Active Agers (Over 50’s), but all are welcome.
Our network is expanding
Tourism East Clare is in the process of expanding. Currently, we have over 35 members across a variety of sectors and industries. Working with our members, we hope to enhance opportunities for our members through a series of marketing initiatives. Through this community, East Clare will continue to attract visitors, both domestic and international.
If you are interested in becoming a member or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us.
Derg Isle Adventure Centre makes a splash
Scariff native Alphie Rodgers has recently been appointed as the new General Manager of Derg Isle Adventure Centre. With a very established career in various business sectors, including most recently in the hotel's industry as the Sales and Marketing Director for Treacey's Hotel Group, Alphie is looking forward to the season ahead.
With the easing of restrictions, Derg Isle is now sold out for the availability on their primary school trips throughout June.
They have also revamped their website, where you can now easily book a variety of activities and adventures, including summer camps!
Ray Hogan Catering for your event's needs
Ray Hogan is back catering to your every food needs as we approach the new confirmation and communion season. Take the stress out of organising and cooking food and instead focus on enjoying the special day.
With over thirty years of experience, Ray will ensure that your every dietary requirement is met. Get in touch with Ray today!
My Next Adventure prepares for reopening
The Killaloe based guided kayaking tour operator has announced they will be reopening from Friday, May 28th. Offering guided kayaking tours that take you on an adventure through history, this is a fun-filled activity for all.
Experience the magic of Lough Derg and the River Shannon as you meander your way through the historic waterways. Head to their website to book your adventure.
The Real Bean
Their takeaway food service continues to be in operation as they prepare to reopen fully once restrictions allow.
East Clare featured on TV
Over the last number of weeks, there were several instances where our magnificent region featured on national and international television.
On April 30th, RTÉ's Nationwide had a feature on Lough Derg. Part of this episode was filmed at the magnificent Aistear Park in Mountshannon and the historical Inis Cealtra. If you missed it, be sure to watch it back on the Player.
On May 7th, the 'River Shannon — World's Most Scenic River Journeys' was broadcast on Channel 5. The episode highlighted the beauty of the River Shannon, which of course, had to show Lough Derg. If you missed it, be sure to watch it back HERE.
Killaloe Chamber Music Festival
This year's Killaloe Chamber Music Festival is going to be available to all, for free, on their website. Happening the June Bank Holiday weekend, June 4th-6th this is an event not to be missed.
To view the programme or get your hands on free tickets visit their website.
Féile Brian Ború is going viral
The annual Féile Brian Ború festival is going online this year. This festival with a difference will take place from Wednesday 7th July to Sunday 11th July.
Featuring a range of online talks, classes and workshops as well as outdoor events this is a festival not to be missed.
Stay up to date on all things Féile Brian Ború by following them on Facebook.