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  Christmas is coming by Niamh Ni Drisceoil

Christmas is upon once again and we get ready to say goodbye to another year that was jam packed with events and activities. This summer saw, as well as the rain, a few VIPs visit the shores of Cape Clear. In June the newly elected TD Maureen O’ Sullivan of Dublin North Central, return to the island she has claimed as her second home after 30 years of holidaying here. She was greeted off the Cáilín Óir by a host of well-wishers and her success was duly celebrated in style in Club Chléire. Sticking with politics, Minister Eamon Ó Cuiv flew in to officially open to newly constructed helipad and of course the new premises of Coláiste Phobail Chléire. The hall is a fabulous facility and is now used throughout the year. Badminton, yoga, art, céilí dancing to name but a few of the activities that run here throughout the winter, while its occupied by enthusiastic teenagers from near and far who arrive over the course of the summer to learn a cúpla focail. The ground saw its first 7 aside football match between Kilnamartra and Castlehaven in August. Great fun was had by all who attended and we look forward to Ilen Rovers making their debut on Cape. The following day dawned bright and sunny (a rarity last summer!) in honour of the very first annual Cape Clear Charity Fun Day. The harbour was a riot of colour, from the large yellow bouncy castle (kindly sponsored by Coláiste Phobail Chléire & Coláiste Chiaráin) to the faces of those who lined up to be painted! The afternoon passed in a blur of games, hair flying and craic agus ceol. In all, it was a great success and a whooping €3,032 was raised on the day, with much appreciation to all those who made donations or sponsored fabulous prizes. We look forward to next year already. September saw the harbour a wash of bunting, balloons & flags once again! Led by Verona Ní Drisceoil, the All Ireland winning Senior B girls football team, were welcomed by a festoon of flamboyant characters in red and white. The season was by no means over for Chléire, as the blustery winds of October saw a number of rare birds blown off their migratory course, for a short stop over on the island. With them they attracted many a birding enthusiast coming from far and wide for a glimpse of these rarities. The count down has begun to the festive season and all in Cape are looking forward to the Christmas party in Club Chléire in the next few weeks. Of course the younger islanders are also anticipating a visit by a very important VIP ~ Santa! Let’s hope the bad weather won’t affect his travel plans! And of course it won’t be long thereafter that he comes with his deliveries. Rumours are already circulating on who will venture the icy cold water on Christmas morning, all in the name of charity and a hot toddie after of course! St. Stephen’s day will bring with the Wren Men! In traditional dress and joviality, these foursome and friends will go from house to house bring song and cheer, for the chance of a beer and a few bob for their chosen worthy cause. Some would say they perform their best at the start of their route….others would argue it is far more entertaining at their journey’s end!! The jury is still out! And so from all in Cape, we wish everyone a Nollaig Shona agus ath bhlian faoi mhaise.

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