Friday, 22 May 2015

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill playing "Ryan's Rant" on WTJU, USA

"Legendary duo Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill stopped by the WTJU studios, [Charlottesville, Virginia, USA], on March 21, 2015 for a visit before a concert in town presented by the Blue Ridge Irish Music School (BRIMS). Here they perform "Ryan's Rant." Posted on Youtube on the 6th of May 2015 by WTJU Charlottesville.

Boston TV Channel Five visits Doolin in the mid 1980s, featuring Micho Russell, Eoin O Neill, Kevin Griffin, Niall Sheedy and more

"Boston TV Channel Five visits Doolin, County Clare, in the mid 80's. Mc Gann's pub featuring, Micho Russell, Eoin O Neill, Kevin Griffin, Niall Sheedy, (German Fiddle player Mick Koppel) Gerry (Buddy) Flanagan, Brud Petty (with his pipe) Johnny O Brien, Mary Shannon, Helen Browne, Tony Mc Gann, Gerry Howard, John Flaherty, and others." posted on Youtube on the 17th of May 2015 by doolinmusic.

The Laird of Drumblair set - Edel Fox in Glasgow with Simon Thoumire & Tom Orr

County Clare's Edel Fox with Simon Thoumire & Tom Orr playing The Laird of Drumblair set on a visit to Glasgow. From the TG4 series Port - An Braon Breise. Posted on Youtube on the 7th of April 2015 by webfilmmager.

Los Paddys de Las Pampas playing "Little Bridget Flynn" in Ennistymon Courthouse Studio

"Little Bridget Flynn" performed by County Clare's Los Paddys de Las Pampas in Ennistymon Courthouse Recording Studio. Posted on Youtube on the 5th of October 2014 by Paddy Mulcahy.

The Riches of Clare with Neil O'Loghlen, Liam Ryan, Finola Ryan, and Eoin O'Neill, 20th May 2015

"Neil O'Loghlen, Liam Ryan, Finola Ryan, and Eoin O'Neill performing at The Riches of Clare concert series as part of Fleadh Nua, May 20, 2015". Posted on Youtube on the 222nd of May 2015 by Niamhaines.

Play That Funky Music by Mustang Hobo at Pepper’s Mountain Hop in Feakle

East Clare band Mustang Hobo playing Wild Cherry's 1976 hit "Play That Funky Music" at The Mountain Hop in the marquee at Pepper's Bar, Feakle, County Clare, April 2015. Posted on Youtube on the 6th of May 2015 by Mustang Hobo.

Susan Fennell (1812-1909) – Ennis & Kilbaha

Susan Fennell (1812-1909) was the daughter of Thomas Pilkington (1784-1838) of Cragleigh, Ennis. She married Timothy Haier, an Ennis shopkeeper and had three children whose baptisms are registered in the Ennis R.C. parish records in the 1840s. She married secondly in the Ennis Church of Ireland church in 1850 to William Reynolds, a baker. The family may have gone to America then. Susan reappears in the 1860s at Kilbaha with her two sons. She is the Susan Haier "known locally as Siobhan Pilkington" mentioned in an account by Mathúin Mac Fheorais ( of the Fenian uprising in Kilbaha in 1867. She ran the shop and pub later known as The Lighthouse Inn at Kilbaha. She married for a third time, to Mathias Fennell, a Kilbaha river pilot. Susan died in 1909 at Kilbaha, aged c. 97. Her photo (above) from c.1900 appears in the Pilkington, Griffin,Keane Collection in Foto, Clare County Library's online images collection, and her complex family connections were the topic of some posts on the Clare Past forum some time ago (

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Artist David Gilhooley & Author Philip Shepherd at Scariff Library

Renowned artist David Gilhooley held an Introduction to Watercolour Painting class in Scariff Public Library on Tuesday, 19th May 2015 as part of the Bealtaine Festival. This was a free event but places were limited to ten. Those who had signed up in time were in for a treat. David provided expert tuition in a relaxed, informal manner. The class was guided in a simple, easy to follow and straightforward method. Feedback from the class was very positive.

Philip Shepherd, author of New Self, New World, visited Scariff Public Library on Tuesday evening 19th May 2015 to offer an insight into his work. Philip’s talk on ‘Radical Wholeness’ explained how we are taught from childhood that mind and body are separate which makes us disconnected, anxious and off-balance. Philip teaches how to ground us in the present and provide us with the tools to last a lifetime.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

HRH Prince Charles visits The Burren

On his first ever visit to the west of Ireland, HRH Prince Charles chose to spend his opening afternoon in The Burren, the limestone landscape famous for its flora, archaeology and unique farming traditions. During the visit, hosted by the Burrenbeo Trust, the Prince was introduced to local farmer Patrick Nagle, who showed off some of his livestock and also some of the work he has done to protect the environment as part of the award-winning Burren Life programme. The Prince then met local schoolchildren who had recently graduated as ‘Burren experts’ through Burrenbeo’s ‘Ecobeo’ programme, before joining some ‘Burrenbeo conservation volunteers’ in repairing some farm walls. On his departure from the farm, the Prince was presented with a hamper of local food products by his hosts and enjoyed some traditional tunes courtesy of local teenage musicians, the Kinvara string quintet.

Described as ‘the heritage soul of Ireland’, the Burren contains Ireland’s highest density of archaeological sites, boasts a stunning geological heritage and is home to over 70% of all of Ireland’s native flower species. Prince Charles arrived at the perfect time to witness this extraordinary botanical display in full bloom, seeing Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean wildflowers first-hand. The Prince was told of the vulnerability of these plants and their habitats and the need for sensitive management, while hearing about the success of two community-based projects, the Burrenbeo Trust and Burren Life programme, in doing just this.

The Burrenbeo Trust is Ireland’s first landscape charity dedicated to the sustainable management of the Burren. The focus of the Trust’s work over the past decade has been to ‘connect people to Ireland’s learning landscape’ through innovative education and training programmes, conservation volunteer events and community festivals. Trust Coordinator Brigid Barry, who showed off this work to the Prince, said ‘We are thrilled to showcase our conservation and education programmes to the Prince. We believe the future of the Burren is in building pride and awareness in the region, which we do through our 20 week Ecobeo schools programme from which over 1,000 local children have graduated, as well as monthly walks and talks and annual festivals such as ‘Burren in Bloom’ and the ‘Winterage Weekend’. There is now a great sense of pride and respect for this extraordinary landscape, which Prince Charles was fascinated to learn about’. Ms Barry also told the Prince of Burrenbeo’s advocacy for an increased emphasis on ‘place based learning’ in Ireland and of Burrenbeo’s vision for the Burren as the ultimate ‘learning landscape’ where people can really connect with the world around them.

The work of the Burrenbeo Trust is complemented by that of the Burren Life Programme, an innovative farming programme which pays farmers for their environmental performance. Through Burren Life, local farmers identify, co-fund and carry out key conservation tasks on their farms – such as wall repair, scrub removal and protecting vulnerable water supplies. These farmers are also paid for their ‘environmental performance’ – how successful they are at looking after the local habitats, water and soil – through an innovative ‘scoring system’ which Prince Charles learnt about from Burren Life scientist Dr. Sharon Parr. The ‘results-based’ approach pioneered by the Burren Life Programme is now being used as a template for Agri-Environment schemes across the EU.

Patrick Nagle, on whose farm the Royal visit took place, said that ‘It was a great honour to show Prince Charles around our farm. We told him about the work that my son Oliver and I have done over the past 5 years of Burren Life – new walls built and gates hung, scrub taken out, water sources protected, silage replaced – and about how the improved grazing that has resulted from this work has helped us to earn better environmental payments. This is a very proud day for us, for the generations of farmers who have worked the land of the Burren in the past, and for the youngsters that we hope will farm it in the years ahead.'

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award Winners

Oliver Jeffers has won the 25th CBI Book of the Year Award and is the third author ever to win both the Book of the Year Award and the Children’s Choice award for his title Once Upon an Alphabet.

This beautiful picture book presents twenty-six original and innovative stories about the letters of the alphabet, cleverly combining text and line drawings.

Each letter of the alphabet is introduced with its own story, each one weaving in and out of one another, asking the reader to make connections and cross-references. Although this is an alphabet book, it’s not just for the very young; the cleverly constructed stories will strike a chord with children of all ages.

The Honour Award for Illustration went to Chris Haughton for Shh! We have A Plan. The Honour Award for Fiction went to Áine Ní Ghlinn for Daideo. Gabriel Rosenstock and Brian Fitzgerald picked up the Judge’s Special Award for Haiku Más é do thoil é! and the Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book went to Louise O’Neill for Only Ever Yours.

Elaina Ryan, Director of CBI, said: "The CBI Awards are a unique opportunity not only to honour the very best in Irish writing and illustration, but to give young people a voice through the Children’s Choice Award. It is a real delight to see even more young readers than last year taking part in our shadowing scheme and enjoying the excellent and diverse books on this year’s shortlist".