Thursday, 26 February 2015

Micho Russell, 1915-1994, and the Russell Memorial Weekend

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Micho Russell, so the Russell Memorial Weekend which takes place this weekend should not be missed! The festival begins today (Thursday 26th February) and runs until Monday 2nd March.

The videos above feature Micho Russell on TG4's The Pure Drop in 1988 (with Noel Hill, James Cullinane and Madonna Heron).

'Bell Harbour Droneys' from The Clare Concerto - Dave Flynn & The Clare Memory Orchestra

"In November 2013 Dave Flynn & The Clare Memory Orchestra were joined by 50 'apprentice' musicians to create a 70 piece 'Memory' orchestra. They premiered Dave Flynn's hour long 'Clare Concerto' entirely from memory. The only person on stage with sheet music was the conductor Bjorn Bantock. (The few sheets viewable on the floor are one page set-­lists with no dots!). The orchestra featured some of the best Irish traditional, classical and jazz musicians around. Including multiple award winners and international soloists. Ranging from renowned Fiddlers like Martin Hayes, Brid Harper and Aoife Ní Bhriain to piper Mick O'Brien and four members of Ensemble Eriu (Jack Talty, Neil O'Loghlen, Matthew Berrill & Paddy Groenland). At the end of the 2nd Movement 'North Clare' when Clare concertina legend Chris Droney came on stage as special guest with his children Francis and Aine the age range on stage was from 11-88. Thus the orchestra featured some of the finest talent in Irish music from several generations.The music and the orchestra itself represent the past, present and future of Irish music. The instrumentation was unlike any orchestra ever assembled, mixing usual classical orchestra instruments with Irish folk instruments like Uilleann Pipes and Low Whistles and modern instruments like electric guitars. The orchestra also included ancient bronze age Celtic horns like the Loughnashade Trumpet and Carynx. The Clare Concerto was premiered in Glór, Ennis, Ireland and commissioned by the Arts Office of Clare County Council under the Per Cent for Art Scheme." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of February 2015 by Dave Flynn & the Clare Memory Orchestra.

The Dillon-Harkin family find their roots in Ballygastell and Ballyteige, Lisdoonvarna, County Clare

"In July 2014 my Dillon cousins and I visited the ruins of the ancestral Dillon-Harkin cottage on the townlands of Ballygastell and Ballyteige, Lisdoonvarna County Clare. We found a local man Paddy Fitzgerald who guided us through the overgrown entrance and old rose garden to find the old walls of Lizzie Harkins cottage. We later visited Cliffs of Moher then finished off at McGanns Pub that night. Next day Paddy showed us through another house in Ballygastell once occupied by Dillons and later Kennys." Posted on Youtube on the 20th of February 2015 by desiodineen.

A trip to the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

A trip to the Cliffs of Moher in 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of February 2015 by Aleksandra Lazorenko.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Children’s Events at Your Local Library in March

The month of March each year provides an ideal opportunity for Clare’s libraries to showcase its services for children and teenagers through a variety of events in its county-wide network.

Book related events will take place in many branches to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge and World Book Day.

Seachtain na Gaeilge in Leabharlannaí Contae an Chláir:

Beidh páirt mór le glacadh ag Leabharlann Contae an Chláir i gceiliúradh Seachtain na Gaeilge 2015, leis na himeachtaí atá beartaithe go speisíalta acu do dhaltaí bunscoile agus meanscoile.

First and second classes in primary schools are invited to seisiúin scéalaíochta in many libraries. Details of times and venues are available from your local branch.

Beidh an t-údar Ré Ó Laighléis ag labhairt faoina úrscéalta le daltaí meánscoile Dé hAoine 6 Márta sna leabharlannaí phoiblí Sráid na Cathrach agus Inis Díomáin.

Scríobhann Ré Ó Laighléis ábhar ficsin don pháiste, don déagóir agus don léitheoir fásta, é sin idir Ghaeilge agus Bhéarla. Tá aistriúcháin déanta go forleathan ar a chuid úrscéalta agus cnuasaigh gearrscéalta agus tá iliomad duaiseanna agus gradaim bronnta air.

Ré will speak on his life as a writer, focusing particularly on writing for a teenage readership. He will give an insight into the writing of his novels with lots of inspirational advice on the importance of reading and writing for life.

World Book Day 2015:

Over the last 18 years World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The aim of the celebration is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of reading and to this end all school children will receive book tokens that they can exchange in bookshops providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own.

On the 4th,5th and 6th of March 2015 children of all ages will come together to celebrate World Book Day in a variety of ways in Clare’s libraries.

Artist Alan Shoosmith from Tubber will host five workshops on book-based themes in Kilrush, Kildysart, Shannon, Sixmilebridge and Ennis libraries. Alan has a keen interest in watercolour painting and creative photography and has a great love of wildlife & nature which manifests itself regularly in his paintings. His World Book Day workshops for children will be based on two specific children’s writers. Young children will bring Julia Donaldson’s Gruffalo to life under Alan’s expert guidance while older children can choose to re-create their favourite characters from the stories of Roald Dahl. Further details of Alan’s workshops for children are available from participating libraries.

Miltown Malbay Library will host an interactive storytime for the children from the nearby ‘Spraoi’ Montessori school on the 5th of March at 11.30am and Ennistymon Library are making plans for a books “lucky dip” fun day. Art workshops for children will take place in Killaloe and Scariff libraries compliments of local artist, Grace Burton and library staff in other branches are seizing the occasion to visit local schools to showcase what’s on offer for children through the public library service.

For details on what’s happening in a library near you to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge and World Book Day 2015 contact your nearest branch library.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A Poem for Ireland

A Poem for Ireland is a campaign being run by RTE that encourages the public to vote for their favourite Irish poem from the last 100 years. The purpose of the campaign is to celebrate Irish poetry, and in particular the vast wealth of Irish poetry of the past 100 years. The public were asked to choose the stand-out Irish poems of the past 100 years. The long list of 130 nominations has now been whittled down to just 10 poems by the jury and the public are now asked to selected the winner which will be revealed on March 13.

On all 10 poems are printed in full, and there's information on each poem and poet, plus video and audio clips from the RTÉ archives on this website. Every week on RTÉ Radio and Television, there'll be items about all the poems on the shortlist on RTÉ One's The Works (Fridays, 8.30, RTÉOne) and RTÉ Radio One's The John Murray Show (9am, weekdays, RTÉ Radio One). The public voting deadline is Sunday, March 8 and the poem with the most votes will be revealed on Friday, March 13. You can vote at or by Freepost to A Poem For Ireland, PO Box 12575, Freepost F5087, Dublin 4.

The 10 shortlisted poems are:

A Christmas Childhood by Patrick Kavanagh
A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford by Derek Mahon
Dublin by Louis MacNeice
Easter 1916 by W. B. Yeats
Fill Arís by Seán Ó Ríordáin
Filleadh ar an gCathair by Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh
Making Love Outside Áras an Uachtaráin by Paul Durcan
Quarantine by Eavan Boland
The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks by Paula Meehan
When all the others were away at Mass by Seamus Heaney

Friday, 20 February 2015

Dom de diddle dom... Bobby Gardiner Lilting Masterclass

"Bobby Gardiner lilting followed by Ciaran Ó Geallabháin chatting to Bobby Gardiner about his playing style, particularly triplets. Also featuring an archive clip with Bobby Gardiner and Johnny McDonagh." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of February 2015 by TG4.

Josephine Marsh and friends playing at the Willie Clancy Festival

A promotional trailer for TG4's Port TV programme on the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Malbay, County Clare, featuring Josephine Marsh and friends. Posted on Youtube on the 19th of January 2015 by TG4.

Siobhan Peoples, Murty Ryan and Brian Mooney play Anthony Frawley's Jig

County Clare's Siobhan Peoples, with Murty Ryan and Brian Mooney, playing 'Anthony Frawley's' from TG4's Bosca Ceoil, Episode 4. Posted on Youtube on the 20th of November 2014 by brummydubliner.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Searching for answers about County Clare? See our Visitors’ Book and Clare Past Forum

If you have queries about Clare history or genealogy it’s worth checking out the Visitors’ Book and the Clare Past Forum on Clare County Library’s website. The Visitors’ Book contains comments and questions from visitors to the library website with answers provided by Clare County Library staff. In the Clare Past Forum answers are provided by other forum users, many of whom are very knowledgeable about Clare matters. You might just find your question has already been asked and answered...

See and