Friday, 30 April 2010

Viking necklace found in Burren Cave

Viking necklace found at Glencrawne caveThe largest ever Viking necklace found in Ireland has been discovered in a cave in the Burren. Dr Marion Dowd of the Sligo Instutite of Technology is leading the excavations at Glencurran Cave, Tullycommon, north of Kilnaboy where the 1,150 year old necklace was found. The excavation is being funded by the Dept of the Environment and the Royal Irish Academy.

The antiquarian T.J. Westropp, writing in 1911, referred to the treasures already found in the caves of Glencurran:

"Several small caves, including the ‘robbers’ cave’ of Sturgaddy (evidently Sturagaddre, 1665), lie along the base of the cliffs to the west of the gorge [Glencurraun], and Poulawillen Cave in the gorge itself. It probably is at the denomination called Powlewollen in 1655, the divisions of ‘Enogh’ (Eanty) being then Moher O’Laghlin, Kerragh, Anaghbeg, Drumliseenysiyach, Kraganalossaf, Powlewollen, Lisananamagh, Enoghbane, ffanaghleane, Stunagaddre (Sturagaddre), Lisneglayragh, Moylan, ffodree, Boolemore, and Cloghbooly. Excavations in these caverns should be profitable both to science and archaeology, to judge from the results of Mr. Richard Ussher’s work in the caves at Edenvale and Newhall in the same part of the county. His slight examination of the caves in Glencurraun yielded evidence of very early human occupation, but his methodical work disclosed relics of a very cold period, the bones of elk, reindeer, lemming, wolves, and huge bears, with primitive human settlements, yielding charcoal layers, flint implements, bone pins, and pierced shells, with possible traces of cannibalism. Of early civilization, bronze and golden bracelets, an inlaid silver belt-clasp, amber and medieval skeans were discovered." Click here for the whole article.

Click here for location of the cave (given as Glencrawne Cave)
Click here for a report in The Irish Times
Click here for a clip on RTE (requires Real Player)

Longlist for Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction announced

When Skateboards will be FreeThe longlist for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction was recently announced and is as eclectic as usual in the range of subjects covered and in its global reach. The 19-strong list for the £20,000 non-fiction prize has moved away from the traditional biography and science-dominated lists of previous years to take on a more international perspective. Featuring books on subjects as diverse as skateboarding and the British road system, the list has been described by BBC presenter Evan Davis, who is chairing this year's judges, as an "unusual and eclectic longlist of terrific books". He added: "It is particularly gratifying that our selection demonstrates the worldliness of good non-fiction writing, with books that take us from China and India, to Africa and the Arctic."

The list features books by both established and first-time authors. One of the four first-time authors nominated is Said Sayrafiezadeh for his memoir of a surreal childhood in the Socialist Workers Party, When Skateboards will be Free. Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by William Dalrymple, internationally acclaimed writer of travel books, has also been selected. It is joined by The Music Instinct by Philip Ball - a study of the brain's response to Lady Gaga and Bach - and Catching Fire, which examines cooking's role in evolution. The BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction is the richest non fiction prize in the UK, worth £20,000 to the winner. The prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

The shortlist of six titles will be announced in late May and the winner in July. Last year's prize was won by Philip Hoare's Leviathan, a study of whales, with previous winners including Kate Summerscale, Antony Beevor and Jonathan Coe. For the full longlist see

JSTOR Irish Collection now available at branch libraries

JSTOR Ireland CollectionClare County Library is delighted to announce that free access to the JSTOR Ireland Collection is now available at branch libraries throughout the county, via the public access Internet PC service. JSTOR, working with Queen’s University, has developed the Ireland Collection, an online collection of over 75 journals and monographs spanning from 1780 to the present. It covers topics such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Developed in cooperation with Queen's University Belfast, The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials, containing more than 75 journals, including ceased journals from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Over 200 monographs and 2,500 manuscript pages are also included. Complementing JSTOR's existing collections, the Ireland Collection adds titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present. The content is international in scope, while also providing a rich focus on Ireland. The Ireland Collection was created with funding from the JISC Digitisation Programme. For more information on the JSTOR Ireland Collection project click here...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

MapBrowser - our new online maps system


Clare County Library is delighted to announce the arrival of MapBrowser, our new integrated maps system. Developed by Rainer Kosbi as an alternative to his SVG maps system, MapBrowser will run in the majority of browsers using Adobe's Flash Player on Windows and Apple Mac personal computers and can be used to easily access the majority of our online maps. Click here for the new online maps system...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Tom Carey at Éigse Mrs. Crotty 2008

Tom Carey with Mairéad Considine, from the Concertina Recital in Teach Cheoil at Éigse Mrs. Crotty 2008 in Kilrush. Posted on Youtube by handstrapz on the 25th September 2008.

Well-known Clare musician Tom Carey has died recently after a long illness. “Born into a small farm in the townland of Leitrim on October 27th, 1933, Tom was one of four children. He was introduced to concertina music through his mother Minnie, while his father Joseph was on of the first people to purchase a gramophone in the area and he became an avid collector of 78 rpm recordings. Michael ‘Stack’ Ryan was one of his greatest influences and Tom commenced tuition with him at 14 years of age. He also had tuition from Elizabeth Crotty. Tom first came to prominence on national radio in the mid fifties, having been recorded with Solus Lilly at Crotty’s pub in Kilrush by broadcaster and music collector Ciarán Mac Mathúna. In 1962 he was recorded by Seán Ó Riada in Flynn’s pub in Cree, as part of Ó Riada’s highly influential radio series ‘Our Musical Heritage’ which was broadcast on Radio Éireann later that year. In 1974, Tom, in duet with Solus Lillis, contributed three selections to ‘Irish Styles’, an album recorded by Englishmen Neil Wayne and John Tans and released on the Topic record label in 1977. After this it would be another 32 years until he completed another recording, when he was persuaded to record a few selections in Walshe’s pub innCree, for his CD Tom Carey and Friends.” (Quote from The Clare Champion, Friday April 16th, 2010)

Shortlist for 2010 IMPAC Award announced

The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel BarberyThe shortlist for the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award was announced by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Emer Costello on April 12th. The shortlist of 8 titles was selected from a total of 156 novels nominated by 163 public library systems in 123 cities worldwide. The 2010 shortlist is a real mix of books. Some of them are very well known and have already received awards; two are first novels and three are translated titles. The shortlisted titles are
The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
In Zodiac Light by Robert Edric
Settlement by Christoph Hein
The Believers by Zoe Heller
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
God's Own Country by Ross Raisin
Home by Marilynne Robinson.
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill appeared on the Man Booker Prize longlist of 2008 and got a huge boost when President Obama mentioned that he was reading it. Marilynne Robinson’s Home would appear to be the favourite to take the prize. Home has already won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction. Robinson also won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for her novel Gilead.The Believers is Zoe Heller’s third novel. Notes on a Scandal was very highly regarded and made the shortlist for the 2003 Booker prize. Robert Edric’s books have been nominated for the Booker prize on two occasions. The two first novels on the shortlist are The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker and God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin. The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker is translated from the original Dutch. The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery is translated from French. Settlement by Christoph Hein is a translation of the original German publication. The award is the largest literary prize worldwide with a value of €100,000. The prize is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or as an English translation. The nomination process for the Award is unique as nominations are made by libraries in capital and major cities throughout the world. Writing in The Irish Times Eileen Battersby says "This year’s judges of the Impac prize were provided with literary gold-dust in the books selected by library readers – and for the most part, they have produced a shortlist reflecting that quality". She says that the presence of novels in translation has always been the strength of the Impac, and its ability to introduce readers to outstanding foreign fiction is the major achievement of the award. The five member judging panel will select the winner which will be announced on Thursday June 17th 2010. See for more information.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Móinín and Clare Libraries help young writers of the future

Ré O Laighleis with Young Writers from Kilrush & Kilkee Community Colleges

For the second year in a row Clare County Library and the County Arts Office have come together to offer teenagers in the county a realistic opportunity to develop their writing skills under the expert guidance of author Ré O Laighléis. The project was also sponsored by the Ballyvaughan-based publishing house MÓINÍN, and Clare County Library is also greatly indebted to O’Mahony’s Booksellers, Limerick for their generous contribution towards this worthwhile undertaking. Ré O Laighléis is the biggest selling contemporary author in the Irish language. His novel Gafa (Móinín, 2005) has recently featured on the Leaving Cert syllabus and works of his, such as ‘Ecstasy & other stories’ (Móinín, 2005), ‘Hooked’ (Móinín 1999/2007) and his Burren titles are read widely by the general readership and at second and third levels, not just here in Ireland, but also throughout Britain and North America. A similar six-session course in Creative Writing began in Se´n Lemass Public Library, Shannon, in 2009 for students from St. Patrick’s Comprehensive and St Caiman’s Community Schools, and such was the success of the venture for all involved that it was decided to repeat it, this time for post-primary schools in West Clare. Ré O Laighléis was course director for both projects. On the evening of March 25th 2010, four young writers from St. Joseph’s Community College Kilkee and eight from Kilrush Community College had the opportunity to read the short stories they had written for an audience comprising people from their community including their parents and teachers. Throughout a six week period, beginning in January the participants’ work was inspired, read and evaluated with constructive suggestions for its amendment and development by Ré on a continuous basis. Complimenting the aspiring authors, Ré O Laighléis had the following to say: “Such a level of commitment yielded results that would merit place on any continuum of excellence. The topics addressed by the writers are entirely of their own choosing – indeed, any deliberate selection of subject matter for them would serve only to defeat the purpose of the course. The variety of themes reflects the concerns and interests of the stories’ writers. The levels of insight and maturity revealed within their writings are refreshing and, at times, astounding. Ranging from social conflict to sporting interest, from psychological thriller to sci-fi and post-apocalyptic warfare, one is forced to flirt with cliché in attesting that all of life (and other life) is truly here.” Clare County Library Service is hoping to continue the project into a third year in 2010, again bringing together a group of young students interested in writing, helping them to hone their skills and gain invaluable tuition and experience in the art of short story writing. Image above shows Ré O Laighleis with Young Writers from Kilrush & Kilkee Community Colleges.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Kate Thompson visits deValera Library, Ennis as guest at recent book club meeting.

Kate Thompson visits deValera Library, Ennis as guest at recent book club meeting. Students from Clare Youth Service and staff of Clare County Library were thrilled to welcome author Kate Thompson to their April book club meeting. This particular group which meets each month in deValera Library Ennis immediately engaged with Kate’s book Creature of the Night when they read it in recent weeks. The story had a greater impact when the characters, the setting and the whole experience of its creation were discussed in depth by its author at a casual get together in the library. Kate also talked about her other books which have to date been translated into many languages and her interaction with publishers and illustrators. Simple advice to the group such as always having a pen and notebook near at hand to jot down thoughts and ideas was just one of the tricks of the trade that Kate shared with the group who have a renewed interest in books and reading as a result of her visit.
Included in the picture above are Jason Keane, Milan Portal, Teresa Larkin and Ciara Slattery with author Kate Thompson.

Shortlist for the Bisto Children’s Book of the Year 2009/10

Colm and the Lazarus KeyThe Bisto Book of the Year Award 2009/10 Shortlist. has recently been announced.
Bisto, in association with Children’s Books Ireland, introduced this award to recognise talent in the field of children’s literature by Irish authors or authors living in Ireland. Having developed into highly regarded and prestigious book awards over the last decade or more, the shortlisted and winning titles serve to bring new children’s books to the attention of children, parents, teachers and librarians. Speaking about the shortlist, Maire Uí Mhaicín, Chair of the 2009-10 Judging Panel, said: "This year's shortlist provides challenging and entertaining reading material: the works included span across the ranges of fantasy, mystery, folklore and the gritty realities being endured by young people as they cope with life changes. The variety of books shortlisted will ensure satisfying reading material for readers of different ages, interests and reading levels.” The introduction of a Children's Choice Award this year adds a new dimension to the competition and ensures that the most important judges of all, the young readers themselves, will champion their favourite read.

2009/2010 Shortlisted titles:

An Greasaí Bróg agus na Síoga - by Catríona Hastings, illustrator Andrew Hastings
Chalkline – by Jane Mitchell
Colm and the Lazarus Key - by Kieran Mark Crowley
Gluaiseacht - by Alan Titley
Lincoln and His Boys – by PJ Lynch
Solace of the Road – by Siobhan Dowd
The Eyeball Collector - by F.E Higgins
The Gates – by John Connolly
The Third Pig Detective Agency - by Bob Burke
There - by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Kieran Mark Crowley, author of Colm and the Lazarus Key is no stranger to Clare libraries having toured many of our branches during Children’s Book Festival in October 2009. He also visited Connolly National School in March 2010 as an added event to the school’s participation in the WOW Reading Challenge.

Fleadh Cheoil an Chláir, Kilfenora, 17th to 21st June 2010

Fleadh Cheoil an ChláirFleadh Cheoil an Chláir will once again be hosted by Kilfenora Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and will take place from 17th to 21st June 2010. The competitions will take place on Saturday 19th for 15-18 & Senior age groups, and Sunday 20th June for under 9, under 12 & 12-15 age groups. A detailed timetable will be available after entries close. Set Dancing will be held on Saturday 19th and Céilí dancing will be held on Sunday 20th June. In addition to the music and dancing competitions, there will a Comhrá Gaeilge competition which is open to both members and non members of Comhaltas. The closing date for receipt of Comhaltas membership is Friday 30th April 2010. The closing date for entries has been set for Thursday 27th May 2010 at 5pm. All entries to county secretary (086 8181262) More information at

Friday, 16 April 2010

Blackie O'Connell in Doolin, The Burren, Ennistymon & Lahinch

Uileann piper Michael "Blackie" O'Connell visits Doolin, The Burren, Ennistymon and Lahinch in County Clare for Discover Ireland. Posted on Youtube by TheOldGroundHotel on the 25th September, 2009.

Vote for your favourite Irish Book of the Decade

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards – Book of the Decade Award50 of the best and most popular books written by Irish authors over the last 10 years have been shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards – Book of the Decade Award. The shortlist was selected by a panel which included Irish booksellers, librarians and journalists. The public can vote for the winner of the award on with the winner to be announced on May 28th. Bert Wright, the award administrator, said "Fortunately for us, there is one Irish stock which never loses value, one which encapsulates the essence of a society more surely than any café society veneer ever did, by which I mean, of course, the blue-chip stock that is Ireland’s literary heritage. It is what defines us". He said that the judges would have liked for their choices to balance the public vote but the sponsors wanted to be 'populist'. Crime writer John Connolly said "Sometimes there are lists of books that people feel they should read but this seems to be one people might actually enjoy reading". This shortlist does have something for everyone – popular fiction (Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You), literary fiction (John Banville’s The Sea), biography (Bill Cullen’s It’s a Long Way from Penny Apples), sport (Paul McGrath’s Back From the Brink), economics (David McWilliam’s The Pope’s Children), politics (Diarmaid Ferriter’s Judging Dev) and humour (Paul Howard’s Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade).

5 books for children or young adults are also nominated for the award - Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, The New Policeman by Kate Thompson, Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne and Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd. See for the full list and to cast your vote. Voting closes on May 27th with the winner being announced on May 28th.

Pulitzer Prize winners announced

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the WorldThe winners of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize have been announced. In the “Letters, Drama and Music” section Tinkers by Paul Harding has won the fiction prize for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. The book is described as a powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed has been awarded the History prize for a distinguished book on the history of the United States. The book is a compelling account of how four powerful bankers played crucial roles in triggering the Great Depression and ultimately transforming the United States into the world’s financial leader.

Scrabble at Scariff Library

Scrabble at Scariff LibraryCalling all Scrabble lovers - Scariff Public library is starting up an adult Scrabble Club. The first meeting is on Thursday 13th May at 2pm. Scrabble boards and tea/coffee will be provided. All levels welcome. Bring your friends or come on your own and join in the fun!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Fleadh Nua, Ennis, 23rd to 31st May 2010

Fleadh Nua 2010As they embark on their second century, the Kilfenora Céilí Band has certainly hit the ground running. Having fulfilled their customary St. Patrick’s Festival engagement at the National Concert Hall, Ireland’s premier Céilí Band returns to Glór in Ennis for a concert on Saturday, 24th April. This concert marks the launch of the Fleadh Nua 2010 Programme and is sure to be a sell-out. Tickets cost €22.50 and may be purchased online at

Last year Fleadh Nua planned to pay tribute to the Corofin Teach Ceoil for its enviable record of hosting an uninterrupted series of Seisiún since Comhaltas’ summer series of traditional entertainment was initiated many years ago. Unfortunately, the occasion was deferred as a mark of respect on the passing of stalwart, Joe Kierse. The tribute has now been rescheduled for Cois na hAbhna on Sunday, 23rd May as part of the Official Opening of the Festival.

Aos Óg showcases the very best of underage talent, and it comes as no surprise that performing at this Concert has proved an important milestone in many musical careers. Witness Tara Breen, Dermot Sheedy and James Mahon - who play with Cirrus the band created by Donal Lunny for the hit TG4 programme “Lorg Lunny” – all of whom have performed in recent concerts. Some seasoned Fleadh Nua observers opine that the Aos Óg concerts of the 1970’s were the highlight of the Festival and attained a standard that remains unsurpassed. In an effort to keep the raging fires of this debate well and truly stoked, Fleadh Nua offers the voting public a chance to make up its own mind. In the red corner, the customary Aos Óg Concert on Friday, 28th May. In the blue corner, the Celebrity Concert on Saturday, 29th May will comprise artistes who performed at the Aos Óg in the halcyon days of the Seventies including Eoin Ó Riabhaigh, Conal Ó Gráda and Colm Murphy. Both concerts take place in Glór and tickets are available on

Set Dancers will want to add the extensive programme of Céilithe and workshops to their diaries. Serious dancers demand serious bands and what better band to get the show on the road than the Tulla Céilí Band in the familiar surroundings of the Old Ground Hotel on Thursday, 27th May. The action switches to Cois na hAbhna on Friday, 28th May when the Rebel County’s finest, the Abbey Céilí Band invites you to take to the floor. And to prove – if indeed it needed proving – that as well as putting on a top class show, they can also play a mean Céilí the Kilfenora play in Cois na hAbhna on Saturday, 29th May. Sunday night sees Matt Cunningham and Band take to the stage at the Gort Road venue. Chase away the Monday morning blues with Dave Culligan and the Star of Munster on 31st May – venue to be confirmed. The Four Courts Céilí Band bring proceedings to a close at Cois na hAbhna on Monday, 31st May. And in case you are worried that your steps aren’t up to scratch fear not as our programme of Set Dancing Workshops will have “dancing at home” and “round the house” in no time. One of the aims of this year’s Festival is to increase accessibility to and visibility of our traditional arts. Thanks to the generous assistance of the Clare County Council Arts Office “The Riches of Clare” series of free lunchtime concerts provides an ideal opportunity to sample what the Fleadh has to offer. A full programme of Street Entertainment will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 29th and 30th May involving performances on the Gig Rig, Cosán Ceoil/Music Trail and open air Céilí. Watch out for “The Banjo Strikes Back” – a dedicated session for Banjo players – Fiddlers, Flutes and Box Players need not apply.

A hallmark of previous Fleadhanna has been the extraordinary breadth of the programme of events. So it should come as no surprise that this year’s programme also includes Foinn Seisiún Workshops, Storytelling Sessions with the inimitable Eddie Lenihan, Guided Walking Tour, Singers’ Club, Fleadh Club, Pub Music Trail, and Competitive Stage Shows.

On the fringes of the Official Programme are a number of events which will undoubtedly be of interest to Traditional Music lovers. On Thursday, May Cork singer, John Spillane visits Patrick’s Bar in the Market as part of the CeolÓlta Sessions – more information is available on A late night gig at Glór on Friday, 28th May provides Lúnasa - “the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet” according to the New York Times – with an ideal opportunity to showcase their new album Lá Nua. If it’s high energy performances, breathtaking arrangements and infectious melodies you seek then join Guidewires’ Late Night Party in Glór on Saturday, 29th May. See for details

Friday, 9 April 2010

Micho Russell playing two jigs on tin whistle

The late Micho Russell, of Doolin, County Clare, playing two jigs - The South West Wind & The Little Black Pig. Posted on Youtube on the 9th February 2008 by clarebannerman
More info:

British Science Fiction Association award for best novel of 2009

The City & the CityChina Miéville’s lastest novel The City & the City has been awarded the British Science Fiction Association award for the best novel of 2009. Miéville’s story of a murder investigation in parallel worlds has been compared with the works of Kafka, Orwell and Phillip K. Dick. The City & the City has also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2010 for the best science fiction novel of the year. He has previously won that award on two occasions with Perdido Street Station and Iron Council.

The City & the City is also considered to be the leading contender for the two most prestigious American science fiction awards – the Hugo and the Nebula. Miéville’s novels have previously been nominated for both of these awards but to date have failed to capture either title. The Hugo Awards are awarded for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy and are run by and voted on by fans. They were first awarded in 1953. The shortlist for that award was announced on April 4th with the winner to be announced in September. The children’s book entitled The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman won the 2008 award. The Nebula Awards are annual awards presented by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to celebrate excellence in science fiction and fantasy writing and are awarded for the best books published in the United States during the previous year. Miéville’s book is one of the six titles to be shortlisted for the 2009 award for best novel, the winner of which will be announced on May 15th. The young adult novel Powers by Ursula Le Guin won the 2008 award.

The Fifth Aughty Earth Day Gathering - 17th April

aughty.orgA celebration of hospitality around the Sliabh Eachtaí or the Slieve Aughty Mountains, the Fifth Aughty Earth Day Gathering will be held in the community centre, Gort on Saturday, 17th of April 2010. The annual event provides a platform for community groups in counties Clare and Galway to share information and to tell their own stories and experiences around themes of local heritage interest. The focus of Slógadh Eachtaí - Gort 2010 is:
Making it Happen - Our Own Stories
• From Schoolhouse to Museum - The Story of Kiltartan Gregory Museum by Ms. Rena McAllen and Sr. de Lourdes Fahy - Kiltartan Gregory Cultural Society.
• Ardrahan Community Heritage Projects - Karen O'Neill - Ardrahan.
• Killinane graveyard Restoration Project - Dympna Fahy - Kilchreest Castledaly Heritage Group.
• East Clare Heritage - Twenty Years a growing - Gerard Madden, Tuamgraney.
• Placenames of the Parish of Inchicronan - Gerry Kennedy - Heritage Inchicronan
• Restoration of the Holy Wells of Beithe - Tony Diviney - Beagh Integrated Rural Development Association
• Music of the Sliabh Aughty Region - Mary Coen | Tim Collins
• Sarsfields Way - Ultach names and sites of Monuments and Places of Interest around Woodford - Dermot Moran.
Slógadh Eachtaí | Gort 2010 - The 5th Aughty Gathering - is hosted by community groups from Ardrahan, Beithe, Kiltartan, Killanena and Gort Inse Guaire. Registration from 9.00 am. Opening at 10.00 am.The event is open to the public and admittance is free of charge. A selection of local history / heritage publications will also be available to view and for purchase. More information...

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Ireland - Dig It at Clare Museum

Clare Museum

Clare Museum is involved in a new RTE production from ‘Mind the Gap Films’ called ‘Ireland – Dig It’. The series will air on The Den on RTE during Heritage Week at the end of August and in order to have programmes ready by then, filming will take place in late May and early June this year. The aim of the series is to foster an interest in local history and archaeology in children throughout the country and to take that history and archaeology out of the museum and bring it to life for the entire community. The series will explore prehistoric Ireland, the Bronze Age and the Viking Invasions, possibly extending into the Norman period. The current format of each programme will see three teams of three 5th or 6th class primary school children from all over Ireland competing in a series of archaeology and history based physical and mental challenges. The teams will be divided so that two members of the team (the code breakers) will be based at one of the museums while the other team member (the seeker) will be out in the field at a historical site or a reconstructed site that sees them guided by a mythological figure to solve a series of clues, using the information fed to them from their teamates at the museum. The programme culminates with two teams’ seekers arriving at specially constructed dig site to excavate some replica artefacts.

‘Mind the Gap Films’ have designed a web-based application process to allow children and schools who wish to take part to follow a series of online clues relating to local and national history and archaeology. When all the clues have been solved they get a password that allows them to apply. The local authority museum sites are linked to this online process. So for example, a player must search for an artefact on the museums’ sites, and when they find a picture of it, they click on the image and it takes them to the next level of the game. It is hoped that children with a genuine interest in history will take part, while at the same time raising awareness of museums around the country. Staff at Clare Museum are delighted to be involved in this exciting new programme and are looking forward to working on the project.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Phoenix Sister Cities International Competition for Writers with Disabilities

The Phoenix Sister Cities International Competition for Writers with DisabilitiesThe Phoenix Sister Cities International Competition for Writers with Disabilities is open to persons with disabilities 19 years of age and older residing in Arizona, or one of Phoenix Arizona’s nine sister cities, including Ennis in County Clare. Poems of 32 lines or less, consistent with the theme “Reflections on Life” are due by May 1, 2010. There are cash prizes for the winners and opportunities to have the poetry published. The $15 contest entry fee is waived for members of Phoenix’s sister cities, including Ennis.For further information contact Harry P. Wolfe at Click here for the competition fact sheet, and click here for the competition brochure and entry form...

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Ireland – Dig It! Calling all 5th and 6th class students!

Dig It!Ireland – Dig It! is an exciting new archaeology TV programme for primary school students. They are looking for enthusiastic teams of three students, aged between 9 – 13 years, to compete in archaeology and history themed challenges on the programme, with the chance to win a unique school trip for their entire class! Each episode will be filmed at a different Local Museum and the programme will air on The Den on RTÉ later in the year. Follow the link from the Clare Museum homepage…

Tara Breen and Cathal Mac An Rí (Fiddle/Flute duet)

A selection of tunes commencing with “The Bee’s Wing” hornpipe and continuing with “Jackson’s Reel” by All-Ireland Senior Duet Champions for 2007, Tara Breen and Cathal Mac An Rí from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Doora/Barefield, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on November 14th 2007 by comhaltas.

The Lost Books – ‘Booker Prize 1970’

Fire from Heaven by Mary RenaultThe shortlist for The Lost Man Booker Prize - a once-off prize to honour the books published in 1970 that were not eligible for consideration for the Booker Prize was announced on March 25th. The Booker Prize started in 1969. The original concept was to award a prize to the best fiction book written by a Commonwealth citizen in the previous year, 1968. Then, in 1971, the rules were changed. It was decided the prize would be awarded to the best book of the current year. At the same time the award moved from April to November and, as a result, a wealth of fiction published for much of 1970 fell through the net and was never considered for the prize. The shortlist was selected, from a longlist of 21 titles which are still in print and generally available today, by a panel of three judges, all of whom were born in or around 1970. They are journalist and critic, Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader, Katie Derham and poet and novelist, Tobias Hill. The winner of The Lost Man Booker Prize will be decided by the international reading public. Voting, via the Man Booker Prize website closes on 23 April 2010. The overall winner will be announced on 19 May 2010.
The six books are:
The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden – a tale of middle-class parents struggling to cope with their troubled eldest son
Troubles by J G Farrell - about an army major in 1919 Ireland where the struggle for independence is about to begin
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard - chronicles the impact of the city of Naples, new friends and lovers on a lonely English girl
Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault - tells the story of the life of the young Alexander the Great and the years that shaped him.
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark - a story of a bored accountant whose search for adventure and sex on holiday becomes a journey to self-destruction
The Vivisector by Patrick White – follows the driven life of the celebrated painter Hurtle Duffield

Three of the authors on the shortlist - Farrell, Spark and Bawden - have previously been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. J.G. Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur won in 1973. Patrick White, Mary Renault and Shirley Hazzard have never been shortlisted for the prize. JG Farrell was born in England. He grew up in Ireland and was living here at the time of his early death by drowning off the coast of Cork. Down All the Days by Christy Brown was longlisted but failed to make the shortlist.