Wednesday, 25 May 2011

West Clare and Loop Head - May 2011

"Images of the west coast of Co. Clare in Ireland, including Loop Head, dolphin watching in the Shannon estuary, Lahinch, The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher." Posted on Youtube on the 20th of May 2011 by ogp2011.

Banjaxed in the Banner (6 banjos at Glór)

"On banjo: Kevin Griffin, Kieran Hehir, Dessie Kelliher, Karol Lynch, Marcus Moloney, Brian Mooney. On guitar: Martin Dermody. On bass: Paul O'Driscoll. 6 May 2011, Glór theatre, Ennis, Co. Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of May 2011 by lucieskylark.

Art By Eoin – painting inside view of Cliffs of Moher wave

"Over the course of one week in Lahinch, Co. Clare artist Eoin O'Connor painted a stunning mural of the view from inside the barrel of the infamous Cliffs of Moher wave, Aileen's. Painted with household emulsion on the walls of Lahinch Surf Cottage. The painting is available to view by the public at Lahinch Surf Cottage." Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of May 2011 ny lahinchdreamcatcher.

Traditional Irish Step Dancing - Willie Clancy Summer School, 1991

"This is a short film of Irish traditional step dancing in the old style as taught by James Keane and Dan Furey at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, in 1991. The film was made with permission of the WCSS Committee. This style largely unknown outside of rural Ireland has now all but disappeared. It bears little resemblance to modern Irish step dance, and even less to the likes of River Dance. The old style was effortless, low to the ground, and relied on heel and toe beats to make gentle clicking sounds in time to and across the music to demonstrate the expertise of the dancer. Both James Keane and Dan Furey who lived beside the Shannon in West Clare - and who have now both sadly passed away - were adept at this style. Both James's father and grandfather were traditional step dancers. They taught both boys. There was also a travelling dancing master by the name of Barron who also held classes in the area. Once widespread throughout Ireland (and also incidently throughout Scotland), but relatively unknown and unappreciated outside Ireland, this old elegant style has now largely died out..." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of April 2011 by ChrisJBrady.
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Corofin Plain Set (5th figure) at Cois na hAbhna, Ennis

"Shaskeen Céilí Band began their 40th anniversary tour at a ceili in May 2010 in Cois na hAbhna, Ennis, Co Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of August 2010 by SetDancingNews.

Lancers Set (2nd figure), Kilrush

"Dancing outdoors on The Square in Kilrush, Co Clare, during the 2010 Kilrush Set Dancing Weekend. Music for this set was by the Four Courts Ceili Band." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of August 2010 by SetDancingNews.

Lancers Set (5th figure), Kilrush, Co Clare

"Dancing outdoors on The Square in Kilrush, Co Clare, during the 2010 Kilrush Set Dancing Weekend. Music for this set was by the Five Counties Ceili Band." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of August 2010 by SetDancingNews.

Paddy Mulcahy in Paris

"Paddy Mulcahy is a Clare based musician who lives and writes in Lahinch Co. Clare. He is heavily interested in community music and in the last few years ran the local music youth project in North Clare and was awarded volunteer of the year in 2008 by the Clare Youth Service for his work. He has also been awarded a masters in Ethnomusicology from the Irish World Music Academy at the University of Limerick and subsequently released 2 albums mixing Irish and Kurdish music which he toured all over Ireland and Europe with the group NoLand Folk." Supporting musicians include Musicians include violinist Fiona Lucia Mc Garry, backing singers, Julie and Branwen Kavanagh, and guitarist David Knox. Posted on Youtube on the 15th of May 2011 by StephenORegan.

The Stunning - Romeo's on Fire

"The Stunning live at the Electric Picnic, Aug 2008." The Stunning include brothers Steve (vocals and guitar) and Joe Wall (on bass) from Ennistymon, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 19th of November 2008 by 101watts.

Irish Seed Savers - Virtual Tour

"A five minute virtual tour of the heritage gardens and woodlands at Capparoe, Scariff, Co. Clare. Filmed on a crisp Autumn day. Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA) is a conservation organisation dedicated to the preservation of Ireland's native and disappearing varieties of fruit, vegetables and grains." Posted on Youtube on the 27th of April 2011 by MsVideopink.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sit & Knit Together for Bealtaine at Miltown Malbay Library

Sit & Knit Together for Bealtaine at Miltown Malbay Library #1

Sit & Knit Together for Bealtaine at Miltown Malbay Library #2

On Thursday, 12th May 2011, a Senior and Junior Citizens Sit and Knit Together session was held in the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Public Library in Miltown Malbay to mark the Bealtaine Festival which celebrates creativity in older age. Approximately 23 children from three different schools attended this hugely successful event. A group of local senior citizens, including members of the Seanoiri Laichtín Naofa group, visited the library to teach the children how to do various types of needlecrafts such as knitting, sewing and crochet. Helen Flynn, Senior Library Assistant in Miltown Malbay, said that “the children absolutely loved the knitting and crochet and some had never before had an opportunity to try these activities. All of the children were totally engrossed in the crafts and all got an opportunity to try it themselves as there was an abundance of materials available”. A group of five students from the local Youthreach group also attended on the day to pick up some tips for the sewing and cushion cover making they are required to do for their Junior Certificate. Their teacher said that they “would love to have some of the senior citizens in to do a demonstration again for them at a later date”. The Youthreach students also provided refreshments for the occasion in the form of freshly made muffins. At the end of the hour one of the senior ladies entertained all in attendance by performing an “old style” hornpipe. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the teachers and students from the local schools expressed their wish that it become a regular event.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Francis Droney plays The Burren Reel and Thady Casey's Fancy

Francis Droney from Bellharbour, County Clare, plays The Burren Reel and Thady Casey's Fancy (also known as Chris Droney's Favourite) accompanied on piano by Peter McAlinden from London on the RTE TV show 'Sult na Féile Pádraig', St. Patrick's Day 1986. Posted on Youtube on the 21st of March 2011 by GravelWalks.

Paddy Canny & Frankie Gavin

Paddy Canny and Frankie Gavin playing two jigs - The Pipe on the Hob & The Cliffs of Moher. "Two jigs played at The Crosses Of Annagh Pub, just outside Miltown Malbay,County Clare in that great east Clare style of playing. Paddy was born in 1919 in Glendree, a townland in the parish of Tulla, County Clare. He was the youngest of three sons born to a farmer, Pat Canny, and his wife Catherine MacNamara. Traditional music was an integral part of the Canny household. Paddy first learned how to play the fiddle from his father, who taught many local children. He also learned a thing or two from Pat MacNamara, a blind fiddler who for many years would come to stay with the Cannys during the winter months. MacNamara would also give music lessons to the neighborhood kids, and to Pat Canny himself. In fact, it can be truthfully said that the very distinct style of East Clare fiddling originated in and spread from the Canny home... Paddy passed away on 29th June 2008." Posted on Youtube on the 7th of April 2008 by clarebannerman.

Crosses of Annagh session during Willie Clancy 2009

"Session in the Crosses Of Annagh, just outside Milltown Malbay,Co.Clare during the Willie Clancy Summer School 2009. Some of the musicians are: Donal Murphy (Accordian), Kevin Murphy (Bouzouki), Melanie Murphy (Fiddle), Sean Murphy (Banjo), Edel Fox (Concertina) and John Joe Kelly (Bodhran)." Posted on Youtube on the 28th of July 2009 by kerryhorsebox.

The Stunning - Brewing up Storm

Recorded at the Electric Picnic in 2008. The Stunning include brothers Steve (vocals and guitar) and Joe Wall (on bass) from Ennistymon, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 13th of March 2009 by 101watts.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

"Cliff view of the Cliffs of Moher near Doolin in County Clare, West Ireland. Shot near sunset, 23 March 2011." Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of April 2011 by Yavgar.

Listowel Writers’ Week

Listowel Writers’ WeekListowel Writers’ Week celebrates 40 years of the festival this year from June 1st to 5th. All the greats of literature have descended on the "Literary Capital of Ireland" for the June Bank Holiday weekend for the past 40 years and this year’s festival continues this tradition with an exciting programme of events featuring readings, theatre, walking tours, art and photography exhibitions, film, poetry, music, children’s events and more. There is an impressive line up of authors who will read from a selection of their works. Alice Seobold, whose debut novel The Lovely Bones dominated the bestseller list for many months when originally published in 2002, will give a reading on Saturday night. Other authors include crime novelist John Connolly, ex-prison governor John Lonergan and Blake Morrison. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins will be interviewed by journalist Kevin Myers. John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, will read at both an adult and a children’s event.

And if poetry is your thing, you can listen to Rita Ann Higgins, Jackie Kay and Harry Clifton, in addition to a wealth of other international and local talent. This year, Fossett’s Circus will be in the centre of Listowel town for the whole weekend. The Big Top will play host to a range of children’s events, before converting into an 800-seat concert venue in the evening - with two very special (and very different) concerts. On Friday night, award-winning composer and singer Julie Feeney will perform in the Big Top. On Saturday night, novelist Joseph O’Connor will be joined by Philip King and guests for an evening of chat, readings, reflections, rhyming, music and song. Children can come face to face with some of the Ireland’s best known authors including John Boyne, Roisin Meaney, Judi Curtin and Sarah Webb in a glorious circus setting. In keeping with the Listowel tradition of bringing together like minds, this is an excellent opportunity for the younger generation of book readers to mingle with their literary heroes and immerse themselves in the world of books, fantasy, fun and imagination. Children will also be treated to art and creative writing workshops.

As always the festival will host a variety of workshops ranging from the Novel, Creative Writing, Poetry, Screen, Theatre, Popular Fiction, Writing Funny, Short Fiction and (new for 2011) History Writing. The winners of the various competitions of the Listowel Writers’ Week will be presented with their prizes on the Wednesday evening. With a prize fund of over €30k up to be won in a variety of categories, all areas of writing are covered from short story, poetry and play to writing for youth. The 2011 Listowel Writers’ Week festival truly offers something for everyone. Book now on

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Writing together in Ennistymon

Writing together in Ennistymon

Over the past three years Clare County Library, Clare Arts Office and MÓINÍN, publishers of children’s, teenage and adult fiction in English and Irish, have collaborated on a creative writing project for teenagers/young adults. Between 2009 and 2011, a total of thirty five students from the Shannon, Kilkee/Kilrush and Ennistymon second level schools have participated in a six-week creative writing course, delivered by the prolific and multi-award-winning author, Ré Ó Laighléis. On the evening of May 11th 2011, a public reading of short stories by the young Ennistymon writers took place at Ennistymon Public Library. This reading was the culmination of the 2011 course and was consistent with respective readings given at the end of the 2009 and 2010 courses. In each case, the stories read were the product of a six-week intensive training course, comprising six workshops, during which the students chose their own themes upon which to write and throughout which their short story writing skills were developed under Ré’s expert tutelage. Ré Ó Laighléis complimented the students, their parents, teachers and school principals on the outstanding achievement of the young writers, who had worked diligently and consistently to produce creative pieces of which they could be proud. He also commented that such enthusiasm, interest and level of commitment shown by his young students augurs well for the future of literature and creativity in County Clare.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Used Book Sale in De Valera Public Library, Ennis

Clare County Library is holding a sale of used book from Monday, May 16th to Saturday, May 21st inclusive. The book sale will take place over the week in deValera Public Library, Ennis, during library opening hours.
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 10.00 – 5.30
Tuesday and Friday 10.00 – 8.00
Saturday 10.00 – 2.00
All books are part of used stock from Clare library branches and are in good condition. With the continuous publication of new titles in all categories - fiction, non fiction, children and young adult - constant weeding of stock in all branches is necessary. Through this process library staff aim to ensure that the most reliable and attractive collection is available to borrowers at all times. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to have a presence of books in their homes at very little cost.

Bealtaine Festival in Killaloe Library

Bealtaine Festival in Killaloe Library

Killaloe Public Library hosted a free coffee morning to celebrate Creativity in Older Age as part of the Bealtaine Festival. Entertainment was provided by Killaloe Boys National School. Those in attendance were treated to an hour-long celebration of music and dance. There was rock, traditional Irish dancing, recitation, singing and a whole plethora of musical instruments. The enthusiasm and variety of the entertainment was astounding. They are most certainly booked for a future event! X-factor watch out!!

Merriman Summer School 2011

Cumann MerrimanChanging Irish Childhoods is the title of this year’s Summer School, which runs from August 17th to 21st in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, and Cumann Merriman is delighted to announce the appointment of Prof Nóirín Hayes of DIT, an expert in childood and children’s rights, as Director of the 2011 Summer School. Ireland has made a number of very strong commitments to children over the last decade culminating in the recent appointment of a full minister with responsibility for children. This year’s school will take the opportunity to consider our vision for children, reiew what we know about contemporary Irish childhood and reflect on children past and present from different perspectives. The School will be opened by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, and among the speakers will be Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times, Professor Sheila Greene TCD, Dr Joe Dunne St Patrick’s College and Siobhán Parkinson, novelist and Laureate na nÓg. Cumann Merriman is delighted that one of Ireland’s most distinguished poets, Eavan Boland, will read from her work at this year’s school. Among the ancillary events at the school, Galway-based group Jigsaw, a youth mental health and well-being service developed under the Headstrong initiative, will make a group presentation on their work and how they made a vision into a reality. Cumann Merriman was founded in 1967 in honour of Brian Merriman, author of the eighteenth century Rabelaisian poem ‘Cúirt an Mheán Oíche’ (The Midnight Court). Its annual summer school (conducted mainly in English) and winter school (in Irish) encourage debate on and celebration of many aspects of Irish life and culture. It is renowned for the calibre of its lectures, debates and performances, and for the convivial atmosphere of all its events. After 3 years in Ennis, the summer school is delighted to be returning to Lisdoonvarna this year. Full information is available on Press information: Doireann Ní Bhriain 087 2434814

Friday, 13 May 2011

Port Na Bpúcai, Tony MacMahon

"Tony MacMahon giving some background on the slow air Port Na Bpúcaí," from the TV documentary Bringing it all back home by Hummingbird Productions. Posted on Youtube on the 1st of November 2009 by Dochaslontach.

Tony MacMahon plays two reels

Tony MacMahon (from Ennis, County Clare) plays two reels, The Ships are Sailing and Toss the Feathers. Posted on Youtube on the 1st of June 2008 by daudonek.

Launch of the Online Academy of Irish Music in Doolin

"A live performance from O'Connor's bar in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland, during the launch of the Online Academy of Irish Music in April 2011... The tunes are Johnny Cronin's, Molly Bawn, The Sandmount and Martin Mulhaire's. The musicians involved are Eoin O'Neill on bouzouki, Yvonne Casey & Majella Bartley on fiddle, Mikie Smyth on uilleann pipes, Stephen Markham on piano, Kirsten Allstaff & Niall Keegan on flute and Thomas Johnston on whistle." Posted on Youtube on the 5th of May 2011 by Livetrad.

Kilkee Races 2010

Posted on Youtube on the 19th of September 2010 by CRVideoProductions

A Trip to Kilkee

A Trip to Kilkee. Posted on Youtube on the 28th of April 2011 by kellythestig.

Clare Means Business

"Clare is the ideal location for starting your business, it has everything to offer - from a rich heritage, to beautiful scenery, a passionate gaelic sporting culture, wonderful festivals, some of the world's best golf courses, top class marinas, water and leisure facilities. All these attributes combined with a warm and a welcoming atmosphere, make County Clare an ideal location for investment and leisure pursuits." Posted on Youtube on the 4th of June 2007 by IrelandNet.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Clare County Library Celebrates Bealtaine

Brian Lawlor in Shannon

Clare County Library kicked off festivities for the Bealtaine Festival, which celebrates creativity in older age, on Tuesday, 3rd May and Wednesday, 4th May 2011 with a talk entitled ‘The Golden Era of Céilí Music and Dance 1955-1970’ given by Brian Lawler. Brian completed a 5 year audio archive project in conjunction with the Irish Traditional Music Archive (, Merrion Square, Dublin. During the period 1999 to 2004, he recorded interviews with 70 people associated with the period, including Céilí band founders and members, promoters, dancers and radio personnel. He obtained a total of 42 hours of recorded material. All the edited recordings are available to the public in ITMA. RTE Radio 1 broadcast two one-hour programmes on the project in 2008. As founder of the Ardellis Céilí Band,, Brian was actively involved himself on the road with the band throughout the period. He has put together a talk on the project which consists of a review of the work, and includes short extracts from some of the field interviews and also some samples of the music of the period. He gave the first review of the project in Boston College Library USA in September 2005, and since then has given many more reviews in libraries, colleges, and arts centres throughout Ireland. Brian delighted audiences in the De Valera Public Library, Ennis, in Kilfinaghty Public Library, Sixmilebridge and in Sean Lemass Public Library, Shannon. All in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the talk. Long after Brian was finished with his session people spoke to him about their own memories of Céilí music and the dances that took place throughout the county. Some Clare musicians featured in Brian’s interviews including John Lynch, leader of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, and his late uncle Jerry Lynch. John himself was in attendance at the talk in Ennis.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Teen Poetry Competition – West Cork Literary Festival

Are you a budding poet aged 14 - 18? Would you like a chance to win a place in a performance workshop? Would you like to perform your poem at the West Cork Literary Festival? Would you like to see your winning poem appear in the local newspaper?

The West Cork Literary Festival is delighted to announce their first Teen Poetry Competition for 14 to 18 year old poets! Award-winning West Cork poet Leanne O’Sullivan will judge this inaugural competition. Applicants should send their poem, no longer than one A4 page, to:-
West Cork Literary Festival Office, 13 Glengarriff Road, Bantry, Co. Cork. Closing date for the competition is May 15th. This competition offers a number of exciting prizes: ten short-listed poets will win a place on a performance workshop led by poet Dave Lordan; the poets will perform their poems at a special Teen Poetry Event during the festival; the winning poem will be published in the Southern Star and there are cash prizes too. For further details see

Friday, 6 May 2011

Eamonn & Geraldine Cotter on Flute and Piano

"Eamon Cotter & his sister Geraldine from Kilmaley, Ennis, County Clare play two hornpipes: The Stony Steps and Corn Phíopa na Gréine. Eamonn Cotter is a highly respected flute player, maker, and teacher from Kilmaley, County Clare. He plays with the popular group Shaskeen and has released his own solo recording 'Eamonn Cotter: Traditional Music from County Clare', available on CD and cassette... Eamonn teaches privately and at workshops and summer schools, including the Willie Clancy Summer School." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of April 2008 by clarebannerman. Click for an interview with Eamonn Cotter...

Eamonn Cotter playing two hornpipes

"Eamonn playing two hornpipes: Thomand Gate & The Souvenir". Posted on Youtube on the 16th of May 2009 by ShaskeenReel.

Matchmaking in Lisdoonvarna 2009

"Video of the Matchmaking Festival which takes place every September in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare." BBC News, 14th September, 2009. Posted on Youtube on the 16th of September 2009 by peterkinvara.

Matchmaking Lisdoonvarna 2008

"German TV piece about the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking festival held every September in Co Clare Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 27th of October 2008 by peterkinvara.

Children’s Books Top Library Loans

Public Lending Remuneration (PLR)

Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) figures recently released show that, despite the huge range of other sources of entertainment available, reading continues to be a popular activity among Irish children with eight children’s authors making it into the top ten ‘most-borrowed-from-the-library’ list for 2010. The lists are compiled by the Library Council from information supplied to the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme by public libraries. There are over 14 million visits to Irish public libraries each year, resulting in 14 million loans of books and the PLR scheme ensures that qualifying authors, whose books are loaned by public libraries, will receive remuneration in respect of such loans. 10,011 authors resident in thirty-two countries were registered for Irish PLR in 2010. €319,558.75 was paid out to 4,639 authors in respect of their total library loans. Four authors received the maximum payment of €3,000, and the rate-per-loan was 8.88 cent.
The top 10 most borrowed authors in 2010 were
1. Roderick Hunt
2. Daisy Meadows
3. Francesca Simon
4. Enid Blyton
5. Jacqueline Wilson
6. Roger Hargreaves
7. James Patterson
8. Nora Roberts
9. Roald Dahl
10. Terry Deary
Roderick Hunt, the author of over 300 titles in the Oxford Reading Tree literacy series, is Irish children’s top choice for the second successive year with over 115,000 library loans. Daisy Meadows, creator of the Rainbow Magic series, was the second most-borrowed author, coming in just ahead of Francesca Simon of Horrid Henry fame. Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl’s enduring appeal to young readers was evident again this year with the inclusion of both authors in the top ten list. Roger Hargreaves – the Mr Men creator – also made the list, alongside the ever popular Julia Donaldson and Jacqueline Wilson. Terry Deary’s Horrible series continue to delight young readers.
Prolific US author James Patterson is the most popular adult fiction author with almost 65,000 library loans. The only other author for adults in the top ten list is Nora Roberts who writes under her own name and, as J.D. Robb, is a prolific author across a wide range of genres – romance, thriller and paranormal.
The top 10 most borrowed titles in 2010 were
1. Official Driver Theory Test by the Road Safety Authority
2. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
4. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
6. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
7. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
8. The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson
9. Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone by J. K. Rowling
10. The BFG by Roald Dahl

For further details see

DIPPAM (Documenting Ireland - Parliament, People and Migration)

DIPPAM (Documenting Ireland - Parliament, People and Migration)Launched recently at Queen's University, Belfast, DIPPAM (Documenting Ireland - Parliament, People and Migration) is a new, free, online virtual archive of documents and sources relating to the history of Ireland, and the history of Irish migration. Records are concentrated in the period dated from the 18th to the 20th centuries. DIPPAM is a searchable virtual library and it brings together into an accessible form and enhances three existing resources: EPPI (the Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland 1800-1922); the IED (Irish Emigration Database), containing runs of emigrant letters, newspaper extracts and other emigration-related materials for the 18th-early 20th centuries; and VMR (Voices of Migration and Return) a collection of 90 interviews with 20th century Ulster migrants. This resource has been created by a collaboration between Queen's University Belfast, University of Ulster, the Centre for Migration Studies (Omagh) and Libraries NI, and funded by the AHRC, and can be accessed via

Edel Fox, Caitlin NicGabhann, and Kate McNamara on concertinas

"Edel Fox, Caitlin NicGabhann, and Kate McNamara perform during a presentation on the great County Clare concertina player Elizabeth Crotty. Catskill Irish Arts Week, East Durham, New York, July 2009. Here they play The Spike Island Lasses, first in the common four-part version, then in the old two-part version that Mrs. Crotty played." Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of August 2010 by garyamartin.

Knappogue, from "Around Ireland in 80 Days"

"Extract from BBC NI's travel show 'Around Ireland in 80 Days', featuring Knappogue Castle banquets, County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of December 2009 by 22diamonds22.

Knappogue Castle by CelticVideo

Knappogue Castle, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of October 2010 by wwwcelticvideocom.

Knappogue Castle, Co. Clare, Irlandia

Knappogue Castle, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 27th of May 2009 by wjzima.