Thursday 23 December 2010

Nollaig Shona - Happy Christmas

Nollaig Shona - Happy Christmas

Christmas in Bunratty Folk Park

"Christmas time at Bunratty Folk Park... All the festive fun of the Folk Park in the run up to Christmas, December 2009." Posted on Youtube on the 5th of January 2010 by Production63.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Ballyhannon Castle (also known as Castlefergus), Quin, Christmas 2009

"Ballyhannon Castle (also known as Castlefergus), Quin, County Clare. View from roof-top after severe frost over Christmas 2009. The grounds of Ballyhannon Castle are always a lucious green pasture, except during Christmas 2009 when a severe cold snap hit Ireland with temperatures at the lowest [then] ever recorded! This video captures how the surrounding farmland and estuary was covered in a blanket of fantastic white frost!". Posted on Youtube on the 31st of January, 2010, by castleinireland.

Catch up on your reading over the holidays

One Day by David NichollsThe Sunday Tribune Book Club’s selection for December is One Day by David Nicholls. One Day is a tale of two unlikely friends that is told one day at a time, on the same day each year. Readers are invited to submit their book review, totalling no more than 100 words, by email to or via their Facebook and Twitter pages. The best review will be published and the winner will receive a €100 National Book Token.

The Thing is… by Dave Fanning is the book for discussion on the Bord Gáis Energy Online Book Club. The book provides an entertaining account of a hard-working, music-loving life. Join the book club at to participate in the forum and be in with a chance to win lots of lovely goodies.

The Irish Times Bookclub choice for December is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The Help addresses the emotive topic of black nannies raising the children of their white employers in early 1860s Mississippi. The club features a weekly column, a blog and interaction with the club host, Rosita Boland via Twitter.

The Specsavers Book Club has announced the ten titles that will be discussed on its new series which begins in January, 2011. The third series of the TV Book Club show begins on More4 in January, with repeats on Channel 4 during the following day. The selected books are

Room by Emma Donoghue
The Long Song by Andrea Levy
The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn
Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham
Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
The Junior Officer's Reading Club by Patrick Hennessey
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin.

Monday 20 December 2010

Start Your Family Tree Week - 26 December to 1 January

Start Your Family Tree WeekChristmas is traditionally the time when families gather together to celebrate – in fact research reveals that 96% of Irish people plan to meet up with family this Christmas. But how much do we really know about our families? In a recent poll, Eneclann, Ireland’s leading Irish historical researcher and publisher, revealed that while 89% of Irish people are able to name all of their first cousins and grandparents, only 31% are able to name all of their great-grandparents. This Stephen’s Day sees the launch of Ireland’s first ‘Start your Family Tree Week’, an opportunity to find out more about your Irish family history. The initiative, which is supported by Eneclann, the Genealogical Society of Ireland and the Irish Family History Society, aims to encourage people to find out more about their family history, and to hand down the stories and memories to the next generation. ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ aims to encourage people to find out more about their families in a fun and interactive way. People can sign up for a series of seven daily emails from 26th December – 1st January. Each email is designed to help you develop your family tree further and includes advice and features from experts, links to useful websites and competitions (see below for details of prizes). People can participate by visiting and signing up for the newsletter.

Competition Prizes include:

• A two night stay for two people sharing in their choice of Blue Book country house or historic hotel
• 5 hours’ Irish family history research by Irish genealogy experts, Eneclann
• 4 subscriptions to Irish Roots, the Irish genealogy magazine
• 5 subscriptions to Ireland of the Welcomes, the Irish magazine
• 5 reproduction historical maps of the Irish county of your choice from
• 5 prizes of a printed and bound hardback book of your family history research from
• 7 subscriptions to the Irish Ancestors website
• 7 memberships of the Irish Family History Society
• 7 memberships of the Genealogical Society of Ireland
• 7 memberships of the Irish Genealogical Research Society
• 7 one-day subscriptions to the Irish Times Online Newspaper Archive

Christmas Crafts session in Killaloe library

Christmas Crafts session in Killaloe library

On Wednesday 8th December a Christmas Crafts session was held in Killaloe Public Library for the actively retired. A few hardy souls braved the icy conditions to attend this workshop run by Nathalie El Baba, and some gorgeous Christmas centre-pieces were created.

Friday 17 December 2010

County Clare (The Banner County), Ireland.

Featuring Leamaneh Castle, thatching, Ballyvaughan, the Burren landscape and flora, potholing and Aillwee Cave. Posted on Youtube on the 13th of November 2007 by clarebannerman.

Fishing on Doon Lake near Broadford

Fishing on Doon Lake near Broadford, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of August 2010 by wegorx444.

Friday 10 December 2010

Lahinch, Cliffs of Moher, Fanore and Ballyvaughan Summer 2009

Posted on Youtube on the 20th of August 2009 by jungmichael. Music: Ride On by Christy Moore.

Would you like 48 copies of your favourite book to give away?

World Book Night

The inaugural World Book Night will take place on Saturday 5 March 2011. This industry-wide initiative to celebrate adult books and reading will see one million free books given away on World Book Night by 20,000 passionate readers to other members of the public across Ireland and the UK. World Book Night will take place two days after World Book Day, the established nationwide reading campaign.

From 2nd December 2010, members of the public are invited to apply to be one of the 20,000 givers of 48 copies of their favourite book chosen from a carefully selected list of 25 titles. Most givers are expected to be passionate readers who will take pleasure in recommending a book they love to other readers. However, World Book Night will also encourage givers to pass the books on to others who either may be reluctant readers or who are part of communities with less access to books, bookshops and libraries. 960,000 books will be distributed by givers and a further 40,000 will be distributed by WBN to people who might not otherwise be able to participate.

Jamie Byng, Chairman, World Book Night says:
“World Book Night is a unique collaboration between publishers, booksellers, libraries, writers and individual members of the public and one that I think is going to have an enormously positive impact on books and reading. There are few things more meaningful than the personal recommendation and having one million books given to one million different people on one night in this way is both unprecedented and hugely exciting.”

An independent editorial committee composed of a broad mix of booksellers, librarians, authors, broadcasters and other individuals carefully selected the 25 titles to be given away to the public on World Book Night. Prior to this, the entire book trade was canvassed for recommendations and hundreds of lists were received. The final selection offers a wide array of outstanding books encompassing all types of fiction be it historical, literary, crime and commercial as well as poetry, memoir and young adult. Whether a huge bestseller, a prize-winning debut, a lesser known gem or an undisputed classic, it was felt that every book needed to be an accessible work of enduring quality that people would feel passionate about sharing with others. Seamus Heaney’s New Selected Poems 1966 – 1987 and Marian Keyes’ Rachel’s Holiday are among the selected books.

The World Book Night website will serve as the primary means through which members of the public can apply to be a giver. People will be asked to say in up to 100 words why they want to give away a book chosen from the list and the sort of people they would like to give it to. Information about World Book Night will also be available via libraries and bookshops across the UK and Ireland. The closing date for entries is 4 January 2011. The 20,000 givers and members of the public will be invited to take part in events, parties and celebrations on World Book Night across the UK and Ireland, with many libraries and bookshops extending their opening times.

A night to remember – the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2010

A Coward if I Return, a Hero if I FallThe gala dinner to announce the winners of the Irish Book Awards has become one of the major events in the Irish literary calendar. The ceremony on November 25th was attended by over fifty Irish authors and many more from the publishing industry and the media. Almost 30,000 public votes were cast to help decide the winners. Maeve Binchy was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Irish literature by President McAleese. She joins a distinguished roll-call of John McGahern, William Trevor and Edna O’Brien, the previous recipients.

Emma Donoghue’s Room, inspired by the Josef Fritzl case, won the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award.
Neil Richardson’s book on Irishmen who fought in the first World War, A Coward if I Return, a Hero if I Fall, took the Argosy Irish Non-Fiction award.
Johnny Giles’s autobiography, A Football Man, chronicling his time with some of England’s biggest soccer clubs won the Energise Sport Irish Sports Book of the Year prize.
The book by Ross O’Carroll Kelly (Paul Howard), The Oh My God Delusion, took top honours in the Eason’s Irish Popular Fiction category,
Gene Kerrigan’s Dark Times in the City won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award.
The Best Newcomer of the Year Award went to RTÉ broadcaster and Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy’s JFK in Ireland: Four Days that Changed a President.
Good Mood Food by Donal Skehan was the winner of the IES Best Irish-Published Book of the Year award.
Cork hurler Donal Óg Cusack’s frank autobiography Come What May, ghostwritten by Irish Times sports writer Tom Humphries, won RTÉ Radio 1’s John Murray Show listeners’ choice award. In the best children’s book junior category, Niamh Sharkey’s On the Road with Mavis and Marge took the top prize, while in the senior category, Derek Landy’s popular Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil won.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

'Dogs Singing' at the Courthouse Gallery‏

Dogs SingingSalmon Poets read from new poetry anthology "Dogs Singing" as fundraiser for Second Chance Animal Rescue (S.C.A.R.). To celebrate the publication of "Dogs Singing - A Tribute Anthology" Salmon Poetry, in association with the Courthouse Gallery, will hold a poetry reading at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, on Wednesday 15th December at 7.30pm. 'Dogs Singing', which has been compiled and edited by Jessie Lendennie, brings together poems which highlight and examine and celebrate the canine world. Among the 200 contributors are John Montague, Paula Meehan, Micheal O'Siadhail, Alicia Ostriker, Matthew Sweeney, Neil Astley, Rita Ann Higgins, Gerard Smyth, Thomas Lynch, Mary O'Donnell, Maxine Kumin, Joseph Woods, C.K. Williams, David Wheatley, Peter Fallon, Nessa O'Mahony, Mary O'Malley, Theo Dorgan, Pat Boran, Conor Mark Kavanagh, Padraig O'Morain and Mary O’Donnell. The anthology is divided into three sections: 'By' (a smaller section, since dogs are often reluctant to describe themselves as poets!), 'For' and 'About'. The order of poems reflects the eclectic mix of style and content. Readers on the night include Ilsa Thielan, Jean Kavanagh, Jessie Lendennie, Knute Skinner, Christine Jenkins, and Mary Mullen. Proceeds from copies of "Dogs Singing - A Tribute Anthology" sold at the reading will go to Second Chance Animal Rescue. Free event with mulled wine reception. "Here is a big book of many poems, all inspired, devoted, motivated by a sacred bond that happens, the supreme privilege, that something far bigger than romance - a relationship with a dog...." Eileen Battersby, Arts Writer and Literary Correspondent, The Irish Times.

Friday 3 December 2010

Mandolin duet at Ennistymon Farmer's Market

"Andy & Dave are entertaining the shoppers" at the weekly farmer's market in Ennistymon. Posted on Youtube on the 6th of June, 2010 by PaddyCourtney

Courthouse Gallery Ennistymon Animation Workshops

"Stop Motion Animation workshop held over four days at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, County Clare with artist Vanessa Daws. The group was a mixture of adults and teenagers and the numbers varied every day." Posted on Youtube on April 17th, 2010 by TheAquaness.

Book on St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield named Sports Book of the Year

William Hill Irish Sports Book of the YearThe Club by Christy O'Connor has been named the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year for 2010. The story of the small hurling club's ups and downs beat off stiff competition from fellow Clare sportsman Tony Griffin, and one of Ireland's greatest soccer players, John Giles. The Club follows O’Connor’s club, St Joseph’s, for whom he was goalkeeper, through a season in 2009 as they looked to revive past glories spurred on through personal losses and tragedy. In accepting his award, O’Connor said "I wanted to pay tribute to my daughter Róisín and former team-mate Ger Hoey, both of whom passed away in the space of a week. I also wanted to portray the essence of what defines us in the St Joseph's Doora-Barefield club, which required me to be as honest as I possibly could be". The author has been closely associated with St Joseph's for years having been the team goalkeeper and able to give first hand accounts of the fading club's attempts to revive past glories and of the harsh truths facing rural teams. The award is voted for by some of Ireland's top journalists, sports commentators and pundits. Previous winners include footballer Paul McGrath's life story Back from the Brink and retired rugby star Trevor Brennan's autobiography Heart and Soul. Last year’s winner was Dónal Óg Cusack with his book Come What May. Tony Kenny, William Hill Ireland PR Manager, said; "The Club is certainly the best sports book in Ireland this year and according to many of our judges, one of the best sports books they have ever read. The book will resonate, not only with GAA fans but sports fans in general and communities across the country. It depicts the triumphs and tragedy of one season for a hurling club but also looks at how important communities can be and gives a fantastic insight into the impact sport can have. Christy’s book is an excellently told story and is a very deserved winner of the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year."

The shortlist:
My Story by Bernard Dunne
A Football Man by John Giles
Screaming at the Sky by Tony Griffin
Days of Heaven by Declan Lynch
The Club by Christy O'Connor
Ruby by Ruby Walsh

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Scariff Library on TG4's Imeall show

TG4The 2nd annual Young People's Art Exhibition in Scariff Public Library which includes sculpture, photography, painting, film and more will be featured on Imeall, TG4's weekly arts & culture series made by Red Shoe Productions on Thursday, 2 December, at 10pm. The item is part of a specially devoted youth programme which also contains items about Clare electronic violinist Daithi O Dronai, the National Youth Theatre and 16-year-old County Offaly ballet dancer Chris Furlong who recently started training at the Central School of Ballet in London. That's Imeall, Thursday, 2 December, 10pm, TG4.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Dúnadh don Nollaig - Christmas closing

Dúnfar na Leabharlanna Brainse Déardaoin, an 23 Nollaig ar 3.00i.n. agus athosclófar iad Déardaoin, an 30 Nollaig. Dúnfar iad arís Dé hAoine an 31 Nollaig ar 5.30i.n. agus athosclófar iad Dé Máirt, an 4 Eanair (gnáth uaireanta). Tabhair faoi deara go bhfuil uaireanta oscailte éagsúla i bhfeidhm ag leabharlanna éagsúla. I gcomhair tuilleadh eolais, féach ar:

Branch libraries in County Clare will close at 3pm on Thursday the 23rd of December and re-open on Thursday the 30th of December. They will close again on Friday the 31st of December at 5.30pm and re-open on Tuesday the 4th of January (normal hours). Please note that opening hours vary from library to library. For more details see:

Friday 26 November 2010

Kilkee, County Clare, by Jack Mason

Posted on Youtube on the 15th of October 2009 by jackmason2007

Thursday 25 November 2010

The Red House Children’s Book Award - The only book award judged by children

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Red House Children’s Book Award is the only book award voted for and judged entirely by children. It is awarded annually in the U.K. in three categories, younger children, younger readers and older readers. Any work of fiction first published in the UK in 2010 including titles previously published abroad was eligible to be shortlisted. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the overall winner of the award this year.

This year’s top ten nominations were:

Younger Children:
A Very Strange Creature by Ronda Armitage & Layn Marlow
Crunch Munch Dinosaur Lunch! by Paul Bright & Mike Terry
The Baby Dragon-Tamer by Jan Fearnley
Bottoms Up! by Jeanne Willis & Adam Stower

Younger Readers:
Angel Cake by Cathy Cassidy
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
Mondays are Murder by Tanya Landman

Older Readers:
Ausländer by Paul Dowswell
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The winners are;
Bottoms Up! (in the Younger Childrens Category)
Mondays are Murder (in the Younger Readers Category and)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (in the Older Readers Category)

The Overall Winner of the 2010 Children’s Book Award is
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

All titles are available from branches of Clare County Library.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

The Tulla Ceili Band - Feakle 2009

"The best ceili band in the world playing for a Set Dance at the Feakle Festival in County Clare, August 2009". Posted on Youtube on the 12th of August 2009 by nytram1309.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

M18 Gort - Crusheen Bypass Excavations Exhibition

Photo shows John McInerney of Clare Museum with some of the artefacts for the forthcoming exhibition.
Clare Museum is planning an exhibition of artefacts unearthed by archaeologists along the route of the recently opened M18 Gort - Crusheen road scheme. The excavations were carried out in accordance with the Directions issued to Galway County Council by the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government under Section 14A (2) of the National Monuments Acts 1930–2004. Excavations at twenty two sites were undertaken by archaeologists from Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd on behalf of Galway County Council and the National Roads Authority (NRA) in 2007 and 2008 prior to construction of the new roadway.

Following an inspection of the artefacts by staff at the National Museum of Ireland, a final list of objects suitable for exhibition was made and these objects have been delivered to the museum. Included among the artefacts are pottery, stone tools and axes dating from the Neolithic period and glass and amber beads, and a rare bone gaming piece, which date from the Iron Age period. The exhibition will be displayed in a specially designed exhibition space on the top floor of the building.

Public lectures on the types of archaeological sites recorded during these excavations are also planned for the New Year. The results of the archaeological excavations are to be published in the NRA Monograph Borderland: archaeological investigations along the route of the M18 Gort to Crusheen road scheme later in 2011. It is also intended that copies of the excavation final reports will be available in the archaeology section of the Clare library website in due course.
See also:
Archaeological Reports for the N18 Ennis Bypass and N85 Western Relief Road

Friday 19 November 2010

Andy Irvine - My Heart's Tonight In Ireland (Solo)

Andy Irvine in the Quellencafe of the Wandelhalle in Bad Wildungen, Germany, November 13, 2008. The song features many parts of County Clare. See for another rendition of the song with a host of well-known Irish musicians.

Vote for the 2010 Galaxy National Book of the Year

Freedom by Jonathan FranzenThe star-studded award ceremony for the 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards was broadcast on More4 TV recently. Showcasing the best of British publishing and celebrating the titles that boast both wide popular appeal and critical acclaim, the winners of each of the eight categories will become a finalist with the chance of winning the Galaxy Book of the Year, for which the public become the judges. In the five weeks before Christmas there will be a TV series on More4 profiling the winners of the 2010 awards and a vote for viewers to select the overall Galaxy Book of the Year with the final result to be announced on 13 December. Literary veterans Terry Pratchett and Martin Amis took home awards for Outstanding Achievement, in recognition of their unrivalled contribution to the publishing industry. Terry Pratchett said: "I'm amazed, you find something that you like doing and do well and keep on doing it and suddenly they give you an award, when all I was really doing was having a lot of fun."

Stephen Fry beat off big competition in the hotly contested Biography category, claiming victory over rival authors who included Tony Blair and Lord Alan Sugar. He won the prize for his second volume of memoirs, The Fry Chronicles, which was named Tesco Biography of the Year. Best children's book was Zog by the creators of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Their tale about an accident-prone dragon beat comedian David Walliams's book Mr Stink. Hilary Mantel emerged in front of Maggie O’Farrell, David Mitchell and Kate Atkinson to collect the highly prized Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year accolade.

Jonathan Franzen was awarded the Galaxy International Author of the Year prize for Freedom. Franzen snatched victory from an array of literary luminaries, amongst whom were Stieg Larsson and his posthumous thriller The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest and Christos Tsiolkas’ controversy invoking The Slap. Political commentator Andrew Marr landed the More4 Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award for The Making Of Modern Britain, ousting opponents including Antonia Fraser and Bill Bryson.

Guardian newspaper columnist Yotam Ottolenghi tasted victory as his cookery book Plenty out performed celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater in the Tesco Food and Drink Book of the Year category. David Nicholls’ One Day was named Popular Fiction Book of the Year, ahead of an acclaimed line up of nominees which included Jilly Cooper, Dorothy Koomson and Phillippa Gregory.

As well as the numerous established faces vying for gongs the awards also celebrate emerging talents – this year’s National Book Tokens New Writer of the Year went to ceramic artist Edmund de Waal, with his collection of family memoirs, The Hare With Amber Eyes. There is a new, free iPhone App developed for the Galaxy National Book Awards. The App contains full details of the 48 fiction and non-fiction books shortlisted for the awards. The public can vote for one of the eight finalists between November 13th and December 13th, when the winner will be announced. Further information can be found on the Galaxy Facebook page and on the Galaxy National Book Awards website, where you can find details of how to cast your vote. More info...

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Books on Clare Hurling longlisted for William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year Award

The Club by Christy O’ConnorBooks by two well-known Clare hurlers are among the 25 books that have been longlisted for this year’s William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year award. Tony Griffin tells his remarkable story and his gruelling charity cycle across Canada in Screaming at the Sky. It is a story of courage, of love and loss, and of battles won and lost both on and off the field. The Club by Christy O’Connor followed Clare club side St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield for a season in 2009 as they looked to re-establish themselves as a force in Clare hurling. From player infighting to player-management stand-offs, team-bonding and on-pitch battles, The Club is a chronicle of the 2009 season told with unflinching honesty. Other titles shortlisted this year include autobiographies by John Giles, Bernard Dunne and Darragh O’Se along with stories about Lansdowne Road, Waterford Hurling and some of Ireland’s top jockeys and race horses. The public have a chance to vote for the winner of the award from a list which includes some of the biggest names in Irish sport. Eleven of Ireland’s top sports commentators will judge this year’s award including Eamon Dunphy, George Hook and Matt Cooper. However, the public vote will act as the twelfth judge in the award. The most voted for book by the public on will go forward as the people’s choice and will be added to the votes of the rest of the judging panel. Tony Kenny, PR Manager for William Hill Ireland, said; “The William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year is about rewarding Ireland’s best sports writers and it is only right that the public get their opportunity to vote for their favourite. The public get a chance to take their place amongst our judging panel and give their opinion on the best Irish sports book this year.” More information on this year’s William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year and details on how to vote for this year’s winner can be found at

William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year - Long List:
• Lansdowne Road – Gerard Siggins & Malachy Clerkin
• Kinane – Anne Holland
• Days of Heaven – Declan Lynch
• The Agony and the Ecstasy – Damien Tiernan
• A Football Man – John Giles
• Emerald Anfield – Keith Falkiner
• The Unconquerable Keane – David Smith
• Sea the Stars – Anne Holland
• My Story – Bernard Dunne
• The Club – Christy O’Connor
• Ruby – Ruby Walsh
• Screaming at the Sky – Tony Griffin
• The World is a Ball – John Doyle
• If You Don’t Know Me, Don’t Judge Me – Dan Shanahan
• 100 GAA Greats – John Scally
• Sporting Legends of Ireland – Turtle Bunbury & James Fennell
• Darragh, My Story – Darragh Ó’Sé
• Voices from Croke Park – Sean Potts
• My Father; A Hurling Revolutionary – Conor Power
• Alright Aldo – John Aldridge & John Hynes
• Stuttgart to Saipan – Miguel Delaney
• Dail Stars – Conor McMorrow
• Brothers in Sport – Donal Keenan
• Gaffers: 50 Years of Irish Football Managers – Trevor Keane
• Method in My Madness – Richard Dunwoody

Friday 12 November 2010

CIGO announces that Clare County Library is to be the fourth (2010) recipient of its Award for Excellence in Genealogy

At its 2010 AGM the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) announced that Clare County Library would be the recipient of its 2010 Award for Excellence in Genealogy, not only in recognition of the facilities provided in the Local Studies Centre at Ennis (which includes a magnificent collection of Clare newspapers and the recently acquired microfilmed parish registers), but particularly the online genealogy section of the Library's website. According to CIGO, the website includes invaluable transcriptions of Tithe Applotment Books, gravestone inscriptions with photographs), school rolls, and indexes to newspaper extracts, etc. The value of these resources is further enhanced by the cross-linked townland and parish indexes and maps, which help researchers to identify Clare place names. CIGO finds that the website sets an extremely high standard for data provision to which other libraries should be encouraged to aspire. In recognising Clare County Library's achievements in genealogy CIGO also acknowledges the contribution of all those who have donated time and material to make the website the success that it so clearly is.

Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations
Clare County Library Local Studies Centre
Clare County Library website - Genealogy & Family History
About Clare County Library's website

Teenage Book Club For Scariff Public Library

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessTeenagers in Scariff will soon have their very own book club. The first meeting will be on Tuesday 16th November at 6pm in the library. There will be tea and coffee and biscuits too. All teenagers are welcome to come along. There’s no need to sign up, just show up and why not bring a friend. Our first book will be The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Copies of the book will be available at the meeting. Suggestions for the next book will be very welcome also. Everyone will read the book over the month and then discuss it the next time. Even if you don’t finish it or hate it we want to hear your opinions! See you at the first meeting! Here’s a review of The Knife of Never Letting Go from “Wow. I mean, just wow. I’m in shock, I think. I finished reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness about forty minutes ago and I just can’t get my brain to work. I’m stuck in time, my thoughts frozen on the last sentence of the novel, my mouth hanging wide open in the shape of an O. I’ve been reading a lot lately, devouring books faster than I can get my hands on them, but nothing – I repeat nothing – stands out nearly half as much as this book does. It’s profound, it’s remarkable, it’s downright captivating.”

Thursday 11 November 2010

40ft wave confirms Ireland's status as surfers' paradise

"Surfers have said weather conditions off the west coast of Ireland combined perfectly to create huge waves of up to 40 feet (12m) high." Also featuring Lahinch and Aill na Searrach (aka Aileens). Posted on Youtube on the 9th of November by rte.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Scariff Library Poetry Group - still going strong

Scariff Library Poetry Group

There has been renewed interest lately in Scariff Library Poetry Group which meets every two weeks. At each session a chosen poet is discussed, and the group also discusses a wide range of other topics from mythology, to history and science. During each session a group poem is composed and attendees are also encouraged to bring along their own work and share it. At each meeting a specific theme is chosen and members are encouraged to write a piece on that theme for the following meeting. Members are encouraged to participate but anyone who is interested in attending is also welcome just to listen. The aim of the group is to promote poetry in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and understanding.

Monday 8 November 2010

Irish Language Audio Books - free to download

Audio Books ServiceA new collection of eight Irish Language Audiobooks is available for download from Clare County Library’s downloadable audio books service. These short novels come from some of Ireland’s finest authors, including Maeve Binchy, Roddy Doyle and Marian Keyes. The books are produced by Clipper audio in collaboration with New Island books. These Irish language titles will also be available for borrowing from the library in CD format shortly.

Registered members of Clare County Library may download electronic audio books for free. All you need is a PC with broadband internet access, and you can download the selected eAudio book, play it on your PC or transfer it to your MP player, iPod or even your mobile phone. You may download and 'check out' up to ten audiobooks at a time for a 'loan' period of three weeks. Audio books may be renewed once. Each title offers unlimited availability and simultaneous access for all borrowers, so every library user can download all the latest bestsellers at the same time, making waiting lists a thing of the past. There are almost 700 books currently available to download from the library website.

The Irish language downloadable audio titles are:
Timpiste Réidh le Tarlú le Vincent Banville
Na Tógálaithe le Maeve Binchy
Cailleacha Underbury le John Connolly
Deireadh Seachtaine Craiceáilte le Roddy Doyle
Is Gearr... le Marian Keyes
An Seomra Tobac le Julie Parsons
Tá Jesus agus Billy ag Imeacht go Barcelona
Rúin le Patricia Scanlan.
This collection is sure to be very popular not only with fluent Irish speakers across the country but also with those trying to improve their Irish language skills. For more information click here...

The Irish Amazon

The legendary Kenny’s Bookshop in Galway estimates that the delivered cost to customers of over 70% of their books are cheaper than the same books sold on other sites online, including that of Amazon. The bookshop was founded in 1940, and in 1994 was the second bookstore in the world to have a website - the first was a sci-fi shop in San Francisco, which has since closed, so Kenny’s can now claim oldest. In the summer of 2010 Kenny’s launched a new website, which stocks over 5 million pre-release, new, secondhand, out of print and rare books and offers free shipping worldwide. The bookshop has a renowned stock of books on Irish history, culture, literature and language, as well as a comprehensive selection of non-Irish material. "We aim to be an, even though we work with them", says Tom Kenny. The market for books in Ireland is estimated to be over €300 million with 14% of that bought online. See

Friday 5 November 2010

Padraig Rynne Band - Marga's Moment

Padraig Rynne (concertina), Tola Custy (fiddle) & Ed Boyd (guitar) - Marga's Moment/Crooked Still Reel/Major Harris. Recorded in Gijón, Asturias, Spain, 03.04.08. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of April 2008 by Cagun.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Clare Burren Marathon Challenge 2009

"The highs and lows of the Clare Burren Marathon Challenge. The youngest competitor was 7 and the oldest was 93. The courses ranged from 10km to 43km. The rain poured and the sun shone, and Brendan Gleeson popped over to start the race. The soundtrack is by the uber talented Daithi O'Dronai, featured in the video." Posted on Youtube on the 19th of June 2009 by OutsiderMagazine.

Arts in Ireland (Wheaton College students visit Burren College of Art)

"Wheaton College goes to Ireland! 16 Students were selected to attend a 3 week program with studio space provided by the Burren College of Art. The assignment: 'Make a piece of art that is influenced by Ireland'." Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of July 2009 by crazyman42.

Friday 29 October 2010

Changing Currents - O'Brien's Bridge Co. Clare Close Up!

"A Documentary done by the locals of O'Brien's Bridge County Clare Ireland. With History and a close up look at life in the village." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of June 2007 by peadarmurphy.

Knappogue Castle medieval banquet

"Highlights from the medieval banquet nights run in Knappogue castle in County Clare, Ireland. For more info please visit". Posted on Youtube on the 28th of February 2009 by wwwcelticvideocom.

Vote for your favourite Irish Book of 2010

Irish Book AwardsThe shortlist for the fifth Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards was announced on October 28th unveiling a typically eclectic range of titles including books by Colm Toibin, Joseph O’Connor, Sheila O’Flanagan, Cecelia Ahern, Ryan Tubridy, Shane Ross, Fintan O’Toole, Johnny Giles, Ruby Walsh, Derek Landy, John Boyne, newcomer Amy Huberman and children's author Sarah Webb. Established in 2006, the awards are dedicated to honouring Irish writers and Irish publishing. Extolling the virtues of the awards David Bunworth, MD at Bord Gáis Energy, commented "the new Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards is a fantastic event which celebrates the very best of Irish writing both at home and abroad. This year’s shortlist is a tribute to the talent and range that exists in Irish writing. It will be hard to choose one but I would encourage people to cast their vote and pick deserving winners.” From October 29th, the public are being asked to cast their vote on the best books of the last year via the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards website or by post on a form to be found in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Preview magazine. The preview magazines are available in public libraries and bookshops. Every person who votes will be in with a chance of winning one of five €100 National Book Token vouchers.

The award categories are the John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award; Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year; Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year; Eason Popular Fiction Book of the Year; IES Best Irish-published Book of the Year; Energise Sport Irish Sports Book of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the Dublin Airport Authority Irish Children’s Book of the Year – Junior and Senior Section. Voting takes place until November 21st with the winners announced at the Awards Dinner in the Mansion House on November 25th.

Click here for the full shortlist in categories...

Friday 22 October 2010

Sharon Shannon & An Big Band - Cavan Potholes - Beo ó Dolans (Part 1)

"Sharon Shannon agus bannaí ceoil beo i Dolans. I measc na gceoltóirí tá Damien Dempsey, Declan O' Rourke, Dessie O' Halloran, Gerry O' Connor, Jack Maher, James Delaney, Jim Murray, Jon Kenny, Mary Shannon, Mundy, Paul Moore, Richie Buckle, Robbie Casserly, Roesy, The Brennans & Winnie Horan." Posted on Youtube on June 12th, 2010, by TG4gaeilge.

Quin Abbey

"Quin abbey was built between 1402 and 1433 by Sioda Cam MacNamara. The abbey is roughly 9 miles from Ennis town. A visitor centre is located near the abbey and the structure and grounds can be visited free of charge. The graveyard surrounding the abbey is still in use." Posted on Youtube on October 6th, 2010, by wwwcelticvideocom.

2010 Nobel Prize - Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas LlosaMario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist, has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. The academy honored him "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat". The Nobel tends to be given as a lifetime achievement award — it goes to a writer, not to a particular work — and Vargas Llosa, 74, earned it with decades of critically acclaimed writing across literary genres. His works have been translated into 31 languages. In winning the Nobel, he joins an elite group of Latin American writers: Octavio Paz, Garcia Marquez, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. Vargas Llosa’s next book is based on the life of Roger Casement. Faber plans to publish the book in English early in 2012. The title of the book, The Dream of the Celt, is taken from a line in one of Casement's own poems.

Lady Chatterley’s 50th Anniversary

Lady Chatterley’s LoverNov 2nd, 2010, marks the 50th anniversary of the acquittal of Penguin Books by an Old Bailey jury on the charges of obscenity for publishing an uncensored version of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Though privately published in Italy in 1928, only a censored version of the book was legally available in Britain and the United States until the 1960s. Only a year before the trial, Roy Jenkins had secured the passage of a new Obscene Publications Act, leaving a crucial loophole – the question of literary merit – through which works might escape prohibition. And in May 1960, Penguin saw its chance, announcing its plans to publish 200,000 paperback copies of the complete work at just 3s 6d each. On November 2, after just three hours’ deliberation, the jury acquitted Penguin Books of all charges. Almost immediately, the book became a best-seller. Penguin will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the trial with a new edition of the notorious novel.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Limerick ( European City of Sport 2011) Fireworks Ceremony

Limerick ( European City of Sport 2011) Fireworks CeremonyLimerick, European City of Sport 2011, Fireworks Ceremony,
October 23rd, 9.30pm, Limerick City Centre.
To celebrate and to welcome the European City of Sport to Limerick, and to welcome all visitors, the City will be putting on a fireworks display which will light up the skies over the majestic Treaty City following the International Rules game between Ireland and Australia at Limerick Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening. King John’s Castle provides the stunning backdrop to this breathtaking display where dazzling colours and explosive effects will be unleashed over the magnificent River Shannon. Supported by Limerick City Council, GAA County Board and Shannon Development. More details...

Space Hop Summer Reading Challenge at Scariff Library

The Kennedy Family who completed the Summer Reading Challenge at Scariff Library

There was great excitement in Scariff Public Library on Friday 1st October at 7pm as children were presented with their certificates for completion of the Space Hop Reading Challenge. With readers as young as age four taking part, books of all kinds were read and enjoyed over the summer holidays. Magician Paul Beattie amazed both children and adults with a 45 minute magic show as bags of goodies were enjoyed by the successful Space Hoppers. A great night was had by the 80 strong crowd of children and parents. Well done to everyone and also a big thank you to parents who encouraged children to participate in the challenge and ferried them to and from the library.

‘Biodiversity on Blackhead’ - Burrenbeo Trust November Walk with Clare’s Biodiversity Officer, Shane Casey

‘Biodiversity on Blackhead’
‘Biodiversity on Blackhead’ - Burrenbeo Trust November Walk with Clare’s Biodiversity Officer, Shane Casey, at 2pm on Sun 7th November 2010. Meet .5km before Murroughtouhy layby going west (OS51. N14.9 W11.4). Everyone welcome. Free for members and donation from non-members. More information contact or 091 638096.

Shane Casey’s first education of the Burren and its ecology began as he grew up on his family’s farm in Blackhead. Seeing the intricate relationship between the Burren’s ecology and the local farming systems encouraged him to study Agricultural and Environmental Science in UCD. Understanding that the future of the Burren rested on the viability of these farming systems, Shane went on to study Rural Development, focusing on target market analysis for Burren lamb as his dissertation. Before his current position as Clare Biodiversity Officer, Shane worked as an agricultural and environmental advisor in south Galway , and then as a social research officer with Clare County Council. His current role involves education and awareness of biodiversity, both within and beyond the Burren. This walk is open to everyone. It is free for Burrenbeo Trust Members and a donation from non-members. It is advised to be of a reasonable level of fitness, and to wear comfortable and sensible walking shoes or hiking boots with a good grip as much of the Burren’s terrain is uneven, and to be prepared for Irish weather - warm and waterproof clothes are recommended


OS51. N14.9 W11.4

From the East (Ballyvaughan)
In the centre of Ballyvaughan take a right at the ‘Tea Junction Café’ and go out the coast road (R477). Continue along this for approx 10kms around Blackhead passing the lighthouse on your right. Continue another km and you will see two gates opposite each other. This is where the walk begins.

From the West (Lisdoonvarna)
From Lisdoonvarna take the R477 Coast Road heading towards Fanore. Continue on this approx 16kms going through Fanore village. Another 5kms past the Fanore post office there is a layby called Murrooghtoohy. Continue past this another .5km until you reach two gates opposite each other. This is where the walk begins.

Friday 15 October 2010

Geology of the Cliffs of Moher

"The story of the formation of the Cliffs of Moher, Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December, 2008, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Cliffs of Moher - History of O'Briens Tower

Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December, 2008, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Hags Head - Cliffs of Moher

"The story behind the tower at Hags Head at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December, 2008, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Four years after it was first published, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia remains on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list. With over 7 million copies now in print, it is claimed that around one in every fifty people in the US owns a copy of the book. The memoir chronicles the author's trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels. The travelogue has got a new boost with the recent release of the film version of the book. Kensington Tours in London are offering bespoke month-long trips to three countries to eat, pray and love, just as Elizabeth Gilbert did. Guests get to eat in Italy, reflect in India and find balance in Bali – for around €7,800. Gilbert has published a sequel to the book entitled Committed: a Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage which covers her life after Eat, Pray, Love ends.

Man Booker Prize Winner 2010 - The Finkler Question

The Finkler QuestionHoward Jacobson has been named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury. Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights and in 2002 for Who's Sorry Now, but has never before been shortlisted. The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today. Andrew Motion, chair of the judges, commented “The Finkler Question is a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize”. Over and above his prize of £50,000, Howard Jacobson can expect a huge increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which won the Man Booker Prize 2009 has now sold over half a million copies in the UK alone. Sales of the books longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize have been stronger than ever before, with sales over 45% higher than last year.

Irish hopes rested on Emma Donoghue’s novel Room which was shortlisted and was joint favourite to win with Tom McCarthy’s C. Room, based on the Fritzl case, is told from the perspective of a five year old held captive with his mother in a garden shed. It is a brilliant portrayal of the psyche of a child raised in captivity and a celebration of the resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child. Betting on the Man Booker prize was suspended by Ladbrokes bookmakers after an "unprecedented" flurry of bets on Tom McCarthy’s book, C. Ladbrokes said that many were placed by figures linked to the literary world, setting alarm bells ringing and prompting them to close their books. Paddy Power bookmaker also noted an increase in betting for C. A spokeswoman said: "Up until the beginning of the week, there had been equal interest between McCarthy and Donoghue. But bets for Donoghue dried up while customers with a good strike rate, those who we might watch above others, have suddenly been placing money on McCarthy". But the bookmakers worry about a leak from the judging panel were unfounded as McCarthy’s novel failed to win the prize. C centres on Serge Carrefax, whose birth at the time of wireless radio during the First World War finds the ramifications and possibilities of the new method of communication dominating his whole life.

The Man Booker Prize App is free to download from the App Store to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch and is the UK's first app for a literary prize. Free audio extracts of all 13 of the longlisted titles can now be downloaded to mobile phones via GoSpoken at To support and stimulate reading groups' discussions, reading guides for each of the longlisted titles are available online. Each guide provides an introduction to the authors, their books, starting points for discussion and ideas for extended reading. Other resources on the website include the Toolkit 2010, which provides a range of ideas for reading groups. See

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Banned Books Week

Banned Books28 library services across the UK recently participated in a London Libraries’ reader promotion called Banned Books, which featured 50 books that have been banned or challenged, historically or currently. Banned Books brings public libraries together with organisations that promote freedom of expression to raise awareness of censorship and raise the profile of libraries. The books were selected by Article 19, Index on Censorship, English PEN (the charity to promote literature) and International PEN, the International Publishers Association, and UK librarians.

The 50 banned books are listed under four categories:
Corrosive to young minds – includes Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone by JK Rowling and Forever by Judy Blume;
Politically incendiary – includes The grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck and The unbearable lightness of being by Milan Kundera;
Downright sexy – includes The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien and Ulysses by James Joyce;
Just wrong – includes The dark by John McGahern and The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.

The American Library Association hold an annual Banned Books Week (BBW) to celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. To see the titles on the UK Banned Books list see

Friday 8 October 2010

The Burren - Aerial tour

An aerial tour of parts of the Burren, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 26th of May, 2010, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Enchanted Way Tour of County Clare, June 2010

"This part of the Tour included The Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Island Inis Oirr, The Burren, and Traditional Music in the Pubs of Doolin." 'Enchanted Way' Tour of County Clare, June 2010, vocals by Tom Pigott and Friends - 'Along the Enchanted Way'. Posted on Youtube on the 4th of July 2010 by jocatgo123.

Clare singer and songwriter Lucy Foley releases 'Copenhagen'

<a href="">Copenhagen by Lucy Foley</a>

Clare singer and songwriter Lucy Foley has often felt like somebody’s imaginary friend,showing up in unlikely places. But it was her move to Denmark in 2004 that sparked a liberating creative journey over three years spent as a street performer and photographer that is conjured throughout the seven songs on her richly imaginative debut, Copenhagen, released on 1st October 2010 and available from her website and iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Pike making in Mountshannon, Ireland with blacksmith Mark Wilson

Pike making in the historic forge of Mountshannon, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of November 2009 by aveire.

Monday 4 October 2010

Lisdoonvarna included in Penguin Anthology

Christy Moore, Declan Sinnott & Donal Lunny perform Lisdoonvarna. Posted on Youtube on 11th of December, 2009, by pddybrry.

The words of Christy Moore’s song, Lisdoonvarna, are to be included in a new anthology of Irish poetry. The Penguin Book of Irish Verse, running at over 1,000 pages, has just been published at a cost of €50. It will include all the greats of Irish poetry - Yeats, Beckett, Heaney, Swift, Wilde, Joyce, Kavanagh and others. Christy’s ballad describes arriving and performing at the Lisdoonvarna Folk Festival and has become his best-loved song.

(First verse and chorus:)
How's it goin' there everybody,
From Cork, New York, Dundalk, Gortahork and Glenamaddy.
Here we are in the County Clare
It's a long, long way from here to there.
There's the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher,
And the Tulla and the Kilfenora,
Miko Russell, Doctor Bill,
Willy Clancy and Noel Hill.
Flutes and fiddles everywhere.
If it's music you want,
You should go to Clare.

Oh, Lisdoonvarna
Lisdoon, Lisdoon, Lisdoon, Lisdoonvarna

Hanif Kureishi scoops PEN Pinter prize

Hanif KureishiA panel of judges including Harold Pinter's widow, Lady Antonia Fraser, Lisa Appignanesi and Mariella Frostrup chose Hanif Kureishi as winner of this year’s PEN Pinter prize. The award, which goes to a writer who – in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech – casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze upon the world, was established last year by English PEN in memory of the Novel-winning dramatist, its former vice-president. The prize aims to honour a writer of "outstanding literary merit" who exemplifies Pinter's own "fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies". Fraser said her husband "would have been proud" of the selection of Kureishi, author of the Whitbread award-winning novel The Buddha of Suburbia and the Oscar-nominated screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette. Last year, poet and playwright Tony Harrison won the inaugural PEN Pinter prize, worth £1,000. More info…

Frank O'Connor award goes to Ron Rash

The Frank O'Connor award has been presented to American author Ron Rash for his 'bleak' collection of short stories set in Appalachia, Burning Bright. This award is considered the world's richest prize for the short story form. Rash’s collection contains stories that range in time from the American Civil War to the present day and that tell of characters such as a pawnshop owner who intervenes when his nephew throws his parents out of their house to fund his meth addiction, to the portrait of the wife of a Lincoln sympathiser in Confederate territory. Rash said he hoped that "even though the stories are very regional in one sense", they also have a universal flavour. Rash was named winner in Cork on Sunday 19th September and beat experienced writers such as TC Boyle and Charlotte Grimshaw as well as debut writers such as Wells Tower and Simon Van Booy to claim the €35,000 (£29,000) award which honours world-famous short story writer Frank O’Connor. Rash is currently based in Western Carolina University where he holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies. No stranger to awards, Rash has won the O Curry Henry prize twice and was shortlisted twice for the PEN/Faulkner award. Previous winners of the Frank O’Connor prize include Haruki Murakami, Yiyun Li and Jhumpa Lahiri. More info…

Loop Head earns water tourism award

Loop Head in County Clare is among twenty five tourist destinations which were awarded the "2010 European Destination of Excellence" (EDEN) title on 27 September. The EU scheme promotes all-round sustainable tourism development models outside mainstream locations where unique (and economically viable) experiences are provided by a combination of cultural relevance, local involvement, environmental sensitivity. This year EDEN focused on aquatic tourism assets with the West Clare peninsula being praised for its exceptional scuba diving, diverse sea and bird life and dramatic cliffs. Previous Irish winners have been Clonakilty (2007, emerging rural destination), Carlingford and the Cooley peninsula (2008, local intangible heritage), and the Sheep’s Head peninsula, Co. Cork (2009, protected areas). More info…
Loop Head web links

Public libraries seek new role for digital era

More than 200 participants from 27 countries met to think about the future of public libraries in Europe. They regard the librarian as a guide in the internet world and no longer as a book collector. The European Congress on e-inclusion (ECEI10) - “Delivering digital Europe in public libraries" - organised by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, took place in Brussels on 20-21 September. The conference was organised within the framework of the European Year of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion and with specific reference to the new ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ policy which sets out to respond to the challenges and opportunities brought about by an increasingly digital age including the social, cultural and economic benefits they bring. The event looked at a range of areas including the opportunities public libraries have to bridge the digital divide, the role they can play to increase accessibility of services and information as well as their role in supporting digital literacy programmes. Among the conclusions reached were that the core added value of the public library and librarian in the future will be in a role as a guide who makes users familiar with the internet and with the access to new skills it offers. Delegates also argued in favour of libraries entering into external knowledge and skills partnerships.
More info…

Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize

Cheshire-born poet Sian Hughes has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. Speaking about her collection of poetry, The Missing, published by Salt, Hughes says “It's hard to believe that writing down these very small texts and trying to make them as clear and honest as I can could somehow turn me into a real poet”. The judges Ciaran Carson, Michael Longley and Sinead Morrissey “singled out her work for particular praise from a competitive shortlist of new British and Irish poets”. Rosemary Kelly, chairman of the Arts Council, commented: “Sian Hughes is a worthy first winner of the prize and we are looking forward to seeing more from her in the future”. Hughes was announced as the winner at a reception, hosted by the Arts Council, to mark the opening of the British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, which will take place at Queen’s University from September 15-17. The conference, now in its second session, is being hosted by the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast for the first time, drawing together poets and academics from across the UK and Ireland. It will feature poetry readings from renowned poets such as Christopher Ricks, Michael Schmidt, Christopher Reid, Peter McDonald, Carol Rumens and Gerald Dawe. Anyone who is interested can contact Gerry Hellawell at Queen’s University on 028 9097 1070 or email More info…

Annabel Lyon's top 10 books on the Ancient World

Award winning Canadian writer Annabel Lyon has chosen her top 10 books concerning the ancient world that she says “subvert, surprise, challenge and please”. The books that make her list are An Imaginary Life by David Malouf (1978), Dragonflies by Grant Buday (2008), Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (1969), I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934), The Moon in the Cloud by Rosemary Harris (1968), Plato’s Symposium (385-380BC), Aeschylus’s Oresteia, translated by Ted Hughes (1998), If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, translated by Anne Carson (2002), The Gathering Night by Margaret Elphinstone (2009) and The Centaur by John Updike (1963). More info…

Thursday 30 September 2010

collins.harper.lane at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon

'Limerick Clown - A Head For Hats' JOHN COLLINS
collins.harper.lane at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon
16th October – 11th November. Official opening Saturday 16th October at 5pm by New York artist Doris Staal.

The upcoming exhibition ‘collins.harper.lane’ will be launched at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon on Saturday 16th of October at 5 pm by Doris Staal. Artists John Collins, Charles Harper and John Lane will present a selection of brand new works with the show running until November 11th 2010. Travelling from America’s east coast to officially open proceedings is New York artist Doris Staal who has spent almost every summer sketching and painting along Ireland’s western coastline and is honoured to return in this official capacity to open the show. Doris Staal is a lecturer at the National Academy & School of Fine Arts, New York City, and her work is included in the print collection of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, amongst others.

John Collins is a Limerick artist whose works are instantly recognisable as his composition continues to be dominated chiefly in red and white settings. Primarily, a self taught artist, he also studied art at LSAD and his works are part of private collections in Ireland, England, France and the United States. Charles Harper is retired Head of Fine Art at LSAD and while lecturing at the Limerick campus was a founding member of Aosdana. He was the initiating dynamism behind ev+a, Limerick‘s annual international arts exhibition, and is a council member of the Royal Hibernian academy and a member of Limerick Printmakers. John Lane is a local artist, born and raised in Ennis Co Clare. After studying art in Limerick and Sligo John ended up homeless for a short spell, coming out of this stronger and more positive.

The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, opening hours are:
Tuesday – Saturday from 12 – 5pm (June – Oct) and from 12 – 4pm (Nov – May) and the Gallery can also be contacted on 065 707 1630 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              065 707 1630      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or simply email: