Friday 26 March 2010

Paddy Canny & Peadar O'Loughlin

Paddy Canny and Peadar O'Loughlin playing two reels - The Old Bush & Geaghans. Posted on Youtube on the 10th of April 2008 by clarebannerman. launches dedicated author pages

You can now find web pages dedicated to your favourite authors thanks to a new initiative launched by Hundreds of authors feature in these dedicated pages, including the highly popular Stephenie Meyer, Stieg Larsson, Dan Brown and Hilary Mantel. This service, which was initially launched on a few months ago and proved to be a very popular feature, offers customers extra benefits such as full bibliographies of authors, recommended titles and videos. It also links to related items from other web stores including DVDs of “The Da Vinci Code” on the Dan Brown page and a Twilight boardgame on the Stephenie Meyer page. Head of book buying for, Amy Worth, says “It’s a way of cross-selling different products related to the author, whether it’s similar authors or different products like DVDs”. plans to promote this new feature by highlighting the pages with site specific marketing such as having the pages come up in search results. Amy Worth says “It’s like having a bookshelf of the author’s titles on the website”. For more info click here...

Thursday 25 March 2010

World Book Day in Killaloe

World Book Day in Killaloe

World Book Day celebrations began in Killaloe Library on Wed the 3rd of March. Children from Killaloe Boys National School visited the library for a workshop with artist Alan Shoosmith. The boys aged 5/6 years arrived in fancy dress to participate in the session, the theme of which was favourite characters from favourite books. Many dinosaurs roamed the library due to the boys’ enjoyment of the recently read picture book Tyrannosaurus Drip. There were prizes for the best fancy dress and some great art work was produced which was subsequently displayed at the library. Later that morning a second group from Killaloe Boys National School were enthralled with stories from the ever-popular Horrid Henry books which were brought to life by readings and illustrations from Mary Goss. The session ended with an excellent craft session where children made Horrid Henry masks and door hangers and tried their hands at the word puzzles provided by library staff. Again these classes made a huge effort to come in fancy dress and prizes were given to the most impressive book characters. On World Book Day itself, March the 4th, the staff of Killaloe Library again treated local schoolchildren to an hour long book feast of fun with stories and a book treasure trail after which prizes were presented to the winning team.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Kieran Hanrahan and Sonny Murray

Kieran Hanrahan (banjo) and the late Sonny Murray (concertina) in the latter's kitchen in Ennis, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 12th of February 2010 by CustysMusic.

Friday 19 March 2010

"Brooklyn" is One Book, One Chicago choice

Chicago Public LibraryBrooklyn, Colm Toibin’s award winning novel about an Irish immigrant’s journey to 1950s Brooklyn, is the 18th pick for the One Book, One Chicago citywide reading program. The One Book, One Chicago programme was initiated by Chicago Public Library in 2001, to encourage all Chicagoans to read the same book at the same time, and discuss a great piece of literature with friends and neighbors. The programme involves a week devoted to the book, its general theme, links with the Irish emigration scene, and an interview with the author himself. Books previously chosen for the project include The Right Stuff by Tom Wolf, Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Crucible by Arthur Miller. One Book, One Chicago also offers the opportunity for all Chicagoans to discuss the book with readers from Ireland, in a joint online discussion forum presented with the Galway Arts Centre, at

Lifetime achievement award for Maeve Binchy

Maeve BinchyMaeve Binchy has been given a lifetime achievement award from the Romantic Novelists' Association for her contribution to the genre. English novelist Joanna Trollope also received a lifetime achievement award. Romance author and RNA chair Katie Fforde called the pair "two of our finest authors", whose writing "gives pleasure to so many people". "Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope are household names, national treasures and some of the best storytellers of the last 50 years," said Fforde. "It was our pleasure and privilege to honour them with lifetime achievement awards." Binchy, whose first novel Light a Penny Candle was published in 1982, has sold an estimated 45 million copies of her books in over 39 countries worldwide. Her latest novel, Minding Frankie, is due for publication later this year. See

Tuesday 16 March 2010

National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (County Clare) Photo Collection

NIAH photo collectionRecently added to Clare County Library’s online photographic collection, this architectural survey, undertaken between 1992 and 1999 for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH), is a representative sample of structures of interest which illustrate the history and development of building in County Clare. It documents both the extraordinary and the commonplace buildings that exist throughout the county. This beautiful collection of photographs, taken in 2008, was kindly donated to Clare County Library by the NIAH, with permission to use text from its publication ‘An introduction to the architectural heritage of County Clare’ (2009) to accompany the photographs. The publication was written by Jane Fenlon and edited by Willy Cumming. The photographs were taken by Shannon Images. The original survey was carried out by Mairín Doddy, Colm Murray and Gerry Browner.

“Stone is omnipresent in the landscape of County Clare – towers, houses, abbeys and dry-stone walls are built of the grey limestone that covers large areas of its countryside. The county is particularly rich in early field monuments and ecclesiastical settlements both splendid and modest. There are remarkable structures such as the restored toll houses at D’Esterre’s Bridge, the Spectacle Bridge at Lisdoonvarna, and the great hydro-electrical complex at Ardnacrusha. No less important are the everyday urban developments, shopfronts and vernacular houses. Coastal defences, navigation aids and other marine buildings are features of the Shannon Estuary and Atlantic fringe. The character of the county towns vary from the bustling modern county town of Ennis with its medieval core of narrow streets and lanes, to the seaside resort of Kilkee and the spa at Lisdoonvarna." Taken from ‘An introduction to the architectural heritage of County Clare’ (2009) by Jane Fenlon, edited by Willy Cumming.

Click here for The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (County Clare) photo collection.

Writing4all launches new website for writing groups

Writing4allWriting4all Limited (‘W4all’) runs the well known site Since its launch in November 2008 it has attracted 2000 members with in excess of 2600 individual pieces of writing posted to the site covering Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction. At ‘The Forge at Gort Literary Festival’, to be held on March 26th and 27th in Gort, Co.Galway, W4all will launch, in a major new initiative, a website dedicated to writing groups in Ireland and abroad. The website will consist of (1) an individual website for each writing group and (2) a master website where the public and all writing groups can view postings. Provision will be made for ‘virtual’ groups to have dedicated websites based on genre. An additional feature of the offering is that there will be an International Writing Group award to individual writing groups based on a collection of work published by such groups. The prize fund is significant, with a first prize is €3,000. The inaugural competition is open to writing groups publishing prior to 31st December 2010 and the winners will be notified in early 2011 with an award ceremony tentatively scheduled for April 2011. The adjudicator of the inaugural competition is Christine Dwyer Hickey, well known Irish novelist and short story writer.

Monday 8 March 2010

Robbie McMahon To Be Honoured On The Big Screen

Robbie McMahon singing A film tribute to traditional singer Robbie McMahon will have its first screening at Cois na hAbhna, Ennis, Sunday night 21st March 2010. “Last Night As I Lay Dreaming” documents the huge contribution the Spancilhill man has made to the world of singing down through the years, both through his own compositions and his unique interpretation of traditional songs. “There is no doubt but that Robbie McMahon is a Legend” says Frank Whelan of the Cois na hAbhna Archive, who produced the film. “Anyone who knows Robbie or has had the good fortune to hear him sing will have to agree with that. In this piece we’ve tried to honour the man as best we can, which is not an easy thing to do because there is so much to Robbie McMahon. There’s Robbie the singer, of course, but then there’s Robbie the songwriter, a genius for the comic turn of phrase. Then there’s Robbie the entertainer, because he’s a great showman and of course as anyone around Spancilhill will tell you, there’s Robbie the great neighbour and friend!.” The film, directed by Ray Conway, features interviews with those who have known Robbie over the years as well as contributions that set his achievements in a wider context, highlighting the important role the singer and songwriter traditionally played in their local communities, recording events and keeping that memory alive for future generations. As well as being supported by Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann, “Last Night As I Lay Dreaming” received funding from the Arts Office of Clare County Council, through its Traditional Music Initiative supported by the Arts Council. According to Siobhan Mulcahy, Clare County Arts Officer “Clare County Council was delighted to support this initiative in recognition of one of our own, Robbie McMahon, one of the very best and one who will no doubt inspire for many generations to come. This documentary captures the essence of Robbie and in many ways the essence of Clare, a county of music.” For further information contact Frank Whelan at 086 8260300 or email
Robbie McMahon singing at the Fair of Spanchilhill, June 2009 Click here...
Robbie McMahon on Clare FM's Kitchen Sessions Click here...

Friday 5 March 2010

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, County Clare, August 2009

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, County Clare, Ireland, August 2009. Posted on Youtube on the 24th August 2009 by berniemcgirr1.

Sharon Shannon, Kevin Griffin, Pádraig Rynne, Eoin O' Neill, Mary Shannon and Mary Custy on Geantraí

Eoin O Neill (Bouzouki), Kevin Griffin (Banjo), Mary Custy (Fiddle), Sharon Shannon (Accordion), Mary Shannon (Banjo), and Pádraig Rynne (Concertina) in 1996. . A set of reels from Geantraí on TG4 recorded in Ennis in 1996. Posted on Youtube on the 6th January 2010 by maspeth46thstreet.

Padraig Rynne aged 11

Pádraig Rynne aged 11 playing at a concert in Ennis, Co. Clare. Three reels. August 1991. Posted on Youtube on January 14, 2010 by maspeth46thstreet

Download free audio books - NetLibrary Clipper collection

NetLibrary Clipper audio collection

Clare County Library is delighted to announce a new service that allows registered library members to 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. Access more than 550 bestselling Clipper Audio titles and download them in the comfort of your own home. Click here for more info...

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Lisdoonvarna

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in LisdoonvarnaLisdoonvarna is holding its first ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday 13th March. The parade kicks off at 1pm with traditional music and dancing in the Square, bringing back the old tradition of set-dancing in the Square in Lisdoonvarna. This will be followed by the parade which has over 40 floats already registered. The Parade will proceed through the Main Street of Lisdoonvarna at 2pm from the town’s newly refurbished Town Hall Pavillion. There will be a stage set up at St. Enda’s National School where there will be commentary on the parade with special guests. There will be a Tug of War Competition in the town also, where everyone is welcome to compete. Not forgetting the children, there will be organised races and Tug of War for them all, and pubs will have music and sessions on that night in order to carry on the party.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Teen Week 2010

Teen Week 2010 - image courtesy www.freedigitalphotos.netClare County Library is pleased to announce Teen Week 2010. This year for the first time, Clare County Library is organising a Spring programme of events exclusively for teenagers. Teenagers in Ennis are invited to take time out from a busy school schedule and join in library entertainment sessions with a difference, which are on offer from the 22nd to the 25th of March inclusive in the library’s first ever specially designated Teen Week. Events kick off on Monday the 22nd with a Graphic Novel Design Workshop presented by artist Elida Maiques who has previously worked at the creative writing centre Fighting Words, based in Dublin and founded by Roddy Doyle. Elida’s workshop at deValera Library, Ennis, will take students through the process of graphic novel creation on two consecutive mornings. Through the workshops they will explore writing a graphic novel script, creating storyboards, graphic novel page layout and illustration. On March 24th, author Roisin Meaney will provide a three hour creative writing workshop for teenagers. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, students will share their writing with others on the course. They will work on creating interesting and original 'Opening Lines' that contain something that would pique a reader's interest and make them want to know more. Story settings will be explored with emphasis on the importance of including detail in writing and making it come alive for the reader. They will work on character creation and preparation of character profile, plots and ideas for a story, coloured with lots of personal experiences from Roisin Meaney’s own writing. On the afternoon of the 25th of March, DJ Conor Quaid from Spin South West radio station will present a media careers talk for Leaving Cert, pre-Leaving Cert and TY students, beginning at 2.15pm. Conor is co-presenter of the Zoo Crew show which goes out weekdays on Spin South West from 18.45 to 21.45. The show has been nominated for national and regional awards for best music show. He has also taught Media and Radio at Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick. In radio he has worked for commercial, community and student stations. During his talk to students Conor will cover how best to approach a career in the media, what an employer will be looking for and in general discussion of a life in media followed by a question and answer session. All events will take place in DeValera Library, Ennis. The library is currently taking bookings from schools and interested individuals. To book places for any of the above events please contact Clare County Library tel.065 6846266 or email

World Book Day 2010

World Book Day 2010

World Book Day, which takes place this year on Thursday 4th March, is a UNESCO designated day for the celebration of books and reading and is a partnership of libraries, publishers, booksellers and other interested parties who come together to promote the value of books for the betterment and enrichment of all. On World Book Day in Clare a Library Information Point will be set up at Clare County Council, Áras Contae an Chláir at New Road, Ennis. Children are of course included in activities for World Book Day as libraries in the county host art classes on Thursday March the 4th, facilitated by Clare artists Alan Shoosmith, Krystyna Pomeroy and Rosaleen Henchy. The theme of the classes will be Draw Your Favourite Book Character and library staff are asking all young budding artists to come along to the sessions dressed as their favourite book character. Storytimes for young children will also take place in some branches on the day. Check Library Events for details.

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2010

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2010Seachtain na Gaeilge, running from 5th to 17th March, is an international celebration of the Irish language with the emphasis on fun and participation. The library seeks to actively promote the speaking of the Irish language each year through a programme of events planned with children and teenagers in mind. Visitors to library branches this year include the author, Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé who will meet with secondary school students in Ennis and Ennistymon libraries and Ros na Rún actor Máire Breathnach who plays Mó in the popular TV soap. Máire will host a chat session with questions and answers from young aspiring actors in Ennis, Scariff, Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon libraries on the 4th and 5th of March. Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin from Spiddal Publishers Futa Fata will bring his unique entertainment show to children of gaelscoileanna and the children from Kilkee National School in Shannon, Ennis, Kilrush and Kilkee Libraries on the 11th and 12 of March. His show will be based on the books and CDs of rhymes and songs, Gugalaí Gug and Peigín Leitir Móir which are widely used by national schools all over Ireland. Tadhg has worked in television in Ireland for twenty five years, as scriptwriter, presenter and producer. His work has been recognised by a number of Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Awards, for projects including the RTÉ arts series Cúrsaí Ealaíne, which he presented for five years. The TG4 teen comedy drama series Aifric, which he created and wrote, has also won three IFTA awards for best young people’s programme. Scealaíocht do dhaoine óga is a regular feature of the Library’s Seachtain na Gaeilge celebrations and this year library staff members Teresa Carmody-O’Shea and Seamus Ryan will tour many of the fifteen branches in the county to bring some of the best picture books in the Irish language to junior classes from primary schools. Alan Titley will read on Saturday 6th March in the Old Ground Hotel from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm. Pléfidh Alan Titley, Ollamh na Nua-Ghaeilge agus Ceann na Roinne i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh, litríocht na Gaeilge agus léifidh sé ón úrscéal Gluaiseacht a foilsíodh le déanaí. Is údar é de chúig úrscéal, na céadta scéalta, roinnt drámaí agus filíocht.

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Ballynacally Parish Graveyards Transcription Project

Ballynacally Parish Graveyards Transcription Project

Members of Ballynacally ICA handing over the Ballynacally Graveyards Transcription Project to Clare County Library. L-R: Maureen Corbett; Mary Hester; Teresa Carmody-O’Shea, Staff Officer, Clare County Library; Mary Hill; Mary Hogan; Mary Rynne.

Some years ago, a group of volunteers from Ballynacally I.C.A. took on the project of transcribing and publishing details of the gravestones and burial plots in three graveyards in Ballynacally Parish - those of Kilchreest, Clondegad and Killea. The three graveyards combined contain over seven hundred headstones with burials from a wide area. The Heritage Council provided financial support through its grants scheme. P.J. Carmody of Clare County Council assisted with the map making and aerial photographs. At Killea Graveyard the group was assisted by Martin O’Sullivan whose help was invaluable. The undertaking took five years and a published book of the transcription has been produced and is available to buy from Mary Hester at 065 6832210 or Mary Hill at 065 6838463. The transcriptions have been donated to Clare County Library to add to the list of transcribed graveyards on the library website. To date, inscriptions from over thirty Clare graveyards have been donated and all of these are available on the library website, many with accompanying photographs. Making these elusive records available is an invaluable aid to genealogists and family historians searching for their ancestors.

Monday 1 March 2010

Mullaghmore on a frosty winter morning

"Mullaghmore on a frosty morning in Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 7th of October 2010 by wwwcelticvideocom.

Never open a book with weather - Advice for aspiring writers

Elmore Leonards' 10 Rules of writingElmore Leonard’s latest book entitled Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing is due for publication this month. Rule 1 is "Never open a book with weather", but his most important rule is one that sums up the 10: "if it sounds like writing, rewrite it". The Guardian newspaper asked some of the most esteemed contemporary authors for any golden rules they bring to their writing practice. Michael Morpurgo advises living a full and varied life so as to keep your well of ideas full. Joyce Carol Oates recommends keeping a light, hopeful heart but to expect the worst. Colm Toibin advocates staying in your mental pyjamas all day. Helen Dunmore says to reread, rewrite, reread, rewrite and if it still doesn't work, throw it away. In which case Margaret Atwood suggests that prayer might work. For further advice see